I've introduced my 5th ed group to AD&D 2E

aco175

Legend
My group has no desire to play 2e, maybe 4e if they had to choose. Although some of them would just like to see elf, dwarf, and halfling as classes again, but more for nostalgic sake than wanting to play one again with class level limits.
 

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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I'd kill for a nice 2e game (with the option of ascending AC), but my players are pretty much set on 5e when it comes to D&D. I think they would actually prefer 4e, but wont accept to learn the system. Oh well.

We had a lot of fun playing Beyond the Wall, tho.
 


cbwjm

Legend
I'd love to run a game if 2e or BECMI, I love those editions. We're only just now getting back into the 5e campaign after a long hiatus, so probably not worth bringing it up. I did have a time travel idea where the PCs go back in time and I just switch rule sets while giving them new character sheets, that could still be an option. Might also be a good option for something like the mindspin spell from dragonlance.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
They have even learned to search for secret doors and be more cautious. That sense of fear and danger, that’s the best part! It’s an adventure not just obstacles to roll over. It’s been amazing seeing them go from just brazen kick in the door super heroes to using scouting and listening etc because they know assaulting a cult filled dungeon should actually be dangerous.
That's the best part of TSR-era D&D.
And I have found a renewed passion for DMing D&D. It has been missing a long time.
Congrats.
AD&D is always will be D&D to me. It just feels more like an actual adventure. IMO.
Same. Followed closely by B/X.
I will simply say, maybe branch out and try the older Ed’s. If you feel you want a tad more danger and a lower power level.

There a few good 0E, Basic, 1E, 2E clones out there. Try one of those. “For Gold and Glory” is one book and has everything you need in it and is my go to when playing 2E (along side the original books as well for more monsters etc). Or “OSRIC” for 1E. These clones format the old systems into a more modern RPG book. OSRIC was a big help to understand 1E for me.

Speaking of ”all in one book” the original “Rules Cyclopedia” which covers BECMI era is great all on its own.

Most of these clones (and Rules Cyc) can be printed off DrivethruRPG for cheap. The clones I mentioned PDFs are generally free.
To add to this, if you want something in print that's actively supported, one of the best options right now is Old-School Essentials.

Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy is a B/X clone, all in one book. Check out the Rules Tome. The SRD is here. And the publisher offers a free version of the rules here.

Old-School Essentials Advanced Fantasy is a B/X clone...with the addition of all the classes, races, monsters, spells, and magic items from AD&D. That's split between two books. The Player's Tome and the Referee's Tome.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
My older group just started a B/X game last weekend. They loved the simply character sheet, lack of features, etc. and felt they had to use their imagination more. We're going to keep playing it for a while I would imagine.

In my new group on Monday nights, one of the players has prints of the 1E books and would like to try it, but as they are all still learning 5e, that won't happen for quite some time I imagine.
 


Celebrim

Legend
Oh well, you see, the way Thieves work, they have a percentage chance to Hide in Shadows and Move Silently, based on points you've placed in those abilities, Dexterity, and Racial modifiers.

So, for example, a 1st level Halfling Thief might have 50% Hide in Shadows. You try to hide, the 50% chance is rolled- as long as you meet the requirements for the ability (and your DM isn't a monster), voila, you're hidden. Eventually, in a few levels, you can rise to 95%.

Monsters don't have "perception" as we know it, so it generally just works.

Long time 1e/2e player. Just wait until she learns just how incredibly useless a thief is. If you backstabbed every round successfully, you'd still be a bad fighter.

But, it doesn't seem like you are playing 2e anyway. You are playing 2e as you think it should be played, not as it is actually written.
 

Long time 1e/2e player. Just wait until she learns just how incredibly useless a thief is. If you backstabbed every round successfully, you'd still be a bad fighter.

But, it doesn't seem like you are playing 2e anyway. You are playing 2e as you think it should be played, not as it is actually written.
Thief isn't meant to be a Fighter, why compare them? The Fighter compared to the Thief is awful at sneaking and finding and removing traps.

By the by, she's a Kender has a 19 Dex, she can hit with her hoopak sling better than almost everyone else combined.

And your last sentence is kind of elitist, FYI.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
But, it doesn't seem like you are playing 2e anyway. You are playing 2e as you think it should be played, not as it is actually written.
1B408E21-BAD3-4551-B8E9-EFBEF1CEF83D.gif
 

Mad_Jack

Hero
Thief isn't meant to be a Fighter, why compare them?

The thief was never meant to be a combat class in 1st/2nd Ed. Saying they're terrible because they don't do something as well as the class that was designed to do that thing is comparing apples and oranges and declaring that the apple sucks as a citrus fruit. For dungeon exploring or a lot of other adventuring functions, the thief was your go-to guy. Outside of combat, the fighter was a giant, useless clanking hunk of metal that just followed the rest of the party around twiddling their thumbs until it was time to break down a door, lift a gate or bend bars.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
What makes AD&D thieves fun is when they land that backstab and oneshot whatever.

To to 5E hot point bloat that's difficult to do in 5E even with a crit assuming you're facing things of similar CR.

A level 9 Rogue in 5E might struggle to one shot a CR3 baddie on full hp even with a crit.

It's harder to set up but you might one shot a dragon. That's not gonna happen in 5E unless it's a vastly higher level character critting a Mook.
 

It is worth playing 2e. Especially Night Below. I personally can't play it anymore since there are a few things that are too hard to get use to again.

My brother just told me he plays castle & crusades right now and likes it better than 5e.
There is a certain charm to those old rules. There was a different balance between fighters, wizards and thieves than today and that make the game a bit more differentiated.
 

Helena Real

Dame of Solamnia
I think I'm in a similar situation to you. After 5 years of running only 5E when it comes to D&D, I'm itching to go back to something like AD&D 2nd Edition (which was the edition I started in) and running it "properly" now that I have all the experience as a DM and could get all the resources I could ask for.

Thanks for sharing this! I'm super glad for you and your group and you've inspired me 😊
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
What makes AD&D thieves fun is when they land that backstab and oneshot whatever.

To to 5E hot point bloat that's difficult to do in 5E even with a crit assuming you're facing things of similar CR.

A level 9 Rogue in 5E might struggle to one shot a CR3 baddie on full hp even with a crit.

It's harder to set up but you might one shot a dragon. That's not gonna happen in 5E unless it's a vastly higher level character critting a Mook.
Just a point of order here. You're not going to one-shot a dragon. Even if you could backstab a dragon, which, you can't (relevant rules text to follow), a Young White Dragon has 9 Hit Dice. That's about 40 hit points on average (9-72). A 13th-level Thief using a the best weapon for the job, a longsword (x5 damage modifier) would do 32 damage on average (5-60). Maybe you can close the gap with a Girdle of Giant Strength or a powerful magic weapon, but you can't count on either. And that's just a fairly weak dragon, worth 3000 xp, when you need 220 thousand for your next level.

Backstab1.jpg
Backstab2.jpg
Dragon.jpg
Detect.jpg
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Just a point of order here. You're not going to one-shot a dragon. Even if you could backstab a dragon, which, you can't (relevant rules text to follow), a Young White Dragon has 9 Hit Dice. That's about 40 hit points on average (9-72). A 13th-level Thief using a the best weapon for the job, a longsword (x5 damage modifier) would do 32 damage on average (5-60). Maybe you can close the gap with a Girdle of Giant Strength or a powerful magic weapon, but you can't count on either. And that's just a fairly weak dragon, worth 3000 xp, when you need 220 thousand for your next level.

View attachment 255143View attachment 255144View attachment 255145

Dragon might be a bad example. You're also not min maxing hard enough as in 2Evyou can backstab with a greatsword or lance.
That's 3d6 X5 potentially doubled with a lance. Harder to set up but silence and invisibility spells exist.

180 is most amount of damage you can hit without optional rules, 90 without them and cheese. That puts an average 20HD monster that's L size or bigger within one shot range excluding things like high strength and weapon specialists and magic weapons which can add another 50 odd damage or more.

We use strength spells a lot more now in 2E than we did first time round.

So yeah it's one thing 2E can pull off relative to 5E playing assassin types is better. Low level thief backstabbing an Ogre......

Try that in 5E big difference. Not to hard maxing move silently in 2E if they're not looking your way MS roll and bame dead ogre.

Assassin's Creed type gameplay is better in pre 3E. Maybe 3.5.
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Dragon might be a bad example. You're also not min maxing hard enough as in 2Evyou can backstab with a greatsword or lance.
That's 3d6 X5 potentially doubled with a lance. Harder to set up but silence and invisibility spells exist.
Invisibility won't work, I just had to edit my post to add detect invisibility's text. And yeah, I guess you could, but a single-classed Thief can't become proficient with a greatsword or lance, so you'd have to take a -3 to hit. The Thief gets +4 with backstab, but the young dragon is AC 2 and a 13th level Thief's Thac0 is 14, so I guess it's not the worst in this situation, but again, that's a fairly weak dragon for our hero Thief.

WeaponsThief.jpg
Weapons.jpg
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Invisibility won't work, I just had to edit my post to add detect invisibility's text. And yeah, I guess you could, but a single-classed Thief can't become proficient with a greatsword or lance, so you'd have to take a -3 to hit. The Thief gets +4 with backstab, but the young dragon is AC 2 and a 13th level Thief's Thac0 is 14, so I guess it's not the worst in this situation, but again, that's a fairly weak dragon for our hero Thief.

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Yeah I was talking about MC or dual classed thief but even a longsword can work.

Dragons might be a bad example but everything else is available.

Remember loot was a lot more abundancet in older adventures along with things like Gauntlets of Ogre Power.

Magic longswords were fairly common along with exceptional strength one way or another (read 2E strength spell).

You're still dealing 1d12 probably with modifiers in an edition where outside Dragons and stronger giants hit points are reasonably low.

If I wanted to run an Assassin's Creed type D&D game I would bother with modern D&D. Castles and Crusades supports that idea better than AD&D even.

2E still best toolbox edition espicially for oddball games due to settings and splat books. Want a stone age game easy, want a Napoleonic War themed campaign that's an option.
 

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