Tonight was the second session of my new weekly Tuesday campaign of AD&D 1st edition. Prior to the beginning of this game, it had been some six years since I had run even a short game of the older editions (Cyclopedic), and probably six years before that since I had run a regular campaign of the older games. (AD&D2) I had forgotten how very different the experience point system is. The party dealt with seven giant rats (of the semi-intelligent Sumatran variety, zounds!) and had received a miserable 70 experience points, which was then split five ways. Even with ad hoc awards for entertaining play, clever ideas, etc... at this present rate, it will take even the "fast track" classes ten sessions to level. I'm all for a slow paced game, but this seems a little extreme.
It is a bit odd to return to a time when treasure wasn't meted out by level, where even a lowly first level character might conceivably find a powerful magic item. The odds are not great, but they are there.
It will take some time, I suppose, to find the right balance of monetary treasure placed (since it is worth experience) and experience handed out for monsters and other obstacles. It is a very different experience, indeed.
It is also worth noting that I am tossing out the rating system and training rules from the 1st edition DMG as written. They do not fit the style of the game I am running. I might introduce something in the way of training, but it will not be the time and gold sink of the old rules, nor will it force me to "grade" the players on how they adhere to stereotype.
More on experience later.
I will say that this is the most fun I've had running a game in a long time. My wife says she can hear me DMing exuberantly from upstairs, and that I sound like "my old gaming self."
Aside from one technical hiccup, Skype delivered our Vermont based player so that he could participate in our session. I continue to think about the possibilities that Skype now affords me.