Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Schrodinger’s Game

D&D didn’t really exist in the seventies.

Or rather, a lot of people were playing it– a close approximation at any rate. Or maybe a Frankenstein’s monster pieced together from a nearly random assortment of supplements and bootlegs.

If only someone could have stepped into this swirl of confusion and chaos, this period in which everyone would simply do what was right in their own eyes– someone with authority, an apostle that could settle once and for all what D&D truly was.

Was Dr. John Eric Holmes that man…? Or did the world need to wait for the arrival of the true prophet of D&D…?

Let’s see….

-No STR bonuses. Yes, that’s right, OD&D and Holmes did not have Strength bonuses. STR was purely a “roll under” stat.

-Magic Users will have their spellbooks with all 1st level spells, some of which they’ll know, others they will not.

-Dex-based paired initiatives.

-No Variable Weapon Damage

-Variable Weapon Speed

Well… how weird can it be, really…?!

The MU character class chapter blatantly contradicts the chapter on magic and how spell learning works.

Magic Missile requires a To Hit roll.

There’s no explanation for how Elves level up other than that the XP is divided between both classes.

It’s not called that, but Monster XP is supposed to calculated according to Challenge Rating.

Number of Monsters Appearing should be based on/adjusted for the number and level of PCs.

The mysterious +3 Magic War Hammer that only Dwarves can use.

On second thought, you know what…? D&D did not exist until 1981. It was invented out of whole cloth by a guy named Tom Moldvay. That’s the only conceivable takeaway here!

Guys…? GUYS!!!!

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3 responses to “Schrodinger’s Game

  1. Robert Eaglestone July 19, 2018 at 8:57 am

    We were using the 3 hardback books by around 1981; slightly before that, I had the Red and Blue boxes.

    • jeffro July 19, 2018 at 10:27 am

      You might have been “using” the AD&D core books… but you were not playing AD&D, that much is sure!

      • simontmn August 2, 2018 at 6:25 am

        We played 1e AD&D in the mid ’80s (ca 1984 on) without exposure to Moldvay or Mentzer…. but in hindsight my understanding of D&D was really down to “What is Dungeons & Dragons?” a paperback book which used Moldvay as the basis. So I think you’re right in my case.

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