BITD (back in the day)
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 2 of 812, 3 ... 678
Author


Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 656
Joined: Apr 12, 2004
Last Visit: Nov 28, 2020
Location: Perth, Australia

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:56 am 
 

The discussion between OD&D to 3.5 is like trying to say which character class (and I'm talking old school here) was the best one?

I read the conversion manual when it originally came out for 3rd (I think). It sounded plausable, but I was and still am caught in the grip of the early rule sets so I haven't really looked into 3 or 3.5 although I do have a few the books.

Oh and just to be really controversial: who wants to be the cleric? :D


"Don't tempt me, I can resist anything but temptation"

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:33 am 
 

If  your're arguing about the DM's control and the flexibility of the game system, then 1st Edition AD&D is certainly the better choice.

3.5 is more player oriented...with fewer instances where the DM must interpret situations on the fly or use house rules.  This can make for fewer arguments but it also allows the DM less freedom to tinker and dictate circumstances...since the rules are quite interlocked and interdependent.

Guys our age (I am 43) were often part of the generation of gamers that started in the more free-form days before AD&D.  I noticed (even in 1980) that newer gamers were more dependent on the rules and more likely to insist on the letter of the rules lawyer.

A couple of players in my campaign recently protested that I was allowing all bows to be "strength bows" when the 3.5 rules clearly state that only composite longbows can be "strength bows."   For cripes sake!  :x

In practice, the 3.5 rules are very elegant and flexible.  The learning curve, however, can be longer and the DM has to do more work.

A couple of the 3.5 rules are annoying...evasion, for instance.

There are some loopholes for the min/max players and a couple of the classes are either overpowered or underpowered....but that was always a problem.  The same set of basic stats can be used by the player to build a combat machine or a utility whimp, depending on player choices.

The beauty, however, is in how frackin' dangerous any given monster can be.  It is also far more difficult for a high level character to render himself essentially invulnerable to all attacks.

Mark  8)


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7949
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Apr 15, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:33 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:An interesting exercise in selective memory.   8O

To be fair...and to be accurate....AD&D was not exactly a three book game.

A list of the 1st edition hardbacks might include:

Monster Manual
Monster Manual II
Fiend Folio
Players Handbook
Dungeon Master's Guide
Unearthed Arcana
Gods and Demi-gods
Wilderness Survival Guide
Dungeoneers Survival Guide
Manual of the Planes
Oriental Adventures
Dragonlance
Greyhawk Adventures


These books were commonly supplemented in D&D games by:

Dungeons and Dragons (Holmes Boxed Set)
The Arduin Grimoire (All three original publications)
Dragon Magazine (With hundreds of pages of photocopied text with alternative classes and new rules that eventually required the publication of four (4) Dragon compendiums and Unearthed Arcana.

The game was also commonly infected with notions from Runequest, Tunnels and Trolls and many other D&D imitators.  

(This is the same forum that includes interesting memories of some of the nutty things that happened in David Hargraves' games...and that is remembered as a good thing.)

Gamers also mixed in adventures and bits of rules garnered from
all four (4) Mentzer Dungeons and Dragons boxed sets....which culminated in a silly boxed set featuring lliterally god-like characters that were so high level they had to go adventuring in their underwear.

When one factors in the monsters, spells, magic items and special rules hidden in the pages of the umpteen million modules......

It is simply dishonest to remember "back in the day" when there were "only three books."  It is just not true.

Worse, Unearthed Arcana and the million-and-one new "NPC Classes" (yeah, right...NPC) and special rules sets made 1st Edition AD&D into one of the most confusing mazes of house rules and local compromises that modern society is likely to ever see in a game set.  Each of these new rules was designed to sell magazines and books...and game balance be damned.

By comparision, the 3.5 game system is incredibly clean and well considered.  When one considers just the 3.5 core rules published by WOTC, the system seems remarkably compact compared to 1st Edition AD&D.

Further, the "wierd" mix of character races that is commonly cited on this forum is a distortion of actual game play.  It no more represents actual game play than Mazes and Monsters represented AD&D.  

Ironically, the derisive comments posted here sound very much like the sarcastic comments about AD&D one might have expected from non-gamers BITD.  It sounds like jokes that a standup comedian might have made BITD...and you would have been outraged.

In practice, the 3.5 system is incredibly strong and balanced....especially compared to AD&D.  Characters can and do rise to high level in 3.5 just as they did in AD&D.  The difference is that the monsters themselves are powerful enough and flexible enough to challenge higher level characters.

Hey, fun is fun.  I like making extreme statements about "youngin's" or "kids these days" just as much as the next grownup.  Dis on the new game all you want.  Just remember that you are being pig-headed.   :)


The thread isn't "BASH 3RD ED", although I guess it could turn into that.  BITD means just that, back in the day.  When we started we didn't even have an option for all the books youmentioned...as I said, when I started playing, the DMG wasn't even out yet.  I would say 90% of the guys I gamed with or knew about who gamed didn't use the books you mentioned, simply a list of 1st ed books is disengenuous.  Of course the 3 core books were used.  When Dieties/Demigods came out, you used that to pick your pantheon, although very few of us even worried about pantheons at the time...your cleric just worshiped a generic god or one of the Gods from the Greyhawk boxed set.  Fiend Folio and Monster Manual II were used to throw new monsters at the party.  Unearthed Arcana we loved in my group cause of the new spells and of course everyone wanted to try a Barbarian character. That's it.  I never actually ran into a group using ANY of the other books.  No one played Dragonlance. No one played Oriental adventures.  The WSG and DSG were jokes. No one used the Manual of the Planes or Greyhawk adventures. So besides the three core books, you might dip into the other two monster books or UA occasionally.  So when you went to game, you had the three core books and the ref MIGHT have the extra monster books and UA. That's six books.  Mark, I challenge you to list EVERY 3rd and 3.5 monster, spell, magic item, and rule book by WOTC.  I'll get back to you in a week or so.  
 No one I ever knew of ever mixed other game systems.  If you wanted to play Arduin or Runequest, you simply played those games.  Where I came from, we never even HEARD of Arduin until the late 80's.  We sure didn't use the Mentzer boxes.
  Dragon magazine was one of the best supplements ever.  You added a bunch of stuff from there, but you knew it was all unofficial.  But it was fun throwing an anti-paladin at the party, or having a samurai or archer character. But it stated clearly that these characters were NOT tested for play balance, and you used them at your own risk.  When using one, we would often have to throw out a power or two because it didn't work right.  By contrast, ALL YOU EVER HEAR about the splat books is how overpowered and over the top a lot of the "official" character classes/feats/powers/spells are.  Because now there is no control over the stuff because any Fred and Barney down the street can create their own uber character.
  By contrast, you have probably over 100 splat books now. BITD you simpley didn't NEED all that crap. You wanted to run a fighter who was an ex gladiator?  You said your fighter was an ex gladiator.  You wanted to run a type that used a lot of missile weapons?  You got your fighter a lot of arrows. You wanted a brooding, hard ass ex soldier who killed silently in the night? You simply RAN one of those.  We came up with stuff on the fly.  One of my brothers ran not one, not two, but THREE dwarven fighters.  All were completely different without the aid of kits, feats, powers, etc.  One fighter had an 8 Int and 9 widsom so he played him as a battle happy moron who was always rushing into combat, sticking his hands in chests, bags, holes, etc and getting fingers eaten, chopped off or in one case colored permanently blue when he stuck his hand in a Jar of Dyeing.  One fighter had a 15 wisdom to go with his 16 str....he was played as a reluctant fighter who was an intellectual at heart (always taking books from ruined libraries, etc).  For some reason he favored priest weapons (my brother said he had wanted to be a priest but never made the grad) like the mace and flail.  The other fighter had an exceptional strength and high Con...he was a powerhouse traditional dwarven fighter, loved killing but was cautious also, and had a soft heart...he once saved a half orc baby (?) who he raised as a fighter (became his henchman eventually) and always carried a teddy bear named Pookie (Seriously).  No kits, feats, or crapola necessary to play three completely different characters.
 I find the weird mix/distorton of character types to be funny, but pretty much right on to what I see being played at my local game shop.  In the last few years I've seen more half-dragons and half-tieflings (is that the word) characters in local play to make me vomit.  The publications from Dungeon and The Dragon magazine reinforce this.  I pick up the latest Dungeon, and find the new Savage Tide adventure path remarkably free of nutty character types (although there is a felldrake pirate, it looks like some kind of saurian, I can live with that).  However, the next adventure features a Tren barbarian rager; A yuan ti halfblood Fang of Sseth; a yuan ti halfblood bard; a yuan ti pureblood rogue 2/illusionist 6; and despite being really cool the Maure castle dungeon (worth the price of admision!!!) has a human sorcerer9/fighter1/eldritch Knight10 (sigh).  And these are taken from one issue of Dungeon magazine.  
   Anyway, the point of this thread (I think) is to talk about conditions BITD and what we did with what was available, not generally bash on 3rd ed.  I said in an earlier post I was jealous at what the gamers now have to work with....I wish Gary or Frank or someone BITD had taken all those non-offical characters like the anti paladin, the Archer, the Scholar, etc and worked them into useful character types.  But frankly when we wanted a anti paladin, archer or scholar we didn't have a splat book, so we just made them up ourselves....

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:35 am 
 

AdderMcOne wrote:Oh and just to be really controversial: who wants to be the cleric? :D



Actually, cleric is possibly the most troublesome (to a DM) class in 3.5.  

A well-played cleric can be really a dangerous guy...a right pain in the butt to the DM.

Mark


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7949
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Apr 15, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:35 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:I have said before and I will say it again, I really have nothing against today current D&D game, but the truth of the matter is that the current game is Dungeons & Dragons in name only.  The only similarities that they share are thethat they are both FRPGs, they both revolve arounds PCs fighting monsters, and both use a few similiar terms and there is not much else similiar about them.  Comparing 3.5 D&D to 1e AD&D is like comparing apples and oranges, they are different games entirely.


I would agree entirely.  Playing 3rd ed is like playing Diablo or another computer game.  It's the same game in name only, but everything else has been changed.  Which is fine, it's just not the game I learned and loved back in the 70's/80s.

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7949
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Apr 15, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:43 am 
 

Another interesting point is that the rulebooks in the old days were a lot of times not used by players.  The DM was the one with all the books, and the players might have an odd PHB or MM or DMG, but when I gamed in the late 70's as the DM I was the only one bringing all the books to a game.  If there was a rules question, the DM looked it up. I think in a lot of ways the uniformity of the game helped it there...if you were working a fighter, everyone knew what a fighter was and what he did.  Ditto for a cleric....the spells were the same game to game.  I agree with you Mark that the new games seems a LOT more trouble for the DM.  I honestly wouldn't ever want to DM a 3rd or higher edition game.  I couldn't keep track of the monsters powers/feats/skills, much less my own players or the NPCs.  In that way, the uniformity of the rules and character classes helped out quite a bit.

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3795
Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Last Visit: Apr 15, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:16 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Another interesting point is that the rulebooks in the old days were a lot of times not used by players.  The DM was the one with all the books, and the players might have an odd PHB or MM or DMG, but when I gamed in the late 70's as the DM I was the only one bringing all the books to a game.  


My experience was similar.  In fact, we were not even allowed by the DM to bring any books other than the PHB (if we had one).  Most of just brought a Basic rule book, some dice, a character sheet, pencil, and a figure.  Actually, I played for at least a year before buying my first figure.

Oh, yeah, and there was one DM, very talented, who would confiscate your character sheet if you died, and tear it up in front of your eyes.  Hard-core.


Let mirth prevail!

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3861
Joined: Feb 21, 2004
Last Visit: Jan 28, 2021
Location: Milford, Michigan

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:04 pm 
 

We started with the Holmes set and bought the HCs and coverted as the came out. The DMG wasn't available as someone else already mentioned.

The cool thing was that all you needed was the basic three. We waited months for new products back then - and it was usually just a module. A new HC came out maybe once a year: DDG, MMII, FF, UA then there was a larger flood right before 2nd ed.

One of my favorite releases was the long awaited Greyhawk folio and maps. That was awesome. And surprise, surprise, there wasn't crap put out to support or expand it. Today there seems to be an expansion or supplement for everything - which is cool, but overwhelming in the same.

I don't own a single 3 or 3.5 product - I just stare at the mountain of stufff for it at the local book store and shake my head.

I still think the basic 3 HC books of first ed. make up the best stand alone rpg ever produced. You just don't need anything else.

A close second is the way overlooked D&D Rules Cyclopedia. Everything you need in a single (albeit) thick HC.

I guess my best gaming memories are of just sitting down and playing simple AD&D. How cool was it to first meet the drow in Fire Giant. "Holy Crap! What the hell is that thing?" was the reaction. We didn't need uncountable volumes of books describing every aspect of the drow.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

 WWW  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3795
Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Last Visit: Apr 15, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:19 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:One of my favorite releases was the long awaited Greyhawk folio and maps.


Yeah, that was cool, wasn't it.  I taped the maps up on the wall and took a picture of them, which I had processed as an 8"x10".  I carried it in the folio for games.  It was much easier to use than the actual maps, which were huge.


Let mirth prevail!

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
JG Valuation Board

Posts: 1665
Joined: Jul 01, 2006
Last Visit: Apr 16, 2021
Location: Moncton, NB Canada

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:35 pm 
 

Ahh, the good old days! If I recall correctly the first AD&D hardcover we could get in our area was the MM, followed by PHB. It then seemed like we had to wait forever for the DMG. I was at the local hobby shop when the owner Ernie was opening his weekly shipment and there on top was the minty fresh DMGs!! I had one at the cash and out the door as fast as he could calculate his 50% markup over wholesale   8O

It was a couple of weeks before I could actually use it in game play since other players in the group insisted on reading up on the new rules before using them. My vote was for the "figure it out as we go approach" but I was outvoted. (the dangers of having about 20 regular gamers including about six DM's).

BBarsh is correct though. After the first three books it seemed like the wait between other releases took an eternity. Although the time to develop our resident 'rules lawyers' was much shorter  :)
(the most common phrase was "I specifically recall")

JasonW


Check out my Chaosium sourcebook.
Secrets of Tibet

  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3066
Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 30, 2015

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:55 pm 
 

One of the goals of 2E was to reduce the number of books required for play.  It's safe to say that plan failed.

As others have mentioned, few DMs brought the entire 1E collection with them.  Usually just the DMG, PHB, UA (if used in the campaign), and the MMs.  Often one or more MMs was left behind as well.  Very rarely would anyone bring any other books -- they were usually viewed as reference guides for building an adventure.

As has already been stated, all you really need in 3E are the core rules.  However, once you purchase and read a supplement, you tend to want to use it.  3E has a lot of supplements.  

As soon as the DM admits an optional rule into the campaign, the number of required texts to play in that campaign invariably begins to rise.  If the DM is skilled at saying "no", the number of books can remain low.

 YIM  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3593
Joined: Dec 20, 2003
Last Visit: Apr 18, 2021
Location: Canada

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:49 pm 
 

Funny thing I recall.  Our group bought all the books from the DMG to the wilderness and dungeoneers survival books.  We used them all and were very frustrated at the mish mash of rules spread out amongst These manuals.

Our old group was basically breaking up (university, jobs, women etc) just when 2nd edition was coming out. We formed a newer group of school chums and started over again using 1st ed.

My twin brother raced down to the store to buy the 2nd ed players manual the day it was released; he figured that 2nd ed was just a collaboration of all the 1st ed rules finally into just a few books.  He read it and came to the conclusion nothing really changed (there was this weird THACO thing :? )  After this we just bought the odd 2nd ed module to play and never really updated for years.

Weird to remember that event, so excited to get the new rules and then we never used them. :lol:


Games can get you through times of no money but money can not get you through times of no games!!

 WWW  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 465
Joined: Mar 27, 2006
Last Visit: Aug 08, 2016
Location: Eatin' hog-eyed peas in a hog-eyed town

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:29 pm 
 

It is simply dishonest to remember "back in the day" when there were "only three books."  It is just not true.


Mr Shipley, I am surprised by your mis-perceptions of what I said. Kindly note the date--1974!!! We were playing DUNGEONS & DRAGONS; not AD&D, not Basic D&D, not D&D for Anal Retentives or anything else that came after. The game was originally three books. Hate to burst your balloon, but lots of us had tons of fun and wasted hundreds of hours with ONLY THREE BOOKS--Men & Magic, Monsters & Teasure and Underground (or whatever the Book 3 was formally titled.

The new generations need updated enterainment to fit in with there own unique needs.


No, the present generation needs an imagination. We have cheated this generation out of having one. (BTW, I'm 57 and one of the original "old farts") We old farts had great imaginary battles in the sandbox with unarticulated, simple plastic "army men" or cowboys & Indians or knights, etc. We had to use our imaginations. The way we intellectually spoon feed our children today has destroyed their ability to imagine. Now, everything has to be spelled out.

One of the goals of 2E was to reduce the number of books required for play. It's safe to say that plan failed.


The main goal of all the subsequent editions after AD&D was to sell more product. When we split Basic from Advanced, we were trying to clarify and simplify. We had all of those supplements, all of the stuff I had published in DRAGON, licensed stuff, etc. And dare I reveal this, we KNEW that no D&D player worth his salt would be satisfied with only Basic.

By contrast, you have probably over 100 splat books now. BITD you simpley didn't NEED all that crap. You wanted to run a fighter who was an ex gladiator? You said your fighter was an ex gladiator. You wanted to run a type that used a lot of missile weapons? You got your fighter a lot of arrows. You wanted a brooding, hard ass ex soldier who killed silently in the night? You simply RAN one of those. We came up with stuff on the fly. One of my brothers ran not one, not two, but THREE dwarven fighters. All were completely different without the aid of kits, feats, powers, etc. One fighter had an 8 Int and 9 widsom so he played him as a battle happy moron who was always rushing into combat, sticking his hands in chests, bags, holes, etc and getting fingers eaten, chopped off or in one case colored permanently blue when he stuck his hand in a Jar of Dyeing. One fighter had a 15 wisdom to go with his 16 str....he was played as a reluctant fighter who was an intellectual at heart (always taking books from ruined libraries, etc). For some reason he favored priest weapons (my brother said he had wanted to be a priest but never made the grad) like the mace and flail. The other fighter had an exceptional strength and high Con...he was a powerhouse traditional dwarven fighter, loved killing but was cautious also, and had a soft heart...he once saved a half orc baby (?) who he raised as a fighter (became his henchman eventually) and always carried a teddy bear named Pookie (Seriously). No kits, feats, or crapola necessary to play three completely different characters.


That's what imagination is all about!!!

Another interesting point is that the rulebooks in the old days were a lot of times not used by players. The DM was the one with all the books, and the players might have an odd PHB or MM or DMG, ... If there was a rules question, the DM looked it up. I think in a lot of ways the uniformity of the game helped it there...if you were working a fighter, everyone knew what a fighter was and what he did. Ditto for a cleric....the spells were the same game to game.


I never allowed my players to argue with me, so they didn't need anything but their dice and Player Record. In fact, I made most of the important rolls right out on the table in front of everyone. MY dice, my game, no hard feelings and rules-lawyering.

I am willing to bet almost any amount of money that with just the first AD&D DMG, MM & PHB and my imagination that I could craft a campaign that would give almost any player all he could handle and make it thoroughly enjoyable.

My WBITD story was not intended to bash any particular iteration of the game, but merely to point out that you can have all the fun the law allows with a lot less.


Nemesis of the Annoyingly Dense
Guidelines, not rules...

  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3795
Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Last Visit: Apr 15, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:29 pm 
 

Mr Shipley, I am surprised by your mis-perceptions of what I said. Kindly note the date--1974!!! We were playing DUNGEONS & DRAGONS; not AD&D, not Basic D&D, not D&D for Anal Retentives or anything else that came after. The game was originally three books. Hate to burst your balloon, but lots of us had tons of fun and wasted hundreds of hours with ONLY THREE BOOKS--Men & Magic, Monsters & Teasure and Underground (or whatever the Book 3 was formally titled.


On the other hand, way back in 1974 wan't too long before there was Greyhawk, if indeed it was published in February of 1975.  How long did you guys really play with just 3 books?


Let mirth prevail!

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:58 pm 
 

i had a lad along once who actually complained after the game that not once in the session did i abide by ANY ruling thats in the DMG :D

so i just looked at him and said "so?" :D

he kinda didnt know what to say at that point and i just said "its roleplay chummer....simple as that. if you want to come n play, this is how we do it. i make my own rules and i use what i want. if you dont like it, go find another game"

i thought it was quite funny :D

i just use common sense and give PCs a chance - if they are muppets, they pay...its as simple as that - the game is always a blast :)

Al



  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:20 pm 
 

Actually, Tim, I wasn't answering you, so please don't take offense.   8)

I was just pointing out the irony of some of the charges against the 3.5 system.

Instead of a rant, how about......

It is really interesting to note the many different styles of play listed here on this strand.

Some guys played without books and some guys played with a library in every player's geek bag.

I also know of one Portland area campaign...originally based at the University of Portland...where the DM would not allow the players to roll any dice or even take their character sheets home!  (The DM would call up his players mid-week and say, "Guess what!  You made a level!  And...I rolled an 8 for your hit points!")  I re-visited their campaign in the Fall of 2001...it is still going strong, with the same players, plus their teenage kids!  They are still using the 1st Edition AD&D rules.  The DM will not even allow Unearthed Arcana.

I was not rich, but many of my friends were....in fact, they bought and gave books to me so I could DM.  They had everything.  I can imagine that there are groups that never even owned all three core AD&D rule books!  If they had waited for me to buy anything we would have still been extrapolating from the Holmes Basic Set rules when we graduated from high school, three years later!

One of my own house rules was that no one was allowed to look at a Monster Manual at the game table.  I saw games where the players were allowed to look up the monster they were fighting.   8O

Probably the most epic series of adventures we did was all three D series modules back to back.  We had a circle of 20+ gamers in our group, but not all of them could be present at any one time.  During that series, we placed absent PC's on "the ethereal bench," where they watched from the ether sidelines as the others battled on.  At any given game session there would be about 12 PC's in the action and another 12 or so on the bench.

I organized all of the Kuo Toans in the shrine into "divisions" and flung them at the players.  Naturally, the PC's never even considered the possibility of simply making an offering to Blibdoolpoolp and just crossing the shrine in safety!  I believe there were about a dozen PC deaths in the shrine mayhem!  

My group relied a lot on the true sight spell to find things.  Consequently, when the one guy in the campaign who was not using true sight looked briefly down a tertiary passage...shrugged...and turned back around....the party missed the major treasure horde in that module.  It is still lying there, these 25 years later.

One of the PC's later became a god...it was either force him into the ranks of the deified or have him continue to plunder entire nation states across the Greyhawk world map.  Tolindor, Elven God of Magic and Power-Mad Megalomania.

Tolindor had to be retired after he led a party of PC's to raid the Abyss.  Demogorgon died in my campain in 1981...and he is still dead.

A rival gaming group formed at our high school...slightly too young or  much too nerdy to join our campaigns.  They gamed in the "computer room," which (in 1979) was a converted janitor's closet!  We were too ashamed to be seen with them!  Irony.   :lol:

Guys from our group went on to adult careers as (off the top of my head):

Teacher (2)
Computer Engineer (2)
Police Officer (1)
Corporate Executive (2)  (Starbucks and Leatherman)
Insurance Adjuster (1)
Engineer (1)
Computer Programmer (1)
Computer Technician (1)
Nuclear Engineer (1)

A number of them were soldiers along the way, despite the post-Vietnam anti-military feelings common among us.  The money for college was just too good and the Cold War stayed mostly cold.

A number of us still gather every year for a long weekend based around the Super Bowl....which has become an excuse for a weekend away from wives and responsibilities...and a hell of a lot of fun.  Last year, I was astonished and quite touched to learn that these highly accomplished men still regard me as the unofficial leader of the group.

Anyway...long post.  Who else remembers something?

Mark   8)


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 288
Joined: Feb 27, 2005
Last Visit: May 19, 2014
Location: San Diego, CA

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:28 pm 
 

All's I can say is that this discussion provides an interesting dichotomy from posts over at the RPGnet forums, where there are a lot of player empowerment discussions and modern RPG style threads, and GNS theory talk and all that.

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 465
Joined: Mar 27, 2006
Last Visit: Aug 08, 2016
Location: Eatin' hog-eyed peas in a hog-eyed town

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:31 pm 
 

On the other hand, way back in 1974 wan't too long before there was Greyhawk, if indeed it was published in February of 1975.  How long did you guys really play with just 3 books?


Careful reading of my post will see that I purchased Greyhawk with the set of 3. We mostly ignored the Underworld book and did it my way. So yes, we did play for the better part of a year with what was essentially 3 books, or if you want to be horribly precise, about 3.15 books.

I know that you guys have estimated that it came out in Feb. of 1975, but I think it was available in limited numbers at GenCon in '74, to the best of my recollection. It seems to me that I got there to the Con and found it for sale and when I asked Gary about it, his answer was that it was brand new and contained stuff they had left out of the first set and clarifications.


I freely admit that this is a 32 year old recollection, but I'm reasonably certain that it is accurate. It sticks in my mind that I spent a good deal of time reading the first three, then read the fourth and figured out the changes and clarifications and only then set out to draw up my first very crude dungeons.

I know I'm old, but so far my memory has been very dependable.


Oh, one other thing: my group contained Tom Wham, Jake Jaquet, myself, a future Illinois States Attorney,  Dr.,  dentist and a guy who invented some electronic doohickey that ended up in military applications. I have no idea what happened to the rest of them...


Nemesis of the Annoyingly Dense
Guidelines, not rules...

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 288
Joined: Feb 27, 2005
Last Visit: May 19, 2014
Location: San Diego, CA

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:03 pm 
 

Incidentally, the Ptolus 3.5 game that I'm running now has four PCs. Three are human, one is 1/2 elf. I've got a fighter, a cleric, a rogue and a monk. All straight from the core PHB. We're not using anything but the three core books (and the Ptolus book, but I'm the only one with that one, and it's pure 100% setting material, no extra rules except city specific stuff).

So it can be done.

  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3066
Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 30, 2015

Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:57 pm 
 

Kaskoid wrote:
deimos3428 wrote:One of the goals of 2E was to reduce the number of books required for play. It's safe to say that plan failed.

The main goal of all the subsequent editions after AD&D was to sell more product. When we split Basic from Advanced, we were trying to clarify and simplify. We had all of those supplements, all of the stuff I had published in DRAGON, licensed stuff, etc. And dare I reveal this, we KNEW that no D&D player worth his salt would be satisfied with only Basic.

I believe my point may have been misunderstood.  To clarify, by "2E" I meant "AD&D 2nd Edition", not "Holmes D&D".  ;)

To reiterate, one of the repeatedly stated goals of AD&D 2nd Edition was to reduce the number of books.  For example, from Dragon #114, pg. 3, Letters:
Zeb Cook wrote:One of the biggest objectives of the 2nd Edition is to push the sprawling mass of rules back into one cohesive shape.

There are many similar quotes from various individuals.  I find it hard to believe the purpose was solely to generate cash, considering the amount of resistance the project received from the very start.  There are easier ways to make a ton of money than to spend four years fighting your fanbase.  Rightly or wrongly, there was a strong belief that rules reform was required after a decade or so of development.

It's a lot of fun to reread various articles on the subject from 1985-1989, actually.  That period was my "BITD".   :)

 YIM  
PreviousNext
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 2 of 812, 3 ... 678