D&D 1E Giving an AD&D feel to 5e

the_redbeard

Explorer
I was completely agreeing with this until the totally bizarre assertion that you don't have to critically think or experiment with puzzles in 5E. That's completely wild and obviously false. You can't roll your way through a puzzle in 5E any more than 1E. If you're letting the characters skip a puzzle because they made an Investigation check or something in 5E, that's identical to letting the characters skip a puzzle in 1E by rolling an INT check.

It's not identical. Ability checks are in the rule book as a DM tool in 5e (not a player tool, btb they are called by the DM) but ability checks do not even exist as a mechanic in 1e.

From 3rd edition onward, I've seen players demand to just roll a skill check instead of describing their actions in even the most general fashion. There are comparatively very few character abilities outside of combat that allow this in pre 3rd edition D&D. But there were always some: searching for secret doors for example.

To me the magic of roleplaying is engaging with the imagined environment. (Excuse me while I tell you all to get off my lawn). There were some campaigns I was aware of in the late 70s and early 80s were the players did not have character sheets at all. They had notes, but they did not have any hard rules information regarding their characters. Not just the rules (which the players had not read) but even the character sheets were all in the hands of the DM. That's unimaginable today with the sheer number of character abilities; it would be too much for a DM to handle.
 

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There were some campaigns I was aware of in the late 70s and early 80s were the players did not have character sheets at all. They had notes, but they did not have any hard rules information regarding their characters.
Wow there's some weasel words in this one jesus, I don't even know what to say to that.

Overall I have no idea what your point is, and I've been playing TT RPGs since 1989, and played some which were close to rules-less all the way, to well, Rolemaster.

As for "it's not a mechanic", mate, half of how people played 1E wasn't in the rulebook (was your point? weird way to approach it is so), but it's functionally identical, and conceptually very similar. If you want to let people avoid certain things by rolling, you will, people have been doing it forever.
 

Greg K

Legend
From 3rd edition onward, I've seen players demand to just roll a skill check instead of describing their actions in even the most general fashion. There are comparatively very few character abilities outside of combat that allow this in pre 3rd edition D&D. But there were always some: searching for secret doors for example.
That may be how some or many groups played it in 3e. However, there was room for skilled play even at least one example. In the 3.0 DMG, there was a gate that can only be opened by a figuring out the correct sequence combination of levers located in various parts of a dungeon (3.0 DMG 109 top of the page in the section unders locks continuing from the prior page)*. This could be applied to searches as well. First, finding things like secret doors required one to search a specific 5'x5' area. So, searching the wrong area should up nothing regardless of the roll. Granted players can take the time to search every inch, but players could also describe how they are searching. If their stated actions are specific enough that they would be automatically be successful (e.g. pulling the sconce or book that opens a secret door or unscrewing the knob of a bedpost to find a map or jewelry) than no roll need be required.

*(Edit: The 3.0 DMG (p.109 (top paragraph)) when talking about requiring players to deterine the lever combination states, "You're perfectly justified in ruling that some puzzle doors must be solved by the players rather than being bypassed by an Open Lock check- for example, if a door only unlocks when the riddle carved on it is correctly answered, the it's up ot the players to solve the riddle."
 
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Hussar

Legend
Play time was also assumed to be much longer than the 4 hour expectations built into the design of 5e and 5e expects level 20 within a year.
Now, the play time assumption I will agree with. We presume MUCH shorter sessions now than back in the day.

I know 3e presumed 20 levels in one year of gaming, although, honestly, I never met anyone who actually met that and it certainly wasn't my experience, but, is 5e based on the same assumption? I don't remember seeing that for 5e. And, again, it certainly isn't my experience where we're basically bumping around 10th level, or so, after a year of weekly 3 hour sessions.

See, sure, I agree that your thief and you MU (outside of some big booms) isn't doing a lot of damage. But, you've got three fighters and a cleric in your six person party - that's the assumption. Or, three fighter types anyway. All of them are double specialized for +3/hit and +3/damage from 1st level. Even presuming a 17 strength, and, frankly, again, something I never saw in AD&D was a fighter type that didn't have percentile strength (hey, we were pretty young back then - sue me. :D ) that ogre with a 5 or 6 AC was getting hit 50% of the time, even from 1st level characters.

And, yes, I did say 2 fireballs, I didn't know I had to mention two MU's. Heck, I almost never saw a single classed thief in 1e. Why would you bother? Everyone went MU/Thief and then we often had a straight MU in the party. At the levels where you are doing the G series, thieves and MU's had the lowest xp requirements in the game.

Never minding things like wands of fire and scrolls. The game assumed 10 magic items per PC after all. Don't believe me? Then why are paladins strictly forbidden to have more than 10 magic items? If that limit was never reached, it's not much of a limit is it? And, to be honest, we played a lot of Gygax modules, which were absolutely dripping in magic items.

But, yeah, going back to the Giants thing - two fireballs pretty much cuts most of the baddies in half, if not outright kills them - and the fighter types play mop up with bows. And, no, a "slight distraction" didn't spoil casting. You had to take damage. Never minding that gaining surprise in that specific encounter wasn't exactly difficult.

I totally agree that 1e's lethality was due to things that bypassed HP. Totally agree. My point was that outside of those things that bypassed HP's - Save or Die, that sort of thing - AD&D wasn't all that lethal. I know that I was absolutely shocked when 3e rolled around and I had to actively try not to kill PC's with damage. It was so easy. A single orc in 3e could do over 30 points of damage in a single hit. An orc could outright kill 2nd and 3rd level PC's with a lucky die roll. And, when you toss in 10 orcs into an encounter, that lucky die roll came around more often than not.
 


Hussar

Legend
Weapon specialization wasn’t a thing until 1986 (okay, Dec. ‘85) and wasn’t widely used until 2e.
So? The Unearthed Arcana was widely used afaik. Why do you claim differently? You don't get to pick and choose convenient supplements and exclude others just because it makes your argument weak.
 


In AD&D...want to slow the leveling...stop giving gold...paying for training to go up levels...I fondly remember the party selling magic items to pay for training...

Here are my 2cents in the discussion.
  • Limited Hit Points, especially for magic-users and thieves. Which caused lots of multi-classing, fighter-mage/fighter-thief being very popular.
  • Race level caps. This made you think about multi-classing.
  • THACO - hitting anything under 0 was hard...who remembers that female vampire in the domed room with -8 AC who could stick to the ceiling. Why was Lloth nasty in Q1...not her hitpoints...it was her AC...This went 2 ways, don't give your party +5 Platemail and +5 Shield, or that +5 Sword.
  • Level Drain...parties hated Wights and Wraiths....Specters would cause fighters and mages to cry...
  • Limited Spells with Magic Users. Note Fireball and Lightning Bolt were also deadly to the party not just to the NPC.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
It's not identical. Ability checks are in the rule book as a DM tool in 5e (not a player tool, btb they are called by the DM) but ability checks do not even exist as a mechanic in 1e.

From 3rd edition onward, I've seen players demand to just roll a skill check instead of describing their actions in even the most general fashion. There are comparatively very few character abilities outside of combat that allow this in pre 3rd edition D&D. But there were always some: searching for secret doors for example.

To me the magic of roleplaying is engaging with the imagined environment. (Excuse me while I tell you all to get off my lawn). There were some campaigns I was aware of in the late 70s and early 80s were the players did not have character sheets at all. They had notes, but they did not have any hard rules information regarding their characters. Not just the rules (which the players had not read) but even the character sheets were all in the hands of the DM. That's unimaginable today with the sheer number of character abilities; it would be too much for a DM to handle.
Not sure about 3.0 but 3.5 had 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 but they were hidden away in the dmg and took a permissive GM to really do much with so players would often give up on them
[/QUOTE]
 
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billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
In AD&D...want to slow the leveling...stop giving gold...paying for training to go up levels...I fondly remember the party selling magic items to pay for training...
Yes, paying for training was a MAJOR slowdown if you played it as written. And not just in non-adventuring time. It sucked away the cash, sometimes to the point you might need to go adventuring just to make enough cash to pay for training. That poor 1st level thief had to amass substantially more cash than XPs to make level 2.
 

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