In an annual ritual whose origins are lost in the mists of time (and, admittedly, a certain amount of alcohol), it is my wont to spend one weekend each summer in the company of some good friends from college. We drink beer and play D&D from Friday night until Sunday night (Monday morning, if feeling particularly rebellious). In 2010, that was last weekend.
The DM, Tony, has been running this game for over 30 years now, across two generations of gamers, using Original D&D. (That’s right, the little brown booklets in the white box. I have a set too, somewhere.) You may well imagine the depth of understanding he has developed in that time.
For more than three decades we have wandered across Middle Earth, where his campaign began in the mid-1970s, into the mysterious East, off Tolkien’s map and into lands Tony created himself. For the past five or six years in real time, and something less than two months in game time, we have been working for the rightful Queen of Shadipuur, whose usurped throne we returned to her when we first arrived. Since each new adventure has begun with a murder for some time, we now refer to ourselves as “CSI: Shadipuur – solving murders by committing them.” (That last is because resolution usually involves a certain amount of wet work, leading to the official motto on our badges, “In blood lies justice.”
Over the course of that time, I think Tony has made three minor modifications to the rules. Meanwhile, I have changed game systems and campaigns more times than I can count, and house-ruled them senseless, in search of the perfect game.
I often think Tony has already found it.