I'm posting from my phone on my lunch break, so this post is going to be deficient in links, tags and the like.
- Firstly JB Blackrazor's "How the adventurers know each other/previous relationships" table EDIT: http://bxblackrazor.blogspot.com/2010/08/give-me-reasonor-hundred.html is pure gold; it a great device for helping define new PCs and their relationships with other PCs, and is a lot of fun as well. Dude needs to write more random tables!
- Secondly, I DM'ed OD&D for the first time yesterday, and both the players and I really enjoyed it. Our experience seems for bolster the theory that the less rules there are, the more "realistic" and "immersive" the experience is, and it seemed really conductive to creating an emergent adventure story.
- We used the Empire of the Petal Throne beginning/background skills system and I think it may be one of my favorite skill systems and certainly my favorite for D&D-ish systems. When I was young vague skill systems frustrated me into nerdrage; nowadays I could care less for having defined mechanics for basket weaving.