Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gaming with Mike Mornard

So Rushputin of Warpstone Pile fame informed me of an article that I had to read.

I was not disappointed.

Blog of Holding has a seven-part series on gaming with Mike Mornard.  That links to the first part, and you can proceed from there.

In addition to some thoughts on old-school gaming, the series talks about Mornard's memories of gaming with Gygax and Arneson, but most importantly, it has this little gem I'd never heard before:
Mike gave a fascinating account of a typical early D&D game, with a peculiar detail that I'd never heard before. Gary never used maps or minis: maps and minis were Dave Arneson's thing. Gary ran games in his office, which was provided with chairs, a couch, and file cabinets. While playing, Gary would open the drawers of the file cabinet and sit behind them so that the players COULD NOT SEE HIM. They only experienced the Dungeon Master as a disembodied voice.
Rushputin and I are all for trying this; I don't know if it's something any of us would do frequently, but the idea of the Game Master as a disembodied voice is intriguing.

Also, it better explains the role and necessity of the party caller.  A caller is helpful in old-school gaming just to keep everybody organized (particularly with a large party), but if the DM can't see the players, a caller is essential to avoid confusion.

Anyway, go read the series, would you please?

1 comment:

  1. I've played like that, albeit unintentionally. Many moons ago as a teenager we'd stay up really late sprawled out on couches or matresses laid on the floor, with the lights either really low or out.
    It was really good and got rid of a lot of the awkwardness people can have - I miss being able to do that.

    And it does work better for smaller groups and ones where everyone has distinctive voices.

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