Rambles of Doctor Obscure

I started gaming when I was 10 or 11. Strangely enough, my fiction reading didn’t take me into fantasy or sci-fi early on — all of that came to me through television and cinema. I did love reading the Greco-Roman and Norse myths, however.

Erol Otus Moldvay

Erol Otus. No claim is made on the property of Wizards of the Coast.

This informed by imagination as I went from reading and attempting to play Moldvay’s Basic D&D to finding a group of more experienced kids who were playing Advanced D&D — though in the simplified way that lots of kids were playing it. In college, I started in on the Appendix N materials that I had missed as kid, as well as in a study of the history of religions that has held me in academic captivity for so many, many years.  (The Dr. bit is the real, Philosophy kind.)

I played my DM’s baroquely house-ruled AD&D all through college and most of grad school. I played a little bit of 2e with a friend from my original, childhood gaming group, then I went in heavy during the 3.x era. Fourth edition stuck in my craw, so I joined the Pathfinder Exodus, but at the same time I discovered the Old School movement, be it Revival or Renaissance or what-have-you. Eventually, the some people played PF weighed on me and I went back more and more to my roots and beyond — I’d never seen the original booklets, and the Holmes book was something only the guys a bit older than me had — but reading the explosion in blogs and publications got me playing things such as Swords & Wizardry and eventually going to NTRPGCON to play older stuff.

So I have some appreciation of the things brought by more recent versions of the game such as 5e, but a pretty Old School stance over all.

I also came to Tolkien late in life (except for the Pre-Jackson animations), and have been strongly influenced by his ways of thinking about myth and subcreation, even when I am not doing it in Tolkienesque style.

Imagining, creating, and playing in mythic modes has made life more beautiful and bearable for me — and also brought me wonderful companions in both the short and long term.  I find it fascinating in all media, and so my exploration will be catholic, even if it becomes clear that I have my favorite haunts or paths. If you share this love, then I hope my reflections deepen your joy in it.

One thought on “Rambles of Doctor Obscure

  1. Have you looked into the Hard core mode movement? Where you still use the current, and mostly good rules that are 5e but sometimes feel too safe. So various rules are made to higher the tension and make the overall game feel more osr. Without having to change games.


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