D&D 1E How about a little love for AD&D 1E

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Not sure I have a problem with that, actually.
I would, in that it would render lighter-weight characters near useless in combat. Picture your archetypal swashbuckler, with a rapier in one hand and a dagger in the other; all dex, little or no strength; kills by a thousand cuts rather than by one big blow; and then ask if that character concept would even be viable if going against armoured foes.

If the answer is "no it wouldn't", there's a system problem. And adding a version of 'weapon finesse' isn't the answer, as dexterity is too important as a stat already.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The problem of course is that your damage really comes from static modifiers, which is what breaks two weapon fighting and relegates AD&D two handers to the bin once you get exceptional or higher strength through some means, plus magic weapons, and specialization (including "double specialization"). I've seen some freakish static damage on starting Fighters in AD&D.
Weapon (double) specialization, as written in UA, is flat-out overpowered.

Single-spec. is a good concept, though; the big change needed is that the bonuses should come in gradually as the character levels up.
And it's really tough to balance around this, because not every melee combatant is going to have those kinds of bonuses. If the DR is too good, that poor guy with a 16 Strength is never going to compete with anything, while the guy with 18*95, who can already outdamage that guy with a dagger, might go from being able to one shot your typical 1 HD monster to needing a second attack.

Even if you stress "well, this weapon ignores this DR", to bring up the right weapon for the job style of play, that's just going to wreak havoc for classes that have weapons of choice (Fighters and Cavaliers), and exceptional Strength characters can use those weapons too.
It's kinda pointless trying to balance to this degree. The characters in each party will figure out the best ways of dealing with it for themselves, often IME by putting the less-strong warrior in the best armour such that it becomes almost a soft-coded "defender" (as in the 4e term) while the stronger warrior becomes more of a "striker", until-unless one or both of them gets ogre gauntlets or giant strength.

I found DR annoying in 3e, particularly if I was playing a non-warrior character who didn't give out much damage at a time when forced into melee. With the rarest of exceptions, I don't want it in 1e.
 


I never played 1st edition. I got into the hobby (sideways, due to Satanic Panic and my father being a minister) with 2nd edition. I thought that it was a case of 2nd edition just being a reprint with clarifications. That is, until one night at Mercer, I saw a fellow student in the hall with what I recognized as a D&D books, and we got to talking. He told me he only played 1st edition, “real D&D.” I thought he was weird for that, but, well, who was I to judge?

Now, 25 years later, I find myself more in the old school gaming camp (surprisingly, as I was an early adopter of 3.0 through Essentials, and tested Next). I see threads like this here and at other sites, and I wonder, what did I miss? What magic is there in 1st edition that was not present in 2nd? Heck, it’s gotten so bad that a month ago I dreamt I was invited to join a 1st edition game, and my excitement in the dream was palpable.

I don’t know for certain, but I feel as though I missed a magic time and game, one with wild imaginations, which I have clumsily tried to find a replacement for, while never knowing exactly what I am trying to replace.
 

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
I never played 1st edition. I got into the hobby (sideways, due to Satanic Panic and my father being a minister) with 2nd edition. I thought that it was a case of 2nd edition just being a reprint with clarifications. That is, until one night at Mercer, I saw a fellow student in the hall with what I recognized as a D&D books, and we got to talking. He told me he only played 1st edition, “real D&D.” I thought he was weird for that, but, well, who was I to judge?

Now, 25 years later, I find myself more in the old school gaming camp (surprisingly, as I was an early adopter of 3.0 through Essentials, and tested Next). I see threads like this here and at other sites, and I wonder, what did I miss? What magic is there in 1st edition that was not present in 2nd? Heck, it’s gotten so bad that a month ago I dreamt I was invited to join a 1st edition game, and my excitement in the dream was palpable.

I don’t know for certain, but I feel as though I missed a magic time and game, one with wild imaginations, which I have clumsily tried to find a replacement for, while never knowing exactly what I am trying to replace.
I mean, you can't be 12 again, and that has more to do with it than most of us want to admit. But as for the ad hoc nature of it, anything you house-rule enough will do it, though. It was a huge, baroque farrago of rules and (in practice) optional tables. Really the best way to get the feeling of it is to download a bunch of free OSR games and pick and choose the bits you like.

For pre-AD&D D&D, put a robot in your dungeon and put your party up against Nazis.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I never played 1st edition. I got into the hobby (sideways, due to Satanic Panic and my father being a minister) with 2nd edition. I thought that it was a case of 2nd edition just being a reprint with clarifications. That is, until one night at Mercer, I saw a fellow student in the hall with what I recognized as a D&D books, and we got to talking. He told me he only played 1st edition, “real D&D.” I thought he was weird for that, but, well, who was I to judge?

Now, 25 years later, I find myself more in the old school gaming camp (surprisingly, as I was an early adopter of 3.0 through Essentials, and tested Next). I see threads like this here and at other sites, and I wonder, what did I miss? What magic is there in 1st edition that was not present in 2nd? Heck, it’s gotten so bad that a month ago I dreamt I was invited to join a 1st edition game, and my excitement in the dream was palpable.

I don’t know for certain, but I feel as though I missed a magic time and game, one with wild imaginations, which I have clumsily tried to find a replacement for, while never knowing exactly what I am trying to replace.
The rules shift between 1E and 2E was not that drastic. There's a recent thread by Snarf about the transition between them and it touches on the various differences.

It wasn't the rules that made AD&D magic. It was the players, the play culture, the newness of the game, and everyone's willingness to simply go with the flow and not argue about every little thing. If the DM said so, that was that. Just play. If the DM makes a call you don't like, talk to them after the game. If they won't budge and you're adamant, then walk. This is very prevalent in the OSR. The DM's in charge. Don't panic over the rules being treated as guidelines and just have fun.

The player culture at the end of AD&D leading into 2E, and definitely with 3E and 4E was one of the rules in the book as holy writ and they shall be obeyed. Period. There's a lot of RPG theory, playstyle differences, and random other digital ink that has be spilled on the topic. But recapturing that magic is fairly easy and mostly comes down this: relax, have fun, and the DM's in charge.
 


Voadam

Legend
I don’t know for certain, but I feel as though I missed a magic time and game, one with wild imaginations, which I have clumsily tried to find a replacement for, while never knowing exactly what I am trying to replace.
I think that FOMO and looking back to a legendary golden age is a bit natural. I started in '81 with B/X and 1e and I feel that way a bit about OD&D, particularly when I saw that there was a point in the game before thieves and percentile strength.

I expect some who started with OD&D feel that way about Gygax and Arneson's campaigns and some who started with 3e or later feel that way about the wildly creative 2e era with its explosion of innovative campaign settings.

Don't sweat it too much. :)
 


billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I never played 1st edition. I got into the hobby (sideways, due to Satanic Panic and my father being a minister) with 2nd edition. I thought that it was a case of 2nd edition just being a reprint with clarifications. That is, until one night at Mercer, I saw a fellow student in the hall with what I recognized as a D&D books, and we got to talking. He told me he only played 1st edition, “real D&D.” I thought he was weird for that, but, well, who was I to judge?

Now, 25 years later, I find myself more in the old school gaming camp (surprisingly, as I was an early adopter of 3.0 through Essentials, and tested Next). I see threads like this here and at other sites, and I wonder, what did I miss? What magic is there in 1st edition that was not present in 2nd? Heck, it’s gotten so bad that a month ago I dreamt I was invited to join a 1st edition game, and my excitement in the dream was palpable.

I don’t know for certain, but I feel as though I missed a magic time and game, one with wild imaginations, which I have clumsily tried to find a replacement for, while never knowing exactly what I am trying to replace.
Honestly, having played since basic and through each of the succeeding editions, it wasn't any more magical than any other era in which a player first encounters the game, becomes enthusiastic about it, and has more time to devote to playing and thinking about it. No edition was more real than any other, though some obviously worked better for individual players and groups than others... and will continue to do so. And some inspired styles of play better than others... and will continue to do so. And some blended various good aspects of different editions better than others.
I played 1e enthusiastically for many years, both packed with house rules and not, same with 2e, 1e/2e hybrid, 3e, 4e (less enthusiastically and for less than a year because it's the one edition I feel sucked the joy out of the game), and now 5e. And I'm having as much fun as I ever had and the game's as magical as it has ever been - I just don't have as much time for it as I did as a kid. But my younger daughter has the same enthusiasm as I did with it when I was her age.
 

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