Is OD&D playable RAW?

Zardnaar

Hero
I have had the remake of OD&D for a while now but have never gotten around to playing it.

Reading the original 3 books it's missing a lot of stuff.

Lots of references to chainmail which I assume you need to play the damn thing.

The box has 7 books in it but there's a lot missing from the original 3 books.

1 to 50 players with around 20 being ideal lol.

Referee no DM, Chainmail recommend.
 
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darjr

I crit!
I don’t think it was written to be played raw.

for instance that 1-50 players were not meant to each play in every session. Unwritten because it was common for war games to have campaigns like that. I think there is much to od&d that is like that.
Things left out because people already understood, or it didn’t get mentioned because it was taken for granted it was understood.
I’d very much like a lot of those things documented somehow.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
There's no ability score tables in Men and Magic. There is for charisma.

They turn up book 4 which is them sane book for weapon damage.
 

imredave

Explorer
It would be hard to run RAW as the only combat tables in the books are marked as an alternate. However, since the game is from an era of rulings-not-rules why would you bother to run it RAW anyways? Certainly not just the first three books. Greyhawk smooths out many of the rough spots of the first three books as so after it came out nobody I knew used just the first three books. Of course nobody I knew tried to run OD&D without adding numerous house rules anyways (I believe this is recommended somewhere in the first three books as well, so one could technically claim "house ruling" as RAW).
 

darjr

I crit!
Everything does a d6 damage. And the alternate combat system is there so I can be playable without chainmail.
Wilderness adventures were also an option.

sure it’s got its issues but it is playable raw.

but I must admit that probably no one played it raw.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
It depends on how you define playable. By modern standards, I'd say no, because it assumed the DM knew what they were doing (from previous wargaming experience or as a player). It was playable at the time, but many games played very differently from each other, since other than combat (which primarily used Chainmail rules), everything was judged by DM fiat.
 

Hriston

Explorer
I’d recommend picking up a copy of Chainmail, if you haven’t already. I don’t think you can play original D&D RaW without it, although I think many people did play it that way back in the day. The alternative combat system really only replaces the attack roll. You still need Chaimail for movement, initiative, etc.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
So, what everyone else is saying. You pretty much had to have a background in the hobby already to run it, or, at a minimum, learn it from a friend and keep up with the magazines etc.

That's why the first "Basic" (Holmes/Blue) is really a re-write and simplification of OD&D in many ways.
 

imredave

Explorer
Just a note on "Wilderness Survival". All that is used is the map. There is no need to track down some dusty board game, as there are several nice reproductions on the web, including the one found at this site


P.S. My favorite version is behind a paywall for the "Mamoreal Tomb" Kickstarter, so I have posted a link to my second favorite which is public.
 

JeffB

Adventurer
We did. and filled in the gaps. We as DMs had sometimes wildly varying styles because of it and we as a groupenjoyed the variation , respected each other's filling in of the gaps. IMO , It was a far more creative time than now where everything is more cookie cutter and rigid. Nowadays you are better off finding a different game if you want a different experience.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
It's playable, but there are parts that you'd have no choice but to use a DM ruling/customization on. I know that when I ran an OD&D game, there were things that would've been inscrutable to me without the decades of RPG experience I had. I imagine it's why word-of-mouth was so important back then - you almost needed someone that had already muscled through it to figure stuff out.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
Is OD&D playable RAW?

No!

OD&D and 1e are an oral tradition − not a textual tradition.

At best, the written texts are like cheat sheets to remind you about certain complex or optional details concerning what is happening in the actual game.

In its day, the game was learned orally from players who learned it orally from other players.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Is OD&D playable RAW?

No!

OD&D and 1e are an oral tradition − not a textual tradition.

At best, the written texts are like cheat sheets to remind you about certain complex or optional details concerning what is happening in the actual game.

In its day, the game was learned orally from players who learned it orally from other players.
1E has rules.

There's a lot missing in the 1st 3 D&D books

Ability score tables.

It's also formatted badly.

A lot of the creatures are not started out properly unlike 1E.

I quite liked the domain rules. 10gp per person of tax per year no tables to work out population etc.

Clergy gets half price buildings and 20gp per person per year.

Spells are more similar the B/X rates than AD&D. High level spells don't exist yet.
 

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