Monday, May 07, 2007

AD&D 1st Ed. Real Actual True Play Report Summary

NOTE: Me no talk good English today. Also, cross-posted to The RPG Site.

Indeed, me hearties, I ran a bit of AD&D 1st Edition last night.

My wife brought some baggage into it, having had a bummer game in her past, but I like to think she had fun anyway; Kyle, however, just plays what's on the table. He rolled up a thief, she rolled up a fighter; they used the "roll lots of dice and keep the best three" rule from Unearthed Arcana, gave 'em 4 levels, rolled some magic items for 'em and off we went.

The scenario was a simple one. "Bonny" Stefan and Maava of the High Hill had just escorted a merchant named Twitshell (pronounced TWIGHT-shel) to Bloomingvale, a town known for its beauty and gardens, on the occasion of its annual Honeysuckle Festival. This year's fest was to be a special one, because the local Lady's daughter had just come of marrying age and was going to be "presented" during the festival.

The PCs acquired legs of mutton and fresh honeyed bread, and settled in to watch the young girls dance, and the young noblemen coming to pitch their woo. With her Comliness of 19 (yes, I was using it.), Maava turned many a head, but the young nobles did their best not to let their minds wander from the lady's daughter.

Along the way, Kyle made some funny remark which won him a treat: a so-called "Automatic 20". At some point, he would be allowed to cash it in and get, well, an automatic result of '20' on 1 roll. (His brother, Erik, used to do this in his game. Steal from the best!)

Maava noticed among these young bravos an unusual suitor: he came with no tent and no squire, naught but a night-black mare. He wore grey-green leather armor and his hair seemed...damp, like he'd just come out of the water. She tried her best to keep an eye on him, but he eluded her gaze and lost himself in the crowd.

Soon enough, Lucinda (the sexy young daughter) came down from the castle, and the boys were all over her. She, naturally, was all over Bonny Stefan, because he was a PC and the other dudes weren't. Stick it, NPCs! She coquettishly revealed she was more interested in an adventurer's life than a noble's life - or, at least, she'd rather earn a title than just have one handed to her. (Her mother, Linnea, was a former adventuress herself - an 11th level illusionist, actually.)

After a while, she was called away to watch the jousting matches, where the noble guys were hoping to impress her with their manliness or whatever crap. Naturally, that's when the army of toad-men attacked.

The PCs quickly went to work hacking up toad-men. Maava got much use out of that swell 1st ed. rule which allows a fighter in combat with creatures having less than 1 Hit Die to attack as many times as his level, while taking no damage herself on account of her AC being a 0; meanwhile, Bonny Stefan took a few spear-and-trident jazz whilst beating the crap out of monsters.

About 6 or 7 rounds in, they heard a wet, splatty noise -- giant lilypads appeared in midair, and began to fall on the soldiers and populace! Maava blew a saving throw vs. paralyzation and got pinned under a lily pad, and from beneath its slimy embrace she watched as the mysterious, green-clad knight escaped on horseback, with Lucinda his prisoner! The frogs began setting things on fire to cover his escape. Bonny Stefan whipped out his crossbow of speed and fired at the escaping knight; I wrote up some quick, cockamamie stats for the toad lord and let Kyle roll. His first shot missed, but the second one hit square - he used his Auto 20.

Then he rolled a '1' for damage, so Kyle sucks.

In the aftermath, Linnea approached Bonny Stefan and tasked him with rescuing her hot daughter, promising a reward for certain. Then it was midnight and time to go to bed.

I found AD&D 1st remarkably easy to deal with. For skills, I simply let the players have a broad proficiency ("Entertainer" for Stefan, "Hunter" for Maava) and allowed that having said proficiency meant they could do that stuff when they needed to. Skill rolls were fudged expertly using Animalball's free Stories System, and it worked fine bolted on as it was.

My wife still thinks the AD&D 1st. rules are clunky, but I think that if she plays more, she'll see how freewheeling it really can be. Then again, I really have dug down to the simplest features of the system, and everything else be damned.

I'll totally run it again.