Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Red Headed Step-Children of AD&D - Races

There were certain races that few, if any, chose in the campaigns I ran or played in during my AD&D years.

Gnomes - these misunderstood little buggers were often seen as a cross between Dwarves and Halflings, but lacking in the redeeming qualities of either. Which is really a shame, because, if I recall correctly (my AD&D books are back home and AD&D 2e often clouds my memories) Gnomes could multi-class as Illusionists / Thieves. This is a combo that literally feeds both sides of the combination - the sum certainly is more then the total of the part. Never saw a player play one, myself included. I don't think we ever got past the issue of gnomes as being sissified dwarves.

Half-elves - what could trey do that their elven parent couldn't? Multi-class as a Cleric up to 5th level, not get the elven bonuses to swords and bow, only minimally resistant to sleep and charm - oh, and if memory serves, they could be a low level ranger. Ah, but they could be a Druid to level 15 (class max). So if you were going to be a Druid, maybe it was a no brainer.

Half-orc - unless you were going to be an Assassin (already a red headed step-child) there was no reason to be a half orc. Want 4 levels of cleric with a piss poor wisdom and half expo for the rest of the campaign? Play a Half-orc Fighter / Cleric! It offered very little, and if role-played correctly, even less.


  1. Yeah for me, gnomes always sucked the most and the halflings sucked, but had great bonuses for a thief.

  2. I was amazed at how cool gnomes looked in D&D3.
    The level limits always seemed a little absurd.

    Why didn't they develop a system of experience point multipliers (i.e. it's harder to reach levels, but no level limit). After the first few character levels how imbalanced could character special abilities actual be in AD&D?
    I don't think gnomes benefit much in a magical sense either, am I right?
    (Damn, it's so hard to separate gnomes from the image of garden ornaments)


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