Sunday, May 27, 2012

Otto's Irresistible Dance

I was mentioning a couple of days ago that several spells in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons are named after famous characters from the original DnD campaigns.  Otto's Irresistible Dance is one of those spells.

The accompanying illustration by Dave Sutherland, of a capering Umber Hulk, once again demonstrates the capacity for creators of the early versions of DnD to have fun, and make fun, of themselves and the game they were playing

New school DnD, by comparion, takes itself far too seriously.


Black Vulmea said...

Something I've noticed over the years is a sort of confusion by younger gamers looking back to the way D&D was played in the earlier years and mistaking whimsy for silliness and an indifference to roleplaying or verisimilitude.

Aaron E. Steele said...

Yes, there is a fundamental misunderstanding (even amongst some who were there from the beginning) about several features of early DnD, including what the art of DnD was intended to achieve, and when it was appropriate to break the fourth wall.

Jasper Polane said...

Don't younger people take everything much more seriously? I know I'm much more inclined to include whimsy and satire in my games now I'm in my thirties as I was as a teenager.

I think it shows the creators of earlier versions of the game were designing the game for themselves. As of 2nd Esition onwards, D&D was designed specifically with a younger audience in mind.

Aaron E. Steele said...

That makes a certain amount of sense.

Black Vulmea said...

Well, I started when I was twelve, but I think exposure to stuff like The First Fantasy Campaign and some of the actual play reports in The Dragon reinforced the idea that humor was part and parcel with playing the game.

What I think some gamers miss, however, is that punny names or slapstick traps didn't translate into a disposable characters or failure to treat the setting as a real, if offbeat, place.