Thursday, March 23, 2017

Old Posts 1-10

Here are a list of the first 10 posts I created on this blog:

The Tao.  Personal Memoir.  An account of how I was introduced to D&D my very first time, my offline campaign in 2008 and my reasons for starting a blog.

To Make a World.  First Worlds I Created, Personal Memoir, Worldbuilding Theory.  Describing my transition to being a DM, the first world I created based on the Gorean novels, my second world fully self-designed and why it didn't work, my present world and reasons for its design.

How It Got Infected.  Corporate Marketing, D&D's Development, Official Game, Personal Memoir.  First experiences with modules in 1979, TSR's agenda, witnessing the manner in which people moved towards the game, early conventions in the 1980s, my feelings of disenchantment and moving towards isolation as a DM.

Rats in a Maze.  Agency in RPGs, Humor, Personal Memoir.  My first DM and his style, the employment of dungeon doors as evil entities, discussing the freedom of players to live a life vicariously through role-playing games.

Seizing the Day.  Adventure Building, Agency in RPGs.  A theoretical description of how an alternate-form of adventure might be created, not based on the traditional style (the mustard adventure).  A few words on objectivism as a DM.

So What If They Win?  Adventure Building, Agency in RPGs, Bad DMing.  Good vs. Bad playing, appreciating the player, the player's primary value in a campaign, DMs prepared to circumvent the rules in order to preserve a preconception of how their games should unfold.  [I have moved slightly from the opinions expressed].

Dead Thinking.  Agency in RPGs, Alignment, Corporate Marketing, Official Game, Personal Memoir, Unearthed Arcana.  Disappointment in the Unearthed Arcana's release, attempts to subvert player agency with alignment, the bad paladin trope, character codes, end result of point-buy systems.

Give Abilities Their Due.  4th Edition, Game Mechanics.  The release of 4e, negative first impressions, increased emphasis on the die roll, fantasy world demographics, the rational difference between having an clear and unquestioned skill and the silliness of making rolls to determined success.

Enough Junk.  Community Feedback, Ranting.  My emotional response to the apparent present state of the RPG game culture, viscerally expressed, upon beginning to discover how fractured that culture had become, and how the same lazy cliches were still prominent.  Exactly the sort of post I am trying never to write again.  [I am strongly tempted to delete the post]

Secondary Skills.  Character Generation, Father's Table, Pre-Sage Abilities.  A discussion of the secondary skills approach used in the original DMG and the approach I had used at that time, which I described as the "father's table."  This is still part of the background character generator I would develop later (with more results that this post gives), but now sage abilities exist as a complement to the moderate skills/bonuses a player gains from their parent's profession.

Believe it or no, this is about all I can stand.  I can see the benefits of highlighting most of this, but it is a boring post to write.  Maybe I'll try one a week.  That will get through my entire present lexicon in . . . around five years.

11 comments:

Maxwell Joslyn said...

Yesss, the mustard post! When I showed your blog to my best friend and fellow game designer, I used that one. If I have more such opportunities I'll use it again. I think it is a very strong description of what D&D can be when you get past all the bland Saturday morning cartoon hero crap. It's also an endorsement for having systems like the economy in place to drive this kind of engagement with the consequences of being in a specific place.

Ozymandias said...

I often go looking for your old posts when I'm working on my game. Recently, I dug into your treatment of undead in order to better design monsters. A better index would be useful, but data doesn't lie: if you're getting immediate feedback in the form of reduced page views, you should consider it not worth the effort.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I haven't tried it in this format. I'll see what the numbers say.

Scott Stringer said...

@Ozymandias:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=undead+(site:http://tao-dnd.blogspot.com)+OR+(site:http://tao-of-dnd.wikispaces.com)

Searches both wiki and blog for references = "undead"

This is the sort of powerful search function I am hoping Alexis will add to his blog.

Vlad Malkav said...

Yes, the famous mustard post. When I think about Alexis' world and what adventuring in a real, developped environment can be, that's the one coming to my mind.

Once I discovered your blog, I read all of it, saving the best posts and sorting them for my use. And god damn it, they gave tremendous inspiration. So much so that I know I can't dwelve too deep and too long in your blog now, because I don't have the time for it, but the desire still burn strong ...

Ok, I'm stopping right now. Why ? Because at least half of those 10 posts have me wanting to say something about it, or playing so that I can use the insight gained. And I don't have the time :'( .

Alexis Smolensk said...

I think Ozymandias meant that he'd already found them, Scott.

kimbo said...

Alexis,
You could also throw it to your readership to nominate 10 most important posts or some such, or the gateway 10 must-read posts for newcomers.
K

Ozymandias said...

Well then... that's a tempting challenge. Mostly becuase there are over a thousand posts to peruse. Makes me wish I had properly bookmarked the important ones...

Samuel Kernan said...

I keep a personal "best of" list too! A lot of which I find while idly looking through a random past month.

I like Kimbo's idea, it would be cool to see what other people find essential.

Tim said...

I also have a solid "best of" selection (close to sixty bookmarks) which I'd be happy to whittle down to nominate!
It would be interesting to see what a group of readers might have remembered versus what you've remembered, Alexis. Of course, if the aim is finding new readers, then maybe we should start sharing how we found the blog or what post(s) pulled us in.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Well, I find it a bit self-aggrandizing, but . . .

I will put it in motion with a post.