Sunday, April 7, 2013

Character exceptionalism in AD&D

I've decided to read through the 1e Player's Handbook for the first time in decades.  Sure I've looked at it from time to time over the years, and even used the charts and tables, but it's been forever since I've read the fine details.

One of the first interesting things I noticed was this quote in the Character Abilities section.  

"The premise of the game is that each player character is above average - at least in some respects-
and  has  superior  potential.  Furthermore,  it is  usually  essential  to  the character's  survival to be exceptional  (with a rating of 15 or above)  in no fewer than two ability characteristics. "

This seems to fly in the face of how much of the OSR views character exceptionalism. Of course 1e is quite a different game from OD&D or B/X.  Still, it points out that fairly early in the development of the game, PCs were intended to be special at their creation.  

Can't wait to find more interesting stuff like this. 

1 comment:

  1. AD&D is in fact the beginning of this tendency, in my opinion, and the start of character building and optimization. Especially the strange rules around ability score minimums (and maximums! characters with extra low charisma can only be assassins, for example).