Posts Tagged 1e

A Matter of Scale

30 April 2011 by

We just wrapped up the “dungeon” layer of the moat house. In going through the dungeon I had felt that the combat was cramped, and just too “close quarters”. It wasn’t until after the last fight, and reading the last room description that I figured out why.

The last room they searched was an offshoot of a larger room, which was used to store supplies. The room was 2 x 4 squares on the map. Coming from a 2e AD&D background (and subsequently 3e and 4e), I mapped this room out with 5′ squares as 10′ x 20′. Much to my surprise the room description listed it as a 20′ x 40′ room. I reviewed the map again, and skimmed through the entire description in the module. At no place did it ever give a scale.

The overland maps each have a scale. The map of Hommlet is 30′ squares, and the map of Nulb is 20′ squares, and the map of the Temple exterior goes back to 30′ squares. I found a scale note in the page corner of the map that detailed the Church of St. Cuthbert in Hommlet, and it says “Scale: 1 square equals 10 feet”.

I never would have guessed that the scale note on the one map would apply to all interior maps. And maybe the 1e AD&D standard is 10′ squares, and I just didn’t realize. At least I’ve gotten this figured out for the rest of the grand trek, and combat will be all the better since everyone will have more room to maneuver and plan tactics. I know the thief and ranged fighters will certainly appreciate it…

There And Back Again

3 February 2011 by

So our group has started a new campaign and gone back to playing AD&D; somewhere about 1.75e (as Richard calls it).  We’re using the 2e rules, but allow for character classes from the 1e Player’s Handbook, Unearthed Arcana and Dragon Magazines.  So, why go back to AD&D?

Last summer we started playing a 4e campaign, beginning with H1: Keep on the Shadowfell.  Having a pre-made module is essential to our campaign, as I don’t have the time to create my own adventures.  We made our way through the module, and it was rather enjoyable.  However, by the time we were finishing, we were by and large disillusioned with 4th Edition:

  • Combat seems to be the sole focus of 4e. Game mechanics such as non-weapon proficiencies (2e) or crafting skills (3e) are basically non-existent in 4e Core Rules.  These aspects of D&D have always been a large part of my games.  Additionally, the module had very little in the way of traps, puzzles or uses for the party’s skills.
  • Combat was extremely slow. This has been a major point of discussion in the #dnd Twitter world, and is a generally accepted fact.  A single encounter would take an hour or two, with much of the time spent picking which power to use (for both players and DM).
  • Combat is an exercise in micro-management. There are simply too many conditions to keep track of – Marked, Bloodied, Eye-bitten, etc. (more…)