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Where I am with D&D

I had read 200 or so core books of other games and never really getting it (“but how do you actually play?!”) before finally finding the OG, D&D, which everyone had poopooed all the way but it was a huge missing piece for me. All the other games seems as if they were written for people who’ve already read Moldvay.

I played one single session of 4e, then joined an OSR group playing Lab Lord, and then when 5e came out I started my own group using it.

We started with the Starter Set (what’s that, 16 pages of rules or so) and built up gradually over 8 years. That’s what I recommend, too.

Our house rules documents are probably longer than the PHB by now, we’ve changed out the combat system, injury system, social encounter system, inspiration system, skill system, inventory system, background system, climbing system, lockpicking system, xp system, and a couple of dozens of spells. But since 5e is so modular we can still use the same classes, monsters, and modules.

It really is an elegant, decoupled design. People say “If you’ve modded so much, you’re not really playing D&D, you can’t defend D&D or say that it’s good”. I’m not defending the game, I’m defending our campaign.

We mostly play material made for older editions that I convert (right now we’ve been doing a AD&D adventure called Date of Expiration). One thing I always need to learn and relearn is to also convert over the XP values because older stuff’s XP is all over the place.

Our campaign, #boatmode, is set in the Crowded Sea region of the Forgotten Realms; I have everything for 2e al-Qadim in hardcopy (and extras of Land of Fate, the best box). But we also heavily use Ghosts of Saltmarsh for 5e which I’ve ported over from Greyhawk to a li’l town between Jumlat and Gana named Safaq. We’re 153 sessions in since we moved to this campaign setup and region; we’ve played other campaigns in the same continuity and on the same planet previously.

Picture of my aQ boxes