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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Donjon news  (Read 3295 times)
Anonymous
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2002, 10:46:55 AM »

Quote from: Valamir

(I'm a HUGE fan of Donjon...NOT a huge fan of Donjon as parody, hense my continued discomfort with "Save vs Transmogrify" and "Wherewithal" and my suggestions that those be used for the spoofier play modes and replaced with something more mundane for the less spoofier ones.  The obvious D&Doriginal tie in to the race vs class issue just rubs me wrong.)


<PEDANT MODE ON>
Actually, Original D&D didn't have the "races are classes" thing -- that was "added" to the 1980 Basic/Expert D&D to make it more distinct from AD&D,  which TSR wanted to do because of Dave Arneson's lawsuit over them not paying him royalties on AD&D.

In the original 1974 version, races were treated pretty much as they were in AD&D -- you're X race, you can choose from Y classes.  (Granted, for most of the races, "Fighter" was the only class choice in the original set, but the expansions soon took care of that, and there was no "dwarf class", "elf class", etc.)  The same was true in the 1977 "Blue Book" version.
<PEDANT MODE OFF>

--Travis
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Le Joueur
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Posts: 1367


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« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2002, 12:50:43 PM »

Quote from: Travis
<PEDANT>
Actually, Original D&D didn't have the "races are classes" thing -- that was "added" to the 1980 Basic/Expert D&D to make it more distinct from AD&D,  which TSR wanted to do because of Dave Arneson's lawsuit over them not paying him royalties on AD&D.

In the original 1974 version, races were treated pretty much as they were in AD&D -- you're X race, you can choose from Y classes.  (Granted, for most of the races, "Fighter" was the only class choice in the original set, but the expansions soon took care of that, and there was no "dwarf class", "elf class", etc.)  The same was true in the 1977 "Blue Book" version.
</PEDANT>

Okay, let's be a little careful what we call "Original" Dungeons & Dragons.  I'm pretty sure that prize goes to the boxes set of three small, white-covered books (probably 5 x 8, but I've only seen them once).  Next came the one I 'grew up with,' the 'blue' boxed edition (so-called because the single book's cover was a monochromatic blue version of the box's artwork).  I never purchased a copy of Orange Dungeons & Dragons books (those featured in E. T. the Extraterrestrial), so I cannot speak for them.

I am certain (short of recovering the original 'blue book' edition I had) that elf was an alternative to fighter, cleric, thief, or magic-user.  You could not play an elf and a fighter, they were separate.  Not called a class per se, but none the less conferred with all the segregated benefits of being a class (including their own 'to hit' chart).  As a matter of fact, the thing that confused us most was that the 'blue book' edition we had was it made constant references to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and when that first became available it let you choose races and classes independant of each other.

But then I never purchased any Dungeons & Dragons books (except the Fiend Folio and Monster Manual II) after the first printings of the first three hardbound editions (which are almost totally destroyed, so don't even think of 'collectors value').

Fang Langford

p. s. We always thought that 'ranger' was added to cover all the benefits and abilities that being an 'elf' did originally.
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Zak Arntson
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Posts: 839


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« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2002, 12:59:48 PM »

Awesome trivia, Travis. I'm a sucker for that kind of info. Truth be told we were playing the old red-box D&D game when Donjon fell in our mental laps. Here's the actual play account (man, I remember playing the hell out of D&D as a kid, rereading this old thread brought back memories):

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=690
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efindel
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Posts: 145


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« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2002, 08:08:34 PM »

Quote from: Le Joueur
Quote from: Travis
<PEDANT>
Actually, Original D&D didn't have the "races are classes" thing -- that was "added" to the 1980 Basic/Expert D&D to make it more distinct from AD&D,  which TSR wanted to do because of Dave Arneson's lawsuit over them not paying him royalties on AD&D.

In the original 1974 version, races were treated pretty much as they were in AD&D -- you're X race, you can choose from Y classes.  (Granted, for most of the races, "Fighter" was the only class choice in the original set, but the expansions soon took care of that, and there was no "dwarf class", "elf class", etc.)  The same was true in the 1977 "Blue Book" version.
</PEDANT>

Okay, let's be a little careful what we call "Original" Dungeons & Dragons.  I'm pretty sure that prize goes to the boxes set of three small, white-covered books (probably 5 x 8, but I've only seen them once).


Sigh... I probably shouldn't have even bothered raising it... should have realized an argument was inevitable.  But since I've done it, I guess I'll carry through...

Yep, those are the original D&D, and they're what I'm calling original D&D.  To quote from Men & Magic, the first of the three books:

Quote from: Men & Magic

page 6: Dwarves:  Dwarves may opt only for the fighting class...

page 7: Elves:  Elves can begin as either Fighting-Men or Magic-Users and freely switch class whenever they choose...

page 7: Hobbits:  Should any player wish to be one, he will be limited to the Fighting-Men class...


The supplements Greyhawk, Blackmoor, and Eldritch Wizardry added extra classes.  (Men & Magic only had Fighting Man, Magic-User, and Cleric.)  Greyhawk added the thief, and allowed elves to be either straight thieves or fighter/m-u/thieves, dwarves to be fighter/thieves, and hobbits to be straight thieves.  It also added half-elves, but, in typical D&D logic, didn't allow them to be thieves.  It also added paladins, allowing any fighter of 17 charisma and lawful alignment to be a paladin -- with no race restrictions.  

Blackmoor added monks and assassins, and specified that only humans could be either.  Eldritch Wizardry added druids, and again, only humans could be of that subclass.

So... in the core books of original D&D, races weren't specifically "classes", but humans and elves were the only races with any choice of what class to be.  Greyhawk, however, gave some choice to dwarves and halflings.

Quote from: Le Joueur

  Next came the one I 'grew up with,' the 'blue' boxed edition (so-called because the single book's cover was a monochromatic blue version of the box's artwork).  I never purchased a copy of Orange Dungeons & Dragons books (those featured in E. T. the Extraterrestrial), so I cannot speak for them.

I am certain (short of recovering the original 'blue book' edition I had) that elf was an alternative to fighter, cleric, thief, or magic-user.  You could not play an elf and a fighter, they were separate.  Not called a class per se, but none the less conferred with all the segregated benefits of being a class (including their own 'to hit' chart).  As a matter of fact, the thing that confused us most was that the 'blue book' edition we had was it made constant references to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and when that first became available it let you choose races and classes independant of each other.


Checking back with the copy on my shelf, the blue book is somewhat schizophrenic.  In one place, it mentions that "all halflings and dwarves are members of the fighter class, unless they choose to be thieves" -- but later, it says that rules for halfling and dwarf thieves will be in AD&D.  At one point, it says that "elves progress in levels as both fighting men and magic-users, but since each game nets them experience in both categories equally, they progress more slowly than other characters" -- but later on, it says that elves get 1d6 hit points per level (level of which class?), and still later, it gives an experience table for "fighting men, elves, dwarves, and halflings".

For someone coming from Original D&D with the supplements, then, it would likely be "clear" (as it was to me) that races weren't classes.  To someone starting with that set, though, it probably wasn't clear at all.  So it looks like we can both claim to be right there.  :-)

The "red book" version (what Fang's calling "orange book", and some people call "pink book" -- different printings seem to have come out a bit different in color) is the first version that gives separate experience tables for Halflings, Dwarves, and Elves, and removes any mention of other options than following the pre-set paths given for those races.

Quote from: Le Joueur

But then I never purchased any Dungeons & Dragons books (except the Fiend Folio and Monster Manual II) after the first printings of the first three hardbound editions (which are almost totally destroyed, so don't even think of 'collectors value').


I'm a "system collector" -- I don't care about condition of the gaming stuff I collect as long as I can read it, and don't care about printing or any of that sort of stuff.  I've got almost every edition of D&D that was ever published (leaving out differences in different printings of the same edition).  Only one I'm lacking at this point is The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game.

What can I say?  I'm just a nut...  :-)

--Travis
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