2E Returning to 2nd Edition
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  1. #1
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    Returning to 2nd Edition

    One of the reasons I initially liked 5th Edition is how, to me, it felt a lot like 2E. Second Edition was what I call my "formative" edition. It wasn't my introduction to D&D (that was the BECMI line). I came to it after a brief stint with 1E -- we played BECMI for a long time before discovering AD&D and 2E came out within a few months of that discovery -- but 2E WAS D&D from 1989 to 1999. Through it I played my most memorable and affecting campaigns in both high school and after, and through it I fell in love with the world of Dragonlance.

    After a few years of running 5E on and off, and bouncing off of it more than once, I have started to wonder if I should give 2E another try. If nothing else, I will find out whether it is merely nostalgia pulling me back toward level limits and non-weapon proficiencies. I feel like I want to return to that world of faux medieval fantasy, unburdened by the d20 era and its excesses.

    Has anyone else returned to 2E since adopting 5E, or even since 3.x/Pathfinder? What was your experience? Is there more there than nostalgia?
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  2. #2
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    Returning to 2nd Edition

    Ive *read* a lot of 2E again in the last few years, but havent actually played it since 3E launched. It holds a nostalgic place for me, too, and it certainly feels like a different game and world to that of more recent editions.
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  3. #3
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    During the playtest, my DM was still running 4E (he didn't want to use the playtest rules). After that campaign, he decided to run a 2E game. It had some nostalgia, but once you get used to some of the better mechanics from 3E and 4E, it's kinda hard to deal with some of the mechanical weirdness of AD&D. That's why I enjoy 5E so much... it (mostly) takes the best mechanics from 3E and 4E, but brings back the style of AD&D. I'd much rather house-rule 5E to fit my AD&D preferences than to go back and play AD&D.
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  4. #4
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    I ran a one-shot of 2nd edition for my fiancee, whose experience has been mostly limited to 5e (and dipping back into 4e - which she loves). It was also my formative edition of D&D. I hate to say it, it just didn't play as well as I remembered. While I'm not the biggest fan of 5e, I have to admit that 5e does everything 1e and 2e did, only better, IMO. (I do not think the same of 3.x and 4e, however.)
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  5. #5
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



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    I have but had a page of houserules and I used BAB over THACO. Dumped level limits, buffed humans kept racial and alignment restrictions.

    It's better balanced than 3E and you can use it as s 2.5 or hard core OSR. And you can play the settings bas intended.

    2E is the best toolbox D&D as well.
    Last edited by Zardnaar; Wednesday, 29th May, 2019 at 10:53 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retreater View Post
    While I'm not the biggest fan of 5e, I have to admit that 5e does everything 1e and 2e did, only better, IMO. (I do not think the same of 3.x and 4e, however.)
    Making 5e feel like 2e seems like a lot of work: adding back in race class restrictions, eliminating a number of races and classes, limiting wizards resources, re-asserting the medieval fantasy aesthetic, etc... Certainly easier than doing those things in 3.x/PF, but is it worth the effort relative just playing 2E?

  7. #7
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    Not really. 2E is good if you want to do your own D&D without writing your own. For example it would be the best edition for Game of Thrones.

  8. #8
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    If I had some fellow travellers on that memory lane where I am I would certainly give 2E a go. Much like Reynard, 2E was my formative edition and I have some very fond memories of it. I don't know that I'd want to play in an extended 2E campaign, but a shorter experience would be awesome. I think there are too many little irritants that I would have to sand down for a longer story. THAC0, stupid useless humans, it ends up being a long list. None of it bothered me at the time, with no frame of reference, but I think it would drive me nuts now.

    My most nostalgic D&D sit down would probably to play Basic Keep on the Borderlands. The only module I ever did a solo speed run of. I had that shizz memorized.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    If nothing else, I will find out whether it is merely nostalgia pulling me back toward level limits and non-weapon proficiencies. I feel like I want to return to that world of faux medieval fantasy, unburdened by the d20 era and its excesses.
    I suspect it is just nostalgia. I know it is for me.

    You mention a few mechanic things here (level limits and NWPs) but I have to wonder if those actually mean anything to you? Do they some how make the game more fun? I can't imagine it would... I mean 5E sort of already has NWPs and how did level limits ever add to the enjoyment?

    As for Faux medieval fantasy, if you can somehow unburden yourself from the d20 era of excesses, you can do that just as well in 5E and you could in 2E.Just go back and try to run one of your 2E campaigns in 5E. Go door bash the Undermountain as it was meant to be run, not like DoMM does. Go run Barrier Peaks or Saltmarsh or whatever. Run it like you would run it in a faux medieval setting without any of the excesses of the d20 era and I think you will find what you are looking for.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    I suspect it is just nostalgia. I know it is for me.

    You mention a few mechanic things here (level limits and NWPs) but I have to wonder if those actually mean anything to you? Do they some how make the game more fun? I can't imagine it would... I mean 5E sort of already has NWPs and how did level limits ever add to the enjoyment?

    As for Faux medieval fantasy, if you can somehow unburden yourself from the d20 era of excesses, you can do that just as well in 5E and you could in 2E.Just go back and try to run one of your 2E campaigns in 5E. Go door bash the Undermountain as it was meant to be run, not like DoMM does. Go run Barrier Peaks or Saltmarsh or whatever. Run it like you would run it in a faux medieval setting without any of the excesses of the d20 era and I think you will find what you are looking for.
    So there are a couple things:

    Racial class restrictions and level limits enforce setting, as does the elimination of the more "fantastical" races and classes. More than that, I LIKE the weird power discrepancy between casters and not, and how the probability of hitting ability score requirements inform PC class and race choice. But then I also like roll 4d6-L in order.
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