Musings on Game Design and Revisiting AD&D 1st Edition: My AD&D Playlist #DnD #RPG #ADnD #music

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

Introduction to Each Post in This Series

On Friday (July 23, 2021), I mentioned that I was relearning AD&D 1st Edition (“1e“) with the intention of running it. As I read through the Player’s Handbook (“PHB“), certain mechanics or text will strike me as odd or surprising, but in either case worthy of discussion. In fact, the most surprising thing I’m experiencing is that I’m finding a lot more great ideas in 1e that we’ve since abandoned. I find myself asking, “Why?” As a result, I’ll be writing several posts over the next few weeks. I’m sure everything I’m thinking has been discussed before — sometimes be me — so perhaps my questions have been answered, and my concerns resolved, years ago. My experience with RPGs is relatively limited in scope, having played a small number of games, so I’m sure a lot of what I’m going to say has been incorporated into games I’ve never even heard of. (Some have certainly been addressed by future editions of D&D themselves.) Nevertheless, bringing this directed conversation to the public is new to me, so here it goes.

Posts in this series: | My Playlist | Campaign Settings and Pantheons | Languages | Level | “Dead Levels” | Division of Labor, Distance, and Time | Initiative | Combat Subsystems | Armor Class Ratings | Alignment and Reputation | The Feel of a School of Magic | Boring Magic Items | Ability Score Bonuses and Skill Rolls | The Problem with Democracies | Hitting More Frequently | Encounter Balance and Shooting Yourselves in the Feet |

That was a big build up. I hope this doesn’t disappoint. This post was written today (7/25), which means it’s actually the seventh post I wrote in the series. Why am I front-loading it? Because Sundays are always reserved for posts that celebrate other people’s thoughts, deeds, or work; something silly; some of the above; or all of the above. That, and not game theory, is what this post is about. You should expect the same tomorrow, as Mondays are reserved for mythology. So, consider the next two days sessions 0 and 0.5 if you will.

Like all of you, when I hear a song, it takes me back to the time I first heard it and/or listened to it the most. As a result, there are a lot of songs that bring me back to 1e that wouldn’t necessarily put high fantasy into your brain. Nevertheless, if I’m at the gaming table, I don’t want to hear the 1812 Overture, the Anvil of Crom, or even Sisters of the Moon (a later-discovered song) by one of my two favorite bands, Fleetwood Mac. No, these specific versions of these songs are what I want to hear. While gaming. Seriously.

  1. Limelight, Spirit of the Radio, and Closer to the Heart by Rush;
  2. Sweet Dreams and The One That You Love by Air Supply;
  3. While You See a Chance by Stevie Winwood;
  4. Sara, Monday Morning, and Say You Love Me, Not That Funny, Rhiannon (one of the strongest vocal performances I’ve ever heard), and Landslide by Fleetwood Mac;
  5. Literally anything off of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors album;
  6. Turn Your Love Around and Give Me the Night by George Benson;
  7. Goodbye Stranger, Take the Long Way Home, Fool’s Overture, and Babaji by Supertramp;
  8. Just Between You and Me and Sign of the Gypsy Queen by April Wine;
  9. Almost any song I can name by Triumph, but especially Magic Power and Fight the Good Fight;
  10. The Voice and Gemini Dream by the Moody Blues;
  11. Find Your Way Back and Jane by Jefferson Starship
  12. Ebony Eyes by Bob Welch;
  13. Don’t Fear the Reaper and Burning for You by Blue Oyster Cult;
  14. Babe and Best of Times by Styx;
  15. Lady by the Little River Band;
  16. Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen;
  17. Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 by Pink Floyd;
  18. Games People Play by the Alan Parsons Project;
  19. Refugee by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers;
  20. Almost every song from Foreigner’s album, Four;
  21. Almost every song from the Police’s album, Ghost in the Machine;
  22. Almost every song from Asia’s debut album, Asia;
  23. Point of No Return by Kansas;
  24. Hold on Loosely and Caught up in You by .38 Special;
  25. I’m Winning by Santana;
  26. Don’t Let Him Know by Prism;
  27. Switching to Glide/This Beat Goes On by the Kings;
  28. No Time to Lose by the Tarney/Spencer Band;
  29. On the Loose by SAGA;
  30. A Life of Illusion by Joe Walsh;
  31. My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone) by Chilliwack;
  32. Take It on the Run by REO Speedwagon;
  33. American Pie by Don McLean;
  34. Blinded by the Light and For You by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band; and
  35. Tragedy by the Bee Gees

I’m sure I’m forgetting a few big ones. I’ll add them as I think of them.

There’s a surprising number of songs on this list released in 1981/1982, which is the last year I played until 2005. I wonder what it says about me that I have the strongest association with songs that were there at the very end before the Satanic Panic kicked my ass. Probably that I’m a sociopath. That would check out.

Just order some pizza and put that shit on continuous loop, and I’ll keep playing the entire weekend nonstop.

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?)