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D&D General Playing OD&D (1974) in the Year of the Dragon (2024)

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The plan is to have a nice dinner here at our house, complete with cake and ice cream. The meal will be as close to classic 1970s as I can manage: I'm thinking fondue, baked ziti, pineapple upside down cake...using vintage recipes if we can find them. There are a lot of terrible recipes from the 1970s that we'll be avoiding (I'm looking at you, mayonnaise salad.)
If your group is the imbibing sort, there are any number of great cocktails out of the 70s. You'll definitely need a bottle of Galliano. I might recommend:

The Picca
1 oz blended whiskey
.5 oz sweet vermouth
.5 oz blended whiskey
garnish with twist of orange or cherry. I generally make this a double, but if you're gaming, the standard serving would probably be sufficient.

For the less obscure, there's also the Between the Sheets (most recipes call for white rum, but I recommend using gold) and Harvey Wallbanger.

Instead of using pregen characters, I am going to convert ("recreate" would be more apt) their 5E characters into their OD&D counterparts. It's a daunting task, because we have:
  • An 11th level changeling artificer,
  • A 12th level firbolg druid,
  • A 13th level human gunslinger,
  • A 13th level human bard,
  • A 12th level goliath paladin,
  • and a brand-new character of my spouse's creation.
And then I'm going to convert (again, "recreate" is probably more apt) the current adventure they are on. In the weeks leading up to my birthday, the heroes of the story are going to get thrown backward in time and have to stop a mad Wizard Magic-User from upsetting the timeline and freeing a powerful lich.

I'm going to have to sit with this for a while. Stay tuned! (And post any conversion advice, notes, or experiences below...I've never played OD&D and I need all the help I can get.)

Hmmm...If I had to do it, I would take 1-2 traits for each character. So maybe the bard brings over Bardic Inspiration, but otherwise uses the Fighting-Man class, maybe minus something else like shield usage or any armor heavier than chainmail (or Thief if you're including the Greyhawk supplement). OD&D is a fairly wide-open framework for homebrew.

After my current Dragonlance campaign finishes us, I am considering also running an OD&D campaign. I did a one-shot many years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit.


13th level human bard. See The Strategic Review from February of 1976 for this class.
I much prefer this version to the 1e one. The Strategic Review II No. 1 if you have the CD archive.

When my Pathfinder group entered the First World/Feywild where the laws of reality are different and esoteric and ruled by arcane obscure laws I turned everything into 1e while they were there but used this coherent 0e version of the bard for the PC bard's conversion.



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