Rather than poo post about how great AD&D is and how Gygax got it right we did actually test out some things from D&DN yesterday. Our group is using a weird hybrid rule of 1st and 2nd ed AD&D converted to d20 format via Myth and Magic a d20 2nd ed clone. After buying Gygax magazine for $5 this is where my gaming $$$ have been going lately. I thought I would like a more liberal game and use these strange new concepts such as skills, talents, d20, BAB and weapon specialization. All in an effort to be more inclusive of course.
D&DN monsters are tougher than AD&D monsters for the most part in terms of hit points, damage etc but have weaker defenses. I converted some D&DN monsters to AD&D rules but mostly just tweaking the numbers using AD&D defenses such as AC and things like magic resistance and required +X weapons to hit etc. attack numbers were flipped to BAB. In effect we powered up the D&DN monsters. After 30 odd years of more or less playing the same system one gets a rough idea where you can put the numbers to make it work.
PHB AD&D 1st/2nd ed
Tome of Magic
Spells and Magic spells (Cure moderate wounds, Cats grace etc)
Myth and Magic Players Guide
As I said we tried for a very liberal game using things I normally do not allow- for a high powered game.
1 Lvl 4 Mage
1 Lvl 4 Swashbuckler (Fighter/Thief)
1 Lvl 5 Cleric
1 Lvl 5 Fighter
4d6 drop the lowest were used for ability scores, cleric rolled exceptionally well and with racial scores and talents had 4 scores above 16 although note in M&M an 18 gives you +3 to hit/damage and +8 on skill/attribute checks. 16 is +2 hit/damage, 14+1 etc.
We were also running a rough conversion of Pathfinder Adventure Paths I borrowed off the kids who play that game, not my thing but very sexy APs. Anyway the PCs encountered the level 13 Green Dragon with buffed defenses from the D&DN playtest. For magic items they had nothing really that exceptional. Several +1 weapons although by the time they were done they had a +3 mace of smiting and a +1 flametongue short sword. We were not using builds as such but the fighter/thief was a dual wielding short sword specialist with the weapon finesse talent (dex to hit not damage), and the fighter was a long sword specialist using errataed long sword (1d10 vs large instead of 1d12 in AD&D).
Put simply the Dragon lasted 2 rounds vs AD&D characters with at best +1 weapons. The dual wielder had 5/2 attacks for 1d8+ modifiers, and the long sword user 3/2. Cleric used a +1 shillelagh war club for 2d8+3 damage and had 17 strength.
And there you have it. AD&D characters without "kewl powerz" defeating a buffed D&DN Dragon in 2 rounds via direct damage and no save or die or any other spell used except volleys of magic missiles (less damage than D&DN ones) and ye olde beat down as they caught the Dragon in its lair (50% chance).
D&DN the Pubbie Edition. Gygax was right, all hail AD&D. Looks like we'll be using AD&D monsters in the future or further buff the D&DN ones as they seem easy to convert and I do like things like the new undead better than the old energy drain wights, wraiths etc. The PCs were exploring a wilderness area and got more xp doing that than combat so they were mor or less at full strength.