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.

Streamlined To The Strongest +Battlefield Generator

Information spread across multiple sources, locations, or systems is difficult to access. This is a maximum of my professional world and applies equally to my hobby world, especially with complex or evolving rulesets.

To the Strongest is one such use case where periodic updates via the Even Stronger compilation add or clarify rules from the core book. I have taken on a small project to summarize the core rules, simplifying where I can, and adding the ES amendments.

That streamlined TTS effort is now available here.

I’ve posted previously on the topic of To the Strongest here, which includes:

  • A reformatted quick reference sheet,
  • Video tutorial on playing the game with Table Top Simulator, AND
  • A video of a demonstration game

April 18 Update

Have just finished another random generator tool, this time for TTS battlefields. That tool available here, sample output follows:

July 13 Update

Here’s my first attempt with the random battlefield generator, working as designed.

I’ve had a thought about roads, which should always be an easy activation if following the track.

This house rule provides a further improvement to the use of a road even while in open ground.

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.

Frosty Star Graves

Filtered work by Jordan Penalva, cover for Gordon Dickson’s “Dorsai” when published by Ace.

I’ve been interested in Stargrave and while I have plenty of painted miniatures I have zero inspiration to create a crew, even less desire to puzzle over 52 powers, stat mods and what not. I want my friends to be empowered to start playing whenever we gather, not be blocked by record keeping before we even start.

Inspired by online RPG character generators (e.g. save vs total party kill) I’ve built a Google Sheet that randomly generates a Stargrave Captain & First Officer quickly. It produces things like…

There is a good deal of error checking here, but there could be a few bugs lurking especially on the 4th & 3rd powers for the Captain & First Officers respectively. I’ll continue to fine tune that section, but the tool works well enough for the stated objective.

Thank you to the Reddit user u/5eret who compiled the power list, that was my data set for this project. Without your work my task would have been much more difficult.

You can find the Stargrave generator here.

I have also done a 1st edition Frostgrave grimoire generator, which you can find here. It is an Excel document but you should be able to use it with Google Sheets or Open Office.

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.