Saturday 4 June 2011

Thoughts on how it feels to read RPG books

I just noticed this morning, as I went to look up a spell description in the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion, how I love reading the LL books and that the feeling I get when reading them is close to the feeling I get looking through my old AD&D / basic D&D books. It's not quite the same, as there's obviously not the same nostalgia as actually handling the originals, and you obviously don't get to experience the Gygaxian genius that is distilled in AD&D, but it's close. And for me that's actually a really big deal. All other RPG books I've read, those for more modern systems, have a kind of "dry" feeling to them, somehow lacking in magic.

So I'm glad to realise that the LL books, the ones I'm using in my game at the moment, have that "special something" as well. I know it's a totally personal thing, but it's important to me to have that special feeling about the games I'm running.

I wonder if anyone else has a similar feeling?


  1. Definitely, I love reading the LL books, especially the AEC with its demons etc. I would also highly recommend reading some version of Swords and Wizardry (I have WhiteBox) and Raggi's LotFP WFRPG if you get the chance. These are also really great, evocative books!

  2. When I want to look something up such as henchmen reactions or the damage burning oil does and similar stuff, I'm always confused. Where would I find this info? So right now the only similarity I see is the arcane organisation of the book.

    Perhaps that is in fact one of the defining factors to differentiate it from a manual. Bad organization makes sure you will find hidden nuggets every now and then, it keeps you on your toes, it inspires you by providing random tidbits without allowing you to lawyer effectively.

  3. I've been reading through them recently and like most of the gaming books I have I just enjoy the reading. LL does have a quality about it that I like a lot. Hadn't thought about it until your post.

  4. @Carter: I have been meaning to check out S&W... I've not been able to justify to myself buying a physical copy (there's only so many versions of D&D that I actually want in book form!), but I've just downloaded the free PDF. Thanks for the reminder!

    @Alex: Yes actually I think you're right in that the slight arcaneness is an appealing feature! :)

  5. Couldn't agree more. Some of the more modern "mainstream"supplements out there read more like stereo instructions. I have to force myself to read them. There's just a complete lack of the authors personality coming through in the writing.


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