Monday, June 9, 2008

Silver Blade Adventures?

Silver Blade (well, actually, Silver Sword) is the name I decided my Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting needed about fifteen or so years ago. I couldn't have been any older than fourteen at the time, and was strongly under the influence of the branded and official TSR campaign settings, particularly Dragonlance. I had not actually played any of the modules, but I was well acquainted with the accompanying literature (though I was initially better acquainted with Middle Earth and Conan), and by then had adventured my way through Hero Quest, Advanced Hero Quest, Warhammer Fantasy Role-play and the Red Box version of Dungeons & Dragons. A fairly typical pattern, or so I am told.

For a few years I voraciously read Dragon Magazine and played a lot of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (second edition, mind you), and in many different campaign settings (Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Planescape, etc...), but eventually my friends and I grew tired of classes, levels, and were unexcited by the latest TSR releases. We started trying other systems (GURPS, Rifts, Star Wars D6, RoleMaster, Cyberpunk and a whole bunch of other RPGs I can barely remember). Somewhere in all that our group got collectively burned by Magic the Gathering, but I don't recall the details. By the time I was in sixth form, I played only very irregularly and mainly used a homebrewed skill based system, low magic and gritty, of course. We still wandered the Forgotten Realms from time to time, but I had long since cancelled my subscription to Dragon and ceased purchasing TSR products (or any RPG material, really).

I was bitten by the RPG bug again in about 2000, and not by the release of D20 (which I was only barely aware of, the extent of my exposure having been seeing an advert for Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons 3e whilst I was visiting America), but by the Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine. I was familiar with some of the early strips from Dragon, but after my girlfriend bought me a couple of issues of KoDT, I found myself very much enjoying vicariously revisiting AD&D. I stepped outside my student digs in Surrey, my girlfriend's credit card and mobile phone in hand, rang up Kenzer & Company, and promptly ordered a box full of Bundles of Trouble (I think I might have been drunk).

In any case, I was inspired to get a group together and restart my old campaign world in the summer of 2001, and that's what I did. Best campaign I ever ran, involving about a dozen players all told (both new and old) and lasting until summer 2005, when I left Surrey to move back up to Newcastle. I realised at that time I was going to be too busy to run a full on campaign, and so decided to try a few pick up and play D20 adventures (mainly the ones freely downloadable, but also the Fighting Fantasy conversions that Myriador put out. It was about this time that I started frequenting RPG internet message boards (I know, I thought I could handle it), rather than just browsing the WotC D&D website.

I think it was on the Kenzer & Company forums that I first heard about the OSRIC project; I had been to the Knights & Knaves Alehouse and Dragonsfoot prior to that, and I had even read adverts for Castles & Crusades in KoDT, but I had no idea of the significance of what was going on until I downloaded OSRIC and started reading. Within about ten minutes I was entirely convinced that OSRIC was one of the best things to ever happen to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and traditional adventure role-playing games. Since then, I have spent a considerable chunk of my 'internet time' investigating and testing the veracity of my original conclusion and am still satisfied with the answer. I have gotten involved with the project to the best of my ability, purchased some of its fruits, and thoroughly enjoyed devoring them.

So, bit of a long preamble, but let us get back to the original question. Silver Blade Adventures? This blog has a number of purposes, but it is probably primarily a centralised space for me to make my thoughts on traditional swords & sorcery adventure games accessible. One of the things I intend to do with OSRIC is use it to publish some free modules, most of which will have been originally created for Silver Blade Adventures. So, one of the things this blog is going to do is provide support material, links and errata for anything that I create using OSRIC (or, indeed, Labyrinth Lord or Castles & Crusades). I also intend to post reviews of already existing material here, as well as adventure journal entries and anything else that seems like it ought to have a place here.


Solar said...

Cool, look forward to it Matthew. Many many hours of fun ahead I'm sure.

Just one thing, did you really need to get drunk to get back into D+D? ;)

rredmond said...

When are you going to publish those **adventures** though? :)

Matthew James Stanham said...

Good question! :D

The first adventure I expect to publish (and I use that word loosely) is the Twisted Tower of Mordras, but finding the time to work on it is proving difficult just at the moment. A few months, at least...

Rick Marshall said...

Dear Mr. Stanham,

See, when you wrote good question, I was expecting an answers to Solar's question, too.

Keep us posted on the Twisted Tower of Mordras, though we understand about time crunches and all. No pressure, eh? It is supposed to be fun, after all, not a chore.

Yours truly,

Rick Marshall
Seattle, Washington

rredmond said...

I thought the drunk thing was just a given!

Matthew James Stanham said...

Heh, heh; I think it was more that I had to have been a bit drunk to use a mobile phone to call the US and place an order for about $100 of comic books charged to my girlfriend's credit card...

The decision to get back into Dungeons & Dragons was mainly nostalgia driven, I think, though we were looking for cheap ways to entertain ourselves at the time, as well as an avenue to meet more like minded people. At any rate, I do not think I was drunk when I decided to do so!

I shall certainly keep you guys posted on the Twisted Tower of Mordras. I expect to get back to work on it in the next couple of months, and will probably open a thread on it over at Knights & Knaves.