Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 41
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BIGMamaSloth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Question Older D&D systems questions.

    I'm one of them young'uns who wasn't really old enough to understand D&D until Revised 3rd edition. so I've got a few questions...

    1. Are AD&D and 2nd edition the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?

    2. Are OD&D and 1st the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?

    3. which one of these two had non-human races as classes? both?

    4. Are 1st and second edition very dramatically different? like 3rd and 4th were?

    5. Can anyone give me a general feel or idea about these systems to help me decide if I'd like them?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    JadedDM's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Washington, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    I'm semi-old school, so I can answer some of these questions, but not others.

    1.) 2nd Edition is AD&D, but there was also a version of 1st Edition that was also AD&D. There was a basic version and an advanced version. When 2nd Edition came out, there was only the advanced version. When 3E was released, they were like, "why call it advanced if there's only one version?" so they dropped the 'A'.

    2.) From my understanding, no. OD&D was before 1E. The corebooks for both 1E and 2E were the PHB, DMG and MM. I'm not sure about OD&D, though.

    3.) I'm pretty sure that was OD&D.

    4.) Actually, they're very, very similar. Especially if you strip 2E down to core only and don't use any of the optional rules. On the other hand, if you utilize all of 2E, including the Player's Option books, then they become much more significantly different.

    5.) I can only really speak for 2nd Edition, as my experience in the older versions are very limited. But old school games do have a different feel from the newer ones. Lethality is higher, there's far less customization and character building, the rules are much simpler and there's far more DM fiat. It only takes about five minutes to roll up a character and there's little to keep track of, especially if you are not a caster.

    Also, the word 'balance' has a completely different meaning in the older games. In newer games, balance means every class is equal. In the older games, it meant that things would eventually balance out over time. For instance, fighters start out really strong and mages are pathetically weak. But after you gain enough levels, then the mages become much stronger while the fighters fall far behind. Different classes have different XP tables (thieves level up faster than fighters, who level up faster than mages). And magical items are cool things that make things easier, but are in no way required to survive.
    The problem with the more recent editions of D&D is that at some point the term 'player empowerment' was twisted to mean 'player entitlement.'

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Gunslinger in the Playground Administrator
     
    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGMamaSloth View Post
    I'm one of them young'uns who wasn't really old enough to understand D&D until Revised 3rd edition. so I've got a few questions...

    1. Are AD&D and 2nd edition the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?
    Well, there's a 1st Edition AD&D (obviously just called AD&D at the time) and then a 2nd Edition AD&D. For each, there's a Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual.

    2. Are OD&D and 1st the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?
    No. OD&D is a somewhat inexact term, but there were versions of the game called just "Dungeons & Dragons" that preceded AD&D. Early in the life of this D&D (what is now called OD&D), a separate version, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons was launched. The two lines D&D and AD&D co-existed for a long time. AD&D and AD&D 2e each had a Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual (2e called it the Monstrous Compendium and Monstrous Manual). Most versions of what you're calling OD&D had, at a minimum a PHB and DMG.

    3. which one of these two had non-human races as classes? both?
    Most of the versions in the OD&D category.

    4. Are 1st and second edition very dramatically different? like 3rd and 4th were?
    No. They're mostly compatible with few major rule changes. More akin to the difference between 3.0 and 3.5, although the nature of the changes was different.

    5. Can anyone give me a general feel or idea about these systems to help me decide if I'd like them?
    If someone can, more power to them. That seems like an incredibly difficult undertaking. I'd suggest that you take whatever anyone tells you in response with a grain of salt. Experiences differ greatly depending on when you played each version, who you played it with, what version you started with or played the most, and so on. I recall a startling conversation I had in the early 80s with some gamers from the next town over, and it quickly became clear that the AD&D they played was very different from the one we played. How much more varied are the experiences are the experiences of people picking up the old versions 20+ years later or gamers who've been playing older editions for just as long now looking at 3e and 4e?

    In my experience, older versions tend to have simpler and quicker chargen, fewer choices in chargen, higher lethality, greater emphasis on player skill to defeat challenges, less concern with level-by-level balance between PCs, less reliance on magical items (though games vary widely between the Monty Haul and the mundane), and a general default position that your characters could try to do anything and the DM would adjudicate accordingly.

    The oldest of OD&D is at once simple and arcane, probably because it's just so different from the modern game and because there are many wargamer assumptions built in. B/X and BECMI are much simpler and clearer. AD&D was intentionally more detailed and added many rules about many things. It's replete with tables and charts for all kinds of things. 2nd Edition AD&D streamlined that, but as time went on many optional rules built it back up.

    One of the strengths of these older versions is the world building of the Gazeteers and the many, many modules. The other, for my money, is the settings: Planescape, Ravenloft, Spelljammer, etc.

    This is a decent timeline
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2012-07-27 at 11:01 PM.
    Headless Roland by Chris the Pontifex
    Now gauging interest for Still Flyin' a potential PbP game using the new Firefly RPG.

    Forum Rules

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    erikun's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    For the basics, first there was D&D (or Original D&D, OD&D). Following that was Advanced D&D (AD&D), with the two running together at the same time. AD&D had a second edition, which is generally referred to as just "2nd edition". I don't believe OD&D had a second edition at any point in time.

    1.) "2nd edition", as mentioned, is referring to the 2nd edition of AD&D. AD&D and AD&D 2nd ed are pretty similar and somewhat compatable, in the sense that you could use material from one in the other (with some work). D&D 3.5/Pathfinder might be a good comparison of the similarities and differences between the two systems. The three core books for 2nd ed. are the Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master Guide, and the Monster Manual.

    2.) OD&D and AD&D 1st edition are two different systems. When people are talking about "1st edition", they probably mean AD&D (in comparison to 2nd edition AD&D). The three core books for 1st ed. AD&D are the Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master Guide, and the Monster Manual.

    I actually haven't played OD&D and haven't seen the books, so don't really their names. A google/wikipedia search should clear things up, though.

    3.) OD&D would have to be the system where races were classes. I just looked through my AD&D 1st ed PHB, and there were full rules for choosing a race and a class (complete with multiclassing).

    4.) AD&D 1st and AD&D 2nd were not dramatically different - as I mentioned earlier, you could use material for one functionally in the other. The biggest change was all the different and various rules added to AD&D 2nd.

    AD&D 2nd did also add several rulebooks towards the end of its life, called Player's Options, that added a lot of optional rules and abilities. I've never read through Player's Options, but there are people who consider the changes enough to call it a change in the game - a "AD&D 2.5e" so to speak.

    5.) I'd recommend playing either AD&D or a free retroclone. Characters are easier to make and easier to die off, and there tends to be more focus on characters with humble beginnings than 3.5e's "everycharacter is special" focus. (Meaning: first level characters SUCK) Monsters aren't setup to be level-appropriate, and you are expected to outthink and outfight opponents rather than making them "good challanges" for your level.
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.
    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
    There are no bad ideas, just bad execution.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Air Raccoon avatar provided by Ceika
    from the Request an OotS Style Avatar thread



    A big thanks to PrinceAquilaDei for the gryphon avatar!
    original image

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGMamaSloth View Post
    I'm one of them young'uns who wasn't really old enough to understand D&D until Revised 3rd edition. so I've got a few questions...

    1. Are AD&D and 2nd edition the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?

    2. Are OD&D and 1st the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?

    3. which one of these two had non-human races as classes? both?

    4. Are 1st and second edition very dramatically different? like 3rd and 4th were?

    5. Can anyone give me a general feel or idea about these systems to help me decide if I'd like them?
    TSR came out with Dungeons and Dragons in 1974. It was three pamphlets in a small white box. The PC classes were Fighter, Magic-User, and Cleric. The races were Human, Elf, Dwarf, and Hobbit. There was a paragraph about playing other races, and the example they used was a Balrog. It wasn't a complete game; the DM had to create the rules for many situations.

    In 1975, the first expansion came out - a pamphlet called Greyhawk. It added Half-Elves as PCs, and added the Thief class and Paladin subclass. It also cleaned up the combat system.

    Several more expansions came out, adding Monks, Assassins, Druids, Psionics, Artifacts, etc. Meanwhile, articles in The Strategic Review and The Dragon added Rangers, Bards, Illusionists, etc.

    This system was named Dungeons and Dragons, and called D&D. It's often called OD&D now, to distinguish it from D&D. Dave Arneson was owed royalties on all D&D revenue.

    Then TSR came out with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, claiming it was an entirely different game, and Arneson wasn't owed any royalties on it. (The court eventually disagreed.) It was called AD&D until AD&D 2nd Edition came out. After that, the first AD&D came to be called 1E.

    I don't remember races as classes in either, although there was an article in The Dragon #3 about a dwarf class that my group used immediately for dwarves. It was basically a specific Fighter class for dwarves.

    (Basic, Advanced, and Expert D&D came out as new editions of original D&D, but I never played them.)

    Playing the original version was about exploring the ideas of role-playing, which was a new idea. The entire game fit on about 60 sheets of paper, folded over into pamphlets. The DM ruled on anything not covered, so you had to trust the DM. What is now called "homebrew" was simply the way the game was played then. The biggest difference in feel is that it was played primarily by wargamers - people who played strategy games. We expected that losing was always a very real option, since we were already playing games that all of us but one would lose.

    (It was nowhere near as lethal as anecdotal evidence implies. I lost one of my first nine characters.)

    OD&D was very different from 1e. 2E is basically just 1E made complete, and I'm not very knowledgeable on anything after that.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    NC

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGMamaSloth View Post
    1. Are AD&D and 2nd edition the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?

    2. Are OD&D and 1st the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?

    3. which one of these two had non-human races as classes? both?

    4. Are 1st and second edition very dramatically different? like 3rd and 4th were?
    Wikipedia has a good list of the different versions. The article also goes over many of the differences at a high level.

    5. Can anyone give me a general feel or idea about these systems to help me decide if I'd like them?
    My favorite version is probably 2nd ed AD&D pre-Skills and Powers. It had some of the balancing factors which 3rd lost while remaining fairly simple at heart.

    As for whether you'd like it - I suggest taking a good look at Castles and Crusades - it's an attempt at keeping the best parts of d20 while reverting other areas to something nearer AD&D.

    Edit: Almost forgot - there's also OSRIC, Old School Hack, and Swords and Wizardy.
    Last edited by Raum; 2012-07-28 at 11:40 AM.
    -
    I laugh at myself first, before anyone else can.
    -- Paraphrased from Elsa Maxwell
    -
    The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you.
    -- Paul Graham in Keep Your Identity Small

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGMamaSloth View Post
    I'm one of them young'uns who wasn't really old enough to understand D&D until Revised 3rd edition. so I've got a few questions...

    1. Are AD&D and 2nd edition the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?

    2. Are OD&D and 1st the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?

    3. which one of these two had non-human races as classes? both?

    4. Are 1st and second edition very dramatically different? like 3rd and 4th were?
    Prior posters have given pretty good answers to all these questions, so I'm going to skip them except to say that yes, the Wikipedia article is a good place for an overview of how the different editions relate to each other.


    Quote Originally Posted by BIGMamaSloth View Post
    5. Can anyone give me a general feel or idea about these systems to help me decide if I'd like them?
    As someone who's played all of them, I can't resist putting in my two copper pieces. OD&D is probably not what you want to play, even if you can get a hold of the rules. As Roland St. Jude pointed out above, it was heavily influenced by wargaming. While there is still some charm and a few neat ideas in there (not to mention being The First) it has a very different feel compared to more modern versions of D&D. A kind of quaint charm mixed with occasional bizarre rules.

    AD&D (1st Edition) is a much more polished and complete system. With the base three books (Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual) you can do pretty much anything as long as it involves fantasy adventurers killing things. It's detailed, with lots of tables and charts (although nothing approaching Rolemaster) yet is still pretty straightforward and easy to play. A part of this is that so much of the rules are effectively completely independent little systems bolted on and only mentioned in the DMG, so that it's very very easy to ignore the parts you don't like and focus on the ones you do. For example, there are extensive sections on different Diseases and Poisons, but Assassins aren't 'balanced' around having poisons so you (as the DM) can take them or leave them, as you like. It still has its eccentricities (rounds divided up into segments, Weapon vs. AC modifier tables, Level Restrictions for races) but if you want the feel of 'old school' D&D then this (or Hackmaster ) is what you want.

    D&D (Basic, Expert, Masters, etc.) Is even simpler than AD&D, lacking almost all the crunchy complications, but still keeping the spirit of the game intact. If you want to spend 5 minutes rolling up characters before descending into a dungeon, yet still be keep playing those same characters for years as they quest to become gods (sorry, Immortals ) then this is the game you want. The later books (and the Rules Cyclopedia) do add a few things, like skills and extra classes, but on the whole D&D is a very simple, straightforward system that can be a lot of fun. It does keep a few D&D quirks though, like Halflings (demihumans are classes in D&D) having only 8 levels, although later books have additional xp totals and attack ranks to keep the demihumans growing in power along with their Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric, and Thief colleagues on their way to 36th level.

    AD&D (2nd Edition) is a basically a cleaned up, streamlined, and slightly more balanced version of A&D 1st Edition. Different source materials should pretty much be compatible between the two editions with very little if any tweaking needed. I think it looses a little of the charm of the original edition, but I played it in different groups from the late eighties until the late nineties, when most players I knew slid away from 3rd edition into other games. The biggest changes between 1st and 2nd are probably in presentation. Most of Gary Gygax's uniquely baroque writing style is gone and the DMG is much shorter and more straightforward. Everything is organized much better than it was in 1st edition, but some unique bits like psionics are gone or moved to seperate sourcebooks. 2nd edition has lots and lots of sourcebooks; their quality varies wildly, from excellent (Castles & Crusades was mentioned earlier in the thread) to just awful (Shaman's Handbook anyone?).

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BIGMamaSloth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland St. Jude View Post
    If someone can, more power to them. That seems like an incredibly difficult undertaking. I'd suggest that you take whatever anyone tells you in response with a grain of salt. Experiences differ greatly depending on when you played each version, who you played it with, what version you started with or played the most, and so on. I recall a startling conversation I had in the early 80s with some gamers from the next town over, and it quickly became clear that the AD&D they played was very different from the one we played. How much more varied are the experiences are the experiences of people picking up the old versions 20+ years later or gamers who've been playing older editions for just as long now looking at 3e and 4e?

    In my experience, older versions tend to have simpler and quicker chargen, fewer choices in chargen, higher lethality, greater emphasis on player skill to defeat challenges, less concern with level-by-level balance between PCs, less reliance on magical items (though games vary widely between the Monty Haul and the mundane), and a general default position that your characters could try to do anything and the DM would adjudicate accordingly. [/url]
    I realize it's a very vague question with a lot of different answers, and is kinda like asking "So can someone give me an Idea of what its like to use a computer?", Everyone uses one in different ways, and therefore have different experiences with them. but your second question is exactly what I was trying to ask for, without knowing how to state it. Kind of a summary of basic design, was what I meant.

    The wikipedia article clarified a lot. It's much easier to understand visually for me than trying to read about it. Well thanks for weighing in everyone, i'm gonna see about trying to findeither some AD&D 2nd edition rulebooks, or try one of the more recent systems mentioned that emulate the Ideas of earlier editions, Like Crusades and Castles.

    Edit: oh and as someone mentioned one of the things that brought me to interest in older editions were the campaign settings. A friend of my had an old Planescape book laying around which I absolutely loved.
    Last edited by BIGMamaSloth; 2012-07-28 at 09:05 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    So, people have summed up your questions pretty well, so I'm gonna flog my favorite horse for y'all...

    Basically, there are two games (that I know of) that do a great job of recapturing the early days of D&D, and they do it in radically different ways.

    Castles and Crusades, by Troll Lord Games, really combines the character-creation simplicity of old D&D with a lot of the systems simplicity that you got out of d20. You can pretty much make characters in C&C by handing out xeroxes of the preferred class and race combo of the players, and having them roll stats. Almost all actions boil down to "roll d20+modifiers. Try to equal 18 or better." It has the added advantage of being almost directly compatible with all of the old modules; aside from the AC switch (to ascending ACs), you can pretty much drop anything from AD&D into C&C without any more consideration. Even XP is directly portable.

    Hackmaster is different. It recaptures some of the system complexity of earlier games, while still making a concerted effort to have those systems make sense when viewed together. This means rejecting some things that C&C retained (HM wizards use spell points, not spells-per-day), and reinventing others (such as using active defenses, armor reducing damage, and shields being important).
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Keep faith, trust to love. Fight with honor, but fight to win. -Wonder Woman, The Circle (Gail Simone)
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget from a convenience store.
    Avatar is from Thunt's Goblins!
    HackMaster Basic: A Free Game

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    This should be mandatory reading for anyone curious about older D&D versions - this is specifically about OD&D (Moldvay version, which was my first, yay), but a lot of the mentality transfers to other editions.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/11126696...ts/Q8qRhCw7az5

    It'd be hard to argue that this is a grognard talking about it. The author is Luke Crane, the guy that wrote Burning Wheel - very definitely a narrative-styled system, in many ways a polar opposite of OD&D.

    I think the important takeaway here is to treat older D&D versions like a completely different game, rather than just different rules to plop on top of the game you've already been playing.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Really, it's the only way I can play the newer editions, and it doesn't work with 3.x/PF... they're different games that share the same name, like football and football (American) and football (Australian rules).
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Keep faith, trust to love. Fight with honor, but fight to win. -Wonder Woman, The Circle (Gail Simone)
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget from a convenience store.
    Avatar is from Thunt's Goblins!
    HackMaster Basic: A Free Game

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Really, it's the only way I can play the newer editions, and it doesn't work with 3.x/PF... they're different games that share the same name, like football and football (American) and football (Australian rules).
    They speak to different audiences, audiences that have always been there (so the "old" and "new" are really misnomers).

    To be fair, either set of rules (AD&D, 2e, 0D&D, BECMI vs. 3.x, 4.x, and conceivably 5.x) can be used for either style of play, but really, each of them fits better within their own element. Of course, this is a generalization since even within those two categories, each system is different enough that it goes different places, but generally speaking.
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Kanagawa, Japan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    OD&D actually does not actually have class as race, that started with B/X, I think, in 1981. If you think of OD&D as the sort of prototype of all the systems that followed you will not go far wrong.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGMamaSloth View Post
    I'm one of them young'uns who wasn't really old enough to understand D&D until Revised 3rd edition. so I've got a few questions...

    1. Are AD&D and 2nd edition the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?
    Not exactly ad&d or 1e doesn't have the skill or weapon proficiencies present in 2e, I believe they downplayed some of the instant death effects from 1e as well.

    2. Are OD&D and 1st the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?
    OD&D is in essence the original red box or basic set series that ended with the Immortal boxed set and was largely based in Mystara.

    3. which one of these two had non-human races as classes? both?
    Original d&d had dwarves, elves and halflings as actual classes as well as races there was an option called Foresters that allowed humans to duplicate the elf class so they could both fight and cast spells with the same restrictions as elves.
    From 1e onwards races and classes were kept separate.

    4. Are 1st and second edition very dramatically different? like 3rd and 4th were?
    No where near the gulf that separates 3rd edition from 4th edition, it was much more intended as an improvement on the previous edition than a completely different game.

    5. Can anyone give me a general feel or idea about these systems to help me decide if I'd like them?
    Original d&d will have the second highest chance of TPK but thats because until your characters have gone up a few levels practically anything can kill them even the domestic house cat!

    First edition has a lot of instant death or save or die effects but whilst it introduces alot of new options such as psionics they aren't key to the game.

    Second edition introduced skills and weapon proficiencies I believe 1e actually had a system where you could generate what social class you were and what skills your family line of work would allow.

    Third actually allowed those other races to go for classes previously not allowed such as clerics or arcane spellcasters for instance, 3.5 merely altered a few bit and pieces that was assumed wrong with 3.0.

    Fourth is a completely different game with power cards, encounter abilities and whilst not bad, you need to keepo an eye on what books are allowed a similar problem faced by 2e and 3e where the splatbooks could easily ruin your game if you weren't careful.

    Pathfinder, well about the only bad thing is that the core rulebook is heavy and whilst the others editions had this split into three books this comprised the ph and dmg and has alot more options some of which makes sense but ultimately its up to you just how much you want to carry to your game.
    If you game at home then you have no problem if you have a laptop, tablet computer, etc the pdf's similarly reduce what you need to carry.

    Original d&d boxed sets come in basic (1st-3rd), expert (5th to 10th I think), companion (11th to 20th, I could be wrong), master (20th to 36th) and immortals (demi-god+) so you'd only need the boxed sets that cover your players' levels.

    1e is three books basically the player handbook, the dungeon master's guide and the monster manual any more is up to you.

    2e is the same as above as is 3e, 3.5 and 4e although with 4e you'll need to bring power cards or print them out so you can use them properly.

    Pathfinder you'll need the core rulebook and at least the bestiary unless you for the Pathfinder boxed set which I believe covers the fighter, rogue, cleric and wizard up to 5th level and has everything you need to run if those classes are enough for your players.

    Hope that helps.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Kanagawa, Japan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless View Post
    OD&D is in essence the original red box or basic set series that ended with the Immortal boxed set and was largely based in Mystara.

    Original d&d had dwarves, elves and halflings as actual classes as well as races there was an option called Foresters that allowed humans to duplicate the elf class so they could both fight and cast spells with the same restrictions as elves.

    From 1e onwards races and classes were kept separate.
    This is a common error. OD&D is not the red box version, but the white box version published in 1974. It does not have race as class.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    This is a common error. OD&D is not the red box version, but the white box version published in 1974. It does not have race as class.
    As in Chainmail?

    So if thats as Original d&d what do you call the basic dungeons and dragons box set?

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Euphonistan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless View Post
    Not exactly ad&d or 1e doesn't have the skill or weapon proficiencies present in 2e, I believe they downplayed some of the instant death effects from 1e as well.



    OD&D is in essence the original red box or basic set series that ended with the Immortal boxed set and was largely based in Mystara.


    Original d&d had dwarves, elves and halflings as actual classes as well as races there was an option called Foresters that allowed humans to duplicate the elf class so they could both fight and cast spells with the same restrictions as elves.
    From 1e onwards races and classes were kept separate.



    No where near the gulf that separates 3rd edition from 4th edition, it was much more intended as an improvement on the previous edition than a completely different game.



    Original d&d will have the second highest chance of TPK but thats because until your characters have gone up a few levels practically anything can kill them even the domestic house cat!

    First edition has a lot of instant death or save or die effects but whilst it introduces alot of new options such as psionics they aren't key to the game.

    Second edition introduced skills and weapon proficiencies I believe 1e actually had a system where you could generate what social class you were and what skills your family line of work would allow.

    Third actually allowed those other races to go for classes previously not allowed such as clerics or arcane spellcasters for instance, 3.5 merely altered a few bit and pieces that was assumed wrong with 3.0.

    Fourth is a completely different game with power cards, encounter abilities and whilst not bad, you need to keepo an eye on what books are allowed a similar problem faced by 2e and 3e where the splatbooks could easily ruin your game if you weren't careful.

    Pathfinder, well about the only bad thing is that the core rulebook is heavy and whilst the others editions had this split into three books this comprised the ph and dmg and has alot more options some of which makes sense but ultimately its up to you just how much you want to carry to your game.
    If you game at home then you have no problem if you have a laptop, tablet computer, etc the pdf's similarly reduce what you need to carry.

    Original d&d boxed sets come in basic (1st-3rd), expert (5th to 10th I think), companion (11th to 20th, I could be wrong), master (20th to 36th) and immortals (demi-god+) so you'd only need the boxed sets that cover your players' levels.

    1e is three books basically the player handbook, the dungeon master's guide and the monster manual any more is up to you.

    2e is the same as above as is 3e, 3.5 and 4e although with 4e you'll need to bring power cards or print them out so you can use them properly.

    Pathfinder you'll need the core rulebook and at least the bestiary unless you for the Pathfinder boxed set which I believe covers the fighter, rogue, cleric and wizard up to 5th level and has everything you need to run if those classes are enough for your players.

    Hope that helps.
    I would say that 4e and 3e are similar in that in actuality the splat books are often better balanced than the so called "core". For instance in both 3e (wizards, clerics, druids, sorcerers, etc) and 4e (wizard, fighter, ranger, warlord, etc) the best classes in the game are mostly found in core along with most of their best stuff. While powerful things are found outside of core and even some broken stuff the highest concentration in both editions rest in the original PHBs.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeeposFire View Post
    I would say that 4e and 3e are similar in that in actuality the splat books are often better balanced than the so called "core". For instance in both 3e (wizards, clerics, druids, sorcerers, etc) and 4e (wizard, fighter, ranger, warlord, etc) the best classes in the game are mostly found in core along with most of their best stuff. While powerful things are found outside of core and even some broken stuff the highest concentration in both editions rest in the original PHBs.
    For me the Favoured Soul was the worst mistake in 3.5 whilst the Warlock made little sense but at least it did work as a class.
    In 3.0 they took all but the kitchen sink from the sorceror and then for 3.5 removed the one clear advantage it had over the wizard once they released the new version of unearthed arcana.
    At least in 4e the warlock coped well when matched against a wizard, which classes did you find broken in the core rules?

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless View Post
    As in Chainmail?

    So if thats as Original d&d what do you call the basic dungeons and dragons box set?
    Nope. As in Whitebox or Woodgrained box or "little brown book" edition. It came after chainmail and, if you came to it completely new, was dependent upon chainmail for its combat system. I think. It's a wonky little set of books, but it's suprisingly open and innovative in its approach.

    And it's most often forgotten entirely, even by people who pretend to be grognards.

    If you want to get a feel of it, Google "Whitebox Edition" or the like and you'll find some stuff on it, including a downloadable clone of it. Or, at least, I think it's still out there.

    Wikipedia has, actually, one of the best descriptions of the various editions and what was in them.
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Kanagawa, Japan
    Gender
    Male
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGMamaSloth View Post
    4. Are 1st and second edition very dramatically different? like 3rd and 4th were?
    One thing to note about older editions (pre 3e) is that they are very downward compatible. You can pick up a Basic module, like the classic Keep on the Borderlands, and use it for a AD&D 2e Players Option group with very little need of conversion.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    My Pad
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGMamaSloth View Post
    I'm one of them young'uns who wasn't really old enough to understand D&D until Revised 3rd edition. so I've got a few questions...

    1. Are AD&D and 2nd edition the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?
    Close enough to use interchangably. Sometimes with a little work, other times it's not needed. Specialist mages from AD&D2E, for instance, can be used in AD&D without much issue. Spell listings might be different, so some adjudication mat be needed (i.e. fireball IIRC caps at 20d6 in AD&D2E, while unlimited in AD&D). The general power level (HD) for some creatures was increased in AD&D2E, notably giants and dragons. Some things don't exist in AD&D that do in AD&D2E, such as spell spheres (though could be used), or the concept of class kits. Again, that's purely an adjudication thing. Some may want to use them, others not for AD&D.

    The AD&D core rulebooks: Monster Manual, Players Handbook, and Dungeon Masters Guide. DMG seen HERE

    The AD&D2E core rulebooks: Monstrous Manual, Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide. PHB seen HERE Just as with AD&D, the core rules were also released with alternate covers late in the run, in this case, black bordered covers. AD&D2E had the distinction of using a binder format for the original MM, which was abandoned in favor of the hardback book.

    2. Are OD&D and 1st the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?
    There is a lot of confusion on nomenclature for the original and non-AD&D lines. My personal preference is OD&D (for Original D&D - the box sets starting 1974 with the 3 'little brown books', seen HERE); and Classic D&D (seen HERE, begins with the Holmes-edited Basic box set of '77; the revised Basic and 'new' Expert set edited by Moldvay/Cook, oft called B/X; and the revised set edited by Frank Mentzer, or BECMI for Basic-Expert-Companion-Master-Immortal; then we have the Rules Cyclopedia, which was a revision of the BECMI set put in a single hardback volume).

    OD&D is a different beast on some levels. It first assumed the reader had a background in tabletop wargaming, which many have difficulty grasping. Things like no variable weapon damage, all hit points being based on a d6, and classes limited to cleric, MU, fighting man (and elf, dwarf, and hobbit/halfling), will likely be quite strange to someone coming from a later rule set. There is overall much less reliance on rules, and more emphasis on rulings. Later supplements, notably Greyhawk, added more classes, and gave variable hit points for classes and weapons, bringing the game closer to what we recognise as AD&D.

    3. which one of these two had non-human races as classes? both?
    The Classic line firm. OD&D was a bit iffy, from the standpoint that all dwarves were 'fighting-men', while all elves were both 'fighting-men' and 'magic users' freely able to change from one class to the other on any given adventure. The supplements began to solidify things more towards AD&D separations.

    4. Are 1st and second edition very dramatically different? like 3rd and 4th were?
    Generally speaking, most things from AD&D and AD&D2E are interchangable, as are things from the Classic line. Some things will need a little modification.

    5. Can anyone give me a general feel or idea about these systems to help me decide if I'd like them?
    I personally find there are two things which stand out the most: Firstly, there is more reliance on rulings over rules in earlier incarnations. Secondly, and the big reason I have gone back to prior games as my preferred choice, is that the later one goes, the more I've noticed the game becoming one where the adventure is an outlet to explore the character, whereas earlier, the character is an outlet to have an adventure.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    One thing to note about older editions (pre 3e) is that they are very downward compatible. You can pick up a Basic module, like the classic Keep on the Borderlands, and use it for a AD&D 2e Players Option group with very little need of conversion.
    ...to an extent. Between 1e and older version, this was fairly true. There's a slight increase in power with 2e... that ramps immensely when you add PO.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Keep faith, trust to love. Fight with honor, but fight to win. -Wonder Woman, The Circle (Gail Simone)
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget from a convenience store.
    Avatar is from Thunt's Goblins!
    HackMaster Basic: A Free Game

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    First things first, WotC has some weird editions nomenclature that fails to reflect the development of the game and really should be just ignored. As far as I can tell, it's something like:

    Quote Originally Posted by WotC
    "1st edition" - Everything up to and including 1st edition AD&D.
    "2nd edition" - The 2nd edition of AD&D.
    "4rd edition" - This is the first one we've done ourselves.
    ... or something of the sort. Just ignore that, really. Instead, refer to this Wikipedia page.


    Quote Originally Posted by BIGMamaSloth View Post
    1. Are AD&D and 2nd edition the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?
    AD&D has two editions: 1st and 2nd (obviously, the 1st one didn't actually call it that, since they didn't know there will be a new one later on. It was just called "AD&D".)

    If you compare the core books of AD&D 1st and 2nd, they're very, VERY similar with a few differences. In 1st ed., the primary means of resolving attack rolls is to look up the result on a chart, and THAC0 is only offered as an optional shortcut to that; in 2nd, THAC0 is the assumed resolution mechanic. In 1st ed., Thieves have a fixed rate of improvement for their skills, in 2nd, you can freely distribute so-and-so-many points at every level. In 1st, Illusionists are a separate class with a separate spell list, in 2nd, specialised Wizards and Clerics work somewhat differently. Monks and Assassins have been cut from 2nd edition. 2nd ed. has Non-weapon proficiencies for a skill system, 1st ed. doesn't. There are other differences of the sort, but by and large the two editions are interchangeable with minimal effort.

    If you include the later non-core additions to 2nd edition, the difference starts to grow, mainly by the introduction of kits (which modify your class), playable humanoids, etc.. The underlying mechanics are still pretty much the same, but backporting a 2nd ed. character into 1st might include chopping off a bunch of bells and whistles.

    Another difference was in design sensibilities, which is mainly obvious in adventure modules and 2nd ed.-era novels. I don't want to go into it in too much detail, but long story short, 2nd ed. was reacting to the anti-D&D witchhunt of the 80s and playing it safe and Politically Correct.

    Core books... For both, Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual. For 1st edition, Unearthed Arcana, Fiend Folio, Monster Manual II and Deities & Demigods also saw heavy use, but are not strictly core.

    2. Are OD&D and 1st the same thing? What are the core book(s) to play called?
    Nope. Original D&D is the very first one, the 1974 game on the Wikipedia chart.

    There weren't all that many books for OD&D in the first place, so the notion of "Core" doesn't really apply. There's Dungeons & Dragons Volume I: Men & Magic, which is the fundamentals. You also want to have a copy of Chainmail (say, 3rd edition), the wargame on which D&D is based - Volume I makes references the Chainmail rules without actually including them. There were also 4 supplements (Blackmoor, Greyhawk, Eldritch Wizardry, Gods, Demigods & Heroes); they're not strictly necessary, but if you want to have a print copy of OD&D, you probably also want to try and get these. Also, Swords & Spells are miniatures rules, but I really don't know anything about other than its existence.

    3. which one of these two had non-human races as classes? both?
    That would be OD&D and Classic/Basic/BECMI/Rules Cyclopedia (nomenclature varies a bit, it's the one on the right side of the Wiki table between '77 and '95.

    4. Are 1st and second edition very dramatically different? like 3rd and 4th were?
    If you mean the 1st and 2nd editions of AD&D, already addressed that. Not very dramatically, overall, and if you don't use 2nd ed.'s splatbooks, very little, actually.

    5. Can anyone give me a general feel or idea about these systems to help me decide if I'd like them?
    OD&D: Very basic. You could have a look at Swords & Wizardry, a free retroclone which is pretty much the same thing. Personally, I appreciate OD&D / S&W because it's so pared down, I can easily tinker with and add things to it.

    Basic: This is really its own beast, and from what I can tell, something of the red-headed stepchild. This is the only edition of D&D (excluding some modern retroclones) which genuinely tried to do something new and interesting about high-level characters. The Mentzer series (than the Rules Cyclopedia) had all sorts rules for running a PC's domain, conducting large-scale battles, questing for immortality and the like. In fact, the "I" in "BECMI" refers to Immortals, a book solely dedicated to playing characters who have already achieved godhood and can now travel between exotic planes of existence, mix it up with other gods, create their own servant species, create bodies like they were clothes, etc.. It almost its own little separate game ruleswise, and it explores an area other editions of D&D have left alone.

    AD&D: This is the common language an entire generation speaks, and the edition that really became a smash hit. It offers more mechanical options than OD&D or Classic, but still isn't nearly as fiddly a WotC's versions. Note that in actual play, many options like Weapon Speed, Weapon vs. Armour Type, Weapon size, etc.. are ignored. All in all, it (like all other TSR editions) run combat much, much faster than WotC's D&D. In my personal opinion, it's also the first one to really offer some implicit, covert suggestions on a certain style and sensibility for the game, a mixture of various literary influences.

    AD&D 2nd edition: If you use kits and the Player's Option rules, it's a bit closer to 3E insofar that creating your character becomes somewhat fiddlier. The "standard" feeling for 2nd ed. games is, in my opinion, blander and less quirky than in AD&D 1E, thanks to the "D&D is Satanic!" scare. What I find of the greatest value in this edition is the large variety of settings that came out for it - Forgotten Realms is kind of meh ("Let's have a Greyhawk but minus everything that might offend soccer moms!"), but you also have Dark Sun, Planescape, Speljammer, Dragonlance (apparently it's not really bad if you ignore the novels and the untolerably railroady official adventure modules), Masque of the Red Death (gothic Earth), various exotic parts of the Forgotten realms (Mesoamerican Maztica, oriental areas, Arabic Al-Qadim, Spanish California + mutants Red Steel, etc..) Not all of these are of equal quality, but they're certainly good for cherry-picking.
    "I had thought - I had been told - that a 'funny' thing is a thing of goodness. It isn't. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. Like that sheriff without his pants. The goodness is in the laughing. I grok it is a bravery... and a sharing... against pain and sorrow and defeat."

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by runeghost View Post
    As someone who's played all of them, I can't resist putting in my two copper pieces. OD&D is probably not what you want to play, even if you can get a hold of the rules. As Roland St. Jude pointed out above, it was heavily influenced by wargaming. While there is still some charm and a few neat ideas in there (not to mention being The First) it has a very different feel compared to more modern versions of D&D. A kind of quaint charm mixed with occasional bizarre rules.

    AD&D (1st Edition) is a much more polished and complete system. With the base three books (Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual) you can do pretty much anything as long as it involves fantasy adventurers killing things. It's detailed, with lots of tables and charts (although nothing approaching Rolemaster) yet is still pretty straightforward and easy to play. A part of this is that so much of the rules are effectively completely independent little systems bolted on and only mentioned in the DMG, so that it's very very easy to ignore the parts you don't like and focus on the ones you do. For example, there are extensive sections on different Diseases and Poisons, but Assassins aren't 'balanced' around having poisons so you (as the DM) can take them or leave them, as you like. It still has its eccentricities (rounds divided up into segments, Weapon vs. AC modifier tables, Level Restrictions for races) but if you want the feel of 'old school' D&D then this (or Hackmaster ) is what you want.

    D&D (Basic, Expert, Masters, etc.) Is even simpler than AD&D, lacking almost all the crunchy complications, but still keeping the spirit of the game intact. If you want to spend 5 minutes rolling up characters before descending into a dungeon, yet still be keep playing those same characters for years as they quest to become gods (sorry, Immortals ) then this is the game you want. The later books (and the Rules Cyclopedia) do add a few things, like skills and extra classes, but on the whole D&D is a very simple, straightforward system that can be a lot of fun. It does keep a few D&D quirks though, like Halflings (demihumans are classes in D&D) having only 8 levels, although later books have additional xp totals and attack ranks to keep the demihumans growing in power along with their Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric, and Thief colleagues on their way to 36th level.
    First, like runeghost, I played most editions and can't help but reply.

    I think knowing the history is very important. Having recently a) reread 1E and well as commentary on it from the boards, and b) played Castles and Crusades, I finally understand, thirty years too late, what Mr. Gygax was trying to do.

    1E, and OD&D or BECMI before it, was just expanded wargaming or wargaming++, if you will. As others have said, the creators were wargamers that were looking to take that idea down to the individual level. So, instead of five people coming together with their armies and fighting on a battlefield, the idea is that one person has created a maze (dungeon) for the others to go through, with individual characters. (Although that's not exactly true but not sure it's important for this discussion.) To that end, the rules were created for dungeon delving and this is what I only recently figured out.

    Time units, as others have said, were based on rounds, for combat, and turns for exploration. The idea was that your movement represented how far you could go in feet in one round during combat but also represented how much of a dungeon you could explore (looking for traps, checking for secret doors, etc.) in a turn. That's why spells had effects as rounds (combat) or turns (exploration). (It gets even more confusing when you add in wilderness, because then a turn represents yards, not feet, and let's not go there.)

    So, at the end of the day, the rules of AD&D (1E), not necessarily the role playing, which is COMPLETELY SEPARATE, were there to facilitate going through a dungeon to get the treasure. They helped you track how long it took to go through this dungeon in terms of tracking consumables, such as torches, spells, food, water and other such things.

    However, by the early 80s, it was obvious that's not how it was being used and TSR never responded quickly to it in terms of changing the rules but they did try and do so with the modules. This is when you get the "classic" modules of Temple of Elemental Evil, Scourge of the Slavelords and Against the Giants. These were more than going through a dungeon to get treasure. Now there was plot, hooks to get the player's and their characters involved and to try and tell a story.

    So, if you are looking for some rules about dungeon exploration, then 1E or earlier will work for you. Yes, you have to answer if you want race and class or not but that's about it. Again, the role playing or WHY the adventurers went to the dungeon were completely separate from what the rules were doing. And that's fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by runeghost View Post
    AD&D (2nd Edition) is a basically a cleaned up, streamlined, and slightly more balanced version of A&D 1st Edition. Different source materials should pretty much be compatible between the two editions with very little if any tweaking needed. I think it looses a little of the charm of the original edition, but I played it in different groups from the late eighties until the late nineties, when most players I knew slid away from 3rd edition into other games. The biggest changes between 1st and 2nd are probably in presentation. Most of Gary Gygax's uniquely baroque writing style is gone and the DMG is much shorter and more straightforward. Everything is organized much better than it was in 1st edition, but some unique bits like psionics are gone or moved to seperate sourcebooks. 2nd edition has lots and lots of sourcebooks; their quality varies wildly, from excellent (Castles & Crusades was mentioned earlier in the thread) to just awful (Shaman's Handbook anyone?).
    And here is where I'm going to have to disagree with runeghost. By the time of 2E, 1E had Wilderness Survival Guide and Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, which introduced Non Weapon Proficiencies and Unearthed Arcana, which introduced weapon proficiencies. To me (yep, it's my opinion), 2E was more of a 1E Revised and Expanded by bringing a lot of those ideas together. This was also the time of Vampire the Masquerade and you don't see a lot of role playing information in the core (PH, DMG, MM) DND books. Yes, there are examples in there of how a session might play out but there is still, imo, a lack of describing what role playing is and more what can be done with it. It's not until the Player's Option books that we start getting more role playing ideas in the kits. I think this goes back to pre 1E when the game was written for wargamers, who knew what fighters, rogues and even mages were. Now, though, as a new generation of gamers were learning 2E, the designers realized that they had to explain these things.

    I think that cycle keeps repeating. I think 3E lost a lot of this history, including why spell durations were measured in rounds and turns, and this is where you start to see things happen a particular way because of tradition rather than any logic behind it, which 1E DID have. However, what 3E did do was allow characters to keep developing after tenth level in terms of game mechanics, all the way up to twentieth level. (And that's a different argument, both how well 2E and earlier run characters higher than tenth level and how well 3E goes to twentieth.) Now, you have classes and prestige classes that better allow you to define how you see a character and their powers. 3.5 was the designers changing their minds about spell durations but also spreading out class abilities a bit instead of having them so front loaded. Again, whether or not this works for someone is up to them to decide.

    With 4E, then, I think some of the designers had to go back to 1E to see how things were defined, which is how we got some of the Powers worked but I think that is beyond what the OP wanted.

    With regards to "old school" games, then, I can only talk about Castles and Crusades, having recently played it. To me, this is a game that's trying to capture a "feeling" that people had when playing 1E but not using it as was intended, which was to explore dungeons as I said above. So, what you have is a system that fronts loads class abilities on more than half of the classes with a "grim and gritty" feel to it overall. imo, C&C does a very good job of capturing what it felt like when I ran or played 1E/2E back in the day. Again, whether or not that is a good thing, is up to each person or group that's playing in it.

    edg

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Euphonistan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless View Post
    For me the Favoured Soul was the worst mistake in 3.5 whilst the Warlock made little sense but at least it did work as a class.
    In 3.0 they took all but the kitchen sink from the sorceror and then for 3.5 removed the one clear advantage it had over the wizard once they released the new version of unearthed arcana.
    At least in 4e the warlock coped well when matched against a wizard, which classes did you find broken in the core rules?
    Well the favored soul mechanically isn't as bad as the really bad stuff (like the cleric and wizards which are both stronger) though it is still very breakable.

    In the balance difference is not as wide. In fact I would not mark any one class as "broken" in a 3e sense. Classes like wizard, fighter, warlord, and ranger are clearly top of their respective class roles (in some cases by far) but they do not break the game like a 3e wizard could (4e eliminated many of the alternatives to damage in ending encounters). In addition even the weakest classes actually can do enough that they can contribute to standard encounters with basic optimization (such as taking basic feats like expertise) as expected though of course other classes could easily do more. This is in contrast with many weaker 3e classes which if you go by the tier system are defined as classes that cannot adequately contribute to a standard encounter.

    If you want to use the 3.5 tier system and apply it to 4e in general you would find that the classes would end up high tier 3 (close to broken but not quite) to high tier 5 (class isn't that good but is just good enough that it can contribute with a basic solid build).

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Gunslinger in the Playground Administrator
     
    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Sheriff: Please take the 3.5/4e comparisons and discussions to the appropriate subforums.
    Headless Roland by Chris the Pontifex
    Now gauging interest for Still Flyin' a potential PbP game using the new Firefly RPG.

    Forum Rules

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Montréal, Québec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Also, keep in mind that in most of these older versions, the mechanics for a given class were very similar. If you had two fighters, for example, besides the equipments and inital stats you basically had the same thing. No feats, no skills. That's why you had to rely on role-play to differentiate them.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubrowka74 View Post
    Also, keep in mind that in most of these older versions, the mechanics for a given class were very similar. If you had two fighters, for example, besides the equipments and inital stats you basically had the same thing. No feats, no skills. That's why you had to rely on role-play to differentiate them.
    You did have non-weapon proficiencies, though I imagine how often those would come up would depend on DM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Older D&D systems questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubrowka74 View Post
    Also, keep in mind that in most of these older versions, the mechanics for a given class were very similar. If you had two fighters, for example, besides the equipments and inital stats you basically had the same thing. No feats, no skills. That's why you had to rely on role-play to differentiate them.
    That's looking at it through a modern lens. I would phrase it as follows:

    Also, keep in mind that the role-play is what primarily differentiated characters. If you had two fighters, for example, they would play very differently, because we are basically testing the problem-solving abilities of the players. That's why you don't need to rely on mechanics to differentiate them.

    I don't think we are in disagreement; we're just looking at it from different directions.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •