Running across old notes: Dungeons & Sorcery

Ever run across old notes for a game or campaign? Ever find yourself wondering, “Where did this come from? What the heck was I thinking?”

That’s what happened to me recently. I found some notes on 3×5 cards for something I dimly recall having named Dungeons & Sorcery. Here’s an example:

D&S: Weapon Proficiency
Warriors 1 every three levels, starting number: 4
Rogues 1 every four levels, starting number: 3
Clerics 1 every five levels, starting number: 2
1 every five levels, starting number: 1
Everyman 1 every four levels, starting number: 2
1 per group, 1 per weapon (must precede group), 1 per expertise (must take group)

I think what I was doing here was trying to come up with a system for weapon proficiency, similar to that of the first campaign in which I was really active, and related to AD&D’s weapon proficiencies. It was part of a system I was working on by fits and starts, which I had decided to call Dungeons & Sorcery.

As far as I can remember, Dungeons & Sorcery was going to be a kind of proto-retro-clone game, based loosely on AD&D. I remember trying to run a few sessions of it back in 2001 or so, right as 3rd Edition was getting very popular. It went over like a lead balloon at the time. People wanted all that detail found in the glossy new hardcovers, and the unnecessary complexity of the new system hadn’t yet made itself apparent.

I think a major reason why D&S did not get off the ground was that I was daunted by the sheer weight of trying to redo all of the old rules, modify them, and then present them in a coherent fashion. Coming across my old notes again leads me to have more respect for Matthew Finch, Dan Proctor, and others who have actually put together various versions of our old game. While I doubt I would actually try to cobble together D&S – but I might try to put together some of my notes into a supplement for Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord.

One thought on “Running across old notes: Dungeons & Sorcery

  1. I don't know, I just use AD&D 1st edition rules with an expanded proficiency list, skill rolls based on the Runequest system to better reflect the experience, and a fewa additions from the Combat and Tactics supplement.

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