Sunday, December 11, 2016

My Life as a Gamer: The Chronicles of Mystara

Of all the classic brawlers done by Capcom, the licensed Dungeons & Dragons brawlers were the best by far. Yes, even over one of my favorites, Warriors of Fate. Pick a console or PC, and you can get it now. I have it on my Steam account; get it when it's on sale.

This duo in particular is what Atlus invoked with Dragon's Crown, and has definitely influenced Behemoth's Castle Crahsers as well as newer brawlers such as Viking Squad as some degree of removal simply because the D&D arcade brawlers were so popular in their heyday. We can now relive them via PC and console ports, so we're seeing more and more people experience the magic without draining their wallets. Until Wizards of the Coast cuts a deal to make a new one--and good God, WOTC, do that--this is as good as it's going to get.

It's also a fun way to get people who may not like the arcade pace to get sufficiently interested to try the original tabletop game and its much slower pace of play, which is why I'm glad that more and more of the classic 80s Red Box D&D series (the Mentzer Basic D&D series, aka "BECMI" for its boxed set series, or "RC" for the Rules Cyclopedia) is available as PDF and POD from places like this one legally. (Yes, you can buy used off Amazon, but it's not cheap.)

I don't care to buy PDFs since it's so easy to find them for free, but POD? That's cool, as physical product actually means something worth paying for. If official D&D isn't necessary, try the retroclones; their PDFs are often freely available legally, and in print the price is quite reasonable. As for Mystara itself, the official products aren't necessary if you can read overviews on a wiki someplace and extrapolate from there.

So, until we get more D&D brawlers, or spiritual successors such as Dragon's Crown, roll your own on the tabletop- the basic D&D editions play faster than even the most skilled DMs using the friendliest newer editions (D&D3e and later) ever run, so very newbie friendly. Play, enjoy, and game on.

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