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Topics - ian54

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First Edition AD&D / There and back again
« on: August 05, 2018, 08:27:16 AM »
I wanted to share a small journey I undertook recently.

My original gaming background was almost exclusively AD&D 1e, I went through the emergence of the 1e supplementary books, the revisions in Dragon, all the way up to 2e and stopped shortly after that (not before amassing another huge collection of splat books).

Last year, primary driven by a D&D sale on PDFs, but also due to the occasional references in the OSR community, I got all the Original D&D books and supplements and decided to go through them all to see what gems they had. In the end I decided to accumulate them into a single document, first by copy/pasting the original three books, and then cutting out parts of each supplement and inserting or amending where necessary. I made some "changes of comfort" like combining the class experience and abilities tables, and reorganising monster stats into the more familiar format. All the while I was learning the rules and seeing the origins of the game unfold before my eyes.

My journey was nearly finished but so many things were missing from my compleat tome; monsters, classes, treasure. So to complement it I went though all seven issues of Strategic Review and the first ten issues of Dragon, taking out the additional rules, classes, monsters, treasure, and also articles such as the description of the inner and outer planes, and added them all into my ever growing compendium.

The final result of my labor, was ... a slightly rough version of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (1e), it was all there. Without doubt the issue of the 1e books was really a composition and reworking of the original rules, and that was it. Not to play this down, as the rules for 1e were (IMO) close to perfection, but I really understood how they came to be and the huge amount of ideas that Gygax and company had churned out in those early years, it really made me appreciate it all the more.

Additionally, what struck me was just how "basic" the eventual Holmes Basic edition that succeeded it was and how much of a rewrite it had become, no wonder it emerged as a separate product stream, I had some idea that Original edition was going to be pre-basic, but I was truly amazed at how much detail was in those first rules.

As a postscript, I can thoroughly recommend any 1e aficionado to take a moment to explore the OD&D rules, it does actually explain a lot and how the 1e rules came to be.

Classic D&D / OD&D Help needed to find missing stuff
« on: July 02, 2018, 04:07:55 PM »
I've been on a bit of a journey starting with the OD&D books and then combining the supplements into them, trying to use as much of original text and possible and bring certain aspects up-to-date without ruining the original concept (for example combining all the monster statistics together like in later editions).

Some points and rules seem to be debatable and I was wondering if anyone could guide me to where I could find answers, perhaps editions of Strategic Review or Dragon?

* what is the xp progression for higher level Fighting-Men, Magic-Users and Clerics
* do Druids attack and save as Clerics?
* rules regarding spell memorising, there is an indication that the spells/level matrix applies daily, but no rules as to how the character regains spells or actually needs to specify which spells beforehand (as per later editions)
* the alignment tables don't cover all monsters
* some monsters are missing statistics altogether, e.g. Brain Mole

Classic D&D / Monster Summoning
« on: September 17, 2017, 08:22:23 AM »
I was compiling an adventure and intended it to be based on B/X or BECMI, when I realised that the Monster Summoning spell, which I had intended the nemesis to use, was conspicuously absent from the spell lists, I checked B/X, Basic (BECMI) and the Rules Cyclopedia, and it is not there, a wiki told me it was in OD&D Greyhawk Supplement, but can anyone confirm where this spell is to be found? TIA

First Edition AD&D / AD&D Unclassified
« on: April 13, 2017, 12:05:44 PM »
When I started roleplaying back in the day, my main games were AD&D 1e and Classic Traveller, I was always somewhat frustrated by the class restrictions in AD&D although I could see the point as a matter of gameplay and strategy, but I longed for the skill based system that games like Traveller provided, why not have a Thief who could just learn the Lock/Knock spell to make his life easier instead of being another cookie cutter elf/half-elf multi-class? I gravitated towards The Fantasy Trip and later GURPS to get a skill based system, but these turned out to be a bit complex and favoured min-max strategies for character creation, they tended to miss the traditional style of roleplaying that AD&D provided.

So eventually I sat down and sketched out an idea, recently I have put pen to paper (or keyboard to word processor) and came up with a plan to incorporate into traditional AD&D without hopefully ruining the basic experience and gameplay.


I feel this amendment could be applied to 1e, with or without UA, or any of the 1e clones out there.

Comments and playtesters welcome.

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