Casting Raise Dead on 2E

Zardnaar

Hero
The more I play 5E the more it bugs me once you start go much past level 8 or even 4 if you have a 6+ person party.

Back in the 90s we did rarely play higher level in 2E and BECMI.

Feats in 5E has issues, no feats also has issues with Dex being super stat and things like rangers and paladin's more or less obsoleting fighters. Multiclassing is still a mess and has been since 2000.

So why 2E? Well it has a lower power level and it has a lot of levers to get the play experience you want. Low magic for example. 2E IMHO is also the best for game of thrones.

2E also has settings which seem to be popular. Converting somebody them us a lot of work however +(Spelljammer and Darksun come to mind).

Starting to wonder if it's easier to hack stuff you like from modern D&D back into 2E.

Some classes need some help but once again you could probably backwards convert 3.0 classes into 2E. 3.0 Rogue sucks due to 3.0 expectations it looks decent in 2E context though.

Ditching THAC0 is easy, you could probably use 5E skill system if you wanted.

Xp tables could be tweaked, one can use BECMI tables there.

Unified ability tables are another thing. Bend bars/lift gates could be a DC 25/20 athletic checks.

I even found some bits and pieces in OD&D that are interesting. Pathfinder 2 also gas some bits and pieces.

So is houseruling 2E a better idea than trying to get 5E to do things it's crap at?
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
Fifth Edition is bad at a lot of stuff, but 2E isn't much better. If you're getting tired of the specific faults in 5E, like how Dexterity is so overpowered, then it might be fun to give 2E a shot for the next campaign.

Honestly, though, both games are equally open to house ruling. You just need to be open to it. I'm sure you could fix feats, Dexterity, multiclassing, and paladin burst damage if you really tried.

Personally, I think both games are broken enough that they would require too many house rules to actually play. That's why I wrote my own game, which fixes the specific issues I have with 5E. If you're open to house rules, and you don't mind doing the work, then I strongly recommend that you do the same. That way, you won't feel obligated to keep any rules that you really don't like, but which are too fundamental to change.

Or if you don't want to do the work, then I'm sure there's an existing game out there which would match your taste. (The hard part is finding it.)
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Fifth Edition is bad at a lot of stuff, but 2E isn't much better. If you're getting tired of the specific faults in 5E, like how Dexterity is so overpowered, then it might be fun to give 2E a shot for the next campaign.

Honestly, though, both games are equally open to house ruling. You just need to be open to it. I'm sure you could fix feats, Dexterity, multiclassing, and paladin burst damage if you really tried.

Personally, I think both games are broken enough that they would require too many house rules to actually play. That's why I wrote my own game, which fixes the specific issues I have with 5E. If you're open to house rules, and you don't mind doing the work, then I strongly recommend that you do the same. That way, you won't feel obligated to keep any rules that you really don't like, but which are too fundamental to change.

Or if you don't want to do the work, then I'm sure there's an existing game out there which would match your taste. (The hard part is finding it.)
I kind of did write my own.

Needs an overhaul.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
The more I play 5E the more it bugs me once you start go much past level 8 or even 4 if you have a 6+ person party.

Back in the 90s we did rarely play higher level in 2E and BECMI.
I'm not following what your actual issue is with the higher levels, but if it's fine up until then the easiest solution as far as house rules goes would be to level cap the campaign. Alternatively, slow the advancement or both.

A campaign doesn't need to be or get to high levels to be fun.

Feats in 5E has issues, no feats also has issues with Dex being super stat and things like rangers and paladin's more or less obsoleting fighters. Multiclassing is still a mess and has been since 2000.
Those are opinions. They are also not either/or scenarios. No DM is required to allow all or zero feats. Select which are allowed and don't allow any a person believes to be an issue. As for DEX, I tend to take it on fighters a lot anyway. DEX+stealth gets high enough to scout well on a fighter.

Plus, it's hard to obsolesce fighters 3rd attack normally. It's just the lower levels holding that back, and at those levels I don't find the limited spell slots really being an issue for a battle master's expertise dice or eldritch knight's spells in comparison because fighters also have second wind, action surge, and the level 6 bonus ASI. Champion's improved crit and remarkable athlete are pretty niche (2nd fighting style is better and survivor is fantastic) so the levels discussed tend to impact them a bit more.

Again, opinion either way. ;-)

So why 2E? Well it has a lower power level and it has a lot of levers to get the play experience you want. Low magic for example. 2E IMHO is also the best for game of thrones.
It depends on what you are looking for. Type I rolling method with no ability score increases over time meant using an alternative rolling method and typically clerics and druids were limited to 5th level spells (bards still got to 6th level spells easily) while 19 INT or WIS started to work into immunities we would never see on a fighter or thief. Percentile dice STR was dumb, imo; flat out dumb. Non-weapon proficiencies also favored casters who got more than non-casters, although non-weapon proficiencies also could cost multiple costs.

On the plus side for some, proficiency checks were very much based on ability scores. Bonuses were practically non-existent outside of the base modification because they required spending additional proficiency slots that pretty much didn't exist for a +1 bonus each. It was much better to just pick another proficiency.

I don't actually agree with your "low magic for example".

1571299457119.png


The massive number of spell slots compared to 5e more than makes up for the loss of cantrips in 2e, while wizards and bards could just pick up the cantrip spell anyway. Priests had ridiculous numbers of low level slots, required 17 WIS for 6th level spells and 18 WIS for 7th level spells (all bards qualified for 6th level spells) plus those ability scores gave bonuses to low level slots.

The difference is rangers and paladins wait longer to get spells but still get close to 5e (the penalty to caster level is more significant) and bards are slowed down comparatively to slots, but like 1e and 3.x they could fling out songs. Unlike 1e and 3.x, they didn't have a level-per-day limit and instead inspiration took 3 rounds, and they moved attitudes (much like 5e's charm spells) instead of zoning them out and granting suggestions. The bard even applies a hefty penalty to the saving throw based on his or her level.

I don't think trading off cantrips for spell slots and unlimited songs is low magic at all. It's just lower magic for rangers and paladins. Unless you were planning on only playing low levels in 2e, which makes it moot given you said 5e bugs you at higher levels. If you were to only play low levels then switching would be irrelevant given that restriction.

It's hard to call it better for a Game of Thrones campaign with more spell slots in play. I find banning classes or spells, applying a longer rest cycle and healing cycle, and using lingering injuries options to be closer to Game of Thrones than 2e.

2E also has settings which seem to be popular. Converting somebody them us a lot of work however +(Spelljammer and Darksun come to mind).
Darksun 5e
Spelljammer 5e

Both already have homebrew conversions to 5e, like those 2 examples. Google it and you'll find more. ;-)

Unified ability tables are another thing. Bend bars/lift gates could be a DC 25/20 athletic checks.
It could be an unmodified STR check too, to be in line with 2e's version, and 5e's "other uses for strength checks" and "interacting with objects" in the PHB. Both editions already cover it that way, although 2e's way is a bit awkard. Use athletics if you think it applies. I don't because bending bars doesn't have technical aspect in which to train afaik but that's entirely a DM call.

So is houseruling 2E a better idea than trying to get 5E to do things it's crap at?
That's an argument of presumption, lol. I think the DMG options and restricting options does what you want far easier than modifying 2e. If you want to play 2e, there's really no reason to tell us about (looks like baiting whether it's meant to or not). I know people who pull out old editions and play them and don't hold an edition preference that doesn't match mine against anyone.

Trev Deeley Motorcycles (in Vancouver BC Canada) has a quote on the wall that says, "It doesn't matter what you ride as long as you ride."

I think that saying applies to D&D as well. It doesn't matter which edition you play as long as you are having fun doing it.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
I'm not following what your actual issue is with the higher levels, but if it's fine up until then the easiest solution as far as house rules goes would be to level cap the campaign. Alternatively, slow the advancement or both.

A campaign doesn't need to be or get to high levels to be fun.



Those are opinions. They are also not either/or scenarios. No DM is required to allow all or zero feats. Select which are allowed and don't allow any a person believes to be an issue. As for DEX, I tend to take it on fighters a lot anyway. DEX+stealth gets high enough to scout well on a fighter.

Plus, it's hard to obsolesce fighters 3rd attack normally. It's just the lower levels holding that back, and at those levels I don't find the limited spell slots really being an issue for a battle master's expertise dice or eldritch knight's spells in comparison because fighters also have second wind, action surge, and the level 6 bonus ASI. Champion's improved crit and remarkable athlete are pretty niche (2nd fighting style is better and survivor is fantastic) so the levels discussed tend to impact them a bit more.

Again, opinion either way. ;-)



It depends on what you are looking for. Type I rolling method with no ability score increases over time meant using an alternative rolling method and typically clerics and druids were limited to 5th level spells (bards still got to 6th level spells easily) while 19 INT or WIS started to work into immunities we would never see on a fighter or thief. Percentile dice STR was dumb, imo; flat out dumb. Non-weapon proficiencies also favored casters who got more than non-casters, although non-weapon proficiencies also could cost multiple costs.

On the plus side for some, proficiency checks were very much based on ability scores. Bonuses were practically non-existent outside of the base modification because they required spending additional proficiency slots that pretty much didn't exist for a +1 bonus each. It was much better to just pick another proficiency.

I don't actually agree with your "low magic for example".

View attachment 114918

The massive number of spell slots compared to 5e more than makes up for the loss of cantrips in 2e, while wizards and bards could just pick up the cantrip spell anyway. Priests had ridiculous numbers of low level slots, required 17 WIS for 6th level spells and 18 WIS for 7th level spells (all bards qualified for 6th level spells) plus those ability scores gave bonuses to low level slots.

The difference is rangers and paladins wait longer to get spells but still get close to 5e (the penalty to caster level is more significant) and bards are slowed down comparatively to slots, but like 1e and 3.x they could fling out songs. Unlike 1e and 3.x, they didn't have a level-per-day limit and instead inspiration took 3 rounds, and they moved attitudes (much like 5e's charm spells) instead of zoning them out and granting suggestions. The bard even applies a hefty penalty to the saving throw based on his or her level.

I don't think trading off cantrips for spell slots and unlimited songs is low magic at all. It's just lower magic for rangers and paladins. Unless you were planning on only playing low levels in 2e, which makes it moot given you said 5e bugs you at higher levels. If you were to only play low levels then switching would be irrelevant given that restriction.

It's hard to call it better for a Game of Thrones campaign with more spell slots in play. I find banning classes or spells, applying a longer rest cycle and healing cycle, and using lingering injuries options to be closer to Game of Thrones than 2e.



Darksun 5e
Spelljammer 5e

Both already have homebrew conversions to 5e, like those 2 examples. Google it and you'll find more. ;-)



It could be an unmodified STR check too, to be in line with 2e's version, and 5e's "other uses for strength checks" and "interacting with objects" in the PHB. Both editions already cover it that way, although 2e's way is a bit awkard. Use athletics if you think it applies. I don't because bending bars doesn't have technical aspect in which to train afaik but that's entirely a DM call.



That's an argument of presumption, lol. I think the DMG options and restricting options does what you want far easier than modifying 2e. If you want to play 2e, there's really no reason to tell us about (looks like baiting whether it's meant to or not). I know people who pull out old editions and play them and don't hold an edition preference that doesn't match mine against anyone.

Trev Deeley Motorcycles (in Vancouver BC Canada) has a quote on the wall that says, "It doesn't matter what you ride as long as you ride."

I think that saying applies to D&D as well. It doesn't matter which edition you play as long as you are having fun doing it.

Spells are generally less powerfully in AD&D.

Clerics had more spells plus bonus spells. Assumed some will be used for healing.

A lack of cleric spell slots usually results in no one wanting to play the cleric or they don't want to heal or run out of sleks very fast in 5E.
It's probably why domains in 3E had +1 domain spell.
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
My group has gone back to 2e a few times over the past decade or two. We had fun every time.

That said, if you're looking for an old school style of game with modern mechanics, it might be worth looking into retro-clones to see if there's something out there that suits your needs. There's a ton of them out there.

For example, Into the Unknown is like a fusion of 5e and B/X. That said, wizards and priests still get cantrips, so that might not be the best variant for you.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
Spells are generally less powerfully in AD&D
Spells did less damage initially and scaled into more damage, saving throws were failed more at low levels than high levels because of the save mechanics used pre 3.x, and repeat save to break attempts weren't a thing then like they are now. Concentration didn't prevent buff stacking.

Hypnotism allowed 1d6 targets to be suggested, for example. Casters don't do that with 1st level spells now. Shield lasted 5 rounds / level. Hold person affected 1d4 humanoids for 2 rounds / level with no repeat saves. You could actually sleep a 4 hit die monster. Cause blindness / deafness was permanent. Command had no save check unless a minimum threshold of 13 INT or 6 HD was met. It was pretty easy to pull off 800 damage with creeping doom.

Even burning hands at 1d3+2/lvl started poor, yes, but when it was +20 it was definitely more damage than 5e. Preparing hypnotism, color spray, or sleep was a better choice, however. Even the light spell blinded a person for solid debuff 10 min/lvl. Most 5e cantrips were stronger 1st level spells in 2e.

Needing to roll a 17 or better on a d20 to save against spells, if the spell allowed for a save, was harder in 2e than rolling a 13 or better assuming no bonus in 5e. The difference is an 80% success rate against a 1st level fighter equivalent compared to a 60%, and most spells in 5e repeat save.

Save or die actually meant save or die. I strongly disagree that spells were weaker.

Clerics had more spells plus bonus spells. Assumed some will be used for healing.
2e, up to 11 first level slots. 5e, up to 4 first level slots. 3.5 up to 6 slots (including WIS bonus) plus 1 domain spell.

The one domain spell guarantees a spell that's not healing while spontaneous casting guaranteed clerics could heal regardless of spells selected, allowing for a single more spell prepped. 5e lacks spell slots for clerics too. People play them, but that's beside the point.

You indicated 2e was low magic. I disagreed pointing out the massive number of slots. It doesn't actually matter if the spells are cast on healing or not. Of course the expectation was that some was used for healing -- that was very much a niche protection edition and a cleric niche. They are still spells being cast in large numbers and demonstrates using a lot of magic.

A lack of cleric spell slots usually results in no one wanting to play the cleric or they don't want to heal or run out of sleks very fast in 5E.
It's probably why domains in 3E had +1 domain spell.
First, it doesn't make sense that players not wanting to play clerics in 5e would be why they needed domains in 3e. That would effect before cause and you might have worded that awkwardly. ;-)

Second, you might struggle in proving players don't want to play clerics or that they run out of healing fast in 5e. I've never seen clerics run out of slots in 5e blowing them on healing because most healing is down out of combat with more efficient spells and players take short rests for hit dice healing.

Claiming it's low magic in light of all those spell slots is simply incorrect. Trying to justify the power or use of those slots was also incorrect and doesn't invalidate the existence or use of so many slots.

I did have fun in 2e for years. If that's what you want go for it. You asked opinions and I pointed a few things out. You're still better off with some straight forward DMG adjustments an limiting class and / or spell options.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Spells did less damage initially and scaled into more damage, saving throws were failed more at low levels than high levels because of the save mechanics used pre 3.x, and repeat save to break attempts weren't a thing then like they are now. Concentration didn't prevent buff stacking.

Hypnotism allowed 1d6 targets to be suggested, for example. Casters don't do that with 1st level spells now. Shield lasted 5 rounds / level. Hold person affected 1d4 humanoids for 2 rounds / level with no repeat saves. You could actually sleep a 4 hit die monster. Cause blindness / deafness was permanent. Command had no save check unless a minimum threshold of 13 INT or 6 HD was met. It was pretty easy to pull off 800 damage with creeping doom.

Even burning hands at 1d3+2/lvl started poor, yes, but when it was +20 it was definitely more damage than 5e. Preparing hypnotism, color spray, or sleep was a better choice, however. Even the light spell blinded a person for solid debuff 10 min/lvl. Most 5e cantrips were stronger 1st level spells in 2e.

Needing to roll a 17 or better on a d20 to save against spells, if the spell allowed for a save, was harder in 2e than rolling a 13 or better assuming no bonus in 5e. The difference is an 80% success rate against a 1st level fighter equivalent compared to a 60%, and most spells in 5e repeat save.

Save or die actually meant save or die. I strongly disagree that spells were weaker.



2e, up to 11 first level slots. 5e, up to 4 first level slots. 3.5 up to 6 slots (including WIS bonus) plus 1 domain spell.

The one domain spell guarantees a spell that's not healing while spontaneous casting guaranteed clerics could heal regardless of spells selected, allowing for a single more spell prepped. 5e lacks spell slots for clerics too. People play them, but that's beside the point.

You indicated 2e was low magic. I disagreed pointing out the massive number of slots. It doesn't actually matter if the spells are cast on healing or not. Of course the expectation was that some was used for healing -- that was very much a niche protection edition and a cleric niche. They are still spells being cast in large numbers and demonstrates using a lot of magic.



First, it doesn't make sense that players not wanting to play clerics in 5e would be why they needed domains in 3e. That would effect before cause and you might have worded that awkwardly. ;-)

Second, you might struggle in proving players don't want to play clerics or that they run out of healing fast in 5e. I've never seen clerics run out of slots in 5e blowing them on healing because most healing is down out of combat with more efficient spells and players take short rests for hit dice healing.

Claiming it's low magic in light of all those spell slots is simply incorrect. Trying to justify the power or use of those slots was also incorrect and doesn't invalidate the existence or use of so many slots.

I did have fun in 2e for years. If that's what you want go for it. You asked opinions and I pointed a few things out. You're still better off with some straight forward DMG adjustments an limiting class and / or spell options.
2E could be low magic, it had the rules for it.
. 5E has to much magic baked into the core classes although I suppose you could cherry pick what classes a low magic setting would have.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
My group has gone back to 2e a few times over the past decade or two. We had fun every time.

That said, if you're looking for an old school style of game with modern mechanics, it might be worth looking into retro-clones to see if there's something out there that suits your needs. There's a ton of them out there.

For example, Into the Unknown is like a fusion of 5e and B/X. That said, wizards and priests still get cantrips, so that might not be the best variant for you.
I used 2E as it's the easiest D&D to hack IMHO. It's also not to hard to bring in modern systems as well.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
@Ashrym what @Zardnaar means with low magic is not that 2e is low magic per default, it is not. But it is very easy to tweak in the direction of low magic by e.g. limiting maximum spell level, or spell availability. Also it got more classes who either have no or a very limited casting ability.
If done nt proper it unbalances the already unbalanced 2e system even more, but people will not complain so much, because by commiting to play 2e (1e, basic) you are already committing to play an unbalanced system.

What I hated in 2e were the stat and saving throw and THAC0 tables, also the weapon having different dice for large mobs. You can easily reverse THACO and AC to match 5e but still you need a table to determine what THAC0 your char / a mob etc has (unless you remembered the rule +1 / level for fighter types +2/3 level for divine types etc...)

Skill system in 2e is also not very useful. Initiative in 2e if you use the weapon initiative is plainly wrong.
Spell durations, reaches, and AE are a PITA in 2e you gotta look everything up, everything scales etc.
Multiclassing level limits, stat boon and malus etc otoh are a thing I partially like. Establishing new races especially monstrous ones in 2e: much better than in 5e

I did play and master a lot of stuff in 2e as much than in 5e probably and I tend to say I know all its strengths and weaknesses, and without wanting to start edition war here: 5e is the best system for Tabletop D&D, because of things like bound accuracy and advantage disadvantage mechanic, fast combat, linearity, which make life so much easier for every type of player and DM.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
2E could be low magic, it had the rules for it.
. 5E has to much magic baked into the core classes although I suppose you could cherry pick what classes a low magic setting would have.
Start with this:

Classes.jpg

Other than divine channeling, magic isn't really baked into those classes outside of spell casting.

At no point is any other class fundamental to the game or necessary. Remove any spells you don't want, probably cantrips and rituals (the basic game plays fine without them for closer to the becmi feel). Add classes, feats, and spells you might want from the PHB. Cutting and adding can be as little or as much as you deem appropriate. 5e low spell slots automatically becomes low magic without at-will magic.

Use the DMG dials for optional rules listed. Slow healing, healer kit dependency, rest variants, and lingering injuries changes the game up quite a bit. That's what I'm talking about when you mentioned a Game of Thrones style.

@Ashrym what @Zardnaar means with low magic is not that 2e is low magic per default, it is not. But it is very easy to tweak in the direction of low magic by e.g. limiting maximum spell level, or spell availability. Also it got more classes who either have no or a very limited casting ability.
If done nt proper it unbalances the already unbalanced 2e system even more, but people will not complain so much, because by commiting to play 2e (1e, basic) you are already committing to play an unbalanced system.

What I hated in 2e were the stat and saving throw and THAC0 tables, also the weapon having different dice for large mobs. You can easily reverse THACO and AC to match 5e but still you need a table to determine what THAC0 your char / a mob etc has (unless you remembered the rule +1 / level for fighter types +2/3 level for divine types etc...)

Skill system in 2e is also not very useful. Initiative in 2e if you use the weapon initiative is plainly wrong.
Spell durations, reaches, and AE are a PITA in 2e you gotta look everything up, everything scales etc.
Multiclassing level limits, stat boon and malus etc otoh are a thing I partially like. Establishing new races especially monstrous ones in 2e: much better than in 5e

I did play and master a lot of stuff in 2e as much than in 5e probably and I tend to say I know all its strengths and weaknesses, and without wanting to start edition war here: 5e is the best system for Tabletop D&D, because of things like bound accuracy and advantage disadvantage mechanic, fast combat, linearity, which make life so much easier for every type of player and DM.
I don't disagree with any of that. I'm saying 2e isn't low magic (I think we're all on the same page regarding that now) and 5e is pretty easy to go for the stated goals. It's just not that hard to say...

"The classes are barbarian, cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard. I am using these optional rules. I have house ruled no cantrips or ritual casting. Here is the list of feats allowed. Here is the list of spells not allowed."

Paladin isn't necessary because of clerics, but if a person wants more fighter type allow EK and change the spells know option to be based on WIS and choose from paladin spells instead of wizard spells. Or just say "cleric".

I don't think 2e tweaking rules is better than 5e tweaking rules, but the 5e rules being more streamlined makes tweaks easier. I find 5e easy to work with.
 

FaerieGodfather

Born in the Soul of Misery
I keep wanting to return to something more akin to 2e, but I find there are too many basic QOL improvements in modern D&D to fully make the transition.

I've always got streamlining AD&D 2e Player's Option (with modern features) on my backburner, but I'm also pondering trying to for the same effect by porting AD&D concepts back into Pathfinder.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Note u did make the arguement you could port say 5Es skill system into 2E.

5E fails fairly hard at a few things though regardless of what optional rules you use.

The amount of stuff you have to strip out makes it easier just to houserule 2E especially for some of the settings.

IMHO of course.

My houserules for 2E are a massive one page.
 

Attachments

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Try Basic 5E, and I think you'll find that all the problems go away.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
I keep meaning to run 2e again sometime. But this all brings up the question of kits and whether to use them. On the one hand, kits are one of the signature aspects of 2e. On the other hand, there were a lot of broken kits.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
If you're thinking of playing 2E but ditching Thac0, then why not ditch 2E entirely and play 3.5E?
2E Better balanced and easier to run as DM.

2E also has the setting, best priests ever, best fighter ever, and one of the best balanced D&D's.

It's also the best edition if you want to do something non standard due to the tool box nature of the books.

It's probably the 2nd best D&D to play past level 10 as well.
 

Ash Adler

Villager
Fittingly enough, I actually wrote up a 2E-based retroclone with the 5E SRD as a basis. Admittedly, it hews a lot closer to 2E than 5E in most places (and I did a couple of my own homebrew things like doing secondary ability checks like BB/LG or chance to learn spells with 2d6 instead of the various ways of original 2E), but it might be along the lines of what you're looking for: PDF link

I never quite got around to filling out all the monster stat blocks and magic item details, but if you've still got your old books (or faith in your ability to come up with those things for yourself), that shouldn't be a problem.

(I've got a quick reference summary of the rules on two 11x17 pages, if you'd like that, along with a page for character generation reference and two pages for standard equipment/items. Also, if you're curious about where and why I deviated from the base systems, here are links to blog posts about that: 1, 2, 3, 4)

I don't actually agree with your "low magic for example".
[image snip]
The massive number of spell slots compared to 5e more than makes up for the loss of cantrips in 2e, while wizards and bards could just pick up the cantrip spell anyway. Priests had ridiculous numbers of low level slots, required 17 WIS for 6th level spells and 18 WIS for 7th level spells (all bards qualified for 6th level spells) plus those ability scores gave bonuses to low level slots.
While it's true that 2E casters tend to have more spell slots than 5E casters, there's a lot more to things than that. Starting right from class selection, 2E has 5 significant magic-using classes (bard, cleric, druid, mage, specialist wizard) and 2 classes that gain a little magic at high levels (paladin and ranger) out of 9 total classes, while 5E has 6 significant magic-using classes (bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, wizard) AND 2 magic-heavy martials (paladin and ranger) out of 12, plus monks are almost nonmagical-magic users (their PHB entry even has "The Magic of Ki" as a subsection), fighters and rogues can both pick up casting subclasses, and non-berserker barbarians basically have nonmagical-magic elements to their rage. 5E's arcane spellcasters gain 1-2 spells per level automatically, whereas 2E's arcane spellcasters don't gain spells by default unless they find scrolls (though I let specialist wizards gain 1 spell from their specialty school on leveling). Furthermore, while the individual spells are generally more powerful in 2E when compared directly (especially when accounting for the generally-lower HP values in 2E with respect to damage-based spells), the fact that 2E casters have to pick a specific spell for each spell slot tends to greatly reduce their moment-to-moment tactical versatility (making it not-infrequent for priests and wizards to have to rely on mundane solutions much more often than they do in 5E, even without at-will cantrips). Also, casting magic in combat specifically in 2E is much more cumbersome, given that the character can't move before the spell is cast (or perhaps even for the whole round, since the rules aren't entirely clear on it), loses their DEX bonus to AC until the spell is cast, and has the casting wasted completely if they take any damage or fail any saving throws before the spell is cast.

I'd agree that, by default, 2E is still a high magic system, but magic use is more deliberate instead of being something that you can spray all over the place, it's less prominent in combat (though more impactful when used effectively, as fitting for a system that's inspired more by swords'&'sorcery than high fantasy), it's easier to tune down to a low magic setting than 5E is, and even without doing that, the base rules make magic play out as a special compliment to the rest of what your character can do instead of as the only thing your character does. Right now, I'm running a 2E campaign and playing in a 5E campaign, and there's a VERY clear difference in how the two feel with respect to prevalence of magic despite both having exactly a 50/50 split of casters and martials in the party.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
2E Better balanced and easier to run as DM.
I've never felt that 2E was particularly well balanced. Plus it is a very deadly system too. As for being easier to run, I don't think there a difference between running any of the D&D editions as a DM. It all boils down to the same amount of work, just with different rules. And just about any edition makes the rules so much more simple than 2E.

2E also has the setting, best priests ever, best fighter ever, and one of the best balanced D&D's.
Settings can be ported to any edition. But best priests and fighters? With the huge amount of options, prestige classes and feats in 3.5, arguably the best versions of either class can be made in 3.5. And again, I personally feel that 2E is one of the least balanced editions. Especially in regards to deadlyness, and the difference in combat effectiveness of the classes as they advance in level.

It's also the best edition if you want to do something non standard due to the tool box nature of the books.
If you want to do something non standard, wouldn't the edition with the most books for it be far better? Not only does 3.5 have a huge amount of books for it, but you can also use Pathfinder books, and other OGL books. There are infinitely more options. Also, Conan RPG 2nd edition uses the 3.5 system, and it is amazing!

It's probably the 2nd best D&D to play past level 10 as well.
I've always felt that high level campaigns are 2E's biggest weakness. It clearly wasn't designed for high level play.
 

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