1974 is an important year for the gaming hobby. It is the year that Dungeons & Dragons was introduced, the original RPG from which all other RPGs would ultimately be derived and the original RPG from which so many computer games would draw for their inspiration. It is fitting that the current owner of the game, Wizards of the Coast, released the new version, Dungeons & Dragons, Fifth Edition, in the year of the game’s fortieth anniversary. To celebrate this, Reviews from R’lyeh will be running a series of reviews from the hobby’s anniversary years, thus there will be reviews from 1974, from 1984, from 1994, and from 2004—the thirtieth, twentieth, and tenth anniversaries of the titles. These will be retrospectives, in each case an opportunity to re-appraise interesting titles and true classics decades on from the year of their original release.
For example, Sheer and his friends are exploring a kaer when they discover some ghouls. As his friends move to attack, Sheer draws an arrow and fires at a ghoul. The ghoul has a Physical Defence of seven and an Armour rating of four. Sheer’s player decides to use his Missile Weapons, for which he will roll an eight-sided die and a six-sided die and add the results together. He rolls a six on the eight-sided die and a six on six-sided die, which means he can roll another six-sided die and add that to the total. He rolls five and the grand total is seventeen. The Game Master compares this result versus the Difficulty Number of the Ghoul’s Physical Defence. This is not quite enough to get an Extraordinary result, but it is enough to get an Excellent result. This means that Sheer’s attack bypasses the ghoul’s armour (or hit it in a soft spot if no armour is worn) and it will suffer the full effect of the Damage Test.