I wonder what kind of different beast D&D might have become if there wasn't so much emphasis on standardization and tournament play. I don't mean that people at home were playing against each other for points, but that most of the classic AD&D modules were designed for tournament play. I don't have enough experience to know for sure but I can't imagine that tournament modules would be designed in the same way a module for a DM's home group might be.
The reason for this post was I was just looking in module A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity (looking for rumors) and saw this:
If we sat down together to make a set of rules to de-funify D&D, this seems to be a pretty good start.
- First no one gets to make a character and no fun of rolling the dice for the whole gambling aspect of random stats.
- No wandering monsters, so, it will be pretty scripted. We can give it the benefit of the doubt and hope some encounters are in hallways so that we might not notice there are actually no random encounters.
- No negotiating! No morale breaking for monsters. So if you see it you slay it. Why not just turn it into an arena fighting game or something? We could give the benefit of the doubt here but I peeked at the scoring sheet and you get points for exploring everywhere. So it looks like you are not meant to avoid monsters but slay them all.
- You don't get to level up. The Un-Progress Quest
- And you get scored! Hurrah! "Not only did I keep rolling ones in combat but our team is the worst in Wisconsin."
But if I understand it correctly the way tournaments worked is the team would be scored overall-- how many in the group survived, how much you all managed to explore- not individually. And you would be playing with strangers. Can you imagine a national basketball tourney that placed you in random teams and then had you play basketball with lots of strange rule changes (no passing, no 3 point shots, no freethrows)?
It just seems so odd. Do they still do these at conventions? I imagine it would be much easier with something like 4e.