Friday, April 19, 2019

Recaps & Roundups part 7: The Strategic Review #1

In early 1975, TSR launched its first magazine, The Strategic Review. It was intended not only to support Dungeons & Dragons and TSR's other game lines, but also to cover the wargaming hobby in general. The first issue is only six pages in length, so it shouldn't take too long to cover. I'll tackle it article by article, ignoring those that have no relevance to D&D.

TSR News: It's noted that TSR has just acquired the rights to Don't Give Up the Ship, Tractics and (most importantly to this blog) Chainmail. A third edition of Chainmail is said to be arriving soon.

Supplements for D&D are also said to be a high priority, and the first will be arriving some time before GenCon (held in August). Supplement I: Greyhawk is believed to have been first printed in March, so they made the date handily.

Creature Feature: The Mind Flayer makes its first appearance.

Castle & Crusade by Gary Gygax: Gary defends to ineffectiveness of the spear in Chainmail with some historical context. He also promises a more detailed breakdown of polearms.

Solo Dungeon Adventures by Gary Gygax (with special thanks to George Lord): This is a series of random tables for creating solo dungeon adventures. I may use this in the Ultimate Sandbox as a dungeon that is always random, or perhaps a cursed demi-plane that is one huge, ever-shifting labyrinth.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Recaps & Roundups part 6: D&D Correction Sheet


The second printing of the original Dungeons & Dragons set - released in January of 1975 - included a sheet with some corrections to the rules. It was also present in the third printing, released in April 1975. Mostly it clears up some typos, but it also makes some rules changes and clarifications that I thought I'd note.

  • In the first printing, the sleep spell affected 1d6 creatures of 4 Hit Dice. It's changed here so that it now only affects a single 4 HD creature.
  • The Hit Dice for skeletons and zombies were unclear in the first printing. They were shown as having HD 1/2, which could have meant two things: either both creatures had half a Hit Die, or skeletons had 1 and zombies had 2. It's changed here so that skeletons get half a Hit Die and zombies get 1.
  • Balrogs in the first printing did just 2d6 damage with their flaming bodies. It's corrected here so that they can now do 3d6 or 4d6 depending on size.
  • It wasn't mentioned in the first printing that gargoyles can only be damaged by magic weapons, but that rule is added here.
  • Similarly, a rule is added here so that lycanthropes can only be damaged by silver or magic weapons.
  • Elementals are changed here so that only magic weapons can damage them as well.
  • In the first printing, all spell scrolls are for magic-users. This sheet changes the rule so that a quarter of scrolls will feature clerical spells.
  • In the first edition, the potion of heroism was quite literal, in that it transformed a normal man into a Hero (a 4th level fighter). This sheet adds some lines so that the potion is useful for characters of levels 5+.
  • This sheet clarifies that a spell written on a scroll can only be used once before it disappears, something that wasn't mentioned in the first printing.

I usually try to rationalise these kinds of rule changes for this project, but in this case I'm going to treat them as exactly what they are: errata. These are all things that should have been in the rules in the first place, so I feel no need to explain them.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Recaps & Roundups part 5: D&D Vol. III - The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures



Another entry in my recaps of the D&D products I've covered thus far. For this post it's the third booklet of the original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set, The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures. In the most basic terms, this book is the equivalent of what would eventually become the Dungeon Master's Guide.

New Rules Introduced
  • Random determination of dungeon room contents (monsters, traps, treasure)
  • Movement in the underworld
  • Detection of secret passages
  • Forcing doors
  • Listening at doors
  • Surprise
  • Wandering monsters
  • Avoiding monsters in the underworld
  • Monster reactions
  • Random determination of castle inhabitants
  • Wilderness movement
  • Encounters and pursuit in the wilderness
  • Getting lost in the wilderness
  • Wilderness wandering monsters
  • Construction of castles and strongholds
  • Hiring of specialists and men-at-arms
  • PC upkeep and support
  • Baronies
  • Aerial combat
  • Naval combat
  • Swimming
  • Healing

Monsters that get stats for the first time
  • Dragon Turtles
  • Giant Leeches
  • Crocodiles and Giant Crocodiles
  • Giant Snakes (aquatic variety)
  • Giant Octopi
  • Giant Squids
  • Giant Crabs
  • Giant Fish

Monsters mentioned that didn't get stats in Vol. II or III
  • Giant rats
  • Giant Centipedes
  • Giant Spiders
  • Giant Lizards
  • Giant Toads
  • Giant Hogs
  • Giant Ants
  • Giant Weasels
  • Giant Beetles
  • Giant Scorpions
  • White Apes (from Barsoom)
  • Pterodactyls
  • Cyborgs
  • Robots
  • Androids
  • Shadows
  • Dopplegangers
  • Red Martians (from Barsoom)
  • Tharks (from Barsoom)
  • Black Martians (from Barsoom)
  • Yellow Martians (from Barsoom)
  • White Martians (from Barsoom)
  • Lions
  • Bears
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Triceratops
  • Brontosaurus
  • Stegosaurus
  • Apts (from Barsoom)
  • Banths (from Barsoom)
  • Thoats (from Barsoom)
  • Calots (from Barsoom)
  • Orluks (from Barsoom)
  • Sith (from Barsoom)
  • Darseen (from Barsoom)
  • Cave Bears
  • Dire Wolves
  • Sabretooth Tigers
  • Mastodons
  • Spotted Lions
  • Wooly Rhinos
  • Titanotheres

NPC Specialists introduced
  • Alchemists
  • Armorers
  • Assassins
  • Animal Trainers
  • Engineers
  • Sages
  • Seamen
  • Ship Captains
  • Smiths
  • Spies

Details and conjecture relevant to the Ultimate Sandbox
  • The book begins with a sample cross-section of a dungeon, as shown below. I plan on placing this dungeon somewhere not far from the City of Greyhawk.


  • Later on a sample level is included. It's more of a way to demonstrate various tricks and traps than a genuine level, but I'm going to include it as part of one of the dungeon above. The level in question needs a chute and a slanting passage, which doesn't match anything in the sample, so it'll have to be one of the levels below 6th (the cavern). The map for this area is below:


  • There's a sample of play that features some adventurers (including an elf and a magic-user who can cast hold portal) exploring a dungeon and fighting some gnolls. I've mapped out the dungeon described as shown below. These adventurers will be dead bodies deeper into the dungeon, and found with them will be their gnoll treasure: 2,000 copper pieces, an onyx case worth 1,000 gp, a jeweled necklace worth 5,000 gp, and a pair of elven boots.


  • It's noted that Greyhawk Castle has "over a dozen levels in succession downwards, and more than that branching from these, and not less than two new levels under construction at any given time. These levels contain such things as a museum from another age, an underground lake, a series of caverns filled with giant fungi, a bowling alley for 20' high giants, an arena of evil, crypts, and so on".
  • There are some rules that I plan to apply only as special circumstances for "megadungeons": doors are usually stuck for PCs, but will always open for monsters; the dungeon layout may change between visits; monsters all have infravision, but will not benefit from it if serving a PC. Mythic megadungeons such as Blackmoor or Castle Greyhawk are actively hostile towards the PCs.
  • Blackmoor is described as "a village of small size (a one-horse town)".
  • The City of Greyhawk (written as "Grayhawk" here, but we all know better) is a large city. It's said to have bazaars, inns, taverns, shops, temples, and a risky Thieves' Quarter.
  • The board from Outdoor Survival was used in the original Greyhawk campaign for wilderness exploration.  I'll be using it in the Ultimate Sandbox as a nearby wilderness area. Here it is below:


  • There must be a lot of unclaimed wilderness around Greyhawk, as PCs are free to clear areas out and build their own strongholds. The region is also dotted with small castles ruled by fickle NPCs. The Outdoor Survival map is about 215 miles (43 hexes) x 210 miles (42 hexes), and it contains (I think) 18 different castles. Anyone in charge of a castle is considered to have their own barony, and can start collecting taxes, but they also seem to be pretty autonomous. I guess that there is a ruling authority around Greyhawk that governs these things and hands out baronies, but that they're fairly hands off unless someone starts causing them too much trouble.
  • Based on the wilderness wandering monster tables, there must be somewhere in the campaign setting a "lost world" swamp or jungle that's full of dinosaurs, and a mountain range inhabited by prehistoric mammals.
  • There are many references to Barsoom, the setting of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter novels, so there should be some way of getting there in the campaign.
  • Sages won't work for clerics or magic-users, which I'm going to chalk up to some sort of guild rivalry or professional jealousy.
  • Vikings are mentioned. I won't have actual Vikings in the campaign, but there should be some sort of equivalent.
  • Apparently orcs are readily available to be hired as men-at-arms by chaotic character.
  • It's noted that ships might sail off the edge of the world. Is the World of Greyhawk flat? I'm not altogether opposed to the idea.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Recaps & Roundups part 4: D&D Vol. II - Monsters & Treasure



This post continues my quick round-up of what's in every Dungeons & Dragons product I've covered so far, and my ideas for incorporating it all into a single campaign.  Today I'm covering the second booklet of the original D&D boxed set, Monsters & Treasure.

This book lists all of the monsters and magic items in the original game. Obviously, everything listed here is appearing in D&D for the first time. I'll make a note of the things that were already included in Chainmail.

Monsters That Get Stats For the First Time
  • Man, Bandit
  • Man, Berserker
  • Man, Brigand
  • Man, Dervish
  • Man, Nomad
  • Man, Buccaneer
  • Man, Pirate
  • Man, Caveman
  • Man, Merman
  • Goblin (in Chainmail)
  • Kobold (in Chainmail)
  • Orc (in Chainmail)
  • Hobgoblin
  • Gnoll
  • Ogre (in Chainmail)
  • Troll (in Chainmail)
  • Hill Giant
  • Stone Giant (There is a giant in Chainmail, and it fits the Stone Giant better than the others)
  • Frost Giant
  • Fire Giant
  • Cloud Giant
  • Skeleton
  • Zombie
  • Ghoul (in Chainmail)
  • Wight (in Chainmail)
  • Wraith (in Chainmail)
  • Mummy
  • Spectre
  • Vampire
  • Cockatrice (in Chainmail)
  • Basilisk (in Chainmail)
  • Medusa
  • Gorgon
  • Manticora
  • Hydra
  • Chimera (in Chainmail as a general category rather than a specific monster)
  • Wyvern (in Chainmail)
  • White Dragon (in Chainmail)
  • Black Dragon (in Chainmail)
  • Green Dragon (in Chainmail)
  • Blue Dragon (in Chainmail)
  • Red Dragon (in Chainmail)
  • Golden Dragon
  • Balrog (in Chainmail)
  • Gargoyle
  • Lycanthrope, Werewolf (in Chainmail)
  • Lycanthrope, Wereboar
  • Lycanthrope, Weretiger
  • Lycanthrope, Werebear (in Chainmail)
  • Purple Worm (in Chainmail)
  • Sea Monster (doesn't really get stats, but does get its own description)
  • Minotaur
  • Centaur
  • Unicorn
  • Nixie
  • Pixie (in Chainmail)
  • Dryad
  • Gnome (in Chainmail)
  • Dwarf (in Chainmail)
  • Elf (in Chainmail)
  • Ent (in Chainmail)
  • Pegasus
  • Hippogriff (in Chainmail)
  • Roc (in Chainmail)
  • Griffon (in Chainmail)
  • Invisible Stalker
  • Air Elemental (in Chainmail)
  • Earth Elemental (in Chainmail)
  • Fire Elemental (in Chainmail)
  • Water Elemental (in Chainmail)
  • Djinn (in Chainmail)
  • Efreet (in Chainmail)
  • Ochre Jelly
  • Black (or Grey) Pudding
  • Green Slime
  • Grey Ooze
  • Yellow Mold
  • Light Horse
  • Medium Horse
  • Heavy Horse
  • Draft Horse
  • Mule
  • Insects or Small Animals (a general category)
  • Large Insects or Animals (another general category)

Monsters That Get Mentioned But Don't Get Stats
  • Wolf
  • Centipede
  • Snake
  • Spider
  • Giant Ant
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Apt (from Barsoom, setting of the John Carter novels)
  • Banth (from Barsoom)
  • Thoat (from Barsoom)
  • Titan
  • Cyclops
  • Juggernaut
  • Living Statue
  • Salamander
  • Gelatinous Cube
  • Robot
  • Golem
  • Android
  • Dragon Turtle (shown in an illustration)

Magic Swords
Magic swords were in Chainmail, with bonuses ranging from +1 to +3.
  • Swords +1 to +3
  • Sword +1, +2 vs. Lycanthropes
  • Sword +1, +2 vs. Magic-Users and Enchanted Monsters
  • Sword +1, Locating Objects Ability
  • Sword +1, +3 vs. Trolls
  • Sword +1, +3 vs. Clerics
  • Sword, Flaming
  • Sword +1, Wishes Included
  • Sword +1, +3 vs. Dragons
  • Sword +2, Charm Person Ability
  • Sword, One Life Energy Draining Ability (catchy name)
  • Cursed Sword -2

Magic Armor
  • Shields +1 to +3
  • Armor +1 to +3 (+1 armor was in Chainmail)

Miscellaneous Magic Weapons
  • Magic Arrows (in Chainmail)
  • Dagger +1 vs. Man-Sized Opponents, +2 vs. Goblins and Kobolds
  • Dagger +2 vs. Man-Sized Opponents, +3 vs. Orcs, Goblins and Kobolds
  • Magic Bow
  • Axe +1
  • Mace +2
  • War Hammer +1 to +3 (+3 will return if thrown)
  • Spear +1 to +3

Potions
  • Growth
  • Dimenuation (eventually becomes Diminution)
  • Giant Strength
  • Invisibility
  • Gaseous Form
  • Polymorph Self
  • Speed
  • Levitation
  • Flying
  • ESP
  • Delusion
  • Healing
  • Longevity
  • Clairvoyance
  • Clairaudience
  • Animal Control
  • Undead Control
  • Plant Control
  • Human Control
  • Giant Control
  • Dragon Control
  • Poison
  • Invulnerability
  • Fire Resistance
  • Treasure Finding
  • Heroism

Scrolls
  • Scrolls with 1-3 spells, or with 7
  • Cursed Scroll
  • Protection from Lycanthropes
  • Protection from Undead
  • Protection from Elementals
  • Protection from Magic

Rings
  • Invisibility
  • Mammal Control
  • Human Control
  • Weakness
  • Protection
  • Three Wishes
  • Delusion
  • Water Walking
  • Fire Resistance
  • Protection, 5' radius
  • Regeneration
  • Djinn Summoning
  • Telekinesis
  • X-Ray Vision
  • Spell Turning
  • Spell Storing
  • Many Wishes (4-24)

Wands
  • Metal Detection
  • Enemy Detection
  • Magic Detection
  • Secret Door and Trap Detection
  • Illusion
  • Fear
  • Cold
  • Paralyzation
  • Fire Balls
  • Lightning Bolts
  • Polymorph
  • Negation

Staves
  • Healing
  • Commanding
  • Snake Staff
  • Striking
  • Withering
  • Power
  • Wizardry

Miscellaneous Magic
  • Crystal Ball
  • Crystal Ball with Clairaudience
  • Crystal Ball with ESP
  • Amulet vs. Crystal Balls and ESP
  • Scarab of Protection from Evil High Priests
  • Bag of Holding
  • Censor of Controlling Air Elementals
  • Stone of Controlling Earth Elementals
  • Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals
  • Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals
  • Efreet Bottle
  • Displacer Cloak
  • Elven Cloak and Boots
  • Boots of Speed
  • Boots of Levitation
  • Boots of Traveling and Leaping
  • Broom of Flying
  • Helm of Reading Magic and Languages
  • Helm of Telepathy
  • Helm of Teleportation
  • Helm of Chaos (or Helm of Law)
  • Flying Carpet
  • Drums of Panic
  • Horn of Blasting
  • Gauntlets of Ogre Power
  • Girdle of Giant Strength
  • Mirror of Life Trapping

Artifacts
  • Teleportation Machine
  • Fighter's Crown, Orb and Sceptre
  • Magic-User's Crown, Orb and Sceptre
  • Cleric's Crown, Orb and Sceptre
  • Stone Crystalization Projector

Rules Introduced
  • Saving throws for the destruction of magic items

Details and conjecture relevant to the Ultimate Sandbox
  • The rules state that all men and monsters in the dungeon can see in the dark, except for the PCs. This makes little sense as a general rule, so I'm narrowing it down to mythic "megadungeons" such as Castles Greyhawk and Blackmoor. It's possible those dungeons have sentience or magic working against the PCs.
  • If the monster lineup is anything to go by, there are a lot of lawless bands roaming around the default D&D campaign setting: bandits, brigands, pirates, etc.
  • Berserkers roam around in bands up to 300 strong, and so are probably a people or a culture rather than a "character class".
  • Dervishes are nomadic residents of the desert or steppes, and a are fanatical religious zealots.
  • Nomads are raiders that also hail from the desert or the steppes.
  • The presence of cavemen implies that evolution has worked similarly in the D&D world to the way it did in our world (although there are other possible explanations, of course).
  • Goblins hate dwarves, as noted in Chainmail.
  • Orcs are split into tribes that all hate each other, although no specific tribes are given. I'll be using those from Chainmail.
  • Goblins, kobolds, hobgoblins, and gnolls when in their lairs are ruled over by a "king". Pretty much every leader of a goblinoid tribe, no matter how minor, considers itself a king.
  • Gnolls are said to be a hybrid of gnomes and trolls. This is a strange fit with the hyena-headed gnolls of later editions.
  • Ghouls are subject to damage from normal missiles, whereas they were immune in Chainmail. Perhaps those in Chainmail are deliberately created by dark magic, rather than whatever creates the ghouls that roam dungeons, and are thus a little stronger.
  • The existence of mummies as a widespread monster implies the existence of an ancient, widespread civilisation that practiced embalming.
  • Crosses affect Vampires, and are thus a powerful symbol of Law. They might even represent a specific god.
  • The Nazgul are now said to be spectres, whereas in Chainmail they were said to be wraiths.
  • The chimera is now a specific monster, rather than a category including a whole range of monsters as it was in Chainmail. In the game world I'll say that scholars used the term as a category, but the name eventually stuck to the specific monster until the former meaning fell out of use.
  • Dragon's age really quickly in this version of D&D compared to later editions. This suggests that dragons have waned in recent years. But perhaps the greater dragons still slumber, and will eventually reawaken...
  • It's specifically said that purple worms lurk everywhere, just beneath the surface. It's a sobering thought.
  • Lycanthropy can be passed on via being clawed or bitten, but lycanthropes also travel around in family packs with two adults and a number of children. I figure the "disease" is also passed on to offspring, which has resulted in these lycanthropes becoming distinct species.
  • Elves are said to have the ability to move silently, and are also "nearly invisible in their grey-green cloaks". This suggests to me that pretty much all elves are equipped with elven boots and cloaks. I'm fine with this, though I'm reluctant to let PC elves begin with them at 1st level - I figure that these cloaks and boots are for those elves operating out of the elven homeland, and that wandering adventurer types generally don't get issued them. Could they possibly be part of a military uniform?
  • Elves are split into two types, those that live in the woods and those that live in remote meadows. There are also the "fairies" of Chainmail, which were lumped into the elf category.
  • Elves get a bonus when using magic weapons, which to me suggests that the making of magic weapons was originally an elvish craft.
  • Hippogriffs hate pegasi.
  • The City of Brass is the fabled home of the efreet.
  • Barsoom is referenced, the setting of the John Carter novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The original Greyhawk campaign featured adventures in this setting, so I should make it somehow accessible.
  • Mention is made of a living statue that was made of iron, impervious to all weapons save two special ones he guarded, had a fiery breath, a poison sword, and a whip of cockatrice feathers that turned victims to stone. This is a reference to the iron golem of Castle Maure, which I believe is a part of the module Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure.
  • The majority of the human-types encountered will have slaves, so there should be a roaring slave trade going.
  • All magic swords are intelligent. Eventually this will become a rarity, which needs an explanation. I'm going with the idea that these swords were forged in antiquity, and are losing their sentience and power over time.
  • The artifacts named are given no abilities, and no background. I'll have to keep an eye out to see if they pop up again, otherwise I'll need to make some things up.
  • Electrum is said to be optionally either half or double the value of gold. I'll go with it being a rarer coin, with there being some dispute as to its actual value.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Recaps & Roundups part 3: D&D Vol. I - Men & Magic


Chainmail may not have set the world alight (although it did perform respectably for Guidon Games), but it did well enough to reach Minneapolis, and the hands of a gamer named Dave Arneson.  Arneson was inspired by Chainmail's Fantasy Supplement to create a game where players would each control a single adventurer, braving the dangers of an underground labyrinth beneath Castle Blackmoor.  (Actually, it's not clear whether the supplement inspired Arneson's game, or if he was playing the game already and just adapted some rules; I'm pretty sure I've seen both accounts.)

In the fall of 1972, Arneson showed his Blackmoor game to Gary Gygax, who was enamored with it and asked to see Arneson's notes.  He was soon running his own version, set in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk.  The two collaborated on the game, with Gygax writing the final version of the rules and manuscript.  The name Dungeons & Dragons was coined, apparently chosen from a number of alternatives by Gygax's two-year-old daughter Cindy.

Gygax and Arneson were unable to find a publisher for D&D, so in October 1973 Gygax decided to form a company with friend Don Kaye, which they called Tactical Studies Rules.  Brian Blume, a fellow gamer whose father was willing to finance the company, was brought in as an equal partner in December.  In January 1974, the first Dungeons & Dragons boxed sets were published.

The original set was contained in a woodgrain box, with the cover art pasted on the front.  The rules were contained in three booklets: Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure and The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures.  It also included a booklet of reference sheets, and the 2nd and 3rd prints (available in January and April 1975, respectively) had a corrections sheet.

Today I'll be covering D&D Vol I: Men & Magic, which mostly covers everything relevant to player characters.


New Character Types

  • Fighting-Men, or Fighters (previously included in Chainmail as Heroes, Super-heroes and Anti-heroes).
  • Magic-Users (previously included in Chainmail as Wizards, Sorcerers, Warlocks and Magicians).
  • Clerics and Anti-Clerics
  • Dwarves (included in Chainmail)
  • Elves (included in Chainmail)
  • Hobbits (included in Chainmail)

Monsters Mentioned

Those previously included in the Chainmail 1st or 2nd edition rules marked with an asterisk
  • Man*
  • Hobbit*
  • Ent*
  • Unicorn
  • Pegasus
  • Hippogriff*
  • Elf*
  • Lycanthrope*
  • Roc*
  • Dwarf*
  • Gnome*
  • Centaur
  • Nixie
  • Pixie*
  • Dryad
  • Orc*
  • Ogre*
  • Dragon*
  • Wyvern*
  • Hydra
  • Purple Worm* (called purple or mottled dragon in Chainmail)
  • Sea Monster
  • Chimera* (not a specific monster in Chainmail, but a category)
  • Minotaur
  • Giant*
  • Balrog*
  • Goblin*
  • Kobold*
  • Hobgoblin
  • Gnoll
  • Troll*
  • Wight*
  • Wraith*
  • Mummy
  • Spectre
  • Vampire
  • Medusa
  • Manticore
  • Gargoyle
  • Gorgon
  • Witch
  • Mule
  • Draft Horse
  • Light Horse*
  • Medium Warhorse*
  • Heavy Warhorse*
  • Invisible Stalker
  • Air Elemental*
  • Earth Elemental*
  • Fire Elemental*
  • Water Elemental*

Weapons and Armor Introduced

All of these can be assumed to have shown up in Chainmail, but here they're appearing in D&D proper for the first time.  These are the arms and armor most commonly available in and around the City of Greyhawk.

  • Dagger
  • Hand Axe
  • Mace
  • Sword
  • Battle Axe
  • Morning Star
  • Flail
  • Spear
  • Pole Arm
  • Halberd
  • Two-Handed Sword
  • Lance
  • Pike
  • Short Bow
  • Long Bow
  • Composite Bow
  • Light Crossbow
  • Heavy Crossbow
  • Arrows
  • Quarrels
  • Silver Arrow
  • Leather Armor
  • Chain-type Mail
  • Plate Mail
  • Helmet
  • Shield
  • Barding

Other Equipment Introduced

  • Saddle
  • Saddle Bags
  • Cart
  • Wagon
  • Raft
  • Small Boat
  • Small Merchant Ship
  • Large Merchant Ship
  • Small Galley
  • Large Galley
  • Rope
  • 10' Pole
  • Iron Spikes
  • Small Sack
  • Large Sack
  • Backpack
  • Waterskin/wineskin
  • Torch
  • Lantern
  • Flask of Oil
  • Mallet and Stakes
  • Steel Mirror
  • Silver Mirror
  • Wooden Cross
  • Silver Cross
  • Holy Water
  • Wolvesbane
  • Belladonna
  • Garlic
  • Wine
  • Iron Rations
  • Standard Rations

Rules Introduced

  • Race and class
  • Alignment (Law, Neutrality and Chaos)
  • Forms of multi-classing and dual-classing are present
  • Ability scores (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma), ranging from 3 to 18.
  • Languages
  • NPCs, and the influencing and hiring thereof
  • The ability to bequeath wealth and items to a relative
  • Buying equipment
  • Encumbrance
  • Experience points, and levels
  • Hit Dice and hit points
  • Armor Class
  • The attack roll (using 1d20 and a chart)
  • Saving Throws
  • Magic and spellcasting for magic-users and clerics
  • Turning Undead

Spells Introduced

Magic-User level 1
  • Detect Magic (included in Chainmail as part of the Detection spell)
  • Hold Portal
  • Read Magic
  • Read Languages
  • Protection from Evil (included in Chainmail 2nd edition)
  • Light (included in Chainmail as Wizard Light)
  • Charm Person
  • Sleep
Magic-User level 2
  • Detect Invisible (included in Chainmail as part of the Detection spell)
  • Levitate
  • Phantasmal Forces (included in Chainmail)
  • Locate Object
  • Invisibility (included in Chainmail as an innate Wizard ability)
  • Wizard Lock
  • Detect Evil
  • ESP
  • Continual Light
  • Knock
Magic-User level 3
  • Fly
  • Hold Person
  • Dispell Magic (possibly used in Chainmail as the Wizard's counter-spell ability)
  • Clairvoyance
  • Clairaudience
  • Fire Ball (included in Chainmail)
  • Lightning Bolt (included in Chainmail)
  • Protection from Evil, 10' Radius
  • Invisibility, 10' Radius (possibly represented in Chainmail as the Concealment spell)
  • Infravision (included in Chainmail as an innate Wizard ability)
  • Slow Spell
  • Haste Spell
  • Protection from Normal Missiles (included in Chainmail as an innate Wizard ability)
  • Water Breathing
Magic-User level 4
  • Polymorph Self
  • Polymorph Others
  • Remove Curse
  • Wall of Fire
  • Wall of Ice
  • Confusion
  • Charm Monster
  • Growth of Plants
  • Dimension Door
  • Wizard Eye
  • Massmorph
  • Hallucinatory Terrain
Magic-User level 5
  • Teleport
  • Hold Monster
  • Conjure Elemental (included in Chainmail)
  • Telekenesis
  • Transmute Rock to Mud
  • Wall of Stone
  • Wall of Iron
  • Animate Dead
  • Magic Jar
  • Contact Higher Plane
  • Pass-Wall
  • Cloudkill
  • Feeblemind
  • Growth of Animals
Magic-User level 6
  • Stone to Flesh
  • Reincarnation
  • Invisible Stalker
  • Lower Water
  • Part Water
  • Projected Image
  • Anti-Magic Shell
  • Death Spell
  • Geas
  • Disintegrate
  • Move Earth (included in Chainmail 2nd edition as Moving Terrain)
  • Control Weather
Cleric level 1
  • Cure Light Wounds/Cause Light Wounds
  • Purify Food & Water/Putrefy Food & Water
  • Detect Magic
  • Detect Evil/Detect Good
  • Protection from Evil/Protection from Good
  • Light/Darkness
Cleric level 2
  • Find Traps
  • Hold Person
  • Bless/Curse
  • Speak with Animals
Cleric level 3
  • Remove Curse
  • Cure Disease/Cause Disease
  • Locate Object
  • Continual Light/Continual Darkness
Cleric level 4
  • Neutralize Poison
  • Cure Serious Wounds/Cause Serious Wounds
  • Protection from Evil, 10' Radius/Protection from Good, 10' Radius
  • Turn Sticks to Snakes
  • Speak with Plants
  • Create Water
Cleric level 5
  • Dispell Evil/Dispell Good
  • Raise Dead/Finger of Death
  • Commune
  • Quest
  • Insect Plague
  • Create Food
Cleric spells after the / are for Chaotic clerics only, but aren't specifically named in this product, except for the Finger of Death.

Details and conjecture relevant to the Ultimate Sandbox

  • The Great Kingdom is mentioned, as follows: 'From the map of the "land" of the "Great Kingdom" and environs - the territory of the C&C Society - Dave (Arneson) located a nice bog wherein to nest the weird enclave of "Blackmoor", a spot between the "Great Kingdom" and the fearsome "Egg of Coot".'
  • The following are mentioned as inspirations: Burroughs' Martian adventures, Howard's Conan saga, the de Camp and Pratt fantasies, and Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.
  • An archetypal D&D dungeon is described in the introduction as follows: 'the dungeons beneath the "huge ruined pile, a vast castle built by generations of mad wizards and insane geniuses"'.  This could more or less describe Castle Greyhawk.
  • The possibility for PCs to claim land, build castles and become barons would indicate that there's a decent amount of unclaimed wilderness in the areas surrounding the campaign area (which will probably be the City of Greyhawk).
  • High-level clerics are dedicated to either Law or Chaos, indicating that this allegiance is at this point more important and common than the worship of singular deities, at least as far as clerics are concerned.
  • Demi-human level limits could indicate that demi-humans simply lack human potential, or that in the areas ruled over by humans there's a prejudice against them that stops higher-level NPCs from training them above a certain level.
  • Xylarthen the magic-user is given as a sample character, and will be present as an adventurer in Greyhawk when my campaign begins.
  • There is a "common" tongue spoken by most humans in the campaign world.  Each race has its own language, and about 20% can speak common as well.
  • Each of the alignments has its own special language, probably handed down from the gods or another powerful force at the dawn of time.
  • Based on languages known, dwarves would be friendly with gnomes and antagonistic towards goblins and kobolds.
  • Elves speak the orc, hobgoblin and gnoll languages, and so have probably been at war with those races.
  • Along humans, the places that dwarves and elves hail from are called 'Dwarf-land' and 'Elf-land'.
  • Every character class has a different title for each level; these titles are accepted ranks and marks of skill, and their use is widespread.
  • The spell Contact Higher Plane allows a magic-user to seek advice and knowledge from creatures inhabiting a higher plane of existence.  These planes are numbered 3rd through 12th, and contacting them brings a chance of being driven insane.  (I've pegged this as the Abyss, as it's the only one of the Outer Planes with enough levels, but it's not clear.  Even AD&D doesn't codify which planes are being contacted.)
  • The spell Invisible Stalker mentions that the creature is 'extra-dimensional', but doesn't specify what the dimension is like.
  • The Raise Dead spell specifically only works on men, elves and dwarves.  This creates two contradictions with later editions: it doesn't work on hobbits, but it does work on elves, and both of these are the opposite in AD&D.  My rationale for hobbits is that their souls go to a realm that is currently beyond arcane knowledge, and that by AD&D that's changed. With elves it's harder.  I'm tying it to the Tolkienian idea of elves as a race on the wane, and as they grow weaker in life, they are drawn more strongly to the realm they reside in after death.
  • Using the Commune spell, clerics can ask for help from some unspecified 'powers above'.
  • Based on the illustrations, somewhere in the world there are amazons who go into battle wearing very little.


  • Also based on the illustrations, elves can grow beards.  This fits with Tolkien, or at least his description of Cirdan the Shipwright, the most ancient elf to appear in The Lord of the Rings.


Friday, March 22, 2019

Recaps & Roundups part 2: Chainmail 2nd edition

Cover still by Don Lowry

The first edition of Chainmail was Guidon Games' biggest hit, selling about 100 copies a month.  In July 1972, about a year-and-a-half after its publication, a 2nd edition saw print.  It was revised and expanded, with a number of additions to the rules.  (Most of these new rules first saw print in the January 1972 issue of International Wargamer, but I don't have a copy.)

From this point forward I'm working with PDFs or physical copies of the material, so any information given should be accurate.

New Character Types
  • Wizards now incorporate three weaker sub-classes: Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Magicians (given here in order from strongest to weakest).  These match fairly well with the magic-user levels in D&D.  (The term "magic-user" is specifically used.)  The number of spells a caster can use per game is based on these levels, as is the range of those spells.  The former of these rules fits well with D&D, but the second doesn't and will have to be chalked up to battle magic being a little different (my catch-all explanation for all magical discrepancies between Chainmail and D&D).

New Spells
  • Moving Terrain
  • Protection from Evil

That's it for today. Just a short post, as there really wasn't much added to 2nd edition Chainmail as far as I'm aware. Next week's post, covering Men & Magic will be much longer.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Recaps & Roundups part 1: Chainmail 1st edition

Well, it's been a while.  I haven't posted since June of last year, in fact, mostly due to a commute that ate up about 30% of my day and 100% of my mental energy.  Now that's changed, and I have no commute, and my mental energy is... eeeeehhhhh let's just say it's middling.  I have enough to do some blogging every now and then so here I am.

I'm not going to jump right back into the Ultimate Sandbox though.  I figured that, with such a lengthy break, it would be a good time to quickly recap what I've covered so far, hit up some semi-official products that I've missed, and consolidate the various campaign details as they would stand as of the release of the Players Handbook (the last product I covered).  And so, onward, with a look at the 1st edition of Chainmail.

Cover by Don Lowry

Chainmail is not the first D&D product, but it's such an important foundational work that it needs to be covered.  It began as four pages of medieval wargame rules by Jeff Perren, a member of the Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association (LGTSA).  He introduced the rules to fellow member Gary Gygax, who modified the rules for publication in the fanzine Panzerfaust (vol. 5 no. 1).  Gygax further modified and expanded the rules for publication in the newsletter of his own Castle & Crusade Society, Domesday Book (no. 5).  These rules also saw near-simultaneous publication in Spartan International Monthly.  There's an argument to be made that these three publications might be the true foundational beginning of D&D, and a better place for me to start this recap, but A) I'll probably never be able to get my hands on any of them, and B) none of them contain the all-important Fantasy Supplement.

All of this brought Gygax to the attention of Guidon Games, and they hired him to develop a medieval miniatures wargame for publication in March 1971.  During the process of rewriting the rules as Chainmail, Gygax added the Fantasy Supplement as an addendum, and Dungeons & Dragons was partway conceived.



At this point I'm going to run through the various fantasy elements that Chainmail introduces that were brought forward into D&D.  It should be noted here that I don't have any access to a copy of the 1st edition; I'm working purely on knowledge gleaned through research, so if anything here is incorrect or misleading, please let me know.

New Monsters and Races

  • Hobbits (although it's noted that they have little place in a wargame)
  • Sprites
  • Pixies (identical to sprites)
  • Dwarves
  • Gnomes (equated with dwarves, although they have a special hatred for kobolds rather than goblins)
  • Goblins
  • Kobolds (equated with goblins, but with a hatred for gnomes rather than dwarves)
  • Elves
  • Fairies (equated with elves)
  • Orcs
  • Wraiths (Nazgul are included as a specific example)
  • Werebears
  • Werewolves
  • Trolls
  • Ogres
  • Balrogs
  • Giants
  • Ents
  • Dragons (red dragons are covered in detail, while white, black, blue and green are all mentioned as possibilities)
  • Purple Worms (mentioned in passing as purple or mottled dragons, but the description fits the purple worm exactly)
  • Rocs (said to be equal to the eagles of Tolkien)
  • Wyverns (equated to Rocs)
  • Griffons (equated to Rocs)
  • Elementals (Air, Earth, Fire and Water)
  • Djinn (equated to air elementals)
  • Efreet (equated to fire elementals)
  • Basilisks
  • Cockatrices (equated to Basilisks; both creatures are recommended only under specific circumstances)
  • Chimerea (not the specific monster, but a catch-all for similar types such as griffons, wyverns, hippogriffs, etc.)
  • Hippogriffs (mentioned in passing under Chimerea)
  • Giant Spiders and Insects
  • Wights
  • Ghouls (equated to wights)

New Character Types

  • Heroes and Anti-Heroes (presented here as being equal to "four figures" in battle)
  • Super Heroes (twice as powerful as heroes)
  • Wizards
  • Combination hero-wizards are mentioned as a possibility, with Elric of Melnibone given as an example.

New Spells

  • Invisibility (extrapolated from the wizard's special ability to become invisible)
  • Infravision (extrapolated from the wizard's ability to see in the dark)
  • Protection from Normal Missiles (extrapolated from the wizard's immunity to non-magical missile fire)
  • Dispel Magic (extrapolated from the wizard's counter-spell ability; it's not a perfect fit, bit it's the best option from early D&D)
  • Fire Ball
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Phantasmal Forces
  • Darkness
  • Wizard Light (probably becomes Light, but at this point it only dispells darkness)
  • Detection (a mash-up of Detect Invisibility and Detect Magic)
  • Concealment
  • Conjuration of an Elemental

New Magic Items

  • Magic Swords
  • Enchanted Arrows
  • Magic Armor

Other Rule Elements

  • The Law-Neutral-Chaos alignment axis is established, though only as a guide for which creature types fight for which side

Rules that could fill gaps in D&D

  • Turn sequence/initiative
  • Terrain effects on movement
  • Movement in different types of armour
  • Fatigue
  • Missile fire rules
  • Catapults
  • Morale
  • Weather
  • Mass combat in general
  • Sieges
  • Jousting
  • Parrying
  • Multiple attacks when fighting with a much faster weapon than your opponent

Details and conjecture relevant to the Ultimate Sandbox

  • Mass combat as a whole implies that there are wars being fought, and that PCs might get involved in them.
  • The list of monsters and troop types are those most commonly found on D&D battlefields (though hobbits, basilisks and cockatrices are called out as being unusual).
  • Wizards can use magic weapons (with swords and arrows given as the only examples), and their spell-casting doesn't line up exactly with D&D magic-users, so I've posited the existence of specialist battle-mages to cover those differences.
  • Dwarves and goblins have a mutual hatred.
  • Gnomes and kobolds have a mutual hatred.
  • Elves have an invisibility power and are said to be armed with magic swords, so I'm going to say that elven hosts arrayed for war will always be wearing elven cloaks and wielding magic swords.
  • Orcs are said to be over-grown goblins, so there's some relation there.
  • Five clans of orcs are given here: Orcs of the Red Eye, Orcs of Mordor, Orcs of the Mountains, Orcs of the White Hand, and Isengarders.  These all have enmity with each other.  This is all very Tolkien, and I'm extrapolating from that to say that Middle Earth was in the distant past, and those were the five ancient clans that all orcs sprang from.
  • Wraiths and wights paralyze rather than level drain, so I'm saying that they're a little weaker on battlefields than in dungeons and other places of evil power.
  • The red dragon is classified in Latin as Draco Conflagratio or Draco Horribilis, so I'm positing the existence of a similar language of antiquity that was used to classify monsters.
  • Dragons in Chainmail can refresh their breath weapons more often than their D&D counterparts, so they are probably more vital than their dungeon-dwelling, treasure-hoarding brethren.
  • Purple worms being classified as dragons could be chalked up to a sage's error, or it could be the result of a dragon who has no treasure to sleep on.
  • Werewolves and werebears generally don't fight alongside animals of their were-type in D&D, but it could be that the Chainmail variety are of a more ancient and powerful breed, or that it's due to the environment.  It's only possible in Chainmail when there are woods present, after all.
  • Odin's spear and Thor's hammer are mentioned under magic weapons, pointing to the existence of at least the Norse pantheon
  • Excalibur is also mentioned, which is perhaps trickier to incorporate.
  • Magic weapons are listed as exclusive to the side of Law, which suggests that they're only available in large quantities to that side, probably via the elves.


I thought that post would be shorter, to be honest, but once I get going it's hard to stop me.  I'll be back shortly with another Recap & Roundup, this time for Chainmail 2nd edition.

Monday, June 11, 2018

AD&D Players Handbook part 59: Appendix IV - The Known Planes of Existence & Appendix V - Suggested Agreements for Division of Treasure

APPENDIX IV - THE KNOWN PLANES OF EXISTENCE

The final stretch of the Players Handbook brings me to the penultimate Appendix, which gives the most detailed description of the D&D cosmology yet seen.  The various planes are separated into the Inner and Outer Planes, as I'll get into.

Inner Planes
This basically covers the Prime Material Plane, as well as the other planes that directly connect to it: the Positive and Negative Material Planes; the Elemental Planes of Air, Earth, Fire and Water; and the Ethereal Plane.  Of particular note is the repeated mention of "parallel" universes, all contained within the Prime Material Plane: it's a fairly clever way of including the multitude of home campaigns in existence and tying them into the cosmology as a whole.
  The Positive Plane is described as being a place of energy and light, the "source of much that is vital and active", and the "power supply for good".  The Negative Plane, conversely, is home to anti-matter, and powers the undead and evil energies.  It's all fairly abstract stuff, and neither of these planes seems like a place you can visit and adventure within.
  The Elemental Planes aren't described in any depth beyond their names, which is a bit odd.  Perhaps Gary thinks they're self-explanatory, but a little more detail wouldn't go astray.
  The Ethereal Plane surrounds and touches all of the Inner Planes, and any creature that can become ethereal can use this plane to quickly travel between these planes quickly.

Outer Planes
The Outer Planes are described as the homes of powerful beings and deities, and the source of the alignments.  The Astral Plane is described as a "non-space where endless vortices spiral to the parallel Prime Material Planes and to the Outer Planes as well", and can be used to travel from the Prime to the Outer Planes.  It's noted that, where a particular Outer Plane has multiple levels, the Astral Plane only connects to the topmost layer.
  Rather than keeping it simple and having a Plane for each of the alignments, Gary complicates things by including the intermediary steps as well.  So not only is there a plane for Chaotic Good and a plane for Chaotic Neutral, but there's one in between for "Chaotic Good Neutrals".  Notes that there's no plane for true Neutral.  This gives 16 Planes in all, with very little in the way of description:

  • The Seven Heavens (LG)
  • The Twin Paradises (NLG)
  • Elysium (NG)
  • The Happy Hunting Grounds (CNG)
  • Olympus (CG)
  • Gladsheim, which apparently includes Asgard, Valhalla and Vanaheim (NCG)
  • Limbo (CN, where Chaos is defined as entropy)
  • Pandemonium (NCE)
  • The 666 Layers of the Abyss (CE)
  • Tarterus (NCE)
  • The "Three Glooms" of Hades (NE)
  • The furnaces of Gehenna (NLE)
  • The Nine Hells (LE)
  • The nether planes of Acheron (NLE)
  • Nirvana (LN)
  • Arcadia (NLG)

It's an eclectic mix, with bits pulled from Christian, Greek, Roman, Norse, and Buddhist religions and mythologies, as well as bits of Milton and Dante.  I'm probably missing some of the other influences.  There's a diagram that shows how all of it ties together (and also seems to show how many levels each of the Outer Planes has):


In its basic outline, this stuff is broadly similar to how Gary outlined it in its early stages in The Dragon #8.  This is the diagram provide with that article:


I'd originally thought that these were identical, but further exploration shows that the arrangement of the Outer Planes has been a little but shuffled around.  More specifically, Planes 11 to 14 in The Dragon went in this order: Happy Hunting Grounds, Twin Paradises, Olympus, Elysium.  In AD&D, that's been changed to the following: Twin Paradises, Elysium, Happy Hunting Grounds, Olympus.  The rest are the same, but even something as small as four planes being shuffled around is a pretty major difference when it comes to the primary make-up of reality.  The only reason I can think of that doesn't involve major reality alteration is simply that the research of scholars in the OD&D era was faulty.  They believed it was one way, but later on found out the truth.  I just hope that it remains consistent going forward from here.

Ethereal Travel
This section briefly describes where you can go to via the Ethereal Plane, and some of the dangers that might be encountered therein.  There are monsters (and we already know that most of those with petrification abilities exist partially within the Ethereal) and also the Ether Cyclone, which can blow a creature into another plane, or cause them to become lost for many days.  Ethereal creatures travel fast, and require no food, drink or rest.  The specifics are left for the Dungeon Masters Guide.

Astral Travel
Likewise,  Astral travel to the Outer Planes is given a brief overview.  The Astral equivalent of the Ether Cyclone is the Psychic Wind, which can similarly buffet travellers about or kill them by snapping their "silver cord" (the connection to their physical forms).  Astral travellers also require no food, drink or rest.

Ethereal and Astral Combat
It's mentioned that, when Astral or Ethereal, it is generally only possible to attack and cast spells on creatures who are also within the same plane.  Some spells can be cast from the Ethereal to the Prime, but not from the Astral to the Prime.
  The concept of magic weapons not functioning on certain planes is brought up (it was detailed more specifically in The Dragon #8, and will presumably be explored even further in the DMG).
  Astral forms can be destroyed by most creatures, causing the consciousness to return to the physical body via the silver cord.  Only very powerful creatures can snap the silver cord and kill the traveller outright: demon princes, arch-devils, gods, godlings, etc.).  Ethereal damage is said to be real damage, so presumably a character killed there is actually dead.



APPENDIX V - SUGGESTED AGREEMENTS FOR DIVISION OF TREASURE

Here Gary gives some ideas for how to fairly split treasure among the party.  There are three basic methods that he gives.  The first is to split the treasure equally, which is pretty obvious and workable.
  The second is to split it based on character level, with the more powerful characters getting more.  Again, this is pretty easy to work out, but I'm not sure about how fair it is.  It's fine assuming that the higher-level characters do the lion's share of the work, but that's not always the case.  It also creates something of an imbalance, where the stronger characters get more treasure and thus advance faster.  In practice it's probably fine, because of the large amounts of XP required to advance at high level, but it could lead to situations where lower-level characters are  perpetually outpaced.
  The third method uses equal shares, with bonuses for leadership and outstanding play.  This is the one with real potential for trouble, I feel, unless you have very easy-going players.   The decision as to who gets the extra shares could be a heated one, and objectively speaking it can often be the same players who are giving the most outstanding performances.
  Some modifiers are given, whereby NPC henchmen only get half shares, and dead characters only get treasure from before they were killed.  It's suggested that PCs whose actions are detrimental to the party (such as leading to a character death, or outright attacking one of the party) be stripped of shares.  Again, it's a recipe for dissension, although you're better off not playing with those kinds of people anyway I guess.
  Magic items are addressed, with the suggested methods boiling down to the players rolling dice and the highest getting first pick.  The suggestion that higher-level characters get to roll more dice and pick the highest is again one I'm not super-keen on.
  The thing to remember here, I feel, is that these are suggestions.  The most important thing is not the exact method chosen, but that the method is agreed upon and followed by all players.



THE END
And that, aside from some of the charts being grouped together, is the end of the Players Handbook.  I started going through it back in September 2015, and it's a relief to be done with it.  Now that I've finished, the main thing that strikes me about the PHB is what's not in it: the combat rules, most prominently.  I'm more accustomed to 2nd edition and beyond, where the PHB is the place you go to for the core rules of the game, so for me the 1e version feels a little bit lightweight.  I can understand Gary's idea that the game should be kept somewhat mysterious for the players, but personally I feel like everyone should know how the core rules work.  In real life I know roughly how likely I am to be able to accomplish a physical task, and D&D characters should be the same.  Anyway, I'm perhaps being a bit harsh.  Like the Monster Manual before it, this is an indispensable collation of the scattered bits of OD&D that came before, and I can't imagine how wonderful it must have been at the time to have all of this stuff in one great-looking hardcover.
  So what next?  The ostensible task of this blog is to go through every D&D product and stitch the lot together into one huge sandbox campaign.  With that in mind, my next stop ought to be The Dragon #15.  First, though, this feels like a good time to go back over everything and consolidate my work.  I was going to wait until I had the framework given by the introduction of Greyhawk as a setting, but that's a long way off.  The Players Handbook is as good a milestone as any.
  After that, I keep asking myself whether I should go forward, or move backward.  I keep wishing that I had used the blog as a sort of product-by-product history of the game, including the many semi-official non-TSR product lines.  So I might double back and look into some products like the Wee Warriors modules, Judges Guild, the early issues of White Dwarf, etc.  As usual, it's me making more work for myself when I really don't have the time.  This one's still up in the air.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

AD&D Players Handbook part 58: Appendix II - Bards & Appendix III - Character Alignment Graph

APPENDIX II: BARDS

Bards have appeared in D&D before this (in an article from The Strategic Review #6 by a Doug Schwegman), as a standard character class.  They were a sort of combination fighter/magic-user/thief, with some charm and lore abilities on top of that.  The AD&D version of the bard fits that description as well, but it's there that the similarities end.  I'm not sure why Gary changed the class so much, but there's a telling line right at the start: "As this character class subsumes the functions of two other classes, fighters and thieves, and tops them off with magical abilities, it is often not allowed by Dungeon Masters".  It's likely that Gary objected to the combination of powers granted by this class, and instead of the fairly streamlined class from the article, we got the much less friendly version seen here.

To qualify, a character must be human or half-elf, and have the following minimum scores: Str 15, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 15 and Cha 15.  Good luck rolling those scores legitimately (although there are certain legit methods we'll see in the Dungeon Masters Guide that could produce such a character without too much difficulty).  The OD&D bard needed "above average" scores in Strength, Intelligence and Charisma, and the class was open to elves, dwarves and hobbits.

Now we come to the biggest difference: the AD&D bard doesn't begin as a bard.  Instead, they must start as a Fighter.  Somewhere between 5th and 8th level they must change class, becoming a 1st-level Thief.  Again, somewhere between 5th and 9th level, the character must change class again, into a druid.  Once they're progressing as a druid, they are considered bards, and gain the requisite abilities.  It's a hell of a process, and it results in a more powerful character than the OD&D version.  For starters, they get full thief abilities for their thief level, rather than the half-level abilities of the OD&D bard.  They also end up with a shitload of hit points: 1d10 per fighter level, with 1d6 per druid level on top of that.  I have to wonder what Gary was thinking.  (Oh yeah, they also get all the druid abilities as they advance in that class too.)

The switch from magic-user spells in OD&D to druid spells in AD&D is an odd one.  It fits well with the explicitly celtic, druidic nature of the class as it is at this point, but it clashes somewhat with the minstrel/trickster that the class would become.

As a bard gains druid levels, they progress through the various "bardic colleges": Fochlucan, Mac-Fuirmidh, Doss, Canaith, Cli, Anstruth, Ollamh and finally Magna-Alumnae.  None of these are really explained, except to say that bards won't associate with those from a lesser college until they reach Magna-Alumnae and become teachers of a sort.  These colleges were all present in OD&D, except for Magna Alumnae.  I'm not sure what their purpose is, except perhaps to limit the number of bards getting about in the same adventuring party.

As for the bardic abilities they get on top of the rest, they are as follows.  They can inspire their allies with some poetry, granting a bonus to attack, damage and morale.  They can negate song-based attacks like those from harpies, and soothe and quiet shriekers.  They can use their music to fascinate and charm monsters.  Finally, they have a large knowledge of legends and lore, and can use it to identify certain magic items.

All told, it seems like a really strong class, perhaps over-powered, but I'd love to see one in actual play.  The mechanical weirdness of the whole thing seems a bit off, though, and to me suggests a lot of the regrettable future developments that Gary will come up with in Unearthed Arcana.  I wish he'd just stuck with the class from The Strategic Review, to be honest.

As for the Ultimate Sandbox campaign, the differences between the two present a problem.  Normally I might just shrug my shoulders and ignore differences between editions, but this is a significant one.  The notable difference is that the AD&D bard seems much more exclusive than the one in OD&D, racially and statistically.  It also seems to tie more specifically to the Druids, as they cast the same spells and have the same powers.  So I wonder if the original bards were Druidic at all?  Perhaps they came about as an organisation (albeit a short-lived one) inspired by the Druidic Bards, an imitation rather than the real thing?  Joining that organisation was not so hard, far less so than becoming a bard in the ultra-secretive Druidic sect.  The alternative is to have an off-shoot Druidic sect that had less stringent requirements, but I think I prefer the former.

APPENDIX III: CHARACTER ALIGNMENT GRAPH

This is the graph as it appears in the PHB.

 There's no text accompanying this chart, so its intended purpose isn't entirely clear.  It's probably meant for charting the alignments of the various players in the campaign, in case they drift out of their current alignment.  I don't see much other use for it, though I like the four descriptors for paragons of the four most extreme alignments.  Some similar charts have appeared in OD&D, and those featured a lot of the various monsters scattered around as examples.

Monday, May 07, 2018

AD&D Players Handbook part 57: Appendix I - Psionics

And now we come to one of my least-favourite aspects of D&D, psionics.  I'm fine with them in certain settings, like Dark Sun, but get 'em outta my vanilla fantasy.  I'd rather not have them in Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms, but they're in the rules so they'll be in my Ultimate Sandbox.  I can't exclude stuff just because I don't like it.

It looks like psionics are restricted to humans, and possibly dwarves and halflings.  A character must have an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma of 16+ in order to test whether they have any psionic power.  Those characters with scores of 16 only have a 1% chance, but that chance is a little bit higher for those with stats of 17 or 18.  I think the best chance a starting character can have is 10%.

If a character has psionics, they then roll 1d100 to determine their psionic strength.  Bonuses are added to this roll based on the character's Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma, ranging from 1 (for a character with a 16 in one stat) to 72 (for a character with 18 in all three).  The number is doubled to determine "psionic ability", and half of that total is used for psionic attack and the other half for psionic defense.

Attack Modes
There are five psionic attack modes, and a psionic character randomly determines how many of these they have access to.
  Psionic blast is a cone with a 6" range, and it's the only attack form that works on non-psionic foes. It's weirdly described as being like "stunning news" to the brain.  This to me suggests it would only be mildly startling, but something tells me it's probably more devastating than that.  In a somewhat familiar refrain, the actual effects aren't given.  Gotta wait for that Dungeon Masters Guide, folks!
  Mind Thrust affects a single foe, shorting their synapses.
  Ego Whip also attacks a single foe, attacking the ego either with feelings of worthlessness or megalomania.
  Id Insinuation pits the uncontrolled subconscious mind of the target against their super-ego.  We're getting into some real Freudian stuff here, but don't ask me what the actual effect would be because  have no clue.
  Psychic Crush tries to destroy every neuron in the target's brain, and it can only be defended against by Thought Shield.  So not only Freud, but with neurons we have some modern medical science.  The only thing to conclude is that certain theories were developed on Greyhawk earlier than they otherwise would have been due to magical research.

Defense Modes
Again, the number of defense modes a character can use is determined randomly.
  Mind Blank tries to hide the mind from attack by making it undetectable.
  Thought Shield tries to cloak different parts of the mind from attack.
  Mental Barrier builds a "thought repetition wall".
  Intellect Fortress calls forth the defensive powers of the ego and super-ego.  It can be extended to protect those within 10 feet.
  Tower of Iron Will uses the super-ego to build an unassailable fortress.  It can be extended to protect those within 3 feet.

Psionic Combat
Those in psionic combat can't do anything else, but because each exchange takes a single segment it probably won't matter.  I do balk a little bit at that.  I mean, when there are two guys in psionic combat, do they resolve ten actions for every one taken by the other PCs?  Doesn't that hold up the game a bit too much?  It probably doesn't come up too often, but I could see it getting annoying.
  Anyway, at the start of each exchange, each combatant chooses their attack and defense forms, lowering their psionic strength based on those chosen.  The attacks and defenses are cross-referenced on a chart to see what happens.  You guessed it: that chart is in the DMG.  It's no wonder everyone says that the 1st edition DMG is the best one, it has the whole bloody game system in it.  Multiple psionic creatures can combine their powers to increase their range, and their psionic strength.  If a creature runs out of psionic strength to defend with, they're open to all sorts of nasty effects that aren't in the PHB so I can't write about them.
  Psionic strength points are recovered more quickly than hit points, at a rate of 3 per hour when walking and up to 24 per hour when sleeping.

Use of Psionic Powers
There's a bit here about psionic powers and spells that create the same effects (such as ESP) attracting psionic monsters, but it says that it only happens when such monsters are within range and "attuned to such activity" whatever that means.

Psionics in OD&D
Psionics in OD&D were only open to humans, and were much more dependent upon character class than the system in AD&D.  Druids and monks were forbidden from learning psionics, but any other character with an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score of 15+ had a 10% chance of having some psionic ability.  Each class had specific penalties for gaining psionic power; for example, a magic-user lost spell slots with each ability, and a fighter lost Strength and followers.
  Characters with psionic potential had a 10% chance per level of gaining a new ability, so that at 2nd level they'd have a 20% chance, and so on until they had a 100% chance at 10th.  Abilities gained were randomly determined.
  The attack and defense modes in OD&D were the same as those in AD&D, but psionic strength was determined by the number of psionic powers possessed rather than ability scores.  The ranges for the various attack modes were notably longer.  It's hard to say how else psionic combat differs between the two though, because we don't have the complete AD&D rules yet.
  Probably the biggest difference between the two editions is that the psionic disciplines available to a character in OD&D were very much dependent on their class.  There are some restrictions in AD&D as well, but in general more of the powers can be used by everyone.
  I also just noticed that PCs in OD&D were heavily penalised for gaining psionic powers.  Fighters lost followers and Strength, thieves lost Dexterity, magic-users lost spells and clerics lost spells as well as weakening their turning ability.  None of that made the transition to AD&D.
  The two editions seem close enough that I don't think I'd need much of an explanation when doing the transition from OD&D to AD&D.  It might just be a difference in the way that psionics are taught, or a subtle shift in the Astral Plane.  I won't need anything major, if I do an edition shift with psionics at all.

Psionic Disciplines
The number of disciplines a character knows is randomly determined.  The disciplines are split between minor and major.  1st level character can only know one minor discipline, but they earn another one every two levels until they hit the maximum.  Most psionic disciplines grow more powerful as their possessor gains in level.

Minor Disciplines

Animal Telepathy: The character can communicates with mammals, but as they gain levels new types are added, such as reptiles, arachnids, monsters and even plants.
  In OD&D, this ability was only available to clerics.  It had the same advancement in types of animals that could be spoken to, but the levels needed is pretty much double in AD&D, i.e. you could talk to plants at 7th in OD&D and at 14th in AD&D.

Body Equilibrium: Allows a character to adjust their weight to walk on water, mud, sand, or to float down like feather fall.
  Magic-users couldn't use this ability in OD&D.  In AD&D it costs 1 psionic point per round, but in OD&D it could be used for an hour per level, so the duration has been greatly reduced.

Body Weaponry: Allows the caster alter their molecules to use their body as weapons or armor.  AC varies depending on character class, and both become more effective at higher level.  It's not clear if this actually makes the character metallic, or just really dense.  Magic-Users can't use it.
  In OD&D, only fighters and thieves could use this ability.  AC seemingly kept getting better with no cap (it stops at AC 0 in AD&D), and weapon equivalents went all the way up to longsword +5 (AD&D only gets to +4).  There's also a bit saying that a character can use the best possible weapon equivalent he has when Weapon Type vs Armor is in play.

Cell Adjustment: The user of this ability can heal wounds and cure diseases.  Clerics are the best at this, and thieves are the worst.
  Only clerics had this ability in OD&D.  It took 2 psionic points to heal 1 hit point in OD&D, which might be the same as or double that of AD&D.  (I'm not sure, because AD&D says that the cost comes from psionic points used for attack and defense.  I can't find an equivalent rule in OD&D, so they're probably the same, but if it's there somewhere then it's doubled.)  The OD&D ability was limited to once every 24 hours, but had a higher total amount that could be healed at one time.

Clairaudience: It's like the magic-user spell, with a 30 foot range.
  Clerics couldn't use this ability in OD&D.  It also increased in range at higher levels, whereas in AD&D it stays at 30 feet.

Clairvoyance: It's also just like the magic-user spell, but with a 20 foot range.
  Clerics couldn't use this ability in OD&D.  The range of this spell was ten times greater than the m-u spell, and at 7th level it became unlimited by distance.  Easy to see why Gary knocked that out.

Detection of Good or Evil: Allows the user to read the good/evil aura of a creature or object, with a lesser chance to learn their exact alignment.  The success chances get better at higher level.
  Fighter and thieves couldn't use this ability in OD&D.  It worked automatically, and didn't cost any points to use (it costs 2/round in AD&D).  Again, it was another ridiculous power that needed to be brought down a bit.

Detection of Magic: Detects presence and type of magical auras with a 5% chance per level.
  Fighters, thieves and clerics couldn't use this ability in OD&D.  It detected the presence of magic automatically, but had a lower chance of detecting the type.  There was a specific mention here that magic operates on a different plane, which seems consistent enough with what's in the books so far.

Domination: Allows the mental domination of another creature, although more psionic points must be expended the higher level the creature is, and trying to make them commit a self-destructive act also ups the point cost.  (I'm surprised it's allowed at all, D&D usually doesn't let that slide.)
  In OD&D, magic-users were the only class unable to use domination.  In AD&D, it's now thieves who can't use it, which makes a little more sense but also means I might have some explaining to do when the rules switch over.  Perhaps the magic-user's guild actually stole the ability from them somehow?

Empathy: The user can sense the needs, drives and emotions of unshielded minds within range.  Fighters can't use it.
  In OD&D, only clerics had this ability.  It's range was 2"/round, but in AD&D has been halved.

ESP: The user can read the thoughts of unshielded minds.  Interestingly. thoughts in an unknown language are meaningless.  Non-intelligent creatures transmit images or raw drives.
  Fighters and thieves didn't get this ability in OD&D.  Aside from having a longer range, it was otherwise the same.  It also has a bit about the ability allowing the user to "tune in" to thoughts, saying that it's "different from receiving or transmitting thoughts' telepathically".  Different how?  No explanation is given.

Expansion: Allows the user to grow in size, mass and strength, adding 1 foot and +1 damage per level.  Equivalent strengths are given for each level, ending with storm giant strength at level 12.  The ability also causes the user's clothing, weapons and armour to grow as well, but magic items expanded in this manner have a 5% chance of being destroyed.  Clerics can't use this ability.
  OD&D allowed the user to grow 2 feet per level, but still topped out at 12th level and storm giant strength.  It didn't say anything specific about damage bonuses.  It also had an arbitrary maximum duration of 2 turns, although growing to less than your maximum height could extend this.  AD&D dropped this for a flat 1 turn per level duration.  OD&D didn't say anything about items growing or shrinking either.

Hypnosis: The user can hypnotise a number of creatures, forcing them to follow reasonable orders or post-hypnotic suggestions.  The number hypnotised is based on the user's level, but the Hit Dice total is cumulative.  For example, a 4th level character could hypnotise 1+2+3+4=10 HD worth of monsters.  It only works on creatures whose Intelligence is between 7 and 17.
  In OD&D, fighters and thieves couldn't use this ability.

Invisibility:  This works like the spell, but because it affects the minds of its targets, it only works on creatures with a total HD equal to the user's level.  It can't be detected by magic, but a psionic with mind bar can use it to see the invisible creature.
  Only fighters and thieves could use this ability in OD&D.  It didn't mention anything about being undetectable by magic, or being blocked by a mind bar.

Levitation: This works like the spell, but its total duration can be split over a number of different uses.  The OD&D spell works the same, although it says nothing about being able to split the duration.

Mind Over Body: The caster can go 2 days per level without food, water and sleep.  This power can only be restored by resting completely for the same number of days for which it was used.
  In OD&D, clerics couldn't take this ability, but anyone can use it in AD&D.

Molecular Agitation: The psionic can agitate the molecules of an item, and after ten rounds that item will heat up: paper sets on fire, wood smoulders, water boils, flesh blisters, metal heats, etc.  If used on flesh it deals 1 point of damage the first round, 2 the next, then 3, then 4, etc.  On armour it works as a heat metal spell.  At higher levels, this ability works more quickly.
  Only magic-users could take this ability in OD&D.  It's otherwise exactly the same.

Object Reading: The user can "read" an object's history, possibly learning something about its former owner.  Legendary items may reveal a long, storied history, but not all magic items have such an aura.  Thieves can't use this ability (which is weird, it seems very appropriate for them).
  I believe that this ability wasn't in OD&D at all.

Precognition: The user can predict the result of an action in the near future.  The chance of success is increased by level, but it's also affected by the number of unknown factors, by the user's Intelligence and Wisdom, and pretty much by the DM's whim.  This one could bust some adventures, which is why Gary has a note at the end for the referee to adjudicate it carefully.
  In OD&D, only fighters and thieves had this ability.  It's otherwise exactly the same, right down to the wording used.  It's almost a cut-and-paste job.
 
Reduction: The user can shrink 1 foot per level up to 5th.  After that, the reduction is 50% of the remainder with each level.  Clerics can't use this ability.
  In OD&D the reduction is simply 1 foot per level, which would soon get into a situation where you have to figure out what happens when the character's level exceeds their height.  Gary fixed that up pretty well for AD&D.

Suspend Animation: The user can suspend all of their life functions, appearing as though dead for one cumulative week per level (meaning 1 week at 1st level, 1+2=3 weeks at 2nd, 1+2+3=6 weeks at 3rd, etc.).  They set a time at which they want to awaken, and nothing can wake them up until that time comes.  While suspended, the user doesn't need air, and can withstand temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit (that's a bit over 1 degree centigrade in the civilised world).  Upon awakening, the user must rest for a day per week suspended before being able to use the ability again.
  Clerics and magic-users couldn't use this ability in OD&D.  It also didn't mention anything about temperatures, or not needing air.

Sensitivity to Psychic Impressions: The user can sense emotions and see visions in areas where dramatic events and deaths have occurred.  This ability is very much open to DM fiat.  It wasn't in OD&D.

Major Sciences

Astral Projection: The user can travel into the Astral Plane and the Outer Planes, as with the spell astral spell.  It only works for the psychic though, not their companions.
  In OD&D, the ability doesn't point to the spell but rather contains all of the information in its own entry.  It has an odd bit about the speed of astral traveller increasing with their level: at 1st they can only travel at walking speed, but at 10th they can "project into space at the speed of light".  No sign of that in AD&D.  All of the stuff about silver cords and psychic winds is mentioned in the entry for astral spell, and I assume that the actual table used to determine when the wind severs the cord is in the DMG.

Aura Alteration: The user can either hide their own alignment, or use the ability to remove curses from others, as well as the geas and quest spells.
  Only clerics could use this ability in OD&D.  It's only function was the removal of curses; nothing at all was said about geas and quest, and there was zero mention of using it to alter your alignment aura.

Body Control: This grants the user resistance to harmful elements and environments: heat, fire, cold, poison gas, acid, etc.   It lasts for 1 turn per level, and protects against "1 hit die" of damage per level, which I interpret to be one die of damage.  Does this mean that a 10th level character with this power would be immune to a 10-die fireball?  That's how it seems to me, unless it only works against natural hazards.  Given that this ability basically protects from everything, it's probably a bit over-powered.  Oh yeah, as if that wasn't enough it also lets you breathe underwater.
  In OD&D the ability was much the same, but the duration was cumulative: for example a 3rd level user would be protected for (1+2+3) 6 turns, rather than 3 as in AD&D.  If I'm reading it correctly, though, it only gave protection against 1 die of damage, with the severity of the hazard reducing the duration.  It seems like a much more balanced power, to be honest.  Only fighters and thieves could use this ability in OD&D, but now it's available to everyone.

Dimension Door: This works like the spell, allowing short range teleportation.
  Only magic-users could use this ability OD&D, but anyone can use it in AD&D.

Dimension Walk: The user is able to travel great distances by "moving through the dimensions by inter-dimensional travel, rather than along them".  I'm not quite sure what that sentence is trying to say, but in practical terms it allows a character to traverse 21 miles in about 10 minutes.  There's a 10% chance of going in the wrong direction, reduced by level, and also a chance that the trip might take longer than expected (also modified by level).  There are no hostile encounters during a dimension walk, which is disappointingly non-Gygaxian.  I'd also like to know the nature of the dimension traversed: Astral? Ethereal?  Something else entirely?  It's a mystery.
  Magic-Users couldn't use this ability in OD&D, but it's not restricted in AD&D.  The base rate of travel was 1 hour per 100 miles, as opposed to 21 miles per turn in AD&D.  With six turns per hour, this means an AD&D character travels 126 miles an hour, a decent amount faster.  The table for determining extra travel time was a bit more forgiving in OD&D though, and there was no chance of heading in the opposite direction.

Energy Control: The user can dissipate energy attacks directed at them, at a cost of 1 psionic strength point per level of the attack.  It works on spells and energy attacks using fire, lightning, cold, etc.
  Only fighters and thieves could use this ability in OD&D, whereas it's available to anyone in AD&D.  It cost 5 strength points per level, a far steeper requirement.

Etherealness: The user can become ethereal, along with objects equal to 50gp weight per level.  They can also emerge on those planes touching the Ethereal: the Positive, Negative, and Elemental Planes.
  Only magic-users had this ability in OD&D, but now it's available to all.  The OD&D ability goes into more specifics, mentioning that it works similarly to the potion of etherealness.  It also mentions the psychic wind, which has a 1% chance of blowing per turn, and increases the user's chance of becoming lost (though not killed).  Presumably this stuff will be delved into in the DMG.

Mass Domination: The user can dominate up to five creatures, with the hit die of said creatures being higher according to the user's level.  The duration is 5 turns per level, but this is reduced for creatures with a high Intelligence or Wisdom.  As with most charm-type spells, you can't use it to make a creature commit self-destructive acts.
  Only clerics had this ability in OD&D, but in AD&D it's available to everyone except thieves.  It allowed the domination of "5 creature levels for two turns" for every level, with the duration extending to a full week at 7th level, and adding a week for every level thereafter.  AD&D has a longer base duration, but doesn't extend it to weeks at a time at higher levels.  OD&D also doesn't have the cap on maximum Hit Die affected that AD&D has.

Mind Bar: This prevents most forms of mental attack, including the sleep spell (which makes sense, given that it's often lumped with charm as far as resistances go).  This also includes demonic possession, and it also allows the user to see someone who is psionically invisible.  It has a 10% chance of success per level, and past 10th level it grants a chance to instantly locate your attacker.
  Only fighters and thieves had this ability in OD&D, but everyone can use it in AD&D.  It's otherwise similar, though it didn't specify the spells and abilities it works against as well as AD&D does.  It seemed more geared towards protection from possessions and magic jar than against mental attack spells.

Molecular Manipulation: The user can alter the molecules of an object to make it easier to break.  It begins with the equivalent of a thin cord at 1st level, all the way up to a magic plate mail and swords at 14th.  (Magic items get a saving throw, though.)
  Only fighters and thieves had this ability in OD&D, but in AD&D it's available to everyone.  The OD&D ability went up to a 2-foot stone wall at 10th level, and said nothing about magic armour and weapons.

Molecular Rearrangement: The user can transmute one type of metal into another, up to 10gp of weight per level.  The level also determines the hardness of the metal, starting at lead and gold, and ending at adamantite at 16th level.  This ability is demanding and can only be used once per month.
  Magic-Users couldn't use this ability in OD&D, but anyone can in AD&D.  In OD&D the point cost was double, but there was no restriction on the hardness of the metal.

Probability Travel: As I understand it, this ability allows travel to the Ethereal Plane, those planes it touches (Positive, Negative, Elemental), and also to various parallel worlds.  It's all a bit vague.  The higher level the user, the more people they can take with them.  There's also a chance that the user might end up somewhere other than their intended destination.
  Only clerics had this ability in OD&D, but anyone can use it in AD&D.  It's a little more specific about what the ability actually does: it "closely corresponds to astral projection with the corporeal body brought along".  It also gives a few possible uses: communing with friendly powers, risking entrance into hostile planes, or exploring the probabilities of a course of action.  It doesn't mention anything about bringing others along, or ending up in the wrong dimension.

Shape Alteration: Like polymorph self, the user can change their shape and gain the physical abilities of the new form, i.e. flight and breathing underwater, but not breath weapons and magical abilities.  The user's gear becomes part of the new form, but the point cost is increased depending on the amount, and turning inorganic items organic costs extra.
  Only magic-users had this ability in OD&D, but in AD&D it's usable by anyone.  It mentioned nothing about what happens to the user's gear.  On the whole, the AD&D spell costs less to use, although this doesn't factor in the costs for converting gear.

Telekinesis: Allows the user to mentally lift and move weights of 30gp per level, cumulative.
  Clerics couldn't use this ability in OD&D, but in AD&D everyone can.  It had a higher weight limit of 50gp per level cumulative.

Telempathic Projection: Like the empathy ability, but rather than sensing emotions the user can project them as well.
  Only clerics could use this ability in OD&D, but in AD&D it's available to everyone except for fighters.  The OD&D ability was likened to telepathic projection, but there seems to be no such link in AD&D.

Telepathy: The user can mentally communicate with any creature with an Intelligence of greater than 5, regardless of language.  For most creatures this requires line of sight, but for those well known to the caster it works within 186,000 miles (or 1 light second, which is a bizarre and somewhat pointless quirk).  This range can be increased if all parties are telepathic, though it seems unlikely it would ever need to be.
  As far as I can tell, this ability didn't exist in OD&D.

Telepathic Projection: This ability grants the user telepathic communication with other telepathic beings, as well as the power to make suggestions and possess others.  Both of these abilities are effective against higher Hit Die creatures at higher level.
  Only magic-users had this ability in OD&D, but it's available to every class in AD&D.  The suggestion ability affected 1 Hit Die worth of creatures per level in OD&D, whereas it is 1 HD cumulative in AD&D.  Possession wasn't mentioned in OD&D.  The helm of telepathy was said to increase the range of this ability in OD&D, but there's no mention of it in AD&D.

Teleportation: This works like the spell, but the user can spend extra psionic strength points to influence the chance of a mishap.
  Only magic-users had this ability in OD&D, but it's available to every class in AD&D.  It's otherwise the same.

And that's a wrap for psionics.  The specific powers are very similar to those from OD&D, with the major difference being that they are more widely available to the different classes.  The debilitating effects of gaining powers have also been gotten rid of.  I'm pretty sure that in earlier posts I was planning to introduce psionics as a side-effect of the encroachment of mind flayers and other psionic beings.  I guess that eventually humans grow more acclimated to this "awakening", making it easier to learn the powers and less traumatic physically and mentally.

At this point, I should note that my posts are going to be a bit less frequent from now on.  I've never been the most prolific poster to begin with, but due to a change in circumstances I'm now spending the majority of my life on Melbourne's wonderful public transport system.  The upside of this is that I have a lot more time for reading, but the downside is that I have almost no time for writing.  I won't abandon the blog, but don't expect a post more than once a month.  It's the best I can do, unfortunately.