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%

  • Total voters
    114

fearsomepirate

Explorer
Because one is, "you'll occasionally see this content" and the other is "you probably won't be allowed to see this content." It annoys people for them to buy something and be told they won't be allowed to use it unless they're lucky. Psychologically, even if they never would have chosen to play a Paladin, being told they're not allowed to unless they're lucky on a fairly infrequent roll (you might go a year or more without rolling a new character) annoys them.

Just read through this thread and see how many people were annoyed by that very thing.
 
For folks who enjoy/enjoyed 1E, or want to try it for the first time, instead of getting the original books with their, um, idiosyncratic rules presentation, I recommend one of two options:

1) OSRIC, which was intended to work like an SRD for 1E, but which also works as a greatly cleaned up (but 100% rules accurate) version of 1E. The PDF version is free, although there are multiple hard copy versions available.

2) The Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition. Labyrinth Lord itself is a clone of Moldvay's Basic D&D, and the Advanced Edition gives you most of the 1E options from AD&D. As someone who played during this era, I will say that people crossing back and forth between BD&D and AD&D was very common, although the end result of doing so isn't a "pure" AD&D experience. (Although there's lots of evidence that no one, even at Gygax's table, played "pure" AD&D.) The combo of PDFs will cost you $20, but if you're into OSR/retro gaming, Labyrinth Lord is one of the most popular options, and there's a lot of material out there for it, beyond just classic TSR stuff.

(All that said, the original books can't be beat for flavor and tone. Get them as supplements to one of the above.)
 

Celebrim

Legend
Talk to me once you've more or less houseruled the entire game. :)
I have a 600 page house rule document that is essentially a rewrite of 3e I give players. It's roughly as different from regular 3.0e as Pathfinder is from 3.5e.

At some point I intend to write up the DMG, which would contain rules for environmental hazards, travel, aerial and underwater combat and so forth - some of which (like the 30 pages of rules on flying) have already been written up as separate documents.

And I actually have a publishing schedule of other rule sets for the game equivalent to a whole gaming line which I've planned out but will probably never get around to writing.
 

dave2008

Legend
Really? I would seem like from some of your posts you have more house-rules for 5E? But, maybe I am thinking of someone else... shrug
I talk about a lot of house rules, because I like to tweak things, and suggest options to others, even if we don't use them. All we have adopted so far are:
  • Ability Score max is 18, unless a racial trait allows a higher score.
  • Bloodied Hitpoints (BHP):
    • HP and AC are calculated and used per the standard rules. No change.
    • BHP = [STR mod + CON mod] x Size (Medium = 1). The only way to increase this is with magic or a charm, blessing, or boon.
    • You take damage to BHP after your HP = 0.
    • You regain HP normally, but you regain BHP at the rate of 1 BHP per extended rest (which is a week in our game) and the use of a healer's kit (for each point of recovery). With a successful medicine check (DC = 20-remaining BHP) you can gain an extra point of BHP or reduce the rest length to a typical long rest. And of course magic works too.
  • Damage Reduction: When you take damage to your BHP, and only when you take damage to your BHP, your armor's DR kicks in. So any damage to your BHP is first reduced by your armor's DR. Armor DR = armor AC-10.
  • Revised death and dying: 0 BHP = death
  • Revised Rest & Healing: 5 minute short rest & you regain HP normally, but you regain BHP at the rate of 1 BHP per extended rest (1 week) and the use of a healer's kit (for each point of recovery). With a successful medicine check (DC = 20-remaining BHP) you can gain an extra point of BHP or reduce the rest length to a typical long rest. And of course magic works too.
  • Heroic Surges: You can spend HD to heal HP (RAW) or:
    • 1 HD to double weapon damage dice
    • 1 HD to double speed
    • 1 HD to recharge a short rest power
    • 2 HD to triple weapon damage dice
    • 2 HD to recharge a long rest power
Things were are currently exploring, but not fully adopted yet.
  • Object Interactions are Bonus Actions and everyone get one (think minor action in 4e)
  • Revised death and dying: at 0 BHP unconscious & dying 1 death saves + con or str Mod / long rest (another hit = death).
  • OA are a fighter only feature (others can take a feat). Most PCs and monsters don't have them.
  • 4e Powers: Power levels are set at 2/3 their 4e value (to accommodate the change from 30 to 20 lvls). At first level you get to chose one at-will, encounter, and one daily. Then, whenever you would get an ASI you chose another at-will, encounter, and daily power instead (no feats or ASIs at all). However, we said to use a power you had to spend a heroic surge (HD). Heroic Tier powers cost 1 surge for encounter and 2 for daily; Paragon Tier cost 2 for encounter and 3 for a daily, and I assume we will do 3 & 4 at epic, but we are not their yet. You can substitute an extra attack for one surge. So essentially once you have two attacks you can always use an encounter power, and fighters could spam dailys once they get three attacks.
  • Fighting styles: Can switch w/ a bonus action
  • No ASI, feat only (allow weapon, race, skill feats)
  • Variant Class Features UA
 

Gadget

Adventurer
The poll options are somewhat deceptive, as I played and liked 1E back in the day, but I don't think I would ever go back to the somewhat Baroque rule set that seemed to be played slightly differently at each table back in the day. Even at the time, there were some things that bothered me about the system, but the newness and imagination! The boldness and daring! Ahh for those halcyon days of youth and 1E.
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
I, for one, would play 1ed in a pinch. If only younger players would want to play. But as with all things, people want the newer edition and I understand it. My old players moved to different areas and are thousands of miles away in every directions (and even in other continents). But yes, I would play 1ed without hesitation.
 

HarbingerX

Rob Of The North
I, for one, would play 1ed in a pinch. If only younger players would want to play. But as with all things, people want the newer edition and I understand it. My old players moved to different areas and are thousands of miles away in every directions (and even in other continents). But yes, I would play 1ed without hesitation.
I'd play it too. Things others see as a problem, I enjoy. All those limits provide opportunities for me to stretch myself in my roleplaying. Being able to be whatever I want in modern D&D is boring to me. Let the fates play a role in who I might be.
 

David Howery

Adventurer
I got into D&D about 1980, when it was all pretty new, and played in campaigns off and on until 2E came out. I remember it fondly, as it was something new and shiny and imaginative. But...
yeah, it had problems. Not organized all that well, loads of rules that were often ignored, some bothersome content by modern standards (random prostitute table anyone?). I would definitely either play in or DM a 1E group if I had the time and other players... but I'd want to adopt some of the house rules we used back in the day....
 

WizarDru

Adventurer
My first D&D was the Basic box set with the Erol Otus artwork on a red cover, purchased by saving up money from mowing the lawn and my allowance (I'm thinking Basic, 9th printing). I loved it IMMENSELY. We played a few games of it and I was hooked enough to get AD&D (or 1E for you young people who think Star Wars was always called Episode IV). I played AD&D from 1982 to 1992 or so, alternating as DM and player, depending.

We stopped because many of the things that we found delightful in 1E eventually became onerous. All those subsystems that were initially intriguing and diverse became just tedious. All those cool powers, items, tables and spells eventually became a burden to manage and navigate. It was nice to be able to add things willy-nilly, but it also felt like it lacked cohesion across its systems. ('Why yes, the Jester is a viable class right along with the main characters; heck, he's better than a bard!") It could be punishing and unfair, which is fine if you want that, but eventually we didn't. 1E, as someone noted above, rewards awesomeness. But the reverse of that is that if you don't roll up an awesome character, you don't want it: people either rerolled characters or were forced to compromise, invent new systems to compensate for the dice (the 4d6 method, point-buy, XP bonuses and so on) or moved to other games when having to constantly address various issues became something you didn't want to keep doing. 2E meant to address many of these things, but all the AD&D players I know felt alienated and...wait for it...BLUE. Some folks were fine with the change, but that was the jumping off point for everyone I knew.

We switched to GURPS because that system (which had its own issues) made every character feel like they were a hero at whatever they'd chosen to do, something that 1E didn't do unless you survived long enough to make it to a level where you felt competent. We didn't return to D&D until 3E, which brought many of us back to RPGs after a long absence. 5E felt like a nice return to some of the feel of both 1E and 3E, particularly its simplicity, but with 3E's more uniform approach. Some folks like 1E's harshness in the same way that some folks enjoy the Dark Souls video games and that's great. But for my friends and I, the systems have lots of inconsistencies and gaps that modern systems address better and thus are what we want to play now.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
We stopped because many of the things that we found delightful in 1E eventually became onerous. All those subsystems that were initially intriguing and diverse became just tedious. All those cool powers, items, tables and spells eventually became a burden to manage and navigate.
I've heard this about several different editions, especially 3e/Pathfinder. (But that's a topic for another week.)

Thanks for the mention of GURPS, I really enjoyed playing it back in the day. I remember a while back, Studio Foglio was collaborating with Steve Jackson Games to make a GURPS/Girl Genius setting, but I never heard what came of it. Maybe it was just a rumor?
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I've heard this about several different editions, especially 3e/Pathfinder. (But that's a topic for another week.)

Thanks for the mention of GURPS, I really enjoyed playing it back in the day. I remember a while back, Studio Foglio was collaborating with Steve Jackson Games to make a GURPS/Girl Genius setting, but I never heard what came of it. Maybe it was just a rumor?
Not a rumor. But still "In Production" whatever that means ("Available" means you can buy now).

 

haakon1

Adventurer
I played or DM’d 1e AD&D from 1982-2003, then 3/3.5e since then.
I’ve played 2e, 4e, and 5e, but never DM’d them, and never got into them.
I’ve able to integrate materials from 1e, 2e, PF1, and to some extent Harn & 5e into my 3.5e game.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I played or DM’d 1e AD&D from 1982-2003, then 3/3.5e since then.
I’ve played 2e, 4e, and 5e, but never DM’d them, and never got into them.
I’ve able to integrate materials from 1e, 2e, PF1, and to some extent Harn & 5e into my 3.5e game.
Harn fluff was so good. The rules were over complex if I recall. Sadly, got rid of my Harn stuff 2 or 3 purges ago... But the maps were amazing.
 

Longspeak

Explorer
AD&D 1e was the game my best friend and I transitioned to after playing the blue box. At the time, I never really considered that we had changed games. We just used the "advanced" rules for the game we were already playing. I played the same character, and suddenly had to roll percentile dice for my fighter's strength... who suddenly could hit a lot better (I ended up with 18/97 Strength). I suddenly gained henchmen. I didn't understand why, and I think now my friend misinterpreted the rules by just giving them to me... but I had a lot of fun naming them and assigning them jobs and taking one with me to carry stuff... and then less fun when they ended up as targets for monsters. No! Rolf!

AD&D was also when I got my first taste of DMing, and would be the game I focused most of my gaming energy on for the next 4-5 years, and continued to focus a lot of energy on until 2nd Edition AD&D came out. Even when I discovered TFT and Chill and Star Wars and other games, AD&D formed a core for me and my circle of friends we'd never entirely leave behind for the rest of our school years.
 

Stormonu

Hero
I was aware of AD&D early on, but stuck with B/X when I could. I got the AD&D books with the Easley covers in ‘84, along with Unearthed Arcana. Personally, I wouldn’t play AD&D without UA, and if I was to retro game, I’d prefer to use 2E instead.

Though 1E had the better B&W art, in my opinion.
 
Personally, I wouldn’t play AD&D without UA, and if I was to retro game, I’d prefer to use 2E instead.
May I ask why? When I got the UA collector's edition a few years back, I was shocked to realize how badly balanced it was. I had sort of remembered that cavaliers were over the top, but the whole thing was over the top.
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
UA balanced?????? Where did you get the notion that UA would've been balanced?
Joke aside, it was really good. But balance was never a consideration in 1ed.
 
L

lowkey13

Guest
Of course, I was only joking..... It was the bard players who cheated. ;)
Everyone cheats, HarbingerX.

The good people cheat so that they can have fun with everyone else, and the bad people cheat because they like playing paladins.
 

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