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Foray into D&D First Edition

 
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Bill Bisco: Isometric Imp
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: Foray into D&D First Edition Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A few days ago I decided to try my first online D&D game which happened to be a D&D 1E game. While playing briefly and discussing with the DM, I could not shake the feeling that with the passage of time and all these houserules, it had turned into a Tyrant Game.

For Example, a Fighter's ability to get better in the game largely depends on the DM handing out magic swords and armor, while the Magic-User ability to get better depends on the DM handing out useful magic scrolls (and other magic items) to the Magic-User. Furthermore, even if a Magic-User gains a scroll and writes it into his spellbook, he still has to roll to see whether or not he learns the spell. Out of all the classes, the most DM-free one seems to be the Cleric which can choose spells from their spell-list at will when they level appropriately. The assassin looks to be a pretty good class, with a % chance to assassinate someone during combat. However, the DM said no evil alignments, so that option went out the window.

So, I decided to be a Cleric, and the DM tells me that I can worship any God from the Finnish, Norse, or Celtic Pantheons since that is the general area of where the campaign will exist. So I choose, Nuada, Celtic god of war as my deity since a Neutral Deity of War will let me get away with stuff, and I pick Neutral as my alignment. However, my DM notes that in 1E Clerics cannot be Neutral, and instructs me to pick another alignment. I tell him that I am aware of that rule, although it seems strange for a Neutral god to force his Clerics to be an alignment other than Neutral.

Then, the Dm reads the description where it says Worshippers: Warriors. He says that perhaps a Fighter/Cleric could worship him, but not a Cleric. I note that my character as a Cleric, is a warrior. I wear armor, wield a mace, and beat people over the head. I just happen to also cast spells.

Next, the DM rummages through his books again and points out that in the Celtic description that most clerics of Celtic Deities are Druids! I say, okay....so what Celtic Deity will allow me to be a Cleric of them. He lists the only gods that are non-neutral, Diancecht, god of physicians, Manannan mac Lir, god of the sea, and Arawn, god of death. I say, alright, I'll worship the LE Arawn, god of death, and be LN. The DM starts fuming a bit, stating that in every campaign he has ever been in (1E, 2E) a Cleric has always had to share the same alignment as their deity. I state that that might be a rule in 2E, but not in 1E. However, if it will make things easier, I'll worship Manannan mac Lir and be CN. To be fair to the DM, he did give me a chance to worship a brand new Celtic god of War that was any non-evil non-true Neutral alignment, but I decided against it.

The campaign was a high level module that suggested level 8-12 characters, so I rolled to see what level I was, and rolled randomly for treasure. Upon reading the DMG, it noted that 11th level characters were finally able to create magic items which meant that my Cleric could manufacture some scrolls, potions of healing, and maces of disruption. However, upon noting this to the DM and asking to create some items pre-adventure, he turned it down. I couldn't even make holy water (which I was able to do for my level).

It also noted that my character was capable of attracting a body of followers, but the DM wanted me to gain followers after an adventure. The rules also added the possibility of hiring henchmen and bringing them along in the adventure. However, the DM said no, and only allowed one person to bring an extra character. I also noted that perhaps my character should roll for Psionic Potential, and then the DM was quick to point out that he banned Psionics in his House-rules, but praised me since I was the only player to mention it.

Anyway, eventually the game starts, and we're railroaded to travel this mountain pass for several days. Our Ranger scouts ahead, and a couple of rounds later, Omniscient Fog Giants attack the Ranger and another group of Omniscient Fog Giants attack the remainder of the party. It was interesting to note that the Ranger enemy mechanic of 1E was that all "giant" races receive an additional 1 damage per Ranger level, meaning that a 10th level ranger did +10 damage to all "giant" races which meant that fighting with two weapons and taking the -1/-3 penalty was worth it.

One of the magic-users in the party cast a fireball between two giants, the DM said that this was ok, but the giants instead of receiving full damage and saving for half damage, would receive half damage and save for no damage. This obviously is made up since the fireball spell deals full damage to anyone within the spell radius.

The game ended early because we didn't have a combat grid and discussing where the giants were in comparison to the party confused us all. Anywho, from my insights so far, it seems that D&D 1E is a game that supports a tyrant Dungeon Master. The DM will be very picky about inconsequential rules here and there. Rules that the DM doesn't like (followers, psionics, etc.) will be discarded, and rules that the DM thinks should be changed (fireball) are changed on the spot.

It was interesting at least, and I'll speak more after our next session.
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TOZ
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm having flashbacks to my problems with the DM that decided a light spell on a coin gave out less light than stated. Good luck to you, good sir.
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mean_liar
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I enjoy these - thanks for posting.

Having gone through 1e, 2e, and ODnD, my faves are v2.5, then ODnD, then 2e, then 1e.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Foray into D&D First Edition Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I enjoy reading these threads. I'm looking forward to your next post.

Bill Bisco: Isometric Imp wrote:
The game ended early because we didn't have a combat grid and discussing where the giants were in comparison to the party confused us all. Anywho, from my insights so far, it seems that D&D 1E is a game that supports a tyrant Dungeon Master. The DM will be very picky about inconsequential rules here and there. Rules that the DM doesn't like (followers, psionics, etc.) will be discarded, and rules that the DM thinks should be changed (fireball) are changed on the spot.

It was interesting at least, and I'll speak more after our next session.
I don't know if it's something in the rule set that encourages that type of DMing, or if it's just because that's how people DMed back when 1E was the current edition. Regardless, I know what you mean. I started playing in 2E, and I'm well aware of that mindset.
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shadzar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

1st edition wasn't miniature driven. Battlemats weren't needed. you would abstract where things were, and if you didn't have something specifically blocking something else like a door, or party member, or enemy, you could hit it or get to it.
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violence in the media
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

shadzar wrote:
1st edition wasn't miniature driven. Battlemats weren't needed. you would abstract where things were, and if you didn't have something specifically blocking something else like a door, or party member, or enemy, you could hit it or get to it.


I probably already know the answer, but I have to ask: What if you specifically wanted to hit all enemies with an AoE spell, and not catch any of your party members in the effect?
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shadzar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Don't stand in front of the caster.
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mean_liar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

violence in the media wrote:
I probably already know the answer, but I have to ask: What if you specifically wanted to hit all enemies with an AoE spell, and not catch any of your party members in the effect?


If your answer was GM fiat, then you're right.
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shadzar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

No, players just weren't stupid enough to stand in front of the caster but once.

When you have someone known to be long ranged that has a wide effect, you don't go charging in on foot where a nuke is about to fall, unless you want to die.

It was called cooperative tactics.

Casters blasts area to weaken the enemies, and then you charge.

Just like lines in olden days. First line would fire a round, then sit, while they reloaded, and the second line would stand and fire, and continue on.

Nobody ran into the line of fire....unless they wanted a musket, arrow, or some other projectile in their backs.

It has nothing to do with a GM.

Read up something on war and fighting sometime. Rolling Eyes
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

mean_liar wrote:
violence in the media wrote:
I probably already know the answer, but I have to ask: What if you specifically wanted to hit all enemies with an AoE spell, and not catch any of your party members in the effect?


If your answer was GM fiat, then you're right.


Yep.

Although honestly back in the day, everything in AD&D was discussed in terms of inches on a battlemat. The thing where 2nd Edition AD&D and 3e D&D went to actual numbers of feet and crap was an aberration. In most of D&D's history all areas were in battlemat distances.

-Frank
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violence in the media
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

mean_liar wrote:
violence in the media wrote:
I probably already know the answer, but I have to ask: What if you specifically wanted to hit all enemies with an AoE spell, and not catch any of your party members in the effect?


If your answer was GM fiat, then you're right.


That was pretty much what I was thinking.

@shadzar--so, how many positional options do you have in that scenario? Are you only either "in front" or "behind" the caster? Are there situations where you could be "in front" and not get automatically backshot by any spell they chose to cast? How is any of this better than having a visual representation of who is where?
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shadzar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

AD&D is not D&D.

3 1/3 feet = 1 inch. Seems that aberration was in 1st as well. Guess you still don't know jack about 1st edition Frank.

3 inches was 10 feet.

For the smart people the math wasn't that hard so if you didn't want to use minis, you could just use inches * (3 1/3 feet).

Not everyone used or had some battlemat either, so there was abstraction for most people that didn't have minis or money to get them or find some battlemat.

So while spells were given in inches, you were told how big those inches were to scale... HO gauge to be precise.
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Bill Bisco: Isometric Imp
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

shadzar wrote:
AD&D is not D&D.

3 1/3 feet = 1 inch. Seems that aberration was in 1st as well. Guess you still don't know jack about 1st edition Frank.

3 inches was 10 feet.

For the smart people the math wasn't that hard so if you didn't want to use minis, you could just use inches * (3 1/3 feet).

Not everyone used or had some battlemat either, so there was abstraction for most people that didn't have minis or money to get them or find some battlemat.

So while spells were given in inches, you were told how big those inches were to scale... HO gauge to be precise.

1E PHB Page 39

Quote:
DISTANCE
For purposes of the game distances are basically one-third with respect to
spell arid missile range from outdoors to indoors/underground situations.
Thus most ranges are shown as inches by means of the symbol “, i.e. l“,
etc. Outdoors, 1” equals 10 yards. Indoors 1” equals 10 feet. Such a ratio is
justifiable, to some extent, regardless of game considerations.

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shadzar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

violence in the media wrote:
@shadzar--so, how many positional options do you have in that scenario? Are you only either "in front" or "behind" the caster? Are there situations where you could be "in front" and not get automatically backshot by any spell they chose to cast? How is any of this better than having a visual representation of who is where?


2, in the line of fire or not in the line of fire for any ranged attack, for what you are asking.

Yes when the spell required a target. Spells did not require rolling to hit. They hit the intended target if you successfully cast it.

Well if you don't have a table big enough for everyone to get around to play, then some mat does no good as everyone won't be able to see, so you sit on the couch* and abstract it.

*Floor, grass, etc wherever you are because not all game play was done inside and character sheets were enough paper blowing around rather than having to chase down a mat and minis all the time. So you learned to do it in your head. This included angles of reflection for spell like lightning. Which funny I don't see anyone using anything by GM fiat these days to figure out, as I have never seen anyone pull out a protractor for 3rd or 4th....well 4th might not have reflecting spells.

@Bill.

Sure confuse them with overland scales to be different to confuse them even more.

1st DMG pg 10 wrote:
USE OF MINIATURE FIGURES WITH THE GAME

Each ground scale inch can then be used to equal 3 1/3 linear feet, so a 10’ wide scale corridor is 3 actual inches in width and shown as 3 separate squares.


EDIT: Can't believe I forgot how to put a name for the quote section "from", but it is there now.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Bill Bisco: Isometric Imp wrote:
shadzar wrote:
AD&D is not D&D.

3 1/3 feet = 1 inch. Seems that aberration was in 1st as well. Guess you still don't know jack about 1st edition Frank.

3 inches was 10 feet.

For the smart people the math wasn't that hard so if you didn't want to use minis, you could just use inches * (3 1/3 feet).

Not everyone used or had some battlemat either, so there was abstraction for most people that didn't have minis or money to get them or find some battlemat.

So while spells were given in inches, you were told how big those inches were to scale... HO gauge to be precise.

1E PHB Page 39

Quote:
DISTANCE
For purposes of the game distances are basically one-third with respect to
spell arid missile range from outdoors to indoors/underground situations.
Thus most ranges are shown as inches by means of the symbol “, i.e. l“,
etc. Outdoors, 1” equals 10 yards. Indoors 1” equals 10 feet. Such a ratio is
justifiable, to some extent, regardless of game considerations.


Don't confuse Shadtard with facts, it will only make him flail about in a more insulting manner to those who do not have him on ignore.

-Frank
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mean_liar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Every once in a while I click to see what he's saying and I have made my peace with it. I think the only thing I wish I could do would be to remove his presence from the board entirely when I log in, since those "You have added this person to your Ignore List. Click HERE to view this post" posts still break up the discussion more than I'd like.
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shadzar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well if there wasn't some idiot misrepresenting the system, then it wouldn't take someone to straighten them out.

I presenting a reason for why there was no grid as Bill mentioned, and people went ape shit because there wasn't. They don't understand how people could play without some visual representation. Maybe Bill had never done it either.

The fact remains minis are not required to play, and thing were given in inches as other scales. I just presented the info regarding inches and minis from the DMG as that seemed to be where the discussion was going rather than the info posted by Bill form the PHB.

In fact all 3 scales appeared in various things in 1st modules and boxed sets. This means you never knew what the hell to use and always had to find the scale on the map. So it was much easier to visualize the portion of the PHB Bill presented than to futz with the minis which the maps didn't even have scaled for...mind you that even most of the overland maps I recall from 1st were hexes, not squares anyway....

So you didn't really have a 210 yard battlemat to do overland combat on for a bow to fire across. That is unless you redrew the entire overland map you were fighting on in squares and remade it yourself.

Again much easier to do it in your head.

So giants would likely be on overland scale so the reason, again why there were no battlemats/grids to use.

Kind of hard to fit a giant in a 20 foot ceiling room and have any kind of fight going on.
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Josh_Kablack
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Early D&D editions were totally all about battlemats - not only has Brisco provided an actual citation, but the game descended from Chainmail, which was a battlemat centered miniatures wargame.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

'Graph paper' might be a more apt description than the fancy battlemats we have nowadays, but yeah, it was totally all about battlemaps. When one of the PCs explicitly has to sit there and diligently cartographically record all of the DM's 'you enter a 10' by 10' room with an orc and a chest' descriptions, you have a map based game.
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shadzar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Basic Player's Manual wrote:
There’s more, of course, if you want it: exciting adventures to play, miniature figures of monsters and characters, expert rules for more experienced players, and lots more. But you already have everything you need to start: this package, and your imagination. That will do it.


Rules Cyclopedia wrote:
Miniature Figures
Your campaign group might like to use miniature figures to represent all characters and monsters, especially in combat encounters.


No earlier editions beyond the 3 books, were not all about battlemats. I was the one to provide citation from the 1st DMG about miniatures.

But let us stick with 1st as Bill is heading into.

The point still remains, they are not required, and the purpose of AD&D was to get a bit further away from Chainmail, for whatever reason Gary had to distance and change the game away from it.

This video implies battlemats came about for 2nd, but you can see how WotC never liked 2nd....

They start in 1978, a year before 1st, with Basic. So they completely skip 1st edition AD&D. Wonder why?

Of course they don't try to represent it correctly and have people still in a house playing not places where a "battlemat" would likely fit very well. Many of those on a college campus like the lawn, or bleachers/stadium where you had enough room for people to sit without much interruption.

Minis and battlemats as well as always having a table to lay stuff out on was a luzury not everyone had that played back in those days.
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mean_liar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Interestingly, we never really played with minis. We did our share of graphing when we started, but that was just the dungeon layouts - the battles were done using narrative positioning. We all knew the 1" scale and move rates and all that, but tactical positioning just wasn't used at all other than for the general purpose of covering ground and knowing how far away your archery could be effective.

Honestly I don't think AoE radii were ever really a strong bone of contention just because a die roll one way or another resolved any issues.

In fact I remember when I first started playing DragonQuest (this was in the early 90s, so it was long-since OOP) I really enjoyed it because of the profound effect tactical positioning and movement had on combat.
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shadzar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I want to know if this book has your deity choices in it?

Also was it a published adventure? G1-2-3 maybe? The first part of the big GDQ module series?

Sounds like the right module, but something I cannot find is Nuada in any of the books I have.

Also after reading to make sure G1-2-3 doesn't have any fog giants. There will be no omniscient giants.

It seems the problem you have is not with the edition, but either of a few things in the end.

-The DM doesn't know what the hell he is doing.

-The DM just doesn't want to DM

-The DM doesn't want to DM 1st edition

-The DM wants you to think 1st edition sucks by his bad DMing of it

-You made this all up

But after all this time I cannot find some thing to support what you say this DM has done.

Without knowing what book he pulled the deities from, or what the module is, I cannot really tell what is going on here overall.

Also note, that all games support idiots for DMs. There is nothing you can do to prevent it, other than pick another one.

It also might be this DM was trying to design some adventure based on another game that doesn't translate over to 1st edition rules.

If you can tell me what book he pulled Nuada out of, as well the Finnish gods*, and anything you know about the name of the adventure. I am curious as to what the hell this person is doing, before you play a game for no reason but stroke the ego of someone who probably shouldn't DM.

*Sold my Deities and Demigods with missing mythoi, and the other is put up for now where I cannot get to it.
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Bill Bisco: Isometric Imp
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

shadzar wrote:
I want to know if this book has your deity choices in it?

Also was it a published adventure? G1-2-3 maybe? The first part of the big GDQ module series?

Sounds like the right module, but something I cannot find is Nuada in any of the books I have.

Also after reading to make sure G1-2-3 doesn't have any fog giants. There will be no omniscient giants.

It seems the problem you have is not with the edition, but either of a few things in the end.

-The DM doesn't know what the hell he is doing.

-The DM just doesn't want to DM

-The DM doesn't want to DM 1st edition

-The DM wants you to think 1st edition sucks by his bad DMing of it

-You made this all up

But after all this time I cannot find some thing to support what you say this DM has done.

Without knowing what book he pulled the deities from, or what the module is, I cannot really tell what is going on here overall.

Also note, that all games support idiots for DMs. There is nothing you can do to prevent it, other than pick another one.

It also might be this DM was trying to design some adventure based on another game that doesn't translate over to 1st edition rules.

If you can tell me what book he pulled Nuada out of, as well the Finnish gods*, and anything you know about the name of the adventure. I am curious as to what the hell this person is doing, before you play a game for no reason but stroke the ego of someone who probably shouldn't DM.

*Sold my Deities and Demigods with missing mythoi, and the other is put up for now where I cannot get to it.


The book is Deities and Demigods. You can find Deities and Demigods by doing a google search of "Deities and Demigods 1st edition PDF" or something similar.

This campaign is an a Customized Against the Giants Module, G5, created by the DM. This game is testing out this Module before its being released for sale on the Internet.

The Campaign thread is here: http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=39234&start=0

I don't think the DM is a bad guy, I just notice how tyranny creeps into games. And if the game was really really bad, I wouldn't come back.

Peace,
Bill
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shadzar
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Suffice it to say the whole thing was a "Do-over"...a Test-of-a-testplay. And I certainly saw many areas I needed to work on. (I think they did too. Sad ) So, we will try it again in a fortnight. At that time, I hope to have more grizzly details for you. So far, the only thing mauled into hamburger tonite was...me! LOL


That explains it as well as it being form someone at DF....

I don't recall things from Deities and Demigods, changing that much to Legends and Lore, but maybe they did change some requirements for worshipers alignments....

Seems he is going to fix it, so hope that doesn't give anything away to you in the quote above.

Congrats on playing a pre-alpha module. You have worse things in store before they get better. ROFL
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