OD&D 4 me (April Fools)
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    OD&D 4 me

    Unless it's for moderation, you guys probably don't see me around here much lately. I've been pondering exactly why that is and I had an epiphany about it this weekend that I knew you'd want to know about: OD&D is really the direction I want to be headed.

    I mean what's at the heart of gaming? Fun. Imagination. Stories. Mystery. Magic.

    Seems like I've let those fall by the wayside amid all the discussions of tactics, balance, "what's core?", "does this model reality?", and "where's the verisimilitude?" When did I start using the word "verisimilitude" on a regular basis anyway?

    With Gary passing recently, it had me reflecting back on gaming with him this past GenCon and how much pure fun that was. None of the other BS that we're constantly reading about here on the boards. Just the magic of enjoyment that comes from exploring a dungeon, falling down a 10' pit and smashing skeletons while finding a Shield +1.

    There were no attacks of opportunity (although Gary could have given somebody one if he felt it was warranted: GM judgement at work). There was no counting squares. There was no big list of abilities that could be used 1/day. There were no skills to track. We had Sleep and Charm Person and we LIKED IT. And for anything else you could make a Dex check.

    Just think of how much easier that is to keep track of. How much easier is it to PREPARE for?! When I think of running other versions of D&D, I think my players must assume that I am MADE of free time! And if I'm going to spend the time to prep the game at all then they can certainly live with a more simplified ruleset where I'm granted a bit more GM fiat.

    It's all very clear now. That is the direction my games should be headed.

    IN CASE IT ISN'T CLEAR, I POSTED THIS THREAD IN THE 4E FORUM BECAUSE IT WAS THE ABOVE REALIZATION THAT HAS DECIDED ME AGAINST ADOPTING 4E. THANK YOU.
    Last edited by Rel; Monday, 31st March, 2008 at 05:22 PM.

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    Great in theory, tough in practice.

    I'm not knocking your desire to go oD&D. I have had the same thing. And I acted on it. For a 1 or 2-night session, it was great fun. For an extended campaign...it was hard.

    Not on the DM, mind you, but on the players. There was little difference for level-ups other than "roll hit points". While this may sound Cool, it began to get tiresome (around level 4).

    Anyway, there's always a part of me that wants to go that route. And, ironically, it's the same part of me that has me so hopeful for 4E. I think - no, hope - we get "back" to some of that seat-of-the-pants DM fiat stuff in 4E that was sorely missed in 3E.

    W.P.

  3. #3
    The whole verisimilitude thing has gotten really bad, hasn't it? Sometimes, we seem to over-analyze all this stuff.

    I have no experience with OD&D, but plenty with 3.x. After preparing and running my first 4E "light" playtest with my group, I definitely can say that the preparation seemed to have dropped considerably. I used exclusively kobolds in my encounters, and I didn't create a single write-up on my own. That was a serious time-saver. The rest of the "plot" was quickly done (stealing from various sources), and I think I took two short evenings to prepare for it (4-6h total), including the time to create the map for the dungeon. And I only finished 2/3 of the adventure in a 5h session. And we had a lot of fun, too!

    Maybe I come around and post my first playtest experience a little more verbose.

  4. #4
    Two Words:

    Og: Unearthed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rel
    We had Sleep and Charm Person and we LIKED IT. And for anything else you could make a Dex check.
    Dana Carvey ?

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    That's wonderful.

    Why is this in a 4e forum though?

    Do moderators get to skip all the rules and post whatever they feel like wherever they feel like?

    If I'd posted this the thread would be moved and I'd be accused of trolling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wisdom Penalty
    Great in theory, tough in practice.

    I'm not knocking your desire to go oD&D. I have had the same thing. And I acted on it. For a 1 or 2-night session, it was great fun. For an extended campaign...it was hard.

    Not on the DM, mind you, but on the players. There was little difference for level-ups other than "roll hit points". While this may sound Cool, it began to get tiresome (around level 4).

    Anyway, there's always a part of me that wants to go that route. And, ironically, it's the same part of me that has me so hopeful for 4E. I think - no, hope - we get "back" to some of that seat-of-the-pants DM fiat stuff in 4E that was sorely missed in 3E.
    QFT

    I dearly love Basic D&D, but my group would revolt if I tried to get them to play it again. While it is really easy to DM, the sparseness of mechanics and lack of tactical combat makes the game rather lackluster for players (at least mine). Plus there are some real issues I have with early D&D- the high death rate, the 1st level wizard that's useless after he casts his one sleep spell, the incompetent thief (but boy can he climb walls), the tons of save or die effects, etc.

  8. #8
    I was recently about to get into a group that played 1st ed. adnd. I flipped through a book and realized i wasnt interested- the DM allowed for parties of all levels and i was gonna have to start at 1 and be useless for several weeks.

    but mostly, i didnt like the vagueness of spell effects. they involved too much DM arbitration b/c you could easily break quests with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rel
    Just think of how much easier that is to keep track of. How much easier is it to PREPARE for?! When I think of running other versions of D&D, I think my players must assume that I am MADE of free time! And if I'm going to spend the time to prep the game at all then they can certainly live with a more simplified ruleset where I'm granted a bit more GM fiat.

    It's all very clear now. That is the direction my games should be headed.
    There's a lot of truth in that, although my older edition of choice would probably be BECM D&D. However, while it sounds nice in theory, I know that in practice I would be driven mad by the quirks of the older rulesets: the lack of a unified mechanic, different XP progressions for each class, etc.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Rel
    Unless it's for moderation, you guys probably don't see me around here much lately. I've been pondering exactly why that is and I had an epiphany about it this weekend that I knew you'd want to know about: OD&D is really the direction I want to be headed.

    I mean what's at the heart of gaming? Fun. Imagination. Stories. Mystery. Magic.

    Seems like I've let those fall by the wayside amid all the discussions of tactics, balance, "what's core?", "does this model reality?", and "where's the verisimilitude?" When did I start using the word "verisimilitude" on a regular basis anyway?

    With Gary passing recently, it had me reflecting back on gaming with him this past GenCon and how much pure fun that was. None of the other BS that we're constantly reading about here on the boards. Just the magic of enjoyment that comes from exploring a dungeon, falling down a 10' pit and smashing skeletons while finding a Shield +1.

    There were no attacks of opportunity (although Gary could have given somebody one if he felt it was warranted: GM judgement at work). There was no counting squares. There was no big list of abilities that could be used 1/day. There were no skills to track. We had Sleep and Charm Person and we LIKED IT. And for anything else you could make a Dex check.

    Just think of how much easier that is to keep track of. How much easier is it to PREPARE for?! When I think of running other versions of D&D, I think my players must assume that I am MADE of free time! And if I'm going to spend the time to prep the game at all then they can certainly live with a more simplified ruleset where I'm granted a bit more GM fiat.

    It's all very clear now. That is the direction my games should be headed.
    I wholeheartedly agree. I've recently had the same revelations, and now am in the process of starting a new AD&D campaign (1e/2e hybrid) with my group, which I brought up on 3.0/3.5.

    When 4e was announced, I really wanted to like it. I needed a break from the burden of preparing and running 3e, so I followed the news as closely as I could (and still do, to some extent, which is why I'm reading this board now).

    4e is just not for me. You said it every bit as well as I could have, so I won't bother repeating or paraphrasing your post. 4e looks to be a fine, well-designed, and well-balanced system... it's just not even close to how I want to play D&D. Now that I've found AD&D again, I don't see myself ever going back to 3rd.

    I understand that this board is primarily read by people who are psyched about 4e, and this post isn't intended to be a shot at you guys in the slightest. But, after reading the OP's comments, I felt that I had to chime in and nod my agreement. I also disagree with Wisdom Penalty's statements. It's all about your group, and what you and your players want to get out of the game. For the player in my group that's creating a 1e AD&D monk, for example, I'm fairly certain that the impending quest of seeking out a higher level monk and defeating him/her in single combat before he can attain 8th level will far outweigh any lack of mechanical bonuses his character receives up until that time.

    Thanks for the post, Rel.

    Matt

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