This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
NOTICE: Some online security services are reporting that information for a limited number of users from this site is for sale on the "dark web." As of right now, there is no direct evidence of this, but change your password just to be safe.

Author Topic: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition  (Read 1251 times)

tenbones

  • Poobah of the D.O.N.G.
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5261
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2022, 12:11:02 PM »
After reading and absorbing all of the 1e PHB and DMG I automatically passed the Bar Exam.


jmarso

  • Newbie
  • *
  • j
  • Posts: 46
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2022, 12:13:25 PM »
After reading and absorbing all of the 1e PHB and DMG I automatically passed the Bar Exam.

 ;D

David Johansen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • D
  • Posts: 5560
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2022, 01:56:52 PM »
I think the unarmed combat from Unearthed Arcana is pretty reasonable.  I've tried to use the DMG version a couple times and am baffled that it got included in the game.
Fantasy Adventure Comic, games, and more http://www.uncouthsavage.com

Philotomy Jurament

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1869
  • Prisoner 24601
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2022, 03:02:52 PM »
To me, 1e AD&D is the de facto standard for "this is D&D." I either run homebrew original D&D or 1e AD&D as my preferred systems. While 1e is not as well organized and clear in its rule presentation (compared to later editions), I still prefer the 1e rules and approach over later editions (or B/X or BECMI). And that doesn't even get into the prose and art and feel of the game.
That rug really tied the room together, man.

dkabq

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 371
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2022, 03:30:13 PM »
Keep in mind that when people say that they play(ed) 1e, many were skipping some of the crunchier mechanics that 1e added to the game. None of the groups I played with used the more complex initiative system, or weapon vs AC modifiers, and I can't remember what else we skipped, but it was basically a blend of OD&D and the new parts we liked from 1e. We considered that "playing AD&D 1e". My impression is that was the norm for people coming from OD&D or Basic. Today, some play it RAW, which would be a somewhat crunchier game. All that being said ... it's great, you'll love it!

We were hit-and-miss on the weapon vs AC mods and never used the complex initiative. We also would fold in various home-brewed mods (e.g. at one point we were using Rolemaster critical hits and fumbles).

jmarso

  • Newbie
  • *
  • j
  • Posts: 46
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2022, 03:33:13 PM »
Anyone else handle a natch 20 in 1E by rolling damage, adding modifiers, and THEN doubling it?

That's what we did, and it was either glorious or disastrous. Total fun!

World_Warrior

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • http://youtube.com/c/eldritchknight
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2022, 10:29:21 PM »
Did anyone have any special insight into Clerics for campaigns? I enjoy the concept of the class, and even though I plan to restrict a few spells (I'm doing more Sword & Sorcery, less High Fantasy... Resurrections are rare) the entire concept of Clerics messes with me.

Do you keep them as normal priests, or are spellcasting priests more rare in your settings? I plan to keep mine as more rare. The idea that you just hop on over to the local church for your daily cures messes with me.

Just looking to what others have done.

Jam The MF

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 413
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2022, 11:10:55 PM »
Did anyone have any special insight into Clerics for campaigns? I enjoy the concept of the class, and even though I plan to restrict a few spells (I'm doing more Sword & Sorcery, less High Fantasy... Resurrections are rare) the entire concept of Clerics messes with me.

Do you keep them as normal priests, or are spellcasting priests more rare in your settings? I plan to keep mine as more rare. The idea that you just hop on over to the local church for your daily cures messes with me.

Just looking to what others have done.


Not every man of the cloth, is a high level Cleric.  Spells require components, and have costs associated with them.
I spit on your pronouns!!!  If the world goes crazy, and I need to use the pages of RPG books to start fires for cooking and warmth; D&D 4th Edition will be the first to burn!!!

Jam The MF

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 413
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2022, 11:20:24 PM »
When we played 1E AD&D long ago....

We rolled a d6 for each side, for initiative.  Ties were rolled again.

We used double damage for Nat 20's; and there was also extra damage for back to back hits, but I can't remember what we said it was?  I guess we thought the momentum of back to back hits should equal extra damage?  Back to back Nat 20's was also a big deal.

A fighter with a greatsword and multiple attacks, scoring back to back hits; could throw down with some monsters.
I spit on your pronouns!!!  If the world goes crazy, and I need to use the pages of RPG books to start fires for cooking and warmth; D&D 4th Edition will be the first to burn!!!

World_Warrior

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • http://youtube.com/c/eldritchknight
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2022, 11:56:41 PM »
Did anyone have any special insight into Clerics for campaigns? I enjoy the concept of the class, and even though I plan to restrict a few spells (I'm doing more Sword & Sorcery, less High Fantasy... Resurrections are rare) the entire concept of Clerics messes with me.

Do you keep them as normal priests, or are spellcasting priests more rare in your settings? I plan to keep mine as more rare. The idea that you just hop on over to the local church for your daily cures messes with me.

Just looking to what others have done.


Not every man of the cloth, is a high level Cleric.  Spells require components, and have costs associated with them.

What did you do regarding spell components. To be honest, never really dealt with them over the years. How most games I played in (and those I eventually ran) it was just treated that you either paid a lump sum every week to purchase your components, or they were ignored.

I didn't event realize Clerics used spell components. Then again, never read a single rulebook fully. I learned by playing. That, and never really played spellcasters. A lot of these rules are eye openers for me.

Persimmon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • P
  • Posts: 118
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2022, 12:20:19 AM »
Anyone else handle a natch 20 in 1E by rolling damage, adding modifiers, and THEN doubling it?

That's what we did, and it was either glorious or disastrous. Total fun!

Hell yes; and I still do that for thief backstabs and all crits in fact.  Always add the modifiers first, then multiply it.  None of this "extra dice" damage crap.

Persimmon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • P
  • Posts: 118
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2022, 12:23:41 AM »
To me, 1e AD&D is the de facto standard for "this is D&D." I either run homebrew original D&D or 1e AD&D as my preferred systems. While 1e is not as well organized and clear in its rule presentation (compared to later editions), I still prefer the 1e rules and approach over later editions (or B/X or BECMI). And that doesn't even get into the prose and art and feel of the game.

Agreed; though I do like my BECMI as well.  D&D jumped the shark with baatezu and tanar'ri and never recovered.  They might call later games D&D but it's DINO (D&D in Name Only).

Lunamancer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 938
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2022, 12:42:58 AM »
So, I've been wanting to try out the first edition of AD&D. I have just a tiny bit of experience with basic D&D, and own a good bit of OSR products (just haven't had a chance to run anything yet).

One of my goals this year is to finally start running a campaign in my homebrew world.

What can everyone tell me about it? The good, the bad?

Any personal stories?

When I was in high school, before I ever had access to the internet, I took the time to sit down, read the 1E core books, and understand them. I've been running core 1E BtB for 30 years now. Because I learned it independently, not from word of mouth or crowd sourcing my understanding of the game, I've got my differences from how a lot of other people view the game. I hear some straight up absurd things. Like it's not possible to play BtB. Or 1E initiative is Kobayashi Maru. Such ideas are entertaining and quaint in their own right. But that people actually were playing the game and using the initiative system before these ideas came up kind of limits how much stock anyone should put in them.

When I first switched to core 1E, it had to do with the 2E splat books getting out of control, I got sick of lugging so many books around, and I wanted to streamline. So I went with 1E PHB, DMG, and MM. I was running a Greyhawk campaign, so WoG box set was included in the mix. Beyond that, I'd only take things on a case by case basis. Although I love all of FF cover to cover, so that entire book is in, as well. Nowadays, I've got a fantasy RPG that I like better than any version of D&D, but I go back to core 1E because it has a unique feel and a strong spirit that is unsurpassed anywhere else.

The DMG is overflowing with useful information. Most of it never gets used. I think most people agree on these two points. But this also true of the entire game. The introduction to the DMG specifically instructs the DM to drop a rule if it isn't working. Yet for some reason, people act is if they're compelled to either use the weapon vs armor tables all the time, or just skip using them entirely. The intro seems to suggest you should use them when they enhance the game and skip them when they don't.

For example, if two high level ragtag bands of adventurers parties clash, you're probably going to have to look up a couple of dozen different modifiers throughout the course of the battle. And for what? A measly plus or minus 1 or 2 here and there? Big pain, little payoff. On the other hand, if you've got scores of homogeneous 0th level fighting men in a mass combat, then each lookup is representing scores of combatants. And the broadsword's -2 vs platemail means only one out of 20 men will hit, whereas the footman flail's +2 vs platemail means 5 out of 20 will hit. Making the flail 5 times more effective in that case, which gets you a lot more bang for a lot less buck.

You won't find any exact quote explicitly stating this in the DMG. It's not something someone opining on the internet can point to to say "see, I'm right." It's a combination play experience and understanding the overall philosophy of the game that's going to lead to the conclusion I've drawn. It's not easily citable or searchable, so you've have to forgive the internet hivemind for missing it, but it's there.

The original Monster Manual is a work of genius. It's not just a collection of the classic monsters. And it's not just that at the time it came out, it broke new ground. No game previously ever had that much content. What I think makes it really brilliant goes largely unnoticed. Each of the monsters are carefully designed with strengths and weaknesses such that a very low level party could conceivably beat any monster in the book, but any monster in the book could conceivably absolutely menace a high level party. It's simply widely assumed, erroneously in my view, that the game is one of level stratification. That there are low-level monsters and high level monsters, and a high level party easily defeats low level monsters and high level monsters defeats a low level party. And unfortunately this became the guiding principle for 1.5E and beyond. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

One thing that makes 1E unique that cannot be replicated is it came about late enough in the evolution of RPGs that it had years worth of experience it could draw upon, but it was early enough that we were still figuring out where RPGs were headed, and it was also the most popular, leading RPG of its time. What it means is, it provides valuable support for a wide variety of playstyles. Again, much of it was ignored. But it's actually got some real great support for things like nautical adventures, or placing an emphasis on character interaction. Interfacing alignments, encounter reactions, racial preference, loyalty, and morale adds up to a pretty fleshed out system that is still free enough to do what you want with it.

I could probably fill a book with this stuff, but I'm going to have to end it with just one last one. I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about hit points. We have this idea that hit points aren't meat. And there's a huge discussion of this in both the PHB and the DMG, the DMG being more in-depth and detailed of course. And if you pay close attention to that then... it turns out, yeah, hit points ARE meat after all. The idea that they aren't was included just to justify high level PCs having more hit points than a horse. For 0th level characters, hit points are meat. For large creatures, animals, and beasts, hit points are meat. For almost all monsters, hit points are meat.

The only reason any emphasis at all is placed on hit points not being meat is because the exception to hit points being meat happens to be the very characters the players play. But even when you have a high level player character, it's not like a "hit" only ablates abstract hit point without taking any slice of meat at all. To the contrary, hits are assumed to be mostly superficial scratches. Still making contact. Still subjecting the defender to additional effects associated with the attack such as poison. It's also not like characters don't acquire additional meat as they level. The DMG uses Rasputin as an example of a real world figure that had a lot of physical hit points.

The hit points of a 5th level fighter might be roughly 50% physical. A quick and easy way to interpret hits on such a fighter is that the hits are 50% physical. Meaning the skill, luck, et al of the fighter is working to mitigate damage taken by half. If the mechanics had literally done exactly that, none of the gripes people make about hit points would hold. But there'd be a whole new set of gripes concerning the math involved in executing such a mechanic. Hit points, as is, provides you with the exact results of this hypothetical mechanic while sparing you the math. And for some reason, gamers on the whole are neither astute enough nor grateful enough to recognize and appreciate how hit points work.

The challenge of providing you both the good and the bad--the bad in particular--is that there's this unwritten rule in 1E (which actually is a written rule in some RPGs) that if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong. While I can appreciate and recognize that some RPGs, some systems, and some mechanics can actually produce you headaches, that it is not impossible to have a game have "bad" parts, it's also the case that "bad" more often than not is an artifact of the evaluator and of the artifact. I can produce a small handful of things that I would do differently, they are very minor, and may not even be things you would ever use or encounter. There is no substantial portion of the overall system that I would call "bad."

Jam The MF

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 413
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2022, 02:00:36 AM »
Did anyone have any special insight into Clerics for campaigns? I enjoy the concept of the class, and even though I plan to restrict a few spells (I'm doing more Sword & Sorcery, less High Fantasy... Resurrections are rare) the entire concept of Clerics messes with me.

Do you keep them as normal priests, or are spellcasting priests more rare in your settings? I plan to keep mine as more rare. The idea that you just hop on over to the local church for your daily cures messes with me.

Just looking to what others have done.


Not every man of the cloth, is a high level Cleric.  Spells require components, and have costs associated with them.

What did you do regarding spell components. To be honest, never really dealt with them over the years. How most games I played in (and those I eventually ran) it was just treated that you either paid a lump sum every week to purchase your components, or they were ignored.

I didn't event realize Clerics used spell components. Then again, never read a single rulebook fully. I learned by playing. That, and never really played spellcasters. A lot of these rules are eye openers for me.


You could limit certain types of spells or magic, by making them require components not locally available and hard to get in any quantity.  And / or by exorbitant component costs.  Resurrection magic is astronomically expensive, etc.  You have the DMG.  The players do not.  The specifics are up to the DM.  It says so in the DMG.  Welcome to 1E AD&D.  The DM is in control of everything. 

Perhaps bringing someone back from the dead, requires a rare flower that grows on one mountain on the other side of the world.  Perhaps the local temple is down to their last flower, and the high priest is near death.  Why should they use it to bring back your friend, instead?  Plot hooks, galore.

Don't make things impossible; but don't let miracles be cheap, either.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 02:04:40 AM by Jam The MF »
I spit on your pronouns!!!  If the world goes crazy, and I need to use the pages of RPG books to start fires for cooking and warmth; D&D 4th Edition will be the first to burn!!!

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 15509
Re: Talk to me about AD&D 1st Edition
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2022, 07:11:56 AM »
So, I've been wanting to try out the first edition of AD&D. I have just a tiny bit of experience with basic D&D, and own a good bit of OSR products (just haven't had a chance to run anything yet).

One of my goals this year is to finally start running a campaign in my homebrew world.

What can everyone tell me about it? The good, the bad?

Any personal stories?

Next to BX I DMed AD&D the most. With some forays into 2e but mostly to used in AD&D instead.

The main thing to note is that theres tons of rules. With every idiot on earth bitches incessantly about because they are either idiots, or idiot cattle who hate the game because someone told them to.

What AD&D has is alot of little situational rules. They troed to cover as many bases as they could for most eventualitues a DM might come across. Underwater rules? Those are there if need em. Dimensional travel? Those are there if need em. Tons of stuff like that. And one DM may make use of it all. And another might make use of one or two. But the idiots keep bitching ad nausium. When they arent being fake outraged at the horrible mean patriarchy oppression of ghasp! gender disparity in mostly just one stat and only in certain rare outliers. None of which disqualifies them from any class.

The other thing is that some rules are split between the DMG and the PHB the endlessly miss-represented falling rules being a prime example. And there are others.

Damage is a little different and now a character can go to negative HP before being completely dead. But even if healed with magic they are unable to fight and van barely move till they have rested days, weeks, even months.

Various damage as well as being raised or polymorphed have a chance to flat out kill the character. And theres a gradually increasing chance that not even raise will work. Theres ways around it. But they likely aint gonna be easy.

Magic Users may be versatile. But Fighters still out perform them by far. The main thing is that Fighters live by their gear and the system in general is geared that the fighters will get at least a +1 weapon and armour sooner or later. But even without they can go pretty far.

Another one that gets missed alot is that monster alignments are a guideline only and whats shown in the MM are the ones the PCs will meet most often. But are in no way representing all of them. Reaction rolls can make even the worst into a friend sometimes.

The game is overall geared for early level play. But theres plenty of rules for if someone hits the stronghold level and wants to run their own realm.

And so much more.

Combat runs fairly well once get the hang of some of the quirks