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D&D 1E Giving an AD&D feel to 5e

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
A lot of the times people talk about the risks present n older editions that were more deadly citing the benefits that deadliness had on the game or even just saying that it avoided some problem(s) in newer editions, but that gives a skewed representation of that deadliness to people who didn't play those older editions that looks even worse when held to the standard of meatgrinder modules like legendary tomb of horrors or many of the more recent osr retroclones like dcc where death is practically an excuse to do another shot. The risk present in most older editions was always something that could be adjusted through various means to fit the table but it's much harder to put back in with too many parts of the system fighting it than giving out extra potions wands and magic items was. Just pulling a few of the shorter examples that don't need much if any knowledge of the rules they were tied to in order to see the lengths the core books went through to help make that deadliness constructive.

here's a quote from 2e dmg page 139 about random encounter scaling
"When uncertain, use a small encounter. It is far better for a random encounter to be easily defeated by the player characters than it is for the monster to overwhelm them. An easy PC victory gives the DM information and experience (so he’ll know to increase the difficulty of the next encounter) without harming the player characters and his campaign. A crushing PC defeat is almost impossible to correct without obvious manipulation once the encounter has begun."

Here's another one from page 118
Simple and common magical items (potions of healing, scrolls with various spells, wands of detection) could require only that the proper things be brought together and ensorcelled.
it took 5e how long to actually make common magic items in xge?

While prices may be a useless comparison, 120 has this to say about potions of healing
A potion of healing is a fairly necessary item, something the DM may want to be readily available to the characters. Therefore, it should be cheap, costing no more than 200 gp.
For a good sense of scale there, a month of middle class & wealthy living expenses were 50 & 200gp per level respectively on page 51. 200gp was not far off from the level 1 starting fund range of many classes as another yardstick


These are all from 2e, but 3.x had a lot of similar stuff. The deadliness was a tool to be leveraged just like all of the other tools provided & unlikebounded accuracy's a goblin or zombie is a threat to every level 1-20 it could beused to make players feel awesome as well as enhancing the mundane experience in the world
 

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Hussar

Legend
Where does it say 'medium' in the squares diagram?
Where does it state a size at all? IOW, that diagram only applies to something that is smaller attacking something one size larger. But, since it's not labeled at all, it's not very clear. Which, of course, brings us to the hex diagram. Which one are we supposed to use?

People are actually defending this? Good grief. This is pretty much par for the course for any AD&D rule - unclear, never really explained and more confusing than illuminating.

Heck, if you want to give 5e an AD&D feel, that's probably the best way to go about it. Bring in numerous completely contradictory rules with no explanations.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Where does it state a size at all? IOW, that diagram only applies to something that is smaller attacking something one size larger. But, since it's not labeled at all, it's not very clear. Which, of course, brings us to the hex diagram. Which one are we supposed to use?
Well, that’s a duh question. You using hexes to visualize your map or squares?
 

Democratus

Adventurer
Where does it state a size at all? IOW, that diagram only applies to something that is smaller attacking something one size larger. But, since it's not labeled at all, it's not very clear. Which, of course, brings us to the hex diagram. Which one are we supposed to use?

People are actually defending this? Good grief. This is pretty much par for the course for any AD&D rule - unclear, never really explained and more confusing than illuminating.

Heck, if you want to give 5e an AD&D feel, that's probably the best way to go about it. Bring in numerous completely contradictory rules with no explanations.

We used the squares when playing with a square grid and we used hexes when playing on a hex grid. Different homes/tables had different grids for use. I was grateful we had both of the diagrams available.

I see no contradictions nor lack of explanation. Pages 69-70 cover all the bases and lay it out in a verbose (as was GG's style) manner. Not once did we ever have any confusion at the table regarding this.
 

Hussar

Legend
i'm glad you didn't. Bully for you. I'm telling you that WE DID. That this is about as clear as mud. You've got two different answers on the same page - 6 medium attackers, or eight medium attackers. And, note, the grid doesn't take into account space requirements for weapons in the PHB. Even the 6 medium attackers rule doesn't take that into account. Can six medium attackers with two handed swords (6 foot space requirement) attack a single medium target? How about glaive wielders who only need 1 foot? Can I get fifteen or twenty attackers then?

Again, I'm absolutely baffled that anyone would defend this as clear.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
The whole backstory of UA is pretty simple ...

At the time, TSR badly needed money (this is a recurring theme with the company).

Gygax returned from Hollywood (the less said about that, the better) to try and right the ship. We had two hardcover books come out in quick succession in order to raise revenue- Oriental Adventures and Unearthed Arcana. OA was primarily written by Zeb Cook.

UA was authorized by Gygax, and was primarily prior Dragon Magazine articles (most of them by Gygax, and most of them prior to 1983) with a few changes and edits.

The irony of his authorization of his work to save TSR is that by the time of its publication, he was already out of the company. Anyway, UA is interesting because it is both terrible (it was really just a grabbag of half-baked and non-baked ideas floated in Dragon Magazine) while also providing the seed for ideas that would later become part of the game-
A skill system (previously in OA as well).
Cantrips.
Barbarians, cavaliers.
Expanded non-human races and lifting (just a little, but still) the level and class limits on non-humans.
etc.

But, yeah, comeliness? Barbarians that almost couldn't exist in a party (along with cavaliers and paladins that also couldn't exist in a party)? Allowing you to play new races like Duergar and Drow, unless, you know, you ever wanted to play above-ground, or around other people.

Just poorly thought out in so many ways. Kind of like a Dragon article!
We played the hell out of 1E oriental adventures. I am currently playing a river spirit folk ninja/wu-Jen. We are having a blast. We are all ninja’s. But each from a different clan. And we don’t know the other is a ninja also. We are having a blast. Okay one is not a ninja. We did houserule (OMG don’t let the RAW police come to our homes) that ninja could multi class with anything except Kensai.
 
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