Monday, September 12, 2011

Reading Rob Kuntz Part III & How Matt Finch Fits In

So an apology to Matt Finch. Basically I'm slow on the uptake. Well, that really isn't the problem I'm just ignorant. Rob Kuntz has help me discover that lately. And now I can truly appreciate what Matt Finch said about not wanting S&W to be a replacement for Original D&D. I've already commented some about this, but have to apologize for encouraging people to do exactly what Matt says not to do. Matt urged people to not let S&W be your game of choice, but rather to be an intro to original D&D. He recommended they try and secure the originals and play them instead of just continuing with S&W.

After reading Rob Kuntz's comments I think I have yet another reason why this may be; and one in which I now have to agree with Matt. Because if what Rob is saying is true, and I have no reason to really doubt him then the ethos preserved in the original three BB is that emphasis on player driven creativity. As opposed to producer driven creativity apparent in later versions. This original ethos is best absorbed from the source itself. To tell the truth I have never read the original books. Though I vaguely recall handling the copies of one of the guys who introduced me to the game way back when. I promptly judged them inferior to my big shiny hardbacks and gave it not another thought.

Now, I want nothing more than to get my hands on those original books. And that is a desire I have never before fostered. I mean sure I wanted them on my bookshelf to say I had them, but never really felt the need to read them. Much less incorporate them into my play. Since I had the AD&D books written largely by Gary himself, why would I want the obviously imperfect, less than complete originals? Well color me stupid, but now I understand. I want more than ever to read those books. In fact I don't really see myself spending any more money on gaming books until I can get ahold of those books.

Why? Well, if it isn't obvious by now, it's so I can absorb that original vibe. The purpose with which the original game was designed: to spawn creative design in those that played it. To fully expect that the players of the game would create their own world, their own adventures and their own expansions and rule extensions on the game to make it their own. I want to feel that tone and presence in the books. In fact if indeed Gary makes the comment after supplement 1 (I think) to the effect of why have us do any more of the imagining for you; then I've gotta not only get the books, absorb the feel and maybe reassess my whole approach to gaming. That is why you want the originals.

I'm sure, Matt incorporated some of that magic into S&W and I do get some of that reading through his rules. But even more so in his Quick Primer. If the 3 BBs are really as engrossing and colorful as Matt has alluded to then S&W really doesn't have that same magic in a bottle. Or book as the case may be.

Now, let's pause for a moment and consider. This is really just one man's opinion isn't it? Sure Rob Kuntz was there, but he's going on his take of things, and maybe his view isn't the only valid view. Well, it might be true he is the one who has been the most clear about what exactly spawned the transition between Original D&D and AD&D/B/X. But not only do I value his word by the closeness to the source, but in a way he _is_ the source. He actually experienced the shift. And also Matt's words and comments make so much more sense in this light. And the mysterious quotes by Gary about being bewildered someone would want to play in someone else's world instead of one of their own creation and the like. They all make more sense in light of what Rob is saying.

Put all the pieces together and I begin to hear bells. It seems to make sense. Finally it's making sense. It's a little shocking, but it's coming together. The real question is what the heck do I do with it all? Maybe I'll let you know after I get ahold of those 3BBs.
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