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School Me In ... Basic D&D

Mithras

5859B7 Age 48 7 Terms
Validated User
OK. A wonderful guy named Brendan Howard has shipped at considerable expense his entire Basic D&D collection to me for free. The guy is a saint. I was looking for a simple to learn fantasy game to try out on newbie 10-year olds. Looks like this is it!

But I'm a bit confused. I understand some of the code numbers on top of the modules and such (B for Basic set, X for expert), but what about XL, CM, DA, and O?

And what about the world? Brendan's kindly included the Grand Duchy of Karameikos which seems to relate to some of the 'B' and 'X' modules. But some are marked 'Blackmoor'. Is this a game world? What is the Karameikos gameworld called?

Its all new to me ... bizarre, aint it??
 
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NPC Jeremy

Guest
Basic is something of a misnomer. It's actually more complicated than AD&D (IMHO, anyway). Characters go up to much higher levels, rule kingdoms, fight wars, and can even become gods.

The game is really "Dungeon & Dragons". "Basic" only refers to the first boxed rules set for it.

There are 5 rules sets, Basic, Expert, Companion, Masters and Immortials.

Initially, these boxed sets had adventure modules to go along with it with similar letter code. B for basic, X for expert, CM for companion, M for Masters, IM for Immortals.

However, the rules sets were later scrapped in favor of a large book called the Rules Cyclopedia (which is among one of the best RPG books ever released, IMHO) along with a boxed set detailing Immortals (which are like gods).

Because of that, the old module letter codes were obsolete. So New adventure modules had different codes. Usually to go along with where they were set.

They also introduced several sub-settings into the world of D&D. Blackmoor was one of them, along with the Hollow World.
 
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NPC Cossack

Guest
The world is called Mystara

Blackmoor was sort of a prehistoric era, I high-magic society that was destroyed in some sort of apocalypse, if memory serves.

Karameikos was the starting point for the adventures in the espert set. The basic DnD modules took place all over Mystara.

Ah, nostalgia...
 
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NPC Cossack

Guest
Later on they did a supplement called "The Poor Wizard's Almanac," which summarized a year's worth of metaplot changes in the game world.

I think there was more than one, but I only bought one. My DnD days were coming to an end at that point.
 
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NPC Jeremy

Guest
Another line of products for D&D was the Gazzetter series. Gaz 1 to 14, each detailing countries of the setting for D&D (The Known World, later called Mystara)

That's what Karameikos is part of. That's the first in the series.


I believe DA for Blackmoor was for "Dave Arneson", who was the co-creator of D&D with Gary Gygax. Blackmoor was his game world. In the early 90s, they tried to retrofit Blackmoor into Mystara/Known World by putting it into the distant past of the planet.
 

Mithras

5859B7 Age 48 7 Terms
Validated User
NPC Cossack said:
The world is called Mystara ... Ah, nostalgia...
Thanks! Yes, we're talking 20 frakking years ago. I was playing Traveller and RuneQuest at the time so D&D passed me by as a game to play (without any knowledge of the rules) not as something to read.

Just trying to untangle those complicated threads of design preponderance ...
 
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NPC Jeremy

Guest
NPC Cossack said:
Later on they did a supplement called "The Poor Wizard's Almanac," which summarized a year's worth of metaplot changes in the game world.

I think there was more than one, but I only bought one. My DnD days were coming to an end at that point.
There were 3 Poor Wizards Almanacs, and 1 Joshun's Almanac. The latter is like a PWA combined with a cookbook, and was considered the point at which Mystara was doomed.

The PWA's were great. Besides the metaplot changes (day by day), they had info on all the nations of the world (inside and out), including the sizes of their armies, and all sorts of other info.
 
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NPC Cossack

Guest
I still have a bunch of the Gazetteers. I might be willing to part if you are interested and make the right offer...
 

Mithras

5859B7 Age 48 7 Terms
Validated User
NPC Cossack said:
I still have a bunch of the Gazetteers. I might be willing to part if you are interested and make the right offer...
:cool: Well, no, the game world doesn't interest me that much! I want to get my bearings. Do you think Mystara comes across as a fully fleshed out, workable, believable and interesting setting? Or is it all nonsense?
 
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NPC Cossack

Guest
It certainly worked for me in junior high...

And I imagine it would still work for me if I wanted to go back to playing DnD. It provided a variety of landscapes and cultures and carefully outlined the foreign relations and internal politics of each country. I haven't looked at them in a while, but I certainly remember thinking it worked.
 
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