First Edition (AD&D) vs. Pathfinder


Gamer Life General Discussion

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rknop wrote:

Did anybody ever summon an elemental in AD&D/1e?

Did it turn on you?

If not, you weren't playing RAW.

My sword turned on me once while fighting the forces of good. Had to throw it away less I become possessed. It went on a rampage, and the forces of good who had rocked up to kill my poor evil (and now hurt) fighter/wizard got a serious chiding:

"You fools! You injured me, and now I cannot control it. Ebonbane is free."

They rush off to take it, it eats them for breakfast. Like a fat cat full from the hunt it came back when it was sated (and everyone in the nearby village was dead). My char could finally resume control after some healing. Ebonbane laughed, and needed a good clean.

Shadow Lodge

Which of the 1e/2e magic items got seriously nerfed and which got improved.

Off the top of my head for nerfed......
Guantlets of ogre power and girdles of giant strength.
Guantlets gave anyone wearing them an 18/00 str.
Girdles gave anyone waering a str from 19 to 25 depending on which giant.

In 3.x and PF you juzt get +2 to +6 depending.

Cant think of any items seriously improved off the top of my head.


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1. It was/is fun not worrying if you have room to swing that two-handed sword in the 5 foot passage.

2. Not having to worry how 20 orcs fit/fight in a 10/10 room.

3. Didn't have to worry about counting squares for movement. You pretty much just said I go there and attack.

4. No need for battle map. Your little 1 page of graph paper could be the whole map.

5.You got fancy titles when you gained levels. Look at me I'm a Lord!


I still run my games a bit like that, but penalising large weapons in tight spaces, it can be cool, I've tried some variant rules and it encourages backups and their use (and not just using the same weapon type over and over).


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1.- Reaction Checks.

"Are you sure the gelatinous cube isn't intelligent? I mean, if you ask me, it looks kind of smart, sharp angles and all, it should totally get a reaction check. Come on, you know it is. Come onnnnnn!"

2.- Some high-level characters got fortresses of their own.

"YES. Now you belong to me. You, dress like a pineapple. You, spin in circles. The rest of you, shave your heads and clap your hands on them. Do not dare ask why. I earned this"

3.- THACO

"Psh, -20 AC. That's a real crappy dragon you've got there"

4.- Monster Art of Dubious Taste

"Oh God, please don't make me look at those drawings again. PLEASE!"


I never played 1e or 2e. But I did play Hackmaster 4e which was based on 1e with a bit of parody. Lots of fond memories and a few painful ones (two words: rot grubs). I think people who think that rogues are under powered in 3.x/PF need to play a thief in 1e/2e (though they were more or less required since traps were WAY more deadly)


Rot grubs, if you haven't lost a character to them, you have not played early dnd.

I had one freaky character that collected all the rot grub variants (thanks dm), then threw them at opponents.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Multi-classing as a DM was at once more powerful and more limited then single classing.

Because of the way the xp rules worked, you basically weren't more then one level behind a single-classed character until Name level and fixed xp/levels kicked in.

In any event, a maxed level multi-classer had absolutely no problem pulling his weight in a party five levels higher. A 7/11 f/mu elf could easily hang with 15th level wizards, fighters and clerics and not feel left out. A 7/11/12 F/Mu/Druid even moreso! The single classers would run out of spells way before he did.

===Aelryinth


Yeah the juggle multi-class dance.


Aelryinth wrote:

Multi-classing as a DM was at once more powerful and more limited then single classing.

Because of the way the xp rules worked, you basically weren't more then one level behind a single-classed character until Name level and fixed xp/levels kicked in.

In any event, a maxed level multi-classer had absolutely no problem pulling his weight in a party five levels higher. A 7/11 f/mu elf could easily hang with 15th level wizards, fighters and clerics and not feel left out. A 7/11/12 F/Mu/Druid even moreso! The single classers would run out of spells way before he did.

Run out of spells maybe. But missing the high end spells hurts.


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First edition: When every townsperson you meet who sees your dagger dripping poison has a 50% likelihood of ATTACKING YOU, only calling for the city watch half of the time while doing so.

First edition: When a mountain smashed over the head of a werewolf did NO damage to it (unless it was a +1 or better mountain).

First edition: When a high level fighter can be certain to live through a fall from orbit. If his war elephant falls the same distance and lands on him right afterward, though, the elephant is probably dead meat.

First edition: When there were stats for the glaive-glaive-glaive-guisarme-voulge and the bohemian ear spoon, but no reason for anyone to ever use any weapon that was not a longsword or a dart.

Damn... I love that game.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

thejeff wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

Multi-classing as a DM was at once more powerful and more limited then single classing.

Because of the way the xp rules worked, you basically weren't more then one level behind a single-classed character until Name level and fixed xp/levels kicked in.

In any event, a maxed level multi-classer had absolutely no problem pulling his weight in a party five levels higher. A 7/11 f/mu elf could easily hang with 15th level wizards, fighters and clerics and not feel left out. A 7/11/12 F/Mu/Druid even moreso! The single classers would run out of spells way before he did.

Run out of spells maybe. But missing the high end spells hurts.

Actually, no, it didn't.

Missing high end spells hurts in 3.5, and to a lesser extent, 2E. This is because 1E did not have damage caps, and generally your best use of an offensive spell was throwing blasting damage or walls.

A level 3 fireball did only marginally less damage then a level 7 Delayed Blast fireball, which got +1/die dmg. They both had infinite damage caps. Magic Missile kept scaling up, and always stayed useful. Fly was level 3. Indeed, the very best spell levels to double with a Ring of Wizardry were 3-4.

Your most useful spells were generally under 6th level. Sure, there were some powerful ones at high levels, but Poly Any Object wasn't any better at morphing the enemy then the level 4 poly other. All spells had equal chances to be resisted, higher level spells tend to be broader, but they weren't more overwhelming.

Too, the enemies were made so that a level 10-12 party could reasonably take on anything in the MM. You didn't need to be higher level to accomplish anything. It wasn't until 2e Rewrites started to come around that you needed to be an archmage to go up against a Great Wyrm Red Dragon, or something.

The best thing about level 7 spells was Teleport without Error. Other then that, 1-5th were pretty much the bread and butter for mages, at least.

Now, clerics and druids, levels 6 and 7 were awesome, have to admit. But definitely didn't need the same for wizards.

==Aelryinth


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Sissyl wrote:

First edition: When every townsperson you meet who sees your dagger dripping poison has a 50% likelihood of ATTACKING YOU, only calling for the city watch half of the time while doing so.

First edition: When a mountain smashed over the head of a werewolf did NO damage to it (unless it was a +1 or better mountain).

First edition: When a high level fighter can be certain to live through a fall from orbit. If his war elephant falls the same distance and lands on him right afterward, though, the elephant is probably dead meat.

First edition: When there were stats for the glaive-glaive-glaive-guisarme-voulge and the bohemian ear spoon, but no reason for anyone to ever use any weapon that was not a longsword or a dart.

Damn... I love that game.

Oh God, those polearm tables. I still remember the debates as a kid when we started playing D&D:

Me "Clearly the bec de corbin is better"
Friend "No you idiot, there's no way that can beat a bill-guisarme"
Other Friend "Do either of you even know what those things are?"
Me "No idea. But that is not the point!"


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My favorite thing about the 1E DMG is it had every rule you could ever want, in no particular order. And the artwork was almost bad enough for the "so bad it's good" template.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
ParagonDireRaccoon wrote:
My favorite thing about the 1E DMG is it had every rule you could ever want, in no particular order.

I've only noticed this since going back and reading the premium rerelease. I found it funny that I'd never noticed it before. To me, it feels much closer to a conversation about how to play the game than a reference book.


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ParagonDireRaccoon wrote:
My favorite thing about the 1E DMG is it had every rule you could ever want, in no particular order. And the artwork was almost bad enough for the "so bad it's good" template.

Hey, I liked a lot of the old 1E artwork.

I miss the comics. (Though not as much as the ones in the old CoC book.)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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There's something to be said for skillful use of black and white single line drawings. It's a special kind of skill you don't see as much anymore.

And yes, the rules layout for the DMG is all over the bloody place. one of the big jobs of the 2e, and then 3.5, was actually bringing all those rules together in a coherent pattern and whole.

In other words, using a good editor. But man, it was such a fun ramble to read.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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hey, that mountain probably had some silver in it. That's a dead werewolf.

And you're forgetting that coming from orbit you'll have heat damage over multiple rounds and burn up.

And 1E got to use weapon spec rules for shooting arrows! Dart may get 6, but arrows got 4 and point blank double damage!

And you know those polearm stats were for the 0 level soldiers who your 10th level fighter could mow through 10/round with. Proper heroes always carried longswords!

==Aelryinth


Peet wrote:

I am currently playing in a "nostalgia" game of old Basic D&D (the 1981 Tom Moldvay edition). We are doing "Keep on the Borderlands."

What is my character class? Halfling.

Stats are generated by rolling 3d6, in order. After you choose a class you can lower certain stats by 2 (to a minimum of 9) to add 1 to your "prime requisite." My halfling has a DEX of 16 and all his other stats are 8's, 9's, or 10's. Yet in the selection of our party he is pretty decent.

That is an iconic adventure. Real old school stuff, back in the day when Arneson and Gygax got along, if I'm not mistaken. I've always wanted to play that, its been talked about enough. I started with this edition of DnD ("basic" was not its official name, just something it acquired when "advanced" came out), but I never got to play Keep on the Borderlands.

To the OP, you really want to see a difference in editions, pick up "basic".

EDIT: Nope, Borderlands was published in '79, Arneson left TSR in '76 and didn't work with them again till '86. So, Borderlands came out at the height of the feud.


thejeff wrote:
ParagonDireRaccoon wrote:
My favorite thing about the 1E DMG is it had every rule you could ever want, in no particular order. And the artwork was almost bad enough for the "so bad it's good" template.

Hey, I liked a lot of the old 1E artwork.

I miss the comics. (Though not as much as the ones in the old CoC book.)

1e artwork, and really early AD&D artwork was great, and funny!

So rare to find actual funny artwork anymore. Everything has to be serious.


Aelryinth wrote:

There's something to be said for skillful use of black and white single line drawings. It's a special kind of skill you don't see as much anymore.

And yes, the rules layout for the DMG is all over the bloody place. one of the big jobs of the 2e, and then 3.5, was actually bringing all those rules together in a coherent pattern and whole.

In other words, using a good editor. But man, it was such a fun ramble to read.

==Aelryinth

It was almost like being apprenticed.


Aelryinth wrote:

hey, that mountain probably had some silver in it. That's a dead werewolf.

And you're forgetting that coming from orbit you'll have heat damage over multiple rounds and burn up.

And 1E got to use weapon spec rules for shooting arrows! Dart may get 6, but arrows got 4 and point blank double damage!

And you know those polearm stats were for the 0 level soldiers who your 10th level fighter could mow through 10/round with. Proper heroes always carried longswords!

==Aelryinth

Reentry burn didn't happen until Spelljammer, which was a second edition thingie. First edition meant 121 hp = Completely safe from falling damage.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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I can't believe no one has mentioned the 1e "Oriental Adventures" book. Want to be a ninja? Not at first level, and not unless you multiclass and keep your identity secret. I think I loved reading that book more than playing it- I always kept losing honor, but then again, I was probably 10 or 11.

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Meh it was late 1E and never core to any world. Great cover art, though. Made everyone and their brother want to ride a dragon horse!

And it made katanas bastard swords and wakizashis shortswords, and fanbois have been howling ever since.

The Oriental Adventures Kara-Tur boxed set...wow, that was a wonderful read. I'm depressed they never did anything with it.

==Aelryinth


It wasn't so much that I liked the game back then as it is that back then I had friends to play it with.


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The experience progression had some odd kinks yes, in AD&D if I recall a Ranger was worse than a fighter's progression but somehow got to 7th level faster! Then there was his 2d8 hit points at first level (plus con bonus x 2)!

Bards were astonishingly difficult to qualify for due to stat requirements and Monks REALLY struggled to survive at low levels but became amazing later on. I spent almost a year playing a Monk up to 5th level and he virtually used nothing but his heavy crossbow.

The game was more free form and as a previous poster has said that enabled more room for self-expression. The game shaped the hobby the hobby shaped me. For that a 'thank you' to Mr Gygax and company.

Dark Archive

Sissyl wrote:
First edition: When a mountain smashed over the head of a werewolf did NO damage to it (unless it was a +1 or better mountain).

Well, in all fairness to 1st edition, they did have a non-magical can affect hit by only magic rule. If you recall, a creature that had 4+1 HD, was treated as if it was armed with a +1 weapon. So an ogre under these rules could kill a werewolf without a magic weapon or silver. I suppose massive damage such as a mountain would count as a force greater than 4+1, but it would be up to the particular DM to adjudicate that one.

I still prefer 1st/2nd over 3rd ed and derivatives. If I start running PF again it will probably look more like a souped up 2nd ed than 3rd ed.


I'm a sucker for older editions as well. I love Pathfinder, don't get me wrong, but my eternal love rests with AD&D 2e.

None save one of my players share that taste, however, so no AD&D for me anymore.


sissyl said wrote:
First edition: When a mountain smashed over the head of a werewolf did NO damage to it (unless it was a +1 or better mountain).

Ohh that reminds me in hackmaster at one point I had a gnomeling (hackmaster halfling/gnome mix) were-rat character due to some intra-party crazyness and some GM rulings. We were playing "Agianst the giants" and the hill giants kept bashing my 2.5 foot tall gnomeling theif with tree trunks only to have me brush the dust off say "Didn't hurt." and stab them in the foot...over and over until they died.

This was made double funny was that (in hackmaster at least) monsters with more than 5 HD could damage penetrate +1 damage reduction with natural attacks...but the giants were too dumb to hit me with their fists lol.

I kinda miss that game.


rknop wrote:

Did anybody ever summon an elemental in AD&D/1e?

Did it turn on you?

If not, you weren't playing RAW.

I had a caster create her circle of protection and summon an earth elemental. She took a hit and lost control of the creature. It couldn't touch her so instead picked up a boulder and hurled it at her. It rolled a crit, the wizard rolled a 1 on her save and was knocked out of her circle, and the elemental tried to drag her to its home plane. Good times.


Too many 'Against the Giants' memories - I played a Half-Elf Cleric/Mage who I don't think ever died, but came close when a certain Dwarf betrayed us and backstabbed me...

Tomb of Horrors, Tharizdun/Tsojcanth, Slavers, I could go on.

Perhaps I am jaded but adventures seemed like an event then - damn the internet.


I sat down and tried to make an interesting villain stat block in 2nd edition once. For some reason, multi- and dual-classing felt like a necessity in that endeavour. I can see the charm in it, but honestly, third is better mechanically.

Grand Lodge

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Sissyl wrote:
First edition meant 121 hp = Completely safe from falling damage.

While 20d6 is the maximum, the way damage was calculated in the Player's Handbook was an editing error...

Frank Mentzer wrote:
The “correct” damage incurred by falling is 1d6 for the first 10’, 2d6 for the second 10’ (total 3d6 for a 20’ fall), 3d6 for the third 10’, and so on, cumulative. The falling body reaches that 20d6 maximum shortly before passing the 60’ mark.

This appeared in an old Dragon Magazine article by Frank Mentzer (issue #70), he went on to say in that article, that he and Gary within their own campaigns had characters roll a saving throw vs. death whenever they fall 60 feet or more (a failed save resulted in death, and a successful save resulted in half damage).


Like many a platform game. You fell far enough, insta-kill.


Digitalelf wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
First edition meant 121 hp = Completely safe from falling damage.

While 20d6 is the maximum, the way damage was calculated in the Player's Handbook was an editing error...

Frank Mentzer wrote:
The “correct” damage incurred by falling is 1d6 for the first 10’, 2d6 for the second 10’ (total 3d6 for a 20’ fall), 3d6 for the third 10’, and so on, cumulative. The falling body reaches that 20d6 maximum shortly before passing the 60’ mark.
This appeared in an old Dragon Magazine article by Frank Mentzer (issue #70), he went on to say in that article, that he and Gary within their own campaigns had characters roll a saving throw vs. death whenever they fall 60 feet or more (a failed save resulted in death, and a successful save resulted in half damage).

That's outstanding, I did not know that. I had made the cumulative D6 for falling a house rule a while ago, but very few of my players like it. Thinking it wasn't what the RAW said, and that it was too dangerous, they fuss enough that I never get to use it.


Aelryinth wrote:

hey, that mountain probably had some silver in it. That's a dead werewolf.

And you're forgetting that coming from orbit you'll have heat damage over multiple rounds and burn up.

And 1E got to use weapon spec rules for shooting arrows! Dart may get 6, but arrows got 4 and point blank double damage!

And you know those polearm stats were for the 0 level soldiers who your 10th level fighter could mow through 10/round with. Proper heroes always carried longswords!

==Aelryinth

Mainly because 0-75 on a d100 was long sword on the magic weapons table.


Marius Castille wrote:
rknop wrote:

Did anybody ever summon an elemental in AD&D/1e?

Did it turn on you?

If not, you weren't playing RAW.

I had a caster create her circle of protection and summon an earth elemental. She took a hit and lost control of the creature. It couldn't touch her so instead picked up a boulder and hurled it at her. It rolled a crit, the wizard rolled a 1 on her save and was knocked out of her circle, and the elemental tried to drag her to its home plane. Good times.

Only succeeded once and it was because my friend was playing a Mage too. My Mage spent ten rounds casting the spell while my friend's Mage was casting walls of force to keep the Frost Giants away. Think I kept control of it for about 4 rounds till it moved too far away. Killed at least one member of the party.


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Least favorite thing about 1st Ed: fireball blow-back arguments.


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It's still a great and flavorful game. I started with Basic (blue book) and followed quickly with AD&D1E. THe most memorable games I had were in AD&D (and BECMI). People in the "system theorycraft" threads do have a point when they say with a good DM and good players flaws don't matter much.* Which is why we could all play this still today (or the Rules Cyclopedia of BECMI - just one book to carry with you!), and adjudicate anything not covered on the fly & houserule.

We used to sandbox tons, interspersed with the occasional modified module.

Current rules are strictly better, as rules. But one can have as much fun playing old-school. Plus, tons of buried treasure in those books.

Plus as disorganized as they were I have a soft spot for Gygax's writing style in those books. I learned tons of vocabulary and sought out tons of fiction, mythology, history, and the like because of some offhand remark or reference (Apendix N!) he made. Heck there's still stuff on my "to read before I die" list from that.

*:
That said, if one has the alternative, improving rules is always better. But we could all save a lot of money by still playing with those old school rules rather than buying the latest & next rulebook, or expansion, or supplement, and just houseruling anything additional we want.

Sovereign Court

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Surprised no one mentioned it, but 1st Ed. Bards were the most OP things around.

If you saw someone with psionics you knew they were cheating.

Assassin was a base class and 1/2 orcs were invariably assassins.

Weapon damage vs armor type. And don't forget weapon speed!

Subdual damage and dragons

There was generally no such thing as a single classed elf or 1/2 elf

Halflings were invariably rogues

The combat matrix in the DMG. Before Thaco there was math

Illusionist was a base class and totally different from wizards.

Totally legit random encounters of 40-400 orcs.

5 different types of saving throws

I think the one of the biggest differences between 1stEd and PF is magic items. There was no such thing as the big 6 that everyone had. You had what you found and you treasured it. I have a player that I have gamed with for 20 years now who still talks about his beloved Cloak of the Manta Ray. Nowadays no one would be caught dead in one. This saddens me.

Shadow Lodge

Anyone play Arduin Grimoire? First time I played AD&D 1e we combined Arduin and AD&D not knowing they were different but similar games.

What is BECMI?


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Cylyria wrote:

Surprised no one mentioned it, but 1st Ed. Bards were the most OP things around.

If you saw someone with psionics you knew they were cheating.

Assassin was a base class and 1/2 orcs were invariably assassins.

Weapon damage vs armor type. And don't forget weapon speed!

Subdual damage and dragons

There was generally no such thing as a single classed elf or 1/2 elf

Halflings were invariably rogues

The combat matrix in the DMG. Before Thaco there was math

Illusionist was a base class and totally different from wizards.

Totally legit random encounters of 40-400 orcs.

5 different types of saving throws

I think the one of the biggest differences between 1stEd and PF is magic items. There was no such thing as the big 6 that everyone had. You had what you found and you treasured it. I have a player that I have gamed with for 20 years now who still talks about his beloved Cloak of the Manta Ray. Nowadays no one would be caught dead in one. This saddens me.

I loved that manta ray cloak, but the bat could be more useful (and help you get eaten faster by giant spiders in caverns).

After running magic on the PF model, I've switched how I handle magic back to the way old dnd did it, and never looked back. The big six, claiming it is necessary or you die, it is a total lie. Resourceful adventurers find a way and they use the fun magic items, not just the stat boosting magic items.


Jacob Saltband wrote:

Anyone play Arduin Grimoire? First time I played AD&D 1e we combined Arduin and AD&D not knowing they were different but similar games.

What is BECMI?

Basic

Expert
Companion
Master
Immortal

The revision of the Basic game under Frank Mentzer


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Cylyria wrote:

Surprised no one mentioned it, but 1st Ed. Bards were the most OP things around.

Weapon damage vs armor type. And don't forget weapon speed!

Illusionist was a base class and totally different from wizards.

To the first, lord yes. I miss weapon speed, it was such a great equalizer between low and high damage weapons.

The thing I miss most though is the new init. every round. Made the fighting more dramatic and spells with duration simpler.

Shadow Lodge

I remember in AD&D that we got 1 exp per HP damage we took in a fight.
Not sure if that was a houserule or not.


Think it was a house rule, but it does sound like it could have been in the DMG.
Ahhhhhh psionics. If you rolled straight 18s in all your mental attributes, you had like a 5% chance at getting one crappy power.


My favorite rule: There was only one high Druid. If you wanted to become the high Druid 14th level, I believe) then you had to defeat the current high Druid.
Edit. There were probably a lot of high Druids, but only one High Druid.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, but you were no longer the High Druid when you got to 15th level. Which seems weird, I guess you had to find some 13th level druid to come kick your ass so that you can gain a level and escape the title of High Druid.


Nope. You retired.


Retire?

"well, that's just, like, your opinion, man." - the one true high Druid.

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