Mallus Rediscovers AD&D

Mallus

Legend
So our 4e campaign got put on hold... our Savage Worlds GM got called out of town for an extended period... and I, foolishly said, "Hey, I'll run AD&D".

For the first time in over 20 years --13 years, if 2nd Edition counts as AD&D.

We're two sessions in and having a blast. I took our 4e homebrew, The Port on the Aster Sea, dialed it back several hundred years, and had people roll up PC's --4d6, drop lowest, arrange to taste, 2-for-1 one stat-- using the PHB and Unearthed Arcana.

It's been very interesting, taking a good, hard look at the system after many more years of DM'ing and gaming in general. There's a bit of nostalgia at work --I take an inexplicable amount of enjoyment out of looking up rolls on the combat matrices-- but everything seems so familiar, the books seemed better organized than I remembered them --thought that might be because I practically memorized this edition as a kid-- and they really are full of idiosyncratic and inspirational details.

It's like I'm willing to meet AD&D halfway now. I have a much better grasp of when to deviate for the rules and implied play style, and more importantly, why I want to do so. I've also picked up quite a bit of insight into how the system works for it's proponents here (and elsewhere). AD&D runs fast and well, even when flipping through the books on my lap, sitting in a lawn chair in my friend's back yard, at night (ah, summer gaming outdoors, in the city...).

Meh, I'm blathering... all I can say is I'm really looking forward to session 3 --I'm even tracking in-game time, by day! I'll be posting my (new) experiences with the (old) system here, along with some of the already odd adventures of the Pogsley and Sons Detective Agency, which are a little like the Rockford Files, if Jim Rockford were hired by the Mothra Girls and was more open to poisoning and murder.
 
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Imperialus

Explorer
"maaaarrrr! One of ussss!" *eats brainz*

Soon you'll be arguing alignment on Dragonsfoot, getting into fights about AD&D's initiative system on Knights and Knaves, and setting Grognardia as your homepage. Down this path lies madness!

Seriously though, I'm glad you had fun. Hopefully you continue to. I've been playing in a B/X AD&D mashup for almost 2 years now and it's one of the best campaigns I've ever played.
 

Mallus

Legend
Soon you'll be arguing alignment on Dragonsfoot, getting into fights about AD&D's initiative system on Knights and Knaves, and setting Grognardia as your homepage. Down this path lies madness!
I'm a little afraid of Dragonsfoot... maybe after a strong drink (or two!). I do read Grognardia... though I prefer Zak S. to James M. when it comes to writing about the old-school D&D.

Seriously though, I'm glad you had fun. Hopefully you continue to.
Me too! (and thanks).
 

Mallus

Legend
[MENTION=11760]Whizbang Dustyboots[/MENTION] - I'm using pure 1st edition AD&D with UA, sans the Survival Guides. Wait, strike that, I just let the 5th player create a Tiefling from Monte Cook's 2nd Edition Planeswalkers Handbook.

FYI -- the PC's started w/3,000 XP to spend (3,300 if they have a high prime stat!). And I'm going easy on them (for now!), just like my 1st AD&D DM, death's at -10 HP, not 0.
 

Imperialus

Explorer
[MENTION=11760]Whizbang Dustyboots[/MENTION] - I'm using pure 1st edition AD&D with UA, sans the Survival Guides. Wait, strike that, I just let the 5th player create a Tiefling from Monte Cook's 2nd Edition Planeswalkers Handbook.

FYI -- the PC's started w/3,000 XP to spend (3,300 if they have a high prime stat!). And I'm going easy on them (for now!), just like my 1st AD&D DM, death's at -10 HP, not 0.

One of the things that I really like about the older editions of D&D is the cross compatibility and the ability for a DM to pick and choose rules from different systems that fit how he wants to run the game. It's a pretty tough system to "break" that's for sure.

Just as an example, in the B/X campaign I mentioned before we have classes from both Moldvay Basic D&D and AD&D in the same party. We have one copy of Dave Cook's Expert rulebook and a couple copies of Metzers. We used the mass combat system from the Rules Cyclopedia at one point, and used mass combat from Chainmail at another point. It's a glorious, confusing mash up that would make no sense mechanically to anyone who hasn't played from the beginning and we love it.
 

Agamon

Adventurer
Just as an example, in the B/X campaign I mentioned before we have classes from both Moldvay Basic D&D and AD&D in the same party. We have one copy of Dave Cook's Expert rulebook and a couple copies of Metzers. We used the mass combat system from the Rules Cyclopedia at one point, and used mass combat from Chainmail at another point. It's a glorious, confusing mash up that would make no sense mechanically to anyone who hasn't played from the beginning and we love it.

Now that sounds cool. If not for the 3-hour commute, I'd be interested in looking in on that.

I'm getting ready to run a Savage Worlds game, but that RC on my shelf constantly bekons...
 

aurance

Explorer
Sounds excellent!

I loved every edition of D&D, for different reasons each. I'd play any of them in a heart beat with a good DM.
 

Mallus

Legend
One of the things that I really like about the older editions of D&D is the cross compatibility and the ability for a DM to pick and choose rules from different systems that fit how he wants to run the game.
Yeah, I have more great published material to revisit than I could use in years worth of gaming, and my collection isn't what you'd call large, though I do have some of the good stuff -- quite a few of the classic AD&D modules, some 2e Planescape material, etc.

And if I even if I didn't, the rest of my group does. I don't want to harp on the nostalgia angle --I want to focus on the experience of running AD&D right now-- but it is nice to find you can go home again, when you're both older and wiser.

It's a glorious, confusing mash up that would make no sense mechanically to anyone who hasn't played from the beginning and we love it.
That's exactly what we're shooting for: a gloriously entertaining mess. It's the soul of D&D as far as I'm concerned!
 

[MENTION=11760]Whizbang Dustyboots[/MENTION] - I'm using pure 1st edition AD&D with UA, sans the Survival Guides. Wait, strike that, I just let the 5th player create a Tiefling from Monte Cook's 2nd Edition Planeswalkers Handbook.
Ah, I misread that. And was teasing anyway; the cross-compatibility of all the old editions is one of its biggest strengths for playing it today, IMO. I'm actually scouring Noble Knight for material from 1E through 3E for my upcoming C&C incarnation of my Midwood game, and loving it.

FYI -- the PC's started w/3,000 XP to spend (3,300 if they have a high prime stat!). And I'm going easy on them (for now!), just like my 1st AD&D DM, death's at -10 HP, not 0.
I've found the -10 thing just adds drama over the year. Falling over dead at 0 is a lot less interesting than "you have three rounds to win before your friend is dead."
 

ragboy

Explorer
Welcome back to AD&D. I've been playing it again for a few years, and I was also surprised at how fast it plays -- my memory of the game is that we spent a lot of time looking up/arguing about rules. I introduced all my young 3.5 players to it and they have so far loved it. We've made a slight diversion into Castles and Crusades, which I also like a lot. It's been a true modern game with a retro feel -- AC is d20 based, which I like much better.

Anyway...I did some work here to rework Dwellers of the Forbidden City to my liking: http://mysticbull.pbworks.com/w/page/21997868/OSRIC

There's some C&C and savage world stuff on there, too... though it's rather idle.

Anyone checked out Goodman Games DCC RPG beta? I've browsed through it, but haven't playtested. Dungeon Crawl Classics

Anyway, just another note to say: Yay for retro-gaming.
 

Mallus

Legend
I've found the -10 thing just adds drama over the year. Falling over dead at 0 is a lot less interesting than "you have three rounds to win before your friend is dead."
Absolutely! We've experienced the joys of the plucky goblin (re-skinned halfling) thief (detective) bleeding out during combat twice already.

Welcome back to AD&D. I've been playing it again for a few years, and I was also surprised at how fast it plays -- my memory of the game is that we spent a lot of time looking up/arguing about rules.
I'm finding the game plays much better with (middle-aged) adults than it did with (precocious) teenagers!
 


Reynard

Legend
Mallus said:
I'm finding the game plays much better with (middle-aged) adults than it did with (precocious) teenagers!

I have come to the realization that AD&D and retroclones are great for immersive, seat of your pants gaming. I had great fun and success with Mutant Future and a few pages of scribbled notes for 30 hours of table time shoved into 5 days recently. My PF games are great too, but I find (for the first time in 20+ years of GMing) that I'm a better GM and we have a better game when using modules.
 

Treebore

First Post
Simpler is better. At least that is why I returned to the "old school" games, and it sounds like your definitely getting into how "simple" it is.
 

Ulrick

First Post
I'm envious. I'm running 3.5e now, but I'd rather run AD&D 1e or 2e (or mash up of the two). But I just have to wait for my current campaign to end. Just three more months...
 


tenkar

Old School Blogger
My group just switched (earlier tonight) to a heavily houseruled OD&D game from Tunnels & Trolls - yes, it's an Old School Group, can you tell?

I find that the simpler the rules, the less time using the rules and the more time spent playing. You mileage may vary tho ;)
 

dagger

Explorer
I'm a little afraid of Dragonsfoot... maybe after a strong drink (or two!). I do read Grognardia... though I prefer Zak S. to James M. when it comes to writing about the old-school D&D.


Me too! (and thanks).

Dragonsfoot is very friendly for 1e and 2e....

You can ask any question and if you happen to not play by the book you will not get blasted.
 

Imperialus

Explorer
Dragonsfoot is very friendly for 1e and 2e....

You can ask any question and if you happen to not play by the book you will not get blasted.

Yeah, Dragonsfoot's got a pretty good group of people in it. Knights and Knaves is a bit more fractious and limited in scope (I mean Dragonsfoot has a C&C forum!) but they aren't as scary as they are sometimes made out to be.
 

I'm envious. I'm running 3.5e now, but I'd rather run AD&D 1e or 2e (or mash up of the two). But I just have to wait for my current campaign to end. Just three more months...
I felt that way for years. (When did the last issue of the Age of Worms come out? Kyuss' stat-block was when I decided I was done DMing 3.5 as soon as my campaign ended.) The campaign should be done before Christmas. When it resumes, it'll probably be C&C (with additions from Pathfinder, like the two forms of spontaneous casting for clerics).
 
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