Like it's 1981 all over again, part three

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11 Responses

  1. I’m loving this little jaunt.

    I’ve all ready started to drop some hints to my group that the next campaign may involve some dice rolling for character creation.

    The Last Rogues last blog post..Wizards Do Not Like To Be Touched

  2. drow says:


    hmm… wandering monsters.

  3. Awesome… of course, by getting rid of the grid, you resolve all those pesky tactical issues!

    Great stuff… and you’re one evil sumbitch to make a PC attack a Spider that’s standing on another PCs… I’d have hinted that they could bull rush it off Bob’s head or something… :)

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  4. HermitDave says:

    I am loving this as well, as I am currently playing D&D the way I have played all editions, the way I learned to play with AD&D. Mostly in my head, some maps drawn on graph paper and the battle map taken out when i need some extra details given. I am still struggling with a few areas but its going ok so far. Any hints on how to handle the combat-only powers in non-combat situations?

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  5. Greywulf says:

    Glad y’all liking this little jaunt!

    @HermitDave Wing it, keep the action fast, keep the pressure on the players and reward cunning uses for Powers (such as Don using the Cleric’s Divine Glow to illuminate the inky water).

    Until we ran through this little experiment, I’d have said playing 4e D&D without battlemat or miniatures was impossible. I’d still say that it is, if you play it as presented – 8×8 rooms, huge tactical encounters, etc. But play it with smaller locations and…. well, like Classic D&D and it flows very well indeed.

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  6. I love the series so far. I’m living my nostalgia-driven desire to play like that through you because my players would never try this… unless we made it into a special one shot thing.

    In regards to your last comment, allow me to call complete BS about it being impossible to play 4e without minis if you’re in large rooms. Dude, we all played AD&D 1e encounters in the wilderness (how many encampment night encounters have you rolled).

    All you have to do is apply what you mention in these post to a larger scale. Thus you have your players describe how the flank monsters or how they climb on yonder tree and drop on the Half-Orc Sergant.

    At least, that’s how I envision it.

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  7. HermitDave says:

    i miss the days of drawing on graphpaper and erasing Xs representing ALL those bloody kobolds. “Now they are all over here, what do you do?” Soon the paper was full of smudges and holes :D

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  8. TildeSee says:

    Just a small nitpick: I quite likewise started playing the dnds back in the early 80s, but since I learned from AD&D 1st ed, I started off using large graph paper & whatever would suffice for minis. I was actually shocked when I finally got the second edition books & they hardly mentioned minis.

    All I’m really saying is that “in your head” style isn’t any more playing D&D “like D&D” than minis & battlemat given the history of the hobby.

    But hey, however you enjoy your game is awesome in my books, sw long as you’re enjoying it :)

  9. Greywulf says:

    @TildeSee There was quite a lot of variety on how people played back in the day. We didn’t (indeed, still don’t if we can help it) use miniatures, and knew very few people who did. But when we went to the various conventions in Cambridge, Reading, etc we saw gamers clutching their minis like little voodoo dolls. Bless ’em.

    Each to their own, I guess – but the point remains that the current overwhelming perception is that 4e D&D DEMANDS miniatures and a battlemat (or equivalent props) to play it. You don’t.

  10. Paul says:

    Thanks for this. I firmly believe non-grid gaming
    is possible, but I’m scared to waste one of my
    all-too-infrequent gaming sessions trying it out.
    .-= Paul´s last blog ..pdunwin: "Kiwi-strawberry" popsicle looks and tastes like grass popsicle. Odd, but not awful. =-.

  11. TildeSee says:

    @Greywulf Oh, definitely. With they way things have developed over time, and the many playstyles that have evolved, I too find it odd that there is a shocking number of people that vehemently believe that it’s impossible to play 4e without minis/battlemat. In fact recently, to make a point to a 2e fanatic friend of ours who couldn’t help but mutter negatively every time we whipped out the battlemat, we ran a whole combat heavy 4e session without touching the battlemat. Went smoothly. Of course, he just found other things to gripe about, but some folk just like to complain.

    Anyway, like I said, it was more just a nitpick than anything :) Wait, what was that I was just saying about people complaining… ;)

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