Many of the retro RPG blogs I've been reading have discussed the fact that most players never used all of the rules exactly as they were written in the books. We have an exact history of the rules from old games, but more people need to discuss how they actually played the games back in the old days. This has got me thinking about what went on in the games I was involved with in the 80's.
My first RPG was Moldvay Basic set. First game session was Keep on the Borderlands. We obviously didn't know what we were doing because I distinctly remember attacking the keep. After that experience, I think I paid more attention to the rules and the text in the modules. I'm fairly certain that I followed the rules in Basic fairly precisely. However I quickly moved on to AD&D, which is a whole other story.
There are so many rules in 1e, that there is no way that we ever used them all. We used all the character creation rules and charts. We used the spells. But we used the combat sequence and general combat rules from Basic. The rules from AD&D we just to confusing, and most of the time people couldn't agree on them. I remember one DM making players roll to hit twice; one to see if they hit, and once to penetrate armor. I blame the gigantic weapon vs. armor chart in the PHb (though the wargamer in me now loves the thing).
Next time, 2nd edition AD&D.