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D&D 1E Giving an AD&D feel to 5e

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
To be fair, in 1e, you were expected to find magic items. Heck, you absolutely needed magic items to progress. There were monsters that couldn't be hurt unless you had magic items. And they became more common the higher your level. It was built right into the game that you would be absolutely dripping in magic items by the end of a lengthy campaign. Particularly if you played modules. But, even the random tables weren't stingy. Heck, look at how many magic items you would get from The Secret of Bone Hill. There's a buttload of permanent magic items to be had there and that's for a 2nd-4th level party.

5e works perfectly fine without magic items at all. You don't actually need any. It's perfectly fine to miss 100% of the magic items in an adventure. You aren't presumed to have items. A 1e AD&D fighter with no magic items at, say, 5th level, is basically a victim. By this point he should have at least one, if not more than one, magic weapon, magic armor, magic shield and probably a couple of potions and a buffing item or two. Maybe a ring of fire resistance, and something else as well.
Thing is, I don't mind this. Toys are fun. :)

Also, keep in mind that in 1e if you failed a save vs most AoE damage effects everything on you also had to save, meaning magic items didn't stick around forever. I like this, too.
A 5th level 5e fighter functions perfectly well without any magic items.

I know this because my Thule campaign went from 1st to 10th without any magic items and no full casters. 5e works perfectly fine without them. I ran the Thule modules as is and didn't have to make any adjustments. There is just no assumption of magic items.
I, along (I think) with most of our crew, would find a game like this somewhat less enjoyable on an ongoing basis, simply because toys are fun. That said, a one-off or a single adventure in a setting where magic doesn't function can make for an interesting change of pace.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
A further thought about missed treasure: it can (and does!) also happen that a party find something they know to be magic, bring it back to town and then - be it due to guessing its properties rather than using Identify, or failing to realize just how magical it is, or Identify failing to pull everything - end up selling or trading it for a fraction of its actual worth.

An example: a suit of Leather Armour +1 and a suit of Leather Armour +0 Fearless are going to radiate about the same strength of magic when detected. Without Identify (or otherwise somehow tripping over the Fearless property) chances are if no-one in the party wants the Fearless armour they'll sell it as if it was simply basic +1, and thus do themselves out of a big whack o' coin: anything that gives immunity to fear don't come cheap!

Edit to add: which leads to another thought as to how to 1e-ify 5e: magic items should almost never just tell you what they do. You have to field-test them (and risk triggering any curses in so doing!), or use Identify. Oh, and the whole attunement idea goes out the window as well, except maybe for artifacts and the like.
 

Not adding much, just an observation.
A big difference from flicking through my old AD&D and B/X modules, is the expectation of a party having hirelings to bulk them out/act as cannon fodder.
It’s just not a thing in 5e; the reason being, I think, because 5e PCs are just more capable from the get-go.
Plus, there were an awful lot of save/die situations back then, making it more necessary for the rent-a-mob so that instead of rolling up a new character you could just have this emotional moment a bunch of times:

‘Oh no! Not <checks notes> Bill? Was it Bill? Let’s call him Bi...no, you’re right, Bill was the one who got spider-bit. Bob? Shall we go with Bob?’
‘Nah, Bob ate that fireball trap for us last session.’
‘Oh yeah. Crispy Bob. Anyone got this guy’s name?’
(DM pretends to flick through notes)
‘I dunno. Bob 2?’
‘Sure, why not? Oh no! Bob 2’s dead! Check his pockets, and give <checks notes again> I want to say...Dave? Give him Bob 2’s 10’ pole.’
‘Yeah, it’s more of a 7’ pole now. Bob 2 got it off Crispy Bob after...y’know.’

Hangover from wargaming I’m sure.
 

I think you responded to the wrong post given the level of selective reinterpretation in it given that you are
A: referring to a problem the old rule could have after ignoring the advice the rule itself includes in support of the replacement that makes that problem worse.
B: it looks like you missed how the rule came up because as a combo of mechanics in +2/-2 & the various bonus types that would encourage players to get creative and describe the kinds of things they were trying to do display orders of magnitude greater efficacy than just (dis)advantage on an objective level as soon as a second player pipes up with words to the effect of "while he's doing that I want to do [this specific] other thing to help"
I think it was the "you can add modifiers endlessly" bit that caused people to pull away from that and go towards the 5E advantage/disadvantage system. It's much smoother and cleaner in play. It also avoids endless arguments about exactly how many +s and -s a given action should have. Circumstances good enough for a bonus, advantage. Circumstances bad enough for a penalty, disadvantage. Done. No need for endlessly hunting down every single +/-2. Ugh. Good riddance.
If you need to remove or ignore the words "(doing so is not really a good idea, since it slows down play)"immediately following that bolded bit along with all of the advice on using that part of the rule along with all of the advice on stacking different kinds of bonuses to make the case for 5e's oversimplification your starting off on shaky ground. the whole "avoids endless arguments" is a problem even worse with 5e's single (dis)advantage alone plus whatever the gm homebrews to finish the job for wotc creates that exact situation by forcing the GM to rule if some player action counts or not and if the GM's homebrew attempt to fill the rules void is good enough for this edge case

Having fewer, broader rules is more empowering than having infinite, tightly focused rules. With the former, the DM gets to make the call based on loosely presented rules. With the latter, the DM has to memorize hundreds of pages of specific rules and if one of those rules doesn't apply to a given situation, the DM gets to make a call based on loosely presented rules. The former is easier all around and infinitely less of a headache.
Calling a pair tightly linked simple rules that provided a loose structural framework for making generalized calls & inferences based on hypothetical player/npc attempts to interact with the world in ways that logically put things in their (dis)favor does not make them "infinite tightly focused rules"is more than a slight misrepresentation. Simply removing the rules framework that supported players doing things to mechanically assist/hinder an action (ie roleplaying) in ways covered by a simple rule framework with the intent of stacking the odds mechanically in their favor does not create a situation that is "infinitely less of a headache", it deems that whole activity badwrongfun & removes it from the game.

Topping that all off by referring to less than a page of stuff in a 23 page chapter called "Using the Rules" as "hundreds of pages of specific rules" is not exactly on the same plane as reality of what those words are defined or even generally accepted as meaning either. It's not like the pair wouldn't fit right into 5e dmg ch9"dungeon master's workshop" as the odd man out rule that actually works well without needing contrived situations like "campaigns with few or no healers" or some of the more egregious examples in ch9
 

auburn2

Adventurer
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Any thoughts from people that like 1e and 5e?


I played 1e for most of 1981-2016. I mixed some 2e and 3e in there too, but 1e was my game. Here is what I remember about 1e feel - tongue in cheek if you want to have a laugh:

1. Implement separate initiative/turn order systems for creatures with weapons (including PCs) and creatures that use natural weapons and make it so they are not compatible with each other.

2. Further complicate turn order by running missile attacks and spell attacks separately.

3. Limit extra attacks to targeting one foe, then have martial characters get a number of attacks equal to their level against foes that are below CR1. Yes you are 9th level so you can attack that Goblin 9 times this turn, but only that one Goblin, you can't spread the attacks around and target any of the other 15 Goblins in the room ..... then implement separate incompatible rules for initiative if you have more than one attack.

4. Implement rules for grappling and unarmed attacks that are not compatible with normal combat.

4. Multiclass characters lose all their abilities until they have gained as many levels in the new class as they had in the old.

5. Make your Paladin lose their Paladin abilities if a Rogue joins the party.

6. Make your Monk use no ability score bonuses when he attacks - The fact he is strong as an ox or as nimble as a cat is irrelevant, he is too sophisticated and enlightened to actually use that strength or dexterity when he attacks.

7. Give your half orc a +1 to strength .... then limit his max strength so it is lower than a human's.

In all seriousness, we typically handwaived most of these, but they are memorable because when I was young I felt like we were "cheating" when we did. :p
 

S'mon

Legend
Not adding much, just an observation.
A big difference from flicking through my old AD&D and B/X modules, is the expectation of a party having hirelings to bulk them out/act as cannon fodder.
It’s just not a thing in 5e; the reason being, I think, because 5e PCs are just more capable from the get-go.

I find that the biggest thing I've done to give my current 5e game an 'old school feel' is to encourage engagement with the world through use of hirelings & henchmen, and various NPC resources - religious, political etc. I use a lot of classed NPCs, which again makes it feel more like pre-4e, with most limited to 4th level. PCs & classed NPCs are built the same way - typically Point Buy, no Feats, no Multiclassing - and are thus interchangeable. The overall tone is much grittier than default 5e, with almost no rules changes.
 

Yardiff

Adventurer
3. Limit extra attacks to targeting one foe, then have martial characters get a number of attacks equal to their level against foes that are below CR1. Yes you are 9th level so you can attack that Goblin 9 times this turn, but only that one Goblin, you can't spread the attacks around and target any of the other 15 Goblins in the room ..... then implement separate incompatible rules for initiative if you have more than one attack.
This is not how I remember it. That rules was for specifically attacking multiple low HD creatures, in the computer game Pool of Radiance it allowed you to attack all creature of less then 1 HD that was around you. Thus the fighter would move out in front of the group and the goblin/kobald/etc would surround him and next turn they would attack all 8, one attack each.
 

This is not how I remember it. That rules was for specifically attacking multiple low HD creatures, in the computer game Pool of Radiance it allowed you to attack all creature of less then 1 HD that was around you. Thus the fighter would move out in front of the group and the goblin/kobald/etc would surround him and next turn they would attack all 8, one attack each.
At least in 3.5 & maybe 2e you could spread them around but only having one move action meant that you couldn't attack this one move 5 feet attack the next one move 5 feet
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2e dmg122 seems to suggest similar
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allowing no foul start stop start movement combined with the removal of basically all movement based AoOs makes a mess of things & is something that would very much need to be changed with a 5e core for ad&d feel
 

Yardiff

Adventurer
At least in 3.5 & maybe 2e you could spread them around but only having one move action meant that you couldn't attack this one move 5 feet attack the next one move 5 feet
2e dmg122 seems to suggest similar
allowing no foul start stop start movement combined with the removal of basically all movement based AoOs makes a mess of things & is something that would very much need to be changed with a 5e core for ad&d feel
I believe thats correct, you could not move but you could attack targets around you. So if you were surrounded by 8 goblins an 8th level fighter could make one attack against each goblin without moving.
 

S'mon

Legend
At least in 3.5 & maybe 2e you could spread them around but only having one move action meant that you couldn't attack this one move 5 feet attack the next one move 5 feet
2e dmg122 seems to suggest similar
allowing no foul start stop start movement combined with the removal of basically all movement based AoOs makes a mess of things & is something that would very much need to be changed with a 5e core for ad&d feel

In 1e you could move around up to 10' as part of melee, so you weren't stuck in place but a high level Fighter might not get to use all his attacks vs lvl 0s.
 

Faolyn

Hero
3. Finally, Gary was often confused by what the players wanted. "Why would they want modules?" "Why would they want a campaign setting?" "Boy, it seems weird that the whole 'turn undead' thing took off, huh?" :)
The more I hear about it him, the more it seems like he either literally couldn't fathom that anyone could or should think differently than he did, at least when it came to gaming.
 



auburn2

Adventurer
I believe thats correct, you could not move but you could attack targets around you. So if you were surrounded by 8 goblins an 8th level fighter could make one attack against each goblin without moving.
You can't change your facing after movement, and you are only facing one of them. 8 of them could attack you though. You are correct that pool of radiance attacked all of them.
 


Hussar

Legend
You can't change your facing after movement, and you are only facing one of them. 8 of them could attack you though. You are correct that pool of radiance attacked all of them.
That's not how facing worked in AD&D. Remember, no grid combat - this was string and ruler territory. Your front face, or arc, was basically 120 degrees in front of you, meaning you could attack at least 3 targets in front of you, and, arguably you could attack the target to either side of you as well. Directly behind might be an issue.

However, again, because of the 1 minute rounds, facing wasn't really an issue. You shield was effective vs a set number of attacks, regardless, really, of location for example. There was no, "I run around behind him and attack". It didn't work like that. So, yes, you could certainly attack multiple targets around you.
 

Democratus

Adventurer
That's not how facing worked in AD&D. Remember, no grid combat - this was string and ruler territory. Your front face, or arc, was basically 120 degrees in front of you, meaning you could attack at least 3 targets in front of you, and, arguably you could attack the target to either side of you as well. Directly behind might be an issue.

However, again, because of the 1 minute rounds, facing wasn't really an issue. You shield was effective vs a set number of attacks, regardless, really, of location for example. There was no, "I run around behind him and attack". It didn't work like that. So, yes, you could certainly attack multiple targets around you.
1e DMG (pp.69-70) covers facing, flanking, and position on the tabletop grid - both square and hex.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
yeah...but how many people used squares or grid...I mean even official events by RPGA at Gen Con didn't use them.
You could still use facing rules without an actual grid, as long as you had minis or some other way of representing who/what was where in relation to who/what else and what direction they were facing. Even without that, it's a safe-ish enough take to just say you're facing roughly in the direction of whichever opponent you just attacked.
 


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