Steven McAuley, Joe Manganiello, and Bringing Old School to 5e | Season 02 Episode 04

Wandering DMs Season 02
Steven McAuley, Joe Manganiello, and Bringing Old School to 5e | Season 02 Episode 04

Dan and Paul are joined by Steven McAuley and surprise guest Joe Manganiello to discuss their roots in old school gaming, and how it impacts their current 5th Edition D&D games. Cool sites that Steve & Joe mentioned on the show:

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EDITOR’S NOTE – Unfortunately I had the monitor up too loud and our mic caught some of Joe and Dan’s audio, giving it a bit of an echo, which is a bit more noticeable here in the podcast format. My sincerest apologies for making such a rookie mistake.


  • Jonathan Becker

    Mmm. Just to start off on a positive note: this was fun to hear from Mr. Mcauley and Mr. Manganiello about their experiences and how gaming has impacted their lives, and how they’ve impacted others. That stuff is neat. Plus it’s always fun to hear from Palladium enthusiasts (I had a similar love affair with TMNT back in the day).

    But overall, this was an extremely frustrating episode to listen to. I guess I must have a very, VERY different interpretation of what is meant by the term “old school” as I heard absolutely nothing in this ‘cast that discussed “bringing Old School to 5E.” I heard nothing but shills for 5E. Mr. Manganiello, if I understood correctly, only began playing D&D with the advent of 5E, and despite Mr. Mcauley’s exposure to 2nd Edition AD&D through Dragonlance (hardly what I’d call “old school”) played no D&D regularly until being introduced to 5E by Mr. Manganiello (previously running long term Palladium campaigns).

    While it is possible I misheard and thus am mistaken about their gaming backgrounds, I heard no information or tips that would warrant the title of this episode. It should have been something like “Discussing 5E and D&D’s New Popularity with WotC Ambassadors” (or even “with Pittsburgh Natives”).

    Extremely irritating. Perhaps the term “Old School” is only in reference to the fact that these are tabletop games that people are playing and not the video games of our digital age. But then how is this about “bringing Old School” to 5E…a game that is already “Old School” by that definition?

    Sorry folks. I usually love your guys’ stuff, but this was a big, fat dud compared to your regular offerings.

    • Dan Collins

      Hi, Jonathan — Thanks for the comment! Props for caring and thinking about this seriously. 🙂

      I think the one thing we might differ a little bit on is that “old school” doesn’t necessarily have to mean “D&D”. Even though that was the only fantasy game I played at the time (probably like you). Joe & Steve starting with Palladium in the 1E era (circa 1983) does count for me, and those rules (from what I’ve seen) are pretty much a clone of 1E AD&D in their core mechanics. Probably I’d also accept games like Boot Hill, Traveler, and other stuff in that time frame as old-school, too, for example.

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