My 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons Database #DnD #RPG #ADnD

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Before I was an attorney focusing his practice in part in intellectual property law (foreshadowing!), I was a database developer. Accordingly, I’m always looking for an excuse to relive my <sarcasm>glory days</sarcasm> and automate my life. RPGs give me an opportunity to do that. I’m always building databases or writing JavaScript behind PDFs in order to make playing or running games easier.

Now that I’m relearning 1e AD&D, I’ve decided to create a database and fill it with enough information to serve as a gaming resource. To start, I’m loading it with all the spells in the Players Handbook and Unearthed Arcana. Starting with the Players Handbook, I’ve loaded all of the spells for clerics and druids and halfway through level four for magic users. That took almost a week (I have a job). After that, I’ll add an initiative tracker, a time tracker, and maybe even a character builder. This is going to take a while, though I have Labor Day weekend and then a long vacation coming up, so I’ll make some significant progress in the near future.

Why do all this work? There are three reasons. First, it’ll make preparing and running games rather easy. Second, it’ll keep my database skills from declining further. Third, and most importantly, it’s going to force me to learn the rules thoroughly, which I want to do before attempting to run a game. That’s what makes it worth my while.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll publish it for others to use. I may because I think it could help people, but boy those ridiculous claims of “You can’t do that because it’s not OGL!” are annoying, especially coming from the Wizards of the Coast‘s legal department who know better. Ultimately, it depends on whether I do enough work to make it presentable for public consumption. It may be so clunky that only I can work with it. We’ll see, but I’m preparing it in such a way that it won’t infringe any valid copyrights. In fact, with the exception of Blink, I’ve never read a single spell from the OSRIC doc so that I can say that any exceptional similarities between my work and theirs is purely coincidental (i.e., independent creation). That doesn’t mean I won’t get threatened by Wizards of the Coast, but any such empty threats won’t rattle me, so that won’t factor into my decision.

Nothing’s nerdier than a gamer with a physics degree who knows how to code.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc

Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)


3 thoughts on “My 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons Database #DnD #RPG #ADnD

  1. Nothing’s nerdier than a gamer with a physics degree who knows how to code.
    Stuart Moncur, AKA Smiley Dwarf, from Heriot Watt 1990-1993 would agree. I think he was going to CERN at the time.
    We database out downtime games and VERY occasionally play out encounters.
    I love Dave the Commoner and wanted to make a game that played out just like that but with more players. We only got to Level 6.
    More Databases, geeks and copyright infringements!


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