About 14 years ago we ‘stepped down’ from playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition and started playing in a campaign using the Dungeons and Dragons Rules Cyclopedia. I’ve never felt so lost whilst at the same time using something so familiar. In the summer of my last year at school we joined the local gaming group en mass and immediately the group went from around 5 or 6 players into double figures. Whilst not everyone turned up every week it wasn’t unusual to find around 10 players huddled around the main table with the DM sitting at the side with a table all to himself. Now being primarily a warrior based player I was fascinated with weaponmastery. I loved it and loved it and would hug and snuggle with the book all session long as my warriors waded into battle against the scores of undead and come out not only alive at the end of the night but usually with far more Xp than anyone else at the table. At home though during our weekend games we still played AD&D 2nd edition and later that year when I started playing with a group from university we did the same.
Then one day I thought I’d try and convert weaponmastery over to AD&D rules. It looked relatively easy as the damage tables were already written down so all I had to do was fudge the rules a little bit and everything would work OK. Well that was wrong to start with. I’d forgotten that in D&D weapons generally do less damage than in AD&D and the weapons charts don’t exactly match up. You might be able to get one weapon and have teh damage charts for it in AD&D but there was nothing comparable on the D&D charts. Eventually I managed to go through every weapon in the basic AD&D books and ‘update’ them for weaponmastery and I actually managed to playtest 95% of the weapons during the gaming sessions at university.
Back then you didn’t have blogs and in fact you could barely find a website about roleplaying anywhere on the internet. What you did have though was a thriving newsgroup scene and several active email lists. One of the mailing lists covered AD&D and I loved it. I very rarely posted to the group but when I did it was always something that added nothing to the conversation and was barely funny but I enjoyed it though. I spent a good few nights in a computer lab typing up the damage charts and eventually posted it to the mailing list and people loved it. Several people tested it again for me and after a few tweaks I posted an updated version to the list and even more people went off and played the rules variant that I’d written.
For years I had the original charts in a notebook I kept with all my old character I’ve had over the years. At some point though it’s went missing. I’ve no idea when it’s went missing but it must have been when I moved home. I really want to run a 2nd Edition game soon and I really want to use those rules. My only other hope is that I can find my old disks from my university days and hope a friends Mac can still read them.