On the Differences Between 1e and 2e (Not all AD&D Is the Same) - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    Conclusion. There is nothing so vicious as an argument about different editions in D&D, because the stakes are so small. But it is certainly worth remembering that different editions have different rules, and those rules often influenced the way that people play the game. Good gaming!
    I don't quite follow. In what way did the changes to the game (class, race, rules) influence how you played the game? I get that the specific rules for ranger favored enemy and elven level limits changed, but how did those changes influence what you did with the character?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    I don't quite follow. In what way did the changes to the game (class, race, rules) influence how you played the game? I get that the specific rules for ranger favored enemy and elven level limits changed, but how did those changes influence what you did with the character?

    If the only change was to favored enemy for Rangers, it would be similar to an errata.

    As I think I was trying to show, the rules changes both in number, in focus, and in aggregate, influenced the play. It certainly did from what I observed.

    YMMV.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Nemesis Destiny View Post
    Most people? Can't speak to that. For me, certainly not the case.

    2e hit right in my "gaming prime" - loads of free time, age of discovery, people to play with - but it's not my preferred edition. I like it, I remember it {mostly} fondly, but as a game it doesn't push the buttons the way 4e does, for me.

    And I was super optimistic going in to 3.x - what a disappointment that turned out to be (for me - hold your fire). Took me a while to realize it, and then longer to figure out *why* that was the case, but if I had to "go back" I wouldn't pick this in a thousand years.

    But I've always been a forward-looker. The currency of Nostalgia has a poor exchange rate for me. That's probably a big reason why 5e doesn't appeal to me, and why 4e did (and still does).

    You make a very good point about 1e vs 2e though. They are very different, if not in rules, then certainly in assumptions, and tone. The funny part is, the 2e books really downplayed that difference, especially in the foreword. Telling players that it's nothing more than a "cleaned up version of the rules that integrates what experienced groups are already doing" does a great disservice to some of the more fundamental changes that came with it. Sure, the rules may be largely compatible, but the stated goals of play certainly were not. In fairness, the tools were largely still there to run 2e as you would 1e, especially if you had all the 1e books still, but without them, you would also be missing the guidance to play it as intended, so those tools seemed out of place, or lacking in context.

    I played a fair bit of 1e as a youngster, but didn't read any of the books, as I didn't own them. I bought and read the heck out of the 2e books, and so I had this odd disconnect with the way people I later played 2e with were doing it, and what the book was saying. The book promised all these wonderful adventures full of story and character, but I mostly had railroady meta-plots, murder-hobo dungeon crawls, or pseudo-medieval Shadowrun PvP festivals. Even after finding a game that offered what the book promised, I didn't understand why the experiences were so different, especially considering many of the players were the same. That realization would not come until many, many years and several editions later.
    2E adventures were basically terrible. The good ones were in Dungeon magazine and late 2E near the end.

    2E excels at the settings and the various levers to build the game you want. They basically nerfed all the classes from 1E though and its where the wilder rogue Ranger basically turns up. Still I can run it for modern players and they enjoy it a bit more than say 1E maybe BECMI/clones because you can cherry pick the rules to use. Kinda like 5E in a way but 2E carried it to more extremes. Want a high tech low magic D&D here you go, want a stone age high magic world well here you go. Want very powerful fighter well here you go etc.

    There no established 2E is played this way unlike the other D&Ds where something at least is implied even if it differs a bit from how people actually play it (say 1E RAW vs how people used it).

    3E also had this to a lesser extent there is the online hivemind and then how people actually played the game IRL.
    Last edited by Zardnaar; Today at 02:20 AM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    If the only change was to favored enemy for Rangers, it would be similar to an errata.

    As I think I was trying to show, the rules changes both in number, in focus, and in aggregate, influenced the play. It certainly did from what I observed.

    YMMV.
    I get that. There were a lot of changes, both qualitative and quantitative. It was a bigger change than the difference between 3.0 and 3.5, I think.

    What I don't get is, how did those changes influence your play? What sort of situation would you find yourself in, which would play out differently in a 1E game as compared to a 2E game? Or is it that you would find yourself in different sorts of situations to begin with, because the different editions made different assumptions?

    As an example, the 2E that I played placed a strong emphasis on avoiding combat, by trapping enemies or otherwise using the environment to end a fight before it started. But in 4E we would just charge blindly forward, and engage every enemy in direct combat, because that's what the edition seemed to assume.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    I get that. There were a lot of changes, both qualitative and quantitative. It was a bigger change than the difference between 3.0 and 3.5, I think.

    What I don't get is, how did those changes influence your play? What sort of situation would you find yourself in, which would play out differently in a 1E game as compared to a 2E game? Or is it that you would find yourself in different sorts of situations to begin with, because the different editions made different assumptions?

    As an example, the 2E that I played placed a strong emphasis on avoiding combat, by trapping enemies or otherwise using the environment to end a fight before it started. But in 4E we would just charge blindly forward, and engage every enemy in direct combat, because that's what the edition seemed to assume.
    2E you could still get your butt handed to you sideways very fast if you went derp. 4E protected you from that a lot (triple HP level 1, healing surges, low damage from enemies in MM1, no old school energy drains/instant death effects). I saw a level 15 fighter in 2E go down a trap into a room full of wights along with a trap in Labyrinth of Madness that fries you, make a strength check at -10 of fall for another 8d6 damage, then get hit by power word kill+ animate dead+ levitate to send your zombie carcass back up. Same adventure room full of 20 Spectres, if any of them hit you lose 2 levels. Per hit.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Zardnaar View Post
    2E adventures were basically terrible. The good ones were in Dungeon magazine and late 2E near the end.
    I don't have a ton of experience with published adventures in ANY edition. Most of the 2e games I was a part of were *very* homebrew.

    I tried running a few when I DMed, but I agree with your assessment, so mostly went homebrew myself, and have continued ever since. I'll steal a short thing here and there, but largely do my own thing. Maybe that's why I don't "get" the reverence for "classic" modules. They hold zero nostalgia, and I don't have that "shared experience" that many players seem to have. I only look at the system and what it can or can't do for what I want to do.

    2E excels at the settings and the various levers to build the game you want. They basically nerfed all the classes from 1E though and its where the wilder rogue Ranger basically turns up.
    Yeah, having little understanding of the power differential, I allowed some players to import 1e characters into my 2e games, assuming the balance would be similar. That was a bit of a mistake, in hindsight.

    One of the guys I had as a DM for years also smashed 1e and 2e together, to the extent that his "rulebook" was a big binder with bits photocopied from both games, including Dragon content. I didn't get why if we were supposedly playing the same game, why his take on how things should work would differ so wildly from what I had in my rulebooks. It seemed arbitrary at the time, but I understand it better now. I chafed against his play style quite a bit and didn't enjoy playing with him, but it was for a long time, "the only game in town" for me.

    Still I can run it for modern players and they enjoy it a bit more than say 1E maybe BECMI/clones because you can cherry pick the rules to use. Kinda like 5E in a way but 2E carried it to more extremes. Want a high tech low magic D&D here you go, want a stone age high magic world well here you go. Want very powerful fighter well here you go etc.
    Yes, there were a plethora of settings published for the game in those days. I owned the FR box, and a friend of mine owned a bunch of Greyhawk stuff. I got to look at most of the other ones out there. I had access to most of them, but none of them really interested me, other than stealing the bits I liked.

    Again, perhaps why I didn't care *at all* when WotC altered the settings and lore during 4e - I had no attachment to it. I still don't. I get why people wouldn't like it, but at the same time, I never understood why you wouldn't just ignore the parts you didn't like. I'd been doing that basically forever.

    There no established 2E is played this way unlike the other D&Ds where something at least is implied even if it differs a bit from how people actually play it (say 1E RAW vs how people used it).
    I think the settings did the implying of playstyle to some extent. They all had a slightly different play agenda and expectations of what adventures would be about. Dark Sun certainly differed from baseline, as did Ravenloft, Kara Tur, and Spelljammer. Others, probably too, but I didn't play any Maztica, or Al Qadim, for example, even though I knew people that had the books (and I did read through them).

    I took those as examples of how you might alter the game settings to achieve a specific result, and I cobbled things from all of them, but didn't like any of them as a whole.

    3E also had this to a lesser extent there is the online hivemind and then how people actually played the game IRL.
    Yeah, I saw this in action. Forum 3.x really exposed the weaknesses of the system, and took things to extremes. That said, I did notice the issues with it in actual play before that, but without the online discussion of *why* it was broken, with people who thought about it more than I did, and because we didn't take it to the same extremes, I couldn't really pin it down, but the issues were still there. Especially coming from 2e, which encouraged tweaking things to your liking. In 3.x, without really understanding what you were doing, tweaking could (and did) produce some very unexpected (and unpleasant) results for me. 2e handled this sort of tinkering much better IMO.

    I probably could have continued with 3.x or PF, using an E6 or E10 paradigm, but ultimately there is just too much I didn't like about it, and now I understand both *what* and *why* -- so there's no going back. If I had to go back to a prior edition, I'd choose 2e and tinker with it, importing the newer ideas that I like.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Nemesis Destiny View Post
    I don't have a ton of experience with published adventures in ANY edition. Most of the 2e games I was a part of were *very* homebrew.

    I tried running a few when I DMed, but I agree with your assessment, so mostly went homebrew myself, and have continued ever since. I'll steal a short thing here and there, but largely do my own thing. Maybe that's why I don't "get" the reverence for "classic" modules. They hold zero nostalgia, and I don't have that "shared experience" that many players seem to have. I only look at the system and what it can or can't do for what I want to do.

    Yeah, having little understanding of the power differential, I allowed some players to import 1e characters into my 2e games, assuming the balance would be similar. That was a bit of a mistake, in hindsight.

    One of the guys I had as a DM for years also smashed 1e and 2e together, to the extent that his "rulebook" was a big binder with bits photocopied from both games, including Dragon content. I didn't get why if we were supposedly playing the same game, why his take on how things should work would differ so wildly from what I had in my rulebooks. It seemed arbitrary at the time, but I understand it better now. I chafed against his play style quite a bit and didn't enjoy playing with him, but it was for a long time, "the only game in town" for me.

    Yes, there were a plethora of settings published for the game in those days. I owned the FR box, and a friend of mine owned a bunch of Greyhawk stuff. I got to look at most of the other ones out there. I had access to most of them, but none of them really interested me, other than stealing the bits I liked.

    Again, perhaps why I didn't care *at all* when WotC altered the settings and lore during 4e - I had no attachment to it. I still don't. I get why people wouldn't like it, but at the same time, I never understood why you wouldn't just ignore the parts you didn't like. I'd been doing that basically forever.

    I think the settings did the implying of playstyle to some extent. They all had a slightly different play agenda and expectations of what adventures would be about. Dark Sun certainly differed from baseline, as did Ravenloft, Kara Tur, and Spelljammer. Others, probably too, but I didn't play any Maztica, or Al Qadim, for example, even though I knew people that had the books (and I did read through them).

    I took those as examples of how you might alter the game settings to achieve a specific result, and I cobbled things from all of them, but didn't like any of them as a whole.

    Yeah, I saw this in action. Forum 3.x really exposed the weaknesses of the system, and took things to extremes. That said, I did notice the issues with it in actual play before that, but without the online discussion of *why* it was broken, with people who thought about it more than I did, and because we didn't take it to the same extremes, I couldn't really pin it down, but the issues were still there. Especially coming from 2e, which encouraged tweaking things to your liking. In 3.x, without really understanding what you were doing, tweaking could (and did) produce some very unexpected (and unpleasant) results for me. 2e handled this sort of tinkering much better IMO.

    I probably could have continued with 3.x or PF, using an E6 or E10 paradigm, but ultimately there is just too much I didn't like about it, and now I understand both *what* and *why* -- so there's no going back. If I had to go back to a prior edition, I'd choose 2e and tinker with it, importing the newer ideas that I like.
    2E is still a worth while hack. I dumped THAC0 for example imported BAB and dumped level limits and designed a better human.

    Its not tjus the setting the various historical books and players options also had things for adjusting magic and technology in them.

    For me its not nostalgia, played 2E last year, 1E 2014 right before 5E landed and they still do some things well.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Zardnaar View Post
    2E is still a worth while hack. I dumped THAC0 for example imported BAB and dumped level limits and designed a better human.
    Yes, we did those hacks in the runup to 3e, as suggested by WotC. One of our players was following development and found a blog or similar detailing how one would do so, and we did. Never looked back.

    Its not tjus the setting the various historical books and players options also had things for adjusting magic and technology in them.
    We used many of those books. The blue ones, the green ones, and the hardcover black ones, as well as all the brown ones we could get our hands on.

    For me its not nostalgia, played 2E last year, 1E 2014 right before 5E landed and they still do some things well.
    We have considered playing 2e again, but it would be a lot of work to re-familiarize ourselves with it and also to figure out what we want to back-port from newer games. Things we just don't have the time for these days, which is also part of the reason we have not even tried 5e. Not for lack of interest (even though I find some of the design choices lacking), I still want to try it.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Nemesis Destiny View Post
    Yes, we did those hacks in the runup to 3e, as suggested by WotC. One of our players was following development and found a blog or similar detailing how one would do so, and we did. Never looked back.

    We used many of those books. The blue ones, the green ones, and the hardcover black ones, as well as all the brown ones we could get our hands on.

    We have considered playing 2e again, but it would be a lot of work to re-familiarize ourselves with it and also to figure out what we want to back-port from newer games. Things we just don't have the time for these days, which is also part of the reason we have not even tried 5e. Not for lack of interest (even though I find some of the design choices lacking), I still want to try it.
    I picked 2E up again and basically winged it from memory in 2012 (last played briefly 2002). Still remembered THAC0, weapon speeds and page numbers to look up things like saves, THAC0, and how weapon peed worked.

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