1974 is an important year for the gaming hobby. It is the year that Dungeons & Dragons was introduced, the original RPG from which all other RPGs would ultimately be derived and the original RPG from which so many computer games would draw for their inspiration. It is fitting that the current owner of the game, Wizards of the Coast, released the new version, Dungeons & Dragons, Fifth Edition, in the year of the game’s fortieth anniversary. To celebrate this, Reviews from R’lyeh will be running a series of reviews from the hobby’s anniversary years, thus there will be reviews from 1974, from 1984, from 1994, and from 2004—the thirtieth, twentieth, and tenth anniversaries of the titles. These will be retrospectives, in each case an opportunity to re-appraise interesting titles and true classics decades on from the year of their original release.
For example, the Crew managed to plant a bugging device in the Mark’s office. However, the Mark’s security ensured it was not able to broadcast what it downloaded from his computer, so the Crew needs to get it back. Winston Moran has already been into the Mark’s office, ostensibly to talk about a bank fraud, but that was to give the bug time to work. Now he needs to get it back. He tells the security guard that he dropped his wallet in the office, so the guard lets him go and get it. The guard is diligent and comes to check on Winston. To see if Winston grabs the bug before the guard becomes suspicious, the Fixer asks his player to roll Winston’s Alertness plus Thief. Unfortunately, this is a d8 for Alertness and a d4 for Thief—the latter is so low because Winston is not as young as he was.Winston’s player rolls an eight and a one! This sets the stakes at eight because the one is set apart and further, it generates a Complication. The Security Guard has Security Guard d6 and Really Doesn’t Want Any Trouble d6, but since Winston rolled a one and generated a Complication, it adds another die to the Fixer’s roll, in this case, Suspicions Aroused d6. She rolls a four, a five, and a two! This Raises the Stakes to eleven. Winston’s player states that he is going to roll d8 for Alertness and a d4 for Thief again, but spend a Plot Point to bring in a Distinction, in this case, Walks with a Cane. As this is being used to Winston’s benefit, it adds a d8 rather than a d4. His player rolls a three, a four, and a six to give a final result of thirteen. This beats the Fixer’s stakes and she backs down as Winston allays the security guard’s suspicions with, “Found it! Sorry for being so slow—old man with a cane, you know?”