[Faith Corps] Rebelling Out of 2016
11 months ago
There are a lot of rules like this in OD&D that are seemingly random and don't make much sense. The problem, I think, is that the majority of D&D gamers don't play the game in the same way that Gary did. The newer players were using D&D to simulate grand fantasy and heroic questing rather than the looting of ancient ruins. So, a lot of rules got lost in translation, because they didn't make sense with what people were doing with D&D. Played closer to Gary's vision, they seem a lot more sensible.
The DM at the blackboard was Corbin. Take away his glasses and shoes and he looked exactly like the centaur from the cover of the original Monster Manual. Corbin would stand in front of a blackboard like a professor and run enormous dungeon crawls with 15 or 20 players at a time. A few of the players had high-level characters (as in, level 5 or so). The rest of us played 1st- and 2nd-level henchmen -- NPCs, essentially -- and we died like flies. We didn't even name our characters until they reached 2nd level. It was nothing to burn through two or three characters in an afternoon. Your goal was to live long enough to become a real member of the adventuring party and not just another nameless corpse on the heap. The only characters who got respect from the higher-level PCs were clerics. As long as you had a healing spell, you were useful. Otherwise, there was no pity in Corbin's dungeons. Low-level characters were there to open doors, peek around corners, and walk down corridors ahead of the heroes, poking everything within reach with a 10-foot pole.