D&D General Why is "OSR style" D&D Fun For You?

Thomas Shey

Legend
Snarf, I think this is one we might want to check the fanzines on at some point, because I guarantee that people were experimenting with variant score generation methods prior to seeing them officially presented in 1979.

I certainly remember 4D6 pitch lowest as a methodology discussed somewhere during my early gaming career, and I was out of D&D by '79, so it was either discussed in the context of houserules earlier, or I'm remembering it from Gamma World or some such.

In this Gary quote he says "players would keep rolling until they got more viable numbers" and he attributes that to "when AD&D made stats more meaningful", but of course we know that Greyhawk made stats more meaningful in 1975, two years before the PH came out. So I strongly suspect he was misremembering the timing on that.

You'd think.
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Agreed. I think the amount of players who were introduced to the game via AD&D, and assumed (from the text) that OD&D was earlier, purely vestigial material, was not a small contingent.

Completely agree. The massive explosion in popularity in D&D occurred after the so-called "Egbert Explosion" in the fall of '79.

In fact, there was a huge divide at that time and carrying into the 80s between the "old school" players (usually older) who started playing in the 70s with OD&D, and the newer players who usually skewed much younger.

Purely anecdotally, I remember a few players over the years suggesting the "trade 2 stats for 1" rule, and I simply assumed it was a house rule that their previous groups had been using. And now I found out 30+ years later that it was actually sourced from B/X directly!

Not just B/X. It was in Holmes as well!
 

JAMUMU

actually dracula
These are pretty much my reasons for not playing AD&D. :) I am not getting into why to not start an edition war. In the end it boils down to preference and taste.
No worries my fox, I find it difficult to edition war as there's something to love about every edition of The World's Greatest Roleplaying Game(tm).
 


Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
I could swear I remember something like it in OD&D...
OD&D has very ambiguous statements of the following kind:

Clerics can use strength on a 3 for 1 basis in their prime requisite area (wisdom), for purposes of gaining experience only.

It can be read in at least a couple of different ways. Either you can reduce a stat to raise your prime requisite, or you can count additional point in your prime requisite by "virtually" reducing the stat.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
OD&D has very ambiguous statements of the following kind:



It can be read in at least a couple of different ways. Either you can reduce a stat to raise your prime requisite, or you can count additional point in your prime requisite by "virtually" reducing the stat.

That was it, and you're right, its very ambiguous.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
This is interesting too, because the Moldvay point-swapping rule (or maybe I should attribute it to Holmes in 1977) was a clearer explication of text from 1974 OD&D.

The text in 1974 is much more ambiguous and some folks now interpret it that the actual points don't get swapped, but that you "virtually" count them toward the prime requisite for experience bonus purposes ONLY. But the version of the rule in the Basic sets line definitely involves actual swapping.

This is another reason it seems clear to me that AD&D was designed with the expectation that a more generous rolling system was being used, not only because of Gary's "two fifteens or better" recommendation in the PH, or the tables requiring quite high scores to actually get bonuses, but because they didn't include the point-swapping rule in AD&D.
 


Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
Most of us who began with classic D&D, I think, naturally transfer our familiarity with the 2-for-1 buy-up from BXCMIRC&c. (or the more complicated and closer-to-original rules from Holmes) to the original text from Men & Magic (and Greyhawk), and read that into the text without ever dreaming that it could have worked any other way.

I wasn't aware of the "virtual bonus" interpretation until Jonathan Becker suggested it on his BX Blackrazor blog, but I fell in love with it at first sight, and I use a variation on that rule even now. Whatever the original intent, I think that it's the superior rule, and that it does Very Good Things™ to the process of creating a character by 3d6-in-order random generation.
 
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Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Most of us who began with classic D&D, I think, naturally transfer our familiarity with the 2-for-1 buy-up from BXCMIRC&c. (or the more complicated and closer-to-original rules from Holmes) to the original text from Men & Magic (and Greyhawk), and read that into the text without ever dreaming that it could have worked any other way.

I wasn't aware of the "virtual bonus" interpretation until Jonathan Becker suggested it on his BX Blackrazor blog, but I fell in love with it at first sight, and I use a variation on that rule even now. Whatever the original intent, I think that it's the superior rule, and that it does Very Good Things™ to the process of creating a character by 3d6-in-order random generation.
To be clear, you mean just using the points virtually for XP bonus, not actually transferring them to, say, get your new Fighter's Strength up to a 13 to qualify for a +1 to hit and damage as well as the 5% xp bump?
 

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