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if you asked Ben's brain about gaming, this is what it would say

Braunstein 2010

Major Wesely has returned to the internet! He left a comment about last year’s Braunstein and his plans for GenCon 2010.

Wait, what was Braunstein, you ask? Just the grandfather of D&D and, well, pretty much all the roleplaying games you’ve ever played.

I will be once again arriving really late Wednesday/early Thursday (after midnight if the train runs late) on Amtrak. (anyone meeting the train to carry my luggage to the hotel will get first choice of character in Braunstein).

This time I intend to spend most of my time at the NSDM (National Security Decision Making Game. I am bringing along my handouts for BS again, and will run it if I can get the people time and space (NSDM may provide the space and time).

Major Wesely’s contact info, more about Braunstein, and a shout-out to Rob MacD are all in his original comment, so I decided to give it a post of it’s own so it didn’t get overlooked.

(I think the Origins mention is a typo, since the post was after Origins — probably should read GenCon)

I won’t be at GenCon this year. No Lieutenant Student A for me. If you are going to GenCon, and you’ve never tracked down Major Wesely and made him tell you stories of gaming with Dave Arneson, and y’know, being part of the invention the entire RPG hobby, then this could be your year to do it.

Seriously. Do it. You’ll be glad you did.

Shippensburg Archives

By popular demand, I’ve uploaded the other group photos I have from the Shippensburg Adventure Game Camp. Were you there? Find yourself in the crowd and be amazed how you looked 25 years ago.

Shippensburg 1981 Shippensburg 1982 Shippenburg D&D Camp 1982 Shippensburg 1983 Shippenburg D&D Camp 1983 Shippensburg 1984, week 1 Shippenburg 1985 Shippenburg 1985

I’m missing photos of one of the weeks in 82, 83, and 84. If someone out there has those, let me know so we can make the set complete.

The rest of the photo gallery has a few more gems, like the letter announcing the cancellation of the camp and the test they sent campers to gauge their knowledge of AD&D.

UPDATE Added pictures for the other sessions in 82 and 83, courtesy of fellow councilor Todd Goldman. So now the only missing photo is the other week of 84. Thanks Todd!

Braunstein On Demand

I just found out that Major Wesely is coming to GenCon, but he doesn’t have any sessions scheduled this year. But I have it on good authority that if people are interested, he’s willing to get together for ad hoc sessions.

Do you want a chance to play Braunstein, the grandfather of all roleplaying games? Do you want to grill him about what it was like gaming with Dave Arneson, before Blackmoor and before D&D? Do you want to hear about antiaircraft artillery in WWII or soldier’s wives in the Revolutionary War?

Speak up and let him know. He’s probably reading this thread right now, so this is your chance.

Shippensburg Adventure Game Camp

Nearly thirty years ago, there was a summer camp for D&D. Yes that’s right, a summer camp where instead of basket weaving and archery, you played Dungeons & Dragons. I went all five years it ran, three years as a camper and two as a councilor. And yes, it was awesome.

There is about zero information about the Shippensburg D&D camp on the internet, so I agreed to do an interview for posterity’s sake. You can read my write-up for yourself, but be warned, it is an epic tale of 80′s gaming nostalgia:

My Shippensburg Adventure Game Camp Interview

One other camp attendee has already replied to the post. Could there be more? There were about three hundred gamers who went to the camp. They have to be out there somewhere…

CORRECTION: It’s buried somewhere in the comments, but with detective work we verified that the infamous newspaper article was in ’84, not ’85. So it didn’t immediately kill the camp.

Braunstein Memories Additions

I’ve added the text from the handouts of the GenCon 2008 Braunstein games to the Braunstein Memories page, courtesy of Major Wesely.

There are some sections missing, notably the map and some of the characters from Braunstein IV. I’m hoping to get from Major Wesely later — when I do, I’ll add them.

Braunstein Memories

“That’s _Lieutenant_ Student A to you…”

GenCon 2008 has sadly come and gone. If you were part of the lucky crew that came to Major Wesely’s seminars you got to play in the first recreation of the Braunstein games in 40 years, the games that led to the birth of roleplaying games… but you probably already read that post.

Here are some assorted memories from the Braunstein games, collected for posterity:

Were you at either session? Tell your side of the story. Braunstein had, by definition, as many separate stories as there were players, so every point of view sheds new light on how the whole thing worked.

Do you have more pictures or handout scans? Drop a link in the comments so everyone else can see them. I’ve got nothing at all for the Saturday Braunstein IV session. There are also rumors of audio recordings from both sessions that may appear on the internet.

And of course a big thanks to Major Wesely for putting on the referee hat and running the games. If you missed them, ask nicely and maybe he’ll do it again next year…


Added the text from the handouts from the GenCon 2008 Braunstein games, courtesy of Major Wesely: