A Return to AD&D? #DnD #RPG #ADnD

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I’ve recently made a decision that may seem confusing if you’ve read this earlier post. I’m spending this weekend, and however much more time is necessary, reacquainting myself with 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. My intention is to run the game again for the first time in a long while. I have a load of material, so why not make use of it?

There’s a lot of it I’ve never played or run, so I’m hoping that I can find some players that haven’t played whatever mod (aka, adventure) I’m running at the moment. The idea would be to run the mods in isolation just like I did as a kid. If a player wanted to keep a character from one mod to the next, I wouldn’t object to that as long as that character was the appropriate level for the next mod in line. Otherwise, they’d have to hold back on that character for a while. I’m also more than open to allowing one of the players to run one of the mods with which I’m unfamiliar.

In addition to the core books, Deities and Demigods, and the Fiend Folio, here are the mods I have:

  1. The introductory adventure from the Blue Box, level 1.
  2. Against the Slave Lords, which is a compilation of adventures A0, A1, A2, A3, and A4. A0 is for characters of levels 1-3 (no pregens), and the others are tournament adventures for characters of levels 4-7 (pregens available). I know very little about this adventure.
  3. B1: In Search of the Unknown, levels 1-3, pregens available.
  4. B2: The Keep on the Borderlands, levels 1-3 (I’ve played only a small portion of this adventure and don’t know much about it).
  5. B4: The Lost City, levels 1-3, pregens available (I know nothing about this adventure).
  6. C1: The Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan, three characters of level 6 (human fighter), 7 (human cleric), and 6/7 (half-elf magic user/thief).
  7. C2: The Ghost Tower of Inverness, levels 5-7, pregens available (my favorite mod, I’ve run this more times than I can count, having converted it to 3.5e, 4e, and 5e).
  8. D1-D2: Descent into the Depths of the Earth & Shrine of the Kuo-Toa, levels 9-14, pregens available.
  9. D3: Vault of the Drow, levels 10-14.
  10. G1-2-3: Against the Giants, levels 8-12.
  11. I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City, levels 4-7, pregens available (I know nothing about this adventure).
  12. I2: Tomb of the Lizard King, levels 5-7, pregens available (I know nothing about this adventure).
  13. I6: Ravenloft, levels 5-7 (I’ve played the 5e conversion of this adventure).
  14. L1: The Secret of Bone Hill, levels 2-4, pregens available.
  15. L2: The Assassin’s Knot, levels 2-5, pregens available (I know nothing about this adventure).
  16. L3: Deep Dwarven Delve, levels 3-6 (I know nothing about this adventure).
  17. Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits, levels 10-14.
  18. S1: Tomb of Horrors, levels 10-14, pregens available.
  19. S2: White Plume Mountain, levels 5-10.
  20. S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, levels 8-12, pregens available.
  21. S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, levels 6-10, pregens available (I know nothing about this adventure).
  22. The Temple of Elemental Evil, which is a compilation of adventures T1 and T2 for characters of levels 1-2 (I know nothing about this adventure).
  23. U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, levels 1-3, pregens available (I know nothing about this adventure. Seriously, I’ve never read or played it or the recent D&D Adventurer’s League “sequel.”).
  24. U2: Danger at Dunwater, levels 1-4 (I know nothing about this adventure).
  25. U3: The Final Enemy, levels 3-5, pregens available (I know nothing about this adventure).
  26. WG4: The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, levels 5-10 (I know nothing about this adventure other than that it may be connected to T1: The Village of Hommlet, about which I also know nothing. Seriously, I’ve never read or played any of the T-series.).

As most of you know, G1-2-3, D1-2-3, and Q1 are a complete series that would convenient to run, but I don’t think there’d be any surprises in them for anyone. The same probably holds true for S3, which is a shame. It’s one of my favorites. If I deem it necessary, I’ll use the Monster Manual II and Field Folio to spice up some of the encounters, but relearning the game will be most of the work I’m willing to do.

It may prove impossible to find players ignorant to these adventures, but as you can see from my notes above, there are plenty of adventures that would be a complete surprise to me. In fact, I’ve also never played the A-series (slavers). Go figure.

How many would I run? Who knows? There’s a lot of material there, so it’s a question of how long it would take before I grew tired of the mechanics. As for the players, the number of characters varies from mod to mod, as does the players interested in playing them, so I’m not looking for anyone to commit to anything regular. If you wanted to be one and done, that’s fine; after all, I may be one and done. I just want to get at least one table going and see where it goes. With all these restrictions and inconveniences in mind, I’ll add that I’d prefer to play in person (Northern Virginia), but if Zoom is my only option, then so be it.

So, if you’re interested, please let me know which of those mods you’d be eager to play and (be honest) whether you’re already familiar with them.

Note: Starting this Tuesday, July 27, my posts will be on my observations of 1e as I relearn the rules. Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays are reserved for other things, so the posts will always skip those days. My reading may go slow at times, so they may skip other days, but I suspect this series of posts will span weeks.

If anyone has any suggestions for useful online resources (e.g., character generators, fillable PDFs, “quick rules”), please let me know. I found Dragonsfoot, which is where I’ll start.

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?)

40 thoughts on “A Return to AD&D? #DnD #RPG #ADnD

  1. Very cool! I’ve also made a return to ad&d 1e after working with wizards to create their conversions for 5e with their classic modules today project.

    Whether your running online or close enough for face to face (I and the old school club I run, am based out of sugar land), I’m always down for a game.

    I’ve run the full A series a few times, S2 too many times to count and T1, B1, B2, B4 as well.

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  2. Welcome back to the One True Path! I’m joking, all ways are good. For the last couple of years I have been publishing my own material that has been developed over the last 40 years. It’s based on 1st ed AD&D but the licensing is onerous so I remodelled it (hardly anything required) for OSRIC. There’s a whole Gameworld plus some modules, mainly on Pay What You Want, here: http://www.dunrominuniversitypress.co.uk It’s all good stuff, although I do say so myself. A serious and playable gameworld but I play it a little tongue in cheek (I am a big fan of Pratchett). I hope you find it useful!

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    • I’ll check then out when I reach a good stopping point in my reading. Part of the fun of this process is specifically rereading those sources, so I definitely want to do that. Do the videos target specific aspects of the game? That is, is there a video entitled, for example, “Initiative in 1st Edition”?

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  3. Where in NoVA are you located? I am old enough to have played AD&D in the early 80s (not the 70s!) and my buddy and I are currently reliving the glory in 5e in Loudoun Co. Your idea of going back to 1e is intriguing.

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