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The original golden age of fantasy role playing games.
August 31, 2013 2:47 AM   Subscribe

Old School FRP is a tumblr blog with a ton of illustrations and art from the golden age of Dungeons and Dragons and games that were totally not Dungeons and Dragons.
posted by Pope Guilty (33 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are fantastic!

So many of them beg for a Gary Larson Farside style comic notation below them.

Also, Donjons & Dragons, from the ad for French language version
posted by jeribus at 3:25 AM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are great.

Archer on pteranodon is not impressed with your castle.

This one made me do a double take, and then I realized that I just watch too much TV.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:28 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


The nostalgia it burns! (Lose 3d6 HP)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:54 AM on August 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


So there's thirty feet of nostalgia?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:06 AM on August 31, 2013


Some of my favorite early RPG art is from the UK edition of the 1977 D&D Basic Set. Games Workshop redrew every picture in the book, to interesting effect.
posted by graymouser at 5:20 AM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, it appears that I am fresh out of fucks to give, having smoked them all.
posted by 256 at 5:47 AM on August 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know what is best in life?
This sort of thing.
(Also Lamingtons made by Women)
posted by Mezentian at 6:20 AM on August 31, 2013


To roll for damage greater than your enemies' HP, see them fail their morale checks, and to hear the lamentation of their women (for extra 'roleplaying' XP)?
posted by ersatz at 6:33 AM on August 31, 2013


I always wanted to be a Rakshasha when I grew up. Based mainly on that picture.
posted by selfnoise at 6:43 AM on August 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


I always wanted to be a Rakshasha when I grew up. Based mainly on that picture.

The Tumblr is crushing my browser, but please tell me it is the Tiger in the smoking jacket from the MM.
Or tell me that my memory is not faulty, and that was the Monster Manual image.
posted by Mezentian at 6:50 AM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


What I'd really like to find the advertisement that depicted a koala bear in ... probably a mechanic's uniform holding two uzis... and work boots... big work boots.... I thought it would be a Rifts thing, but Rifts Australia was 1999 - which was way after this advertisement... think '86-'90' is when I'm betting I saw it. So maybe a Steve Jackson Games thing, or maybe it was it's own rule system... All I remember thinking was post apocalyptic Australia with marsupial mutants? Awesome!

I spent years drawing versions of the picture myself wishing my parents would let me send money in to order the rules for it...Anything I could find at Mr. Paperback in Elsworth or The Wizard in Bangor was find by them, but no putting myself on some strange dude's personal mailing list.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:51 AM on August 31, 2013


probably a mechanic's uniform holding two uzis... and work boots... big work boots.... I thought it would be a Rifts thing, but Rifts Australia was 1999

Mutants Down Under.
Palladium's TMNT line if I recall.
posted by Mezentian at 6:55 AM on August 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Foglio art is always so fun.

But D&D was for metalheads! Paranoia / Call of Cthulhu FTW!
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:09 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am just going to leave this here.
Yes, that is Jamie "Lost Boys" Gertz and Alan "Captain Cameron" Ruck, in the most awesome D&D group ever.
posted by Mezentian at 7:42 AM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Emrikol the Chaotic
posted by Ironmouth at 7:59 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Damn you, Pope Guilty! I have spent the past 2 hours going through this tumblr! So much awesome. I keep finding stuff that I actually owned. Thanks for this!
posted by KingEdRa at 8:56 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mezentian: that picture, yes.
posted by mephron at 9:02 AM on August 31, 2013


[About Jack Vance] "an anagram of his name became the legendary D&D character Vecna, whose preserved eye and hand were first introduced as powerful artifacts in D&D Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry in 1976."

Wow, all these years and I never knew about the Vecna/Vance connection.

Is it bad that I own about half of these, and recognize another quarter as things I was familiar with back in the day?
posted by fings at 9:10 AM on August 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's amazing how you don't see certain pictures or illustrations for 25-30+ years and suddenly BAM there you are.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:16 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I usually don’t think of gelatinous cubes having pseudopodia, but I do love this illustration. (Jim Holloway from D&D module B5: Horror on the Hill, TSR, 1983.)

"Unless there is a more specific story recorded out there, I’ll always assume that the first gelatinous cube was inspired by a player rolling a clear D6 with round pips and accidentally knocking over a miniature."

The actual story is this: in the early days, people were using various kinds of real-world beasties as inspirations for D&D monsters. Michael Mornard created a monster based (if I recall right) an amoeba. It ended up being a cube because that's the shape it would need to be to fill a dungeon corridor.
posted by jiawen at 9:24 AM on August 31, 2013


Normal Saturday morning, then POW - hey there pre-adolescence, good to see you again...

Astonished at how many of these I remember vividly. Thanks!
posted by dragstroke at 9:51 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


*rolls saving throw versus nostalgia

critical failure! Lose 1d4 hours remembering the past.
posted by nubs at 9:56 AM on August 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was looking through them and thinking how weird it is that I can see a picture that I haven't seen in like 25 or 30 years, yet instantly and correctly think "That's from the Monster Manual" or "... the Fiend Folio" or "... Dragon Magazine" or even "... White Plume Mountain". But then on page two, it went even farther. One glance, and:

"That's from that article in Dragon that suggested all sorts of things that you should be carrying around to be prepared for strange situations, like silver manacles in case you need to keep a werewolf prisoner."
posted by Flunkie at 11:59 AM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Michael Mornard created a monster based (if I recall right) an amoeba. It ended up being a cube because that's the shape it would need to be to fill a dungeon corridor.

Lore Sjoberg's comment was that it was "evolutionarily adapted for graph paper." I'd link to it, but a good portion of Lore's writing is succumbing to bitrot -- I can't find it on the Brunching Shuttlecocks site, and the Book of Ratings site seems to have been taken over by a squatter.
posted by JHarris at 12:10 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Something Awful has a long running and often very funny series that also scratches this itch: WTF AD&D
posted by seventyfour at 12:40 PM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Good times, good times.
posted by edheil at 1:04 PM on August 31, 2013


No pets or Dralasites allowed!
posted by XMLicious at 1:30 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ball Buster
posted by Chuckles at 2:20 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


The thing about Ball Buster is, it actually has an interesting gimmick that is unfortunately overshadowed by the name.
posted by JHarris at 2:45 PM on August 31, 2013


Oh my - seeing those pictures again brought back intense memories of the smell of those old rulebooks.
posted by porpoise at 9:15 PM on August 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I know what you mean. I just went and sniffed my Monster Manual, and my 2E PHB.

I can report that the Monster Manual (it is the '78 version) smells much, much nicer.
posted by Mezentian at 12:40 AM on September 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


When I worked as a library page I got really good at identifying the decade a book was from based on its smell.





...what?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:24 PM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, thanks to this thread, I started talking about Dave Trampier's art with a friend, and from there discovered a few things, like the fact that the fighter on the DM's screen is a self-portrait (compare to the later photo of Mr. Trampier the taxi driver). Also, the location for Emirikol The Chaotic's ride? The Street of the Knight in Rhodes. (via the Facebook David A. Trampier Fan Club).
posted by fings at 9:41 PM on September 2, 2013


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