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<   No. 800   2005-04-05   >

Comic #800

1 GM: {incredulous} So you're going?
2 GM: {more incredulous} You're really leaving the village?
3 GM: {even more incredulous} You're actually starting the quest?
4 Mordekai: Can we get a move on? You're always slowing us down.

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The quest was supposed to start nearly 300 strips ago...

2014-05-20 Rerun commentary: I'm currently (May 2014) reading the book Playing at the World by Jon Peterson (who runs a similarly themed blog here). It's a history of the development of role-playing games, specifically the history leading up to the publication of the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons in 1974. The background ranges from the very beginnings of wargames with chess, through the military kriegsspiel war simulation tradition of the 19th century, to hobby wargaming of the mid-20th century, showing how these various threads evolved and contributed to the pseudo-medieval fantasy setting and the rules set of Dungeons & Dragons.

Much of what Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax published in 1974 had a long history embedded in the rules of these non-roleplaying wargames, and it's fascinating to see the connecting threads going all the way back to the era of Napoleon, stopping along the way at science fiction author H.G. Wells, who designed and published one of the very first hobby wargames. Wells's game was extremely influential, and it's amazing to think that without H.G. Wells, the ruleset of Dungeons & Dragons might have turned out differently.

Anyway, if you're at all interested in the history and development of roleplaying games, and in particular why all those quirky rules about armour classes, saving throws, classes, levels, etc., are the way they are, then I highly recommend this book.

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