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Author Topic: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably  (Read 6039 times)

Offline Alex Karaczun

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Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« on: February 04, 2016, 02:47:46 PM »
How many Dungeon Masters back in the late 70s and through the 80s used Basic, Expert and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure modules and Dragon Magazine adventures interchangeably?

This is something I did a lot. It was mostly out of ignorance I suppose, of the actual differences between the systems. I had Holmes Basic and the Advanced books, but never really bothered to compare them side-by-side.

The B and X series modules I ran in my AD&D campaign ran smoothly and I never felt the need to makes sure things lined up with Advanced assumptions, even in later years when I realized there were in fact differences.

How about the rest of you?
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Offline Professor thork

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2016, 03:17:00 PM »
IMO it's all fairly interchangeable. Even using the material, as is, one need only account for the HD differences and adjust the group to fit the adventure; w/o even fiddling with the ability score bonuses or anything! My simple formula is as follows:

1. If running a BX adventure for AD&D characters: (a) do not allow 2nd-3rd level types to begin the adventure for B modules; (b) reduce the X-level range by 2-3 when running AD&D character types. (i.e., if the X has a 3-6 range, allow only 1st-3rd level AD&D types, if it has a 5-10, allow only 3rd-7th level AD&D types.)
2. If running an AD&D adventure for BX characters: reverse the above, and allow higher level types than the adventure range suggests.

This usually works out, somehow.

Offline DadsAngry

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2016, 04:52:58 PM »
Guilty. Just like you I didn't know there was a difference.

Offline Maegnarval

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 09:01:41 PM »
I run the B/X modules without any converting, besides i no longer have the B/X Sets, having giving them to 1st cousins to learn the game a long while back !

I do however convert 3rd thru 5th Edition D&D, into 1st/2nd Edition when playing !

I get rid of 'masterwork' weapons, saying it is just normal weapons in fine shape able to do the normal max damage that it does, so thus no + bonus.

I add in the monster ability stats they thankfully finally added in.

I may tweak monster & spell damage, higher or lower depending on character & game module levels.

I try the best i can to convert Fortitude & Will back into 1st edition saving throws.


Though i am confused by the movement rates in 3rd-5th. 

Are they now listed as per segment (6 seconds) during combat  or not in combat,  instead of per round ( 1 minute) ???


With Experience Points i determine it using 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide, then total it all up with this formula:

Grand Total XP = Monster XP + Gold + Loot = Total XP / # of players

Right now i am not including magic items, weapons & armor XP in my roll20 game. (Though this may change).

Also, currently (though again this may change),  not awarding XP for successful Character Ability / Stat Ability / Proficiency Ability, Attempts (i.e. spells cast, successful pick pocket, undead turned, etc).

The rate of leveling up feels just fine right now having gone through 8 modules, with the player characters now entering levels 3rd to 4th, so basically averaging 2 level steps per module.
It all goes into a pool & is divided evenly between all players.

Offline Dizzy

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2016, 12:02:40 AM »
I just use them straight as is. All the conversion I just do on the fly if any is even needed at all.

Offline RobertFisher

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2016, 10:02:02 AM »
My high school group didn’t use many modules, but when we did we were happy using B/X modules with AD&D. Honestly, though, I now have to say we weren’t really playing AD&D anyway. We were playing B/X with AD&D trappings.

My college group never played D&D, but we used D&D and AD&D modules with all the other RPGs we played. Just ignore the stats and other mechanic bits and substitute things from the game being played...reskinning if desired.


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Offline DMMike

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 12:43:58 PM »
But.....TACO!?!? ;)

Yup, same here. I guess we “knew” there were differences but except for one player <sigh> we didn’t sweat the small stuff. Like I noted on SoD, I don’t know any gamer personally that didn’t run Keep on the Borderlands with AD&D at one time or another.

Like Robert said, we were probably running as much Holmes with 1E trappings as “pure” AD&D 1E.

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Offline Alex Karaczun

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 02:21:52 PM »
Do you all think it was sort of one direction, B/X under Advanced rules, or do you think B/X folx ran AD&D modules too?
Kalex
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Offline Dizzy

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 04:13:20 PM »
I'd say my AD&D playing has almost always been B/X Base, AD&D Classes, spells, items, etc...

I'll have to reread the 1e books to try and run it from it's own core at some point.

Offline sgtslag

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 04:49:36 PM »
I freely mix adventures from different versions.  Started with the boxed set of Basic, then got the PHB, MM, and DMG.  Took us a while to realize the boxed set was "Basic D&D", not an introductory set of AD&D.  I don't care about the rules set for an adventure, I will gladly convert it, usually on the fly, to the 2nd Ed AD&D rules I am playing, since 1989.  Been doing that since the beginning, back in 1980, with 1st Ed. AD&D.    Used an EarthDawn adventure I got for free, around 10+ years back.  Had a blast with it, even though the background plot was based on the EarthDawn setting (I just ignored most of what was unique to that game system).  Cheers!
Gaming:  one of life's many pleasures!

Offline Alex Karaczun

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2016, 02:51:42 PM »
I'd say my AD&D playing has almost always been B/X Base, AD&D Classes, spells, items, etc...

I'll have to reread the 1e books to try and run it from it's own core at some point.

Cool!  The reason I originally asked this question centers around a furor created by advertising a 1e adventure on the Facebook B/X and Holmes groups. I feel totally vindicated.
Kalex
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Offline Maegnarval

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2016, 02:58:50 PM »
Are there any decent sites that offer good conversion table charts, between the different D&D Editions ???

Offline RobertFisher

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Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2016, 03:35:40 PM »
Do you all think it was sort of one direction, B/X under Advanced rules, or do you think B/X folx ran AD&D modules too?

BITD, I didn’t play B/X long enough to use AD&D stuff with it. These days, however, I run B/X, and while I seldom use modules, I do freely borrow from all editions.

Heck, the 1e MM uses the oD&D AC and the Holmes alignment. Not even 1e is 100% 1e. [emoji3]


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Offline kevinwatson

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2016, 07:59:13 PM »
Back in the TSR era, we used Classic (or Basic as it was known then) D&D and AD&D material interchangeably. Sometimes there were some little "Royale with Cheese" differences like AC10 vs AC9 for an unarmored person. The HP and weapon damages normally were very close. The real adjustments back then came from the power curve from the Survival Guides/UA for 1e and the Player's Options books for 2e which really jacked the power curve.

I didn't really see it for what it was until a couple of years ago. I was reading stuff Frank Mentzer wrote for a few months, and talking to him online before GenCon 2014. At GenCon, we talked over 2 pots of tea, and I came to realize I never really played AD&D, I played B/X or BECMI with AD&D character creation and advancement. We never really used the weapons speeds, or the other 8 pages of flow charts for AD&D combat. The rules we used in our games were really the Classic D&D rules.

When I run BECMI or AD&D material with 5e, I use a simple formula to convert descending to ascending AC (20-AC = other AC, it works both directions) So a descending 5 AC becomes a 15 5e AC, and a 22 5e AC is a -2 AD&D AC. I leave weapon damage alone, and increase monster HP by 20%, or leave it alone. 

I have run probably a dozen modules, one of them, Slaver Series A0 nine times (8 at origins and once for my group). I had the official conversion notes. After the 2nd slot, I was converting on the fly, and have done so since. It works largely. The players take hundreds of papercuts, and quit trying to run a 15 minute working day. I still encourage new players to pace themselves on "non-renewable resources" and not burn down every encounter with spells beyond cantrips. I am currently 65-70% through T1-4 with on the fly and it is working great.

Combat is fast, not quite TSR era fast, these players have been playing 3x and 4 for 10+ years and they aren't thinking that way 100% yet. OD&D is not as compatible. But Classic, 1e, 2e and 5e are all very compatible. Even if the "official conversion guide" is 4 pages and Stan Shinn's combat guide is 3 pages.

Offline kevinwatson

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Re: Using Basic, Expert and Advanced Interchangeably
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2016, 08:01:05 PM »
Are there any decent sites that offer good conversion table charts, between the different D&D Editions ???

There is a 4 page pdf guide on the Wizards site, "Conversions to 5th Edition D&D" is the title. The file name is DnD_Conversions_1.0.pdf.
Beyond that, I have never seen anything to convert between Classic and AD&D or from 1e to 2e.