On a road trip recently Jenn and I started listening to the Penny Arcade D&D Podcast. Basically, it was a marketing thing from WotC back when 4e was about to come out to promote the new system. The podcast is just Tycho and Game from Penny Arcade and Scott Kurtz from PVP playing an actual D&D 4e game with a DM from WotC. In later seasons, they were joined by Will Wheaton.
It’s not terribly exciting, and I scowl when I hear them getting bogged down with 4e nonsense, but at its core it’s kind of humorous and entertaining enough for something in the background while I drive. Interestingly at least one of the PA guys had never played any RPG of any kind before, and in fact had to ask someone to show him how to read a d4. Funny.
Well, someone pointed me to a recent post at PA where Gabe mentions a D&D game he’s starting up, an OD&D game in fact. Actually, they’re using Swords & Wizardry, a retro-clone of OD&D, much as my own game uses Labyrinth Lord which is a retro-clone of B/X. It also sounds like he’s tweaking it for his own tastes, but isn’t that what old school gaming is all about? I applaud them, especially as guys who started playing with 4e, for going back and giving the old school a try. I really hope they enjoy it.
I think this may be the biggest profile person I’ve heard of doing anything old school related. I wonder if this will have any impact on the player base of such games. If nothing else, a link to Swords & Wizardry right on the front page of Penny Arcade has got to be a good thing.