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D&D 2E Edition Experience - Did/Do you Play AD&D 2E? How Was/Is It?

How Did/Do You Feel About 2nd Edition AD&D?

  • I'm playing it right now; I'll have to let you know later.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I'm playing it right now and so far, I don't like it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    198

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I distinctly remember that the 2E Bard was truly hosed. Some of his songs took 5 minutes to cast before any effect happened. Which is fine if your dungeon master does not start every combat with, "Roll initiative. You didn't see them."
The thing that was great about the 2e bard, though, was the spellbook. No goofy school restrictions, no BS "spells known." You could cast anything you learned.

Vancian/spellbook casting gets a real bad rap, but it was in some ways a saving grace for partial casters.
 

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Ezequielramone

Explorer
I really do miss the original chromatic orb. Makes me want to change the current one to have one or two options with a 1st level spell slot and if you cast it with higher level spell slots, new options arrive like stunning, petrification, and death!
yeah, i don't know how it would work but I really miss that. It is not that important, only when I play that wizard.
 

Redwizard007

Explorer
After BECMI, we switched to AD&D2e. We were in high school and this was our Golden Age. The settings were incredible, and the art that breathed life in our games was stellar. Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Spelljammer, Dark Sun (really the best one), Planescape, Birthright. What a time!

Just now, for me it is impossible to play Dark Sun with another ruleset and don't lose the original feeling. I really hope Dark Sun 5e can do the miracle.

Anyway, the system was very baroque and inconsistent, but strangely enjoyable. Characters created with this system seemed organic, while later in 3e they felt logical but stiff in comparison.

The adventures producer in this age were rarely exceptional, but I sometimes feel the need to play again Die, Vecna Die; Return to the Tomb of Horrors; Dragon's Crown or other jewels (or the original Dark Sun).

This edition is a staple. Unforgettable.
It just occurred to me that I CAN still play 2e Dark Sun instead of praying for a 5e conversion... talk about obvious solutions.
 

Gnosistika

Villager
Started with 2e when it was released, when 3e came out we dabbled with it for a bit yhen went back to 2e. Same happened with 4e.

It is still our preferred d&d verdion to this day. We used some of the optional rules - Individual Initiative, Rolling initiative every round, Weapon speed factors, weapon and non-weapon proficiency - at the same time we completely ignored racial class limits, played TotM from the get go and seriously indulged in the Kits. It had the best settings available to this day. We never used the later "skills and powers" and other books - we liked it simple, still do. Now with our books that have gone to waste we picked up For Gold & Glory (the 2e retro clone but better layed out) that incidentally do contain some bits from those books we ignored - and it is great.

We had a 5e that we converted to another system that is going strong and just started a Mask of the Red Death 2e Ravenloft ising the For Gold & Glory rules.

2e is our nostalgia filled fever dream of golden days, it is far from perfect but it is comfortable.
 

Gorg

Explorer
2nd edition was part of our D&D evolution. I guess, technically, we were still playing 1st ed (heavily houseruled) with 2nd ed tacked on, as we got the books. The 2 weren't THAT different, that you couldn't simply port in things from one to the other.

I'm guessing we got the most mileage out of it, due to the sheer volume of cool stuff that kept coming out, lol. Our campaigns were mostly homebrew. The DM says we were in Greyhawk, but none of the familiar trappings, characters, events or history played a role in any of our games. I don't recall playing any 2nd edition modules, save the Silver Anniversary Return to the Keep, and the OG Dragonlance 1-4 compiled in one book. What modules we did play were mostly 1st ed- with ME DM'ing- and using our hybrid 1st/2nd ed game.

We did go hog wild with Ravenloft- the boxed sets and hardcover, and I owned the 1st ed Dragonlance hardcover- so we used that to run the war of the lance. I also grabbed up every monstrous compendium expansion I could get my hands on- totally STOKED to find one for Mystara!! And any book that had extra spells or classes and such in it. One shorter lived campaign included the Complete Pscionics Handbook, too.

TBH, edition was irrelevant to us- it was just D&D. Lots of fun was had, in the late 80's and through the 90's with these editions!!! Many all nighters, Some wacky humorous games; An Epic mega party playing the original Ravenloft module by candle light during the Ice Storm of 1991; etc.

We never used kits, nor were the Spells and Powers rules included in our games.

Man, I miss those days! Everyone was around, we all had time to play often, and life hadn't gotten in the way yet...

My buddy/DM would like to play 1st Ed again, but I'm not sure I could do it. 3rd ed just consolidated too much of our hybrid mish mash into 3 well organized books (and a metric butt load of suppliments and 3rd party open game license stuff) with some cool add ons. The magic user and Cleric were revolutionized- esp at low levels. The Barbarian was back- and badder than ever! Sorcerers were added, Bards became a core class that actually made sense! Class/race limits? What are those? The D20 system is just so much easier to use. Multi-classing blew up! I loved that edition- it was OUR homebrewed system, done better!

And we were both completely enamored of the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting.

Then life got in the way again. 4th ed came and went with little to no interest from us. (it was just TOO different)

And then here came 5th ed- and that old feeling came back! Some serious changes here, but it WORKS together. And it has that old school feel to the playing. (and they kept the stuff that made low level mages more than just one shot charlies at low level- and Clerics more than just battlefield medics.)
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I also grabbed up every monstrous compendium expansion I could get my hands on- totally STOKED to find one for Mystara!!
I spent a long time tracking down 2E Monstrous Compendium supplements, even after I'd stopped playing AD&D 2E. The hardest ones to get (since I wanted the folders and inserts as well as the pages) were the MC4 Dragonlance Appendix and the MC13 Al-Qadim Appendix. The former was hard to find with the three-ring binder while the latter never seemed to be sold with the cover.

Please note my use of affiliate links in this post.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Started with 2e when it was released, when 3e came out we dabbled with it for a bit yhen went back to 2e. Same happened with 4e.

It is still our preferred d&d verdion to this day. We used some of the optional rules - Individual Initiative, Rolling initiative every round, Weapon speed factors, weapon and non-weapon proficiency - at the same time we completely ignored racial class limits, played TotM from the get go and seriously indulged in the Kits. It had the best settings available to this day. We never used the later "skills and powers" and other books - we liked it simple, still do. Now with our books that have gone to waste we picked up For Gold & Glory (the 2e retro clone but better layed out) that incidentally do contain some bits from those books we ignored - and it is great.

We had a 5e that we converted to another system that is going strong and just started a Mask of the Red Death 2e Ravenloft ising the For Gold & Glory rules.

2e is our nostalgia filled fever dream of golden days, it is far from perfect but it is comfortable.

Quite close to how I ran it and still do. Not a Ravenloft fan and I have since house ruled it slightly.
 


David Howery

Adventurer
I spent a long time tracking down 2E Monstrous Compendium supplements, even after I'd stopped playing AD&D 2E. The hardest ones to get (since I wanted the folders and inserts as well as the pages) were the MC4 Dragonlance Appendix and the MC13 Al-Qadim Appendix. The former was hard to find with the three-ring binder while the latter never seemed to be sold with the cover.

Please note my use of affiliate links in this post.
one of the criticisms of the whole MC series was that, in spite of the loose leaf paper and binder format, you still couldn't put the assorted sets into alphabetical order because so many of the sheets had different monsters on each side, and newer sets coming out wouldn't always fit in order. An odd thing that occurred to me a while back is that with the advent of DTRPG and the availability of practically every MC set on it in PDF, if you really wanted to, you could print them all out, one monster to a page, and put every single one in alphabetical order. It would be a huge expense in paper and ink and you'd need about 8 big binders to hold them all, but it could be done...
 

cbwjm

Hero
I'd heard about the problems with those loose leaf binders. Something that would have easily been solved by someone thinking for just a few seconds and realising that each monster really required a single sheet of paper
 


Gorg

Explorer
I'd heard about the problems with those loose leaf binders. Something that would have easily been solved by someone thinking for just a few seconds and realising that each monster really required a single sheet of paper
That would have made sense, tho.... I'm just glad they came to their senses, and re-released the MC as the MM in book form. All expansions after that were soft cover books.

Not as convenient, I suppose, as a one shop stop- with all pages in one really big binder. But still, They don't get ripped out, jumbled together, etc. And when some over enthusiastic LARPer (or a klutz) knocks it off the table, it doesn't bust wide open and scatter pages everywhere. Ask me how I know!
 

Orius

Adventurer
one of the criticisms of the whole MC series was that, in spite of the loose leaf paper and binder format, you still couldn't put the assorted sets into alphabetical order because so many of the sheets had different monsters on each side, and newer sets coming out wouldn't always fit in order. An odd thing that occurred to me a while back is that with the advent of DTRPG and the availability of practically every MC set on it in PDF, if you really wanted to, you could print them all out, one monster to a page, and put every single one in alphabetical order. It would be a huge expense in paper and ink and you'd need about 8 big binders to hold them all, but it could be done...

Yup, that's very much a possibility. I suggested the very thing on Dragonsfoot a few years ago, get all the MCs on DriveThru and custom print them out to be properly alphabetical. DriveThru doesn't have everything yet though, the softcover MCs are still mostly missing unfortunately.

And that still leaves out stuff from modules, Dragon, Dungeon, etc, though the MC Annuals collected some of that stuff.
 

I'd heard about the problems with those loose leaf binders. Something that would have easily been solved by someone thinking for just a few seconds and realising that each monster really required a single sheet of paper
The real problem is just that they aren't durable. If you open and close your MC a few 100 times, the pages all fall out. Obviously you can go through and tediously glue on those reinforcers, but that also covers some of the text, and it is a lot of work. They also take up 5x more space than hardbound books. It was just overall a failed experiment. Clever idea, but it was really more of a 'solution in search of a problem' than anything else. I mean, 1e had in its entire run 3 main monster books (MM, FF, MM2). It just isn't that hard to remember what is in each and look stuff up if you cannot quite remember. Given the mentioned issues with ordering the MC pages, it really is not any improvement.
 

Voadam

Legend
Yup, that's very much a possibility. I suggested the very thing on Dragonsfoot a few years ago, get all the MCs on DriveThru and custom print them out to be properly alphabetical. DriveThru doesn't have everything yet though, the softcover MCs are still mostly missing unfortunately.

And that still leaves out stuff from modules, Dragon, Dungeon, etc, though the MC Annuals collected some of that stuff.

DriveThru has a lot.

I believe they are missing the Planescape MCs and two of the annuals but have everything else.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I believe they are missing the Planescape MCs and two of the annuals but have everything else.
Well, it's not technically a volume of the Monstrous Compendium books, but they still don't have Blood Spawn: Creatures of Light and Shadow (which was a Birthright monster book that was only released as a free PDF on WotC's website after the line folded). I'm still holding out hope that it will be put up with a POD option someday.
 

Voadam

Legend
2e was great. My group all preordered the PH out of a comic book discount add I found and we adopted it as our base system shortly thereafter just keeping 1eisms like assassins and elven subraces out of the 1e PH and Unearthed Arcana for our continuing campaign.

The 2e PH had THAC0 and saves in the PH so the players could look that stuff up themselves instead of saying "I rolled a 12, does that hit?" and the DM figuring it out because all those charts were in the 1e DMG hidden from players. So I felt the 2e PH was functionally great.

It also took the nonweapon proficiency system we had been using from Dungeoneer's Survival Guide and made it a full generic system so you could have abilities relevant for other contexts.

I used my 1e DMG and monster manuals throughout that era, but the monster expansions my friends got had lots of cool descriptive elements, I was quite taken with the outer planes monstrous compendium and its introduction of the Blood War.

I was also a big fan of the DMing philosophy in the original Ravenloft campaign set and ran a lot of stuff in the setting.
 

Voadam

Legend
Well, it's not technically a volume of the Monstrous Compendium books, but they still don't have Blood Spawn: Creatures of Light and Shadow (which was a Birthright monster book that was only released as a free PDF on WotC's website after the line folded). I'm still holding out hope that it will be put up with a POD option someday.
I also have a Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium RTF from WotC from that free stuff era as well (2e Mystara Red Steel setting) which I do not see on DriveThru.
 

Orius

Adventurer
DriveThru has a lot.

I believe they are missing the Planescape MCs and two of the annuals but have everything else.

The Planescape MCs are a pretty big hole though. Sure they have MC8, but the XP values in there are massively inflated. The second Planescape MC isn't as important, but the other two have a very solid collection of extraplanar monsters which fills in 2e's core gap. And unless one was quitely added somewhere, they only have the first Annual. The Annuals are all good for core 2e and have a good variety of monsters.

I also have a Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium RTF from WotC from that free stuff era as well (2e Mystara Red Steel setting) which I do not see on DriveThru.

I don't know what WotC has done with some of the old free material thry used to have for 2e. Some of the Birthright stuff they put over on DriveThru recently, but I'm not sure about the rest. Some of that stuff was in plain text or rtf originally too, so that complicates things. The Savage Coast stuff is over on Pandius though, and converted to pdf from the original rtf files. That includes the MC.
 

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