TSR What TSR-era D&D material do you still put to use in your 5E games?


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timbannock

Adventurer
I did a few adventures. Then I realized how much I rewrite adventures, and got rid of most of them, save for a few gems and curiosities (Greyhawk Ruins, Caverns of Thracia, etc.).

Now it's all setting material, all the way down. Since I primarily use the Realms (and a dash of Greyhawk), that's a LOT of 1e and 2e books. I make use of the setting material to pull dungeons, sites, and NPCs and convert them as needed. Notably, I keep my games pretty loose rules-wise, and I've found that if you simply take any NPCs' Ability Scores and subtract 10 from them, that's as good an indication as anything as to their modifier on a d20 ability check, attack, or save, so that saves me a ton of time on conversion work. I only do a full conversion when it's a critter that doesn't have Ability Scores and/or I know it's going to feature prominently in a set-piece encounter.

I have the 4 volume Encyclopedia Magica series, too, and use that for all magic item table rolling. That means I do have to convert magic items somewhat frequently, but finding a direct correlation is easy enough, or just relying on simple things like "+1 to +3 to such and such" or "advantage/disadvantage when such and such" goes a long way. And I don't mind magic items "breaking" some standard rules, like using modifiers in place of adv/disadv, so that too keeps it both simple and direct, as well as making such items feel different from character's Class Abilities and the like.

I also use B/X (via Old-School Essentials) for stocking dungeons. I take a lot of liberties so I don't stick to the rules entirely as-is, but I use that as a gauge for treasures and which rooms have what monsters or features. Then I rely on the Event Die, wandering monster tables, and 10 minute segments (formerly known as "turns") and 4 hour shifts (in the wilderness) for determining how often to roll the Event Die.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I have all the Goodman Games Original Adventures Reincarnated books that are currently out, and have used both Keep on the Borderlands and Isle of Dread at the table.

Otherwise, I think I currently just mine TSR content for vibes, which I try to inject into my OSR games especially. But I'm not someone who's particularly interested in anyone else's version of canon anyway.
 

CellarHeroes

Explorer
Over the years I have gradually added more and more TSR content to my 5e games. It just recently got to the point where I dropped my 5e books off at the used book store, and now just run only TSR-era games.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Just about all the lore, especially concerning the Outer Planes; I don't have any problems with (and actually like) the Shadowfell and the Feywild, but I grew up with the Great Wheel, so it's lore stays pretty much untouched (though I do have Inevitables as well as Modrons in my Mechanus).

Converting adventures hasn't gone so well; the challenges and expectations have changed a lot over the years, but I've converted and been inspired by a lot of old Dungeon adventures, as most of those generally have great moments that are fun to introduce to younger players.

I often joke about Potion Miscibility, but I haven't used it (yet). Weird item drawbacks and curses, tricks and traps, artifacts, magical properties of gemstones and plants, ingredients for potions, and many other goodies from the 1e DMG are still a staple of my campaigns.
 

Just about all the lore, especially concerning the Outer Planes; I don't have any problems with (and actually like) the Shadowfell and the Feywild, but I grew up with the Great Wheel, so it's lore stays pretty much untouched (though I do have Inevitables as well as Modrons in my Mechanus).

Old Manuals of the Planes are a must for any extraplanar adventures. There's so much detail, so many adventure hooks in them.
 



DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
It's not properly a 5e game, but I am planning a Spelljammer/Flying Swordsmen mashup and I figured out it's a lot easier to use the structure and basic math of 5e as a vehicle for... random assorted content than to make FS work in OSE.

So, specifically: I am using more of the AD&D Spelljammer content than the modern SJ content, combining the Complete Spacefarer's Handbook and Star Frontiers versions of the Hadozee/Yazirian and Rastipedes/Vrusk along with the 5e Plasmoid/Dralasite. I'm using all of the (core) playable alien species from Alternity Star•Drive, thematically linked to existing races-- fraal gnomes, t'sa quickling/kobolds, weren bugbears, seshayan wyvarans (PF), and aleerin as a fusion of the PF android and warforged. AD&D kobolds are a separate race. Probably cheating, but I've got a number of DM's Guild PDFs converting OA and SJ spells to 5e.

It is not exactly using TSR Content, but I am leaning very heavily on Player's Option: Spells & Magic for constructing class spell lists.

Off topic, but a little related, I'm also using a tonne of Paizo and 3PP PF1 content: I am baking Path of War into all of my replacement classes, I'm using Rogue Genius' Talented classes and Legendary's Legendary classes as the basis for those replacement classes. My whole skill system is based on combining Pathfinder Unchained's Grouped Skills and Skill Unlocks rules.
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
The Rod of Seven Parts is such a classic macguffin hunt that I've started to frame several (sadly short-lived) campaigns around it. I tend to utilize it more conceptually (the rod itself, the battle between Order & Chaos) than actually mining the written material itself, though.
 

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