Thursday, September 01, 2005

D&D Memories

I was thinking about Dungeons and Dragons today, and it turned my mind to the old D&D cartoon from the early 80's. At first, on thinking about it, I decided that the writers knew almost nothing about the game. A few generic fantasy monsters, a few terms from the DMG, and hey presto, it's licenced goodness! But then I started giving it more serious thought...

...and I realized, the D&D cartoon is an almost perfect simulation of the game. Think about it--every gamer has joined a group like this. The DM is a weird, ugly little guy with no social skills; when you show up, he won't let you make your own characters and instead "assigns" them to you to make a more "balanced party". There are a bunch of homebrew classes he made up himself that are either rip-offs of existing classes, but without any of the balances ("You're not a Paladin--you're a Cavalier. It's like a Paladin, but you don't have any alignment restrictions so you can be a whiny little bitch.")...or are absolutely useless. ("You're an Acrobat. It, um...gives you bonuses to Tumbling.")

Then he starts handing out the magic items. Some people get awesome ones ("it's a bow that shoots lightning arrows!"), others get...well, it's a stick. And it gets longer. Yeah, sure, it's a total coincidence he gave that to a female character. And then, of course, the guy who he decided to take an instant, inexplicable dislike to gets the cursed magical item. (Try to tell me with a straight face that wizard's hat isn't cursed. Just try it.)

And then, you start playing. And you've got an objective, like "Let's try to get home," but it becomes really blatantly obvious early on that the adventure is running on rails, to the point that the DM writes himself in as a character to steer you along. You realize you're never going to get anywhere with the story arc, and after a while, you just lose interest.

...and yet, you still have fond memories of it years later. Yep, sounds like a D&D campaign to me.

4 comments:

Arturo said...

By George, you're right! I never realized it...

sschroeder said...

As your RSS feed exploded with old content since you must have upgraded to new blogger and started adding labels, I happened to read this old post.

You may be interested that this show is on DVD now. I just read a review of it recently.

Socrates said...

All the classes in the cartoon could actually be found in the 1st Edition AD&D books... Even Cavalier. So, Evanier et al didn't actually make any of those up.

Generic Cialis said...

D&D cartoon expressed exactly what you are talking about. despite the game being so awesome, the DM had a way to blew it up and make it so frustrating sometimes so there isn't that much of a difference between the cartoon and the real deal.