This post is less advice and more a request for advice. It's also reasonably short for my posts.
How do you play OD&D? I've purchased the PDFs of the books, and I'm working on a way to print them without burning through ten ink cartridges. Still, I've read (skimmed) through them, and the rules seem so nonsensical and alien. Weird charts everywhere, strange attack progressions, different XP rates for everyone, strange book layouts, and numerous references to Chainmail (which I also purchased, but I haven't read through yet)
How did anyone ever figure this stuff out by themselves? Was D&D always passed master-apprentice style, with an experienced player going DM to teach others how it worked? Was this system intentionally designed (as it seemed to be stated in the books themselves) to be houseruled to hell and back? Did anyone play the same game? There are weird omissions for all kinds of rules that would be required to be houseruled in some way, or else powergamer folk will beat the hell out of it. Were powergamers not extant in Gygax's heyday?
Traps seem neat in the sense that they should be physically arrayed objects, and not just "roll to defeat" spots, but then how do you determine if someone can do it? Anyone can say "I put a table over the spike in the floor, so when it goes up again it get stuck in the wood" or something, but how does a DM (sorry, 'Referee') figure out if that would work? Fiat? Are there even proper rules for how much a trap spike damages a table?
The game seems interesting in theory, and some of it makes sense. A lot of the weird differences in spell and other behavior when outside as opposed to a dungeon seems a bit gamey and breaks suspension of disbelief, but hey, that's how it goes. What is with listing range in inches? I vaguely recall reading that an 'inch' of range in spell descriptions translates to something else in-universe, but I don't recall where, and I can't seem to find it offhand. Not to piss anyone off, but with this sort of thing as OD&D, where do people get off complaining about 'squares' in 4e? Replace "5 squares" with "5 inches" and you still have the same focus on miniatures.
Anyway, any folks who currently play OD&D or are old enough to have played it in the 70's have any advice on wrapping my head around this system?
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