On the Differences Between 1e and 2e (Not all AD&D Is the Same) - Page 4
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  1. #31

    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post

    So I was trying to get at a slightly different point that had been bugging me for a while (much more subtle than the continued banes of my existence; e.g, Paladins, Gnomes, and Rapiers).

    We (and I include myself in this) often treat 1e and 2e interchangeably (I often use the 1e/2e descriptor). In many ways, that is fair- there is a great amount of overlap between them! Certainly more, IMO, than between any two other "numbered" editions. But here's the thing- while most of us normally easily differentiate between the other old compatible editions (OD&D, B/X, BECMI), we don't often think about or see the differences between 1e and 2e.

    And I think that's a topic worth thinking and talking about. 1e was around from 1977 (PHB) until 1989 (2e).* 2e was around from 1989 until 2000. I mean .... it's kind of insane when you think about it. And both editions had controversial publications that (arguably) created their own separate demi-mondes (1985, UA, leading the way to 2e ... 1995 and the explosion of splat).

    But I think it's worth the conversation, because I agree with Manbearcat that the play of a game, the zeitgeist, is strongly influenced by the rules. I don't think that the 1995 splat explosion would have occurred, except that the emphasis had already shifted in 2e (just look at the difference in importance in the PHB/DMG between editions). The "cleaner" rules had an impact, IMO, as did the inclusion of the pro-skills system.

    In short, just like I find that 1e was really just OD&D with all the supplements, I think of 2e (especially post-1995) as proto-3e.

    *Grognards everywhere reply- AND IT'S NEVER GONE AWAY!
    I look at 2E as a tool kit D&D. For example if you wanted to run a Game of Thrones campaign 2E would be the D&D to do it with (assuming you wanted to stay loyal to the source material). 1E could also do it if you wrote a campaign book for it. 3E-5E would not do a very good job (they all do gritty fairly poorly).

    You could also run an AD&D 1E type game and easily port in the gold for xp rule, the 2E optional rule is different from the 1E actual rule IIRC.

    Here is an actual list of th changes (and it misses a few).

    1. Ability score tables now list scores from 1 to 25 in the PHB.
    2. Ability score functions changed slightly, such as weight allowance for scores less than 10 and % chance to learn spells for scores from 10 to 16.
    3. Ability scores of 5 or lower no longer limits class selection.
    4. Open doors changed from a d6 to a d20.
    5. Intelligence no longer affects the minimum number of spells per level for magic-users.
    6. Maximum spells per level has been reduced to an optional rule.
    7. Loyalty and NPC reaction changed from d% to d20.
    8. Half-orcs removed.
    9. Racial level limits increased and no longer based on ability scores.
    10. Slow unlimited advancement for demi-humans is an optional rule.
    11. Gnomes now receive ability score adjustments.
    12. Racial ability minimum and maximums changed.
    13. Demi-humans no longer begin knowing several languages.
    14. Additional languages for demi-humans no longer limited by race.
    15. Life expectancy of most demi-humans greatly reduced.
    16. Dwarves now have a 20% chance for all magic items not specifically suited to their class to fail instead of a 20% chance of failure for rings only.
    17. Dwarves underground skills have slightly different probabilites.
    18. The resurrection spell now affects elves, and raise dead may affect elves at the DMs option.
    19. Gnomes now have a 20% chance for all magic items except weapons, armor, shields, illusionist items, and thief items to fail.
    20. Gnomes underground skills have slightly different probabilities.
    21. Halflings now receive a +1 to their attack rolls when using thrown weapons or slings.
    22. Halflings no longer have the 20% chance for magic rings to fail when they use them.
    23. Experience point requirements for classes changed, most notable is the paladin.
    24. Weapons and armor permissible to some classes changed slightly.
    25. Class prime requisite ability scores changed.
    26. Classes were divided into four main groups (warrior, priest, wizard, rogue), no sub-classes exist.
    27. Class titles removed.
    28. Assassin, barbarian, cavalier, and monk classes were removed.
    29. Bard and ranger classes changed entirely.
    30. Fighters no longer make a number of attacks equal to their level when fighting enemies with less than one hit die.
    31. Weapon specialization changed for bows.
    32. The monthly income for establishing a stronghold was removed.
    33. Paladins now receive four weapons proficiencies at 1st level (and gain one every 3 levels instead of every 2 levels as in the UA).
    34. Magic-users now called mages.
    35. Mages, illusionists, and other specialist wizards share the same experience, hit die, and spell progression tables.
    36. Mages now receive hit dice up to level 10 instead of level 11.
    37. Mages no longer have the ability to construct strongholds.
    38. Illusionists no longer are a separate class, but are now specialist wizards.
    39. Illusionists no longer have their own spell list.
    40. Cleric turn undead table changed and included in the PHB instead of the DMG.
    41. Druids are no longer a separate class, but are now priests of a specific mythos.
    42. Druids no longer have their own spell list.
    43. Druids no longer have a class level limit.
    44. Thieves now allocate a number of percentage points to each skill at 1st level and with each additional level increase to their various skills instead of having each skill increase by the same amount for all thieves.
    45. The pick pockets skill functions differently.
    46. The open locks skill functions differently.
    47. Thieves can now remain hidden in the shadows while making very small, slow movements; and a hidden thief is equally hidden from creatures with or without infravision.
    48. Multi-class combinations allowed changed slightly.
    49. Half-elven multi-classed clerics no longer require a minimum wisdom of 13.
    50. Multi-classed wizards cannot cast spells while wearing armor.
    51. Multi-classed priests are still restricted to priest weapons.
    52. Dual-classed characters may now have up to four classes.
    53. Dual-classed characters may only select one class from each class group.
    54. Alignment definitions changed.
    55. A change in alignment now doubles the amount of experience needed to reach the next level instead of causing a loss of a level.
    56. Additional weapon proficiencies for level advancement now start counting from 1st level instead of including 1st level.
    57. Non-weapon proficiencies*.
    58. Silver pieces are now 1/10th of a gold.
    59. Starting funds for a mage is now 1d4 + 1 instead of 2d4.
    60. Priests may not retain any starting funds after purchasing initial equipment.
    61. Prices for various items, including weapons and armor changed.
    62. Some new items added.
    63. Field plate and full plate no longer reduce damage.
    64. Weapon vs. AC type replaced with weapon type vs. armor and made optional.
    65. Missile weapon range now given in tens of yards for all situations.
    66. Encumbrance now calculated off of actual weight and does not include bulk.
    67. Spell components made optional.
    68. Spell lists were changed, all wizards now use the same spell list. Priest spells are divided into spheres and clerics and druids use the same list.
    69. Some individual spells have changed.
    70. Awarding experience points changed.
    71. Training reduced to an optional rule.
    72. A natural roll of 20 is always a hit, regardless of the AC of the target.
    73. THAC0 for thieves and magic-users changed and is unlimited in progression.
    74. Segments are removed from the combat round.
    75. Initiative is changed.
    76. Group initiative and individual initiative optional rules.
    77. Characters and creatures with multiple attacks do not automatically attack first in the round.
    78. Weapon speed now affects initiative as an optional rule.
    79. Two weapon fighting is only available to warriors and rogues.
    80. Non-lethal combat rules changed.
    81. Parrying rules changed and reduced to optional.
    82. Some saving throws now have a priority over others.
    83. Magic resistance no longer affected by caster level.
    84. Not all monster poisons are lethal anymore.
    85. Characters now gain 3 h.p. per day of bed rest instead of 1.
    86. Characters can now die if they suffer 50 points of damage from one attack, regardless of their hit point total, if they fail to make a save vs. death.
    87. Surprise changed, uses a d10 and represents one full round of surprise instead of a variable number of segments. Spells cannot be cast during the surprise round.
    88. Surprised characters lose their dexterity bonus to AC, they are assumed to be totally non-reactant.
    89. Henchmen are now special NPCs that the DM introduces into the group and are friends and allies but not employees of PCs. There is no restrictions on the level of a henchmen acquired.
    90. The illumination radius of torches, magic weapons, and other items is reduced.
    91. Halflings base movement changed from 9" to 6. [edit, was listed as 81 by typo]
    92. Jogging and running optional rules added. [edit, 82 previously]
    93. All characters have a 40% chance to climb walls. [edit, 83 before]
    94. Climbing modifiers changed.
    XP lowkey13, JeffB, Sadras gave XP for this post

  2. #32

    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Above list misses one change I noticed.

    2E Fighter/Clerics are restricted by what weapons the cleric can use. Fighter/Clerics in 1E can use S/P weapons.

  3. #33

    Time Agent (Lvl 24)

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Victoria BC
    @Zardnaar - is that list of changes based on 2e at time of initial release or at some later point; and is it based on pre- or post-UA 1e?

  4. #34

    Novice (Lvl 1)

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Other than nerfing wizards to a 10d damage limit and changing bards unforgivably, I always thought the big difference between 1E and 2E was that (stylistically) 1E was an emulator for Appendix N while 2E was an emulator for the TSR novels and other fantasy being written in the 80's and 90's - rangers being I think the clearest example of this.


  5. #35

    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    @Zardnaar - is that list of changes based on 2e at time of initial release or at some later point; and is it based on pre- or post-UA 1e?
    Not sure its a list on Dragonsfoot. Most of it is in the PHB with the odd bit from UA.

  6. #36

    Novice (Lvl 1)

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    San Diego
    I never tried 1E, it was just a little bit before my time, but I liked 2nd Edition for its sense of mystery and how it didn't always have the most concrete terms. It added that special feeling of magic really feeling magical. When I play DnD, I still prefer 3.5, but I've often wondered what 1st Edition was like,

  7. #37

    Enchanter (Lvl 12)

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    I'm not sure I could quantify differences between 1e and 2e in terms of the effects they had on my games. I began playing an odd mish-mash of 1e and BE(CMI) in the early 80's. We played whichever modules I could get my hands on using whichever system we felt like using at the time. In high-school in the early 90's I then ran a 2e campaign that was a mix of home-brew and, again, incorporated any modules I could get my hands on (including BECMI, 1e, and 2e). But by this point my campaign was much more free-flowing and story-driven, and was less about dungeon-crawling. I think that had more to do with wanting to have a different kind of game experience than anything to do with the rule-set. I really liked 2e as a shift from 1e, and looking back now I think that's because 2e naturally supported the type of game I wanted to play at the time, but I was much more likely to bend the rules to accommodate the game, rather than let the game be dictated by the rules.

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