Tag Archives: AD&D

Elves We Need, and Elves We Don’t

Elves. One of the founding player races in Dungeons & Dragons, they’ve always been a source of consternation for me, while at the same time being one of my top five favourite non-human, non-monstrous player races. But they have a convoluted history with a lot of internal inconsistencies in D&D, and one that is becoming more convoluted with the upcoming release of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. So it’s time for an intervention, because D&D has a serious elf problem. and by “elf”, I mean Eladrin.
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Celebrating Subjugation: The Maztican Tragedy

Over the years, whenever a new “ethnic” campaign setting was in the offing at TSR, it almost inevitably ended up being bolted onto the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting to give more “options” to players (read: to have their characters not come from said “ethnic” setting). Kara-Tur, the setting of 1985’s Oriental Adventures was later added to the setting as the eastern half of the Eurasian style main continent, opposite to the European themed Faerûn. Zakhara, the setting of the 1001 Arabian Nights themed setting of Al Qadim was added in 1992, as a large peninsula dangling south, midway between Faerûn and Kara-tur. But prior to that, in 1991, the Maztica boxed set was released, and gave the Forgotten Realms a pre-contact “Americas” region. Things went sideways fast.
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Editions War Part Three: 2e AD&D

In 1985, TSR’s board of directors removed Gary Gygax from the company, and after some litigation about intellectual property rights over characters and the Greyhawk campaign setting, which ultimately led to a payout, the company embarked on a new era in gaming. They’d learned a bit from the development of 1e AD&D, and the Satanic Panic that they’d been dragged into. Then, in 1989, they released the first book for 2e AD&D.
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Editions War Part Two: 1e AD&D

Image used for review purposes.

With the release of 1e AD&D, it can be truly said that the Editions War had truly begun, as the nascent gaming community polarized either towards the more complete and ready to play Basic D&D, or embraced the more complex and nuanced 1e AD&D (or simply “AD&D” as it was known at the time). Regardless, TSR supported both simultaneously, and the two games diverged onto very different evolutionary trajectories.
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Lands of Mystery Lost

Recently, with the release of both The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and Volo’s Guide to Monsters, the D&D fanbase has become agitated once again. “What do you allow in your games?” and “I ban this because that.” Discussions have become rampant as the world of Toril, home of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting begins to open up once again after the disastrous 4e effort. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about the accidental world that was created in the waning days of 3.5e D&D, a world without a name, but with immense potential, that quietly disappeared in the thunder and crash that was 4e’s release.
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