Hot answers tagged

54

E. Gary Gygax notes in several places that the class limits and level limits were both game balance and to force the game to be humanocentric. I'll let EGG speak for himself (Dragon #29, Sept. 1979, p. 12): The character races in the AD&D system were selected with care. They give variety of approach, but any player selecting a non-human (part- or ...


36

This question is very much about personal preference; therefore there isn't going to be a "right answer" or "solution." Here are my reasons for still playing: AD&D 1e is the last edition where a player's skill during the game mattered more than their skill during the character creation process (if we ignore some of the changes introduced by Unearthed ...


34

Points of Light The 4E Dungeon Master's Guide defines the parameters of a typical D&D campaign in the setting section. The default setting is called Points of Light, which describes how the world is mostly wilderness, full of monsters and ancient ruins, and peppered with occasional safe havens (typically villages and small cities). Exception Based ...


33

Maintaining the AD&D Feel If you want to maintain the AD&D feel of this module you have to keep the following in mind: it's a death-trap. I have played it, I have DMed it and I have spoken to many people who fondly remember the way their characters died in it; I have never spoken to anyone who finished it although I and a few others have escaped ...


29

Rules over color - Lots of mechanics, especially characters powers, should be interpreted as rules first, color second. If you have a power called "foot sweep" that creates the status "prone," that's what it does. It doesn't matter if the target is a gelatinous cube, it still works. If you start ruling that things don't work because it doesn't make sense, ...


27

This totally depends on how the trap is designed! As the DM, you are the authority to which you should appeal. If you think of it before the thief starts messing with the trap (and therefore not yet indicating to you how they're approaching it and possibly biasing your choice), then you can just decide what kind of trigger this trap has. However, if you ...


23

Strahd's name is of generic Eastern European inspiration. He rules Barovia, his brother is Sergei, the woman in their love triangle is Tatyana — all extremely Eastern European names by the standards of Midwest America in the late 80s. So, there are some points of commonality among Eastern European languages — or, more to the point, points of commonality in ...


22

The traditional way of handling PC death in AD&D is for the player to roll up a new, 1st-level character. The bite of death is strong in AD&D, and the intention is that players treat the risks of adventuring very seriously. However, what is traditional isn't universal—plenty of groups made up their own table rules for how to make a character after ...


22

Hit dice for monsters in both editions of AD&D are almost always d8s, so it's normal for monster stats to say things like “6 HD”, “3 HD + 4”, or “½ HD” with no further explanation given. From the Monster Manual introduction where how to read statistics is explained: HIT DICE indicates the parameters of the number of hit points a creature can ...


22

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is from 1979*. It's not related to Dungeons & Dragons from 2014 (a.k.a D&D 5th edition), except that it's an ancestor of it. Put another way: AD&D is the 1st edition relative to which D&D (2014) is counted as the 5th edition. The reason it was called “Advanced” back in 1979 is because it was compared to the ...


21

Adjusting to the situation is important. Many good ideas have been mentioned already; here's some suggestions on when to use them: Fall! or Trip! Golden in precarious terrain or situations. I once had particular success with "Fall" against a charging guard captain... as he was mounted on a warhorse at the time. Leading the charge. Also, instant death ...


20

It depends on why you're playing AD&D and what kind of game you're running. Do you and your group enjoy the challenge of tackling mundane problems in-game, like how to best navigate the Swamps of Miredom, whether to risk the mountain pass before the spring thaw, or where to find a buyer for a two-tonne gorgon carcass? If playing people trying to get by ...


20

There are three reasons I can immediately think of that apply to new players - they're the reasons that my group started with an earlier edition of D&D, rather than later ones. Early D&D has much simpler and faster combat, with most attacks just being a roll of 1d20, a table lookup, and a damage roll if successful. Spells require a save or attack ...


19

The progression went like this Chainmail was a set of rules for wargaming with miniatures. People wanted to fight the battles they read about in Lord of the Rings, Conan, and other fantasy novels of the time. So the Fantasy Supplement was added. Dave Arneson was inspired by David Wesley Braunstein game to create his own version. He used the Man to Man and ...


18

Quite simply put: treat it as a wholly new game. It shares the same base range of stats. It shares the use of 1d20 to hit. Otherwise, it's almost entirely different mechanically. That leads to a wholly different gestalt in play. The game has strong niche protections, stronger than 1E, and in different niches from 1E (tho there is overlap). The biggest ...


17

According to "Ecology of the Troglodyte" in Dragon #235, it's not that they stink per se, but that they use scent to communicate. ...the overpowering stench that can reduce a human opponent to weak-kneed vomiting during combat with troglodyte, is merely the build up of olfactory battle cries, combat orders, screams of rage, pain, and hunger, and other ...


17

Maps are fun. Make maps when you want to. You don't have to map anything, ever. But you'll want to, because maps are fun. Maps are just another tool that you have as DM to convey information to the players. When you want to convey something that is best done spatially, a map is useful. Personally, I find I often sketch very rough maps all the time during ...


17

Actually, and technically, Yes. The second printing DOES contain those two mythos. It is every subsequent printing that does not contain them. For the first 1980 printing, TSR obtained permission from Michael Moorcock for inclusion of Melnibonéan material (from his Elric series of books). The Cthulhu Mythos was believed to be in the public domain, so ...


17

Yes, that's all there is to it. Modifiers are never applied to THAC0, so when figuring THAC0 based on 1st edition to-hit tables, all you have to do is look up the number you need to hit a target with AC 0. If you're using 2nd edition THAC0 numbers it's even easier: just write down the number for your class and level from table 53 (PHB p. 91) and you're ...


17

Major Differences the list of classes the presumption of Non-Weapon Proficiencies Advancement of Thief Skills nature of Bards Kits Specialist Mages Clerics THAC0 Psionics The list of Classes AD&D 1E Core: Assassin, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Illusionist, Paladin, Ranger, Thief, Wizard. Bard is special, see below. AD&D 1E+ UA: Assassin, Barbarian, ...


17

Casting a spell takes a magic-user's entire round. They may not take any other actions, including moving. The number of segments listed for a spell is only used to figure out when during a round the spell completes, which can be important for figuring out whether the spell is interrupted (and spoiled). For a complete breakdown of the spellcasting process ...


16

Tomb of Horrors appears to be the odd one out in terms of published adventures, originally designed very specifically as a challenge to his own group. Gary Gygax himself said "There were several very expert players in my campaign, and this was meant as yet another challenge to their skill—and the persistence of their theretofore-invincible characters" The ...


16

You're somewhat confused, which is understandable since intellectual property rights and D&D is a confusing issue. OGL The OGL is a specific license with specific terms. D&D 3e/3.5e was made open for others' use under the OGL and the open portion was published as a SRD, or System Reference Document. Other games derived from the d20 SRD (like ...


16

Both! The Dungeon Master's Guide (1979) for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons says that All magic swords receive their stated bonus both for purposes of hitting (as a bonus to the "to hit" die) and for damage (as +1, +2, +3, etc. addition to hit points of damage scored). (165) Thus, consider a fighter armed with a longsword +1, +2 vs. magic-using and ...


15

They are defined on p97 of the Dungeon Master's Guide Concealed doors are doors hidden in some way: Behind a curtain Covered with plaster Trap door under a rug A PC can normally find a concealed door just by checking his surroundings well. Secret doors are portals that look like a normal wall to the naked eye. Typically it takes more effort to ...


15

There are major differences, but nothing too insurmountable. AD&D 1E adds non-weapon proficiencies in DSG, WSG, and OA, while they are core in AD&D 2E 2E allows points to be spread amongst thief skills, rather than using a fixed table per skill. 2E groups classes differently, and lacks the assassin and monk. Minor differences in several tables ...


14

Go wander outside your house or apartment or whatever and look for a wooded area. Write down a description of it. You've created an environment, then when you read that to your players, they are in it. Does it have corridors or rooms? No. It might have paths, and clearings that might make good places to have something happen, but the outdoors largely ...


14

New classes, new rules and such are not, in my opinion,the answer to this conundrum, and rarely are they the best answer to anything. Simple role-playing and DM adjudication based on common sense, however, are. Let's say your would-be con man is intent on deceiving the local constabulary into believing that, yes, indeed, this is his very own ...


14

I don't think it really gets any better than "Autodefenestrate!" A cruel DM will make the NPC perform a language check to know what the hell you're trying to tell it to do, unfortunately. But you can argue that in the event of a failed check, the NPC should be forced to perform its best guess as to your meaning; hilarity may be expected to ensue. Does ...


14

In AD&D 1st edition inches of movement represents three things. 6" = 60 feet per turn exploring a dungeon. This allows for the normal checks for surprise, mapping, detection of secret door, etc. 6" = 60 yards per round moving through passageways. Basically if the person or party is in a interior location that they know they move at this rate. 6" = 60 ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible