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D&D 1E AD&D two weapon fighting

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Ugh, that one. That's right up there with elves can't be resurrected, except with a rod ... except less understandable.
Elves could be resurrected, they just couldn't be raised.

1E was full of contradictions. The DM really had to make it up as you go.

My favorite was the Bard - The bard could be a half-elf or a human. To be a bard you first had to dual class in fighter and Thief, then you could take your third class in Bard ..... but half-elves were not allowed to dual class ..... so they could be Bards, but they could not earn the class prerequisites to be a Bard!
Mine was hit points. There's a big section in the DMG saying how hit point loss represent a whole mess of things besides physical damage, and then the basic spell to recover hit points is named cure light wounds and is described as restoring "1 to 8 hit points of wound or other injury damage to the creature's body to be healed."
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Elves could be resurrected, they just couldn't be raised.
(This also applies to half-orcs, but unlike elves, there are some good half-orcs)

Raise Dead Spell:
When the cleric casts a raise dead spell, he or she can restore life to a dwarf, gnome, half-elf, halfling, or human.
(PHB 50)

Resurrection:
The cleric employing this spell is able to restore life and complete strength to the person he/she bestows the resurrection upon. The person can have been dead up to 10 years cumulative per level of the cleric casting the spell, i.e. a 19th level cleric can resurrect the bones of a person dead up to 190 years. See raise dead for limitations on what persons can be raised.
(PHB 53)

Why the distinction?
AD&D assumes that the anima, that force which gives life and distinct existence to thinking beings, is one of two sorts: soul or spirit. Humans, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and half-elves (those beings which can have a raise dead or resurrection spell cost upon them) all have souls; all other beings that worship deities have spirits. This latter group includes (but is not limited to) elves, orcs, half-orcs, and the other creatures specifically mentioned in the NON HUMANS' DEITIES section of this work.
(Deities & Demigods 10)

Famously, of course, despite the weird spirit/soul distinction (which didn't seem to apply to, um, Trap The Soul) and stated you couldn't use resurrection ... you could, in fact, use a rod of resurrection, because reasons.


Now stop me if you've heard this before ... a later edition, 2e, changed the rules and made it so that Raise Dead wouldn't work, but Resurrection would (this was popularized in video games like BG). So a lot of people remember the 2e rule and ... bring it back to 1e. Even though the rules are different.

I feel like ... nevermind. :)
 

I'm not sure how you get most of these numbers. With 5/2 attacks dual wielding, you get 6 attacks half the time and 4 the rest. With 3 attacks dual wielding, you get 6 per round. Unless I am missing something...?
I was refering to a hasted character dual weilding. As the attack rate is supposed to be applied to each weapon/hand... That is really fast.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I was refering to a hasted character dual weilding. As the attack rate is supposed to be applied to each weapon/hand... That is really fast.

A hasted character dual-wielding under the classic 1e rules would have:
A. 4 attacks/ round (standard).
B. 6 attacks/ round (fighter (incl. subclass) with 3/2).
C. 8 attacks/round (fighter (incl. subclass) with 2/1).

Which is a lot! But the original rules for TWF were written prior to weapon specialization, and with the assumption that the dagger/ hand-axe (and loss of shield) would be a meaningful restriction. And haste was supposed to be a big tradeoff with the aging. Finally, high-level fighters were a very big deal in AD&D; 13th level (2/1) was four levels (and 1 MEEELEEEON experience points) above "name" level.

It's just a very different way of thinking- it's the same reason that the RAW in 1e permits (for example) someone wielding a dagger to get up to two "free" attacks in addition to their regular attack(s) due to weapon speed.

As soon as weapon specialization came it, though, it was all pretty much borked.
 
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Edit:" At some point, a simple -2/-4 would not that detrimental to a high (16+) martial character. Especially if gauntlets of ogres' strength were found and/or strength spells were used. Although characteristic augmentation was rare at low.levels, it was much more common at high level as wishes would become quests rewards. At these levels, you are dealings with very high patrons and even gods.
I remember one of my characters got a ring of three wishes once. lol. I think we just didn't assume that anything much above name level really existed in the PC world. There were a few super high level 'retired' PCs that one of my friends and his other group ended up with, but we treated them as sort of just rumors or legends, you never actually met them in any of our games, we just didn't assume things like 20th level PCs really existed.

So, for us anyway, wishing for higher stats wasn't much of a thing. You could of course try it, in a rare case, but IIRC the rule was basically you got 1 point per wish, and then after 16 you got 0.1 points per wish, or something like that. Nobody ever found 10 wishes AFAIK, or if they did they weren't saying. lol. Just slightly different versions of 'high level'. I'm pretty my 14th level wizard was about the pinnacle of PCs in our game. Mike, the GM, definitely had a lot of bad guys gunning for him.
 

A hasted character dual-wielding under the classic 1e rules would have:
A. 4 attacks/ round (standard).
B. 6 attacks/ round (fighter subclass with 3/2).
C. 8 attacks/round (fighter subclass with 2/1).

Which is a lot! But the original rules for TWF were written prior to weapon specialization, and with the assumption that the dagger/ hand-axe (and loss of shield) would be a meaningful restriction. And haste was supposed to be a big tradeoff with the aging. Finally, high-level fighters were a very big deal in AD&D; 13th level (2/1) was four levels (and 1 MEEELEEEON experience points) above "name" level.

It's just a very different way of thinking- it's the same reason that the RAW in 1e permits (for example) someone wielding a dagger to get up to two "free" attacks in addition to their regular attack(s) due to weapon speed.

As soon as weapon specialization came it, though, it was all pretty much borked.
I agree. That is why when UA came out, it made us "rethink" about the dual weilding rules. Weapon specialization was desirable at it was helping the martial classes a lot at high level but with both hands having the attack rating independently applied, it was wayyyyyy too much. So we restrict it to mean basic attack attack sequence. So a normal human has one attack? Two weapon fighting gives him two. It was a logical conclusion to come to.

We also had to make a document for tournaments so that people would know our stance. We were 15 DMs and we all came to the same conclusions. But as tournaments go, sometimes you get up to 20 or 30 different groups (and each groups were usually 5-6 players strong...) That is a lot of people and when we were announcing a tournament, those registering would simply get the document by mail. Yep, mail, not email... Fortunately, the tournament would jusually bring income and would provide money to send these documents to one representative.
 

I remember one of my characters got a ring of three wishes once. lol. I think we just didn't assume that anything much above name level really existed in the PC world. There were a few super high level 'retired' PCs that one of my friends and his other group ended up with, but we treated them as sort of just rumors or legends, you never actually met them in any of our games, we just didn't assume things like 20th level PCs really existed.

So, for us anyway, wishing for higher stats wasn't much of a thing. You could of course try it, in a rare case, but IIRC the rule was basically you got 1 point per wish, and then after 16 you got 0.1 points per wish, or something like that. Nobody ever found 10 wishes AFAIK, or if they did they weren't saying. lol. Just slightly different versions of 'high level'. I'm pretty my 14th level wizard was about the pinnacle of PCs in our game. Mike, the GM, definitely had a lot of bad guys gunning for him.
My own character, Helldritch, was a 7th level fighter/20th level MU with awesome stats (15 st, 16 dex, 17 cn and 18 intel, 8 wis and 14 cha) All on 4d6. I have had quite a few of my groups going against Lolth herself in the Demonweb pit and later, some groups even went to the Isle of the Ape. And much later, we saw the almighty Bloodstone Pass from the Battle System and the Mines of Bloodstone... So yes, High level play was a thing. And when you get to these high level, the game can start to break if you go the Monty Haul way. Been there, done that. Won't go there again...
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I agree. That is why when UA came out, it made us "rethink" about the dual weilding rules. Weapon specialization was desirable at it was helping the martial classes a lot at high level but with both hands having the attack rating independently applied, it was wayyyyyy too much. So we restrict it to mean basic attack attack sequence. So a normal human has one attack? Two weapon fighting gives him two. It was a logical conclusion to come to.

We also had to make a document for tournaments so that people would know our stance. We were 15 DMs and we all came to the same conclusions. But as tournaments go, sometimes you get up to 20 or 30 different groups (and each groups were usually 5-6 players strong...) That is a lot of people and when we were announcing a tournament, those registering would simply get the document by mail. Yep, mail, not email... Fortunately, the tournament would jusually bring income and would provide money to send these documents to one representative.

Weapon specialization made the original TWF untenable; heck; I remember the first time I saw the rules for the Kensai and thought ... this isn't going to end well.

When people complain about playing on-line PbP ... they should really go back to the original playing by post. Now that was an exercise in patience!
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
My own character, Helldritch, was a 7th level fighter/20th level MU with awesome stats (15 st, 16 dex, 17 cn and 18 intel, 8 wis and 14 cha) All on 4d6. I have had quite a few of my groups going against Lolth herself in the Demonweb pit and later, some groups even went to the Isle of the Ape. And much later, we saw the almighty Bloodstone Pass from the Battle System and the Mines of Bloodstone... So yes, High level play was a thing. And when you get to these high level, the game can start to break if you go the Monty Haul way. Been there, done that. Won't go there again...

Admit it! You were the one who wrote into Sage Advice ...

In GODS, DEMI-GODS AND HEROES it says that a forty-plus level character is ridiculous. In our game we have two characters that are at one thousand-plus level. This happened in “Armageddon,” a conflict between the gods and the characters. Of course, the characters won. What do you think about that?

#Helldritchhumblebrag
 

Yeah, we came to the same conclusion that, at fairly low levels (say 5+) that -2/-4 didn't actually matter that much. By that point, you probably had magic weapons, and an 18/percentile strength fighter was hardly rare. Considering that most of the things you fought at those levels were around AC:5 (ish), taking the to hit penalty was worth practically doubling your damage.

By 2e, 2 weapon fighting became the default in every group I saw. It was just head and shoulders better than any other option.
Well, yes and no, I mean, -2 is -2 is -2, lol. You have to do the math and see, for a given scenario if your DPR goes up or down when you accept that penalty. Only the "you get to cancel this out with the R/AT for your DEX" really just wipes it out (since you would not get that as a bonus anyway). So, if you have a 17+ DEX then (AC issues aside) you are 100% better in any version of the rules to grab an off-hand weapon. Worst case you miss with it! Even if your STR is 18/00 without that DEX adjustment, you're still hitting less, and those are hard hits. OTOH extra hits are hard hits too, but at -4 they better be REALLY hard. I'm not going to try to dredge up all the math, it is straightforward anyway. Nor does multiple attacks per round change anything, if you are getting 3/2 attack routines, great, each one stands on its own for DPR purposes.

Even with UA weapon spec rules all of this holds. It is only the contrast between an attack with a single weapon and the two attacks with the double weapons that matters. If the damage per attack routine is more, then dual wield, else don't. No specific STR level is going to change that, and you have to make some assumptions about the AC of your targets too. So it may be less desirable to dual wield against the toughest opponents (also if your weapon can inflict special effects on a hit, that might also discourage dual wielding). Obviously you get more bonuses if you double specialize though, so there is a lot more chance you will hit stupid often no matter what, so it was definitely more favored.

2e's version just has the problem that a high level fighter is paying the penalty every attack routine, but only getting the benefit in one of them. Again, high DEX pretty much makes it pain free, and the fact that DEX bonus races are less capped and easier to qualify for doesn't hurt. OTOH the armor rule for F/MU does put a monkey in the elf's wrench so to speak. Elven chain is nice enough, but AC0 full plate is still a lot better! lol. Stack that on top of dropping the shield and it does hurt.

Still, DEX builds are a good bit better in 2e overall. Magic items are also significantly less common if you play strictly by the 2e rules, though since most people were running modules and whatnot designed for 1e that didn't ever seem to really happen.
 

What is interesting is how (as I have seen repeatedly) people remember the evolved rule from 2e. It's quite similar to the -10 rule.
You may be underestimating the extent to which 2e was simply codifying existing 1e practice in a lot of cases. -10, or at least something similar, was quite common going back even pre-1e. We were definitely familiar with it, with there being various views on what was good or bad about it. One of the plus arguments was just "otherwise you can only be conscious or dead." These sorts of things were bandied about in the pages of Dragon, and certainly were common fodder at the cons (I only went to a couple, but there was a lot of variety of play. D&D at Origins was a lot different from Gencon).

Not to say that many people don't misremember, but I think a lot of times designers of new stuff were playing with these variants and their thinking was colored by that, long before 2e appeared.
 

What? Are you saying that it was possible for someone to miss the explicit, clear, and easy-to-understand rules as laid out in the 1e DMG?

Next thing you know, you'll be goin' on about how it was difficult to work the whole surprise/initiative/weapon speed/segment system ... when combined with the grappling rules. ;)
Punching and Grappling, HAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Once I decided to be evil DM and sprung a band of unarmed orcs on a party of level 1 PCs. The orcs proceeded to punch and grapple, it was a slaughter. The whole party was trussed up and delivered to the BBEG in short order. Another rule section which was clearly 100% not playtested even for 2 minutes. I'd note that basically the same system first appeared in Dragon (#11 IIRC, maybe #12, it was a real early one). That version didn't work much better, but Gary apparently tweaked it a bit, added more modifiers, etc. Boot Hill might also have been an influence. Either way, it was a disaster. For the next 20 years there was a tacit agreement in our group that this subsystem (or its equally bad 2e version) would never be mentioned again. I guess if you wanted to have a pankration match with some ogre one-on-one it probably would have worked fine. I assume the envisaged use case was a bar brawl where nobody would draw actual weapons.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You may be underestimating the extent to which 2e was simply codifying existing 1e practice in a lot of cases. -10, or at least something similar, was quite common going back even pre-1e. We were definitely familiar with it, with there being various views on what was good or bad about it. One of the plus arguments was just "otherwise you can only be conscious or dead." These sorts of things were bandied about in the pages of Dragon, and certainly were common fodder at the cons (I only went to a couple, but there was a lot of variety of play. D&D at Origins was a lot different from Gencon).

Not to say that many people don't misremember, but I think a lot of times designers of new stuff were playing with these variants and their thinking was colored by that, long before 2e appeared.

Sorta- except that it didn't exist at all in OD&D. Nor in Holmes. Nor in the AD&D PHB. I previously addressed the history here:


That is example of how Gygax's poorly worded rule (and, I would surmise in retrospect ... UA and Death's Door ... because almost everything bad goes back to UA) had so many incorrect wishful interpretations that eventually the wrong approach became the new rule.

So I agree with the endpoint of what you stated- that this was an example of 2e codifying a practice that had become more widespread.
 

My own character, Helldritch, was a 7th level fighter/20th level MU with awesome stats (15 st, 16 dex, 17 cn and 18 intel, 8 wis and 14 cha) All on 4d6. I have had quite a few of my groups going against Lolth herself in the Demonweb pit and later, some groups even went to the Isle of the Ape. And much later, we saw the almighty Bloodstone Pass from the Battle System and the Mines of Bloodstone... So yes, High level play was a thing. And when you get to these high level, the game can start to break if you go the Monty Haul way. Been there, done that. Won't go there again...
Oh, I think we were up to taking on ANY published module, whatsoever. We never managed to kill Lolth for some reason, but we did off Demogorgon one time, which was stupid hard. There were other amusing things. Mike and I one day got bored and we were doing up NPC mutants for Gamma World (rolling them up is the most fun part). So I decided to do a mutant plant, and I started out with a redwood tree. A few repeats of 'Large Size' and 'roll 2 more times' later, it was a 2000 meter tall flying intelligent redwood tree with 5,000 hit points, 18 Strength radiation beams, every branch was mobile, a force field for protection, etc. I made the mistake of leaving the character sheet with Mike.

Sure enough, it showed up in our D&D campaign a few weeks later. I don't remember exactly how but we did 'encourage' it to 'go home', but it cost a few high level PCs, and my wizard got mutated, Wings, Dual Brain, and Epilepsy. I remember that well. I think THAT was the one thing I spent a couple wishes on getting (mostly) rid of. The flying was quite handy from then on, though 20' wings don't work so well underground.
 

Sorta- except that it didn't exist at all in OD&D. Nor in Holmes. Nor in the AD&D PHB. I previously addressed the history here:


That is example of how Gygax's poorly worded rule (and, I would surmise in retrospect ... UA and Death's Door ... because almost everything bad goes back to UA) had so many incorrect wishful interpretations that eventually the wrong approach became the new rule.

So I agree with the endpoint of what you stated- that this was an example of 2e codifying a practice that had become more widespread.
Right, this is a case where there was a rule in 1e, and 2e made it more lenient. I don't know exactly how we played at this point TBH in which year. I think we followed the 1e rules until 2e was released, but I guess it is hard to be 100% sure more than 30 years later... We may have played with the 'variant' at some point. Anyway, Death's Door, while it MIGHT be subject to misinterpretation, does seem to be correct, it is just rather niche in 1e where the character would have had to hit zero and then 'die some more' for a while, and then the spell would help them. Nice for a scroll, or I guess you could memorize it after you camp and then apply it to the hurt guy in the AM.

I do remember playing with the -3 rule though. Our feeling was more that hitting exactly zero just didn't feel authentic, since it meant there was VERY small probability of being rendered unconscious. I suppose some magical effect could have been concocted which put some right at zero. I don't think such a thing exists though in published material.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I do remember playing with the -3 rule though. Our feeling was more that hitting exactly zero just didn't feel authentic, since it meant there was VERY small probability of being rendered unconscious. I suppose some magical effect could have been concocted which put some right at zero. I don't think such a thing exists though in published material.

Ha!

Gygax never met a corner-case or unlikely scenario that he didn't use to create an exception, and thus make the general rule even more confusing!

"Wait, are you telling me that there are people that understand my surprise rules, using the d6, and how sometimes it benefits the individual, and sometimes the party? Well, how about if that Ranger that is good at surprising on a d6 encounters a Duregar who is only surprised ... on a d10???? What are you going to do about that, Punk?"
 

Ha!

Gygax never met a corner-case or unlikely scenario that he didn't use to create an exception, and thus make the general rule even more confusing!

"Wait, are you telling me that there are people that understand my surprise rules, using the d6, and how sometimes it benefits the individual, and sometimes the party? Well, how about if that Ranger that is good at surprising on a d6 encounters a Duregar who is only surprised ... on a d10???? What are you going to do about that, Punk?"
Yeah, well, this is fundamentally why I won't play AD&D anymore, because it is just rules dreck really. I mean, the modern d20 system (by which I mean all of WotC D&D) is not exactly ROCKET SCIENCE. In fact we had thought of it by roughly 1980 or so! In fact I rewrote AD&D once around then, and the result is frighteningly similar to the basic core mechanics of 3e in that sense. It was just too much trouble explaining such a variant to every table and then squelching all the various objections and figuring out how to reimplement 100 other goofy rules in a sane way, so we just played basically stock AD&D (to whatever extent such a thing exists).

Given that something like 5e exists today, which really JUST WORKS for all of these various scenarios (you can complain about interpretations, but haha, you never played 1e in that case) why bother with it? I mean, I could see the motive to make a 1e using 5e's core rules variant perhaps, since 5e as-written does play a bit different, but I have no patience for the ravings of OSRites who swear that all the garbage rules of 1e were some sort of deliberate masterpiece. LOL, what hilarious BS THAT is!
 

Admit it! You were the one who wrote into Sage Advice ...

In GODS, DEMI-GODS AND HEROES it says that a forty-plus level character is ridiculous. In our game we have two characters that are at one thousand-plus level. This happened in “Armageddon,” a conflict between the gods and the characters. Of course, the characters won. What do you think about that?

#Helldritchhumblebrag
LOL. I wish I was the one!
But nearly died quite a few times. Especially in S4... I swore that I would never set foot again in that tomb. As a DM... well... I love running it. We ended the campaign at the apex of Isle of the Ape. That Arcana daemon was a tough b**ch.
My character was human by the way. I was "forced" to play a fighter as it was my first character. After a few levels, I started picking wands of magic missile and a few other thing the wizard of our party did not "need". At 7th level, I switched and my trainer for a long time was our wizard. Second character was a Paly, never rose very high :(


Ha!

Gygax never met a corner-case or unlikely scenario that he didn't use to create an exception, and thus make the general rule even more confusing!

"Wait, are you telling me that there are people that understand my surprise rules, using the d6, and how sometimes it benefits the individual, and sometimes the party? Well, how about if that Ranger that is good at surprising on a d6 encounters a Duregar who is only surprised ... on a d10???? What are you going to do about that, Punk?"
Yep, inconsistency was the rule in those days. That is why we were very wary of Dragon Magazine, UA, Dungeoneer Survival Guide and the Wilderness Survival Guide. But we ended up adopting them (well, parts of ) anyways.
 

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