DreadCast: Momanatrix’s Old School D&D Woes

Here’s another episode for you guys! This time we talk about the differences between older versions of D&D and newer in regards to how things are adjudicated. Momanatrix is a big fan of current edition D&D, as it’s what she started with and makes the most sense to her. I can’t say I disagree with her either as I share most of her sentiments, she asks a lot of questions here so perhaps you guys can relay some of your insight upon us gamer-youngsters.

We are very much enjoying our “OSRIC” game we’re playing in right now but I do think it is a large leap of adaptation for both of us, and being that she wasn’t baptized in the Asmodean fires as I was at a young age, so some of these elements of D&D are still very fresh for her. So join us for the next 15 minutes or so and listen in, be sure to hit us back in whatever method suits your fancy. Hope you enjoy, and be sure to let us know what you’d like to see more of on the Dreadcast. Also, yes, she talks a lot more this time 🙂

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[audio https://dreadgazebo.net/audio/DreadCast_Episode2.mp3] Intro: “Midnight Sun” by AFI | | Outro: “As The Cold Rain Falls” by Tiger Army.


  1. I really enjoyed this podcast. 4e is my favorite edition as well. One thing I really miss from the old days is creative spellcasting. I know it’s easier to have it all spelled out for you, but sometimes it was fun to look at your 40 page spell list and find the exact right spell and use it in a way that was fun and creative. I don’t know if it is feasible, but I would love to have you guys record a play session. I listen to the RPPR actual play podcasts and it is always a lot of fun to hear those. I think an OSRIC game would be awesome to listen to.

  2. I started playing D&D with 2E, but like both 3.X and 4E more than the older editions. My ideal game would really be some combination of elements of 3.x and 4E along with a few other tweaks. I definitely like having a battle grid and try to use a map and tokens even when I’m running games with more abstract positioning.

    As for Magic, I’ve built decks with every color, but I tend to be happiest with combinations of red, black, and green.

  3. Very interesting just hearing you guys talk. I’m an Oldschooler at heart but I’ve been playing Pathfinder since it came out. Maybe you could suggest that your DM use a gridmap for the more complicated combats, at least until you get more comfortable with how Oldschool plays- I’m talking like real 1 inch graph paper / a battlemat with tokens. The DM wouldn’t need to change any of his rules but it would give everyone a clearer idea of what is going on. Keep up the good work!

  4. I started on Basic D&D and tried going back to it by prepping for a game at the UK Games Expo last year.
    At the time I played it (mid 90’s), I loved the freefrom nature of it, and how I could tweak anything to suit me and my group. However, having gone back to it, I find the lack of map, and lack of defined spell use, and ability to plan, just as Momanatrix says, a real turn off and didn’t enjoy it.
    Like DreadGazebo says, 4e is pretty much the perfect version for me, and while I’ll complain about it at times, I always come back to it and have a real blast running and playing it.

  5. I can appreciate her perspective on planning a turn. I remember playing 2e without minis and it was a lot more vague. I think 4e takes it to the other extreme of too many battle mechanics. I have yet to find a system with a happy medium.

  6. I honestly think this is a matter of being too attached to what you started with. And that’s something the old shooters are just as guilty of. From the first podcast, and now with this one, the tone comes across as it’s different, and it’s not what I like.

    It used to be a game of imagination, and with 4E, it became a board game with RPG trappings to a large extent. Older editions had spells with distances and no battle grid and people were able to make decisions without a tape measure or a perfect grasp of tactics. In fat, tactics were not an important part of it at all. It was a heroic setting with heroic actions and there was little paralysis when it came to one’s turn.

    I think that rather than going into a game, whether it’s DnD or something else, with the mindset of why isn’t it like 4E, you should immerse yourselves in that system and play it out. Right now, especially from the tone of Momanatrix’ voice, I’m not sure the other systems are being given a fair shot, and that she may be too close to the system she started with.

    That’s not a slam, just an observation. I myself am able to play any edition of DnD and enjoy my character and how the system works. I have zero attachment to “how it should work” and instead focus on the group I’m paying with.

    Maybe it is an OCD thing, but it’s in everyone’s best interest to try and work past that. You’ll enjoy gaming a heck of a lot more.

    My powerfully constructive .02.

    Take care and keep gaming!


    • G4G,

      I appreciate your honest and sincere opinion, while still managing to remain civil. I also think here we are dealing with the way the game is being ran and not nearly the game itself. It is true that we should perhaps open our minds to a completely different experience, though it is hard at times y’know? I do appreciate your feedback. Thanks for posting 🙂

  7. I think a strong point of 4E is it DM-proofed combat. Older incarnations of D&D were prone to this. You have a great DM, you can run a fantastic game. You have a petty DM that arbitrates unfairly, you get a poop game. 4E did a lot to even out the odd situations and actions in combat, and give a DM tools to make more balanced combats. I’d nod a bit in agreement that maybe that pendulum went a little too far into the PCs camp as a power shift. However, if anything 4E really curbed that negative impact a bad DM has on fights (unless you end up with one flat out breaking the rules). You can still get a boring, horrible slugfest of a game with a bad DM in 4E, but at least the PCs have a fighting chance in a fight and a better grasp of their abilities.

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