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Interest check - D&D history

Looking to form a non-traditional D&D campaign that will read, explore and play past editions of D&D starting from 1970's White Box.  The idea here is play the game as it was written back then (making the necessary patches along the way).  We'll play through some of the most popular and famous modules, use options from old Dungeon and Dragon magazines (I have most of them).  This is really an experiment in how the rules developed over time.  Players will be expected to read the rule materials, make insightful analysis on how those rules developed and how they changed over time. We will try and stay as chronological as possible, in terms of TSR releaseses and use google groups or a forum to communicate, as well as a blog to document our exploits, and interpretation and reviews of the game. We'll start with White Box, then move on to Basic, Expert, 1e, 2e, 2e Skills and Powers, 3.x, Pathfinder, 4e and then Next.   I'm looking for 8-9 other players, who will dedicate themselves at least to read the materials and post to the forums. Typical group size will be 4-5.  I'd like 1-2 other people willing to read the rules and DM games.  I hope to have a weekly games either Wednesday or Thursday 7pm Mountain Standard Time. This sound interesting to anyone?   
Sounds interesting certainly. Of the timeline, I've only played Skills and powers, 3.X and Pathfinder. The rest will be new to me. Couple of questions, though: With our content stemming directly from modules, how much role-play do you anticipate or plan on encouraging? For alternate DMs, how much flex would you want in how modules are run? How and how fast do you think the game will progress through the timeline? Color me interested, no matter what the answers are.
Good questions and the following are just suggestions on how to handle it.  I think the roleplay ? is an interesting one, and part of what this is about.  I think we should be able to discuss how much each ruleset encourages roleplay vs. mechanics, and try to figure out what the devs were thinking.  I think this will vary, but I will say I'm not sure how long (how many sessions) we will stick to each edition.  That will mostly be determined democratically, and by how fun it is!  But something we could do is stay with similar character identities through each edition, so if I rolled a fighter in OD&D, try and see how that character concept plays out in AD&D and Next, etc.  That way there could be continuity and allow for more RP situations.   For other DM's, for fidelity's sake, I'd like us to at least use RAW as a starting point, and hack the module to make it fun, but be intentional about it, and document what we did so that other DM's and players can understand, what didn't work and what we did to modify it.   How fast? Depends on how fun each player is having I guess. I don't want to grind away at a game that isn't creating the most optimal experience.  I think we can move onwards once we all feel we have a decent grasp of what that edition was trying to accomplish, what it did well, and what it didn't.  And if the collective "we" moves on to another edition, it doesn't mean a DM can't set up a side game and continue if there is interest.   So maybe I keep the AD&D game moving through Temple of Elemental Evil moving, and another DM starts setting up a 2e game.  That's one of the possibilities if we have 8-9 players and more than one DM.   But if its only me DMing, maybe we run 3-4 sessions of each edition (more if its a blast) and then slow down for really famous modules like some of these .  I imagine this happening over 2 years and the player roster changing over time. But...we'll have the forum so new players can read up on what we've done before.  Again, these are just possibilities and I'd like the circle of DMs, even if that's just you and I to talk it though and organize it. 
One challenge is going to be facing each edition on it's own terms.  In other words, bringing to much bias in how we set up and play each edition will (edit: "not") put us in a good space to enjoy the game.  I could easily see myself comparing everything to 3.5, and wanting each edition to play like 3.5 did.  But I think this will be the most rewarding if we can look at each game, not through the lens of our favorite mechanics from newer editions, but how it stands up on its own as a game.  OD&D plays drastically different from 3.x and from 4e, and I think it will be really rewarding to engage that, and try to understand it better.  Now that I think about it, this is going to be more like a college course than a traditional campaign, or a more exactly, a college writing workshop, since I hope all the players engage in the forums and do write about their experiences and ideas.   Our starting point will be semi-chronological, and use various rulesets, modules and dragon and dungeon magazines as "official sources".   As DM I'll even design maps in blue and white, and really capture that old school feel! 
Well, you've sold me on it! I'm in as a player for now. I might be willing to step up as a DM as I gain more familiarity with the earlier (and later) systems.
Some inspirational reading regarding the White box at the Alexandrian  which is one of my favorite gaming sites.  If you hit Next Entries you can read about his short campaign, which is pretty hilarious.  I was also thinking about the type of players I think will/should gravitate towards this type of experimental campaign, DnD aficionados, RPG designers, new players that are interested in the history of DnD, and people that are okay with having a semi-academic experience.  The article above is the first place I've seen a DnD book referred to as a 'historical document', and that seems pretty inspirational for me.  An adventure going back in time.  Reading DnD as archaeology/anthropology/philosophy and game design.  Or kicking down doors, killing monsters, and taking their stuff in lots of different ways! 
I think this is a wonderful idea. A semi-academic experience sounds great to me. I've always wanted to play some of the old modules. The group I gamed with while growing up did mostly 1st Ed with some 2nd sprinkled in. I've recently moved to the middle of nowhere, so an online game is my best bet. I'm always interested in game design talk, so this is right up my alley.
Well, only two takers, but I got a few people in my regular Pathfinder group that would be interested.  Thinking about OD&D (white box), I don't seem to recall many famous modules.  I don't think TSR actually did adventures at the time, and dragon magazine wasn't released till later.  The magazine they did have was called Chainmail I think.   I'm digging into it now, and if you guys want copies of any of this older material, let me know. 
Howdy, I am interested in joining as a player in this game.  I've wanted to play the older versions often as well.  This sounds like great fun. One question though, how do you imagine we would be getting all of the rules and documents?  I'm a little hesitant to find it and buy it all myself.
Interested if we can match schedules.  Started with the White Box and Greyhawk.  Don't have 2E, but otherwise shoudl have the tools
I too would like to express my interest in participating in this project as a player and a perhaps as a DM. Most of the editions were released before I was born, but I do have limited experience running Basic/Expert Dungeons & Dragons (1981), and am somewhat familiar with OD&D and 1st Edition AD&D. I also played AD&D 2nd Edition for a while, but I am unfamiliar with it from a DM's point of view. Regarding OD&D, would I be correct to assume that you intend to begin playing with the three original books ("Men & Magic", "Monsters & Treasure, "The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures") and subsequently introduce the supplements (such as "Greyhawk" and "Blackmoor")? The reason I ask is because, even though I haven't played or run OD&D, I understand that a play experience using only the books from the original boxed set is significantly different from playing with the supplements. Regarding modules for this edition, I believe you are correct in saying that TSR didn't really do modules in the early years. Rather, they allowed Judges Guild and Wee Warriors to produce pre-written adventures, such as "Tegel Manor" and "Palace of the Vampire Queen" (I actually have a .pdf copy of the latter). However, I do believe that the "Blackmoor" supplement contains an adventure by Dave Arneson titled "Temple of the Frog".
Alex K. said: Howdy, I am interested in joining as a player in this game.  I've wanted to play the older versions often as well.  This sounds like great fun. One question though, how do you imagine we would be getting all of the rules and documents?  I'm a little hesitant to find it and buy it all myself. Looking into "fair use" laws on this one.  Getting advice from a lawyer friend.  I've bought most the available PDFs and need to figure out a way to share that info without breaking any copyright.  Or...there are plenty of Wikis and faithful retroclones.  The DMs will make sure we're all looking at the same rules, somehow. 
I started a blank campaign and we can use those forums to discuss this further.  If I didn't send you a link just PM me.