D&D General Haste: The (system) Shocking History of the Spell!

I don't remember the caster having to roll. I thought only the person being raised had to make the roll.
The caster ages, so has to make a system shock roll. The recipient has to make a resurrection survival roll. In the case of the second high priest, she failed her system shock roll and died... and then failed her resurrection survival roll when a colleague tried to raise her. The adventurers are not very welcome there any more :D
 

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Bacon Bits

Legend
I think that's a fine house rule!

IME, system shock rolls were not common at many tables. They did seem unusually punitive.

I would add that the resurrection limit and the resurrection chance to survive was also not very often observed, but, as always, individual table variance is high.

Yeah, this matches my experience.

System shock was typically forgotten about as long as nobody mentioned it. "Ok you can do that, but you might die instantly," isn't a particularly good mechanical design for a game.

From my experience, there were a lot of rules in AD&D which, during the campaign pitch or session 0, the DM would assure everyone would be religiously observed. Alignment penalties. Elf raise dead restrictions. Demihuman level limits. System shock. Death due to aging. Training costs.

However, once it came time during the game to actually enforce that rule, it would often get waived because it wasn't fun. "You can't level up," or, "you can't come back from the dead," or, "you're too old," are just outcomes to the game that aren't fun. If the object of a TTRPG is to keep the game going, then rules that make the game stop are contradictory. Sure, you could roll a new character, but it seems like a lot of extra effort to do that when nobody at the table wants to spend the time to do it.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
Yeah, this matches my experience.

System shock was typically forgotten about as long as nobody mentioned it. "Ok you can do that, but you might die instantly," isn't a particularly good mechanical design for a game.

From my experience, there were a lot of rules in AD&D which, during the campaign pitch or session 0, the DM would assure everyone would be religiously observed. Alignment penalties. Elf raise dead restrictions. Demihuman level limits. System shock. Death due to aging. Training costs.

However, once it came time during the game to actually enforce that rule, it would often get waived because it wasn't fun. "You can't level up," or, "you can't come back from the dead," or, "you're too old," are just outcomes to the game that aren't fun. If the object of a TTRPG is to keep the game going, then rules that make the game stop are contradictory. Sure, you could roll a new character, but it seems like a lot of extra effort to do that when nobody at the table wants to spend the time to do it.

I would say that if you asked five 1e players how the game was actually played back in the day, you'd get six different answers.
 

I would say that if you asked five 1e players how the game was actually played back in the day, you'd get six different answers.
Did we actually play it the same from session to session? Certainly not between campaigns, but I would not be surprised if we changed our rules every few months as we re-read or re-discovered various rules, implemented them, found out they sucked and went back to ignoring them again.

There are a lot of things I like about the classic rules, but consistency was not one of them :)
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Yeah, this matches my experience.

System shock was typically forgotten about as long as nobody mentioned it. "Ok you can do that, but you might die instantly," isn't a particularly good mechanical design for a game.

From my experience, there were a lot of rules in AD&D which, during the campaign pitch or session 0, the DM would assure everyone would be religiously observed. Alignment penalties. Elf raise dead restrictions. Demihuman level limits. System shock. Death due to aging. Training costs.

However, once it came time during the game to actually enforce that rule, it would often get waived because it wasn't fun. "You can't level up," or, "you can't come back from the dead," or, "you're too old," are just outcomes to the game that aren't fun. If the object of a TTRPG is to keep the game going, then rules that make the game stop are contradictory. Sure, you could roll a new character, but it seems like a lot of extra effort to do that when nobody at the table wants to spend the time to do it.
It is sort of amazing how different the design mindset was back then compared to now. Unless you were designing a deliberate throwback game, no one would design a mechanic now to randomly kill characters as a balance method as opposed to, ya know, just weakening the spell.
 

It is sort of amazing how different the design mindset was back then compared to now. Unless you were designing a deliberate throwback game, no one would design a mechanic now to randomly kill characters as a balance method as opposed to, ya know, just weakening the spell.
I don't think it was "designed" in any rigorous sense of the word. It certainly did not use game theory as we know it today.
Remember, they invented RPGs. There was not much of a model to base it off of (war gaming, which was haphazard itself). "We" know so much more now about RPGs, about games, and designing them than was available in the 70's and 80's.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
I don't think it was "designed" in any rigorous sense of the word. It certainly did not use game theory as we know it today.
Remember, they invented RPGs. There was not much of a model to base it off of (war gaming, which was haphazard itself). "We" know so much more now about RPGs, about games, and designing them than was available in the 70's and 80's.
That's what makes it so intriguing. It's like a record of watching ancient astronomers invent epicycles.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
It is sort of amazing how different the design mindset was back then compared to now. Unless you were designing a deliberate throwback game, no one would design a mechanic now to randomly kill characters as a balance method as opposed to, ya know, just weakening the spell.

A lot of the balancing decisions they made seem downright perverse today!

I've mentioned this many times before, but one of my favorite examples of perverse balancing was "Gygaxian Gatekeeping." Over and over again, he would put things (like classes) that gave you really good abilities behind walls that required you to have insanely high abilities in order to get them.

Which arguably reflected, for example, that Paladins and Rangers were "rare."

But in reality, it meant that in order to be awesome, you first ... had to roll awesome!* It was kind of like saying- look, if you want me to give you an extra $10,000, you first have to have $10,000.

*See also, psionics.

The other way he did it, of course, is by making cool abilities come with some additional penalty that meant that it was unplayable as written (Paladins, Barbarians, Cavaliers, Drow, etc.). You literally couldn't have a standard D&D party with these characters if you adhered to the rules.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
IME, system shock rolls were not common at many tables. They did seem unusually punitive.
Oh, don't get me wrong: I use them. Just not for self-inflicted aging effects. :)
I would add that the resurrection limit and the resurrection chance to survive was also not very often observed, but, as always, individual table variance is high.
The resurrection survival roll is alive and well here. We did come up with a table of reasons for why a revival failed, which has led to some interesting later outcomes and-or adventures. For example when one poor unlucky sod failed a revival roll when Raise Dead was cast, the table gave us "body unreusable" as the reason; which in this specific case means a Resurrection might still work as it only needs a bit of the corpse. And so a Resurrection was tried on him - and he failed that roll too!

The resurrection limit (that you can't come back more times than your original Con score) has yet to come into play, though there's a few characters who have got close over the years.
 

Voadam

Legend
I the 1e games I was in haste was generally just not used, along with other spells that triggered system shock rolls.

Fly, fireball, and lightning bolt were the big third level MU spells for use.
 

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