Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Big Times with Aaron and James

Okay, this show was massive.

I am really happy with it. Especially the parts in High Streissandian.

Let’s see if we can do something with the “Luke Gygax says Gary didn’t use 1:1 time” bit.

  1. Nobody talked about the significance of the D&D time rules for 40 years.
  2. When we started playing them, we very soon were able to put into practice parts of the rules that seemed baffling or pointless to us before.
  3. We know that rpg designers in the seventies incorporated some variant of the D&D time rules almost universally. But then around 1980 or so this just stops.
  4. We also know that the debate over time rules in the seventies was not over whether or not to use the time rules, but rather what rate is best to use. For example, according to an article in Strategic Review, Gygax takes for granted you will be using the time rules, but describes a different rate being used than 1:1.
  5. However, when he penned the DMG 1979, he reaffirmed that the 1:1 ratio was the best.
  6. And of course, as I have said before… Frank Mentzer was put in “training jail” by Gygax when his character leveled. The only way for Gygax to know how long to keep Frank’s character out of play is by using some sort of consistent rate of time continuing on within the game between sessions.

What is the OBVIOUS conclusion from this?

People running Adventure modules and then freezing time from one week to the next ARE PLAYING D&D WRONG. People running Story Time D&D where there is no sense of time or space within the campaign ARE PLAYING D&D WRONG.

Gygax used the time rules. He wrote them into both editions of the game. If they aren’t important to the game you’re running, it’s because you aren’t running even remotely the same sort of game at all. At best, you’re tinkering with just one element of the thing. It would be like buying Axis & Allies and only experimenting with a battle concerning two or three territories instead of actually playing the game.

Did he run time EXACTLY the way I do? ONLY GROSS NERDS LOOKING FOR A CHEAP GOTCHA CARE ABOUT THIS. Maybe you can get better results in your campaign doing it a little different than I do. Knock yourself out if you think you can! The salient point here is that for forty years, NOBODY EVEN TRIED.

This one fact BY ITSELF makes the #BrOSR approach to playing D&D more correct than any other style of play. You cannot imply that these rules are inconsequential or optional to either OD&D or AD&D as described in Gygax’s rule sets and be a credible authority on either game.

And yes, I know that no boomer took you by the hand and explained this to you back in 1984 when you first got the game. But if you ever wondered why your game didn’t play like what you’d heard about the notorious Blackmoor and Greyhawk campaigns, not knowing the implications of this rule is a big part of why that was!

3 responses to “Big Times with Aaron and James

  1. rannos22 May 20, 2022 at 10:49 am

    There was some moron in that videos comment section saying what you were doing was impossible because you’d need a necromancer to resurrect Gygax and ask him how he played the game

    As if he didn’t, y’know, write a buncha books describing just that

    Where do these osr clowns come from?

  2. Nagora May 20, 2022 at 11:13 am

    Once TSR really took off I’m prepared to believe that Gary didn’t get to do half the things he did when it was just a semi-pro hobby. By the time he was fending off hostile take-overs and pitching to Hollywood, I doubt that he played in anything resembling a campaign at all. That doesn’t change the game or its printed rules.

  3. Loyd Jenkins June 4, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    I played The Fantasy Trip before I ever played DnD in the late 70s. (forerunner to GURPS) They had an entire section to gain experience and money during your off time between gaming sessions. The idea was known then.

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