I recently purchased the following seven AD&D books:
Player Handbook,
Monster Manual,
Dungeon Master's Guide,
Fiend Folio,
Monster Manual 2,
Unearthed Arcana, and. Deites and Demigods.

Based on what I have access to can anyone give me some general tips on DMing AD&D? I normally play 3.5. If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it.


closed as not a real question by mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Jan 31 '13 at 4:12

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    \$\begingroup\$ What world setting are you using? If you don't have your own world you may want to locate a copy of first edition Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms. Having a good setting will help. \$\endgroup\$ – Leezard Jan 30 '13 at 3:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/1169/… \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Schmidt Jan 30 '13 at 3:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have grey hawk for 3.5. I'll see if I can get my hands on forgotten realms I bet that's hard to find! \$\endgroup\$ – Antonio Jan 30 '13 at 11:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is vague enough I'm likely to have to close it. Please try to narrow down the topic so it's less "random discussion" and could have a best answer. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Jan 31 '13 at 2:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the question is to general you can just close it. I am just new to AD&D and was looking for some tips. It is quite a general question I'll ask more specific questions in the future. \$\endgroup\$ – Antonio Jan 31 '13 at 3:08

I learnt my craft on AD&D 1st edition and my fondest RPG memories are tied up with it. This is probably due more to the nostalga of youth than it is to the quality of the game!

The main thing to bear in mind is that, outside of combat (and precious little in there), there are virtually no game mechanics for anything. That means that as DM you will need to adjudicate virtually everything. E.g. getting past the guard in 3.5 may require a bluff check - in 1st edition you would role-play the encounter and the DM would decide if the guard was convinced.

The combat mechanics are also rudimentary and they can quickly become my attack - your attack - my attack etc.

The XP system is exponential but the XP per encounter is linear - which means that everyone stalls at about 9-10th level, with each level taking about as many encounters as all the levels before it. I played and DMed in many campaigns and they all ran out of steam at about this point.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the effective level cap. Honestly, I found it hard to get players above 6th level or so... Usually they wanted to move on to a new character/location... \$\endgroup\$ – F. Randall Farmer Jan 30 '13 at 7:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ That example with the guard sounds awesome how the PCs roleplay then I decide if they succeed. \$\endgroup\$ – Antonio Jan 30 '13 at 11:47

Make copies of the to-hit tables, you'll be needing them all the time. Other than that, don't worry too much about losing level 1 characters and if you're prepping games/dungeons, don't worry too much about 'level-appropriate' - there isn't a balance fetish in D&D until 3.0.

There isn't much else off the top of my head that hasn't been covered already. If I remember anything else, I'll edit.

Lastly, congrats on returning to the roots of modern gaming!


You're not alone!

The Old-School Renaissance (OSR) is all about going back to those older games.

I suggest you check out some OSR blogs and resources (or even games - I <3 ACKS!) for tips on using those games, getting into the mindset, and rediscovering the pleasures they hold.

Some links to explore:

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    \$\begingroup\$ This might seem like an "easy out" answer, but blogs really are the way to go. They were hugely useful to me when I was rediscovering the old-school playstyle. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 30 '13 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie - do you have some favorites? I want to add some links to expand my answer, but I was pressed for time and couldn't go find the ones I had liked. \$\endgroup\$ – gomad Jan 30 '13 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Bat in the Attic has a good list here that I can't add much to. The Primer is a great non-blog start, then Grognardia and Philotomy's, then everything else. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 30 '13 at 22:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie - Grognardia! That's the one I used to read all the time - thanks for the memory jolt! \$\endgroup\$ – gomad Jan 31 '13 at 8:26

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