Sunday, April 17, 2011

Playing 1st Edition AD&D

You heard me. Around a month ago or so I went up into my parents' attic digging around. I found a box with lots of old AD&D goodies that had been buried for almost 20 years - my Player's Handbook, DM's Guide, Monster Manuals, and some old modules, including the infamous Temple of Elemental Evil. The day after I found the stuff I bumped into a good friend from back in those days who I hadn't really seen much of for over 15 years. It seemed rather serendipitous and, when I learned that the other guys in my group all used to play 1st edition before we had met each other, it seemed like it was time to resurrect the past a little.

So, about a week ago I ran a game with some of the guys. We spent some time making up characters in advance. Each player rolled 6 sets of the six attributes (using 3, not 4 dice) so many of the characters are quite average. Here's the party make-up:

  • Marc - Dwarf Fighter
  • Chris - Gnome Fighter/Thief
  • Terry - Human Magic-User
  • Ken - Half-Elf Druid
  • Keir - Human Cleric

I actually printed sheets with 1-inch squares and cut out all of the dungeon rooms and hallways in advance. We used a mix of miniatures and counters to keep track of things as I laid the floorplan out before the players. As it turns out, there was lots of old school fun to be had - a mysterious NPC, the transporting of a mysterious object to a far-off city, camping out in an abandoned temple crypt, and fighting baddies all the way along.

However, after all of these years playing war games, we seem to be playing differently than I remember playing in junior high and high school. First of all there's the miniatures and the props instead of a single piece of graph paper being handed around. Secondly, we are going out of our way to use rules that I don't even remember using when I was a kid - proficiencies, weapon speed factors, encumbrance, and role-playing according to a characters actual scores in Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.

It was great fun and everyone was pumped to play again. We are aiming to get together around once a month to see how long it goes on. Perhaps we'll get a nice little campaign developing.

As for my painting, with recently going back to work, a teething baby, and working overtime, I haven't picked up a brush in over two weeks. Fear not though. I feel the juices beginning to flow again. Last night I walked past some primed 15mm Norse Irish and some unfinished goblin spider riders and I felt myself drawn to the workbench.

Thanks for reading,


Chad Sikes said...

Ah, this brings back some fond memories of meeting in the school library after hours. I wish I could pull all of my old copies out, but my Mom burned them all at church.....yes, the good ol' days!!

Pat G said...

An oldie but goodie - though I consider that version of the Players Manual to be the "new" one. ;)

I am playing 3.5 with my kids - great fun.

BaronVonJ said...

Keep "Old School". No minis. All in yer head. That's how I "roll"...

JPChapleau said...

You know... I was looking back myself at some of the classic Greyhawk adventure thinking "man those really sucked"... No story, mindless room droning.

But I remember playing them and thinking. "Awesome"... :)

JET (aka Jason) said...

It's sure been a trip down memory lane. I can't wait to play again.

One of the players lent me his Advanced HeroQuest tiles from back in the day. We'll probably use those for the mapping next game.

Rab said...

Sounds like fun! You could take a look at some free tiles ( or some cheap but fabulously old-skool ones( that I came across recently whiel knocking up a knights-explore-the-evildoer's-castle game for my older boy. I reckon by the time I've painted some figures for it he'll be old enough to play!