Sunday, January 26, 2014

Journal 34

Happy Birthday D&D

Hello all,

Last night I received an email from RPG News and Reviews. In it was a notification about today (January 26th 2014) being named Dungeons & Dragons 40th Birthday! Here is some that message- 

Tomorrow, January 26th, is researcher Jon Peterson's best-guess for the 40th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. "For all the reasons listed above, it's probably impossible to narrow in on one date and say with any certainty that this is when the game was released. But if we need to celebrate somewhere in the neighborhood of late January, then the last Sunday of the month (this year, the 26th) seems like the best candidate. As the El Conquistador advertisement above notes, Sunday was the day when Gary invited the world to drop by his house, at 1:30 PM, to have a first experience of Dungeons & Dragons. Since it's a weekend, many of us can clear our schedules to revisit some classic tabletop. So this coming January 26th, 2014, do take the time to celebrate the birth of Dungeons & Dragons and role-playing games." 

40 years ago- WOW. I remember TV commercials for the D&D Game back in the 80's as well as the beloved Saturday morning cartoon - 

Early this morning I got an email from a friend who let me know the same thing. His message ended with a question to me about when I first became a gamer. What a great question. I had to think about it for a while. When I replied my friend and I agreed it would make a great post. Here is what I wrote. A little blast from the past.

I got my first taste of D&D back in 1984 but it was not what you would call the full experience. We played at school and used coin tosses to determine outcomes. We did not even have books. The DM told the whole thing like a story we got to interact with. Very basic and tons of fun. That lasted a few months than the GM moved away.

That was that till 1986 when a school friend (named Tommy I think) was making a character in class while a lecture was going on. I remember that the character sheet was much more interesting that the lesson. I recognized the stat block from two years before. After class I asked him about it. 

He was making a character for AD&D. As I did not fully grasp everything he was talking about it was decided that he would loan me something to help. The next day I got my hands on the D&D basic Red books. I read them over night and a few days later I went to Tommy's house and played my first actual D&D game (and also painted my first miniature around the same time-but that's another story)

Well That's all I have for now so till next time...



  1. 1984? Bah, you cannot possibly call yourself a proper Grognard* ;) Now, 1978, that's a Grognard start date, with the blue box, then onto the ol' brown books for a while before moving to AD&D. Still have the blue box too, somewhere in my basement, along with Gamma World and Top Secret. I think. Never liked to be a player though. Always a DM. Crappiest dice ever in the blue box.

    These days though, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is the closest to RPGing I can get. Fun game though.

    *Well, you can be an honorary Grognard. As long as you've never played 4th ed.

  2. I never played even one game of 4th so I guess I qualify.

    I dropped at the end of 3.5 on the grounds that IF i wanted to play a game like 4th I could save a lot of time and just play World of Warcraft as it appeared to be the same thing.


  3. I agree,

    While I have you, can anyone explain how to calculate hit points when leveling up a multi-class character in 2nd ed? I've looked online, but all I found are contradicting forum posts.

    Wow, I've never really thought about just how old that game is. Not to say YOU are old.....40 is the new 30 after all..(backpedal, backpedal) :P

    Great post

    1. If I remember correctly you roll hit points normally each time you level but divide the result by the number of classes you have then apply *con bonus (*con bonus can very by class)

  4. The character's hit points are the average of all his Hit Dice rolls. When the character is first created, the player rolls hit points for each class separately, totals them up, then divides by the number of dice rolled (round fractions down).

    When Leveling roll the appropriate Hit Die and divide the result by the number of classes the character has (round fractions down, but a Hit Die never yields less than 1 hit point).

    Add Con bonus as normal after Averaging and Rounding of Hit Die rolled.

    Example: A First Level Elven Fighter/Magic-User/Thief with no Con Bonus would have 1d10/1d4/1d6 Hit Dice

    At Creation gets (1d10+1d6+1d4)/3
    at 1250xp (Thief L2) gets d6/3
    at 2000xp (Fighter L2) gets d10/3
    at 2500xp (Thief 3, Mage 2) gets (d6/3)+(d4/3)
    at 4000xp (Fighter L3) gets d10/3

    Which, is honestly better than a 1e Multiclass... 1e was pretty harsh on Multiclass characters. Hope this helps.

  5. Oops, that's a Half-elf. Forgot 2e did away with Elven Fighter/Magic-User/Thieves, limiting Elves to 2 Classes in a Multiclass.

    Oh, and the 2e Core Books have been reprinted by WOTC. They've also reprinted 1e and there is a Premium Reprint of OD&D as well if you can find it.