Saturday, August 22, 2020

New Series: D&D tactics: 5E Style.

14 years of hobby/gaming blogging and scant mention of Dungeons and Dragons. Its interesting to note since D&D is literally what introduced me wargaming in the late 1970’s.  Other than brief mention of some OSR rules I used for an early version of my Blackbarrow Chronicles series I don’t think I have mentioned the worlds oldest roleplaying game at all, it doesnt even have a label and there is well over 100  labels in the sidebar.

 Let start with some backstory: As far gaming and this hobby goes I’ve been around a long time,  I go so far back that I played the original Dungeons and Dragons getting the “Holmes” Blue box when its was a "new thing"  back in the fall of 1977. That Summer two of my favorite movies of my adolescences came out , Star Wars and Ralph Bashki’s Lord of Rings,  I had local game store in my town that I used to go to easily a couple times a week and where my previous fix had been Airfix plastic soldiers. As all these new games started showing up and I was drawn to both D&D and its Sci Fi counterpart Traveller .  I remember taking the money I got for my birthday and getting that blue box and bunch of Heritage miniatures and rushing home with a gleam in my eye.

The box that started it all..

 My brother and I and some neighborhood kids , played D&D , and other RPG’s  close to weekly right thru about 1983…we had a heck of good time as kids but then inevitable other interests took over my late teens, then I was off to college and didn’t really do much gaming other than occasional  video games for a long time , so long In fact- I was like Gandalf disappearing for 17 years to search the archives of Minas Tirith.. ” as it was exactly 17 years before D&D and I crossed paths again.  Somewhere in 2000 rumblings of 3rd Edition caught my attention, I had missed the entire second edition of the game  with no interest in gaming at all other than some of the early gold box computer games.

 Out at a bookstore one day (we still did that back then ) I picked up some 3rd Ed books and soon enough thru the wonders of technology I got into some early online D&D gaming this was before things like Fantasy Grounds where you were just had a chat window and die roller and you could post images, we may have some type of trackable grid with chits , eventually I moved up into the early editions of Fantasy Grounds..I ran two online campaigns 3.0 and 3.5  with the latter burning out over the game becoming ridiculously overpowered and way over complicated with high level creatures with massive 2 page stat blocks and players showing up with some silly new book almost weekly giving them more and more super powered abilities it was to the point of crushing my old school sensibilities and I was done. 

 I was already doing plenty of PC gaming and getting into wargames at that point so D&D again disappeared into a box in the closet for another long sabbatical.  Not too long after that my incessant interest with vintage miniatures leads me to check out some Warhammer Fantasy and you can check out the last 14 years on this blog to see where it goes after that

Which leads me to the current date of 2020…43 years after getting that Holmes blue box,  My now 13 year old daughter after binging  “Stranger Things”  earlier this summer  comes home from a trip to Barnes and Noble with a bunch of manga books and  the 5th Ed D&D starter set.  Apparently All the wargames, miniatures and terrain and years of games in the basement rubbed off, “I thought you could run this for me and some friends since we have all the stuff, I heard its pretty fun” Done, and Done I said..

40+ years later........

 This was awhile back earlier in July , I off course had to do some research as I had no idea what was going on with the rules , I completely missed the 4th edition of the game (apparently no great loss) and D&D is now so mainstream, its crazy, with all the streamed gameplay and things on You Tube.  

 I was most surprised by the 5th ed rules out for like what ? 6 years now? I wasnt close to aware how "old school" these rules seem to me. Of course there is going to be some stuff I raise a 1st ed eyebrow to. But hey its 40+ years later and given the shit-show that was 3rd  edition? , I’m pleasantly surprised. ,I’ve watched a bunch of videos on running the game but that leads me to this series, what about the combats?

 Obviously- that’s my interests and I’m not going to hammer a bunch of teens with my uber nerd tactical combats that I spend much of my late nights running in the basement. For them its about the social aspects and story of the game

But as Im prepping for this , I am of course going to build some cool stuff, paint some miniatures and roll some dice because that’s what I like to do..

As I prep to run this great adventure “The lost mines of Phandelver” I am going to demo these combats so I can a run them properly during an actual D&D session and figure out how I can make this fun for them by getting my kicks now

If you've played this adventure you should instantly recognize this, more on how I built it later.
If your familiar with this adventure this should be instantly recognizable, more on how I made it in a future post.

Running these tactical battles and working out all  the rules, I already have the terrain all planned out for all but the last chapter , so I’ll run a couple of these write it up as a bat rep, and then I will run the the RPG session for the kids.

I’ve already built some great new stuff and its some prophetic how useful things like my modular tiles and skirmish dungeon and my Inn, suddenly become.  So this is going to keep me hoping the next couple months,  especially since I’ll want to squeeze a Rangers of Shadow Deep or Fallout Wasteland Warfare game in there as well..  so D&D Tactics, 5e Style coming up,  The first skirmish consists of two battles,  from Chapter 1 : Goblin Arrows.




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