Day 17 has bloomed and the word prompt for the day is ONE.
Thinking on “one” led me to first, which led me to my first foray into D&D via the Blue Book found in the Basic Boxset. It was, as they say, portable magic. Thin, complete, it was a terrific introduction into roleplaying.
It sowed the seeds that a few short years later, another handbook would ensure took root.
While I purchased the Dungeon Masters Guide first, the magic of that 1st Edition AD&D Players Handbook was all-consuming. Where the Basic Blue sparked my imagination, it was Gary Gygax’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons that became a conflagration that consumed me.
From that evocative cover art of David Trampier to the innovative mechanics Gygax introduced, I have been waxing nostalgic for 1st Edition of late. While 5th Edition D&D is a finely oiled machine (for the most part), it is, to be frank, nerfed.
There was a danger inherent in every adventure in the 1st Edition. Death was always a possibility. Hell, a TPK was lurking around every dungeon corridor, behind every door.
5th Edition, for all its polish, is simple. Whatever complexities exist do so from the Dungeon Master’s imagination. The mechanics allow the freedom of immersive roleplaying which is brilliant, but… there’s no danger. No lingering wounds. No hunger or thirst. Yes, there are variant rules to address all this, but it’s presented as an afterthought.
1st Edition AD&D was a tough row to hoe, as my grandpa used to say. The stakes were always high and so was the excitement and thrills.