Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

47

History D&D started as a series of little booklets, now called "original D&D" (OD&D). These booklets were basically barely-edited versions of the house rules of Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. In 1977, TSR hired J. Eric Holmes to develop a Basic D&D game. This was a dark blue, boxed set containing D&D in a single book, plus a module (B1 ...


19

Remember that encumbrance is limited, and it determines movement rate. That 100-cn difference between chainmail and plate armors is equivalent in encumbrance to an entire week of food, or 200 arrows. Extra ammo or faster movement may make the difference between success and failure in an adventure. Be 10% better protected in the occasional fights that ...


17

One of the biggest reasons for wearing Chain Mail was the price. Since starting cash was random, at first level, you might not even have enough cash to buy Chain Mail without borrowing from your friends. Once you had the cash for Plate, there'd be little reason to go back. Also, as others have said, some classes were limited specifically to chain (the ...


13

I think the Role Playing consequences of wearing plate armour greatly outweigh any game mechanics. Depending on where you are if you wonder about a town wearing a suit of full plate then people are going to think that you are ready for a fight, heck it takes half an hour to get into the stuff. Chainmail, especially a chain shirt can be slipped on like a ...


12

ACKS has removed the "Identify" spell but it has replaced it with explicit mechanics to identify magic items in other ways. p210 of ACKS: "Sages and other characters proficient in Magical Engineering or Loremastery can identify common or famous magical items simply through their knowledge of such things. Potions may be identified by sipping them, or by ...


8

I think all the suggestions you've contemplated so far are very good. An additional one you could consider and include: Allow the players to spend time in a nearby Library or Mage Guild to research the nature of the item and perhaps find out the properties of it. Here the cost isn't as much a factor(as say hiring some to cast identify or retrieving ...


7

Moldvay is great... in part because it's short. Tom and I spoke at some length about the 'tack' he would take. I later used a lot of ideas that he omitted because he just didn't have room. The following will address the BECMI treatment, being the most detailed expansion of Moldvay's data. At this distance (almost 30 years), most players consider the two ...


7

ACKS is closely derived from B/X by way of Labyrinth Lord. Ascending AC is one of its differences as explained here. The esteemed Mr. Conley does a good job of describing the other things ACKS is designed to do "out of the box", although I think the rules for running a thieves' guild and sending out your underlings to do hijinks are also worthy of mention. ...


7

No the 120' per 10 minute movements doesn't include searching for either traps or secret doors. On page B21 of Moldavy's Basic Rules for D&D and page B22 both actions (secret doors, traps) require search of a specific area (specified as a 10' by 10' on B19) and the search takes a turn (10 minutes) to perform. The searching referred to in the movement ...


7

Usually one doesn't count the total rounds of a combat just to do it. You might be counting them because of spell durations or other specific reasons. In general you're concerned about overall passage of time because of torch and other large scale durations, which is why this rule exists, so players don't say "well that only took three rounds so we move on ...


7

It's worth noting that other early games did not use XP. Timeline 1975 Tunnels and Trolls uses either AP (Adventure Points) or EP, depending upon edition. Runequest (1976) and Traveller (1977) didn't use experience points at all. 1974 & 1976 † Original Edition D&D doesn't use XP nor EP. Electrum are mentioned, but non-standard, and Experience ...


6

Reaction should always be rolled before the DM even reveals the presence of the monsters. They may call out from the darkness for parlay, or greet the party with open arms. Once you're rolling initiative you've already made up your mind that it's a fight and it's too late to gain anything of use from a reaction result that doesn't imply a fight. One of the ...


6

There is little game mechanic reasons for one or the other ... but in real life there was a world of difference. Plate is hot to wear and restrictive of your movement; imagine going to the loo. Most people required servants to help them put it on correctly and to get on and off a horse. Chain is more bendy, and you can wear it for longer periods, and it's ...


6

As one of your players, I am about as biased a respondent as could possibly answer this question. But I'm not the one with the box of crossbow bolts, so I'll have a go at it anyway. As an old-school DM thirty years ago, I expanded the definition of "read magic" into a form of "identify." When mages inscribe their magic on the world, I reasoned, they cast a ...


5

1973: woodgrain box D&D. 1974-76: supplements come out for D&D 1977: Holmes collates the "basic" set, incorporating much of Supplements 1 & 2 into the rules. White editions of original rules sold as "Classic D&D", AD&D announced. 1979: AD&D starts to be released, with the PH, based firmly in Holmes' work. 1981: Moldvay simplifies the ...


5

It's design is basically an expansion of B/X D&D. It still has race as class but expands the number of racial classes into a section labeled Demi-Human Classes for example there is a Dwarven Vaultguard and a Dwarven CraftPriest. It adds proficiencies which are skill and abilities mostly non-combat oriented. They represent something that the character ...


4

The most detailed answer I could find is on page 84 to 85 of AD&D 1st edition DM's Guide. On Page 85 Gygax gives extensive examples of what he considers to be Special Abilities and what he considers Exceptional Abilities (a term not found in Basic D&D). While AD&D is not Basic D&D both have their original development in OD&D and I would ...


4

There is maybe another option, that you have not mentioned and it's that you can "decide" that magical items do "speak" in your mind when you touch them. Depending on their age, power, intelligence and, I'd say, creator, they'll "speak" plain and straight or though riddles and tricks that may (or may not) help understanding the nature of the object.


4

Overview of D&D retro-clones Check out the retro clones on that link. Most everything there was created while at least thinking of the legal aspects of what could be used without problems. As a plus, the materials can generally be downloaded in several readable formats which you should be able to write a simple parser for. AD&D -> OSRIC D&D ...


4

Come on people...the dice! Adam mentions that the Holmes version came with chits instead of dice after a while. When it came with chits, it also came with a coupon for a set of polyhedra. These were terrible, soft, twisted and awesome! The white d20 would turn pretty spherical and roll forever after a year or so of play. The blue d12 was as soft as ...


4

I would take "explore and map an area" to be 12 10' square blocks. With the common sense provision that you can see anything that your vision allows you to. If they can see across the entire cavern in question then interpret as 120' of perimeter per turn. Remember in the absence of a specific rule older edition D&D referees were expected to apply their ...


4

"Searching" in that context just means investigating their surroundings. It means that the DM shouldn't add extra time when the party chooses to interact with the environment, unless it ends up taking enough time that the party is prevented from making forward progress during that Turn. It means there's room within that movement speed for quick, narrated ...


4

While it could be written clearer, on page B24; Defensive Movement it seems clear to me that once a character is melee range, they are in melee and that their only option is to attack. Unless they want to do one of the defensive movements to get out of melee after which they can cast spells or fire missile weapons.


4

BX doesn't put the same weight on the ability scores as you appear to, so beware that adding an ability score advancement mechanic will redirect some of your players motivations away from looking for harder-to-achieve bonuses to their effectiveness. On the other hand, you don't have to worry much about breaking the balance of the game with this, because ...


4

Retreat is for when you all need to run! Fighting withdrawal is always better for disengaging from combat, if it will actually do the job. A withdrawal only works if the opponent is unable or unwilling to follow to maintain the combat engagement – if they do, you've wasted a turn failing to disengage. The other purpose of a withdrawal is to back into a ...


3

On page B24 it gives five things in order to resolve Morale check Movement, except if you start in melee special rules applies (explained later) and you forfeit casting spells if you move Missile Combat Casting Spells Melee It doesn't make note of arming oneself. If you look at the section at using oil or holy water they both don't make mention of ...


2

A significant portion of the appeal of the original version of D&D were the inconsistent rules - which led to players developing their own in-house rules and distinctions in cases such as the Chainmail vs. Plate-Armor choice. There were custom class specializations (for example, allowing the magic user to wear armor, or imposing more restrictions on ...


2

I am afraid that there is no single, correct answer to your question. If the situation in question was being gamed out on a tabletop (virtual or real), then the DM would decide based on circumstances, or based on a house rule or previously established practice. If you are going to hard code this, than I suggest either using the rules as written, meaning ...


2

Yes the intent is that the DM rolls an attack for any creature within melee range of the person retreating. For older edition D&D this is best stated on Page 70 of the AD&D DM Guide. Breaking off from Melee. At any time a creature can decide to break off the engagement and flee the melee. To do so allow the opponent a free attack or attack ...


2

Some groups and GM's do track time that closely. It's actually not that hard to track - just a tally mark per round. It's also useful to track rounds for other reasons: spell durations, mostly, but some other effects have limits as well. So, even if the average fight lasts a mere 10-20 rounds, tracking the number of rounds takes a tiny amount of space, ...



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