2E Returning to 2nd Edition

Saelorn

Adventurer
I'm not sure what you are getting at. Do you want to be hit less, but have less hit points?
Ideally, yes. You know, like it was back in the 2E era. It was relatively easy to make a character that could only be hit on a 20, which was a good thing, because one or two hits and you were down for the count. (At least, that's how it was at my specific table. I'm well aware that AD&D was highly variable between tables.)

I got a disagree with you there. I've tried it a few times and can never get over the finish line. My 1e house rules were about 20 pages. But as soon as I tried to make it my own game we stopped playing ;)
I guess it's a matter of free time and motivation. Personally, it took me about four months, putting in an hour or two every day. I had a fairly strong motivation, though, in that my significant other wanted to learn how to play and I absolutely refused to subject her to the horrors of 5E.
 

Mistwell

Hero
One of my current DMs also runs a 2e game. For him, 2e remains a great game, except for the proliferation of magic items. He says the magic item Christmas tree is a real thing, and he focuses on trying to deal with that.
 

dave2008

Hero
Ideally, yes. You know, like it was back in the 2E era. It was relatively easy to make a character that could only be hit on a 20, which was a good thing, because one or two hits and you were down for the count. (At least, that's how it was at my specific table. I'm well aware that AD&D was highly variable between tables.)
That is not my recollection, so I can't really speak to that. But it seems like a fairly easy fix. Limit HP (simple) and bump AC (also simple)

I guess it's a matter of free time and motivation. Personally, it took me about four months, putting in an hour or two every day. I had a fairly strong motivation, though, in that my significant other wanted to learn how to play and I absolutely refused to subject her to the horrors of 5E.
LOL, - OK, you really are a fan of hyperbole.
 
This seems a bit hyperbolic. I haven't done the math, but there a several levers just with rest, healing, and death mechanics that get you 90% of the way there. If that is not good enough, then you simply need to lessen the number of HP you things get serious fast.
I'm not sure where people get the idea 2e was anymore some sort of grueling fantasy Vietnam, anyway. There was a lot of magic available, cleric could heal more than they could in 1e. I see people going on over rates of natural healing and, it's like, see that glowy guy in armor, 'natural healing' is purely theoretical, if you try to rest long enough to get back 1 hp on your own, he'll have a full slate of Cure [Severity] Wounds to slap on you before those little scratches that constitute anything from 1 hp to 80, depending on your level, can so much as scab over.


Of course one person's "poor" is another persons "perfect" ;)
Would that be "poorfect?"

That is not my recollection, so I can't really speak to that. But it seems like a fairly easy fix. Limit HP (simple) and bump AC (also simple)
He's talking very low level. The same was true in 1e. The game quickly shifted from getting hit infrequently - and often killed if you were - to getting hit all the time, but having plenty of hp & healing to suck it up - and dishing so much damage you could generally puree the monsters first. Plus, of course, the further you got along that curve, the more it was likely to be obviated by a rock/paper/scissors/lizard/Spock right-spell-or-magic-item-wins dynamic.

And, really, 5e captures that, but, if anything, moreso: kinda randomly lethal, at first (1st), rapidly ballooning hps/damage, ...
... maybe not s'much lizard/Spock for want of make/buy & calibrated random treasure tables.
 
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Shiroiken

Adventurer
If you want the same lethality of 2E, all attacks deal double damage. Attacks that hit by 5 more than AC deal 3x damage. Attacks that hit by 10 more deal 4x damage. You won't be using feats, so you don't have to deal with the -5/+10 balance. Hits are brutal, especially if you have low AC.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Found my 2E houserules. They are as follows (abbreviated I have nice tables etc).

BAB over THAC0

Level Limits: None

Humans Humans gain a +1 bonus on an ability score of their choice, a bonus weapon proficiency and non weapon proficiency.

Ascending numbers on armor type

Why would you play 2E over 5E? 5E still lacks a lot of things such as psionics and settings like Darksun/Planescape etc. Older editions also do certain things better, for example B/X pushed the exploration pillar a lot, game balance is arguably better as well, kinda of easier to run in a lot of ways (esp encounter design) and it does certain things that are just different. For example 2e is grittier.

Or I'll use an other example. A modern jet is objectively better than an old tiger moth (except maybe Boeing). Its faster, more comfortable etc etc etc. In 1994 my brother took me up in a tiger moth. Sheepskin jacket, open cockpit, ye olde flying helmet with goggles. He did a loop the loop and pointed the nose at the ground and spun the plane.

The jet is pretty much better right but the Tiger moth was an experience and no matter how hard the jet tries it can't deliver that experience. You don't get the feeling of the wind in our face, the engine noise, the terror of looking up and you're looking at the city of Christchurch below you. You also avoid the feeling of two leather straps with a metal pin holding you in a plane with no parachute. Ones the better plane the other one is more fun.

Well AD&D is that tiger moth, its out classed in most ways but its an experience.
 
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I've been known to run the occasional BECMI one-shot game every blue moon, when my pals are feeling nostalgic. But I've never done any long-term game in an older edition.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I'm not sure where people get the idea 2e was anymore some sort of grueling fantasy Vietnam, anyway.
How many times has a character fallen unconscious in your 5E games? Those would all be deaths in 2E.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Found my 2E houserules. They are as follows (abbreviated I have nice tables etc).

BAB over THAC0

Level Limits: None

Humans Humans gain a +1 bonus on an ability score of their choice, a bonus weapon proficiency and non weapon proficiency.

Ascending numbers on armor type
Is that all? My humans are similar, I found some notes where humans gain a +1 to an ability score of their choice with a maximum of 18.

Edit: I also think that I would include bonus hit points at level 1 based on race or on class. I'm not sure which I prefer. Either something like all humans gain +8 hit points, Dwarves +10, elves, gnomes, and halflings +6 at level 1 or instead each PC gains bonus hit points equal to the maximum of their class hit die.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Is that all? My humans are similar, I found some notes where humans gain a +1 to an ability score of their choice with a maximum of 18.
Yeah I might chose some optional rules to use but I don't consider them houserules. Its mostly in the presentation.

Say I wanted to run Game of Thrones what do you use?

Classes Allowed

Barbarian
Thief
Fighter
Spell less Ranger (via DMG or Skills and Powers)
Wizards. Illusionists and Shadowmage only (Shadowmage is in Spells and Magic)
Priests (Specialty priests only, NPC Druids via Children of the Forests)

Other rules
Low Magic rules (historical series)
Write up a speciality priest/variant ranger
Critical hit tables From Combat and Tactics.

Game of Thrones D&D on less than 10 pages.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
If you want less hitting and fewer hit points, a "fix" we are considering is making base AC equal to 8 plus proficiency bonus (works so at lower levels is equal to base 10). This represents higher level characters being harder to hit because of their experience in combat. Scale AC up for monsters with proficiency bonus greater than 2, basically add proficiency bonus - 2 to AC and its the same thing.

Limit hit dice to 9-10 levels, and then have 1-3 static hp and no more Con bonus.
Do away with death saves and return to negative HP. You can go negative equal to your first level HP. After that, you're dead.

Make a short rest 8 hours and a long rest 24 hours. If you want, slow down how fast hp is recovered by making a long rest restore 1 hp per level and a short rest none.
If you go negative, you need to rest for a week or something maybe?

Get rid of cheesy "oh, don't let the character die" spells, particularly Revivify. Worst idea ever in D&D IMO. For the most part, it makes death a non-issue after 5th level. Last session, an NPC our party was protecting died. TWICE. Solution: cast Revivify. Horrible, simply horrible.

If you must keep it, don't make it a guarantee. Make it require a check or something so the character has maybe a 50/50 chance of recovering and not dying.

But, I know what the OP means. If I could convince our group, I would at least want to show them 2E or even 1E or the box sets. Our DM has about 15 pages of house-rules for 5E, I had 3 pages for 1E and 2E--combined.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
And 2e didn't have a good psionic system, so I'd call that a wash.
Neither does 5E, its complete in 2E and it can do the job with 2E material. Psionics didn't really feel like psionics in 3E or 4E. Psionics is banned anyway except for Darksun.
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
Neither does 5E, its complete in 2E and it can do the job with 2E material. Psionics didn't really feel like psionics in 3E or 4E. Psionics is banned anyway except for Darksun.
Humor is obviously lost on you, Z.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Humor is obviously lost on you, Z.
What is this "humour" concept that you speak of.

And what is this "humor" word, that is not how its spelt.

Anyway I have a holy trinity, its B/X, 2E and 5E I don't really have a favourite out of those 3. I would probably pick 5E if forced, but 2E if stuck on a desert island with a gaming group and only 1 D&D for the rest of your life.
 
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How many times has a character fallen unconscious in your 5E games? Those would all be deaths in 2E.
I've had more character deaths at my 5e table than I had when I was running 2e...

... though that's not remotely fair, since I've run lots of 1st-level 5e, and my 2e DMing cut in the middle of a 10-year campaign.

I clearly recall Death's Door was optional in 1e (though common), I thought it was standard in 2e, along with max @ 1st. So, very like 5e. Heck, if you have less than 10hps at 1st level, you're actually more likely to encounter instant death in 5e.

But, if you're running Death at 0, sure, it's hardly worth naming characters.
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
Well, I will say that over on Fantasy Grounds their is actually a growing 2E community. I'm sure it's growth is limited, but since they introduced an official 2E AD&D ruleset and the core books to go with it a couple months ago, their is a bit of a revival over there. No idea how long it will last or how big it will grow, but if you want to play 2E, you can do it anywhere in the world.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Another thing I noticed reading 2E now.

Weapon styles 1989.
Advantage/disadvantage mechanics 1991/1995.
Microfeats in concept 1989.
Land Druids 1994
Wild magic 1991
 
How many times has a character fallen unconscious in your 5E games? Those would all be deaths in 2E.
Depends on your table. In my old days of playing 1st and 2nd edition, we were already using the houserule of not dead til at -10 HP. Been so long that I do not remember if that ever became an official rule before 3rd edition or not.
 

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