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A reason 1st Edition is not Produced Anymore


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Grand Lodge

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All I can say is Slumbering Tsar. How many meaningless deaths have to occur until the 1st edition feel is done away with. We have lost ten characters to no save death traps. WTF this is so dumb and not fun at all. Does anyone else like being arbitrarily killed with no way to really do anything about it. Let me know.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Yeah, we prefer that style. It's a different mindset, to be sure (one where your PC is expected to die) but I personally find it more enjoyable. Of course, the time required to create a PF character is much longer than with early edition D&D and it's much more of an investment (so the arbitray "you're dead" moments are probably annoying rather than being part of the challenge). I dont think I'd be interested in playing through Slumbering Tsar, Rappan Athuk or Tomb of Horrors with PF characters.


I couldn't get my group to stick with Slumbering Tsar. I really enjoyed reading it and I hope I find players who are up to the challenge some day because I was having a lot of fun running it too.
I understand the point about "PF characters take longer to create" but on the other hand when I play less lethal campaigns the players seem to be creating new characters about once a week just for fun so you would think they would have a roster of characters ready to go. I don't get it.


1st edition AD&D requires a different mindset than Pathfinder. Since you don't have skills in the same sense as Pathfinder, you need to use more metagame and out of character knowledge to play. Your GM also needs to be more flexible with the use of the rules, such as they are. Earlier editions of Dungeons and Dragons are more free form.

I haven't read the module nor have I played in an AD&D campaign in a very long time. I really do have lots of fond memories of my early gaming days, even the character deaths. Remember that you are playing a completely different system. It can take a lot of work to adapt to a loose system that tried to incorporate complex rules for simple tasks.

It isn't for everyone though and I don't think I would enjoy it without the right group and GM.

Taldor

Eh, characters die all the time in all kinds of games. Some people enjoy traps that are a lot more deadly. After all what's the point of a trap that only kind of wounds a person? Suppose there is something to be said for traps that capture people mostly intact...

Maybe you all need to just be a bit more cautious and change your way of playing a bit?


Well.. ST is definitely deadly. Sometimes nothing you do can save you. I think the author said in his home group when they play tested the adventure there were 14 deaths? I think that's what he said.

But that's a long adventure. 14 chapters long.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

RIP Mr Gygax


RIP

Cheliax

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It's not?


We've had that kind of games, though not using the exact D&D motor (rather a much simplified d20 system where it's basically d20+ability modifier+lvl for the stuff your class is supposed to do (fighting/skills/knowledge)).

While it was a home-brew adventure, I think we had 9 tpks before we finished it. And it was like maybe a 10 hour adventure.

I, the rogue: I search for traps *rolls a 17*. It seems to be clear.
Warrior takes a step forward. The ceiling opens up and lava fills the room. High-DC Dex roll or die, if succeed only 4d6 damage and out of the room.

I was the only one succeeding on the roll. I had a total of 8 hit points. I still died on the damage.

EDIT: I must add, it was fun. Since the characters where simple to make and the plot not really important, it was more like trying to succeed at a video game together than actual roleplaying, but it was fun.


I really want to play this now, just to see how difficult it really is. I guess when I get some money I can buy it.

Andoran

6 people marked this as a favorite.

You know, there was a reason why DM Screens were considered mandatory equipment back-in-the-day. It wasn't just so the DM could look up the saving throw and to hit tables. The open secret was that the screen was there so the DM could fudge his die rolls behind the screen and NOT kill 10 characters in a row in an arbitrary fashion.

When the DM got down and dirty he started rolling in FRONT of the screen. That's when the tension levels started to rise during the game sessions.

Without character death, the game becomes boring. With too much character death, the game becomes UN-Fun. Where the happy medium lies will vary with the GM and players, but it's not an unrestrained read-em-and-weep killfest. Not in 1st Ed -- and not intended to be so in The Slumbering Tsar Saga, either.

I never use a GM Screen with Pathfinder and I don't know any GM who does. There's a reason for that -- just as in the past, there was a reason that their use was the rule, not the exception.


Wraithstrike do you think you will GM it or play in it? It is hard. Not like Tomb of Horrors impossible, but hard.


Tomb of Horrors 3rd edition version or the earlier edition version? The 3rd edition version was not that hard, well not if the player has an idea of what he is going into anyway.

I would like to play in it, but if GM'ing is also an option if I had players with the mindset to play it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

1st Ed was awesome.
Pathfinder is far more forgiving.

Guess it comes down to what sort of game you expect to be playing, but as people have already put it, you expected deaths. PFinder is much more about 'you guys are the heroes and we expect you to live'.

I also find it chuckleworthy that deaths are ok only if they are 'meaningful'.


wraithstrike wrote:

Tomb of Horrors 3rd edition version or the earlier edition version? The 3rd edition version was not that hard, well not if the player has an idea of what he is going into anyway.

I would like to play in it, but if GM'ing is also an option if I had players with the mindset to play it.

When I said impossible I meant classic ToH, but since you mention it, the toned down 3e ToH is about where STS is at from what I could tell. Except that in ToH everyone already knows what's in the green demons mouth etc.


Shifty wrote:

1st Ed was awesome.

Pathfinder is far more forgiving.

Guess it comes down to what sort of game you expect to be playing, but as people have already put it, you expected deaths. PFinder is much more about 'you guys are the heroes and we expect you to live'.

I also find it chuckleworthy that deaths are ok only if they are 'meaningful'.

I don't do "meaningful". :)

That is like giving away XP. If there is a fight then there is a chance for death. I allow the players the opportunity to become the hero. They don't get to be the hero just because they are the PC's.

PS:I don't think there is anything wrong with a more merciful style of play. I just find things to be more exciting if I don't know what will happen.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Is there some sort of "guide" somewhere for players not familiar with 1st Edition play?

There's a lot of rules and equipment that seem to get overlooked - rules and equipment that are relics of the 1st Edition play style.

Things like a block and tackle, a ladder, a 10-foot pole. A handful of hirelings to act as menial labor (and the various tools to go along with that) and/or trap bait (you can't very well be prepared to fight when your sword is in it's scabbard and you're probing the tunnel ahead with a 10-foot pole).

These aren't things I've seen much of, in 3E/3.5/PF games. When 3E came out, I saw some players stocking up on this kind of gear and procuring the services of hireling, only to find it unnecessary overall, and this play style faded.

A lot of "modern" dungeon design doesn't seem to incorporate a lot of really truly deadly traps, and it would seem that this leads to a lot of false confidence when presented with a dungeon designed for an earlier edition's play style.


Well, one thing I have always thought about is the fact that if someone was going to build a dungeon and then place traps in it to keep people out, then OF COURSE those traps are going to be as absolutely lethal as possible. I mean, put yourself on the other side of the equation, what kind of dungeon would you build to protect your stuff?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:

Is there some sort of "guide" somewhere for players not familiar with 1st Edition play?

There's a lot of rules and equipment that seem to get overlooked - rules and equipment that are relics of the 1st Edition play style.

Things like a block and tackle, a ladder, a 10-foot pole. A handful of hirelings to act as menial labor (and the various tools to go along with that) and/or trap bait (you can't very well be prepared to fight when your sword is in it's scabbard and you're probing the tunnel ahead with a 10-foot pole).

These aren't things I've seen much of, in 3E/3.5/PF games. When 3E came out, I saw some players stocking up on this kind of gear and procuring the services of hireling, only to find it unnecessary overall, and this play style faded.

A lot of "modern" dungeon design doesn't seem to incorporate a lot of really truly deadly traps, and it would seem that this leads to a lot of false confidence when presented with a dungeon designed for an earlier edition's play style.

This isn't quite what you're looking for, but it's related.

It's more about the philosophy of playing rather than specific equipment. (I've heard some people consider it somewhat disrespectful of the modern rpg style too which might be off putting to some).


We never used to use hirelings as trap bait because that used to make it harder to get new hirelings to trust you. Plus we were trying to be heroes,

Ten foot poles, yes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Grimmy wrote:

We never used to use hirelings as trap bait because that used to make it harder to get new hirelings to trust you. Plus we were trying to be heroes,

Ten foot poles, yes.

That's what a kobold (or goblin) in a sack is for. The thief says I think this corridor may be trapped, the fighter loosens the sack and slides the kobold down the corridor. If it knows the corridor then it's going to step in the safe places (and we note them down) and the elf will put an arrow in its back before it gets out of sight. If it doesn't know the corridor it should trigger at least one trap trying to get away from us.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a player and GM, I don't like kid gloves. I like things to be tough. I can definitely understand disliking having your characters die every session. I don't really like that. When I GM, sure the threat of death is around, but as long as you aren't stupid unlucky, you have a fairly good chance of survival.

But when I run... there are things far worse than death...

Anyone can run an adventure with orcs and goblins, but I like to take it a step further. I love diseases and poisons. Ghoul fever from a ghoulish ettin or malaria when adventuring in the Mwangi Expanse. Arsenic poisoning from a crazed derro or even something as simple as drow poison. I love hazards and obstacles, whether it's trying to cross a ravine or shimmy up a column. Russet molds, flooded rooms, dark caverns, platforming ledges, blizzards, fog, and tornadoes are all just a small sampling of things players have dealt with when I run. I've had someone fall to their demise into a ravine because they thought their character with no Acrobatics and half plate (he didn't want to leave his precious stuff behind) could clear a 15 foot gap. Without a safety harness. I gave him plenty of warning but he had that cocky, 'main character invincibility' mentality and he paid for it.

It's you against the world, man against nature and this play style has actually gotten players to work together more and think more and beyond the box because their survival depends on it. There are no arguments about who deserves more 'loot' or who is pulling their weight. It has humbled many players, from the fighter that charges headfirst into everything to the wizard who fancies himself akin to a deity. I show equal parts fairness and warnings, but little to no mercy.

And I reward my players. The higher the risk, the greater the reward. Gold, jewels, magic trinkets and swords. But it goes beyond that. They gain the adoration of a group of people, or favors from people in high offices. They gain property, followers, or even their own keep. I was ecstatic when Kingmaker game out because now, I could give my players their own country. When one player died valiantly in a raid against ogres and their ogre mage leader, his death was truly mourned and a festival was made in his honor! Roleplayed it and everything. Even has an academy named after him. My players are kings and queens, barons and viziers. You work hard and dammit, I'll make sure you get to play hard.

That's how I like to play. It may not be as hard as Slumbering Tsar, but it still has the old school feel of truly being adventurers!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Grimmy wrote:

We never used to use hirelings as trap bait because that used to make it harder to get new hirelings to trust you. Plus we were trying to be heroes,

Ten foot poles, yes.

However it's roleplayed, that's cool - I'm just pointing out, there's a reason all of these old rules existed.

There was a certain expectation of the party and it's equipment in that version of the game.


Brian E. Harris wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

We never used to use hirelings as trap bait because that used to make it harder to get new hirelings to trust you. Plus we were trying to be heroes,

Ten foot poles, yes.

However it's roleplayed, that's cool - I'm just pointing out, there's a reason all of these old rules existed.

There was a certain expectation of the party and it's equipment in that version of the game.

We initially started with chickens in a sack.... Too noisy and too light they didn't set off pit traps. Pigs are good and as long as the trap that they set off isnt a poison dart trap... They make a handy meal when they get chopped, splatted, or fireballed.

We did try goblin on a rope for a while....but they talk too much and our GMs goblin voice was annoying.


Odraude wrote:
I gave him plenty of warning but he had that cocky, 'main character invincibility' mentality and he paid for it.

The #1 cause of PC death.

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.
wraithstrike wrote:
I really want to play this now, just to see how difficult it really is. I guess when I get some money I can buy it.

It really wasn't. Some DMs back then were just as soft as some are now, and some were just as tough. There was just a lot more "Mother, may I?" (as TOZ would call it) with the DM as a lot of the stuff covered by skill checks now didn't have rules.

The real difference was in the mentality of the players. Back then, in most games, if you hit level 12 it meant you were pretty good and pretty lucky. Not that you were on book five of an AP. Character death wasn't as big a deal (probably because it didn't take too long to whip up a character), and most players actually enjoyed the very real possibility that something random could do you in.

Plus, if you actually used the XP system, it took a while to get to upper levels. Now it seems like it takes the average group three months to get to 12th level.

If you do play, remember that a certain degree of meta-gaming is expected. If you kind of know how a trap works just from clues or the DM being predictable, use that knowledge. Since there aren't skills and stuff to adjudicate a lot of things, just use your player brain to figure stuff out.


@houstonderek: Wraithstrike is saying he wants to play STS to see if it's as hard as it's cracked up to be.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's often been said, that early GMs challenged the players, later GMs challenge the characters.

There are pros and cons to each style, which could form an essay in itself, but the important thing for a player, is to find out which style the current game is in.

I find it difficult to believe there are no chances to detect any of these 'kiler traps'. I may be wrong. Maybe the DC is way out of reach, but there ought to be one, if writing in the established format for 3E onward.

What is probably more likely, is that the players are waiting for the GM to tell them explicitly that they find a trap, and the old-school GM is feeding them pieces of information, expecting them to use these to conclude there is a trap?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Funny, I guess it depends on what you mean by 'meaningless death'.

Dexios (my NG inquisitor) doesn't see any sacrifice as 'meaningless'. As for 'Pathfinder not being like 1e'. Have you played PFS scenarios? They are pretty lethal. Some might say "pointless deaths"

Spoiler for Tide of Twilight

Spoiler:
A fae in tier one that can do a 4d6 area attack 3/day will literally shred the party. Since all dice are open, an average of 14 points a shot (reflex for half) will tear apart low level characters.


Honestly, I loved playing Sword and Sorcery and Osric (no one owns the earlier editions just the clones). Personally, I have always hated the skill system. Just felt like it was an obtuse way for the DM to shout, "NO!". At least with old-school games when the DM says no it is just no, not some sarcastic, "OH! Of course you can do that just beat a DC that you'll never pass in a million years even on a roll of 20,". Or, have a perfectly good idea that even the DM agrees with and roll a Diplomacy check to convince everyone else? NOPE, your plan fails cause you rolled a 4. Happens to me more often then not. I'll take a skill-less system like Osric any day over that (given the choice that is).

Rant Over


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Kitsune Knight wrote:

Honestly, I loved playing Sword and Sorcery and Osric (no one owns the earlier editions just the clones). Personally, I have always hated the skill system. Just felt like it was an obtuse way for the DM to shout, "NO!". At least with old-school games when the DM says no it is just no, not some sarcastic, "OH! Of course you can do that just beat a DC that you'll never pass in a million years even on a roll of 20,". Or, have a perfectly good idea that even the DM agrees with and roll a Diplomacy check to convince everyone else? NOPE, your plan fails cause you rolled a 4. Happens to me more often then not. I'll take a skill-less system like Osric any day over that (given the choice that is).

Rant Over

You don't like "your plan fails cause you rolled a 4", but you're OK with your character dies cause you rolled a 4? I guess I'm the other way around.

Shadow Lodge

Pointless thread is pointless. You can run an adventure in 1E that coddles PCs, and obviously you can run something like Slumbering Tsar in Pathfinder (also first edition, I might note ironically). To add even more irony, Slumbering Tsar is virtually the only book that Frog God Games has put out that is ONLY available in a Pathfinder version...almost everything else is also available in a Swords & Wizardry (ie, 0E) version.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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10-foot poles are for amateurs.

Real adventuring poles go to 11 feet!


I have not finished reading it yet, but I have don't recall any save or die traps. Some did fairly massive damage..but none were instant death. Also the person running the game can always pull his punches, to a limited degree, if a trap hoses the players.
One point to an adventure like this is it challenges the players as much as the characters..you have to rely on out thinking the module, just as much as out rolling it.
You want arbitrary deaths play the original Tomb of Horrors: lots of save or die traps, with no clues or hints. You chose the wrong door..your character dies.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've been running an OSRIC Campaign for the last year or so, and it's taught me a lot about old school gaming. There have been a few deaths and 1 party wipe, but for the most part, I'm a pretty nice DM.


Eugene Nelson wrote:
All I can say is Slumbering Tsar. How many meaningless deaths have to occur until the 1st edition feel is done away with. We have lost ten characters to no save death traps. WTF this is so dumb and not fun at all. Does anyone else like being arbitrarily killed with no way to really do anything about it. Let me know.

I've gone back to the first and second generation feel for my games. There isn't arbitrary killing off of players though, merely revived ideas, traps, monsters. I always give them a way out, they might not find it though, and die as a result. 1st ed was a game where you had to be very careful, you could be snuffed easily. You had to think, not just beef the numbers, power-game and triumph.

Games like Dark Souls are bringing the old feel back. I welcome the challenge.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
To add even more irony, Slumbering Tsar is virtually the only book that Frog God Games has put out that is ONLY available in a Pathfinder version...almost everything else is also available in a Swords & Wizardry (ie, 0E) version.

I understand the reasons behind this, but it was a severe disappointment to find out an S&W version wasnt on the cards. :(


Chuck Wright wrote:

10-foot poles are for amateurs.

Real adventuring poles go to 11 feet!

Ha ha! Got to take it to 15 foot to be safe.

Also, ever as a fighter or a char with weapon focus, take back-up weapons of varying sizes? E.g halberd, small halberd.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Chuck Wright wrote:

10-foot poles are for amateurs.

Real adventuring poles go to 11 feet!

Ha ha! Got to take it to 15 foot to be safe.

Also, ever as a fighter or a char with weapon focus, take back-up weapons of varying sizes? E.g halberd, small halberd.

Halfling, Gnome...


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I still roll with a 2nd ed feel for my games.

Grand Lodge

I welcome the challenge too, but new characters every game session because "I must do this action, because the dm says i have to and i always die because of it" isnt fun. There is a room that our partys paladin walked into and dead. We didnt even get an explanation til a few days later. Bag of holding on the paladin and he walked into a room that was a portable hole. If that doesn't screm f*** you! I don't know what does. Why would anyone not be very upset. Why would you want to play something so unplayable. Why even name your character. Just call him #8.

Grand Lodge

And that's only one example of many f*** you moments in this module.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Sounds like you shouldn't, to be frank. The "any moment could be our last" feel of those death trap dungeons appeals to me (in contrast, I find the wealth and countermeasures PF characters are expected to have a little like a logistics exercise). To each their own.

I can see why it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea though, to be honest. Hopefully the rest of your group feels the same.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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Heh, that's not the module, that's your GM.

Edit: To further explain - I believe that your DM gave out a bag of holding as treasure because of this room. It's actually a very interesting encounter where one player get trapped in the portable hole until they can be freed by their comrades (and there is fight involved in doing this).

I'll also bet that most of the other "no save and die" situations were orchestrated by your GM and not the adventure itself.

Osirion

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

What Chuck said...


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Seconded. I read ST -multiple times for review-purposes. Rather hard? Yes.
What you described? Nope. Your DM is doing the whole killer-DM thing à la Grimtooth, I guess.

Difficulty has not much to do with 1st edition mentality - there are meatgrinders for every system and honestly, e.g. "Seven Swords of Sin" or "The Cult of the Ebon Destroyers" are just as hard, perhaps even harder. My players love challenges like that, the insaner, the better, but that's not for every one.

Talk to your DM about it. About how he masters the module. Get it sorted out. Then reevaluate with your group how you can play in a style that everyone enjoys.

Good gaming to you and yours!

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Pointless thread is pointless.

This.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Endzeitgeist speaks wisdom.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've read through all of Slumbering Tsar and we've had two sessions so far with no deaths. (Maybe I'm running it wrong. ;) )

Seriously, though, your GM needs to know your players and warn them (as I did) that if you think every encounter is balanced to the supposed PC level, you will die real fast. My players (so far) have avoided areas that appear deadly and know that running is a very good option.

On the other hand, if you guys are as far along as the room you mentioned, you've progressed quite far! What level is your party currently? (And how many PCs are there?)

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