Something that Mule readers may find interesting, should they wish to stop being readers for a little while and become listeners instead:
A while back I did an interview with Rich Rogers, aka Orklord of the Canon Puncture podcast. It’s part of a series called Game Advocates, in which people talk about what they get out of one of their favorite RPGs. Mine was #99 in the series; previous entries feature all manner of cool folks providing practical insights about their RPG experiences.
The podcast is half an hour, and Rich and I spent at least as much time talking afterwards. He’s a very enjoyable conversationalist with a lot of enthusiasm for roleplaying games, and I think it would have been cool to have captured some of that discussion as well. I was very interested to hear about his experiences with old-school games (specifically Labyrinth Lord, if I recall) and expand together on the themes I sketched out during the formal interview portion.
Nevertheless, what’s here is a pretty rapid-fire summary of how I see the evolution of OD&D, why the 1974 edition in particular is worthwhile as an inspirationally incoherent collision of the Arnesonian and Gygaxian approaches, and how its framework of dice-based improv can result in fun and surprising gameplay. For those who have played OD&D with me, I’ll be interested to hear whether you think the way I describe things here matches your own experience of what we do. For those I haven’t played with yet, this is probably a pretty good indication of what it’d be like to hear me interrupt the game and go off on a tangent for thirty minutes while you wait for your turn to act.