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Forked Thread: 1E DMG vs. 3E DMG vs. 4E DMG: 1e DMG in newer edions

Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
Forked from: 1E DMG vs. 3E DMG vs. 4E DMG

Treebore said:
In the 5 years I ran 3E I used the 1E DMG far more, the 1e DMG is still my "go to" DMG. No advice on running games? You need to read it again.

I keep hearing that the 1e DMG is so great, that people still use it for newer editions. For what? By now you know Gygax' advice on the game, the rules do not apply to the edition you are playing, and the tables are about things most players don't care about. "A bloodstone you say? Yeah, whatever. I roll appraise. Dave, you track the loot right?" "A sensuous courtesan and a lustful trollop? Oh my!".

So what is it that I should print out from the 1e DMG that I will use more often than my 3e DMG?
 

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Obryn

Hero
So what is it that I should print out from the 1e DMG that I will use more often than my 3e DMG?
Even if you're not running 1e, the 1e DMG has some great stuff in it.

(1) Esoterica. Stuff like insanity tables, discussion of ecology, and potion miscibility is still useful and interesting to read.

(2) Essays on game philosophy. Really, that's a good portion of the book.

(3) Inspiration. There are little gems of fascination scattered through the book, like glimpses into the D&D setting. Artifacts are incredible for this, and it's a wonderful, thought-provoking section.

(4) Generic random tables. The 1e DMG has random dungeon generation; random encounters for city, dungeon, and wilderness; random insanities; many random items; and so on.

(5) DMing advice for oldschool-style games. Really, there's a ton of DM advice all through the book. It's organized somewhat haphazardly, but I'd venture to say it would make anyone a better DM - even the people running more modern games.

-O
 

the Jester

Legend
Oh HELL yeah. I still consult the 1e DMG from time to time, either for random inspiration or for those esoteric charts. YES the properties of gems come in handy. I'll give you an example of that one- I used it when describing a magic sword that granted fire resistance; the gem in the pommel was determined by those esoterica. Herb properties? They help me decide what kind of ingredients you need to gather to get the material components for x.

The voice of the 1e DMG is a joy to me, as well. I'll often read passages of it for no reason at all.
 

Treebore

First Post
I believe the PDF is $4 at Paizo, read it.

Your players don't care what kind of gemstone they get? That sucks. They don't like sensuous courtesans and lustful trollops? How boring.
 

darjr

I crit!
In addition to what has already been mentioned.

Appendix F Gambling.

Pursuit and Evading is a useful section in many games.

Some of the things in the 'Adventure' section on overland and waterborne travel are useful.

Hirelings, especially the part about hiring a sage and asking them questions.

The stuff on spying could be generally useful.
 

Gentlegamer

First Post
As for rules (and advice) not applying in new editions: you can pretty much throw out the 2e DMG and use the original in its place seemlessly. That is, if you're refereeing 2e and not the d20 versions of the game.
 

Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
I believe the PDF is $4 at Paizo, read it.

Your players don't care what kind of gemstone they get? That sucks. They don't like sensuous courtesans and lustful trollops? How boring.
I have read it, but the PDF is on old computer at the moment, so I have no ready access to it.

But yes, my players' characters stopped searching for herbs while travelling about 11 years ago, when we were still playing 2e, and stopped caring about the type of gems at roughly the same time, though slightly later. It just ceased to be part of our game, and was replaced by more story, roleplaying with nobles and villains (as opposed to gemcutters and merchants), and combat. I remember being slightly saddened by this development around the time my players first were disinterested about these things, but when I simply removed these elements from the game completely, I could more easily focus on the cinematic style my players love.

But that is more a defensive argument about my game being boring, than a discussion about the 1e DMG. Perhaps it is just my style of DMing then. I assumed most games did not use tables for gems and the like. In the magic sword example given by The Jester, I would simply say "a smooth red gem rests in the pommel. It is unnaturally warm to the touch". No table used, yet still descriptive.

Nice for all of you to like the 1e DMG, but sadly, that which you like, I actively dislike (tables, voice, old-school advice). Which is fine I suppose. Different folks and all that jazz.
 


RFisher

Explorer
By now you know Gygax' advice on the game

Doesn’t hurt to read it again as a refresher.

the rules do not apply to the edition you are playing

I know I’m not the only one who mixes-&-matches rules.

the tables are about things most players don't care about. "A bloodstone you say? Yeah, whatever. I roll appraise. Dave, you track the loot right?" "A sensuous courtesan and a lustful trollop? Oh my!".

That’s an incorrect assumption for me and my group.
 

Max Money AWA

First Post
Just plain more information

As far as actual text goes, there is more printed rules in any of the First Edition AD&D books (as has already been plainly mentioned above) than in the 3.X books and way more than 4E. I'd guess over 25% of the 4E books is just art which has nothing relevant to game play or adjudication of rules. The font is larger today and the margins are wider than they were in First Edition books. They also jack the price up by printing in color verses black and white from back in the day.
 
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FireLance

Legend
You keep hearing it's so great because, obviously, the 2nd statement is wrong.
That's your opinion, and it isn't obvious that your opinion is correct.

I liked the 1e DMG because of the cartoons. I generally found the tables to be good for adding flavor, but it is the kind of flavor that tends to be ignored by the players unless the DM works to make it important.
 

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