D&D 2E On AD&D 2E

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Something else I have considered with regard to weapon proficiencies is similar to what @deganawida proposed which is to get rid of them completely and just say that classes are proficient in whatever weapons are allowed by their class, but, I would still grant fighters weapon specialisation allowing them to get multiple specialisations as they level up so that they can keep that as their special thing for their class.
 

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Mark Hope

Adventurer
Something else I have considered with regard to weapon proficiencies is similar to what @deganawida proposed which is to get rid of them completely and just say that classes are proficient in whatever weapons are allowed by their class, but, I would still grant fighters weapon specialisation allowing them to get multiple specialisations as they level up so that they can keep that as their special thing for their class.
I do this in my homebrew 2e game. All characters are proficient with every weapon on their class list and warriors are therefore proficient with all weapons. Fighters can spend WPs on specialisation and mastery, and all classes can spend WPs on expertise (basically a +1 to hit), shield and armour specialisation (improves shield AC and improves MV rate in armour), and fighting styles like in CFH but we have dozens of them - this really allows you to customise your characters, makes warriors very diverse (because they can spend bonus NWP slots from Int on WPs instead) without unbalancing the game.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Or 10,000 bandits. I'm not sure why one would assume that the XP had to come from rare and powerful enemies -- especially since 2E isn the only edition of the game to give mages XP for casting spells and creating spells and items.
Only as an optional rule, though.

Were people not also providing story rewards for xp? I'd often grant a bunch of xp (based on fighter progression in a regular group, wizard progression when my friends were only playing wizards) when quests were completed.
My recollection is that story awards were capped at equal to the monster xp. And that those are the only two things that give xp as the baseline rule in 2E. Treasure xp and individual class-based xp (like for the stuff Reynard mentioned) are optional.
 

Staffan

Legend
Only as an optional rule, though.


My recollection is that story awards were capped at equal to the monster xp. And that those are the only two things that give xp as the baseline rule in 2E. Treasure xp and individual class-based xp (like for the stuff Reynard mentioned) are optional.
Not strictly capped, but strongly suggested not to be larger than the potential monster XP. Of course, if the PCs bypass or ignore some monsters and still achieve the adventure goal, they could get more story XP than monster XP.
 

Were people not also providing story rewards for xp? I'd often grant a bunch of xp (based on fighter progression in a regular group, wizard progression when my friends were only playing wizards) when quests were completed.
I think people were working off Mannahnin's comment about the by-the-book xp progression (with a pretty glacial advancement pace if you were to not use any of the optional rules). People, in general, did find ways around the situation (oftentimes one of the optional rules, other times homebrewing).
As for wwapon proficiencies, I wouldn't bother with individual weapons anymore, instead I'd use broad groups, including for specialisation. I think there was also an optional rule somewhere (fighters handbook probably) where fighters could use their intelligence bonus proficiencies for weapons, I might also use that rule but with broad groups drastically cutting down the number of weapon proficiencies I'm not sure it would be needed.
There was a rule in Complete Fighter. The wording is "We're going to be showing you a lot of interesting things you can do with the Weapon Proficiencies rules. Therefore, you need to use the rule for extra Proficiencies given on page 51 of the Player's Handbook. There, it says that you may, with the DM's permission, take extra proficiencies when first created equal to the number of extra languages the character gets from high Intelligence (see Table 4, page 19,Player's Handbook). These extra proficiencies may be divided as the player chooses between Weapon Proficiencies and Nonweapon Proficiencies." Kind of odd, in that it doesn't call itself optional, but is predicated on the optional rule of using extra languages as proficiencies (this may be a good example of the kind of "wishy washy and noncommittal" bit of which Mannahnin was complaining).

Personally, I thought the broad groups were absolutely necessary for a system that wanted to both split weapons out into each tiny little sub-flavor and make weighing the choices between what weapon to be trained in be a major character development decision.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Not strictly capped, but strongly suggested not to be larger than the potential monster XP. Of course, if the PCs bypass or ignore some monsters and still achieve the adventure goal, they could get more story XP than monster XP.
Yup. Though in that case you're getting even less xp.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Weapon proficiencies would have been fine, imo, if weapons were balanced against each other, but in each category, there was always a "best" option. Now granted, the differences tended to be small, like, if you use a knife over a dagger, you're missing out on half a point of damage on average, but the upside that knives can do slashing damage or piercing wasn't really noteworthy most of the time. Broadswords were only slightly better than the Khopesh (which really was more in the game to support specialized campaigns I imagine), and slightly better a longsword against regular foes, but the longsword had this huge damage increase against larger foes that more than made up for it.

Weapons introduced in later books tended to make PHB ones look sad, like the katana or the longspear. And then on top of this, there was the fact that the DMG treasure tables perpetuated Gary's weapon bias, and didn't take into account newer weapons anyways, rendering a lot of choices moot unless the DM didn't use them...but then, without any real guidance for when/if/how a player should expect to find items, they were playing it by ear (and a few DM's found themselves terrified of player power and became very conservative about it compared to published adventures).

And players did quibble over small variances in weapons "oh this one does 1 more point of damage on a good roll!" because there weren't a lot of bonuses to damage you could rely on! You either had the opportunity to have a high Strength, you found a way to get weapon specialization, or you hoped for magic (or maybe a quality weapon for that non-magical +1!).

And the shocking thing is, to this day, weapon choice makes up a very small amount of a melee character's damage (and weapons have become even blander, with less variance between them). A warrior's choice of weapon should really be a big deal, and often times, it really isn't.
 


teitan

Legend
I posted here a few years ago that for a magic user to progress from 10th to 11th (I think - I don't have my 2E books anymore), they'd need to single-handedly slay 9 Great Wyrms. I get that high-level characters were supposed to be rare, but surely not rarer than super-powerful dragons?

In our group, even with the DM being relatively generous with XP, it would take years of real time to gain a level.
A feature, not a bug ;-)

I miss the slower leveling myself. It's why D&D now feels like a superhero game, characters level up so fast and get so many powers and spells that within 3 months it's basically playing Champions or Mutants & Masterminds. Even in AD&D once the equipment or spellbooks were stripped PCs were meatbags, sacks of hitpoints who could hit more often but basically Biff, the retired military guy or Giles in his library at the school, surprisingly effective but a shadow of their glory days... which wasn't quite so bombastic as the stories told about them.
 

teitan

Legend
All this really reminds me why when 3e came it it was such a breath of fresh air because it really was basically... 2e without the warts and a working skill system and most of our house rules made core. But then they added a whole other layer of "well fudge" to it with the character creation mini game and monsters working like PCs.
 

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