On the Inscrutability of AD&D and Ye Olde Styles of Play - Page 2
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  1. #11
    A "Drizzit" Type-Thing (Lvl 28)

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    The Stately Pleasure Dome of Xanadu.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shiroiken View Post
    From my understanding, a lot of campaigns die out before they finish the AP. Honestly there are quite a few old BECMI, 1E, and 2E adventures that could easily become a full AP with very little additional work (assuming you don't have to start at level 1). Castle Amber is a great example of this, and the Desert of Desolation trilogy is another.

    I've found when converting old adventures into 5E, it's easier to just take the concept of the adventure, then boil away a lot of the extra stuff. I ran Against the Cult of the Reptile God in 3 sessions of 4 hours each by cutting the temple down to 1 encounter of cultists and the lair itself into 6 increasingly difficult encounters. If I'd tried to run it as it was, my players probably would have tired of the combat before finishing the temple.
    Well, that's what I was trying to think of- the APs seem much, much, much longer!

    X2 (Castle Amber) I've run several times in 5e- love it (although the ending is anti-climactic without revisions because of the 5e "one monster" problem).

    I3-I5 is the still the gold standard, IMO.
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  2. #12
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    In a nutshell. Every type of D&D game existed in the beginning as does now. How do I know? Because I've been playing since the beginning in many different parts of the country and indeed, in many countries.

  3. #13
    Titan (Lvl 27)

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    San Jose/Santa Clara, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    (I'm not exaggerating. There was a three-ring binder just for the house rules. It was... something.)
    Hey! I resembled that remark...

    Well, except the group with the binder full of house rules. Presumably they had figured out that other people did things differently, and therefore set out to codify every single one of the differences. I can't decide if they were heroic, insane, or both.
    ... that's fair.
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  4. #14
    Magsman (Lvl 14)

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Northern BC, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    AD&D isn't 2e. Dem's fighting words.

    The first sign that AD&D was suffering from the consumption was the publication of Unearthed Arcana; the DSG and WSG was the coughing up of blood in bed; 2e was the final death rattle.

    (I think that the individualized experiences of times past is often opaque, and while greater understandings can be achieved, true understanding is often elusive.)
    For some, the first ominous cough in D&D occurred with the publication of Greyhawk and Blackmoor.
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  5. #15
    Titan (Lvl 27)

    Hussar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Fukuoka, Japan
    Heh. As the sort of genesis of this thread, thought I'd pop in.

    Yeah, I'll agree with pretty much everything said here. On one hand you've got those like me that cut their teeth on D&D modules. I did. I admit it. We were module junkies and most of my formative play years were spent running various modules. OTOH, you've got other folks who never touched one at all who likely have VERY different formative experiences than I did.

    Age plays a big part too. We were pretty young in the AD&D years - like early teens, so, well.... erm... the campaigns we played I think reflected that.

    I've always said that AD&D is very schizophrenic. If you learned AD&D from the DMG, you'd see a completely different game from someone like me who learned AD&D from modules.
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  6. #16
    If your only exposure to something is the prewritten modules, then it would look like D&D as a whole is nothing but combat. Same could be said of Pathfinder. And this isn't just about a single edition. You don't know what else was going on outside of what was written on the pages of a module. If all a group cares about is combat, it wouldn't matter if they ran a module or something they made up themselves. I was unfortunate enough to be part of a group who did basically just that, with Wrath of the Righteous. It took about 13 months, playing weekly for about 4 hours, to complete all 20 levels and 10 mythic levels, because the other 3 only cared about fighting, so we went from battle to battle, with very little anything between (other than the DM describing a few things between fights). I stayed because the DM was an awesome person, but I wish I would have left after the 3rd month when I lost all fun.

    As was said earlier, no one played the same way back then, just like now. You could crack open Tomb of Annihilation and think 5e is all about combat. It's up to the group to fill in the gaps.

  7. #17
    Titan (Lvl 27)

    Hussar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Fukuoka, Japan
    The difference though, I think is that you have a pretty wide variety of modules to choose from. Whether it’s Tomb of Annihilation or Dragon Heist, you do get to see a pretty broad depth.

    It took a while to get that in the early days.

  8. #18
    I think part of the broad brush with which early D&D is painted is due to historical distance, but also because Gygax and other TSR authors (such as the infamous Roger Moore “Tucker’s Kobolds” story) talked about these early tendencies and how they were prevalent, and how we shouldn’t do them; therefore, just like a historian who reads partial historical records and draws conclusions without personal witness accounts to set context, people who weren’t alive or present during the early events go with the knowledge available to them — which early modules and articles say was full of murderhoboing and mayhem and very little roleplay driving story.

    Forgotten are stories of how Rob Kuntz’s Robilar tried multiple experiments to travel to the Moon (including even one with special geese and magical brass carriages), or how his NPC henchman Quij made a rain poncho out of a Carpet of Flying, or how Murlynd loved the Earth Old West so much he traveled there to bring back Colt Peacemakers, or Mordenkainen’s experiments into politics, etc. etc. Stories such as these reinforce the lack of uniformity of these early games, and the really whimsical natures of early gamers. Despite the gulf of years and gaming systems, people like Gary Gygax and his early crew, and Matt Mercer and his crew, are kindred spirits when it comes to the level of silliness and fourth wall breaking that shows up in their games - it’s just that Gary’s crew’s jokes are about Kung-Fu and Westerns and in-jokes for spell components; Critical Role’s jokes are about Rock Harpists, calling fantasy Ubers, and Vanessa Carlton lyrics.
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