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Author Topic: Games: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?  (Read 994 times)

ehbowen

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D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« on: May 26, 2018, 07:55:06 pm »
I'm writing in a small subplot about a character playing D&D in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Probably under version 1 AD&D rules, as it would be useful later for the character to be familiar with half-orcs. I only played D&D a bare handful of times, in the 1980/81 time frame. Does anyone have any pointers to background information or references, or do you have any personal anecdotes that you're willing to share?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 10:41:42 am by RandallS »
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

RandallS

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 08:24:58 am »
I'm writing in a small subplot about a character playing D&D in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Probably under version 1 AD&D rules, as it would be useful later for the character to be familiar with half-orcs. I only played D&D a bare handful of times, in the 1980/81 time frame. Does anyone have any pointers to background information or references, or do you have any personal anecdotes that you're willing to share?

Past 1990, this would likely be AD&D 2e. it came out in 1989. There wasn't a lot of real difference rules-wise between 1e and 2e (nothing like the differences between TSR editions and WOTC editions (2000+ era), let alone the huge differences between the three WOTC editions. Most players of 1e just added what they liked from 2e and kept on playing. The main differences between 1e and 2e was TSR gave into the small but very loud "D&D is Satanism" crowd, and removed things like demons and devils (as monsters to be fought yet) from the game, PC classes like the assassin, etc. This made it very unpopular with some players who thought giving into the anti-D&D people (who generally had not even read the game) was a bad idea. The 2e DMG was better organized but otherwise inferior to the 1e DMG.
Randall
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ehbowen

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2018, 10:37:07 am »
Past 1990, this would likely be AD&D 2e. it came out in 1989. There wasn't a lot of real difference rules-wise between 1e and 2e (nothing like the differences between TSR editions and WOTC editions (2000+ era), let alone the huge differences between the three WOTC editions. Most players of 1e just added what they liked from 2e and kept on playing. The main differences between 1e and 2e was TSR gave into the small but very loud "D&D is Satanism" crowd, and removed things like demons and devils (as monsters to be fought yet) from the game, PC classes like the assassin, etc. This made it very unpopular with some players who thought giving into the anti-D&D people (who generally had not even read the game) was a bad idea. The 2e DMG was better organized but otherwise inferior to the 1e DMG.

Yeah, the story (at least this installment) ends in 1990, so I'm looking at 1988/89 for the D&D subplot. Back story is that you have an uptight fundamentalist type (anyone we know?  ;)) just enrolled in college who gets a "nudge" that it would be a good idea to expand the horizons of his imagination...and who really ends up getting into it. And the demon aspects and such will come into play in the sequel, so I'm thinking to place this just before the transition to 2e.

I'm not wanting to get too detailed (this is just a minor- to mid-level subplot), and I'm not planning to go on eBay and see if I can buy a set of 1e manuals, but I was hoping that I might find some of the sample spells which players (especially clerics) would use, believable dice rolls (Strength 9? You're not going to be a fighter. Dexterity 14? That's not bad; you could be a thief. Constitution 11? Meh. Wisdom...a natural 17?! Guys, we got us a cleric!).

Monster descriptions would be very useful also, especially a demon lich or other uber-powerful "Satanic" creature which would fit into the story nicely. (When I say 'uber-powerful' I'm not talking deities or demigods, but something which an eighth-level adventuring party could take on and believably overcome if they played things just right and had some very lucky dice rolls.) Tips on gameplay, especially from a dungeon master's perspective, would be helpful as well.

So, thanks for the answer; if you've got any more insights or some amusing anecdotes which you wouldn't mind sharing then I'd be appreciative.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

RandallS

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2018, 06:02:38 pm »
I'm not wanting to get too detailed (this is just a minor- to mid-level subplot), and I'm not planning to go on eBay and see if I can buy a set of 1e manuals, but I was hoping that I might find some of the sample spells which players (especially clerics) would use, believable dice rolls (Strength 9? You're not going to be a fighter. Dexterity 14? That's not bad; you could be a thief. Constitution 11? Meh. Wisdom...a natural 17?! Guys, we got us a cleric!).

Monster descriptions would be very useful also, especially a demon lich or other uber-powerful "Satanic" creature which would fit into the story nicely. (When I say 'uber-powerful' I'm not talking deities or demigods, but something which an eighth-level adventuring party could take on and believably overcome if they played things just right and had some very lucky dice rolls.) Tips on gameplay, especially from a dungeon master's perspective, would be helpful as well.

Go and download a copy of my Microlite78 First Edition Lite. It doesn't use the complex rules of AD&D (in favor of a less complex lite system based on the Microlite20 system). While it is NOT AD&D1e, it can be used to play just about any 1e adventure. More importantly for you, it has all the standard 1e spells and monsters written up. This is all possible thanks to D&D 3.x being released under an open game license. The rules PDF is pay what you want (and FREE --- aka $0 --- is perfectly acceptable).  There are other 1e retroclones out there, but most a a far heftier read. My Microlite78 First Edition Lite comes in at just under 160 pages and has just about everything you need to have spell/monster/magic item wise.

Link to Microlite78
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free
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ehbowen

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2018, 07:20:02 pm »
Go and download a copy of my Microlite78 First Edition Lite. It doesn't use the complex rules of AD&D (in favor of a less complex lite system based on the Microlite20 system). While it is NOT AD&D1e, it can be used to play just about any 1e adventure. More importantly for you, it has all the standard 1e spells and monsters written up. This is all possible thanks to D&D 3.x being released under an open game license. The rules PDF is pay what you want (and FREE --- aka $0 --- is perfectly acceptable).  There are other 1e retroclones out there, but most a a far heftier read. My Microlite78 First Edition Lite comes in at just under 160 pages and has just about everything you need to have spell/monster/magic item wise.

Link to Microlite78

Thank you; that's even better than what I had hoped for. Treat yourself and Lyric to a burger on me.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

ehbowen

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2018, 02:40:28 am »
Yeah, the story (at least this installment) ends in 1990, so I'm looking at 1988/89 for the D&D subplot. Back story is that you have an uptight fundamentalist type (anyone we know?  ;)) just enrolled in college who gets a "nudge" that it would be a good idea to expand the horizons of his imagination...and who really ends up getting into it. And the demon aspects and such will come into play in the sequel, so I'm thinking to place this just before the transition to 2e.

I've written most of the subplot, and I'm attaching it as a .pdf in case anyone's curious. Yes, that's my Girlfriend making an appearance; I trust she's enough of a public figure that she doesn't mind! The first game sequence is with the player characters at 2nd/3rd level, while the last is with them about 10th/12th level. I'm wanting to come up with an intermediate sequence at 5th/6th level, but I'm looking for a "hook" to tie it in with the larger story. Still, if anyone has an idea that they're willing to share, it could be a help.

This is intended as a screenplay, so it is of necessity abbreviated with a lot of shortcuts. I'd just like to hear whether it "works" in the context of a subplot, and whether our real-life role-playing mavens could willingly suspend their disbelief while watching it. Thanks for indulging me, and the Microlite tip was a really big help!
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

RandallS

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2018, 06:46:58 am »
This is intended as a screenplay, so it is of necessity abbreviated with a lot of shortcuts. I'd just like to hear whether it "works" in the context of a subplot, and whether our real-life role-playing mavens could willingly suspend their disbelief while watching it. Thanks for indulging me, and the Microlite tip was a really big help!

"Taking 20" did not come in until 3e.  Other than that, it seems fine D&D wise one a quick first read. Note: house rules were (and are still) common. So you could have something like taking 20, but call it something else. :)
Randall
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ehbowen

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2018, 06:51:19 am »
"Taking 20" did not come in until 3e.  Other than that, it seems fine D&D wise one a quick first read. Note: house rules were (and are still) common. So you could have something like taking 20, but call it something else. :)

Ah. Thanks for catching that; it's a glitch. Still, it's going to pay off in the next installment, so I think keeping it as a "house rule" is a good out. Thanks.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

RandallS

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2018, 06:54:51 pm »
Ah. Thanks for catching that; it's a glitch. Still, it's going to pay off in the next installment, so I think keeping it as a "house rule" is a good out. Thanks.

No problem. I'm happy to help. I've been playing/GMing D&D since 1975. Although I've had little to do with the post-2000 (WOTC) editions. I own the core books of each, but don't really like them enough to play them.
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
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ehbowen

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2018, 11:59:47 am »
I'm wanting to come up with an intermediate sequence at 5th/6th level, but I'm looking for a "hook" to tie it in with the larger story. Still, if anyone has an idea that they're willing to share, it could be a help.

I figured out where I want to go with the intermediate sequence. In the final installment, when it's no longer a game, Chris and his two companions are going to be in a dystopian 2004 and expend a great deal of effort, both mundane and supernatural, penetrating a locked door in an abandoned penitentiary in the hopes of finding supplies, weapons or ammunition, or a portal to lead them closer to their real goal...but all they find is a storeroom of dead files of prisoner health records and such. The summary remark then will be, "Right train, wrong station."

So I'm wanting to foreshadow that in this installment. The setup, not explicitly shown, will be that Sarah has come up with a very involved and engaging aquatic adventure...but the players chased a rabbit and never got into the right area to set it up. She's been dropping little hints like, "You can lead a horse to water"...but they haven't recognized them as clues. When we show them in the script they are just at the last stages of expending their spells and efforts to open a warded door in a deserted agricultural community...only to find animal implements, pitchforks and shovels, and next year's seed corn (Hey, shopkeepers don't want their stuff stolen, either!).

When they complain she tells them, "What, you expect to find treasure behind every single locked door?" and then tells them about the campaign she has been trying to get them to. But it's too late to go there that night (and they've used up all of their spells and etc.); she offers them a fresh stab at it the next day. So, any hints that you (not just Randall) might have had from being a GM in a similar situation as regards player reactions or how you might have responded to the situation would be welcome.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

ehbowen

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2018, 03:12:47 am »
I figured out where I want to go with the intermediate sequence. In the final installment, when it's no longer a game, Chris and his two companions are going to be in a dystopian 2004 and expend a great deal of effort, both mundane and supernatural, penetrating a locked door in an abandoned penitentiary in the hopes of finding supplies, weapons or ammunition, or a portal to lead them closer to their real goal...but all they find is a storeroom of dead files of prisoner health records and such. The summary remark then will be, "Right train, wrong station."

So I'm wanting to foreshadow that in this installment. The setup, not explicitly shown, will be that Sarah has come up with a very involved and engaging aquatic adventure...but the players chased a rabbit and never got into the right area to set it up. She's been dropping little hints like, "You can lead a horse to water"...but they haven't recognized them as clues. When we show them in the script they are just at the last stages of expending their spells and efforts to open a warded door in a deserted agricultural community...only to find animal implements, pitchforks and shovels, and next year's seed corn (Hey, shopkeepers don't want their stuff stolen, either!).

When they complain she tells them, "What, you expect to find treasure behind every single locked door?" and then tells them about the campaign she has been trying to get them to. But it's too late to go there that night (and they've used up all of their spells and etc.); she offers them a fresh stab at it the next day. So, any hints that you (not just Randall) might have had from being a GM in a similar situation as regards player reactions or how you might have responded to the situation would be welcome.

And it's written. Came out a little too wordy; will probably need to be cut to be suitable for production, but it does touch the bases that I want to set up the follow-on situation in the sequel. As always, I'm eager for feedback.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

ehbowen

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2018, 03:25:32 am »
And it's written. Came out a little too wordy; will probably need to be cut to be suitable for production, but it does touch the bases that I want to set up the follow-on situation in the sequel. As always, I'm eager for feedback.

Oops. Forgot to give credit. Randall was the one who gave me the ideas for the in-game magical setup. Thank you, sir!
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

RandallS

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2018, 05:23:22 pm »
Oops. Forgot to give credit. Randall was the one who gave me the ideas for the in-game magical setup. Thank you, sir!

Glad to help!
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free
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RandallS

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Re: D&D V1 & 2 - References/Personal Stories?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2018, 05:29:27 pm »
Glad to help!

And I read through your script. It reads well and is believable as a D&D game.
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free
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