View Full Version : Simplified AD&D rules - where to find?

2014-10-21, 03:29 PM
I remember having played such a version years ago, but I cannot remember the name. It included only four classes (fighter, wizard, rogue, cleric), used the THAC0 system, and it supplied pre-made character sheets. It featured up to 5 levels, and up to lvl 3 spells. Anyone knows what I mean, and what is the name of this?

Reason is that I want to casually introduce the game to some friends.

I'm also happy with other suggestions for a casual DnD game than this particular version I had in mind, if it is more suitable/fun to play.

2014-10-22, 01:08 AM
I think that was the large black box that was rules from Basic D&D (not AD&D). When WotC decided to fold the D&D world of Mystara into 2nd Ed AD&D they published a large box with cardboard figures and the rules for levels 1 to 5. They then did a few more large boxes (with more figures and maps, each one a single adventure) and then a new campaign setting "Thunder Rift" with a few adventures in more classic module format.

Your best bets are ebay and local/internet 2nd hand game shops.

Edit: If you don't get a better answer than this, you could try the "Other Systems" sub-forum - it' where the people really knowledgeable about the older versions hang out but I think most should read this here too so you should be good.

Mark Hall
2014-10-22, 07:09 AM
It's also not terribly dissimilar from Dungeons and Dragons Basic, which is 3 levels, 4 classes, and races as classes. You can find it around, but also collected in the Rules Cyclopedia, which collects Basic, Expert, Companion, Master, and Immortals rules in two covers.

2014-10-22, 09:34 AM
AD&D 2e did have a starter box like that. You can find it over on NobleKnight or probably on Amazon pretty easily.

I recommend it only on the basis of "it's fairly easy to get into." Don't mistake it for the actual rules, though. It's dramatically reduced to bare essentials.

The adventures in it are kind of nifty, too, for whatever it's worth.

2014-10-23, 03:37 PM
OSRIC(tm) is a free AD&D clone. (http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/osric/).

I have to ask though: if it's about introducing friends to roleplaying, what's wrong with 5th edition? It's much more streamlined yet has more player options, and the basic 4-class sampler is also free.

2014-10-23, 04:03 PM
Osric isn't particularly simple, though. If you're looking for a simple version of early D&D, there's much better ones available.

2014-10-23, 05:54 PM
Osric isn't particularly simple, though. If you're looking for a simple version of early D&D, there's much better ones available.

I would point out that neither is 5th edition. It has a similar issue that 3.x did, simple appearance on the outside, but when you dig in, it gets complicated fast. AD&D had a fairly constant complexity level.

If you want really simple, though, you really want a set of Basic. Takes maybe ten minutes to learn and lasts a lifetime if you go in with expert and eventually companion.

Jay R
2014-10-23, 09:29 PM
I'm having trouble processing the phrase "Simplified AD&D". The simple rules were Dungeons and Dragons. Then they complicated them - a little bit for Basic D&D, and a lot for AD&D. But the simplified rules are D&D (with the supplements Greyhawk, Blackmoor, and Eldritch Wizardry).

1337 b4k4
2014-10-24, 07:54 AM
If you're looking for simple, but you still want the AD&D classes and a few modern conceits (ascending AC for example). You might check out Swords and Wizardry Complete (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/86546/Swords-and-Wizardry-Complete-Rule-Book).

Alternatively, if you don't mind and order style (descending AC, to hit tables or THAC0) you could pick up Labyrinth Lord and it's Advanced Edition Companion (http://goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.html)

That said, as others have mentioned, what you're talking about sounds an awful lot like early Basic D&D and if there's noting specifically that you want from AD&D, then you're probably better off grabbing one of the basic clones on their own or grabbing the current 5e basic rules. If you don't want to use 5e, my recommendation for simple would be Swords and Wizardry Core (http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/?page_id=4). It's simple, presented well, easy to pick up, has a few modern conceits that make things easier for the new gamer and is sufficiently flexible that you can add just about anything you want with a minimum of fuss.

2014-10-25, 06:41 PM
Thanks for all these suggestions guys.

I didn't know there was a 5e basic version, I will check it out. Those other variants also sound interesting.