Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top Ten Things That Suck About AD&D

Stirges: They really suck.
Since many of the things in Rients's poll last week didn't really irritate me too much--they were mostly things that were either inconsistent or overly cumbersome but easily ignored, or else inoffensive to me--famously, demi-human level limits--I wanted to get in a few jabs at my personal AD&D bugbears.  So here's the Caveman's Top 10 things that suck about AD&D:

10.  Grand Master of Flowers--Reason enough to retire your monk before he gets to 17th level.
9.  Pole arms--I took 3 years of high school French in a futile effort to figure out why someone would ever bother to use a  guisarme-voulge, bec de corbin, fauchard, or ranseur. Also, how long did it take everyone to realize that it wasn't kosher for your cleric to use a Lucerne Hammer?
8.  Ring Mail--Five pounds heavier and twice the price of studded leather yet you got the same protection.  At least padded armor and splint mail were slightly cheaper than their significantly less-cumbersome AC-mates.
7.  Wisdom--"A composite term for the character's enlightenment, judgement, wile, willpower, and intuitiveness." Which is a very long winded way of saying "Dump stat."
6.  Chance to Know each listed Spell--"I rolled an 87, crap! My 18 Int MU just isn't smart enough to figure out how to cast Mending."
5.  One minute melee round--Player: I swing at the orc... got a 7.  DM: You miss.  He swings back and hits for...  2 points of damage.  Well, we've still got 51 seconds to kill; wanna' order a pizza?
4.  Illusionists can't cast evocations--No, I don't really care about this one.  Curiously, it is true.
3.  Ten coins to the pound--Are they made of unrefined ore?
2.  The Character with Two Classes--Human's with ambitions to branch out beyond a single class were denied the normal multi-classing option.  Rather, they had dual classing--multi-classing's scoliosis-riddled, imbecilic step-sibling.  If your 9th level thief cum 1st level MU finds any traps in this dungeon he can forget collecting any experience.
1.  Alignment Languages--Several people in the comments section of Rients's column mentioned this one as the pinnacle of sucktacticness/nadir of coolness and I have to agree.  Where did this idea even come from?


Anonymous said...




Timrod said...

Sweet! I got a comment! Thanks for your insightful words.

richard said...

I do like Grand Master of Flowers - it's exactly the sort of thing I'd put in the rules. Once you take your stoic rangers and ramrod paladins and bloody assassins and Arnie the Barbarian always lurking just out of reach (until UA), and you add in martial arts movies, well, the machismo can get pretty thick in the old dnd locker room. GMoF was like a breath of fresh air. Or, if you like, a different kind of toughness - one that is confident enough to show a softer side ;)

Timrod said...

And thanks to Richard for a comment with actual insight! I can see your point: the monk as a meditative class rather than Bruce Lee in Medieval drag.

Brendan said...

Alignment languages: the black speech of Mordor maybe?

I think this really only works in a highly setting-dependent way. I could also imagine it being fun in a pseudo-Christian cosmic struggle game (the language of Heaven and the language of Hell). As long as you don't give every alleyway murderer the language of Hell.