1st Edition Dungeon & Dragons Resources (last edited 9/3/2022)

Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to, nor endorsed, the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

At the time of first publishing this page, I was three days away from running 1st Edition D&D (“1e“) for the first time in about 40 years. In preparation, I collected and, in some cases, modified various resources. Obviously, this is a living page. I’ll update it periodically.

Character Sheets

First up, I added fields and JavaScript code to the Mad Irishman’s character sheets. The code calculates things like encumbrance and saving throws but doesn’t do all the work for you. First, PDFs are limited in what they can do without making the file slow to crawl. Second, I didn’t want my players to have everything done for them. I want them to know their characters, and having to read the PHB and write/type their abilities into the form will help in that. Note that these forms have a mechanism for tracking my reputation system on them.

Thief/Assassin/Thief Acrobat/Monk
Cavalier/Fighter/Barbarian/Paladin/Ranger
Cleric/Druid
Magic User/Illusionist
Multi-Class/Bard
NPCs

Also of note, THAC0s of twenty (20) are expressed as decimals to denote which “20” applies, though this is relevant only for THAC0s of 20.2. This is easier to show you than to try to explain:

A THAC0 of 20.2 means that it still takes a roll of 20 to hit AC 1, as opposed to a THAC0 of 20, which would require a roll of 19 to hit AC 1.

Most recent update report
1. 09/01/2022: There was an unnecessary validation rule in the XP field preventing the user from entering values greater than 1,000 (IIRC). That rule has been deleted.
2. 09/01/2022: For some unknown reason, without making any changes to the forms, the weapon space, weapon speed factor, and weapon damage fields stopped populating on all forms except the NPC form. I assume, but can’t prove, than an update to Adobe Acrobat invalidated one of the settings on my fields, or how they interact with JavaScript, because the code and calls to the code are fine. I can’t think of any other reason why my copies and the copies of one of my players would simultaneously experience the same bug. They were sitting on different computers. In any event, the fields were replaced and work fine.
3. 09/03/2022: For all but the NPC forms, the saves weren’t being recalculated properly due to a coding issue. Code is fixed. Saves now change to correct values when you change the level of the character.
4. 09/03/2022: Fixed THAC0 calculations, in particular for the Magic User, whose THAC0 didn’t change when leveling up.

Please contact me if you have any bugs or defects to report. Don’t bookmark these links because WordPress makes me change the file names when I upload new versions.

Per the Mad Irishman’s request, I’m licensing my additions under the Creative Commons license. However, as an attorney with experience in intellectual property law, I realize that the license is largely meaningless for multiple reasons. That doesn’t matter. Here’s what does: Feel free to use and distribute these character sheets all you want, but don’t sell them. If you place them on a website, link back to this page and to the Mad Irishman’s page.

Links

1e is something of a mess. It’s hard to find the rules, and even when you do it’s a toss up as to whether they’ll be consistent or make sense. Here are some links to sites that clear up some of the ambiguities (including my own blog).

Confounded Rules: Some AD&D Rules Examined
The Big Mistake in Weapon vs. Armor Adjustments
Deep Dive — The Mind Flayer

Then there are some good informational links as well.

The Mad Irishman (the gold standard for D&D character sheets)
ADDICT (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Initiative and Combat Table)
AD&D Combat Computer (recently broken link; I’ll give it some time before deleting the link)
Dragonsfoot (probably the best general resource for 1st Edition on the web)
Character Generator
Fantasy Name Generator
The Acaeum (If you don’t want to overpay for 1e materials, check this site first)
Encumbrance In Dungeons and Dragons (from 1e to 5e)
Conversion of B2: The Keep of the Borderlands (from Basic D&D to 1e)
Frylock’s conversion of B2: Keep on the Borderlands (modifies what’s above by giving every non-monstrous character a name, adding a couple of rules from obscure sources, replacing some monsters with those from later sources (beware the needlemen!), and highlighting encounter text I didn’t want to forget)

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc

Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to, nor endorsed, the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

25 thoughts on “1st Edition Dungeon & Dragons Resources (last edited 9/3/2022)

  1. These are so good – thank you. It is really hard for find a form fillable calculating sheet for 1e. What would be awesome is adding named proficiencies and specialisations to present as a total hit and damage in each weapon line – but that is way harder

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    • As I understand the rule, melee weapons are +1 to hit and +2 damage. That’s easy. Bows and crossbows would be really tough to present in a way that isn’t supremely confusing. The bonuses vary depending on range. I don’t think it would be helpful to add even more numbers separated by slashes to represent all those possibilities. Maybe I misunderstand the rule, though. I’m re-learning this game after 40 years. 🙂

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