1E On the Origins of Classes (1e, OD&D)

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lowkey13

Guest
Well, Greyhawk.
Gah. I was actually looking at p.4 when I wrote that, and so you can imagine where that error came from!


So you don't have any of the insider testimonials you were looking for on that topic?
No- always looking for some.

BUT ... that's only part of it. As I explain lower-

I was just looking at similarities because someone asked. The D&D Thief didn't use innate/powerful shadow-magic like Shadowjack, for instance, in fact, like Cugel, it didn't have innate magic, at all. It did use magic scrolls via Decipher script, which is closer to Lieber's Grey Mouser than the other two. There were other similarities.
There were differences, too, The Grey Mouser was a swordsman comparable to Fafhrd, though using a rapier rather than a broadsword - and no early-D&D Thief was the equal of a similar-XP (let alone level) Fighter, that way.
So the issue with a lot of this is that a lot of the materials were lost, and a lot of the people either forget, mis-remember, or, um, lie.

The Thief is actually a great example of this. Gygax claimed sole credit for this (same with the Cleric), even though it can't be true. That's why, when you're looking into this, you have to balance a lot of competing factors, and come to a sort of "best guess" scenario- which is say, even if someone gives you the "magic bullet" quote, there's a good chance it could be wrong. Such is life.

The Thief can't be single sourced- I don't think Shadowjack or Cugel are the sole sources for the Thief. I think it was largely borrowed/stolen from the Aero Games class as relayed to Gygax, with some additional Gygaxian flourishes (percentiles!). That part is indisputable.

I think you can further trace material that is pure Gygax (or Gygax collaborators) by seeing what was added post-Great Plains.

But what, exactly, Shadowjack or Cugel added? Don't know. I only know that Gygax specifically referred to them. Is there some Lieber influence? Maybe. Don't know. I'd love to see a reference to it!
 
But what, exactly, Shadowjack or Cugel added? Don't know. I only know that Gygax specifically referred to them. Is there some Lieber influence? Maybe. Don't know. I'd love to see a reference to it!
Specifically referred to them like he did Bishop Odo &c when claiming the Cleric as his own?
 
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lowkey13

Guest
Specifically referred to them like he did Bishop Odo &c when claiming the Cleric as his own?
Sure. First-hand account, third party account? I mean, I know that Gygax was a huge fan of Fritz, and we have the Nehwon mythos and all that (not to mention Appendix N, references in other books, and so on), so it's completely credible- just hard, especially given that this wasn't a Gygax class.

TBH, I have some doubts about the amount of credibility w/r/t to the whole Cugel and Shadowjack thing, but he did say it.
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
Gray Mouser was a failed magician's apprentice before he turned to a life of thievery. If I recall correctly, he dabbled in a spell or two later in his story as well.
 
So, anyone have ideas on the Assassin?
Stealth? Disguise? Death attacks? Sounds like a ninja.

Leather armor & shield? ...no idea.

Ninjas hadn't quite become pop culture icons in the 70s, I don't think. And the iconic assassin of that & the preceding decades, if you even remembered he was supposed to be one, would've been James Bond. Maybe Bronson as the Mechanic. ...I'm probably missing something. Did Nehwon have an Assassins' Guild? I seem to recall they had Beggars' and Thieves' Guilds.

The eponymous Assassins, btw, hid daggers in scrolls so they could stabbed nobles in the guise of petitioners. Not much help there.
 
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lowkey13

Guest
Stealth? Disguise? Death attacks? Sounds like a ninja.

Leather armor & shield? ...no idea.

Ninjas hadn't quite become pop culture icons in the 70s, I don't think. And the iconic assassin of that & the preceding decades, if you even remembered he was supposed to be one, would've been James Bond. Maybe Bronson as the Mechanic. ...I'm probably missing something. Did Nehwon have an Assassins' Guild? I seem to recall they had Beggars' and Thieves' Guilds.

The eponymous Assassins, btw, hid daggers in scrolls so they could stabbed nobles in the guise of petitioners. Not much help there.
I got nothing!

The closest I get when I look around is that it was an Arneson class, and that Kask tried to "sage" it (make in an NPC), but was "overruled" (don't know by whom).

BUT ... I can't seem to find any sourcing from the various Blackmoor veterans that there ever was an Assassin class in those campaigns? It really looks like it sprung up in the Blackmoor Supplement? And no one, that I know of, takes ownership of it?
 
A couple of points.

First, Daniel Wagner created the D&D thief class. Switzer explained the thief class to EGG in a phone call between Switzer and EGG, but that doesn't mean that Switzer created the class. Wagner and Switzer were in the same campaign, and it was Wagner who actually created the class.

Also, EGG said that he adopted the idea for the thief class from a fan that he spoke to over the phone, Gary Schweitzer. I think it is pretty clear that EGG meant Gary Switzer and just misspelled the name. So I don't think it's true that EGG took full credit for the class. EGG might have claimed full credit for his version of the thief based on differences between his version and the version explained to him on the phone call, but he credited his idea of the thief class to that phone call.

Second, there is a paladin. There were very few paladins in Gary's Greyhawk game, because paladins had to have a charisma of 17, a rare occurrence, but there were, in fact, paladins. For one, Don Ardnt played a paladin, Arnd of Tdon, in Gary's Greyhawk game.

Gary clearly created the paladin class, but after its creation, paladins were played in Arneson's Blackmoor game thereafter. Arneson said that it was his favorite class to play (though he spent more time as a DM than as a player, of course).
 
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lowkey13

Guest
A couple of points.

First, Daniel Wagner created the D&D thief class. Switzer explained the thief class to EGG in a phone call between Switzer and EGG, but that doesn't mean that Switzer created the class. Wagner and Switzer were in the same campaign, and it was Wagner who actually created the class.
Just going through this again to check for some updates- I saw some sourcing from Wagner that he was the one that played the class, and that Switzer/Aero Games "called it in" (as noted above), but I haven't seen any independent sourcing for Wagner.

I have no reason to doubt it, just wanted to verify. Do you have a source that doesn't point back to a comment by Wagner?

Also, EGG said that he adopted the idea for the thief class from a fan that he spoke to over the phone, Gary Schweitzer. I think it is pretty clear that EGG meant Gary Switzer and just misspelled the name. So I don't think it's true that EGG took full credit for the class. EGG might have claimed full credit for his version of the thief based on differences between his version and the version explained to him on the phone call, but he credited his idea of the thief class to that phone call.
Again, it's complicated. Like many things, the story ... changes. Over time. And I do mean ... story.

The original publication by EGG clearly credits the source material, but later on there is no mention of where it came from, and it would appear that EGG is either trying to take full credit for the class (by reference to Vance and Zelazny, among others) or to simply omit the full origin story, and allow people to believe he invented the class.

I do think that EGG altered the class from what was initially described (with the notably Gygaxian flair or substituting percentile dice checks for the original MU-like skills), but ... you know.

Second, there is a paladin.
There is no Paladin.
 
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lowkey13

Guest
Well, not if you played 2nd ed and used 3d6 in order :p

I think the chance for one was 0,3% or so from the attribute requiments, Or was it 1%? I cannot say atm, but it was as rare as rolling a 00 for your percentile Strength
Are you sure?

I mean, there was this one guy I knew ... and he always rolled a 17 in charisma. Every single time! At home.

I'm sure he was just lucky.
 
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lowkey13

Guest
Anyone who showed up at your table as a Paladin was a cheater. That is their original sin for which they must atone.
You say that now, but there's always someone (ALWAYS SOMEONE, BRAD!) who comes on and is all like, "AK-SHU-ALL-Y, I'm not a cheater! There was that time I totally rolled all 18s, and played a Paladin. I mean, sure, maybe I got a little lucky when I stubbed my toe on a holy avenger at 2nd level, but those are the breaks, right? It's a terrible burden to bear, but someone in the party has to be awesome, so ... "
 
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lowkey13

Guest
Look, if you're going to delve into the origins of the 1e classes, & present it to others, DO THE COMPLETE JOB IN A NEUTRAL MANNER.

If you can't do that your research isn't worth consideration.
I apologize. Thank you for your wonderful and meaningful advice.

I will return the full money you paid me for my research, and please consider my humble apologies that I ever forced this upon you.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
Are you sure?

I mean, there was this one guy I knew ... and he always rolled a 17 in charisma. Every single time! At home.

I'm sure he was just lucky.
oh boy, Brad must be cousins with Player Who Always Manages to Roll an 18 for Every Character, my favorite 🙄
 

Laurefindel

Adventurer
The only legit AD&D Paladin I’ve seen was an attempt to save an otherwise boring all 13s and 14s series with the only 17 « wasted » in Charisma. It was played as the reluctant Paladin who had to « sigh » do the right thing...

now that I think of it, that wasn’t a bad character concept.
 

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