Today gamers are gathering at the Brooklyn Strategist to roll dice and have a good time in memory of Jean Wells, the first female professional in roleplaying games. The event is organized by Alex Guzman of Bad Wrong Fun, my co-organizer for the Games that Can’t Be Named series of events (whose grand finale is this Wednesday, 2/29, at the Soho Gallery for Digital Arts), and continues that tradition of bringing together players from all niches of RPGs to jointly celebrate common ground and experiment with the effects of using different systems to explore similar content.
If my parenting schedule works out, I’m looking forward to attending tonight’s session of the Jean Wells memorial. It’s raising money for a good cause and helping preserve the legacy of an important gaming pioneer. More selfishly, I want to take advantage of the chance to play Jean’s module Palace of the Silver Princess, which I had a great time helping Nick Mizer prep for an Adventuring Parties bachelor party but couldn’t participate in (it being in Houston and all).
Here’s hoping it becomes an annual celebration, joining the ranks of Gary Con, the NYC Dave Arneson Memorial Gameday, and the David L. Arneson Memorial Maritime Miniatures Mayhem Event (the fourth of which is likely to take place on April 7th at The Source).
Details about the event, from Alex’s post at nerdNYC:
On Sunday February 26th We (Bad Wrong Fun & B-Strat) will be holding a NYC RPG all-day gaming event in remembrance of Jean Wells who passed away a month ago on Jan 25th. The event will be at the Brooklyn Strategist located at 333 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11231.
The event will be broken into 2 sessions:
Day Session 12:00pm – 5:00pm & an Evening Session from 6:00pm – 11:00pm
There will be several different “Silver Princess” games being hosted simultaneously at a number of tables to allow for maximum attendance and participation. (More info on game systems below)
The door fee for the charity event will be $25.00 – beyond the donation made to Doctors without Borders in Mrs Wells name, attendees will receive the following:
1 month worth of free weekly membership to the Brooklyn Strat – (4 free play sessions, this does not include tournaments / premium events.)
Entry into the raffle for prizes held at the event for either the morning or evening session. (Prizes will include Gift Certificates redeemable at the Brooklyn Strategist).
Jean Wells was a D&D pioneer, and the original sage of Sage Advice, she is also the author of B3 Palace of the Silver Princess. During our event this is the module we will be playing however we will be using several game systems:
· OD&D / 1st ed Dungeons and Dragons
· 4E D&D
· Labyrinth Lord
· RuneQuest / Legend.
A strong argument can be made that Wells’ version of B3 was the last “old school module” to be produced at TSR; and that when it was pulled and replaced with the Moldvay version of B3, that’s the end of the “old school”.
For those unfamiliar with it:
The original B3 had a well-developed wilderness region, didn’t have a strongly-integrated plot, and was designed explicitly to be the top two levels of a mega-dungeon complex (with exits from those levels to lower levels that were supposed to be added by the DM). In short, it was the closest TSR ever got to publishing a module that matched the campaign set-up described in OD&D.
The module has a lovely fairy tale quality to its mythology, providing a strong contrast to the Tolkien-Vance-Howard triumvirate more typical of D&D.
The revised B3 got rid of the wilderness, added a plot, and sharply curtailed the extent of the dungeon complex. It was, in short, a complete repudiation of the original “old school” method of adventure design.
Apart from being for a good cause, participants will be getting a good deal, (The 4 free sessions at the B-Strat alone are worth $40) and It should be a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see how well the module works with different treatments of settings, systems & various GMs!