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


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Voadam

Legend
Huh. You are right. They just moved it into the spell descriptions for 2e. No wonder we used them (we'd jettisoned notions of playing by the book by the time 2e came out).
1e hid some information on spells in the DMG but some were there in some of the spell descriptions.

Haste (Alteration)
Level: 3 Components: V, S, M
Range: 6” Casting Time: 3 segments
Duration: 3 rounds + 1 round/level Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: 4” × 4” area, 1 creature/level
Explanation/Description: When this spell is cast, affected creatures function at double their normal movement and attack rates. Thus, a creature moving at 6” and attacking 1 time per round would move at 12” and attack 2 times per round. Spell casting is not more rapid. The number of creatures which can be affected is equal to the level of experience of the magic-user, those creatures closest to the spell caster being affected in preference to those farther away, and all affected by haste must be in the designated area of effect. Note that this spell negates the effects of a slow spell (see hereafter). Additionally, this spell ages the recipients due to speeded metabolic processes. Its material component is a shaving of licorice root.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Snarf mentioned the soul/spirit distinction earlier in the discussion. This already got covered in the thread.



This has certainly never been part of core D&D lore. Unless maybe it got introduced in one of the 2E elf variants? AD&D is quite clear that all the demihumans, elves included, have lifespans and die of old age eventually.
2e core had it like people are saying.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Haste (Alteration)
....Its material component is a shaving of licorice root.

Gygax was notorious for putting little jokes in the material component section.

It's my belief that since licorice was a laxative, you would, um, make haste after the spell was cast.

Some of them were just trying to hard ... like the piece of copper wire you needed for the Message spell.

My favorite was always the 5th level MU version of Feeblemind, which required "a handful of small clay, crystal, glass, or mineral spheres."

Because you're losing your marbles.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
There is a difference though. When we talk about AD&D, most of us here have hundreds, if not thousands of hours of play time experience to draw on. We played the HELL out of AD&D. Marathon sessions lasting entire weekends. Devouring every piece of D&D material you can get your hands on over and over again. So on and so forth.

And, when I make a statement about AD&D, I'm usually very, very careful to couch it as being my personal experience with the system and not a "truth" about the system itself. I don't always succeed, fair enough. But, I do try. Because, like you say, there was a "diversity of play" "that could lead to anything".
So we pretty much all agree that diversity of play was a Big Thing in 1e; that the game as played varied quite widely from table to table and from region to region. Doesn't seem to be much if any controversy there.
But, when someone talks about 4e, it's, "4e is the most combat oriented game." There's not even an attempt to pretend that this is just a personal experience with the system. It's nothing but fact statements that are expected to be taken as gospel truths. And an immediate argument if any counter experiences are offered. Any suggestion that perhaps a person's experience with 4e had more to do with how they approached the game rather than the game itself is immediately rejected.
So my question is, did that same degree of divesity of play - or much diversity of play at all - exist within 4e? (I'm not sure if Essentials counts here or whether it's considered a separate thing)

If yes, then your point is 100% valid. But if 4e play was much more homogenous between tables and-or regions, then the experiences of one player or group would in theory map much more closely to the experiences of all.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I think when we played it as though getting raised was a real challenge, but I don't recall it actually being so when people chose to do so. As jmartkdr2 mentions, rolling up a new character is super-easy, and starting fresh kinda inviting. I think people generally found a way to get a fallen character (with recoverable body) raised exactly as often as it was a priority for the player.
I've always had revival effects available, but at a significant cost. Their existence in the game doesn't bother me.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I often reference the rule in AD&D about half-orcs and elves- specifically, that they cannot be brought back from the dead through those methods (

So question 1- did anyone else see this rule enforced?
No. It never made any sense to us, and was dropped before I even started playing.
And question 2! Reincarnation was an available spell (Druid 7, MU 6). How common was the use of this spell on PCs instead of raise dead or resurrection in your AD&D campaigns, and why?
Reincarnation, as I noted (upthread? elsewhere?) is-was bad news, and used only as a desperate last-chance fallback because it was 99% likely you weren't getting the same character back that you had before. Thus, other than by very chaotic types doing it for laughs, Reincarnation was rarely if ever used.

The fallback for when Raise and-or Resurrection didn't work or weren't available was and still is Wish. Or - and I've seen this done more than once - a party physically travels to the land of the dead and hauls the deceased character's soul back to the land of the living the hard way.
 

Voadam

Legend
So we pretty much all agree that diversity of play was a Big Thing in 1e; that the game as played varied quite widely from table to table and from region to region. Doesn't seem to be much if any controversy there.

So my question is, did that same degree of divesity of play - or much diversity of play at all - exist within 4e? (I'm not sure if Essentials counts here or whether it's considered a separate thing)

If yes, then your point is 100% valid. But if 4e play was much more homogenous between tables and-or regions, then the experiences of one player or group would in theory map much more closely to the experiences of all.
I saw a lot of diversity in 4e play.

The rules were clearer so the diversity was less on that front, but you can see from discussions those who felt AEDU was the pinnacle of design and balance and how essentials ruined it versus those who wanted less dailies/more at wills and loved essentials. You can see people who felt it was just useful for a tactical mini grid combat game with no roleplaying and those who dove into the over the top fantasy action movie competency that the broad skill system gave compared to the narrowly defined low powered skills of 3e. Also there were those who used skill challenges all the time versus those who never touched them. Stuff like the DMG2/Dark Sun inherent bonus optional rules allowed ditching the need for money and magic items so you can play a high level bad ass warrior with just a loin cloth and sword who is level appropriate in power. Alternatively core you could be cashing in astral diamonds for your flaming +5 sword as part of standard high level play.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
1e has the same magic aging, it is not a 2e change.

1e DMG pg 13

Unnatural Aging:
Certain creatures will cause unnatural aging, and in addition various magical factors can do so. The following magic causes loss of life span, aging the practitioner as indicated. See also DISEASE for other unnatural aging causes. (Longevity potions and possibly other magical means will offset such aging to some extent.)
Magical Aging Causes
casting alter reality spell 3 years
casting gate spell 5 years
casting limited wish spell 1 years
casting restoration spell 2 years
casting resurrection spell 3 years
casting wish spell 3 years
imbibing a speed potion 1 year
under a haste spell 1 year
Note: Reading one of the above spells from a scroll (or using the power from a ring or other device) does not cause unnatural aging, but placing such a spell upon the scroll in the first place will do so!
The only ones of those I've kept are that the recipient of a Haste spell or potion ages a Human-equivalent year. The Human-equivalent piece is something I put in to prevent Elves from going nuts on these things, 'cause a year to them is nothing.

All the others are just annoying restrictions for no good reason, other than perhaps wish.

Ghosts and a few other monsters will still age you real good, though, if you let 'em. :)
 


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