Since one of the stated goals of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge is to possibly "[find] new blog friends, and [increase] followers to each of our own blogs," I feel a certain responsibility to offer some introductory remarks aimed at readers who are visiting The Lands of Ara blog for the first time. Some of you may not know much about Dungeons and Dragons, role-playing gaming in general, or the particular type of "old school" gaming I engage in and blog about here -- so let me briefly explain.
I play Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) in a mode closely resembling the way the game was played when I first started playing it in the early 1980s. The D&D game rules have undergone many revisions and editions over the decades since its initial publication in 1974, and many of us who identify as "old-school" D&D players tend to favor the rules as they existed from 1974 until about 1989. For my current role-playing gaming (RPG'ing) pursuits, I use Labyrinth Lord, a rules set that "clones" the now out-of-print 1981 edition of Basic D&D.
I do not want to get too deep into the publication history of D&D here, but simply want to clue you in to my key terms: I will refer to D&D and Labyrinth Lord interchangeably when I wish to refer to the game I play. If you are interested in the history of the D&D product line, I urge you to check out a three-part series of blog posts at Grognardia, the old-school RPG'ing movement's most influential blog:
D&D Product Chronology
Thoughts on D&D Product Chronology Part 1
Thoughts on D&D Product Chronology Part 2
You could also look at my own "Top 15 List" of posts by other bloggers about the history and theory of the old-school RPG'ing hobby.
Lastly, I want to direct your attention to a few general, introductory and/or explanatory old-school gaming resources available online. Besides the Grognardia blog and the Labyrinth Lord rules themselves, I recommend that you consult:
(1) The wikipedia entry for Role-playing game,
(2) Matt Finch's Old-School Gaming Primer, a free, downloadable pdf that describes the basics of old-school gaming, and
(2) J G Halmayr's Old-School Acronym Glossary, for definitions of any RPG'ing terms you are not familiar with.
Other than that, welcome, and thanks for reading The Lands of Ara!