FIRST POST... A funny thing happened on my trip across the country...

General topics, including off-topic discussion, goes here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun May 27, 2018 11:07 pm

FIRST POST... A funny thing happened on my trip across the country...

Post Mon May 28, 2018 11:12 pm

Hello all, glad to be a part of the forums.

First things first, as we speak, my 5 year old daughter just asked if she could add some emojis to the comment. Go ahead, Pearl.... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :evil: :roll: :ugeek: :P

Ok, that's that.


Do you know how long I've been talking about how, of all the game systems and iterations of D&D I ever played, none struck such a wonderful balance between ease of play and enjoyment as my old BECMI (Basic, Expert, Companion, Master and Immortal D&D--for the uninitiated) boxed sets? Sigh, if only a lot of the sloppy combat mechanics could get fixed and tidied up, and published in some sort of single, unified book (a la Rules Cyclopedia), without players all having to have bought all the different accessories or agreed upon the same house rules?

Couldn't someone just retain the best of the beloved Basic, Fantasy game of my youth, fix it up where it needed work, and publish a more workable version? Many is the day I spent in long consideration, trying to wrap my head around how much work and devotion a project like this would actually require. I don't know who would be capable of such an undertaking, but I knew I wouldn't be able to do such a thing. The endless research, testing, formatting, artwork, editing, would be insurmountable.

How hard did I laugh when, about a week ago on a house-hunting vacation across the country, I found myself in a conversation with a wonderful couple who run a games shop and one of them suggested I become a regular in their weekly Basic Fantasy game?

Maybe so, I said. It'd be wonderful to get back into role playing games with a sophisticated group who share the same sensibilities. Even if it was some newfangled system which resembled more of a video game or dopey anime thing than the pure games of my youth: 2nd Edition, 1st Edition, or my beloved Mentzer-era BECMI. Basic Fantasy, huh? Hell, it might be a card game for all I knew, but beggars can't be choosers.

He handed me a brightly coloured softcover with a gorgeous red dragon emblazoned across the front. This is actually a pretty terrific cover, I thought as I sort of thumbed the pages, still in conversation with the couple.

"What I really would love," I said somewhat abashedly, not wanting to seem ungrateful at the invitation to this little Basic Fantasy thing, "would be to find a bunch of players who preferred the old school systems like Basic D&D. I know it's got it's problems, some poor combat rules and a couple poor/broken game mechanics, but I've never enjoyed myself more or felt more immersed and free to chew through huge swaths of adventure without getting bogged down than when playing that kind of game...I'd love to join in anything you guys prefer, but I'm warning you, I will probably try my best to persuade you to try out some sort of old school, basic, fantasy system to show you what I consider to be the finest role playing game systems I've ever played."

He laughed out loud, pointing at the thin paperback tome I was flipping back and forth in my hands, waiting for a moment to look at whatever this Basic Fantasy nonsense was all about during a break in the conversation.

"That's EXACTLY what you're holding in your hands, dude! Haha! It's like early Basic D&D versions but deconstructed, stripped out the unworkable rules and fixed them, taken a little bit from here and there, and made an incredible, yet simple game. All the rulebooks you need are in your hand!"

It sounded too good to be true. Maybe he was trying to play up the similarity just to generate a little more enthusiasm, hoping I'd agree or give it more of a shot. But how close could it be? I'd seen the other systems, even those which purported to be clones better than the original, but what system would ever map so perfectly to my own sensibilities about the ideal game system but with overhauled mechanics. And what are the chances anyone else would want to play it ahead of their own favourite? No one out there is going around saying "Y'know what I'd like to do? Scrap all these D&D systems in favour of a better version of Basic with a fixed system!!!"

To borrow from Thorin Oakenshield:

I have never been so wrong.

What a great job Chris Gonnerman has done! What a labour of love and terrific contribution to the role playing hobby you've made! Thank you so much. This is an incredible project, and even after a few cursory scans of my hardcover book (ordered every single paperback BF product on Amazon as well), I can tell that I have a new favourite.

You've actually gone out and done what I can only imagine many of us have always wished someone would: made a near perfect version of what was essentially our favourite couple of game systems. You fixed it, made it better, and left us with a rulebook we can all use rather than a bunch of scattered amendments and optional tables across multiple books. (Your answer to the Companion Question couldn't be more on the money as far as I'm concerned).

Can't wait to dive into this new (for me) and improved game system.

Thanks again, and thanks for having me in the group!

User avatar
Posts: 3138
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:05 pm

Re: FIRST POST... A funny thing happened on my trip across the country...

Post Tue May 29, 2018 10:55 am

Welcome to the game and forum! 8-)
User avatar
Posts: 2511
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:24 pm
Location: Buenos Aires (C.A.B.A.), Argentina

Re: FIRST POST... A funny thing happened on my trip across the country...

Post Tue May 29, 2018 11:04 am

Welcome! Hope you get lots of fun both gaming and here on the forum
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
Drawing portfolio:
User avatar
Posts: 5267
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:30 pm
Location: Wilmington, NC

Re: FIRST POST... A funny thing happened on my trip across the country...

Post Tue May 29, 2018 6:37 pm

so, I guess you like it? :)
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 8480
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: LaBelle, Missouri

Re: FIRST POST... A funny thing happened on my trip across the country...

Post Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:38 am

Hywaywolf wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:37 pm
so, I guess you like it? :)
I couldn't tell... he wasn't real clear on that.

:D :D :D

Kidding. Glad you like the game, and welcome! (In case you didn't know, I'm the author.)
My personal site:
User avatar
Posts: 961
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:04 pm

Re: FIRST POST... A funny thing happened on my trip across the country...

Post Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:51 am

Thanks to Basic Fantasy, I never have to leave 1981!
Teaman is the sole proprietor of Sharp Mountain Games at (Soon he'll be able to purchase the name brand peanut butter!). Come take a look if you have some time. ... tain-Games
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 17 guests