Interesting post over at Dragonsfoot from Frank Mentzer:
Here is the text of the particular post, but once you're done here, I recommend taking a look at the entirely different take on the discussion in that group.
What's interesting is that there are three types of silence:
1) Silencing yourself for stealth but you can hear
2) Silencing an area (if yourself, you can't hear)
3) Silencing another person but not the area they are in.
Food for thought when designing spells or magic items.
Frank Mentzer wrote:
Yup, that's one of the notable differences between the two systems.
As you note, the OD&D/Moldvay/BECM/RC (ie Classic) version only suppresses your own sounds, while the AD&D 1e/2e version protects vs sound-based effects from monsters.
The AD&D versions reflect the progress of the game. Silence is really inconvenient for spellcasters, so it should be balanced by protection (vs harpy song etc).
From what I've seen, everybody playing Classic uses the AD&D version.
imo the Classic is version broken; you can't cast and you're vulnerable.
My bad. :/
Recommended fix: Best of both worlds
Silence 15'r: Use the 1e version; full sonic lockdown.
(level, range, DR, etc same as Silence)
(Why 20'? Why not? Avoids confusion with Silence 15'...)
Apply Classic interpretation BUT permit spellcasting & command word use. Does not affect incoming sounds. Commonly used to render party noise inaudible. The effect moves with the recipient/target; save to avoid, making it stationary (as with Silence). This may be used offensively, preventing a target creature from using a sound-based attack as long as it remains within the effect.