2E Returning to 2nd Edition - Page 13
Page 13 of 20 FirstFirst ... 34567891011121314151617181920 LastLast
Results 121 to 130 of 197
  1. #121
    Member
    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

    jgsugden's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Soon to be Fort Mill, SC
    Posts
    3,590
    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
    ...For me, a heroic story has nothing to do with how powerful a PC is, but what happens in that story. In fact, for me it feels more heroic when the actions in the story have overcome greater odds to achieve said actions. I.e., when you're already powerful, doing a powerful thing doesn't feel so special. But when you start out as pretty much a normal person, and have all these things stacked against you, and you still succeed? That to me is heroic. Having a PC survive to level 10 in AD&D felt a lot more heroic and accomplished than having a 5e PC make it to level 10.
    Overcoming odds means that more often than not, you don't beat the odds... and the PC dies. You're rooting for mostly PC death. Does that feel heroic? To have the character you've brought along for 200 hours of play suddenly - go?

    If you're playing a video game style campaign and you just have another PC of equivalent power walk into the combat, you're not going to be too bothered. If you built a PC and crafted a good back story with continuing character development... it hurts. That is not fun.

  2. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    The cost/benefit analysis of any given set of rules is highly subjective. A lot of people like 5E because it runs smoothly and is easy to DM but lament the lack of player facing options and granularity. It's the opposite with Pathfinder in a lot of cases. 2E is no different, but because the pre-d20 systems were very modular (combat rules did not look much like skill rules which did not look much like social interaction rules) it was easy to jettison entire chunks of the game system as well as bolt on new or alternate systems. This makes it hard to talk about the 2E experience in any consistent way, of course, but D&D's popularity can probably be at least partially attributed to how easily it was molded to fit the needs and desires of any given group.
    This hits around the question I keep thinking about: are you going to run 2E RAW or houserule it? That's the trick. If you're going to houserule it, you're almost certainly going to be bringing in pieces of 5E and suddenly you're making modern design concessions. The Ship of Theseus appears on the horizon.

    From your responses so far, you seem pretty committed to RAW and, if that's the case, then I think it's a great idea. Very few people play any edition of D&D RAW and it can be eye-opening for those who commit to it. I've played with groups who play old RPGs strictly according to the rules and it takes on an archeological tone. You're explorers of old systems and old designs, unearthing old styles of play and ways of thinking about RPGs. You might also find your new favorite game!
    XP Tony Vargas, Psyblade gave XP for this post

  3. #123
    Member
    Pit Fiend (Lvl 26)



    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Aloha, or
    Posts
    5,689
    Quote Originally Posted by jgsugden View Post
    Overcoming odds means that more often than not, you don't beat the odds... and the PC dies. You're rooting for mostly PC death. Does that feel heroic? To have the character you've brought along for 200 hours of play suddenly - go?

    If you're playing a video game style campaign and you just have another PC of equivalent power walk into the combat, you're not going to be too bothered. If you built a PC and crafted a good back story with continuing character development... it hurts. That is not fun.
    As I said, it's matter of preference. It felt more accomplishing to beat Ninja Gaiden for the NES than it does to beat most video games today where you're assured of winning and save points everywhere.

    It's like anything else. If you never have the negative, then you don't have the context of how to appreciate the good. Go sleep in the woods on a mat for a week, and then you'll have a greater appreciation for your bed and hot shower. Same basic premise for gaming. It makes me appreciate the PC and the story of the game in AD&D more knowing it's a much more lethal world. Getting PCs to higher levels in 5e doesn't feel special in any way, but feels like it's pretty much a guarantee if I just put the time in. Also, PC death can be heroic. They aren't mutually exclusive things.
    XP Yardiff, dnd4vr gave XP for this post

  4. #124
    Member
    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Southwestern Connecticut
    Posts
    4,329
    Quote Originally Posted by jgsugden View Post
    So you enjoy a story being disrupted in the middle when a PC that you've spend hundreds of hours playing steps into a hallway, sets off a trap, rolls a low number on the dice and disappears forever? No completion of the story? All those hours of character building ending in random death?

    We're not talking about preferences here, really. We're talking about universal human instinct. We don't like to have things taken from us, we don't like things being incomplete, and we do not like confusion. Those are all greater problems in prior editions, especially 2E and AD&D.
    You have a character you have been playing for hundreds of hours, with a deep backstory and the accumulated depth of character that comes with so much play. That's awesome.

    I'm inclined to wonder, though, why you are having such a valuable, beloved character amble mindlessly down a trap laden corridor? One of two things would seem to be true: either whatever reason put the character there is important, and therefore dying in that circumstance is inherently heroic; or, it isn't important and your beloved character has survived so long in spite of a career filled with foolish decisions and it's about time fate turned against them.

    People should play they want to play. For me, games without stakes are boring exercises. Uncertainty and consequence make the game worth playing. I absolutely do not want a character to ever be safe.
    XP Sacrosanct, Yardiff, Xaelvaen, Greg K gave XP for this post

  5. #125
    Member
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    Giltonio_Santos's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Belo Horizonte, Brazil
    Posts
    884
    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    That's what a lot of people assume, but it's not actually true. The "Hovering at Death's Door" rule was explicitly an optional rule presented in the DMG. The PH says the character dies at 0 hit points. Most people may have used it, but it's not in the core assumption and I find it interesting that the game stepped toward more lethal territory in 2e than 1e in this respect.
    I run it without "hovering at death's door" and without critical hits, which were also optional. Later, I started to believe that dies immediately at 0 was too brutal for our tastes, so I introduced a house rule that allowed your allies to save you if they somehow managed to heal you above 0 before the end of the next round.

  6. #126
    Member
    Titan (Lvl 27)



    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    San Jose/Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    15,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    in games with lots of human or humanoid armored foes the weapon vs armor type rules are more impactful. I like systems like that, especially as they relate to making the "boring" fighter more interesting and making weapon choice about more than damage potential and the shield bonus trade off.
    Comrade! I knew I wasn't quite alone in appreciating those obscure/maligned rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    You throw these out and your drastically reduce the capability of the fighter, because they are the ones that have weapon versatility. Instead every fighter walks around with a long sword.
    To be fair, they end up running around with two-handed swords (or maybe the odd bec de corbin or Lucerne hammer), until they realize the random treasure tables are dropping lots of longswords*, then they end up walking around with those, instead. But, by then, it's tool late to change their weapon specialization (especially in 2e, when going with double-specialization in a weapon you could dual-wield in pairs was the fighter's killer** app).

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    This is a bit off topic, but I wonder if people coming new to D&D in this era do that as well. Is houseruling a thing in the era of streaming games and Adventurer's League?
    Very much so, but /outside/ of AL. (I suspect the same was true of the RPGA when it got rolling - while 2e was very likely customized to the nth degree out in the wild, you couldn't really run organized play like that.)

    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    That's what a lot of people assume, but it's not actually true. The "Hovering at Death's Door" rule was explicitly an optional rule presented in the DMG. The PH says the character dies at 0 hit points. Most people may have used it, but it's not in the core assumption and I find it interesting that the game stepped toward more lethal territory in 2e than 1e in this respect.
    It was an option in the 1e DMG, also, so I'm not sure how it stepped towards lethality by keeping a similar rule? The 1e version was pretty brutal, too, with a mandatory week-long recovery...

    ů and what was the -3 threshold about, again...? ů it's teasing at the edge of my memory...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
    5e has PCs that have more power, and start off with more power at level 1 than 2e, but for the rest? I guess that depends on what your definition of "heroic" is.
    Also when it kicks in. And whether it has 'posthumous' in front of it.

    IRL, "heroic" often means facing great odds or terrible challenges, and dying, with or w/o out accomplishing some/any of what you were struggling for.

    In a story, "heroic" often means facing what appear to be great odds, and overcoming terrible challenges, all with the understanding that no one would be telling the story if you'd failed. If the story is fiction, and not a classic or post-modern-grimdark tragedy, the audience prettymuch knows it's going to be written so that the hero survives insane odds so he can triumph by the end. "Plot armor," it's sometimes called in fannish circles.

    Since heroic /fantasy/, by definition, has no choice but to be fictional, it very often shakes out more like that last sense of "heroic." I say "very often" because there is stuff like GoT out there, when a character is set up like he's going to be the hero, then killed off.

    D&D, traditionally, was not very heroic. It was a fairly cynical to comically paranoid exercise in treasure-hunting and one-up-manship. It was cooperative in the sense of rivals working together to survive, while competing to come out ahead when the treasure & XP was counted.

    Not that nearly every group was like that, of course, but it's very much how the game was presented (I'd hate to try to count all the times EGG cautioned that the players would "naturally" want to do something greedy, cowardly, unethical or amoral), and what a lot of the talk in what passed for a community (as communicated in 'zines & The Dragon & such) seemed to assume.

    But, D&D /did/ model plot-armor, but not for the guy designated 'Hero' at the outset - as no one really was - but as you got higher level. Hit Points and Saving Throws were the mechanics that modeled plot armor, and you got more of the former, and lower targets for the latter, as you leveled up. So D&D models the latter sort of narrative hero - eventually (really, in the 'sweet spot'). But you have to pay your dues first (in the classic game, survive 1st level, maybe finally get a name at 5th, as the old joke goes - in 5e, well, by surviving 1st and exiting Apprentice Tier and entering the eponymous 'Heroic' Tier, at - funny coincidence - 5th level).

    Point being, 5e is even more faithful to the classic game than it might seem at first glance.





























    * "I can keep using my non-magical bec de corbin, or the +1/+2 vs giant weasels two-handed sword I finally found, or I can choose from the +3 frostbrand, the sword of sharpness, or one of the six other magical longswords we've found over the last 8 levels..."
    **pun so totally intended.
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Monday, 3rd June, 2019 at 10:05 PM.

  7. #127
    Member
    Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)



    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    6,828
    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    I'm inclined to wonder, though, why you are having such a valuable, beloved character amble mindlessly down a trap laden corridor? One of two things would seem to be true: either whatever reason put the character there is important, and therefore dying in that circumstance is inherently heroic; or, it isn't important and your beloved character has survived so long in spite of a career filled with foolish decisions and it's about time fate turned against them.
    This gets back to the variability between tables. I think we can all agree that players should avoid making foolish decisions, and that when they do make a foolish decision, the danger should be proportional to how foolish the decision is. Taunting an enemy is usually foolish, but taunting an ogre has lower stakes than taunting a dragon or taunting a god.

    Is it foolish to try and disintegrate a giant skeleton, if it doesn't show any special signs of intelligence or weird magical properties? That's going to vary from table to table. Certainly, you could subject the skeleton to a battery of non-invasive magical tests to discover its powers, before you try anything on it. Of course, if it is just a mindless undead, then you will have wasted both time and spell slots while it goes about its rampage unimpeded. Given the information at hand, the latter course of action seems far more foolish than the former; and the fact that the former course resulted in instant and irrevocable death, is not consistent with the level of foolishness I would typically expect to yield that outcome.

    Wandering down a hallway while poking every tile with a chicken that's strapped to the end of a ten-foot-pole may seem like a wiser course of action than just walking down the hallway like a normal person, but does the world really work in such a way as to warrant that level of caution? As the DM, you have control over all of the background variables (like geology, wild magic phenomena, and the economy of death traps) to determine which concerns are reasonable and which ones are just paranoia. As a player, I would certainly hope that the world doesn't work in such a way that the chicken stick becomes a reasonable course of action.
    XP dave2008 gave XP for this post

  8. #128
    Member
    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Southwestern Connecticut
    Posts
    4,329
    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    As a player, I would certainly hope that the world doesn't work in such a way that the chicken stick becomes a reasonable course of action.
    That's certainly a thing one would know after hundreds of hours of play, though. I mean, it's possible the GM suddenly started using "gotcha traps" out of nowhere but it seems highly unlikely. What's arbitrary or out of place varies and people are going to get used to whatever is normal for their regular group.

    Now, that said I admit a bias, or rather blind spot: I don't engage in organized play. It is possible in that world to have a character one has invested huge amounts of time and creative energy into and not necessarily know what to expect from a given GM at a given table. I can see being angry at getting killed arbitrarily by a random death trap dungeon under those circumstances.

    As to the skeleton situation in specific: gotcha monsters can be a problem, especially the first time it happens. At a point though it becomes clear such things are an aspect of the GM's style. At that point it's a feature of the game your playing and something you should account for.
    XP Saelorn, Yardiff gave XP for this post

  9. #129
    Member
    Enchanter (Lvl 12)

    Orius's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    4,493
    My current game is 2e having last played 3e and some PF previously. I'm reminded of just why I went fully over to 3e BitD.

    2e has a lot of great ideas, but the rules, well they have problems. 1e has a lot of passionate fans, and I think it's because the early edition is fairly consistent, largely being under Gary's direction. From some of the discussions I've seen over on Dragonsfoot, the unpopular parts of the edition largely tend to be the post-Gary stuff.

    2e though doesn't have a unified vision. There's in-house writers and freelancers and there's core material and settings and it's all pulling in different ways. Different writers have different ideas of how the game should be played, so rules get tacked on all over the place. Then the writing combines cuts and pastes from Gary, attempts from other writers to match Gary's style with varying degrees of success, and more vanilla writing with less flavor. And there are plenty of parts of the rules that get maddeningly vague or throw things in the DM's court without any solid guidelines of how to proceed. It's a mess. A glorious mess at times, but still a mess.
    Last edited by Orius; Tuesday, 4th June, 2019 at 11:16 PM.

  10. #130
    Pathfinder subscriber COPPER SUBSCRIBER
    Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)

    billd91's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Verona, WI
    Posts
    10,772
    There may be a lot of different directions TSR material was going in the 2e era, but I think its core is a lot less of a hodgepodge of semi-disconnected ideas than 1e was.
    XP Giltonio_Santos gave XP for this post

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 322
    Last Post: Thursday, 13th April, 2017, 02:28 PM
  2. Returning to 4e
    By S'mon in forum *Pathfinder & Starfinder
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: Friday, 31st March, 2017, 08:29 AM
  3. Returning to 2e
    By Jack99 in forum *Dungeons & Dragons
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: Monday, 23rd July, 2012, 03:08 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •