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  1. #11
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    I still love 2e, though I can only really get to play it via the old PC games. There are a few things that I wouldn't want to go back to, I don't want my wizards to have to start throwing darts after casting their one spell so I'd have to have something like 5e cantrips. Even back when 2e was the current edition, I had house rules that pretty much ignored level limits, I always though it was weird that an elf, that is meant to be this magical race, was limited to 15th level as a wizard. Things like Thac0 I'd probably keep, it isn't really that difficult learn but it is definitely less intuitive than the system from 3e onwards. With all of the various OSR games that I've read, and the various improvements from later editions, I think I'd probably end up modding 2e quite a bit rather than running it as is. Things I'd change are:
    • The cleave ability for warriors from ACKS (make 1 bonus attack when reducing an enemy to 0 hit points with a maximum of your warrior level)
    • The spell repertoire from ACKS which is similar to the spell preparation in 5e.
    • At-will cantrips.
    • An increase in hit dice by one step for wizards and rogues.
    • Remove thieves/thieving skills and make their skills available for all classes using the standard proficiency system (I might instead keep thieves but change their skills to proficiencies and give them all of them from 1st level. They can be improved with proficiencies on level up.)
    • Multiclassing and dual-classing would be opened up to every race.


    I'd be tempted to rejig the XP tables as well, I think bards should require more XP than a thief. The demihuman deities book had a much better XP chart for specialist priests for instance. Even druids would be changed over to this chart because their XP chart is seriously out of whack.

  2. #12
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    If I went back to 2e, I'd have to make some serious alterations.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retreater View Post
    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.)
    The one aspect of 2E which 5E just can't seem to capture is the way in which getting hit could ruin your whole week. Back when you only healed 1 or 2hp per day, and the cleric might have a couple of d8 to share with the party, the name of the game was avoiding damage if at all possible. You had to be careful, because taking unnecessary damage vastly increased your chance of succumbing in combat later on. With 5E, damage is almost an afterthought, as anything short of death can be recovered with a short rest.

    Even if you use all of the levers available, reduce the free healing and adjust the rest periods, you still have to deal with the base combat math being formulated around the assumption of high accuracy and low damage (relative to HP totals). At the level of house ruling you'd have to do, it would be easier to write a new game from scratch.

  4. #14
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    Full disclosure: 2e was not my favorite edition, in fact, every other edition except BECMI vies for that distinction by comparison. 2e finally lost me c1995, after my AD&D campaign finished after 10 years I lost interest in keeping up with it, mainly because of what we'd call bloat today, and, I guess due to 'excesses,' ironically, though I'm not sure what you mean by that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    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?
    I've often heard 2e fans praise 5e. But, I'm wondering, what about it was particularly a "medieval fantasy aesthetic?"

    Cutting races and classes is very easy. Snip. Gone. /Class/ Restrictions aren't too bad: you could even go on an honor system "play a character you would've in 2e" so not a Halfling Paladin riding a dog named Abrosius, no matter how much you liked Labyrinth and wished you could've c1986, no fighter/magic-user unless you're at least half elf, etc... With 3.x style modular multi-classing, adding back level limits isn't an exact science, though, it just means if you do MC, you're going to need to advance more or less evenly, a simple rule of thumb, like never more than 2 (or whatever /n/ feels right) level difference between classes could get you approximately there.

    But, yeah, the medieval aesthetic has me scratching my head (must be the medieval vermin).


    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    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.
    Nod. But you can enforce setting without hard mechanical limits, too. And, while you mostly be cutting, you might, for instance, add the Bladesinger (2e Kit, IIRC),
    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.
    4d6-L in order is certainly still an option.
    You could re-introduce ability requirements if you really want to.
    The caster/not disparity is still there, there's just not so much not, as the classes that had casting kick in at high level now start much earlier, and even Fighters and Rogues can cast. OK, it's not the same 'weird discrepancy' it used to be: casters don't start as far behind at the beginning, and they have a much easier row to hoe in 5e (than any prior ed, really).



    Actually, I'm surprised you haven't missing something from 2e conspicuously absent from 5e: The Psionicist.
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Thursday, 30th May, 2019 at 12:50 AM.
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    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.
    Is there a reason you can't use the same class, level, and racial restrictions from 2e in 5e?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    Even if you use all of the levers available, reduce the free healing and adjust the rest periods, you still have to deal with the base combat math being formulated around the assumption of high accuracy and low damage (relative to HP totals). At the level of house ruling you'd have to do, it would be easier to write a new game from scratch.
    This seems a bit hyperbolic. I haven't done the math, but there a several levers just with rest, healing, and death mechanics that get you 90% of the way there. If that is not good enough, then you simply need to lessen the number of HP and things get serious fast.
    Last edited by dave2008; Thursday, 30th May, 2019 at 12:39 PM.
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  7. #17
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    Class and race restrictions hammer home the setting. What's a Paladin? Holy champion of law and good. Rangers are good aligned defenders of the frontier/ nature. Druids serve the balance etc.

    5E does some things extremely poor. There's big hit point inflation, a lot of magic, healing, and RAW it's a cakewalk starting at level 5 or so.
    Last edited by Zardnaar; Thursday, 30th May, 2019 at 01:07 AM.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave2008 View Post
    This seems a bit hyperbolic. I haven't done the math, but there a several levers just with rest, healing, and death mechanics that get you 90% of the way there. If that is not good enough, then you simply need to lessen the number of HP you things get serious fast.
    You can get healing into a reasonable approximation of AD&D rates, but the biggest obstacle is bounded accuracy and HP inflation. You can't really get your AC to a point where it's reliable, and you can't take down enemies very quickly since they have so many HP, so you're going to take damage in almost every fight.

    And honestly, it's not that much work to write a new system. If you were going to adjust all of the AC and HP numbers anyway, then that's most of the work right there. You might as well add some flourishes and make it a new game. It also saves a lot of confusion at the table, since you can just consult the new rulebook, instead of using the old rulebook and manually applying your house rules to everything.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    You can get healing into a reasonable approximation of AD&D rates, \...
    But that, IMO gets you 80-90% there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    ...but the biggest obstacle is bounded accuracy and HP inflation. You can't really get your AC to a point where it's reliable, and you can't take down enemies very quickly since they have so many HP, so you're going to take damage in almost every fight.
    I'm not sure what you are getting at. Do you want to be hit less, but have less hit points?



    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    And honestly, it's not that much work to write a new system. If you were going to adjust all of the AC and HP numbers anyway, then that's most of the work right there. You might as well add some flourishes and make it a new game. It also saves a lot of confusion at the table, since you can just consult the new rulebook, instead of using the old rulebook and manually applying your house rules to everything.
    I got a disagree with you there. I've tried it a few times and can never get over the finish line. My 1e house rules were about 20 pages. But as soon as I tried to make it my own game we stopped playing

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiroiken View Post
    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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