Thinking of returning to AD&D 2nd ed... Advice needed. - Page 3




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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperialus View Post
    Thanks for the advice all, but I do have one other question, I posted it on DF but I figure ENworld sees higher traffic. Does anyone know what the differences are between the printings? Is there any particular reason I should search out the version with the Knight and the Wizard on the covers rather than the black covers?

    Right now I'm kinda leaning towards the black covers, because for one, they were the version that we had as kids, and two, I love the artwork in them. That picture of the adventuring party posing with the dead baby dragon is probably one of my favorite pieces of D&D art ever, they just looked so damn proud of themselves. But what really matters is are there any mechanical differences between them that might push me towards one or the other?
    aside from a bit of type-face correcting and a bit of errata, they're pretty much the same content-wise.

    Personally, my suggestions are: PHB, DMG, Monstrous Manual (hardback), Tome of Magic, Players Option: Spells & Magic (for the rebalanced priest spheres and new specialists/specialty priests).
    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhandus
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  • #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffB View Post
    Its all the extra splat books ad nauseum that ruins 2E, IMO.

    That said- you can find copies for cheap on Amazon used booksellers. I was looking last night as a matter of fact for a original cover 2E PHB- you can pick up a decent one for 8-10 bucks shipped.
    The longer I play RPGs, the more that I think that the art of creating good splatbooks is a very difficult one. The benefit of new rules and options needs to be balanced against the cost of a larger volume of rules.

    But I have had good luck locating used 2nd edition books and think that it is reasonable to find used copies. It's definitely not more expensive than buying a current RPG system.

  • #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat View Post
    I'd be fine with 2nd edition if it weren't for those damn non-weapon proficiencies, which drive me nuts.
    If you don't like it, don't use it. The game still works without it and you don't have to worry about the game hanging on non-weapon knowledge for a successful run. Maybe assuming that most adventurers can build a fire without a kit might be much but going with the base that most adventurers are capable of general info isn't too much for suspension of dis-belief either. After all, it's only a simulation; and it's your game at that.

  • #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remathilis View Post
    aside from a bit of type-face correcting and a bit of errata, they're pretty much the same content-wise.

    Personally, my suggestions are: PHB, DMG, Monstrous Manual (hardback), Tome of Magic, Players Option: Spells & Magic (for the rebalanced priest spheres and new specialists/specialty priests).
    Yeah, they're about the same. I have the horse PHB and the black DMG, and that was never a problem. I agree on the books, add ToM to core because it's frequently referenced, and it just has a lot of great stuff. ToM is practically a 4th core book. Spells & Magic erratas the spheres and has a lot of cool specialist variants, plus it adds a number of spells for casters (some of which eventually ended up in 3e core) has some interesting rules like spell duels, spell points, and alternate spell casting systems, some solid guidelines for magic item creation, and has combined spell lists for the PHB, ToM and S&M. Probably the single best PO book.

    There's a lot of 2e material out there, though much of it is campaign specific, so you can skip it if you like. Here's my recommendations on various optional resources you could eventually add to a normal 2e campaign though you can pick and choose from this stuff:

    Arms and Equipment Guide: Used enough that's it's often considered core along with ToM.

    Combat & Tactics: very good resource if you want to use minis, and makes a good alternative to Fighter's Handbook. Combat rules are to some degree a prototype of 3e, so if the combat rules are one of your big issues with the system, you probably won't want to use them. Has a big selection of weapons, including exotic stuff and firearms. Rules for siege weapons like catapults and cannons. Critical hits and crit tables.

    High-level campaigns: Good advice for campaign building even if you don't go into upper levels. Also, additional powers for high-level characters, level-based saves, and true dweomers (10th-level spells).

    Skills & Powers: YMMV. There's some stuff in this book that is broken. Some people love it. I'd say it's worth taking a look at this book though. Even if you don't want to use the full point-based system, you can still use CPs for the proficiency rules or as a 2e equivalent of action points. Also has some basic kits you can use if you don't want to dive into the world of 2e splats.

    The Encyclopedia Magica and Spell Compendia are good resources, but not necessary. I'd say get them if you want access to a big variety of magic items and/or spells, but they shouldn't be the top priority.

    World Builder's Guidebook is an excellent resource for campaign building, and is often considered on of the best 2e books. The advice is useful even outside 2e.

    Notable splats:

    Fighter's Handbook: It was the book to get for extra combat rules until Combat & Tactics. It's easier to use than Combat & Tactics, but less comprehensive. You can simply pick and choose between the two if you like.

    Thief's Handbook: Adds a number of useful NWPs for rogue classes, and has some nice rules for creating thief's guilds.

    Psionics Handbook: If you want to use psionics, you need the book. Otherwise optional. Also, if you want to use psionics, take a look at S&P which has revised psionics rules.

    Bard's Handbook: Pretty much optional, but the bard kits add some interesting variants on the class.

    Druid's Handbook: Includes variant druids for terrain types other than forests, plus some new spells.

    Book of Humanoids: Rules for creating non-standard humanoid characters.

    Monster Compendia: Most of your basic monsters are in the MM, and you could certainly get by with just that book. The MCs are for the most part campaign specific anyway, the first two that were for core 2e are all in the MM to begin with. For a normal 2e campaign, there are a few MCs that are somewhat useful for a typical campaign:

    MC Annuals: 4 books with a variety of monsters compiled from multiple sources. The second book includes random encounter tables for the MM, and the third book has an index for the first 3 volumes. Good for when you want something unusual.

    Planescape MC: The first one has most of your basic planar monsters like demons, devils, and angels. Good resource if you need those monsters. The other two aren't bad either, but not as useful overall for a general campaign.

    Mystara MC: Lots of general monsters updated from Basic D&D material that can be used in just about any normal campaign. Another good source for unusual encounters.
    PbP info here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/5396456-post81.html

  • #25
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    The differences between 1e and 2e in for core rules is minimal when it comes to the rules that people commonly use. It's only when you get to AD&D subsystems that people don't use much and some supplementary ideas in 2e (like kits) that people associate with the game do you get into anything significant. Well, that and a couple of character classes that were widely disliked back in 1e anyway.

    The funny thing is that I am saying this as I run a RAW 1e game. Doing this has taught me that 90%+ people were basically playing AD&D2 anyway, since using every 1e rule leads to a radically different game. Hell, I'll even say this: OSRIC plays more like 2e than 1e.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Captian Tobacco View Post
    If you don't like it, don't use it. The game still works without it and you don't have to worry about the game hanging on non-weapon knowledge for a successful run. Maybe assuming that most adventurers can build a fire without a kit might be much but going with the base that most adventurers are capable of general info isn't too much for suspension of dis-belief either. After all, it's only a simulation; and it's your game at that.
    2E's NWP were optional anyway; I eagerly added them to my game, but I certainly don't remember any of the old modules even mentioning NWP's in monster stat blocks.

    It's also too bad that the PDFs were discontinued, this sort of thing would make purchasing them well worth it.

    Beyond what the others have suggested, I always found Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog a wonderful addition to the game (minus the reaver). While it is supposedly flavored for FR, about 90% of the material should work in any ol' game, and it's always fun to peruse and read.

    In the main books, I've always been fond of the kits from the first four books (Complete Fighter, Priest, Rogue and Cleric), as they aren't generally overpowering - and decently flavorful.
    "If it has stats, we can kill it." - T.G. Jackson, intro to 3rd ed Hackmaster

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  • #27
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    So after a trip to the FLGS (and my old gaming buddy and I both raiding our basements) I now have a DMG, Spells and Magic, Combat and Tactics, Complete Fighters, Priests, Wizards, Thieves Paladins Rangers and Psionics. WOO! Now off to Ebay for the rest
    Originally Posted by diaglo
    Olgar Shiverstone or other new edition DM: so i've gotta wrap up the campaign..
    diaglo: we could play OD&D(1974) the only true game. All the other editions are..
    other gamer: i could run a campaign set in space with ninja pirates.
    other gamers: done. when do we start.
    diaglo:

  • #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperialus View Post
    So after a trip to the FLGS (and my old gaming buddy and I both raiding our basements) I now have a DMG, Spells and Magic, Combat and Tactics, Complete Fighters, Priests, Wizards, Thieves Paladins Rangers and Psionics. WOO! Now off to Ebay for the rest
    Sounds like a good haul!

    If I can throw in one last suggestion, I'd recommend the Greyhawk Supplement "Scarlet Brotherhood". Most of it is very specific to the area and group covered, but the gem is at end: 2e version of the 1e monk and assassin classes! The monk is a priest who doesn't get spells, but gets familiar choppy-socky powers (a prototype to the 3e one) and the assassin is a rogue who trades his higher thief skill points (40 start, 20 level) for better weapons, poison use, and death attack. They're both considered LE only (because of the Brotherhood) but there is no reason making monks any Lawful and Assassins any Evil will break the system at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhandus
    ......I endorse anything Remathilis says.

  • #29
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    this thread has made me nostalgic for my 2e days considering firing up core rules and whipping up some pregens for my players and taking another crack at getting a new party through the Return to the Tomb of Horrors. I've tried it a couple of times now and haven't had any luck getting a party past the Black Academy. It's like my own "white whale" I would like to have a party either complete it or make it 3/4 the way through before i get senile or die
    Terry

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge."- A. Einstein

  • #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormonu View Post

    Beyond what the others have suggested, I always found Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog a wonderful addition to the game (minus the reaver).
    Yeah, there's the catalog too. I don't have that, so I didn't think of it.

    Scarlet Brotherhood also skipped my mind.

    In the main books, I've always been fond of the kits from the first four books (Complete Fighter, Priest, Rogue and Cleric), as they aren't generally overpowering - and decently flavorful.
    I didn't really list the splats on the merits of kits, because not everyone likes them. I personally think they're ok as a character building template, good for cheaper NWPs if you use the Skills & Powers rules, and kits like the Bard's Handbook kits and the al-Qadim kits made for interesting class variants. But for every interesting kit, you get something broken like a Bladesinger.

    Didn't list the Priest's or Wizard's Handbook for some basic reasons. The Priest's Handbook is often considered pretty underpowered with the various specialist priests. But since he has both the Priest's Handbook and Spells & Magic, he can always use the two of them in together to create specialty priests. Use the point-based system in S&M to actually contruct the class, and use the Priest's Handbook as a starting point for the spheres and/or abilities to assign to the classes. That should help you make stuff that's similar in power to the cleric. Wizard's OTOH, isn't bad, it just doesn't add a lot to the game.

    Also, a lot of the basic kits from the first 4 books (Fighter, thief, Priest, Wizard), tend to be similar. Stuff like Noble, Peasant, Pirate, Swashbuckler, Outlaw, etc. There's a lot of overlapping, and the basic kits from Skills & Powers have a generic version that can be used with any class.
    PbP info here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/5396456-post81.html

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