Wednesday, January 11, 2012

poll results

(I still disagree with 111 of you.)


  1. Yeah, to heck with those psionic haters also. All those people are what is wrong with modern gamers!

  2. What I find interesting is that other than the demi-human level limits and the psionics rules, I can't think of a group I played with back in the day who claimed they were playing AD&D that used any of those rules (maybe the initiative rules - I don't remember what set AD&D's initiative rules apart from B/X D&D's).

    Weapon Speed - ignored. Weapon vs. AC - I don't think I knew this even existed until I was in college. If I knew about it before that everyone ignored it anyway. Material components - ignored except for flavor. Training to level up - ignored. Even gender-based attribute limits - a staple of Dragon magazine Forum arguments and what I consider to be the ACTUAL most obnoxious AD&D rule - were ignored.

    Over the years I've come to the conclusion that most of the groups I played AD&D with actually played a variant Basic/Expert D&D that allowed for separating races and classes and different XP tables and minor variations in class progression. This poll just kind of underscores that for me.

  3. Jer: your last paragraph explains why I'm adopting BFRPG for my D&D dm-ing needs: it's exactly the sort of hybrid you're describing.

  4. @Jer: Absolutely. The AD&D books *were* supplements - collections of stuff to use if it worked.

  5. Anonymous2:56 PM

    I think it is because Level limits and Psionics are the hardest one to ignore.

    Level limits are explicitly stated (so actual rules) and require NO actual effort-hard to say they are too much hassle.

    And if your character qualified for Psionics, you WANTED to play with those rules, you deserved Psionics dammit.

    But the other stuff got in the way of adventuring or killing things, so dumping them was easy and no one objected.

  6. Anonymous5:54 PM




  7. I'm not one of those who hated demihuman level limits and didn't vote for that one. And I don't have any issue with them, still. So, to be extra-super-clear: I'm not hating on demihuman limits and like them just fine. I voted Other (Alignment Languages).

    BUT: to anyone who claims the demihuman limits were for "balance:" You are wrong in a very silly way, which is silly plus wrong. The demihuman limits provided many things, none of them related to balance.

    To pick the clearest and most fundamental example: Halfling Thief.

    The Halfling in Tolkien is born to stay home and eat cakes. The Halfling in AD&D is born to be a frickin' thief, with special racial abilities and bonuses basically custom-molded to thievery in almost every respect (minor penalties to wall-climbing and language-reading* aside). The Halfling Thief is very much a stock feature of many an AD&D campaign.

    And they're Unlimited in level. The "balancing" factor is apparently that my Halfling, Booty Buckleshine of Prudery Hill, who is a _superior thief_ in most every respect to a Human Thief, has a cousin named Snooty Buckleshine who can't rise above 4th level as a Fighter because he's a hairfoot with a STR of 14. Snooty's limitations provide no balance to Booty's awesome.

    So again, I'm not down on level limits (and the reasons Jeff cited for liking them, that they provide a pinnacle that can be reached, etc, make sense tome). But the silly old argument that they're for "balance" is transparently bogus (like nearly anything else in AD&D touted as for "balance," really ... balance was not really one of AD&D's thangs).

    * Is this because Bilbo had to ask Gandalf to explain what runes are? :)

  8. I've always felt the racial level limits existed for two reasons:

    1. To encourage players to mostly play humans with an occasional foray into a demi-human.

    2. To promote a humanocentric world were humans were the movers and shakers and demi-humans were the hermit in the woods or Tom Bombadil type loners.

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  10. ----Long Post---
    In the early 80s my first major gaming group of friends tried all of the rules in the book and played them.

    What occurred was fun and entertaining.

    To use an example from another post:
    Halfings were a race more akin to thievery if they went into the adventure classes given. You could still be a fighter but you never would be the Lancelot of the entire land. If you stayed in your normal field no such issue. So level limits were a challenge.
    Psionics abilities were almost impossible to get. When successful you just bowed down and kissed that PCs ring. It was very powerful so the GM proceeded to no longer level balance adventures to the PCs.

    Weapon speed and weapon vs AC did slow down the game a little until we got used to it. AD&D is entirely different game with those involved. Try it. The peanut butter in your chocolate tastes great.

    Gender limits though not Politcally Correct was fine since most of us were guys playing.

    Training up was a cool idea and allowed a cool down period both in game and real world so we could switch to other games and not burn out.

    Material components sucked. It added way more time since there was no Spellmart. It was tough to manage what you had and keep the items dry, wet, and ready to use.
    However our main GM did give the party many reason to adventure in many locales to find stuff including losing 3 henchman in fighting phase spiders with only blunt objects so we could retrieve their poison.

    You do remember Save or DIE poisons back then right. :)