AD&D 1 Eeeeeee

Portion of the AD&D 1e DMG as illustrated by David Sutherland,
filtered via Prisma, Gothic

I am an unabashed AD&D 1e enthusiast, but I certainly appreciate this game isn’t for everyone. For me 1e is as beautifuly complex and powerful as a formula 1 race car. Like a like a race car it needs a number of specialized tools and training to operate.

As a player one of the key tools is the classic character sheet, which was originally designed to capture as much detail any player could need for play without referring to the core books. In all my plays over these past few years I immediately returned to this familiar tool. However, this sheet requires a sharp pencil, a good eraser, and keen eyesight; all of which fail me in one way or another from time to time.

Get pdf versions of these MadIrishMan classics here

I have been playing in a regular bi-weekly game, but with our astral plane adventures I realized that my careful scribblings were an inefficient nod to the past. Casting around online for a cloud based AD&D 1e character sheet I found a number of Google Sheets that approached what I was looking for, and using one of these as a baseline I tweaked it for my own needs.

Find an example of this next gen 1e character sheet here, make a copy for yourself and refine for your own purposes if helpful.

If you have an interest in playing AD&D 1e I can suggest two additional resources.

1. Anthony Huso has written extensively on playing 1e RAW on his blog: The Blue Bard

2. Allan Grohe my 1e DM also keeps a blog with plenty of interesting content on this topic: From Kuroth’s Quill

September 18 Update – Spell Cards

Print & Play spell cards, should be just shy of 2.5” x 3.5” that is the standard for CCGs. Get them here.

30 Minute Paints

2022 and I am still living in strange times. While I continue to work remotely and mask when out in public, I am starting to return to the physical table top. DunDraCon 2022 provided a great opportunity for that.

Really more a smash and grab to pick up some miniatures and cram in a couple of games from 8a to 2p, until I hurried home to my computer to play D&D online. The heart wants what the heart wants I suppose.

My early arrival at the con left me with a bit of time to kill, grabbing a cup of coffee I set down to paint for 30 minutes. DunDraCon hosts a fantastic weekend long paint & take event where all supplies and miniatures are provided by the hosts – a young married couple who are absoluetly enthusiastic about miniature painting .

The troll matron shown above was my 30 minute effort at the con, a result that I was very pleased with. It was an effortless piece that I thought I could replicate and share. Here’s my 2nd try at a video demo of this method which new painters might find interesting, or perhaps provide a challenge for seasoned vets.

If you take up this 30 minute challenge I would love see you efforts! I’ll set-up a gallery on this page highlighting everyone else’s work.

March 4 Update

Another video demo to share. Still learning about my camera stuff. This one shot in a single take, but didn’t start with correct landscape rotation. – Fixed that in post! Next up frame management & lighting.

A Sword By Any Other Name

The Sword of Ash, by ashpwright

While crawling the web for an old school D&D mystery I stumbled on a pdf of Different Worlds No. 4 from 1978. In those pages are plenty of insights of the early days of the hobby. Most exciting to me was an article by J. Sapienza with many d1000 tables to “produce interesting and unique magical weapons”

To the Google Sheets! We now have a tool to quickly produce magic weapons in-line with Sapienza’s original ideas. Find that tool here.

Some examples of the tools output follow and while the formatting is a bit rough the text can be easily captured and modified to suit any need.

Finally, Sapienza mentions that his article was originally published in issue 32 of “The Wild Hunt”. Another old school D&D mystery that requires investigation – RPG Geek gives a clue here, but I’m no closer to reading those ancient pages.

If you can help with digital scans of The Wild Hunt I would be most interested.

What’s in Your Spellbook

Illustration by Gary Chalk

Wizards, Magic-Users, Sorcerers, and Spell Casters – what clearly makes them unique are the spells cast, enchantments woven, sorceries worked, and mysteries unlocked. Though many magic-users are painfully similar to any other when it comes to the spell book itself. Level 1 is more than likely to contain tried and true favorites: sleep, detect magic, protection from evil perhaps.

Campbell has already written eloquently on the subject and there is perhaps little I can offer when compared to this opus.

No Wizard is happy.

Imagine a doctor, years of study. Chooses to become a proctologist. There’s a reason. Yes: money, job security, comfort. Still, to devote so much time to assholes, looking at asses of mostly older men and women, thinking about what the health of a colon really means, nobody that has the opportunity to become a doctor would choose something like that if it didn’t resonate with them at least a little.

So it is with wizards.

https://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2018/02/on-wizard.html

What I can offer is a tool that will provide access to over 2000 magic-user spells compiled over a 20 year period from a variety of AD&D resources. 254 level 1 spells alone, astonishing. Certain to bring some variation to any spell book.

Find it here, the Wizard Spell Compendium

The story is this…

  • In 1996 TSR produced the AD&D Wizard Spell Compendium, a remarkable summary of AD&D spells published during the period of 1975-1995 and now available digitally on DriveThruRPG.
  • In 2017 the blogger “Delta” published a .csv of key of the entire compendium, providing spell details along with some data analysis. Their work here.
  • My effort was to consolidate “Delta”‘s .csv & convert to a traditional “workbook”, while also adding some lookup funcitons for random spell selection by level.

With this tool magic now appears weird, unexpected, and new. I hope you too will find it so.

Adventure!

Unknown landscape & forgotten Prisma filter

Last year I was inspired by some one page adventure work going on in one of the OSR fragments. There was much talk about ‘zines, booklets, and pamphlets. One of the best ideas from Cody M. was a single sheet pamphlet folded into thirds, that kind of thing you might find at a county park.

I had been pondering a ‘zine and settled on this 1 page pamphlet format as a focused delivery. My friends Peter & Nils coined this pamphlet an “adventure trail-head”. Perfect! Gather you paper, pencils, and dice – set a course for adventure.

Print run for DunDraCon 2019 – end of an era…

The concept here is to provide a jumping off point for the GM of any table top role-playing game. The setting itself is cribbed from some AD&D 1e adventures notes I compiled in the early 90s – distilled down to a few key ideas, with some loaded questions for the GM or PCs to drive the fiction forward.

One final bit of graphic design shenanigans is a game board for some tavern gambling. A game within a game!

You can download a copy of this pamphlet here.