The error that changed the face of Dungeons & Dragons...

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slimykuotoan
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The error that changed the face of Dungeons & Dragons...

Post by slimykuotoan »

I firmly believe that clerics do not get to choose from their entire spell list when preparing new spells each day during the course of an an adventure.

Rather, they must select the spells they will use before an adventure, and these become the cleric's 'list' throughout play, as stated in the AD8D Players Handbook, the Rules Cyclopedia, etc: "Spells of any sort (magic user and cleric alike) must therefore be selected prior to setting out on an adventure..."

Example:

If a 1st level cleric selects Bless, that becomes the character's selected spell until finishing the adventure, or once he can select a new spell at 2nd level.

The confusion occurred when the Basic Set was edited, and 'per day' was added in brackets when referring to the reacquisition of spells, but this was meant merely to say that you could reacquire spells from your selected list after rest.
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Grandpa
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Re: The error that changed the face of Dungeons & Dragons...

Post by Grandpa »

Interesting. Never played Basic. Yes, that must have messed with that branch of D&D

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Kayolan
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Re: The error that changed the face of Dungeons & Dragons...

Post by Kayolan »

I think Slimy is on to something, reading my copy of Basic Set Dungeons & Dragons (Holmes edit, 1977) it states:

CLERICAL SPELLS
Clerics of the first level can not cast any spells.
When they reach the second level, however, they are
capable of one spell per game/day. Since clerical
spells are divinely given, they do not have to be studied
to master them. A second level cleric can call on any
first level spell he wants to use, thus the entire gamut of
spells is available to him for selection prior to the adventure.
However, only that spell or spells selected can
be used during the course of the adventure.

"(...)the course of the adventure", it seems clear that clerics were not meant to be able to change their spells in the midst of an adventure.

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Re: The error that changed the face of Dungeons & Dragons...

Post by Lurker »

Select a spell for the entire adventure .... Wow that DOES limit the cleric's abilities !
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Ancalagon
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Re: The error that changed the face of Dungeons & Dragons...

Post by Ancalagon »

Lurker wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:28 pm
Select a spell for the entire adventure .... Wow that DOES limit the cleric's abilities !
Emphasis mine.
Indeed. Unnecessarily so, IMO.
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Re: The error that changed the face of Dungeons & Dragons...

Post by Traveller »

Just to point out that the quoted passage from Kayolan is something Holmes added to the rules, as OD&D treated clerics as little more than fighting men with an edged weapon restriction and spellcasting ability. Supplement I did try to make wisdom relevant to clerics, but it only served as an XP booster. Clerics in Supplement I knew all their spells regardless of wisdom score.

So...the "error" here is one of omission, as there simply wasn't enough room in the OD&D books to provide details on a cleric's spells per day. By the book, it would be up to the referee to decide how he wanted to play it out. I believe that most referees would have adapted the magic user's spellcasting rules to the cleric. It wasn't until Holmes that some structure was given to the cleric's spellcasting ability; structure that AD&D fully fleshed out and the Basic line emulated.

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Re: The error that changed the face of Dungeons & Dragons...

Post by slimykuotoan »

Kayolan wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:16 am
I think Slimy is on to something, reading my copy of Basic Set Dungeons & Dragons (Holmes edit, 1977) it states:

CLERICAL SPELLS
Clerics of the first level can not cast any spells.
When they reach the second level, however, they are
capable of one spell per game/day. Since clerical
spells are divinely given, they do not have to be studied
to master them. A second level cleric can call on any
first level spell he wants to use, thus the entire gamut of
spells is available to him for selection prior to the adventure.
However, only that spell or spells selected can
be used during the course of the adventure.

"(...)the course of the adventure", it seems clear that clerics were not meant to be able to change their spells in the midst of an adventure.

Thanks for that quote Kayolan! :)
For crying out loud, do what you can with the attributes the dice have given you. This is what separates the men from the boys... -Kayolan

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Re: The error that changed the face of Dungeons & Dragons...

Post by Rhuvein »

I don't think this changed the face of game at all, Twas just one of so many confusing or conflicting rules, wording and or other poorly written descriptions of the game.

Agreeing with Stephen (Trav) - ref to decide how to "play it out" ~ house ruling. It's what we did before we knew that we were house ruling. To me, Holmes was full of stuff that needed to be ignored or house ruled. I used to love reading stories from DM's who admitted playing it "wrong" or doing the rules differently. And in the end, for the most part - every DM did it right in their game.
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