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AD&D -- RPG pnp questions

PWN_FACEPWN_FACE SeoulPosts: 670Member

I've been hit with a wave of nostalgia for the old days of AD&D. I miss the depth of pen and paper. I miss using my imagination. I was thinking about what MMORPG means and where this concept came from. I have a bunch of questions for our community and for whoever wants to take a stab at answering them. Please be as opinionated and subjective as you want (I know you will anyway), but also help me out with examples and illustrations, so I can better understand what you are saying.


Where did MMORPGs come from? What foundational concepts are they based on?


I mean, I went back into thinking about JRR Tolkien and Gary Gygax and up to how MMORPGs are just becoming MMOs and Co-op RPGs. They are, aren't they?


What's a "true" MMORPG? How is it different from just an MMO?


I was thinking just this morning about how AI can never replace human creativity, especially in the context of games. Aren't MMORPGs computerized games of D&D or some other variant of RPG from pnp days? Are computers and their AI replacing DMs or GMs? Is it possible? What do DMs and GMs do that AI can never do? What does AI do that human DMs and GMs can never do?


How is RPG better and/or worse with real human DMs and GMs than with computer AI and developer programming and story options?


Now, to wrap up, some less philosophical and more immediate practical questions about my pnp gaming. Yesterday, I spent several hours and a lot of money searching the internet and ordering original first addition AD&D books, other Gygax related arcana, and some new polyhedral dice (almost impossible to find where I live). Please don't construe this as me saying AD&D 1st edition is the best, or that Gygax is the one true prophet. I'm just going back to my start. I'm going back to see what it was that started me on this path back in the 1970s. What was that magic? As a DM, I made worlds and even galaxies. I had AD&D campaigns started with Gygax's and TSR's help and then I wrote my own. Hundreds of pages text and maps, all gone now, into the mists and dusts of time. Probably in a landfill somewhere. And I even had lost spaceships from Star Frontiers in my AD&D worlds that could link my players to Gamma World, or Earth. I had time travel from there, so they could go into Boot Hill, Gang Busters or Top Secret. I wrote it all up. I had maps. We never got that far with the people I played with, but I wrote it and envisioned it (I spent a lot of time alone as a kid, so I had time).


So that brings me to my questions. I want to know where else to look. What other truly great games are out there? What are the best AD&D books and writers? Beyond AD&D, what are the best pnp RPG games out there? Who are the best writers? Are there any amazing reference books you want recommend? What else?


What are the best pnp RPGs out there? What books do you recommend that I read? 


EDIT: If you know any good websites or forums where geeks talk about this stuff, please let me know or link them up. Cheers.


Also, I'm interested in anything, not just fantasy or sci-fi. I am particularly interested in games that might deal with alternate dimensions or shifting realities.


  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member Uncommon
    as an aside to your final comment about alternate realities: JRRT viewed his mythology as a mythical history, but set in this world. he was quite taken aback when early reviewers (comparing it to the only thing they knew at the time, which was scifi) claimed that JRRT had created a wonderful alien planet :)

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • PWN_FACEPWN_FACE SeoulPosts: 670Member
    I will be reading The Lord of the Rings Again, soon. I last read it in 1993, so I guess it's a good time to read it again and appreciate some more of this epic. Philip K. Dick is another writer with amazing ideas, especially relating to shifting realities. He was way ahead of his time and left us a huge treasure trove of concepts, questions, and ideas. 
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