The poll in my post from earlier this week seems to be pointing me in the direction of AD&D for running convention games, at least certainly for running old tournament modules. To be honest, I was kind of leaning in this direction anyway, but it’s nice to see some proof that it’s the right choice. This brings my current gaming habits to an interesting point: B/X D&D for my home campaign, AD&D for conventions. Something about that just feels right: the right tool for the right job.
This weekend I will be running the second half of A1 for a group using AD&D fairly by the book as a practice run. I will still use simplified initiative and target-20, which I think will be the biggest divergences from the core rules as written. Other house rules may sneak in from habit, but I suspect will be fairly trivial in nature. Last weekend I spent some time transcribing the characters to character sheets. I had the PHB and DMG on hand to fill in some details, and the whole experience just felt right. Something about flipping between those specific charts, the smell of those books in the air, a #2 in my hand — it really hit all the right nostalgic notes for me.
Assuming this practice run goes well, this is how I will run those games at TotalCon next month. I really like the idea of billing this as in recognition of WotC’s plan to reprint those books. I see no reason to buy the reprints myself (I already have two copies of each book), but I like the idea of encouraging others to buy them, especially folks who may not have nor ever had copies.
In the long run, I think I’d still likely use B/X for intro style convention games, but in that case I’d probably still stick closer to the book as written than in my home campaign (when else do I get to play with race as class?) For re-running old modules though, AD&D does seem like the right choice. Hmm, I suppose the question is, can I imagine ever writing my own convention game for use with AD&D? Actually, that might be the distinction, I much prefer to write for B/X than AD&D, but if something is already written for AD&D, I’ll just use that.
Or maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe I just need to take this one convention at a time.