I'm curious about the Experience Point system in the "Major Rules Clarification" paragraph, which if I understand correctly was an idea from Gary Gygax.
The basic rule seems to have been to average the levels of the combatants to get an average level to figure XP.
I'm wondering how well this method worked for you, how you felt about it, or if any problems arose.
One thing I can see is that it would be to the advantage of higher level characters to bring along more lower level ones to lower the group average and provide a little more XP. This may not be such a bad thing, though, since higher level caracters would assume to be leading and instructing the lower level ones in the fight, justifying a little more XP.
Happy to wax philosophical 40 years after the fact, Len Scensny replies:
I do remember that we were concerned about our campaign developing imbalances if too wide a gap was created between characters. John and I bought in very strongly (at least I think John did too) to the fundamentally non-competitive basis of D&D. For me, one of the strongest attractions of the game was that each adventure was a session of cooperative problem solving, not a struggle to see who ended up on top - quite a paradigm shift in the gaming hobby, and in my mind the most significant break from the past that D&D offered.
At our first large exhibition adventure, during a Detroit Gaming convention in late 75, we were explaining the game to a guy named Will Niebling, and he asked "So, how do you win?" John and I looked at each other and clearly couldn't think of a satisfactory answer. Whatever we said did seem to satisfy him, though, since he joined that session and our campaign, eventually moving to Lake Geneva and working for TSR.
But, I digress. In my mind, it was important to have all players in an adventure within a few levels of each other, to maximize the fun for everyone, and to assure we had a large enough pool of players for any adventure. I also didn't particularly want to encourage players to try to hog too much of the fighting. In fact, watching the group efforts of the players to figure out what to do was a lot more fun than observing a bunch of die rolls. And that's not something readily measured with experience points. So there was no problem with averaging the experience for me, or as far as I could tell, with the players.