Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fairy oversight

Yesterday my six year old daughter and I were having a geometry discussion (long story), and I brought out my old Dungeons and Dragons dice. (Haven't used them in years -- but they were in the games cupboard, and thus easy to find.) She asked what they were for, and I tried to explain Dungeons and Dragons to her.

She said that she wouldn't be interested in playing any of the characters that I'd named for her (elves, dwarves, wizards, warriors...): but is a person allowed to be a fairy?

That was a new idea. I replied that people normally wouldn't -- but that you could apply the specs from the Monster Manual (an encyclopedia of creatures and monsters) or the Fiend Folio (the sequel encyclopedia), and use that information during gameplay.

Curiously, when I went to look it up in those books (again, haven't played in years -- but luckily I knew exactly where those books are on the bookshelf), I was surprised to find that there wasn't a dedicated entry for "fairies". Instead, they're treated as a sub-type of "elf": just one paragraph, and with no pictures, any mention that they have wings, or indicators of their specific size or flying speed.

Still: when she gets a bit older, if she's still interested in playing a fairy, it seems do-able.



Ahh... the wonders of the internet! Did a Google search on "fairy dungeons and dragons character class" and "... player character". Got a few hits, including this one, which gives instructions for pixies as a character class. Aha!

Went back to the Monster Manual, which does indeed have an entry on Pixies. And pixies apparently can speak "Sprite" -- yep! An entry on Sprites, as well. Both pixies and sprites (according to the illustration and text) are 2"-3" tall, and have wings. Yep -- that's what I think of for "fairies". So, that's the information I'd need.

Also: I learned thre things during my Googling. One is that the "red box, blue box" series is referred to as "BECMI D&D" (for "the five volumes in the edition; Basic, Expert, Companion, Master and Immortal"). This is distinct from the other version that I'm used to, which is "Advanced D&D".

The second thing I learned is that what I just wrote is kinda wrong: the version **I** knew as the "red box, blue box" series is actually called "BX D&D". I think it predates the "BECMI" version -- although now I'm tired of Googling... ;) The "Basic" set is here (see also the box photo, at left), and "Expert" is here. Ah, memories... :)

And third, possibly because it was aimed at beginners(?), it's a lot more stripped-down -- and thus, faster -- than the current version (which apparently is v. 3.5 -- yow). Version 3.5 (and the online article mentions a then-forthcoming v. 4) is **much** more rules-based than "Classic" or "AD&D". Fine if you're a lawyer or an accountant, I suppose -- but to me, that seems cumbersome.


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At July 26, 2011 11:15 AM, Anonymous Giovanni said...

Very ironic that your Sunday entry mentions D&D. I was volunteering for a tree-mulching work party on Saturday (nearby moment, considering the time zone) with a group of 33 to 44 year olds, and one of them brought up D&D!

At July 26, 2011 10:37 PM, Blogger Gye Greene said...

It's a small world, filled with mysteriously-linked minds.



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