You are an Old School DM when....


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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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46) what do you mean, anyone can get as strong as a fighter?
47) What? Non-melees get more then 2 hp/die?
48) Hit dice exist past ~10th level? Only for druids!
49) What do you mean, bards are a starter class?
50) why can't I call them demi-humans any more?
51) and how come they get unlimited class levels like humans do?
52) why can't the fighters move and make full attacks?
53) EVERY class gets full attacks? What?
54) what happened to fighters having the best saving throw progression?!?
55) what do you mean, a level 12 party can't take on Orcus and totally kick his ass?
56) Wishes don't age you? Are you freaking serious?!?
57) Where'd the theif go? Who's this rogue person?
58) Psionics are just a random extra you might get. I got disintegrate at level 1!
59) Skills, skills.
60) Make a save vs Pet/Poly. You, vs r/s/w. You, spells. You, death magic. You, breath weapon. BWa hahahahaha!
61) Restore energy drains? Sorry, that 16th level cleric doesn't want to age a few years. Suck up the two level loss and deal with it.
62) what's a template?
63) Wtf happened to Girdles of Giant strength and gauntlets of Ogre Power?
64) You allowed ALL stats to be buffable? Are you nuts?
65) Stats can get over 24 for mortals? Game, broken. You are insane.
66) What do you mean my wizard can only learn 18 spells/level? I want to learn them all!
67) The evil cleric lifts his holy symbol and turns your paladin!!! ...what do you mean, he can't do that?
68) Weapon speed, mmm, good stuff.
69) Of course I use weapon vs armor type modifiers.
70) Everybody specializes in longswords. 70% of magic weapons are longswords.
71) You, you let your characters BUY whatever magic items they want??? Gak, hak, help me...
72) You let them MAKE items if they want to? Easily?!?
73) Sure my level 10 paladin has a +5 holy avenger. Why shouldn't he?
74) No ten magic item limit on paladins? Bah, greedy bastards like the rest.
75) Yes, rangers MUST be of Good Alignment!!!
76) of Course humans are the strongest of all the PC races!

And yes, there's more.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

77) why would dex bonus to AC be restricted in armor?
78) everyone advances using the same XP table? Do you know how unbalanced that is?

Dark Archive

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Nos wrote:

when you roll your stats you keep what lies, in the order they fall.

then you argue for an entire game session on wether it is str dex con, or str con dex.

IMPOSTOR! If you were old school like me you'd know it was Str, Int, Wis, Dex, Con, Cha.

And then Cms, if you used "those new books."

This. Win!


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79) When you look at your gaming book library (yes, if you're old school you have a library) and realize that you could buy a pretty damn nice car with the money you've spent over the last 25+ years on RPG books.

80) When your ST notes/old character sheet stack takes up a large binder. No, not a regular binder, I'm talking about those 500 page super-binders.

81) When you look at your old ST notes, and realize that you played this game before you went to high-school, college, grad-school, got married, had kids, had bills/responsibilities and your only worry in life was if your main-baddie was going to murder the party.

82) When you have your very first RPG character, still written in the DM's handwriting on that waxy green character sheets that TSR put out locked in a fire safe.

Hm, I just depressed myself a bit.

Dark Archive

You remember when you took sides of the "Do female dwarves have beards?" debate.


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83. when you think an index card is sufficient for a character sheet.


SCSi wrote:

82) When you have your very first RPG character, still written in the DM's handwriting on that waxy green character sheets that TSR put out locked in a fire safe.

I have mine on a 1975 Games Workshop produced Character sheet..Harmon Redfire..36th level Mage.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

IMPOSTOR! If you were old school like me you'd know it was Str, Int, Wis, Dex, Con, Cha.

And then Cms, if you used "those new books."

So true...

I still rember the smell of the pages as I cracked open the original Unearthed Arcana, and the subsequent hours spent studying the groups of polearms in the back.


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You request people roll dice to generate their characters.

Scarab Sages

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85. Haste doesn't age you? Are you freaking serious?!?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I still call wizards "magic-users". I'll sometimes refer to fighters as "fighting men". And I'll refer to a creature's CR as its "level".

And the last time I was running a home campaign in 3.5, the 1st Edition version of some spells were available as alternate research, sometimes renamed, sometimes not. It's startling to drink a potion of haste and realize suddenly that it's the 1st Edition version of the spell.

In some ways, Paizo has made it easy to be "old school." I'm of the opinion that 1st Edition was all about the explots of your PC, early 2nd Edition was all about the storyline, late 2nd Edition was all about campaign worlds. 3rd Edition tried to be a throw-back to the spirit of first edition, but the attitude of the age was more about mechanics and building cool characters than having them risk death over and over. I think the adventure paths have gotten back to an "old school" approach, but one that serves the PCs explots, and the storyline, and a great campaign world, all in their measure.

Scarab Sages

#87: I know what thieves and assasins are, but what is a "rogue." There are no rogues in DnD.

#88: Gnome Thief/Illusionists Rule!

Mighty Thoth has left his mental signature


Chris Mortika wrote:
In some ways, Paizo has made it easy to be "old school." I'm of the opinion that 1st Edition was all about the explots of your PC, early 2nd Edition was all about the storyline, late 2nd Edition was all about campaign worlds. 3rd Edition tried to be a throw-back to the spirit of first edition, but the attitude of the age was more about mechanics and building cool characters than having them risk death over and over. I think the adventure paths have gotten back to an "old school" approach, but one that serves the PCs explots, and the storyline, and a great campaign world, all in their measure.

QFT. They've found a nice balance.

Scarab Sages

The Otyugh wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Nos wrote:

when you roll your stats you keep what lies, in the order they fall.

then you argue for an entire game session on wether it is str dex con, or str con dex.

IMPOSTOR! If you were old school like me you'd know it was Str, Int, Wis, Dex, Con, Cha.

And then Cms, if you used "those new books."
This. Win!

I still record stats this way to this day. I looked at soo many character sheets back in the day, that I still look for stats in this order and it sort of messes me up to have them the new way.

Grand Lodge

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...you think 'old school' has gone away, and 'new school' is actually 'new'.

Sovereign Court

John Kretzer wrote:
39) When to roll inititative you reached for a d6...that remember it is a d10.

One roll for the PC's... one roll for the rest of the world...

Quote:
41) When reach for that d6 again to dtermine surprise.

And when the PC's look for Secret Doors!

Sovereign Court

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89) Non-humans multiclass... Humans Dual-Class.

90) Elf has levels.

91) 1gp = 1xp

92) Morgan Ironwolf....

Silver Crusade

Have to fill in the numbers on your dice with a white crayon.

The Exchange

the poor Magic user with his maybe 4 hitpoints, slow XP progression and he had to find the spell to get a familiar.

The Exchange

brent norton wrote:
Have to fill in the numbers on your dice with a white crayon.

the cheap plastic ones that ended up rolling forever.


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93. You roll a random encounter, it comes up "prostitute," and you refer to a sub-table to find out exactly what kind of prostitute it is. Do we meet a "haughty courtesan" or a "brazen strumpet"...?

94. Potion miscibility. 'Nuff said.

Shadow Lodge

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Eric The Pipe wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

I was the one asking this on another thread.

I can't understand number 4. Can someone explain it for me?

An old school DM playing pathfinder would only allow the core book. period. no, I have this cool idea and stuff released to back up the idea and it's not even broken, i'm really a little underpowered.... CORE BOOK ONLY.

Bah, that's a pretender. A true old school GM wouldn't be playing Pathfinder.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed a post. Flag it and move on, please.


SCSi wrote:
80) When your ST notes/old character sheet stack takes up a large binder. No, not a regular binder, I'm talking about those 500 page super-binders.

Yeah right. Come talk to me when you have FILING CABINETS (multiple!).

95) Doing a crossover with Metamorphosis Alpha without telling the players about it was a cool, new idea.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Nos wrote:
when you roll your stats you keep what lies, in the order they fall.
then you argue for an entire game session on wether it is str dex con, or str con dex.

IMPOSTOR! If you were old school like me you'd know it was Str, Int, Wis, Dex, Con, Cha.
And then Cms, if you used "those new books."

This! +1

Liberty's Edge

95. You still use the 18/ % STR table.


96) Roll percentage for psionics and have a chance to get free bonus powers. Awesome.
97) If you want to be a bard, you have to be a Fighter and a thief first, not so awesome.
98) Characters in your campaign had titles like "Grandfather of assassins" and "Grandmaster of Flowers" "Ranger Lord"
99) Rangers cast magic-user spells.
100) I had a crush on Glasya... she was hot.


Nos wrote:

when you roll your stats you keep what lies, in the order they fall.

then you argue for an entire game session on wether it is str dex con, or str con dex.

Busted! Old school is STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, CHA... Newbie! :)

Edit - Doh! I should have read further, Kirwyn gets the kill.

OK, the thing I miss most from the old days... No save vs undead life sucking attacks = INCREDIBLY scary vampires.

And... the assassination table. Flat % roll and - poof - dead character. Totally unbalanced but it made assassins just vicious.


Oh, you want to make martial arts style? Let's see, one from the Kick category, one from the Mental category, one from the Strike category...

What about the Weapon vs. Armour Class chart, and the Dragon Magazine 'to hit' calculator?


stormraven wrote:


Busted! Old school is STR, INT, WIS, DEX, CON, CHA... Newbie! :)

Edit - Doh! I should have read further, Kirwyn gets the kill.

Nope, his goal was disallowed by the Ref, yours is IN!.

That is the correct and traditional stat array indeed.

I have my old white box D&D still... :)

Scarab Sages

101. You were excited about the new uber complex combat system when you used the "closing" and "in-range" initiative system from Dragon Magazine. (First time I remember seeing iterative attacks and reach weapons taken into account in combat)


Kthulhu wrote:
Eric The Pipe wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

I was the one asking this on another thread.

I can't understand number 4. Can someone explain it for me?

An old school DM playing pathfinder would only allow the core book. period. no, I have this cool idea and stuff released to back up the idea and it's not even broken, i'm really a little underpowered.... CORE BOOK ONLY.
Bah, that's a pretender. A true old school GM wouldn't be playing Pathfinder.

True, though I was just trying to explain the idea with a more modern example.


For me, old school is giving frickin' pixies back their polymorph ability (or in Pathfinder, Alter self) that they had in 1st and 2nd edition, but it was removed in 3rd because WotC couldn't get polymorph right, so they just blanket removed it from the game except in the few cases where it was way too ingrained in the very being of the concept, like the succubus.


- All weapons do 1d6 Damage.

- Combat rounds take 1 minute

- lvl 3 is the end... that's it there are not supposed to be any other levels.

The Exchange

Your Druid had to have Mistletoe to cast a spell and he better have picked it himself on midsummers using a silver sickle or his spells will suck.


107. You remember the good old days when players didn't have access to the book with the magic item write ups. Or at least if they did, they better not let you see them looking in it. (Wasn't it nicer when no one whined about how they'd rather have an Axiomatic sword than one that was Orc-bane, because they didn't know axiomatic was possible?)


108. You can remember when potions and oils had a delay in how long they took to work.

109. Your still make up identifying characteristics of each potion you put in a treasure hoard and are baffled by the fact that none of your PCs write those down, (they actually use magic to identify them!) rather than remembering that 'pale pink pink in color with a hint of almonds and vanilla on the tongue' is an Elixir of youth if it was made in the northern parts of the world, an elixir of madness if made in the desert, and a potion of rainbow hues if made by an elf.

110. You keep looking for updated rules that will let you give your PCs backfiring wands.

111. You remember when it required divination magic and often a quest to learn the command word of any given magic item, rather than it being discover-able if you just stared at the item long enough.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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DreamAtelier wrote:
111. You remember when it required divination magic and often a quest to learn the command word of any given magic item, rather than it being discover-able if you just stared at the item long enough.

That made me smile.

Scarab Sages

DrDeth wrote:
And, speaking in character has been required by all sorts of RP heavy DMs, it's not "Old School" at all.
Eric The Pipe wrote:
Old School doesn't have to mean bad, some of the idea's were very good. Only speaking in character is very much old school.

I didn't detect any hint that he thought 'Old School' was a bad thing, just that in his experience, and mine, getting into character is not something that was done way back in the past, that disappeared when the new blood joined in.

If you read any of the examples of play in old rules, it's full of players referring to their PCs in the third person.

"Black Dougal will check the chest for traps."

"Black Dougal gets pricked by a poisoned needle. Make a save vs poison."

<roll> "Rats! I rolled a 2."

"Black Dougal falls to the floor, dead."

"Frederick the Dwarf will go through Black Dougal's backpack, before he hits the floor."

"Morgan Ironwolf reminds Frederick that she had first dibs on Black Dougal's boots."

etc.

Scarab Sages

KenderKin wrote:
Thaco was a second edition creation (and we hated it!)
Digitalelf wrote:

No...

It came well before 2nd edition...

The first time I've personally seen it used "officially" was in 1983 in the TSR UK module "UK2: The Sentinel"...

However, it's actually even older than that...

As I've read (but cannot confirm) that Frank Mentzer used it in his RPGA "R" series of modules in 1982 or so...

It got used a lot in the scenarios from 'Imagine' magazine (TSR UK), which came out from 1982(?) onwards.

But I believe it's even older than that; I think if you check the back of the 1st Ed DMG, there's an appendix of monster stats, as a stopgap for those who didn't yet have the Monster Manual, and THAC0 was in there, from 1979(?).

Shadow Lodge

THAC0 is an easy way to convey the information without taking up the space of an entire "to hit" table.


Nos wrote:


then you argue for an entire game session on wether it is str dex con, or str con dex.

Everyone knows it's Str, Int, Wiz, Dex, Con, Cha!! =)

Edit: ninja'd a few posts back.

Yes ... comeliness. One of the new-fangled additions from UA I really liked!


Snorter wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
And, speaking in character has been required by all sorts of RP heavy DMs, it's not "Old School" at all.
Eric The Pipe wrote:
Old School doesn't have to mean bad, some of the idea's were very good. Only speaking in character is very much old school.

I didn't detect any hint that he thought 'Old School' was a bad thing, just that in his experience, and mine, getting into character is not something that was done way back in the past, that disappeared when the new blood joined in.

If you read any of the examples of play in old rules, it's full of players referring to their PCs in the third person.

"Black Dougal will check the chest for traps."

"Black Dougal gets pricked by a poisoned needle. Make a save vs poison."

<roll> "Rats! I rolled a 2."

"Black Dougal falls to the floor, dead."

"Frederick the Dwarf will go through Black Dougal's backpack, before he hits the floor."

"Morgan Ironwolf reminds Frederick that she had first dibs on Black Dougal's boots."

etc.

While you may have interpreted his post fine, you failed on mine, "Only speaking in character is very much old school." And yes, a lot of that has disappeared in the "new blood."

More direct: The active dis-allowance to speak out of character is something that players consistently did in the past, this is practically the definition of "Old School". It is also something that has not completely carried through to the new players. This does not stop the new players from doing the same, nor does it stop it from being good, nor bad. It does make it an old school thing to do.

Speaking exclusively in character has nothing to do with getting into the character.


112) -10 AC is good thing.
113) assassins are a sub-class of thieves (& rangers and paladins are sub-class of fighters & druids are sub-class of clerics
114) you even know what a subclass is.
115) illusionists are a sub-class of magic-users. Both 'become' wizards at level 10.
116) you spell 'First Edition' with an "A"
117) thac0 is not pronounced "thAco" but rather "tohitarmorclasszero"
118) you know how many hit points Odin has and his AC.


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Curaigh wrote:
118) you know how many hit points Odin has

400. Duh. All the pantheon heads got that.

But poor Lolth (not "Lloth," mind you!) only has 66.

119) You want a +3 axe made of part of the sun that does 3-30 damage on a hit.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

thenobledrake wrote:
35) When you swear that the character sheet had Ability scores in the order Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, Charisma just a second ago.

Darn straight. Always has, always will!


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Lorm Dragonheart wrote:


45) What do you mean you cannot bounce the Lightning Bolt off the wall and hit the target a second time?

Mr. Fishy almost TPK a group with that one.

PC: I cast Lighting Bolt [120 long] in a 50 corridor.

Hits wall bounces back takes the fighter and the mage out. Rogue pulls out a healing potion and giggles.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Velcro Zipper wrote:

At early levels, it was all spellcasters. Clerics and druids came off the hate list earlier than mages (that's "wizards" for those of you who only started playing after 2E.) [/spoiler]

I believe the term you are looking for is magic-user or M-U for short. Thank you.

P.S. Norkers! nork, nork


Martin Sheaffer wrote:
leo1925 wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
leo1925 wrote:
Care to explain?

Gygax, Gary, 1st edition Unearthed Arcana (1985), barbarian class.

It was one of those "new" AD&D books.

NOOB!

And why couldn't he travel with the Magic user and the cleric?

That's the part i don't understand.
Barbarians HATED magic types. Though I thought it was more arcane casters than divine casters but it's also been years since I've looked at my copy of UA.

They didn't just hate them - they feared them and their sorcerers' ways. To the point that they would not knowingly associate with any magic-using class.

Oh yeah 1E barbarian were just *so* much fun to have around :-/


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You go to hell Grogg feared no one! Grogg had no selfpeservation instinct.

Grogg was a might 1ed Barbarian. He couldn't spell his name and his mount had a higher int...it was named Yogi [bear] and the DM said that it was smart than the average barbarian.

Grogg didn't know where he was or who you were for the first 6 wishes, then Mr. Fishy got his int and wis into double digits.

6,000 to level 2! Mr. Fishy got to level 13...Mr. Fishy is secretly ashamed of that.

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