D&D 1E Edition Experience: Did/Do you Play 1E AD&D? How Was/Is It?

How Did/Do You Feel About 1E D&D?

  • I'm playing it right now; I'll have to let you know later.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I'm playing it right now and so far, I don't like it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

Enjoyed the heck out of 1e back in the day. One of the biggest fights we had early on was with Orcus and I've had a soft spot for the goat-headed demon lord ever since.

Ran a full throwback campaign a few years back and it still held up. The younger players that didn't have that same nostalgia for it had mixed reactions to it. The one power gamer did not like it because the power imbalance was severe enough that nothing he did seemed to give him any sort of edge.

One thing that was true for AD&D 1e then and now, is that it's more defined by what you carve away than add, I think.

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Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
I played a fair amount of it, but I was too young (and too introverted) to find more than a few people to play it with. Also, we had various houserules that I'm not sure where they came from.

I haven't played it since 3E came out, and I'm not likely to go back to it. The rules are just too clunky in play. Whatever nostalgic jones I might have for it is amply scratched by the callbacks in 5E. Obviously, I'm happy that the people who are playing it, are enjoying it, and I might be willing to play something short in the system, to see if my memories from something like 20 years ago would be confirmed.


Limit Break Dancing
Played it from 1979 to 2007 and I am trying to talk my current group into trying it. It is hands-down the best version of D&D ever IMO. Much of what some people wouldn't like about it nowadays, are some of the reasons why I think it is the best.
Come on man, don't leave us hanging! Tell us what you loved most about it, and what you miss from it that you haven't been able to find in newer editions. Turn that nostalgia dial up to 11 and let us have it.

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
This was the first form of D&D I played. I played a lot of it at the time. It was awesome, and a lot of fun.

I've gone back and run an occasional one-shot of the game for the heck of it, usually focusing on a tournament-style module, so you have a chance of getting through it in one long sitting, and such.

But would I run a campaign with it now? No.
I ran a bunch, and played a bunch from 1977 to 1984. Then didn't play another version of D&D (except once in the early 90's - not sure what version it was) until we started a 4e campaign in 2008.


The High Aldwin
Come on man, don't leave us hanging! Tell us what you loved most about it, and what you miss from it that you haven't been able to find in newer editions. Turn that nostalgia dial up to 11 and let us have it.
LOL, what is there to say?

I was only 5 when I rolled up my first AD&D character in 1979. A Magic-User named, "Dartson" because he threw darts, he later evolved to become "Darson" and I used to have a letter from E. Gary Gygax when I wrote to him about maybe featuring the character in a module back in 1986 or so. I SO wish I still had it!

The game was complex, had lots of rules, but you didn't have to use nearly all of them because we were used to the simpler Basic system. Advanced offered more if you want it. Building adventures are pretty easy compared to the balancing act of 5E IMO.

The characters were simple, with only certain things available. Most of what your character did was about the choices you made in the adventure not after you leveled. I sometimes hear people complain, "But I couldn't play this or that!" and I respond you can play pretty much anything as long as the DM approves. All concepts were achievable without having to make subclasses for each and every one of them. How was this possible? You just played your character that way. What you did with your character was vastly more important than what your character could do.

In our modern era, some things aren't very PC. Well, I am all for certain changes from 30+ years ago, but some things and changes I don't like. AD&D had certain restrictions and limitations because they made sense. Sorry to the people who didn't like them, but I did. There were more that weren't there, but should have been even.

Of course it was the edition I grew up on and for that alone I have fond memories. Hundreds of adventures, thousands of hours of play, dozens and dozens of great friends; not to mention the education it gave me. I learned a lot about math, economies, statistics, and other areas that aren't as prevalent in D&D nowadays IME.

Finally, I only had about 2-3 pages of house-rules for AD&D, compared to the 16 or so pages our group has for 5E.


Never run it, played it a few times. Last time about 4-5 years ago I played a druid.

Would play again, might play as a one off.

It was the first. It was the best. It is the parangon RPG by which every other RPG are compared to. Even today. Like it or not, 1ed had a lot going for it.
I was a player from 1980 to 1983, then I became a DM in AD&D from 1983 up to 1998 with so many different people that they easily number over a hundred.
Of course a lot of rules of ease were missing. No skills like herbalism (unless you had Dungeoneer and the Wilderness Surival guides or access to Dragon Magazines.) but what it lacked in rules, it had in flexibility. The players were simply describing what they were doing and made a check against the relevant stat (that is what the DM decided) to see if they succeeded. Simple, elegant and faster. If the action described was cool, it had a good chance of working just because. No mechanics needed but the judgment of the DM.

Balance???? Who needs balance? Martial classes were stronger in early to mid game. Clerics and druids were average for all their career and magic users were weak from early to mid game but at high levels they were the top damage dealers. Was it balanced? Hell no! But it was fun. As even in high level, the brave fighter could slay a wizard as the wizards' hp were so low...

Humans were considered the best because they could advance in any class up to the top. Other races were limited but they could mix multiple classes to be much more versatile than any humans could ever be.

Yes there was some Lawful Stupid paladins out there. The lack of understanding about the code of chivalry and the easy access to such a heroic class made it so. Paladins were supposed to be rare. Yet, in many groups, there was one. Simply because many people wanted to play one (because everyone knew that paladins were the strongest martial class...) so many DM were simply raising the missing stat to the minimum required to play a paladin. Yet, when the paladin was rare, they were not Lawful Stupid they had enough limitations as is. No need to force them to act stupidly. A quick death to an enemy is about as much mercy as a said enemy would get from a paladin. The 8th level paladin's title was Justicar. An administer of justice. He was a judge, a jury and an executioner if needed.

Wizard were all powerful at high level but they had one weakness, Hit Points... They needed protection, and the martial classes were there for that.

Gods really mattered. If you wanted to have access to spells higher than fifth level, you needed to pray a lesser deity for spells of 6th level and a greater deity for spells of 7th level. Choosing your god was really important but converting people to your religion was even more so. As the more worshippers a deity had, the more powerful it became. Having a lesser deity become a greater god because of the actions of one player was something to behold. Now? Well, any spells can be acquired. Even without gods...

This edition was full of "over the board" powers. But players could be killed easily if they were careless. Lethatlity was a real thing. Now dying is due generally to a succession of mistakes. In 1ed, just one mistake was more than enough to put a party to the grave. Combat was played as a war, and not as a sport a youtuber said. And he was right. Now combat is more like a sport where the opponents are on equal footing. It was not so in 1ed. It was hard to achieve high level in 1ed. But to every character that actualy reached high level (that is higher than level 12) it is an achievement that these players will always remember.

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