OD&D Stuff You'd Like from OD&D, AD&D, Holmes, B/X, BECMI, RC?


There were plenty of game elements before 3.x and 4e. I suspect those two will get the lions share of a 5e merger game, but what elements would you like to include, even if simply optional, from some of the earlier versions of D&D?

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Here are mine. They overlap quite a bit with other games, but they are very important to my own game. I could always include them later, but, you know, it helps if they are in a published system.

Character Name
Class Level
Experience Points
Strength 3-18
Intelligence 3-18
Wisdom 3-18
Constitution 3-18
Dexterity 3-18
Charisma 3-18
Saving Throws (Defenses)
Hit Points
Armor Class
Coin (Money)
Equipment list
Height (Size)
& Personalized Description - written or drawn or whatever

Those last 4 are actually quite important and I really hope they aren't left out. But then again, I'd rather see all of what's listed. (Yeah, 23 different things, but I can hope right?)


First Post
What was so great about early D&D was not the rules; it was the lack of rules. In fact, the rules generally got in the way. If you had a decent DM, he was constantly making judgment calls and rolling a die to suggest whether something better or worse than "normal" should happen.

Obviously 5E isn't going to ship with a lack of rules, but it should make sure that the rules it does provide mesh well with ad hoc calls by a human referee. The combat rules, for instance, shouldn't be too "complete"; they shouldn't shut out options by defining game-specific reasons why you can or cannot do something that might make sense in the scene being played out.


Pretty sure dndnext will have all 23. Biggest issue might be with capping the stats at 18, if you intended that. Otherwise it seems like a list of things that has been in all editions.

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5ever, or until 2024
hw99...it will have that and more. At least by name, many familiar classes, races, weapons, spells, monsters...and maybe even of those details will be the same or very close.

I think beyond that, I want two things from D&D's fist decade:

1) awesome, iconic adventures.
2) bold. style.


First Post
The main thing from the older editions I have is nostalgia. The actual rules and playstyle? Yeesh. I can't think of anything dropped from those systems that should come back.


Steeliest of the dragons
hmmm. Well, How&Why's list is most complete.

I would reiterated XP and Class since it seems there is an increasing movement who want a "classless" and/or "XP/level-less" D&D...judging characters, instead, based on acquisition of feats and skills and powers.

To me, you throw those out....you really have no right to call it "D&D" anymore.

I would want also to see a return to "Vancian magic" (gods I hate that term, but it is the quickest/easiest term for the "fire and forget" method of spell casting).

[EDIT 2] Maybe all of the flack Vancian magic gets is because of the name? The branding? If you toted it as "Classic casting/magic" or "Studied casting/magic" it would be more tolerable for people.

In example, I had all "A's" in high school (and most of college). I could take a test in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, History, etc...and ace the test. Because I studied! If you asked me to do it now, I severely doubt I would actually PASS let alone get an "A."

The innovation of the "Sorcerer"/spontaneous casting classes are beloved by many...most, I would wager to say...but is it a "core" archetype? Morgan le Fey, Merlin, Soloman, even Disney's "Witches" (though, technically, Maleficent was flavored/described as a evil "fairy" like/working against the 3 "good fairies") were all consulting their occult grimoires. [/EDIT 2]

Spontaneous casting in "core/basic" classes, buh-bye. Prestige, or whatever they decide to call them, fine. But not for the beginner/basic "arcane spell caster" class.

Also, I know this will probably get me shot, mugged, strung up, drawn and quarter, and dunked in the river (or at least "boo-ed" off of ENworld) but "THAC0" was not really all that bad.

A single number your character had, that changed with level, and could deduce your roll to hit. No more big heavy charts for everyone. One chart per class with one number you needed to known/mark down.

I really never understood/understand all of the flack THAC0 gets.

Is doing subtraction really so difficult in today's day and age? Your opponent's AC is "X". THAC0 - X = what you need to roll on d20.

Of course, that should/could be flip-flopped, seeing as pretty much everyone likes "increasing" AC instead of "lower=better" (myself included). "Higher = better" just seems more intuitive for everyone/an improvement.

So, flop the chart. You could have a THAC0 + X = roll needed to hit. Easy-peasy. :D

Obviously, this would require a reworking of what counts towards AC, how you determine AC, where AC starts (0, presumably), etc.

Roll of 20 still always hits, of course! That is also a "sacred cow" I couldn't see losing and still calling the game "D&D"...just because someone can claim, "I have an AC of 26! You can never hit me!" and a roll of 20 with only a combined +4 to your "to hit" (whether it is via feats or powers or racial abilities or what have you) would never touch them.

No "double roll" needed. No "crit check"...Just, "Rolled a 20? You hit (period). Double damage (period)."

But a return to the "THAC0" mechanic would not "turn me off" of DnD:TNG.

[EDIT] OH! And Races. Oy. A return to a "simplified" list of races.

Ok, Unearthed Arcane (1e's, I mean) opened up all of the "sub-races" of elves and dwarves and gnomes (I never considered subraces of "halflings" to be legitimate. Give me hairy feet of give me another race! :) ). Ok, that got a little ridiculous for number of races.

But it pales in comparison to the "Eladrin/Dragonborn/Tiefling/Drow" onslaught that was to come.

Half-dragons, Half-elementals, Half-demons, Half-angel-half-giant-half-gnoll ("Cuz I'm a character an' a half!" :p ), Goliaths and Wilden and Shardminds...oh MY!

Pick...what did we originally have in 1e...7?

Give me 8...maybe 10? That's all a "core/basic" game needs.(Though I'd make the argument that years worth of fun gaming is doable with just "Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling") Everyone else...you have them in your world? You like them? Fine! Introduce all of the NPCs you like...or homebrew your own PC race out of the "non-core/rules" races. We did it for YEARS without problem...Nixie PCs, Were-whatever PCs, Doppleganger PCs...none of these have to be "RAW" races, imho.

Ok. I think that's all I have on that.

No matter what it has or doesn't have, have fun and happy gaming and best of luck with whatever DnD:TNG brings.

--Steel Dragons [/EDIT]
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The EN World kitten
I liked that BECMI gave us (or rather, the Rules Cyclopedia gave us) the full set of levels possible, right from the get-go. You knew it was capped at level 36, and that was it. None of the craziness about epic levels; they were built-in from the beginning (4E was wise to do this as well with 30 levels).

As a counterpart to that, I liked the Immortals tier also (the I in BECMI), since it was essentially a separate, self-contained sub-system for what to do if you really wanted to keep going past 36, and allow for the cool sub-genre of playing a god.


First Post
I would like to see a morale subsystem brought back, to emphasize that every combat doesn't need to be a slaughter to the last man.

I'd like to see the something similar to the old NPC reaction system from 1e. Tweaked to work with the skills instead of raw charisma.

I want combat to be sped up so that I feel comfortable using wandering monsters in places that I want the players to feel that it is dangerous to travel. I haven't used wandering monsters since 2e because the combats eat up to much time.


Followers! Followers followers followers. Strongholds. Apprentices. All the cool stuff that used to open up when you hit Name level. They took that away in 3E and I want it back.

(The Leadership feat was intended to replace Name-level benefits, I think, but it didn't work very well. Leadership is weirdly underpowered and overpowered at the same time. It's underpowered because until you get into quite high levels, you have too few followers to rule even a small domain. It's overpowered because your cohort gives you a second set of actions every turn at a power level not far below your own, which is huge in a traditional dungeon crawl.)
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Crazy Jerome

First Post
Side-by-side initiative built in as the default. If you want more detailed round resolution, it can be provided in options. But don't build anything into the base system that requires going one character at a time.

Relatively few spells--compared to everything from late 2E up until now. That's one of the reasons early Vancian magic worked as well as it did. When you've got 12 distinctive choices for a given spell level, you can learn them all pretty darn quick. If supplements want to expand the list for alternate magic systems and/or specialized classes, that's ok too. Just don't retroactively add them to every spell list *, without some serious thought.

* Or whatever replaces the spell list, if anything. I'm not that wild about spell lists themselves. But if we are going to have them, at least keep them short.


I like the modularity of BECMI. Start with the basic set. Add skills, weapon mastery, monster classes, what have you. You could find dozens of optional rules in the boxed sets and the gazeteers. My goodness, is 5e going to be BECMI?


First Post
I have the original AD&D DMG. I'll have to crack it open and look that over. Is it under combat or another section?

Either the end of the NPC section or towards the front of the combat section. I'm going from memory; I don't have the book here at work.


1. A generous sprinkling of spells that are flexible, bizarre, and/or dangerous to the caster (3e made all spells idiot-proof)
2. Simpler monster structure compared to player structure
3. Faster combat
4. Divine magic weaker than arcane, but safer and also better at certain things
5. Rules for PCs establishing domains
6. Potion miscibility, and other wierd rules/subsystems with campaign-world implications.


Either the end of the NPC section or towards the front of the combat section. I'm going from memory; I don't have the book here at work.
It's in both the PHB & DMG. The players has a description of how it works for players. The DMG has it both under henchman and under combat. Be forewarned. It is quite considerable and you may not want all of it. All those loyalty and morale tables reprinted at the end of the book were for quick reference. If you want something less check out 2e.

BTW, does it matter that I cheated by putting down in post 2 all of the stats I require players to track on their player logs in my game? Not that these things change all that fast, but it feels like cheating to suggest they be included in 5e. :D

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