The Old Timer Community Thread


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Hi all,

I use the term "old timer" loosely here - but this thread is mostly for people who have been gaming for a long time (I know there are a lot of you out there.) Mention your favorite moments at the gaming table from yester year.

Also feel free to point out how you think gaming has changed from years past (please no edition wars.)

I've been into table top rpgs for about twenty five years. I first learned to play Basic D&D (the red book.) My dad played back in the 70s, and he was excited to teach my brother and I and pass the game onto us (and we both play to this day.)

The one big change that I've noticed through the years is how much longer battles take. When I was in my teens I had a group that loved to play - we'd play for 8+ hours at a time. We would be able to get through a couple dozen battles or more without difficulty. More recently, there are times where one battle can easily take an hour.

Looking forward to hearing your stories.


It has changed a lot, and this will encourage edition wars, even if you claim you don't want them to occur.

Take traps for instance. Traps used to be far more deadly. You really had to worry about them. I continue this tradition in my games whatever the system.

Combats, yeah, they take longer. A consequence of more complicated mechanics and more abilities than in AD&D.


Not sure if I consider myself an old-timer, but I've live through a few editions of D&D.

I was rummaging through my early gaming stuff this winter. One thing that changed for sure is the quality of home printers, and the programs with which you can design home-brewed character sheets!

My earliest character sheets (rolemaster, mid 80s) were photocopied from a typewriter original. It has a cool vintage look actually, looking somewhere halfway between a department store inventory sheet and a tax form.

Some of my early hourserule documents are still attached together (with their holes still on the sides).


Ah yes, I remember the holes on the side. Good old folders.

Now I do my char sheets by hand.


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I have played D&D from highschool or before (means early 80's ). What I recall about the games is that they have gotten more complex and more vague. Take for example Champions. I started out with 3rd edition but I remember people telling me about 2nd and how it was a thinner book.

Look at D&D and the others The books have gotten progressively thicker. (Of coarse Pathfinder CRB contains both the players handbook and gm's guide)

I haven't played any D&D past 3.5.

In the 'olden days' we didn't play games for many levels. Maybe we played 3rd level characters or maybe they were 8th. But they were short games. I remember one game that was an all nighter and yet it was a one shot.
I remember playing 15th-20th level characters (could have been higher, because it was 1st edition). I remember a guy who was playing a Silver Dragon, so half the group was power gaming. Yet we never played a long game. I always longed for a campaign. Only now after my current group got into Pathfinder have we completed a 1-15th level game and we are about to do it again.

About the most memorable thing said at a table (and hopefully the site won't censor it):
Player 1 rolls percentile....hmmm 69 ...can't lick that!
Player 2......Oh yes you can!
Entire table and observers laugh.
(this was back at college in the late 80's in a non fantasy game.)


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I started playing in 1985 when someone didn't show and I was asked to play his character. I had no idea what I was doing but somehow ended up leading the party. Also, I've been playing much most of the same group since 1987.

The Exchange

I remember drugs in d&d. Locoweed could be found on the Isle of dread and would turn monsters and npcs into raging agressive psychos with 12 morale (fanatic) when chewed. Traladaran wizard took some back to specularum and handed it and a stockpile of weapons out during a market place protest. City burned to the ground as peasants threw themselves at the dukes horsemen...with little more than leather armor and spears.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I first encountered D&D back in 1980. I was 11 years old, and my patents signed me up for a Pascal programming class at the local community college. (We were programming on a DEC PDP-11 mainframe via VT-100 dumb terminals.)

Anyway, one assignment was to write a game: either poker, blackjack, or Yahtzee. One of the other guys in the class asked if he could write a "combat simulator," and the instructor said "yes." Next class, he brought in the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide, mainly so that he could reference the attack tables.

He never got too far with the combat simulator, but I was fascinated with the books, and I joined his D&D group for a little while. We had a falling-out (he and his friends were a few years older than me), but I bought the Basic Set with some money I'd earned mowing lawns and shoveling snow for neighbors.

I think one of the biggest change in RPG rulesets is the codification of almost everything. I think that has something to do with the cross-pollination of computer programming. In a program, you need to code for every conceivable condition, and designers seem to do the same thing. So rules get more and more complex. I think there is a bit less tolerance among some gamers for GM interpretation and flexibility. At least for some gamers.

Sovereign Court

I am going to mention video games. Now before you groan audibly, it’s not about roleplaying cause them arguments are rubbish. I am looking to talk about mechanics. Since TTRPGs have started video game designers have been trying to emulate them. TTRPGs can be very complex and a CPU can gronk all those factors quickly and keep the game going. The result has been faster paced more action oriented and complex gaming systems. The problem TTRPGs are running into is they are trying to take some of that back to the table and people don’t gronk like CPUs. Don’t get me wrong people can get it done, but there is a lot of system mastery these days to grab a hold of. I believe the result has been bogged down high level combat for some tables, I know mine has.

Edit…ninja’d by Haladir


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Funny anecdote

I was introduced to LARP before TTRPGs. So when my friend's brother introduced us to RPGs (Rolemaster in our case), it was described to us as "like a LARP, but we're sitting around a table imagining things".


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Pan wrote:

...and a CPU can gronk all those factors quickly...people don’t gronk like CPUs...

I think you mean "grok."


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been playing tabletop RPGs in some form or another for almost 20 years. I started on Earthdawn after an older cousin introduced me to it, went on to Shadowrun, and first got into D&D via the ultra-weird-but-cool Dark Sun campaign setting. I was too young to really understand most of it, but I knew it appealed to me and my weird imagination. The artwork, monsters, maps (especially maps!), magical items, unusual races - I was immediately hooked.

Dark Sun was neat, but my love affair with D&D really started with Planescape and Forgotten Realms. I had hundreds of pages of loose-leaf paper filled with my 2nd-Edition scribblings, poster boards covered with amateur (and usually sloppy) maps, and of course a small library of books. I can remember being yelled at more than once at school for merrily reading a D&D book or drafting a map or stat block when I should have been doing schoolwork.

3rd-Edition was weirdly traumatic for me because I had learned 2nd-Edition so well. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend. However, just like I moved from hand-drawn maps to mapping software, and pen-and-paper to word processor, I eventually made the transition. I never followed suit into 4th-Edition, and am thankful that Pathfinder found me instead.

Tabletop RPGs are a bit more than just hobby for me. I've never had an issue with distinguishing fantasy from reality, but I am far more happy in my own head than anyplace else.

Grand Lodge

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I didn't start until 2005, so I have no cool stories for this thread.

Liberty's Edge

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The game was far deadlier for characters. Many more traps with save or die rolls. Far fewer and more restrictive class choices. In certain respects, different races were different classes. As the game progressed, more and more races, classes, and choices became availble, for example, an assassin. Steadily, the game has changed to the point where class choices and options have become almost inumerable. In the beginning, the D.M. (not G.M.) was the godlike and final arbiter: whereas today the players have much more input- to the point they feel entitled. Of course, entitlement may just be a reflection of today's more "entitled" society in general- or perhaps that is merely a reflection of my own conservative curmudgoness. In the beginning, I believe the game was more of a straightforward fantasy battle simulator, with less emphasis on social themes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Back in the days of first-edition AD&D, there was a whole lot less customization of characters available to players. Every fighter was sword-and-shield, every cleric clanked in heavy armor and carried a mace; every wizard was a variant of Gandalf, etc.

Back in 1990, I co-wrote a tournament adventure for a small con. It was for the brand-new AD&D 2nd Edition, which still didn't have a huge following.

We wrote the tourney for four players, with pregenerated characters. For character selection, we told the players that you could pick, "a fighter, a cleric, a magic-user, or a thief." Everyone rolled percentile dice and highest picked what they wanted to play. We set the tourney in our homebrew campaign world.

Of course, the characters were all designed to play against type, as we used a combination of some custom rules and new options from the AD&D 2nd Ed. PHB.

The fighter was a lightly-armored, female, punching-and-wrestling specialist.

The cleric served the God of Justice and Valor, whose sacred weapon was the longsword. (In our campaign, clerics could use the weapon of their deity, if it had one.) Essentially, the character was a paladin.

The thief was a dwarf, whose expertise was in trapmaking. He used his thief ability points on finding/removing traps and opening locks, and had zero skill in picking pockets, and was not terribly good at hiding.

The magic-user used the new optional "specialist wizard" rules, and was an invoker. (He was the most traditional of the PCs.)

Back in 1990, a cast of PCs like that really threw players for a loop!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I remember some of my biggest 2nd-Edition struggles involved adding class levels to monsters. It was for them most part done entirely on the fly. While there technically may have been rules for doing this, I remember the process was mostly just winging it. Back then most monsters didn't have ability scores other than Intelligence, so trying to figure out how much damage that troll fighter did with his two-handed sword, or what bonus spells the flumph cleric received, was an exercise in frustration.

My cousin (the one who started me on RPGs to begin with) actually preferred it this way. He liked being able to organically make whatever he wanted. Me? I wanted hard and fast rules. That's why I think I took to 3rd-Edition so happily.


Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
The game was far deadlier for characters. Many more traps with save or die rolls. Far fewer and more restrictive class choices. In certain respects, different races were different classes. As the game progressed, more and more races, classes, and choices became availble, for example, an assassin. Steadily, the game has changed to the point where class choices and options have become almost inumerable. In the beginning, the D.M. (not G.M.) was the godlike and final arbiter: whereas today the players have much more input- to the point they feel entitled. Of course, entitlement may just be a reflection of today's more "entitled" society in general- or perhaps that is merely a reflection of my own conservative curmudgoness. In the beginning, I believe the game was more of a straightforward fantasy battle simulator, with less emphasis on social themes.

Yeah, I agree to that, although the assassin goes pretty far back.

Certainly the old days were of a straightforward fantasy battle simulator and spelunker-sim, and on social issues I have noticed a lot more pc attitudes over time getting into the hobby and a strong sense of liberal progressiveness. Others have pointed out that the hobby is far less white now, I see more representations of minorities beyond discussions of race and into sexuality. Change has been in the wind on a range of facets of the hobby for some time. Paizo has also taken its stance on social issues as they come through in the game and the setting.

A few elephants are in the room (chaotic elephants of change?).


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I didn't start until 2005, so I have no cool stories for this thread.

Toz, I had no idea you were so new to this!

Shadow Lodge

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I am skilled at subterfuge. :) Speaking confidently (read: arrogantly) helps mask things.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I didn't start until 2005, so I have no cool stories for this thread.

get off their lawn!

Liberty's Edge

I've been playing for something over 35 years...one favorite moment was when my C & S viking Halfdan Erikson killed the hydra in one blow *after* boasting, then turned to see a manticore about to attemp to eat the party...

He responded with "I'll turn you into a eunuch!"...and promptly criticaled it in the midsection...yet another one-shot kill.

The party glared at me.

Nobody else even got to fight. :p

The worst of it was...this had been an NPC. The GM gave him to me after my first two characters died almost instantly.


Laurefindel wrote:
My earliest character sheets (rolemaster, mid 80s) were photocopied from a typewriter original. It has a cool vintage look actually, looking somewhere halfway between a department store inventory sheet and a tax form.

The mention of character sheets reminds me of those old green character sheets for Basic D&D. I can remember having holes on the sheet in certain sections that had been erased many times.

Purchasing character sheets was also a different experience than it is now. They'd come ten to a pack or something like that.

Haladir wrote:
I think one of the biggest change in RPG rulesets is the codification of almost everything. I think that has something to do with the cross-pollination of computer programming. In a program, you need to code for every conceivable condition, and designers seem to do the same thing. So rules get more and more complex. I think there is a bit less tolerance among some gamers for GM interpretation and flexibility. At least for some gamers.

I'll definitely agree with the codification of everything, but I don't think that rules have gotten more complex. Its just that there is so many more of them now. I have also noticed a different tolerance from players regarding GM's flexibility. Somewhat recently a member of these boards was stating that he would never game with any GM that used a 100% homebrew world.

Another big change I noticed is the artwork. The more recent artwork is too cartoony for my tastes. When you look back at some of the older RPG materials, the artwork was very realistic. I've always preferred that style - seems more conductive to getting players in the right mindset.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Tormsskull wrote:
Another big change I noticed is the artwork. The more recent artwork is too cartoony for my tastes. When you look back at some of the older RPG materials, the artwork was very realistic. I've always preferred that style - seems more conductive to getting players in the right mindset.

While I agree that the quality of the artwork in RPGs has changed, I disagree that the quality has gone down. I think the art has generally improved greatly: Take a look at the monster illustrations in the AD&D Monster Manual. I'll take today's art any day.

Shadow Lodge

When I started playing rpgs its a combo of AD&D and Arduin Grimoire. At the time we thought it was one game, it being new to me and friends. It was a fun but vicious game.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I started playing in 1985. I bought basic red box with some of my yard mowing money. I didn't really know what it was, other than it was a game and it looked cool. I distinctly remember playing through the solo adventure and made my save against Bargle and struck him down. I was hooked.

The biggest change I've noted over the years is that there's a rule for practically everything now. I'm with Haladir on this.

-Skeld

Sovereign Court

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Haladir wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:
Another big change I noticed is the artwork. The more recent artwork is too cartoony for my tastes. When you look back at some of the older RPG materials, the artwork was very realistic. I've always preferred that style - seems more conductive to getting players in the right mindset.
While I agree that the quality of the artwork in RPGs has changed, I disagree that the quality has gone down. I think the art has generally improved greatly: Take a look at the monster illustrations in the AD&D Monster Manual. I'll take today's art any day.

I agree with Haladir the quality is much improved. The big difference in old school art and new school is the focus. In the past you would often see artwork depicting a story unfolding for both GM and player artwork. Now though everything is hyper-focused on the character with ripped abs or in a bikini even in the arctic. I miss artwork that made you say "hey whats happening there?" Seems the adventure has taken a backseat to character.


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I agree with Pan. As I was browsing some of the old books recently I noticed something. It really had character and charm, and humour. Not a desperate need to be exciting and sexy.

Which reminds me of some posts on how ridiculous the poses are for pf art. That ruffled a few feathers.


PF art is fine. 4th edition art was sterile and devoid of any sort of interest for me. It felt much like Warhammer art. And, yes, I do prefer the earlier art. What is problematic about that is that it was airbrushed or oils, something quite impossible to use large-scale in today's era of digital art.


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Haladir wrote:
While I agree that the quality of the artwork in RPGs has changed, I disagree that the quality has gone down. I think the art has generally improved greatly: Take a look at the monster illustrations in the AD&D Monster Manual. I'll take today's art any day.

I guess I was thinking more of images of the classes and such. For example, here's one image I remember looking at many times:

Link 1

Compare that to:
Link 2

Or
Link 3

The first image looks quite realistic - the art style is great IMO. The second two links look very cartoony. I know some people prefer the cartoony look, but I've never liked it for table top RPGs. It doesn't fit the mood I try to set for my campaigns.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Tormsskull,
Ok, name me a cartoon that looks anything like the second and third link, please? Really can't see it. You might have a point with more stylised, but cartoony? Nope, not seeing it.
Also, most of the illustrations in the books were not of that quality, they were black and white line drawings. The current set are a massive improvement in general, even if the full page illutrations of the past were fantastic. They were also rarer compared to the multiplicity of full colour images we have in PF books.


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I started playing in the mid 90s with second edition. I still remember the day a friend dropped a crate full of books in front of me and said, "have you ever heard of this game called D&D?" Instanly hooked.

While I respect everyone's play style, it does make me sad to see that the game has become more a math exercise and less an adventure, and that many people seem to gauge a character's potential by its degree of optimization, rather than its backstory. I am fortunate to have a group were role-playing is more important than damage output.

My fun story: I once ran a campaign for two years in Planescape. The PCs were fighting the forces of Yeenoghu, and as such I would name him on occasion. About a year into the campaign, one of the players stops me and asks: "are you ever going to tell us this god's name?" Confused, I asked him what he meant; he replies, "well, you're always telling us how we're fighting you-know-who..." We still laugh about that 10 years later.


Tormsskull wrote:
Haladir wrote:
While I agree that the quality of the artwork in RPGs has changed, I disagree that the quality has gone down. I think the art has generally improved greatly: Take a look at the monster illustrations in the AD&D Monster Manual. I'll take today's art any day.

I guess I was thinking more of images of the classes and such. For example, here's one image I remember looking at many times:

Link 1

Compare that to:...

Are they hanging a baby dragon for its crimes?

And yeah, exactly what I mean, from fantasy and the team of heroes to cartoon of a craazzzy individual. We are in agreement.


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I started playing in 1976

God! Things were so different then. I mean, well, most important of all, I had hair.


Well I must admit that I am lucky enough to have played 1st and 2nd ed, but I am not yet old.

Just a small boy raised on stories of dragons, barbarian raids from Conan and trying to stay alive in another hellish dungeon. My older brother that got me into it was definitely an old timer.

What I miss is how quick you could get going. I had to gen some new pf characters recently, and it took so bloody long. Back in the day roll dice, choose class, consider concept and alignment, go go go! Then the dm throws you in head first before you had time to get tired of genning a character.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
cannon fodder wrote:
While I respect everyone's play style, it does make me sad to see that the game has become more a math exercise and less an adventure, and that many people seem to gauge a character's potential by its degree of optimization, rather than its backstory.

Right, the math in older editions made no sense at all most of the time. Many times, the advantages from leveling were almost inconsequential. I read threads no where someone complains about how a pair of rules are inconsistent or the "maths" don't work out equally and I lol because THAC0.

-Skeld


Skeld wrote:
I started playing in 1985. I bought basic red box with some of my yard mowing money. I didn't really know what it was, other than it was a game and it looked cool. I distinctly remember playing through the solo adventure and made my save against Bargle and struck him down. I was hooked.

Oh yeah, Bargle was a SOB. I missed that save on my first and second play through. I think the odds of making it were like 20% or something. I can remember when I missed the first time, as the campaign continued, I would always think back "What if?"

Paul Watson wrote:

Tormsskull,

Ok, name me a cartoon that looks anything like the second and third link, please? Really can't see it. You might have a point with more stylised, but cartoony? Nope, not seeing it.

I wasn't thinking of a particular cartoon in mind, just using the descriptor as a way of differentiating between realistic and that style. And cartoony is not a slam; I still watch cartoons and like many of them. But for my purposes of trying to bring the campaign world to life, the newer art in the non-realistic style doesn't work as well as the older art.

Paul Watson wrote:
Also, most of the illustrations in the books were not of that quality, they were black and white line drawings.

That's true; there were a lot of simple drawings back then as well. They had a certain charm to them though. I was looking back through some Hollow World materials and Ravenloft materials recently - the imagery was great.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tormsskull wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:

Tormsskull,

Ok, name me a cartoon that looks anything like the second and third link, please? Really can't see it. You might have a point with more stylised, but cartoony? Nope, not seeing it.

I wasn't thinking of a particular cartoon in mind, just using the descriptor as a way of differentiating between realistic and that style. And cartoony is not a slam; I still watch cartoons and like many of them. But for my purposes of trying to bring the campaign world to life, the newer art in the non-realistic style doesn't work as well as the older art.

Paul Watson wrote:
Also, most of the illustrations in the books were not of that quality, they were black and white line drawings.
That's true; there were a lot of simple drawings back then as well. They had a certain charm to them though. I was looking back through some Hollow World materials and Ravenloft materials recently - the imagery was great.

True, but you're comparing the rare full page piece of art to the more common insert art today. Comparing the Elmore pieces and the like with the chapter breaks today, and the inserts with the line art would be fairer. I still don't think your comparison really holds.


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Skeld wrote:
Right, the math in older editions made no sense at all most of the time. Many times, the advantages from leveling were almost inconsequential. I read threads no where someone complains about how a pair of rules are inconsistent or the "maths" don't work out equally and I lol because THAC0.

I remember back when 3rd edition came out, I was playing a lot of MUDs at the time. The MUD owner, the Head Coder, and myself (Head Builder) were deciding if we wanted to try to incorporate the 3rd edition rules into the code base.

The Head Coder had been a long time table top player - his opinion was that there was a certain elitism to the earlier editions. You had to really study the materials and memorize the tables and charts to be good at it.

The newer editions simplified things, which I think is a good thing, as it opened the game to a much larger audience. Even more recently when we've decided to try 2nd edition, for example, there's certain 3rd edition + ideas that we've incorporated into 2nd edition to make it more workable.


I started with te basic red book in 1980, in fact..my first character was a rogue named Black Dougal based on the example of a thief in that book. maybe not an auspicious choice since a few pages later in the red book they kill off Black dougal as an example of failing a saving throw versus poison on a chest needle trap.

Yes, traps were more deadly back then..

My favorite moment was a group of us playing 14th level 1st edition chractaers taking on Lolth. We were low on spells and missle ammo and some one reached into their bag of holding and found a bunch of holy water vials we had been lugging around foreever. 3 of us threw 2 vials each ina round while still under a haste spell, and wouldn't you know it, for some insane reason Lolth as written for Module Q1 was exceptionally vulnerable to holy water. we did something like 80 points splash damage in one round and that was enough to take her out.

The DM was at a loss ..it was almost like the Dragon mag story of someone taking out Thor using a push spell.


Well, in 1983 I got the Moldvay Red Box . . . which was promptly stolen by one of my classmates. Luckily, D&D wasn't such a generic game that everyone had a copy, and the culprit was caught rather quickly.

My parents were a little worried about some of the stories they had heard about D&D, but when they looked through the 1st ed. DM's Guide, they saw a list of insanities and were flabbergasted. They were both mental health professionals, and having (at that time) fairly accurate descriptions of that stuff made them more confident that the game wasn't as bad as some news stories had made it sound.

I've seen games turn away from player skill, relying more on dice rolling for results rather than players' descriptions of their actions. This has benefits for some, disadvantages for others. Luckily for me, there has been a resurgance of old-school games and game-styles. Everything old becomes new again.

I've seen the explosion of gaming culture on the internet, where some stuff that people put out for free are better than the polished works of the biggest game companies.

And now I have two boys who will hopefully learn all about the Keep on the Borderlands.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Terquem wrote:
God! Things were so different then. I mean, well, most important of all, I had hair.

Well I guess I'll have that over you! :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Regarding the art...

For example, look at the race comparison illustrations.

Honestly, I'd much rather see this
(from Pathfinder Core Rulebook, 2009)

than this.
(from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook, 1st edition, 1979).

Not that the earlier art doesn't have its charm, I most certainly prefer the modern art.


Wow...flashbacks...

Shadow Lodge

DM Under The Bridge wrote:

It has changed a lot, and this will encourage edition wars, even if you claim you don't want them to occur.

Take traps for instance. Traps used to be far more deadly. You really had to worry about them. I continue this tradition in my games whatever the system.

Combats, yeah, they take longer. A consequence of more complicated mechanics and more abilities than in AD&D.

I agree, traps are a joke now.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Anyone else remember how multi-classing worked in AD&D?

It took me a while to get used to the 3rd Edition model, but ultimately, I like the new way better.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Jacob Saltband wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:

It has changed a lot, and this will encourage edition wars, even if you claim you don't want them to occur.

Take traps for instance. Traps used to be far more deadly. You really had to worry about them. I continue this tradition in my games whatever the system.

Combats, yeah, they take longer. A consequence of more complicated mechanics and more abilities than in AD&D.

I agree, traps are a joke now.

Obviously, your GM isn't setting the CR of his traps high enough...


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Haladir wrote:
It took me a while to get used to the 3rd Edition model, but ultimately, I like the new way better.

Not me, I like multiclassing 2e model much better. Starting at level 1 as being multiclassed makes it easier for background story and such to match the character concept. Having the classes locked in was good in my mind as well, no 1 dip in this class, 1 dip in that class, etc. Multiclassing in 3e is probably one of my least favorite changes.

The 2e model definitely had its weaknesses as well - humans should be able to multiclass, non-humans shouldn't have their class level capped at a certain amount, etc.

As far as traps are concerned, I rarely use the posted traps in the book, I make up my own. They end up being quite dangerous and serve their purpose.

Dark Archive

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For me it started with the Keep on the Borderlands - my neighbor (and DM, he only did this a few times before I took over) ran the thing without the basic rulebook (I know some of the tables were in the back). I used to think it was in 79 - so it came out of a 79 Basic Set that came with B2, but we didn't have the rulebook (we were 9 and 10).

I then picked up the AD&D Monster Manual (at Hallmarks Cards and Gifts) - didn't let my mom see the pictures of demons and whatnot, she was just happy that I was very interested in reading.

I didn't even know about gaming miniatures till 81 (Dynamite magazine) when I saw a full spread with dungeon pictures and minis. I remember POV picture looking down dungeon corridor with a Minotaur armed with an axe, the walls looked Dwarven Forge style, but they must have been home made since DF didn't exist at the time.

That was it. I had only gamed a few times, but that was the beginning of the end for me.

Then shortly thereafter the 81 edition (Moldvay) of Basic came out and I scrounged the money for that boxed set and inside I had my own copy of B2 (and dice).

I am pretty sure I got the MM before the box set because I had no use for the MM. I had no game. The B2 copy that was floating around wasn't mine, so I had a monster book and no game (DMG and PHB were not around - I don't even think the DMG was printed yet), no dice (see above), just a collection of weird creatures with numbers and values I didn't understand.

Good times.

On the issue of modern gaming

Mini-rant: Warning:
I do think some improvements have been made, system wise at least. The biggest being the open system vs. closed (AC and Saves getting lower), but I think in simplifying things they diminished the quality of the game and game experience. This was with the 3rd ed transition (0E through 2nd ed and even Basic were very similar games).

Some low points to 3rd ed plus (IMO of course):
- Magic items replicate spells (boring, makes for boring magic items)
Potions are just spells in "storage" vs. having their own unique abilities, features and quirks. Wands had multiple unique abilities in addition to casting a fixed listed spell. Sorry, I just think new magic items are Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Potion miscibility actually worked to control the "buff" chain of drinking up 5 spells before a big fight. You couldn't do it.

- Oversimplification: Minimal variability on spell results, easy to memorize effects at the cost of distinction. I understand that this is a game you need to learn the rules and corner details, but some of those old nuances were cool. 3rd ed tried to streamline many things (and they did) at the cost of detail. To me a spell that gives +8 to a skill and is two lines long is boring. It's a spell for to help with a numeric value to a binary functioning skill. Very boring.

I have around a 1000 more entries as to what is wrong with 3rd ed based gaming, but I'm not going to point them out here - this isn't the thread for it. Just wanted to illustrate some "feel" changes to the game that IMO went in the wrong direction.

Anyway


I have played since 1974. Even designed a 3PP supplement.

As we got into 3rd ed, there has definitely been more rules and less roleplaying. The rules are more clear, yes, but they get in the way of roleplaying.

Traps were deadlier in the past as they just didn;t do HP damage. They could strip you naked, trapped in a cell or T-port you somewhere or other bad things. I call those Gygaxian traps.

The Thief or Rogue was necessary in those dungeons.


Does anybody actually "Pick Pockets" anymore?

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