So yesterday afternoon I ran AD&D again for the first time in sixteen years. It was kind of a pick-up thing, just me and my son, and I have to say that it felt really strange to break out the old DM Screen and set it up.
It was even stranger to do combat and have it be the sort of hit, miss, hit, miss, miss, miss, hit, etc that AD&D combat is.
But is was fun, I adapted the “Forgotten Forge” adventure from the back of the Ebberon book, after a short little altercation with a saucy pickpocket and some thives at a bar in the bad part of town after my son’s character found himself lost and drunk after his “send-off party” by the NCO’s and the officers of his parent’s mercenary company, the Burning Blade. We managed to get to the end of the fight with the Warforged that occurs after they discover the body for those who you who know the adventure.
But I got to see how some of my creations from the Home-Brew work in a AD&D game (like Darters – think hypersonic dart guns) and they may need to be tweaked just a bit, but also showed that my two-weapon combat and initiative rules still worked like I remember they did. I do need to uncover my old fumble tables – I think they were from Runequest or something, but they seem to have gone missing in the intervening years. I winged it yesterday, and my son didn’t mind at all.
But it was great fun to be able to describe combat vividly and not be constrained by the rules system. A critial hit that ended up only doing two points of damage, followed by a regular hit that did eight points became “So you piecered his ear with that critical, and then tell yourself not to get fancy, ‘Center of Mass’ you say, and then blow a hole in his chest.”
No fiddly critical charts, no major wounds, just lots of fun describing what happens based on the rolls – not constrained by “the rules” and instead just deciding things on the fly.
We’ll see about playing some more on Father’s Day, he’s visting his mother for the rest of the weekend – but my spouse has her characters rolled up, I can get another friend to roll something up real qucik tomorrow if I want, and we have a friend visiting this weekend who gave up AD&D at roughly the same time I did to use Harn as his engine – I can probably convince him to pick up some dice and have a fun time on Sunday playing a somewhat less realistic game. That could give enough characters to handle the rest of the “Forgotten Forge” adventure…