D&D General Lethality, AD&D, and 5e: Looking Back at the Deadliest Edition


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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Just to briefly interject- it wasn't just fireballs. It could be dragonbreath.

OR JUST FALLING. OR GETTING HIT BY AN OGRE.

The item saving throw table applied to acid, crushing blows, normal blows, disintegrate, falling, fireballs, magical fire, normal fire, frost, lightning, and electricity.

Falling was a killer of potions, especially because you had a 1 point penalty for each 5' after the initial 5' of falling. So a fall of 35' (for example) would give your items a -6 on saves, and potions would save on a 13 to begin with- meaning your potions in vials would need a 19 or higher, each, to survive the fall.
Biggest killer of potions - and scrolls, for that matter - in my games has always been Dispel Magic; sometimes self-inflicted, sometimes cast by the enemy (or a trap).
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Yeah. Someone sits down at the table with any character that has those kinds of stats we’d laugh and tell them to roll again at the table with everyone watching.

There were plenty of cases back in the day where you were seeing mid level characters you'd never encountered before, so it wasn't like these were new ground-up characters. And as noted, some generation methods could be very generous.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
What are proficiencies. In 1e a fighter could pick up any weapon and use it with full effect. You are confusing 2e with 1e sir. He could also wear any armor.
Any armour, yes.

Any weapon, no. A Fighter started proficient in four weapons and gained another every three levels (so at 4th, 7th, etc.). Use of a non-proficient weapon carried a -2 to-hit penalty.

It wasn't until 3e that a) weapons got sorted into just a few broad categories - simple, martial, etc. - and b) a Fighter could pick up pretty much anything and use it without penalty.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Any armour, yes.

Any weapon, no. A Fighter started proficient in four weapons and gained another every three levels (so at 4th, 7th, etc.). Use of a non-proficient weapon carried a -2 to-hit penalty.

It wasn't until 3e that a) weapons got sorted into just a few broad categories - simple, martial, etc. - and b) a Fighter could pick up pretty much anything and use it without penalty

OD&D. Fighters could use anything.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Raise dead has always been part of the game. So after a certain point dying doesn't pack any punch at all in the standard game as long as you can recover the body.
Well, aside from the loss of a Con point each time, which eventually becomes a real problem... :)
 



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