Friday, April 26, 2019

Some thoughts on what modules really were

When I was younger (and we are talking first edition younger), I read a lot of modules/adventures. You know, the fact that TSR even used the term module says a lot about the war gaming roots of Dungeons and Dragons.

Looking back, I am amazed at how much I read of them, although back in the day, that was so much of what was out there for us to read. I feel like, these days, people remember old school modules being railroad tracks but that’s not actually my memory of them.

This is my memory of those old adventures: that they were maps and area descriptions. That they gave you a bare bones story at best and really acted as a place you could interact with. Potential sandboxes and some of the earliest setting information.

I’m pretty sure that, if I were to go back and actually look at them, I’d find they are a mixture of railroads and sandboxes.

In many ways, setting books, be they straightforward settings or play books for games like Fiasco, have taken the place of modules, at least as far as my recreational reading is concerned. 

That said, adventures are still around and have a lot of uses. Not everyone has the time to make a home brew campaign. They’re kind of essential for any kind of league play. And, hey, what Gm can’t use more maps?

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