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TSR A New Taxonomy for TSR-Era D&D

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
A bit harsh, but I've always kind of thought that AD&D was the version EGG came up with after a few years of development and rules-morphing, while B/X/BECMI was created for those that wanted something that remained closer to OD&D.

As I wrote above, it really depends on how you define OD&D. AD&D is largely just codified OD&D- when you include the supplements.

B/X, for legal reasons, was largely based on the LBBs (the pre-supplement OD&D books) with further simplifications and changes, and ignored the intervening years, including the OD&D supplements.

This is all pretty uncontroversial - especially when you examine OD&D (not to mention the whole Arneson lawsuit!). And given that I have already addressed these points in other posts, I'll leave it at that. :)
 

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darjr

I crit!
Still catching up with this thread, but I love it. Thanks!

Also “B2 was written with OD&D rules”. I knew that but it still kinda stuns me.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Or you can keep your head buried in the sand and ignore any evidence that contradicts your opinion—which is frankly what I've come to expect by now.
Mod Note:
Hey. What's with making it personal? Somewhere, you got the idea that was okay. I am officially disabusing you of that notion.

Be respectful, or don't reply - those are your options. Choose wisely, please and thanks.
 

darjr

I crit!
I definitely see the original box set leading to BX and it with the OD&D expansions leading to AD&D. I never thought about it that way but it does make sense.

I do like your new grouping but I’m not sure I’d ever use it to talk about D&D history or game styles, even though it might be better at grouping those too. Unless it takes on a wider usage which will be …. Difficult.

Lastly I also think grouping three is to negative. For some folks that is thier golden age of D&D.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I definitely see the original box set leading to BX and it with the OD&D expansions leading to AD&D. I never thought about it that way but it does make sense.

I do like your new grouping but I’m not sure I’d ever use it to talk about D&D history or game styles, even though it might be better at grouping those too. Unless it takes on a wider usage which will be …. Difficult.

Lastly I also think grouping three is to negative. For some folks that is thier golden age of D&D.

It's more for conversation and thought.

It sort of like ... when people say, "The 60s" they are usually thinking of the hippies and counterculture and Haight-Ashbury free love '60s- you know, 67-70. Not 1962. Eras can be tricky things!

If you were watching the Pixies on tour in 1988, you probably had more of a "90s vibe" (in terms of the fashion and music from the early 90s) than if you were doing something in 1998.

Same with D&D editions- late first edition has more in common with second edition than it does with early first edition, or even OD&D. The playing styles, the rules, everything was changing. IMO, etc.

It's fun to talk about. :)
 

It's more for conversation and thought.

It sort of like ... when people say, "The 60s" they are usually thinking of the hippies and counterculture and Haight-Ashbury free love '60s- you know, 67-70. Not 1962. Eras can be tricky things!

If you were watching the Pixies on tour in 1988, you probably had more of a "90s vibe" (in terms of the fashion and music from the early 90s) than if you were doing something in 1998.

Same with D&D editions- late first edition has more in common with second edition than it does with early first edition, or even OD&D. The playing styles, the rules, everything was changing. IMO, etc.

It's fun to talk about. :)
Yeah, I am definitely with you on the 'AD&D is OD&D codified'. I hadn't really thought much about the idea of 'plus supplements', but I think the idea that somehow Basic in all its various incarnations, is 'closer' in any sense to the original game is questionable at best. Also, Basic, even Holmes, most certainly does codify at least Greyhawk in part, it has thieves after all!

Honestly, OD&D rules are so vague that you cannot state that one version is 'closer' or not, as I could defeat ANY specific argument from any one given rule in detail with ease, and I bet you could too ;)

It might be a different argument as to whether B/X, for example, is 'spiritually' closer to the original game than 3 book 1e AD&D or not. People also forget that Mentzer and later versions of BECM/RC have a LOT of their own specialized rules additions! Quite a lot, actually. I think it would be hard to argue if those are more 'true' than say UA or DSG/WSG and such.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Yeah, I am definitely with you on the 'AD&D is OD&D codified'. I hadn't really thought much about the idea of 'plus supplements', but I think the idea that somehow Basic in all its various incarnations, is 'closer' in any sense to the original game is questionable at best. Also, Basic, even Holmes, most certainly does codify at least Greyhawk in part, it has thieves after all!

Honestly, OD&D rules are so vague that you cannot state that one version is 'closer' or not, as I could defeat ANY specific argument from any one given rule in detail with ease, and I bet you could too ;)

It might be a different argument as to whether B/X, for example, is 'spiritually' closer to the original game than 3 book 1e AD&D or not. People also forget that Mentzer and later versions of BECM/RC have a LOT of their own specialized rules additions! Quite a lot, actually. I think it would be hard to argue if those are more 'true' than say UA or DSG/WSG and such.

Bolded for truth.

There is quite a bit of difference between Moldvay's basic and the rules as presented in the Rules Cyclopedia.

Which is to be expected- after all, time had passed, and things change- the RC explicitly incorporated not just BECMI (which expanded the rules greatly) but some intervening rules changes and additions as presented in the Gazetteers.

It's kind of like arguing (discussing) angels on the head of a pin; the only thing that I think is important from my perspective is to make sure that people understand the distinction between Holmes and Moldvay Basics- lumping them together because they share the name "basic" does a disservice to both Holmes and Moldvay, and neither of them deserve that!
 

darjr

I crit!
The simple path, and I do mean simple, rule of thumb that I sort of loosely held in my mind was the box sets were in a line of sorts and the stand alone books and booklets were another. An unthinking almost subconscious grouping.
 

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