Player introductions were followed by a short speech on the history of Dungeons & Dragons.
- Player Introductions
- History of Dungeons & Dragons
- Critical Role Excerpts
- Discussion of the standard character sheet
- Introductory Session Part 1
Dungeons & Dragons was born from a culture of miniature war-gaming. Before the creation of the role-playing game, gaming enthusiasts played games that re-created major historical conflicts using miniatures. Examples of such games were published by companies such as Avalon Hill and Guidon Games.
The modern role-playing game was first created by Dave Arneson, Gary Gygax, Don Kaye, and professor M. A. R. Barker. Each contributed greatly to the origination of role-playing.
Professor M. A. R. Barker's creation of the concept of a fantasy war-game setting predates the creation of the role-playing game itself. He was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where he studied culture and linguistics. Professor M. A. R. Barker's contribution to role playing was in his creation of Tékumel, the first fantasy setting created for miniature war-games. He was the first to use miniature war-games to create a setting not based upon history but rather based upon imaginative speculation. He started down this road while in high school in the 1940s. His campaigns were war-games in a fantasy setting, there did not yet exist the concept of playing the role of individual characters. To get an idea of what these games were like you can view this YouTube Video. Note the lack of role-playing.
The Tekumel Foundation preserves and expands upon these works.
Around 1970 Gary Gygax formed the Lake Geneva Tactical Games Association which was a small group of friends that met in Gary's basement to play miniature war-games. From this group an idea was born; to adapt war-gaming rules which simulated realistic combat to a set of rules that allowed for medieval combat and spells. Jeff Perren presented the idea of adding rules for fantasy combat such as spell-casting to war-games. He and Gary Gygax codified the first set of rules for fantasy war-gaming, Chainmail, which was published by Guidon Games in 1971. Gary Gygax's ability to take abstract concepts and translate them in to a refined set of rules was his major contribution to role-playing games.
Dave Arneson then came up with many of the concepts that we associate with modern role-playing games. In 1970 while playing with Gary Gygax's Chainmail, Dave Arneson created the second setting for fantasy war-games named Blackmoor. Over the next two years he came up with the idea that instead of controlling groups of miniature armies a player could control an individual miniature. That player would not be limited by a discrete list of options for combat but rather could use their imagination to simulate any situation. In so doing, the choices for player actions became limitless. One could play the role of any character that they so wished. He shared the rules that he had created with Gary Gygax and thus the collaboration on Dungeons & Dragons began.
Gary Gygax started with Dave's ideas. He expanded and refined them in to a set of rules that could be published and sold as a game. In 1972 he created the fantasy role-playing setting of Greyhawk in order to play-test these rules. Gary greatly expanded upon the idea of the fantasy setting by creating a multitude of races, classes, spells and magical items. One of the first players in Greyhawk was Don Kaye. Don was a regular player of miniature war-games with Gary. They finished the rules and attempted to sell them to Guidon Games but were unable to do so.
Not having enough funds to publish Dungeons & Dragons on his own, Gary Gygax partnered with Don Kaye and in late 1973 TSR was formed. The first version of D&D was published in 1974 and thus the modern role-playing game was born.
Knowing the history of role-playing is important as it provides a window in to the game. From this viewpoint it is possible to see the convergence of medieval miniature war-games, fantasy, and role-playing. All of these concepts lead up to the creation of Dungeons & Dragons.
We then watched the following parts of the show Critical Role.
Episode 57 32:00 - 45:00 in which a few of the members return to visit Victor, the black-powder merchant. (to illustrate 1st person role-playing)
Episode 83 0:36:00 - 0:45:00 - in which Vox Machina battles Raishan. (to illustrate combat mechanics)
Episode 83 3:49:00 - 3:51:00 in which Patrick Rothfuss' characer Kerrek tries to console Keyleth. (to illustrate 3rd person role-playing)
6 Stats and how to calculate modifiers
Murder on the Princess Ark.
A group of fledgling sailors aboard the mighty airship, The Princess Ark, were recruited by virtue of alibi to investigate the murder of the Ambassador's wife. Lead by Rivven Cripplegate, the ship's botswain , to guest suite #8 the group learned that she had been murdered while on board. With the help of a dwarf cleric in guest suite #7 the group came to the conclusion that mystical forces were involved. This soon lead to the cabin of the magister, another guest on-board but not before the intrepid adventurers barraged a hapless gnome professor in guest suite #9. When confronted, the magister immediately attacked. After a lucky dagger throw to the throat, the magister fell unconscious and was near death. The murder weapon was found on his body and he was locked up in the brig.
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Posted on April 09, 2017 03:42