Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Interesting bits from C2 and AD&D

Some interesting tidbits from C2:

- every monster encountered so far is size L. This has made some of the choices - two-handed sword, light crossbows using my house rule - good or better. It's made some - darts, throwing axes, jo sticks - worse. I'm not going to give away the rest of the adventure, but I did find it interesting that size L creatures are so common in the tournament version of the adventure.

- a lot of plot-critical doors are stuck, and need rolling to free up. Presumably axes to free them up if everyone fails the roll.

- as usual, thanks to AD&D huge coins, the PCs have taken a literal ton of treasure - more than 2,000 pounds of coins.

- AD&D really doesn't make it easy to determine which spells are subject-centered and which are area-centered. Not for all spells, but for most.

- Ever notice that Fireball and Lightning Bolt damage is halved by a save, but a successful save vs. Flame Strike cuts the damage from 6d8 to 3d8? You apparently roll the save, then roll half as many dice for damage after that.

On some level, it's hard to express how much joy I have in the wacky rules of AD&D. Mostly because we don't have to keep dealing with them. But they're fun. And confusing enough that even our 9-year old player can't wrap his head around why doors open on a d6, bars on %, initiative is roll high and surprise is better high but 2 isn't better than 1, and so on. I hope he doesn't try grappling anything!

On anther level, though, whenever I think, "Man, we should run a campaign of this!" all of the glaring oddities give me sufficient pause to decide not to. Coin weight, missing weapon costs, weird rules with different subsystems, the pain of tracking XP, and so on just seem too much trouble. I'd end up writing a whole book of house rules and use X not Y documents that I'd probably give up part of the way in. On the other hand, it's so much fun to visit now and then . . .


  1. " - a lot of plot-critical doors are stuck, and need rolling to free up. Presumably axes to free them up if everyone fails the roll."

    This is a weird one, actually - you get to reroll Open Doors endlessly* at the cost of time, which is alright, but at the same time C2 has a 1pt/turn tournament scoring thing going on which means that there's a lot of randomness going into those scores. I dunno that that's what you want in a tournament - especially when you're already doing stuff like averaging damage.

    In any case, 1E (and OD&D before it) assumes that all doors are "stuck" by default.

    * PHB9 - "Successive attempts may be made at no penalty with regard to damage to the character attempting to force the door open, but each such attempt requires time and makes considerable noise."
    Bend Bars/Lift Gates is one-time-only, though, which might be where the confusion comes from.

    1. Thanks, I overlooked that. Bend bars and Open Locks threw me off. Thanks especially for giving a page reference.

      C2 scoring would include randomness from to hit and saves, too. Them's the breaks I guess.


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