First Edition (AD&D) vs. Pathfinder


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So I started table top role playing with 1st edition.

It's been a long time since I'd looked at the books. Recently I go a hold of them again and besides making me kind of want to play a 1st ed game, a lot of fun differences stick out to me.

Here are just a few:

1. Leadership wasn't a feat or an option, it's just how it was! (A level 14 druid apparently has nine 11th level druids following him around all the time.)

2. Paladins had MANY more restrictions, including things like "Can't keep loot." and "Pay 10% of your gold to your church."

3. A round was a minute long.

4. For many classes, the best part of leveling up was hitpoints in your cup.

5. Perhaps my favorite item of all: The original Unearthed Arcana includes a 7th stat: Comeliness.


Also, there are no longer level limits based on race.

Yea, the game has changed a lot since then.


That's pretty crazy. The earliest I've played is second edition (not advanced). The blue character sheets. Then we "graduated" to the green sheets.

As I recall, a ranger was a giant slayer, not a wilderness person like it is now.

Scarab Sages

For Leadership, it is not assumed that the PC has all those followers all the time. Usually they take the cohort with them on adventurers, and use the followers as resources, for contacts/crafting (usually with a little cost)/armies.


Deidre Tiriel wrote:
For Leadership, it is not assumed that the PC has all those followers all the time. Usually they take the cohort with them on adventurers, and use the followers as resources, for contacts/crafting (usually with a little cost)/armies.

With the Druid the exact wording is "Above all other druids is a lone figure, The Great Druid. The supreme druid is always attended by nine Initiates of the 9th Circle."

9th circle being 11th level druids (I said level 9. I guess it's much better than that.)

But yeah, other classes require a stronghold and it isn't as heavily suggested that you're taking your army along with you.


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We still play 1st ed, one of our players is 70 and it's the system he knows and likes the most. I like it, it's fun not too complicated, has no feats or skills to speak of but that darn THACO and rolling a d8 for initative, then minus the + score for dex, lowest first still confuses me lol


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I started with First Edition AD&D also.

First Edition(And Second)was probably the best edition for a true role player. The less structured environment was nice for character ideas. Character creation was more about the character's concept and background and involved far less descision making with regards to actual mechanics. I think First and Second edition were far more new player friendly.

It also left a lot more open for a DM/GM to be inventive and improvise.

The only real things I would change about it are:
1) To make the casting system a Hybrid of Wizard and Sorcerer. Let a person spontaneous cast like a sorcerer but memorize what spells are available that day like a wizard. I would do this for all casters. No spell book means you can not reallocate what you have prepared.
2) Convert the basic mechanics to a d20 + bonus vs Target Number system like it is in pathfinder.
3) Maybe simplify the saving throws into 3 categories like 3.5/Pathfinder.

1st edition was all about making what you want using the existing materials. Weather you were making a witch, a Tolkien style Wizard, A monster summoner, or the next Elminster type. You used the magic user or illusionist.

Most new materials were meant to be campaign world supplements and adventures.

I don't see D&D/Pathfinder going back to this methodology completely ever. 3.5/Pathfinder are just to RPG developer friendly from the potential sales standpoint to make more options and rulebooks to sell.

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Pathfinder was based on the 3rd edition model which is to sell more and more rulebooks and option book by making character creation more about mechanics. I don't think its better than 1st or 2nd edition, just different and not all in a good way. Some things are better in it though.

Having 3 saving throw catagories, Reflex, Fortitude, and Will is nicer.

D20 + bonus vs AC/Target Number is nice also.

But pathfinder/3rd edition also comes with a lot of baggage you just don't need. It also has many extra classes that don't really give that much extra to the game is one of them.

In all honesty, A barbarian could have been designed as a tree of feats that customize a fighter.

A sorcerer could have been designed as wizard that gives up the ability to memorize different spells to cast them more often. With bloodline powers being done as feats.

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With Pathfinder Paizo is catering to moth mentalities by giving you both. Unfortunatly the Pathfinder, like 3rd edition, is not new player friendly due to character creation giving to many options for a new player to handle. This is mostly due to the feat system and a new player having no idea what feats are good and what ones are lemons.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Oh, let's see, in no particular order:

Rangers were much more "defenders of humanity against humanoids/giants" than "wilderness warriors." They had to be human or half-elves and give up most of their treasure.

Rolled hp at first level. Non-fighter Con bonuses capped at +2.

Dead at 0 hp. There was a 3rd level cleric spell in UA that could keep someone alive at small negatives.

All poison was save or die.

No max dex on armor. Use your full dex in plate.

Magic-users got no bonus spells. At first level you got 4 random 1st level spells in your book and you could use 1 a day. UA let you trade out your first level slot for 4 cantrips. No free spells for leveling up - you had to find whatever new spells you wanted from adventuring. Yes, that means you could have the capability to cast, say, fourth level spells but not actually have any in your book. No, you could not use those slots for lower level spells.

No magic shops. Find all your magic equipment in random treasure hoards. Hope there is stuff you can use.

Limited weapon proficiencies. Fighters started able to really use 4 weapons, less if they specialized.

Move + Full Attack! Of course, a full attack above 13th level was 2 entire attacks. Sometimes fighters got 3/2 attacks, so alternating 1 and 2 each round.

3rd level druids got 3rd level spells.

Spells had no damage caps. 14 magic missiles? yours at caster level 27. 35d6 fireball? Can happen.

Characters stopped gaining hit dice after somewhere in the level 9-11 range. Then it's just +1, +2, or +3 hp each level, no Con mod.

A saving throw really was a die roll to save your character from likely death. Even direct damage would probably kill you outright if you failed a save.

Animal companions and familiars required a spell to befriend or summon. You actually had to go find an animal you wanted for an AC, cast the spell, and hope it failed the save.

Leveling cost money. RAW, it also took time, based on how stereotypically you played your class. Thieves who didn't steal from the party, or wizards that fought in melee were penalized with extra training time.

1 Xp per Gp of treasure. This was your major source of xp. Monsters were worth barely anything. A demon lord might be worth 10k, when a high level character needs 200k or so to gain one level.

There's tons more, but this list is pretty long already.


Heh yeah, I totally forgot about the familiar being a spell - and it's a spell you might not want to cast either!

If it dies, you lose a portion of your HP permanently! That's harsh!


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Ah yes, the days when your character had to use what you found . . . No magic emporiums where the players say "I buy X" and the GM says "ok, Y gold."

The days when the wizards of the world prized their spells and rarely just shared or wrote scrolls for absolutely no reason.

The days when leveling was done in a way that made a bit of senes instead of just happening when the party camped. Where there were no 18th level sixteen years olds.

The days when a fighter would be 2-5 levels higher than the wizard always . . .

I miss some of those days.


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Amatsucan_the_First wrote:


Ah yes, the days when your character had to use what you found . . . No magic emporiums where the players say "I buy X" and the GM says "ok, Y gold."

The days when the wizards of the world prized their spells and rarely just shared or wrote scrolls for absolutely no reason.

The days when leveling was done in a way that made a bit of senes instead of just happening when the party camped. Where there were no 18th level sixteen years olds.

Their are some things in pathfinder that are different from standard in the game I run.

I treat treasure differently in my games vs pathfinder standard. I never liked the Magic emporium concept. And I typically add rare ingredients to magic items in place of gold cost. That way you have to adventure to go locate the ingredients to make the item in question.

Wizards don't often share spells in my games either. They give their apprentice the first level spells then make them discover the rest on their own.

I also favor using the Starting ages from the old 1st edition DMG for wizards. I can see the 18th level 16 year old sorcerer, but not a wizard. Starting them at 26 - 40 solves the I went from 1st to 18th in 6 months and am still only 16 years old issue.

The big thing I like about 1st/2nd edition, which was tackled in pathfinder is rate of advancement. 3rd edition was way to fast after 4th level. Going with medium and slow tracks lets me have more story arcs over the life of a character. It also solves many relative power issues that develop after 12 - 14th level by being able to get more story in fewer levels. I think pathfinder, like its AD&D Anscesters was most balanced between 5th and 12 levels.


Not to many fond memories of 1st ed as we mostly played 2nd ed with a little of first. I actually prefer BECMI over 1st ed as it is a bit more elegant and presentation is a bit nicer.

Getting sick of Pathfinder though and 3.x in general so some of the d20 based retroclones seem to be the way to go. We played ACKs last week which is a retroclone of the BE part of BECMI. Last PDF bought from Paizo was Ultimate Campaign but I have been distracted by things like WoTC re releasing the D&D rules cyclopedia on PDF as well.

Basically after 12 years (2000-2012) burnt out on 3.5/PF and did not like 4th ed so back to TSR stuff and retroclones. After that long it is almost like a new game and some of the retroclones use newer mechanics as well so avoid the gahhh aspect of the older D&Ds. Even by the book though they still seem fun and even something like ultimate campaign rehashing stuff TSR covered in the 80s in terms of domains and mass combat.

I think Ultimate Campaign may be the last Paizo book I buy and with the 80+ 3rd ed books I have I think I have enough 3.x to last a lifetime.

Liberty's Edge

I think the main difference is that 1E you need an junior high education to understand, PF PHd. I like the many different options presented in PF. I only wish I did not need an app to calculate damage.

2E with all those supplements(race and class handbooks) was a great game, but like a wise old indian told me once "change is inevitable, get on board or get run down".

I'll always love the old editions for nostalgias sake. But I am working towards my PHd in PF.


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bk007dragon wrote:
Having 3 saving throw catagories, Reflex, Fortitude, and Will is nicer.

Nicer in some ways. I think it's a large source of the caster dominance though. Or more accurately the overall change in the saving throw mechanism is.

Back in AD&D days your saves actually got better. There were few (no?) ways for a caster to make his spells harder to save against. They certainly didn't just scale up as he went up levels. A high level character was much more likely to save against spells cast by his high level enemies than a low level character was to save against those from his low level enemies.

This, along with the generally lower hps, led many casters to focus on blasting, since most blasting spells still did something if the target saved.


A rare few spells had built in save penalties (save-2 or -4) so they were often better than one thought.

It is actuially one thing I vastly prefer over 3.x D&D/PF. I like fort ref/will but not the save bonuses in relation to spell DCs. Some of the retrocclones use fort/ref/will and your starting saves are +5/+5/+4 as a fighter agianst a fixed DC of 20.

A BECMI fighter has a save or 8 vs paralyzation/death etc IIRC so in effect you have +12 vs DC 20 before any other modifier is added (ability scores, +XYZ rings).

Throw in 2nd ed being more generous than 3.0-PF in terms pof proficiency relative to other classes the TSR era fighter was also more skilled than 3.x fighter as they got to multi atack at mull BAB and could even moce and multiattack.

Long story short BECMI/1st/2nd IMHO got more things right than Pathfinder except maybe basic d20 mechanics (higher= better, BAB>THAC0) IMHO.

Even something as basic as feats IMHO is not needed after playing a fewe retroclones and actually cause more porbblems than they solve.


A rare few spells had built in save penalties (save-2 or -4) so they were often better than one thought.

It is actuially one thing I vastly prefer over 3.x D&D/PF. I like fort ref/will but not the save bonuses in relation to spell DCs. Some of the retrocclones use fort/ref/will and your starting saves are +5/+5/+4 as a fighter agianst a fixed DC of 20.

A BECMI fighter has a save or 8 vs paralyzation/death etc IIRC so in effect you have +12 vs DC 20 before any other modifier is added (ability scores, +XYZ rings).

Throw in 2nd ed being more generous than 3.0-PF in terms of proficiency relative to other classes the TSR era fighter was also more skilled than 3.x fighter as they got to multi atack at full BAB and could even move and multiattack.

Long story short BECMI/1st/2nd IMHO got more things right than Pathfinder except maybe basic d20 mechanics (higher= better, BAB>THAC0) IMHO.

Even something as basic as feats IMHO is not needed after playing a fewe retroclones and actually cause more porbblems than they solve.


One thing I remember about 1st ed is minimum stat requirements to play a class. I only played one paladin in 1st ed., because if I had one 17 or 18 I played a magic-user or cleric. Only once did I get an 18 to take advantage of exceptional strength and a 17 to meet the paladin's Cha requirement.


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A few misconceptions. There were magic shoppes in AD&D.

See The Magic Encyclopedia.

Now sure, that's optional. But even in Greyhawk there were magic Shoppes. The difference was that only a few things were available.

Paladins could certainly keep loot, but did have to tithe.

Not all poison was "save or die" They have paralysis poison or sleep poison, what they didn;t have is ability damage poison.

Leveling didn;t have to cost $$ or time. Optional rules. No one was penalized to not stealing from the party.

There were level discrepancies. But more or less a fighter was only one level higher than the Wizard and the Thief one level higher yet.

Of course there were houserules and optional rules.

In general, AD&D is/was better for Roleplaying and D20 (which included PF) better for combat.


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Pretty sure magic encyclopedia was 2nd edition. Though im of the opinion that 'ye olde magic shop' is a playstyle thing rather than a game thing.

I actually liked Thac0 and the hit charts for weapons vs ac types.

Also felt alot of things were alot more challenging we ran away from encounters alot back in the day.

That said i honestly dont really want to go back. Alot of characters in 1st ed did not really feel very heroic.

There were a lot of flaws witht he rules, that come from mostly being the first of its type. Gygax promoted a confrontational style that was evident in his game.

Any conflict of rp vs combat vs editions though is purely in the head, hack n slash games have existed from the beginning. It isnt really an edition thing. 1st ed was rife with references reflecting its chainmail routs.


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.

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber
Azixirad wrote:
I think the main difference is that 1E you need an junior high education to understand, PF PHd. I like the many different options presented in PF. I only wish I did not need an app to calculate damage.

GAH. You just hit one of my pet peeves.

When people think basic arithmetic is PhD level thinking, it's an indication that our basic junior high and high-school education system has utterly failed.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Mojorat wrote:
Any conflict of rp vs combat vs editions though is purely in the head, hack n slash games have existed from the beginning. It isnt really an edition thing.

Yeah, I agree. We play pretty much the same using 0E/AD&D the same as we do using 4E or pathfinder.

.
The later games take more effort from a mechanical point of view (and requires less DM adjudication), but that doesnt imply there's any less roleplaying. I dont find that mechanical crunchiness "squeezes out" the roleplaying time - we just cover less ground in one session with the more modern games than we do with 0E.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When I started playing, there was no internet to tell me i was doing it wrong. ;)

Seriously though, looking back, I appreciate how no one was concerned about their "build." It was a meaningless concept for the most part. We just played without the need for constant hang-wringing.

-Skeld


I started with 1st edition. I only have one player that refuses to play anything before "3.5", because it's not "player friendly". My other players once asked him what he meant. He said that because "not enough treasure is given out in older editions," that "you never improve (i.e. - stats never improve, you don't get feats, skills, etc.)", and "you have to roll down the line".

He's also more of a power gamer than he wants to admit. To him, you're not "growing" if you're somehow not getting more powerful. In our current campaign, my players just hit level 5 and got +1 weapons. He's already talking about now getting +2 weapons.

Makes me really miss those old days.....


KaptainKrunch wrote:

So I started table top role playing with 1st edition.

It's been a long time since I'd looked at the books. Recently I go a hold of them again and besides making me kind of want to play a 1st ed game, a lot of fun differences stick out to me.

Here are just a few:

1. Leadership wasn't a feat or an option, it's just how it was! (A level 14 druid apparently has nine 11th level druids following him around all the time.)

2. Paladins had MANY more restrictions, including things like "Can't keep loot." and "Pay 10% of your gold to your church."

3. A round was a minute long.

4. For many classes, the best part of leveling up was hitpoints in your cup.

5. Perhaps my favorite item of all: The original Unearthed Arcana includes a 7th stat: Comeliness.

Then play 1st edition.

Personally I've played every edition of D&D from the red box to 4th edition and Pathfinder beats them all as far as I'm concerned. By a vast margin. Hell, half the systems they implemented in PF, I implemented as house rules in 1st edition D&D. For example, 1 minute rounds??? lol.

The other very real problem about roleplaying is that we are an extremely niche hobby. It's hard enough finding people to playing Pathfinder yet alone 1st edition D&D. So good luck finding a game.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Never tried the older editions, so I can't really comment. I hear a lot of things, but don't put much stock in the stories.


Merlin_47 wrote:

I started with 1st edition. I only have one player that refuses to play anything before "3.5", because it's not "player friendly". My other players once asked him what he meant. He said that because "not enough treasure is given out in older editions," that "you never improve (i.e. - stats never improve, you don't get feats, skills, etc.)", and "you have to roll down the line".

He's also more of a power gamer than he wants to admit. To him, you're not "growing" if you're somehow not getting more powerful. In our current campaign, my players just hit level 5 and got +1 weapons. He's already talking about now getting +2 weapons.

Makes me really miss those old days.....

Well, to be fair, the wizard or cleric could have been using magic weapon since level one, so he's been waiting a while to complain.

Btw, what does a 1e character get?

...

Oh yeah, more hit points, unless you're a wizard or cleric, then you get tons of spells.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Never tried the older editions, so I can't really comment. I hear a lot of things, but don't put much stock in the stories.

Back in MY day, we didn't have feats and skills; we were lucky we got weapon proficiencies! And the "edition" was either D&D or AD&D: two choices, not all this 'point-five' nonsense! And we liked it! We liked it FINE!

[/grognard ranting]

Heh. Srsly, tho, as somebody who's played through the blue & red boxed sets, 1E, 2E, 3/3.5, 4E (shudder), and Pathfinder... every edition has been fun, every edition has its own best and worst points. Comparisons between the editions can be amusing, but I think each is best examined as its own thing, rather than trying to compare and contrast them all.

I mean, unless you want to entertain yourself with an Edition War(TM)...

:)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

DrDeath, I think you're conflating some 2e with 1e. A lot of the more irksome rules from 1e didn't make it into 2e. Training was not optional in 1e, it was just ignored by nearly everybody. There was actually a specific warning in the 1e DMG to not have magic shops.

You are right about the poison; only 95% was save or die. A few specific monsters (drow) had other effects.

One comment about how people actually played 1e. No one I've ever met played 1e RAW. Everybody had house rules. Many of these more annoying parts of the game were things that people ignored or changed. Much of this was due to lack of the internet - "power combos" (such as they were) tended to stay within a single group. Rules questions had to be snail mailed to Dragon magazine and then you hoped your question would show up months later in an issue. Huge amount of table variation abounded. I played with 4 other 1e GMs and the differences in their house rules could fill several pages.


ryric wrote:

DrDeath, I think you're conflating some 2e with 1e. A lot of the more irksome rules from 1e didn't make it into 2e. Training was not optional in 1e, it was just ignored by nearly everybody. There was actually a specific warning in the 1e DMG to not have magic shops.

You are right about the poison; only 95% was save or die. A few specific monsters (drow) had other effects.

One comment about how people actually played 1e. No one I've ever met played 1e RAW. Everybody had house rules. Many of these more annoying parts of the game were things that people ignored or changed. Much of this was due to lack of the internet - "power combos" (such as they were) tended to stay within a single group. Rules questions had to be snail mailed to Dragon magazine and then you hoped your question would show up months later in an issue. Huge amount of table variation abounded. I played with 4 other 1e GMs and the differences in their house rules could fill several pages.

And many of the house rules weren't acknowledged as such, just "the way we've always done it". Either rules that had been missed or misread. Or originally house ruled by one GM, but assumed to be RAW by a GM who'd learned playing with the first one.

Not that all of that doesn't happen today, but it's restricted to fewer unclear rules sections.


Second edition was a blast. It was my first foray into rpg's. very fond memories.

bk007dragon wrote:
With Pathfinder Paizo is catering to moth mentalities by giving you both. Unfortunatly the Pathfinder, like 3rd edition, is not new player friendly due to character creation giving to many options for a new player to handle. This is mostly due to the feat system and a new player having no idea what feats are good and what ones are lemons.

In all fairness to the system, this only happens if you let new players have access to everything all at once. I'm currently teaching the game to a few friends and I told them that, while there are lots of options, we would stick to the core books for the first few adventures. I think it's all about pacing.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The fastest levelling classes were the rogue, illusionist and druid.

The wizard actually outlevelled the fighter between 5 and 10...that's why you got multi-class combinations like 5/7, 5/8, 6/9 and such for fighter/magic-users. Generally speaking, multi-classing put you a level behind the rest of the party until about 10th level...there was no reason NOT to do it, if you had the choice.

After 'name level', which was 9 for fighters and 11 for wizards, levelling slowed waaaay down. A wizard took 375k to advance a level, fighters 250k. That still meant the fighter didn't pass the wizard in level until 13-14th.

The Rogue, taking 200k to level, outadvanced everyone. Next came the Cleric, at 220k (?), so clerics ended up being the highest level casters in a party, with illusionists treading on their heels.

Druids advanced very quickly through about 11th level, and got the most hit points because they got Hit Dice, and Con bonuses, all the way through 15th level. After 12th, they slowed waaaay down...but at 12th, they had 7th level spells, all their major powers, and were totally badass.
===========
The variable xp/level is a great mechanic for advancing classes, and it should be re-used.

I don't believe 1E had it right...the midlevel zoom advance of mages should definitely not be replicated...but the higher levels? Yeah, I can definitely see fighters and rogues out levelling primary casters, with all the benefits thereby.

Not being able to buy loot was a levelling in class power, too. Most loot was magic arms and armor. In a real world, that would hardly be the case, as casters would focus first on gear for themselves, then the meat shields. So, DM's got to assign loot as they saw fit, or randomize it, but it still favored melee. As they had magic, this hardly hurt the caster classes.

Weapon profs meant something.
High physical stats favored fighters. Other classes simply couldn't make use of them. No 18/67 str clerics! 18 Con? Suck it, you still have +2 hp/die, wizard! best not get charged by them kobolds!

By having multiple attacks a function of class instead of BAB, it became a very powerful class feature. Everyone could move and full attack...but only the melee classes got more then 1 attack, unless you were TWF.

Monsters were much less tough. No Str bonuses in combat, no Con bonuses to HP. They used the fighter table for saves, which means they were harder and harder to affect with spells as you moved up in level.

IT should be noted that EVERY class got a combat buff moving to 3.5...except the combat classes. AND they suddenly all got multiple attacks...even the wizards. That right there was a knife in the heart of the melee classes. "We'll just duplicate all your most essential powers so it's easier to get rid of you" seemed to be the general theme vz melees in 3E.

==Aelryinth


DrDeth wrote:


Paladins could certainly keep loot, but did have to tithe.

Well, I guess this was technically false, but the extent to which they could keep loot was well below the normal adventurer standard. Here's the exact wording:

1. They may never retain more than ten magic items; these may
never exceed:
armor, 1 (suit)
shield, 1
weapons*, 4
any other magic items, 4
'these include daggers, swords, etc.; and such items as magic bows and magic arrows are considered as but 1 weapon

2. They will never retain wealth, keeping only sufficient
treasures to support themselves in a modest manner, pay
henchmen, men-at-arms, and servitors, and to construct or
maintain a small castle. (Your DM will give details of this as necessary.) Excess is given away, as is the tithe (see 3. below).


Aelryinth wrote:

The fastest levelling classes were the rogue, illusionist and druid.

The wizard actually outlevelled the fighter between 5 and 10...that's why you got multi-class combinations like 5/7, 5/8, 6/9 and such for fighter/magic-users. Generally speaking, multi-classing put you a level behind the rest of the party until about 10th level...there was no reason NOT to do it, if you had the choice.

===========
The variable xp/level is a great mechanic for advancing classes, and it should be re-used.

By having multiple attacks a function of class instead of BAB, it became a very powerful class feature. Everyone could move and full attack...but only the melee classes got more then 1 attack, unless you were TWF.

Monsters were much less tough. No Str bonuses in combat, no Con bonuses to HP. They used the fighter table for saves, which means they were harder and harder to affect with spells as you moved up in level.

IT should be noted that EVERY class got a combat buff moving to 3.5...except the combat classes. AND they suddenly all got multiple attacks...even the wizards. That right there was a knife in the heart of the melee classes. "We'll just duplicate all your most essential powers so it's easier to get rid of you" seemed to be the general theme vz melees in 3E.

Couple points:

Multi-classing: You had to be non-human and that meant you were level limited, almost certainly in one class and probably in both. Some of those limits were pretty low. It was kind of a silly balancing factor, since it had no effect for part of the game and was crippling thereafter, but it did discourage some multi-classes, especially if you expected the game to reach high levels.

XP: I'm not so sure about variable xp being such a good thing. I'd rather see classes balanced against each other on a level/level basis rather than scaling some up or down, but letting them go up faster or slower to make up for it. It also means you really need to track experience and can't just use fiat leveling. Or arrange for breaks in long running plotlines to allow it, since characters will need to do so at different times.

Change to 3.0 combat: There was a big boost to combat in 3.0. You got multiple attacks sooner and more of them. Str bonuses were easier to get. Feats added damage and attack bonuses. A lot of that was negated by everything having more hit points, but it's important to note that caster's damage generally didn't scale with the hp increase.

The big difference, and one my group didn't really grasp at first, was in saving throws. Scaling DCs up for more powerful spells, along with feats and stat boosts to raise them, meant a lot of SoD/SoS spells now had a good chance of working on high level characters and monsters. They really didn't in AD&D.


thejeff wrote:


And many of the house rules weren't acknowledged as such, just "the way we've always done it". Either rules that had been missed or misread. Or originally house ruled by one GM, but assumed to be RAW by a GM who'd learned playing with the first one.

Not that all of that doesn't happen today, but it's restricted to fewer unclear rules sections.

Oh, it definitely happens today.

I had a DM who was like, "Oh the Brace feature on a weapon means as a free action you can switch between a 5' reach and a 10' reach with a polearm."

And that same guy was a player in my campaign and was like "HEY! He can't do that! He's fatigued! That means that he can either move or attack, but not both!"

Shadow Lodge

Those high level druids (and assassins? Ninjas?) first had to seek out their superiors though - and defeat them to gain their level. Only X amount of each above a certain level. Level 14 has only 1, and that's as high as you go.

And then if the next druid defeats you, you drop to level 13 again.


ryric wrote:

DrDeath, I think you're conflating some 2e with 1e. A lot of the more irksome rules from 1e didn't make it into 2e. Training was not optional in 1e, it was just ignored by nearly everybody. There was actually a specific warning in the 1e DMG to not have magic shops.

You are right about the poison; only 95% was save or die. A few specific monsters (drow) had other effects.

One comment about how people actually played 1e. No one I've ever met played 1e RAW. Everybody had house rules. Many of these more annoying parts of the game were things that people ignored or changed. Much of this was due to lack of the internet - "power combos" (such as they were) tended to stay within a single group. Rules questions had to be snail mailed to Dragon magazine and then you hoped your question would show up months later in an issue. Huge amount of table variation abounded. I played with 4 other 1e GMs and the differences in their house rules could fill several pages.

I played 1E RAW with only 1 DM. 1E RAW was a real pain in the rear. I remember playing a ranger who was had the XP to be two levels higher but not enough gold to train up those levels. This wasn't an issue at lower levels but higher levels with the restriction of only keeping the treasure you can physically carry on you or you mount meant you often meant you couldn't carry enough to pay for training. Had a stickler of GM who would let you pay in installment as it had to be all up front.

Getting bag of holding was critical as the GM had tendency to steal our horses when went into dungeons. As treasure was randomly generated and no magic shops I was almost 13th level before getting a bag of holding. Had the XP to be level 15 a the time.


voska66 wrote:

I played 1E RAW with only 1 DM. 1E RAW was a real pain in the rear. I remember playing a ranger who was had the XP to be two levels higher but not enough gold to train up those levels. This wasn't an issue at lower levels but higher levels with the restriction of only keeping the treasure you can physically carry on you or you mount meant you often meant you couldn't carry enough to pay for training. Had a stickler of GM who would let you pay in installment as it had to be all up front.

Getting bag of holding was critical as the GM had tendency to steal our horses when went into dungeons. As treasure was randomly generated and no magic shops I was almost 13th level before getting a bag of holding. Had the XP to be level 15 a the time.

It was definitely a problem at low levels.

The canonical bad example was the thief. An exemplary thief needed 1500gp to train for 2nd level. He only needed 1250xp to reach 2nd level. Each gp counted for an xp.
He would need another 3000gp and 1250xp to reach 3rd level.

If he got no experience from things other than gp, he'd have a total of 4500xp by the time he could pay his 3rd level tutor. Assuming a reasonable amount of xp came from fighting monsters and other things, he'd be losing xp (IIRC, you could only accrue xp up to just below the next level. Any past that was lost.)

And that's assuming he was playing his class (and alignment?) perfectly. The training costs could be up to 4 times the base.

Since xp went up exponentially and training costs only linearly, this became less of a problem as you went up levels.
Though I can see encumbrance being an issue. You might have been able to convert some or all of your cash into gems to carry and then back to pay trainers.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

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

Did it turn on you?

If not, you weren't playing RAW.


ryric wrote:

DrDeath, I think you're conflating some 2e with 1e. A lot of the more irksome rules from 1e didn't make it into 2e. Training was not optional in 1e, it was just ignored by nearly everybody. There was actually a specific warning in the 1e DMG to not have magic shops.

You are right about the poison; only 95% was save or die. A few specific monsters (drow) had other effects.

Both 1st & 2nd ED are grouped together as AD&D. There was little difference. You could play a 1st Ed PC in 2nd ED. Even in OD&D Greyhawk had shops were one could buy magic items.

Liberty's Edge

rknop wrote:
Azixirad wrote:
I think the main difference is that 1E you need an junior high education to understand, PF PHd. I like the many different options presented in PF. I only wish I did not need an app to calculate damage.

GAH. You just hit one of my pet peeves.

When people think basic arithmetic is PhD level thinking, it's an indication that our basic junior high and high-school education system has utterly failed.

I was not trying to infer that "basic arithmetic is PHd level thinking , That was more about gamemastery 1E vs PF. The rules are far more complex.

Sovereign Court

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Erm...you might want to go back and look in the DMG before you consider the rules in Pathfinder more complex then those in AD&D.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Azixirad wrote:

I was not trying to infer that "basic arithmetic is PHd level thinking , That was more about gamemastery 1E vs PF. The rules are far more complex.

Oddly, while the game system itself has more options now, the language used to describe them has gotten a lot simpler. I challenege you to find words like "enjoin" and "milieu" in today's game. Heck, I think playing 1e upped my SAT verbal score by at least 50 points with its use of obscure terms.

Say what you will about Gygaxian playstyle, the 1e core books are a pleasure just to read.

I've met PhDs in physics that couldn't do arithmetic. Calculus in their heads? No problem! Actual numbers? Whoah, now let's not get crazy.

More changes from 1e to present:

Clerics had to prepare cure spells using their slots. And there were originally no cures between light (1st level) and serious (4th) - light cure 1d8 (flat) and serious 2d8+2. UA added in a cure moderate for 1d10, I beleive.

Dragon breath weapons did the dragon's current hp in damage. Dragons also didn't roll hit dice - they had between 5 and 12 dice, and each die was a 1-8 depending on the age category; a small hatchling white had 5 hp, a huge, ancient gold 96hp. Brass dragons didn't even have a breath weapon that did damage.

The weapon table was...different. each weapon did differnet damage depending on whether the target was small/medium, or large. Generally, smaller weapons got worse against big foes and larger weapons got better. A dagger would do 1d4/1d3, whereas a two-handed sword did 1d10/3d6. I guess maybe bigger weapons had more cutting surface in play against a big creature?

Weapons also had bonuses or penalties to hit based on the target's armor. This is one of those rules most tables ignored, although it wasn't too much of a pain (I played in one campaign that used them, it was just something you jotted down on your sheet and applied when needed). Using them rebalanced a lot of weapon choices - the weapon might do cruddy damage but open up armor like a can opener.

Attack rolls and saving throw stats were in the DMG - it was implied that PCs should not know this info. You rolled your d20, applied modifiers for strength, magic, etc, and told the DM your number. He looked it up on his tables and told you whether or not you succeeded. In fact, players were discouraged from reading the DMG at all in order to "preserve the mystery." So you knew your fighter was supposedly better at hitting than the illusionist but not exactly how.


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I've never understood the mentality that somehow all other editions are better for roleplaying...I guess since I stared with 3.5 I'm somehow unable to roleplay. Guess I've been doing it wrong all this time. Well better stop giving my characters backgrounds and personalities then.

Sovereign Court

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havoc xiii wrote:
I've never understood the mentality that somehow all other editions are better for roleplaying...I guess since I stared with 3.5 I'm somehow unable to roleplay. Guess I've been doing it wrong all this time. Well better stop giving my characters backgrounds and personalities then.

Well, implying nothing about any specific person anywhere, a lot of people played these games when they were younger. As such they were likely not playing with much/some/any rules mastery and were likely just free form role-playing without much regard for any of the actual rules of the game with the occasional die roll tossed in. Not to say either that it was wrong to play them like that of course, but it is likely why you hear that a lot Havoc.

Any RPG is streamline and focused on role-playing and easy if you just ignore most of it after all. Personally I've read a Dragon Magazine article where Gary Gygax basically chided people for trying to turn D&D into some kind of fluffy theater rather then a game with rules and so forth.

Reading old Dragon Magazine is a lot of fun. :)


havoc xiii wrote:
I've never understood the mentality that somehow all other editions are better for roleplaying...I guess since I stared with 3.5 I'm somehow unable to roleplay. Guess I've been doing it wrong all this time. Well better stop giving my characters backgrounds and personalities then.

You can have fun and roleplay in just about any game. Heck, we have had scads of fun playing Tunnels & Trolls. But when you have to spend a considerable portion of your brainpower considering the best chess-like moves to make, etc, I find that roleplaying often takes the second seat.


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DrDeth wrote:
havoc xiii wrote:
I've never understood the mentality that somehow all other editions are better for roleplaying...I guess since I stared with 3.5 I'm somehow unable to roleplay. Guess I've been doing it wrong all this time. Well better stop giving my characters backgrounds and personalities then.
You can have fun and roleplay in just about any game. Heck, we have had scads of fun playing Tunnels & Trolls. But when you have to spend a considerable portion of your brainpower considering the best chess-like moves to make, etc, I find that roleplaying often takes the second seat.

Exactly.

Or partly, at least. There are plenty of ways a game system can push you away from roleplay.
None of them prevent it of course, but different systems encourage different things. They do different things well and do them well for different players.

I find it easier to get deep into character in a mechanics light system. Some people prefer games that have narrative based mechanics. Those break me out of roleplay even more than rules heavy systems do.

AD&D works better for me than PF in terms of RP, but that's a matter of playstyle too. A classic old-school grognard, don't bother naming your character until 5th level, game discourages RP even more.


KaptainKrunch wrote:

So I started table top role playing with 1st edition.

It's been a long time since I'd looked at the books. Recently I go a hold of them again and besides making me kind of want to play a 1st ed game, a lot of fun differences stick out to me.

Here are just a few:

1. Leadership wasn't a feat or an option, it's just how it was! (A level 14 druid apparently has nine 11th level druids following him around all the time.)

2. Paladins had MANY more restrictions, including things like "Can't keep loot." and "Pay 10% of your gold to your church."

3. A round was a minute long.

4. For many classes, the best part of leveling up was hitpoints in your cup.

5. Perhaps my favorite item of all: The original Unearthed Arcana includes a 7th stat: Comeliness.

Yeah, I remember tithing (and the rest here). Some of the groups I've been involved with still kept it, in a less official capacity. As in, you use that loot not just to upgrade items and shop for them, no you donate it to charitable works and do something good with the dragon's coin.


Amatsucan_the_First wrote:

Ah yes, the days when your character had to use what you found . . . No magic emporiums where the players say "I buy X" and the GM says "ok, Y gold."

The days when the wizards of the world prized their spells and rarely just shared or wrote scrolls for absolutely no reason.

The days when leveling was done in a way that made a bit of senes instead of just happening when the party camped. Where there were no 18th level sixteen years olds.

The days when a fighter would be 2-5 levels higher than the wizard always . . .

I miss some of those days.

And the thief could be 3-4 levels above everyone! If you played them right.

I was playing a rogue like an old thief last year, sneaking about, gathering all that coin, reporting in once in a while, but never sticking in formation like some grunt. One player almost lost it:

"He ran off to get some xp! How dare he."


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Amatsucan_the_First wrote:

Ah yes, the days when your character had to use what you found . . . No magic emporiums where the players say "I buy X" and the GM says "ok, Y gold."

The days when the wizards of the world prized their spells and rarely just shared or wrote scrolls for absolutely no reason.

The days when leveling was done in a way that made a bit of senes instead of just happening when the party camped. Where there were no 18th level sixteen years olds.

The days when a fighter would be 2-5 levels higher than the wizard always . . .

I miss some of those days.

And the thief could be 3-4 levels above everyone! If you played them right.

I was playing a rogue like an old thief last year, sneaking about, gathering all that coin, reporting in once in a while, but never sticking in formation like some grunt. One player almost lost it:

"He ran off to get some xp! How dare he."

As long as you don't rely on the GM's protection and PC glow to keep you in the group. After all, if you're not helping them out and you're taking extra loot for yourself, like I've seen many an old-school thief do, why are they keeping you around?

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