Thursday, August 28, 2008

White Dwarf #1

While googling about on the internet, I came across this free PDF of White Dwarf #1. Published in 1977, it's an interesting insight into the early days of gaming.

Of particular interest to me is the article, D&D Campaigns, and this paragraph:

D&D Styles

D&D players can be divided into two groups, those who want to play the game as a game and those who want to play it as a fantasy novel, i .e . direct escapism through abandonment of oneself to the flow of play as opposed to the gamer's indirect escapism - the clearcut competition and mental exercise any good game offers . There are two subdivisions in each division . The game-players may emphasise player skill in players-vs-monsters (and sometimes vs other players) or they may prefer players-vs-puzzles (riddles, traps, mazes, etc.) to monster slaying . Of course no D&D campaign is purely one or the other. The escapists can be divided into those who prefer to be told a story by the referee, in effect, with themselves as protagonist, and those who like a silly, totally unbelievable game. In either case, there are two ways this can be accomplished. One is by innumerable dice rolls and situations which call for chance, especially magical decks of cards, buttons, levers, and so on - lottery D&D. The other is by manipulation of the situation by the referee, however he sees fit. In California, for example, this leads to referees who make up more than half of what happens, what is encountered and so on, as the game progresses rather than doing it beforehand. In either case the player is a passive receptor, with little control over what happens.
Interesting. I had always suspected that a division between two basic types of D&D game play manifested early on. It appears that the "escapist" route ultimately prevailed in popularity. Personally, I'm more in favor of the "game-player" variety. Or, as it is commonly called these days, an old school gamer.

At a later time, I'd like to write more about this subject.

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