Noted over on Twitter:
Today Basic Dungeons & Dragons
B1 In Search of the Unknown
— Tabletop RPG Network (@network_rpg) August 30, 2020
Gods. I remember when these were first released. Back in the Dark Ages. DunDraCon III, I think. That year, anyway – 1978 – seems like so long ago. I’m trying to remember how I got there, as I was stationed at Goodfellow AFB Texas in February 1978, for advanced Navy technicval training (yeah, Navy at an Air force Base in Texas, actually all branches of the service trained there for our particular specialties.) Lots of random memories …
The new releases of “Basic” and “Advanced D&D” along with the B, D, and G series modules: “In Search of the Unknown”, “Descent Into the Depths of the Earth”, and “Shrine of the Kuo-Toa” (these latter two were my beginning of love for the Drow Race in D&D), along with “Steading of the Hill Giant Chief”, “Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl”, and “Hall of the Fire Giant King” were all acquired by me at this Con, and it was quite a score for our little gaming group back in Texas – which was about a third the size of the one we had had at the Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, back in California. The modules were good, but I didn’t much care for the changes in either “Basic” or “Advanced” D&D, and our gaming groups in the military largely ignored them.
We stayed with the white box versions, Greyhawk & Blackmoor, Gods, Demigod & Heroes, and Eldritch Wizardry (and oh! the moral outrage that those last two inspired!). I don’t recall having ever owned the other “original supplement”, Swords & Spells (yes, I went and looked up the title for it and Eldritch Wizardry off Wikipedia, since I couldn’t remember.) I kept one set of all those when I donated most of my excess gaming books to a friend who had lost theirs during a move back to Washington from Arizona several years ago, but no one I knew was playing any of the World of Darkness Games any longer at that point, which is what most of those were, along with Chivalry and Sorcery, and a couple of other titles.
Anyway, I digress.
Back to 1978: I remember teasing Isaac Bonewits about having not been able to sell enough copies of “Real Magic” that he had to repackage it as “Authentic Thaumaturgy” for the gaming crowd. Laughing over the “Principia Discordia or How I Found Goddess And What I Did To Her When I Found Her: The Magnum Opiate Of Malaclypse The Younger, Wherein is Explained Absolutely Everything Worth Knowing About Absolutely Anything”, with which I had been familiar for several years at that point – through some of the same channels by which I knew Isaac. While I was never an official member of the POEE, I did know several of the principals. Of course, back then, if you knew any other Pagans in the US, safe bet that you knew most of them, at least by name and reputation, if nothing else.
There was an all-night game session I played in. I’ve tried for years to recall the DM’s name, but have been unable to remember the his name in decades. The thing that sticks with me was the device/computer/replicator gizmo he had the party play with the figure out what it did. That was incredibly fun. We’d push a button or pull a lever and something would happen. I don’t remember how we discovered it could duplicate thingsm but we did.
$6 was such a high cost for something back then. Of course, being young and immortal and not requiring sleep, there was no need for a room at the hotel, although I have some vague memory of collapsing somewhere around 5 AM on Sunday morning, and had to be up and out before noon.
Have to admit, $70 for the con this past year would not have been too bad, other than the whole COVID thing. Doubt that I’ll be up to travel early next year, regardless, but thinking about it. Who knows. Maybe I’ll win the lottery!
Link to the DunDraCon III Program Book, courtesy of the DunDraCon website