AD&D 1st edition and 2nd edition differences?

Water Bob

Adventurer
Worst offender in that category: Exceptional Strength. That was a bonus to fighters in 1e or earlier when the score range was 3-18.

I think the idea behind exceptional strength (You're talking about STR ratings like 18/45 and 18/00, right?) was to give the fighters something "special" because every other core class had something "special". The mages and clerics could cast spells. That's their "special". Thieves had thieving skills (Find Traps, Open Locks, etc).

And, remember, exceptional STR was, by the rules, very, very hard to get. You had to roll an 18 STR, which ain't easy by default rules, then you roll the percentile dice to find the exceptional part.

If I had a dime for every time I ran into a D&Der with a fighter that had exceptional-max STR 18/00 and said, "I rolled it!" Yeah. Right. Do it in front of me.







I never had a huge problem with the combat system.

With 1E? Or, are you talking about 2E?

1E's combat system, RAW, is a mess. It's extremely hard to follow and use. Almost all D&Ders I knew just made up their own procedure and went with it.

I'd like to go back, one day, and play a game by the RAW 1E system, though, just to see how it really works through my adult and rpg-experienced eyes.
 

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Libramarian

Adventurer
I think the 1e combat system makes a lot more sense when you think of the extra details (speed factors, weapon vs. armor adjustments, spellcasting times) as modular add-ons to the system that only apply in certain situations. They're not a "core" part of the system. They give you a bit of extra detail when you're fighting humanoids or an NPC adventuring party, basically.

e.g. BtB weapon speed factors only apply when fighting spellcasters and humanoids wielding weapons. And in the latter case, only when initiative is tied.

Some people hate that. They think it's really "messy" conceptually; they want a unified system, where the weapon speed factors are always added to their initiative roll. But the other perspective is it's very efficient to only use rules when they matter. It's like using salt when you're cooking vs. adding salt to the food on your plate. When you add a little bit on top, you use less but taste it more.
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
Some people hate that. They think it's really "messy" conceptually; they want a unified system, where the weapon speed factors are always added to their initiative roll. But the other perspective is it's very efficient to only use rules when they matter.

For me, it's not the rules themselves, it's the description of when to use the rules. That stuff is all over the place, in the DMG, in the PHB, and in different sections of each book.

I think the 1E combat system would greatly benefit from a single page or two flowchart or step-by-step combat phases--something easy to read and follow.
 

Libramarian

Adventurer
For me, it's not the rules themselves, it's the description of when to use the rules. That stuff is all over the place, in the DMG, in the PHB, and in different sections of each book.

I think the 1E combat system would greatly benefit from a single page or two flowchart or step-by-step combat phases--something easy to read and follow.
Oh sure, I agree. Have you seen this? http://knights-n-knaves.com/dmprata/ADDICT.pdf It's a very useful summary of AD&D initiative.

Although it's a bit bigger than a cheatsheet at 20 pages, heh. I think it could be simplified more. Much of it is examples and page references.
 

Orius

Hero
I think the idea behind exceptional strength (You're talking about STR ratings like 18/45 and 18/00, right?) was to give the fighters something "special" because every other core class had something "special". The mages and clerics could cast spells. That's their "special". Thieves had thieving skills (Find Traps, Open Locks, etc).

And, remember, exceptional STR was, by the rules, very, very hard to get. You had to roll an 18 STR, which ain't easy by default rules, then you roll the percentile dice to find the exceptional part.

If I had a dime for every time I ran into a D&Der with a fighter that had exceptional-max STR 18/00 and said, "I rolled it!" Yeah. Right. Do it in front of me.

Yeah, that rule as obviously meant as a bonus for fighters, but like I said it fit poorly into a ruleset that had expanded ability scores rather than just 3-18. But even then the rule maybe wasn't really a huge bonus for fighters anyway, since high level fighters seemed to be considered boring and dull to play, and I don't recall all that many single class fighters in my games anyway, they were either multi-class demihumans, paladins, or rangers.


With 1E? Or, are you talking about 2E?

1E's combat system, RAW, is a mess. It's extremely hard to follow and use. Almost all D&Ders I knew just made up their own procedure and went with it.

I'd like to go back, one day, and play a game by the RAW 1E system, though, just to see how it really works through my adult and rpg-experienced eyes.

Never played 1e, so 2e naturally. I understand the combat chapters in the PHB and DMG are much better organized than 1e. I've also read several times over the years that the 2e system is largely based on some of the most common house rules people used to handle 1e combat.
 
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Water Bob

Adventurer
Oh sure, I agree. Have you seen this? http://knights-n-knaves.com/dmprata/ADDICT.pdf It's a very useful summary of AD&D initiative.

Yes, I have, but only in the last five years or so....not when I needed it back in the 80's! ;)






Yeah, that rule as obviously meant as a bonus for fighters, but like I said it fit poorly into a ruleset that had expanded ability scores rather than just 3-18. But even then the rule maybe wasn't really a huge bonus for fighters anyway, since high level fighters seemed to be considered boring and dull to play, and I don't recall all that many single class fighters in my games anyway, they were either multi-class demihumans, paladins, or rangers.

It's interesting how different people have different experiences. I never thought two-ways about fighter exceptional strength not "fitting" the game, and in my experience, the single classed fighter has been the most popular class among the people I've played with. It's the mage we always had a hard time getting someone to play.





Never played 1e, so 2e naturally. I understand the combat chapters in the PHB and DMG are much better organized than 1e. I've also read several times over the years that the 2e system is largely based on some of the most common house rules people used to handle 1e combat.

2E Combat is about 1000% easier to understand and play than 1E Combat (and, yes, 2E Combat does incorporate many of the most popular house rules at the time). And, it is a lot different than 1E Combat. Just look at that document that [MENTION=6688858]Libramarian[/MENTION] linked above. That'll give you a taste of 1E AD&D combat as it's supposed to be played (I've never actually met anybody who played 1E by the rules--it wasn't until the net that I've seen someone claim that they did/do.).
 

Drowbane

First Post
...
If I had a dime for every time I ran into a D&Der with a fighter that had exceptional-max STR 18/00 and said, "I rolled it!" Yeah. Right. Do it in front of me...

IIRC, you roll stats, then choose race and class. So if you get an 18, why bother with percentile when you can just choose a race that gives +1 Str and have a 19? Elf had a subrace... Wood or Wild that gave +1 str and +1 dex...
 
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Orius

Hero
It's interesting how different people have different experiences. I never thought two-ways about fighter exceptional strength not "fitting" the game, and in my experience, the single classed fighter has been the most popular class among the people I've played with. It's the mage we always had a hard time getting someone to play.

The mage? That's just mind-boggling, unless you're talking about generalist mages as oppoesed to specialist wizards; I've never seen a great disinterest in playing wizards myself. Hell, one campaign I was in, I played a mage, and there was an evoker and transmuter in the same group.

2E Combat is about 1000% easier to understand and play than 1E Combat (and, yes, 2E Combat does incorporate many of the most popular house rules at the time). And, it is a lot different than 1E Combat. Just look at that document that [MENTION=6688858]Libramarian[/MENTION] linked above. That'll give you a taste of 1E AD&D combat as it's supposed to be played (I've never actually met anybody who played 1E by the rules--it wasn't until the net that I've seen someone claim that they did/do.).

Just mostly glanced over it, it has a lot of the same general structure I've seen in Basic, 2e, and 3e, but it's got complicated insanities like segments (which I've heard of before) and pre-initiative actions, and lots of fiddly details.
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
The mage? That's just mind-boggling, unless you're talking about generalist mages as oppoesed to specialist wizards; I've never seen a great disinterest in playing wizards myself. Hell, one campaign I was in, I played a mage, and there was an evoker and transmuter in the same group.

Yep. There was one player who would play one, but he always insisted on having a second character that was a fighter that could protect his mage. When I would have games where everybody only played one character, most times, there was no mage at all.



Just mostly glanced over it, it has a lot of the same general structure I've seen in Basic, 2e, and 3e, but it's got complicated insanities like segments (which I've heard of before) and pre-initiative actions, and lots of fiddly details.

Lots of fiddly details. It's not like 2E in many ways, too.
 

green slime

First Post
Single classed Mages were not popular at my area either: just to damn difficult to keep alive with 1d4 hp (and back then, you died at negative), and not enough to do at 1st level (1 spell per day?!?).
 

frankthedm

First Post
What actions gain you experience points is completely different, which strongly effects how the games are played.
A big change was 1E gave out less XP for killing monsters and had the bulk of come from gaining treasure.

2E boosted XP for monsters, pushed the notion of story awards and made XP for treasure optional {IIRC it was even suggested against doing so].

This change turned wandering monsters from high risk & low return to be avoided [1E] to Wandering XP [2E].
 


Water Bob

Adventurer
A big change was 1E gave out less XP for killing monsters and had the bulk of come from gaining treasure.

2E boosted XP for monsters, pushed the notion of story awards and made XP for treasure optional {IIRC it was even suggested against doing so].

This change turned wandering monsters from high risk & low return to be avoided [1E] to Wandering XP [2E].

I fell in love with the Conan RPG XP system. The rule is: There are no rules. It's completely up to the GM.

The GM awards points, as many or as few as he thinks should be awarded, on whatever he thinks is important to the game.

What was important to the gaming session? Was it a story goal that the players achieved? Was it some outstanding roleplaying? Was it a particular fight? Was it a particular discovery?

The Conan GM is encouraged to use XP to reward player actions that make the game fun to play.

So, on one game session, a character may be instrumental in taking out a large Vanir warrior that attacked the camp. He may get a lot of XP for that. Then, next game session, he's one of many, PCs and NPCs, who fight in a large battle against the Vanirman's clan. Even though the PC got a lot of XP for killing the one Vanirman last game session, and the same PC has killed four other Vanirmen this session, that may not be what's important to the game that session--and the PC could end up getting less XP for the four kills than he did for the one kill.

Again, it's about encouraging the good things that happen in the game, and it's 100% up to the GM's opinion about how these points should be awarded and in what amounts.

I really like the system--more more than I like the regulated XP systems of the various D&D editions.
 

Orius

Hero
I fell in love with the Conan RPG XP system. The rule is: There are no rules. It's completely up to the GM.

The GM awards points, as many or as few as he thinks should be awarded, on whatever he thinks is important to the game.

Yeah, that's good if you're an experienced GM, and you know how fast you want the campaign to progress. It also helps if the entire group likes the same gaming style. It's not great for a less experienced GM who might not know how to "grade" the players, and it's not good if there's a lot of clashing play styles -- say RP awards in a game where some players aren't comfortable with RPing, or just rewarding kills when some players don't have a taste for hack and slash.
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
Yeah, that's good if you're an experienced GM, and you know how fast you want the campaign to progress. It also helps if the entire group likes the same gaming style. It's not great for a less experienced GM who might not know how to "grade" the players, and it's not good if there's a lot of clashing play styles -- say RP awards in a game where some players aren't comfortable with RPing, or just rewarding kills when some players don't have a taste for hack and slash.


You definitely have a point, but the system isn't as difficult for the new GM as you're making it out to be.

The new GM simply sits back at the end of the game sessions and asks himself, "What part of the game tonight was most fun? What part of the game do I want to encourage in future game sessions." Then, give points for that.

Also, when I set up an adventure, I have certain story goals in mind. If the players accomplish the goals, then they get points, too.

Simple as that.
 

winemaker81

First Post
That is, you could read an adventure in 2nd Edition or AD&D, and you'd understand the content if you knew either system. But it was a different rules set, mostly in changes to the PC's.

You could play a module from either edition, but when I ran 2nd Edition modules for my A&D campaign, I completely redid any NPC's. For the monsters, I just referenced the Monster Manuals from my edition instead, with pretty much everything mainstream in 2nd Edition having an AD&D predescessor.

The same is generally true of BX and BECMI modules. Anyone conversant with any of the listed games should be able to translate the differences on the fly. If something doesn't make sense, make up something that does! :cool:
 

darjr

I crit!
Interesting tidbits about 2nd edition, from Steve Winters, among others. They debated going with ascending AC for 2e

Not that link goes sorry to an mp3 and might start playing right away.

Here’s the blog i found it from.

Apologies for the resurrection but I thought it belonged here.
 

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