AD&D Initiative and Combat Table

buzz said:
1e was a glorious mess.
The phrase "glorious mess" sums up my early D&D experiences, in general, actually.

My group started with Holmes, and added AD&D books that were used as big, wonderful supplements, at first. Then the B/X (Moldvay/Cook) books were thrown into the mix. It wasn't uncommon to see all of these rulebooks (and even OD&D books) in active use around the gaming table. Eventually, my game became mainly AD&D, but still house-ruled and influenced by Holmes and B/X. During the 2E period, I switched over to BECMI (I didn't care for 2E, and for some reason people who balked at 1E were willing to play BECMI). That turned out to be a great thing; it really clarified for me what I found enjoyable about the game.
 

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Mr. Patient

Adventurer
Philotomy Jurament said:
Eventually, my game became mainly AD&D, but still house-ruled and influenced by Holmes and B/X.

Just curious: what Holmes-specific stuff were you still using at that point? My group has been playing a to-the-letter Holmes game of late, and we've decided that it's a mess, and frankly not all that glorious. B/X seems to take everything that Holmes should have been and make it playable.
 
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Mr. Patient said:
Just curious: what Holmes-specific stuff were you still using at that point?
Not much, actually. I was referring to "Holmes and B/X" together as an influence, but by that time, borrowed rules were things that were B/X-specific or that B/X and Holmes shared in common.

I do remember using Holmes initiative for a long time (i.e. comparing Dex and only rolling the d6 if Dex was within 2 points). That probably lasted longer than anything else. We changed things around and experimented a lot.

My group has been playing a to-the-letter Holmes game of late, and we've decided that it's a mess, and frankly not all that glorious. B/X seems to take everything that Holmes should have been and make it playable.
Yes, I think so too. B/X and BECMI are my favorite versions.
 

wedgeski

Adventurer
I don't ever remember in my own several years of playing AD&D having five pages of initiative rules in front of me, *but* what it does show is how heavily house-ruled my game was, probably without even realising it.

Number of segments that you were surprised determined by your surprise roll and modified by Dex?!! Come off it. Who in their right mind would run that?
 

Mr. Patient

Adventurer
Philotomy Jurament said:
I do remember using Holmes initiative for a long time (i.e. comparing Dex and only rolling the d6 if Dex was within 2 points). That probably lasted longer than anything else.

Huh. We found that to be the craziest part of the ruleset.

(Tangent alert):Thinking about it, though, there is one Holmes-specific thing that I do love, and that's the five alignments. The best alignment system of any version of the game, in my opinion.
 

Mr. Patient said:
Huh. We found that to be the craziest part of the ruleset.
I remember it being very fast. In the case of monsters, the DM usually just assigned an appropriate Dex on the spot. In play, it kind of encouraged a "common sense" approach to determining the ordering of events. I still do that, now. Sometimes I don't even call for initiative if the situation is pretty obvious.

I thought the strangest part of Holmes was the way weapons were handled. That is, everything was abstracted to 1d6 damage, but 2-H weapons went every other round. And you could throw two daggers in one round. I didn't find that weird until much later, but it does seem odd to have rules like that for a few weapons, given the highly abstract damage system.
 


the Jester

Legend
Mr. Patient said:
(Tangent alert):Thinking about it, though, there is one Holmes-specific thing that I do love, and that's the five alignments. The best alignment system of any version of the game, in my opinion.

Humm, I'm not familiar with this- please elaborate! :)

thedungeondelver said:
This is rich, coming from folks on a website dedicated to a "version" of D&D that requires two Dungeon Master's Guides.

??? Are you referring to the DMG2? Because that's not even close to "required" to run 3e. It's chock full of advice that transcends editions, however.

1e was great fun; in fact, I've been running a 1e pickup game lately that's been a blast. (I don't know if the pcs will ever hit 2nd level! :p ) But 3e remains my primary game- it has cleaned up so much and made the game so much better to my taste (and that of my group) that it's just ridiculous. But wow, the 1e game is fun in a way that 3e isn't- truly low-bookkeeping, no-mess beer and pretzels gaming.
 


the Jester

Legend
thedungeondelver said:
LG, CG, LE, CE, TN

No Neutral+ alignments.

Ahhhh, thanks!

Seems like that was the original intent for 1e- the Monster Manual only has things of those five alignments, plus a couple with "Neutral (evil tendencies)" or whatever.
 


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