Originally Posted by Fnord
My pen & paper group also completely ignored rules like that. We never thought rules like that made any sense, and so we did not use them. In fact, I think I know of more people who ignored them than people who used them. Then again, early D&D did have a lot of strange things that, in retrospect, either are very unintuitive or flat out bad design.
AD&D (at least AD&D 2) really has its sweet spot at around level 4-8, where most classes feel roughly balanced compared to each other, and you don't get any of the things that completely breaks the game. Sub level 4 (and level 1-2 in particular), AD&D combat is very random. I'm personally not a fan of really low level AD&D, be it Goldbox or Baldur's Gate.