dungeons and dragons

published : 2014.12.02

I started playing Dungeons and Dragons with my son at Thanksgiving of 2014. I chose the 1981 edition of the rules for their simplicity, the self-contained nature of the basic ruleset, and the fun vibe of the thing. Those books had been in a box at Grandma's house for 25+ years but they were an immediate hit. The Boy was clearly enjoying the game and he was soon drawing maps and characters and castles, and asking detailed questions about what was going on.

Our play continued to the point where he was making decisions taking into account the ambitions of the medieval despots in the game world I'd invented. One or two of his friends joined us. We were doing something together and he was developing skills. I'd found something we could do together that would encourage him to read, solve problems, and be imaginative. Woohoo!

The Boy in his first D&D game

But those early 80's versions of the game were never very well organized despite their simplicity—it was a chore trying to find things in the thick of the game's adventure. Also, there were a number of obvious bugs in the game. Search parties, for instance, are less effective than a single pursuer.

So I dug up my "Advanced" rule books. They had the advantage of adding new spells and magical devices and player-classes. But working with those books reminded me how word- and dice- and rules-heavy they were. And if anything even less well organized.

So I went looking for an update. What I found was that there is now quite a broad range of versions of fantasy role-playing games available.

Among the many, many re-writes of D&D that now exist I found Labyrinth Lord, a cleaned up redraft of the 1981 basic/expert ruleset with some minor refinements. Then I also found Dungeon World, a variant that relentlessly focuses on story and dispenses with an amazing amount of the mechanics (not to mention the word-count). It is very spare in all of its descriptions, and usually concludes with "if in doubt, chose an outcome that supports the story." Both versions are imaginative and solve some of the bugs of the original game.

Deeds and Destiny

Realizing for the first time that I could create my own game, I merged the two, fixing the things I considered bugs and adapting something of the style of Dungeon World. It's been play-testing well, and it certainly is a fun exercise in itself. I called it Deeds & Destiny.

Since game rules apparently can't be "copyrighted" per se, you are supposedly able to share creations based on other game rules if you extract the copyright materials (e.g. images). In that vein, here are our three books: Lore; Magic; and Monsters.

better character classes for B-X D&D

I'm adopting the Dungeons and Dragons game "Labyrinth Lord" to suit my tastes, and it's been great fun. While I leave most of the rules alone, I've drastically changed two races, modified a t

infravision no more

The "infravision" of Dungeons and Dragons is hopelessly broken. I've decided to get rid of it.

magic in basic dungeons and dragons

One of the many "bugs" in the original game of Dungeons and Dragons was the magic system. This is my attempt to fix it.

new monsters for dungeons and dragons

I'm inventing monsters for the dungeons and dragons game I'm playing with my son.

random monster encounters

My new random monster encounter system for Labyrinth Lord.

better wilderness pursuit rules for B-X D&D

The rules around wilderness pursuit in Basic/Expert Dungeons and Dragons never made much sense. Here's a revision.

improving D&D monster encounter tables

I've built a three-in-one D&D monster table using separate dice sets for different effects.

cornelius clifford's small medieval castle

As an accessory to game play, this piece did its thing perfectly: it lent itself to story-framing and tactical planning perfectly.

new alignments for dungeons & dragons

I've decided to replace the alignment listings in the game. Monsters need alignment descriptors that will help you figure out how the monsters are played.

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tried to view your favourites by stats and got an errormessage

Undefined variable: php_errormsg

also with one other category (can't remember what it was called)

Gail Johnston
2002.08.27 00:00:00

Thanks, mom!


I stumbled across your site by accident one day and found it very inspirational. I think your photos are beautiful. For the most part. Your shots of Vancouver made Vancouver appear in a new light to me. I do photography too and find it hard to find nice subject matter. You are an interesting person. I would love to dissect your mind. But what I have discovered of it on this site is quite intriguing. Herr Werneburger, Sie interessieren mich.

Have a great day.


2003.04.23 00:00:00

Thanks. I'm glad you liked the pics ("for the most part") and the general level of inspiration.

As for dissecting my mind: it is usually on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto most Sunday mornings, when I'm otherwise incapacitated. At least, I think that's where it goes. It just shows up around 2 in the afternoon, and suggests a movie. ;)

P.S. I've added your more interesting spelling of my name to my collection. I assumed you were teasing? If not, you're part of the whole 'online presence', now. Enjoy.


Try ABC Photocolour for all types of film processing with professional quality standards.

2004.01.28 00:00:00

Thanks, Chloe.


I happened upon your web site because I am searching for a third tattoo-celtic design. Thank you for your photos, here is something for you.

What I love about language

is what I love about fog:

what comes between us and things

grants them their shine. Take,

for instance, this estuary,

raised to a higher power

by airy sun-struck voile:

gunmetal cove and glittered bar

hung on the rim of the sky

like places in Tibet-

white buildings unreachable,

dreamed and held

at just the perfect distance:

the world's lustered by the veil.

Or else I love fog

because it shows the world

as page, where much

has been written, and much erased.

Clapboards lose their boundaries,

and phantoms of summer's roses

loom like parade floats lost at sea.

Is that what it is,

visible uncertainty?...

...Every poem's

half erased. I'm not afraid;

it feels like home here,

held-like any line of text-

by the white margins

of a ghost's embrace.

Mark Doty

2003.01.09 00:00:00

Well. Thanks. No one has left me poetry before.


photo hunt

I happened across you site looking for pictures from Fuji for a co-workers wallpaper and I love your Lion's Gate Camera Club photo hunt. I was wondering if you can give me contact info for them or forward a few of the hunt's to me so I could try this myself.

Thanks for you time, Tiffany

Tiffany Barnett
2002.11.21 00:00:00

I hope you saw my email response? Good luck with that.


Enjoyed your beautiful photographs. Left me a little disappointed as we will be spending Christmas day in Vancouver and i had hoped for a white Christmas. Looking at your photographs I am sure it will be wonderful snow or not

2002.12.28 00:00:00

(Now I'm left wondering. Was she done with her thought? Was it simply a matter of an omitted comma and a forgotten period, or did something more meaningful happen?)


Aug 2002 Yaletown car show

Hi there, could you e mail me pictures of my 62 corvette?

Thank you in advance.


2003.03.17 00:00:00


I've tried to send them, but the email box seems to be full!


Hi Mark !

I was just browsing the net, and I came accross your site.

I'm a male, and wanted to make a modeling portfolio, do you do that?

The reason I'm contacting you is because I'm at a very low budget and in need of maybe 8 photography pics.

Now I need your advice, how would I go about doing this, is there a place where I can get it for a very low rate or even free....(As I'm only a student, still in school, do not have an income)

This agency selected me but I need a portfolio....

email me please, couldn't find your email, thank you

2003.05.10 00:00:00

I have no idea where you can find that kind of service in your case, but I'd bet your school's photography program would have the people and resources to do it cheaply indeed. In fact, I'll bet they'd be hungry for models. If there is no photography department, try to track down a photography club either on campus or elsewhere in your city/town. Good luck!

P.S. my name's not Mark.


Super Cool Pics


I have a couple questions for you. Please, email me so we can chat a bit. I am an amateur photgrapher, too. Much less than you though. I don't have any equipment, per se. I have a great eyeI think. Actually, I have two of them. hahaha Michael, I must say, you have a great vision for an interesting photo. I need to ask you a few questions about your pics. Email me when you get a chance.

Good luck and keep up the great work!!

Deb aka Schye


Deborah Pengelly
2003.12.13 00:00:00

I tried, but still haven't had a response. Hope I had your address right....


Need Info


I am an art consultant in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

My client would like me to purchase three vertical images, 24" by 36".

Ira Steingold
2003.06.20 00:00:00

(This all came to naught, in the end. The client 'changed her mind'.)


a potatoe!


Was just looking through your photos of the Maritime provinces, Canada and couldn't help laugh when I saw your comment under an NB photo. I live in Fredericton, just 10 minutes away from the shot of you under what you called a giant peanut in Majorville. It's actually called "The Big Potatoe" and has been there ever since I can remember...at least 26 years! Just an FYI!

2004.05.01 00:00:00

Thanks, Jo. Now I know. Not a peanut.


Permission to use photo

I was wondering if I could use the photo of the fish swimmimg backwards as a subject for a watercolor project that I would like to do.

Let me know.

Thank you.

2003.05.16 00:00:00

By all means, Angela. I'd love to see a pic of your completed work, if possible.


Camcorders are fine

You are entitled to your view about camcoders and video, but I shoot video and photos, for weddings and holidays, and my audiences rave at both my videos and photos.

You bring up good points about poor videography skills and practices, and similarly, I can bring up very good points about poor photography skills and practices. While I'm at that, I can even comment on poor skills in cooking and driving.

Just an example: I was at the local zoo, and this mother was shooting her daughter against some camels. The girl was pointing at the camels, saying "Look, ma, a big camel", all excited and fun. The mother was shouting at her, "If you'll look here for that one moment, I'll get you and the camel nicely in the picture." Now the mother was about 15 feet away on a compact (minimal zoom) camera. Is that good photography practice? What if the mother was holding a video cam, started shooting the girl's enthusiasm, and walked in, pan from the girl to the camel? Nicer story, maybe?

2003.07.17 00:00:00

Your point is valid. I would imagine, though, that the photo was in some small way more compelling than the footage of the vending machine. ;)


hi i was just wondering if u cud take my email off this site?i emailed u a while ago about my art project!its tutifruiti...(soz i didnt realise i was posting it 2 tha world!!)

I kno its my fault cause i didnt realise bt id appreciate it if u cud remove it or summit?(please dont show this email in ure comments!!)

2002.12.20 00:00:00

I've removed your email address, but you should know that you're not sending me an email with this form - you're posting to a web page!



thanks for your info, very helpful.

l8r, majing boo

majing boo
2003.05.10 00:00:00

I have no idea where you can find that kind of service in your case, but I'd bet your school's photography program would have the people and resources to do it cheaply indeed. In fact, I'll bet they'd be hungry for models. If there is no photography department, try to track down a photography club either on campus or elsewhere in your city/town. Good luck!

P.S. my name's not Mark.


This is one site that I will definitely bookmark. I really love photography and this is refreshing. I even wanted to do the oilslick thing but I just kept watching and never tried. Now I will. You inspire me!


Tres Eles
2002.12.19 00:00:00

Well, what can I say! Good luck, three l's!



i just spent a good half hour meandering through your site, which says something, because i really should have been working. Nice job! great shots! my favourite quote —at least, the one that had me doubled over—was the blackadder one about scifi.

hope all is well on the other side of the world!

mike coulson
2009.07.31 00:00:00

Yeah, that quote (it's actually Frederik Pohl) is funny because it's true. I'm glad you enjoyed the site, I've been working on it for more than ten years now, yikes!

All is indeed well on our end (the Teriyaki flavoured end). The sleeplessness is becoming a thing in its own right, though.


rand()m quote

Capitalist production, therefore, only develops the techniques and the degree of combination of the social process of production by simultaneously undermining the original sources of all wealth – the soil and the worker.

—Karl Marx