OD&D Edition Experience: Did/Do You Play OD&D? How Was/Is It?

How Did/Do You Feel About OD&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%

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
With all of the talk about the Golden Age of Gaming, and all of the retro-clones floating around, it's made me curious about the older editions of the game. I'm curious how many folks on ENWorld have ever played the Original rules of D&D, and what their satisfaction level was. Or is, if you are one of the rare birds that still play the O.G.

By "played," I mean that you've been either a player or a DM for at least one gaming session. And for the purpose of this survey, I'm only referring to the Original D&D game, that was first published in 1974. Not 1E, not BECM, not AD&D...I'm talking only about this one right here, the one with a knight on the cover:

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Feel free to add nuance in your comments, but let's not have an edition war over this. I'm really just interested in hearing your stories of playing OD&D.

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Survey Results (24 Apr 2020)
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
I never got a chance to play it when I was a kid (it was released the same year I was born!), but I've always been curious about it and wanted to try it. Purely from a historical perspective, mind you...I'm not really interested in a long-term campaign or anything. I just wish I'd gotten the chance to see what the game was like in its infancy.

Maybe I'll run a one-shot over the summer and see what's what.
 
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atanakar

Hero
In the early 80s I knew a DM who owned the white books but he never offered to play. We were already playing AD&D at the time.

I played a single game of Holmes Basic (fall 1981), which is a rewrite of ODD. It was very disappointing experience. I was a single player with a wizard. I rolled 1 for Hit Points and had no constitution. I was killed three times by the same kobold in the first room of the cave. I complained to the DM that he should let me have maximum HPs since I was alone. He refused saying that were the rules... I almost never played D&D again because of that guy. That Christmas I received the Moldvay Basic box. I still play today.

Last year in January a was hit by a wave of nostalgia and reread AD&D1e, then D&D B/X. Then I bought BlueHolmes Journeyman edition, which is a respectful reedition of the original Holmes but adds the rules to play up to level 20. I was surprised to discover a game that does not include Race-as-Class. I always thought ODD included that concept. Honestly I would have preferred that when I started playing D&D. Race-as-class always felt weird. I had the project of trying Blueholmes. Our 5e group got back together after a short hiatus and I forgot about it.

Would I play BlueHolmes/ODD today? No. It was an interesting historical read but I can't go back to that style of gaming. The turn sequence, the accounting of ressources, encumbrance, attack matrix and many other rules are not palatable me. Never played ODD and probably never will.
 
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I came to D&D with the BECMI edition, but after the deluxe reprint of OD&D came out a few years back, I decided to run a short session of it. I found a website that created pregens, printed a bunch (the website also gave them all gloriously weird names, like Milbru of the North and Me-Fumgo) and handed those out to my players.

I enjoyed the heck out of it. Even the simple 1d6 damage for all weapons. It ran super-fast and the players really had to rely more on their wits.

Now, as I've said before, I don't know that I could've easily made sense of the game as written without the grounding I had from later editions, but I would run an OD&D game again in a heartbeat.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
Since we're talking about only Original Dungeons & Dragons I've never played it. I have tried a couple of retroclones but found that they're not my cup of tea. I would consider giving it a go if I had the opportunity to play with a DM that had a really interesting campaign premise but since my group has taken to 5e like a duck to water I doubt that will happen anytime soon.
 


Iry

Hero
I picked it up in a garage sale, and couldn't find anybody to play with until a couple years later. I remember thinking the idea was really good, but the rules were lacking. So I started homebrewing my own stuff immediately. I enjoyed the rules of AD&D more when it was released (as a point of comparison).
 

atanakar

Hero
I picked it up in a garage sale, and couldn't find anybody to play with until a couple years later. I remember thinking the idea was really good, but the rules were lacking. So I started homebrewing my own stuff immediately. I enjoyed the rules of AD&D more when it was released (as a point of comparison).

Agreed. AD&D1e is Gygax expanding ODD. No race-as-class. We changed to AD&D as soon as we could afford the hard cover books with our measly teen budgets!
 

BryonD

Hero
I voted not impressed one way or another. Though my vote is probably not fair.
I was late to the game as far as OD&D was concerned. I'd already being playing AD&D1E. When invited to play "D&D" nobody mentioned the edition, and as a kid I was confused at the time by why everything was so different (what do you mean "elf" is a class). I still had fun, but at that point I really would have preferred 1E. Though I think it retrospect that could have just as easily gone the other way had I played OD&D first.
And I also think as I grew older I would have later migrated preferring 1E and then more "modern" games, pretty much as really did happen.

OD&D is an awesome game for its time and I'm both impressed by it and happy that it did so much to pave the way. I'd only play it now as a one-off memory fix. But I'd be happy to do that.
 

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