Demon Idol: A Gamist AD&D Interpretation


The Demon Idol logo, an abstract rendition of the demon idol on the cover of the AD&D Player's Handbook.

Today I am sharing Demon Idol outside our group for the first time. Demon Idol is a gamist interpretation of the AD&D rules, a living document containing rulings, references, and guides. I hope that it will be interesting or valuable to other AD&Ders, especially people who are new or interested in the game.

When I started our AD&D campaign in August 2022, I created a public document for the players which contained deities and other campaign info, but also served as a place to write any rulings that were made. I always write down rulings because I prefer "rules then rulings" D&D, as opposed to "rulings then rules". If I have to make a ruling because the rules are silent on some topic or interaction, I write them down and they become a rule. A rule is something players can rely on and use to make meaningful decisions. Rulings that can be expected to come up again must become rules or the game's foundation becomes more nebulous as DM fiat is introduced, and consequences lose meaning. At least, that's what I believe, with my brand of gamism.

In our second year of AD&D, our "campaign doc" had evolved to around 40 pages in length. Part of that was a lot of cool swords & sorcery artwork, but it was still a lot of text. Most of it was not campaign-specific stuff. So I decided it was time to share our campaign doc, as people have done before us. I spent time over the last few months putting together Demon Idol, which is a living document with all of our rulings and systems, along with procedures, advice, gotchas, and so on.

There's quite a lot I still need to add, including our character sheet and DM screen. Various rulings need more polish, explanation, and in some cases updating. But AD&D is an unending journey, and if I wait until it's "perfect" or even "done", I'll never share it. So here it is.

I love AD&D, and I love old-school gaming. I'm really happy to be able to share this with all of you. Please email me your thoughts at Fight on.

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