The AD&D Experience

B1_In_Search_of_the_UnknownOur normal Journeyman game has been delayed until next month, so to satisfy my gaming urge, and to educate the family on what AD&D was about (none of them have played, except for the Baldur’s Gate computer game years ago), we’re going old school. My daughter is in the D&D Club at school, so she’s played 3.5. We dug out the old rules, which I explained were “First Edition” even though they said “4th edition, 1979.” We’ll start with B1, “In Search of the Unknown” and work our way up to the “Tomb of Horrors,” at which point I figure they’ll kill me in my sleep as revenge. Searching for player sheets on the web, I found The Character Sheet Archive. Then came an explanation of what “Iron rations” were, which I really didn’t know either. Turns out it is a reference to U.S. military rations introduced in 1907 (a precursor of the MREs). Here’s what Wikipedia (knows all, tells all) says about these: “The first attempt to make an individual ration for issue to soldiers in the field was the ‘iron ration’, first introduced in 1907. It consisted of three 3-ounce cakes (made from a concoction of beef bouillon powder and parched and cooked wheat), three 1-ounce bars of sweetened chocolate, and packets of salt and pepper that was issued in a sealed tin packet that weighed one pound. It was designed for emergency use when the troops were unable to be supplied with food. It was later discontinued by the adoption of the ‘Reserve Ration’ but its findings went into the development of the emergency D-ration.” Starting at first level, they have decided to buy 20 chickens and hang them by their feet from their mule — it costs less than standard rations! Truly, this is the AD&D I remember! I only found one of my old Player Manuals (but three DM Guides? Why?), so I went online again and found OSRIC, which is essentially the Player’s Guide and DM’s Guide put together. Feels like 1st edition, but I really haven’t checked yet. Oh, and also a list of Available 1st edition modules in Google Docs. After watching the Dr. Who Christmas Special, we’ll give it a go. Fayanya Goldfeather (hobbit fighter/thief), Taryn (cleric), and Kalnarr (magic-user). Game on!

Postscript: 23 days later, the party returns to Ft. Peimar with much coinage, a crystal goblet, 5 short swords, 8 agates, and 2 large tapestries. Memorable moments include the party’s capture by kobolds. Fayanya actually managed to break her bonds and free the others, whereupon Taryn (stripped naked for the spit) knocked the remaining kobolds unconscious with a pot. Also amusing, the crab spider that defeated both Taryn and Fayanya, but was finally thrashed by Kalnarr.

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About lostdelights

An old gamer flying his freak flag, I've been playing table-top role-playing games since 1978. I've been building my own system (Journeyman) since 1981.
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