When gaming experience is obvious

One thing I tend to look for within game books is how the writers address the audience. For example, does the book feel the need to explain what an RPG is and how to play it? Does it leave notes about other games that inspired the one being read? There are lots of ways the writers can present the material to the audience, and this is obvious in OSRIC.

Its clear from reading through the rule book that the writers are longtime gamers, and they assume the audience is as well. I noticed this a lot in the section on Spells. In the write ups of the spells, they give examples of how spells work, and how they don’t work.

One of my favorites was note for Create Water. It basically says the caster has to see the point its casting the spell on, and that it wasn’t allowed to cast the spell inside of someone/something. I can only imagine this happened in a game. “Suddenly, a fire elemental appears. Roll for initiative!”

“Player: I cast Create Water inside the elemental.”

“DM: Wut?”

And then a debate goes on and on about whether or not that’s possible.

Same thing for Detect Magic. The spell operates in a cone extending out from the caster, but only in one direction. However, there was apparently the need for a note that says that a person can’t turn in circles really fast to extend the usefulness of the spell. I admit that this is clever, but its clear that this kind of thing, like with Create Water, was probably happening in real game sessions.

Therefore, the writers decided legislate the behavior out of the game. Regardless, it’s still fun to see these things. In the case of OSRIC, it gives a bit of insight as to what the gaming table is like for the writers, and that’s actually just a nice little bonus.






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