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2E Returning to 2nd Edition

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
2E doesn't have gender based maximums. People throw shade at 2E via lumping things in from 1E.

2E isn't perfect, I don't expect everyone to like it but yeah it is different to 1E.
I was trying to address both editions—that's why I pointed out that most of 2e's (typoed as "@e") stupidness were optional, thankfully, or holdovers from 1e.
 
And then there are the stupid things like weapon vs Armor mods, gender-based ability score maximums, going into comas at negative hp, racial level limits, etc.
Pretty much none of this was used in my groups. lol

And on the whole coma thing, the reason I did not remember that is because I did more 2E than 1E and that rule is only in 1E. I had to go look through my 2E DMG to make sure and it is not in there.
 
And then there are the stupid things like weapon vs Armor mods,
This is a perfect example of what I was talking about. You throw these out and your drastically reduce the capability of the fighter, because they are the ones that have weapon versatility. Instead every fighter walks around with a long sword.
 
This is a perfect example of what I was talking about. You throw these out and your drastically reduce the capability of the fighter, because they are the ones that have weapon versatility. Instead every fighter walks around with a long sword.
My groups never used those mods or weapon speed mods for initiative or any of that crap and the melee people did just fine and players chose weapons other than long swords for their characters.
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
This is a perfect example of what I was talking about. You throw these out and your drastically reduce the capability of the fighter, because they are the ones that have weapon versatility. Instead every fighter walks around with a long sword.
Well, didn't have that problem in my groups.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
We used weapon speeds and yeah longswords were popular but daggers, darts, shortswords, bastard swords, mace's and spears were used.
 

Giltonio_Santos

Adventurer
I was trying to address both editions—that's why I pointed out that most of 2e's (typoed as "@e") stupidness were optional, thankfully, or holdovers from 1e.
This is very common, but from the point of view of 2e fans, makes no sense at all. Truth is that not a lot of people used to learn D&D by reading the core books. I don't know if this has really changed, but it appears that between 1980 and 2000, many people were playing a mashup of D&D editions passed on through an oral tradition that was sometimes close to what the core books said but would also sometimes travel far away from them.

Just as a very common example: I keep reading from people here (based on what they know about 1e) that 2e thieves were incompetent with their thieving skills, but a half-elf with a Dexterity of 17, no armor and the cutpurse kit could start at 1st level with a 75% chance of successfully pick-pocketing if pick-pocketing was his/her thing. That same half-elf could then raise that chance to 90% upon reaching 2nd level, and to 95% (the maximum allowed) at 3rd.

I think that's a good example because I really don't know by now how many times I've read from people here that being competent with thieving skills was not an option before higher levels (which is at least a bit true for 1e thieves).

There are two AD&Ds, each with its own qualities and drawbacks. If we move from the core books to the actual publishing history of each of them, the departure becomes clear. If we are going to discuss 2e for what it's worth, we should stop talking about it like it was AD&D 1.5.
 
We used weapon speeds and yeah longswords were popular but daggers, darts, shortswords, bastard swords, mace's and spears were used.
Weapon speeds tend to be broadly applicable and immediate, but in games with lots of human or humanoid armored foes the weapon vs armor type rules are more impactful. I like systems like that, especially as they relate to making the "boring" fighter more interesting and making weapon choice about more than damage potential and the shield bonus trade off.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
If the video of Stephen Colbert playing D&D with Matt Mercer is any indicator, Stephen played with every rule and table in 1e 😉
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
This is very common, but from the point of view of 2e fans, makes no sense at all. Truth is that not a lot of people used to learn D&D by reading the core books. I don't know if this has really changed, but it appears that between 1980 and 2000, many people were playing a mashup of D&D editions passed on through an oral tradition that was sometimes close to what the core books said but would also sometimes travel far away from them.

Just as a very common example: I keep reading from people here (based on what they know about 1e) that 2e thieves were incompetent with their thieving skills, but a half-elf with a Dexterity of 17, no armor and the cutpurse kit could start at 1st level with a 75% chance of successfully pick-pocketing if pick-pocketing was his/her thing. That same half-elf could then raise that chance to 90% upon reaching 2nd level, and to 95% (the maximum allowed) at 3rd.

I think that's a good example because I really don't know by now how many times I've read from people here that being competent with thieving skills was not an option before higher levels (which is at least a bit true for 1e thieves).

There are two AD&Ds, each with its own qualities and drawbacks. If we move from the core books to the actual publishing history of each of them, the departure becomes clear. If we are going to discuss 2e for what it's worth, we should stop talking about it like it was AD&D 1.5.
Yep the 2E thief handbook a overed this. All thief party each a specialist doing Oceans Eleven type adventures.

It's really hard to nail down the definitive 2E experience. We used the 4 main class handbooks, kits, weapon speeds and casting time.
 

John West1

Villager
I have but had a page of houserules and I used BAB over THACO. Dumped level limits, buffed humans kept racial and alignment restrictions.

It's better balanced than 3E and you can use it as s 2.5 or hard core OSR. And you can play the settings bas intended.

2E is the best toolbox D&D as well.
yes it is.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
How many times has a character fallen unconscious in your 5E games? Those would all be deaths in 2E.
Even in 2e there was the "dead at -10" rules.

Edit: if I remember correctly though, someone brought back from the "-1 to -9" zone was all groggy and stuff. I think perhaps an easy way to avoid the "whack a mole" feeling of someone being dying and then back up at full capacity is give a level of exhaustion.
 

Bacon Bits

Explorer
We made these little custom blocks where you would write in the AC you would hit based on what showed up on the d20, so there was no math involved, but your point is completely valid nonetheless haha.
So did we. They work pretty well, though we had a problem of some people still getting confused by situational bonuses like flanking and higher ground and flipping -1 to +1 or vice-versa.
 
The cost/benefit analysis of any given set of rules is highly subjective. A lot of people like 5E because it runs smoothly and is easy to DM but lament the lack of player facing options and granularity. It's the opposite with Pathfinder in a lot of cases. 2E is no different, but because the pre-d20 systems were very modular (combat rules did not look much like skill rules which did not look much like social interaction rules) it was easy to jettison entire chunks of the game system as well as bolt on new or alternate systems. This makes it hard to talk about the 2E experience in any consistent way, of course, but D&D's popularity can probably be at least partially attributed to how easily it was molded to fit the needs and desires of any given group.

This is a bit off topic, but I wonder if people coming new to D&D in this era do that as well. Is houseruling a thing in the era of streaming games and Adventurer's League?
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Even in 2e there was the "dead at -10" rules.
That's what a lot of people assume, but it's not actually true. The "Hovering at Death's Door" rule was explicitly an optional rule presented in the DMG. The PH says the character dies at 0 hit points. Most people may have used it, but it's not in the core assumption and I find it interesting that the game stepped toward more lethal territory in 2e than 1e in this respect.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Yes. A DM ran Dark Sun in 2E rules.

It was horrible. The balance between the classes is ridiculously bad, a lot of spells are incredibly vague and it just generally feels clunky.

The campaign ended for me when my wizard cast disintegrate at a giant skeleton. Who turned out to be a powerful spellcaster in disguise. Who had spell turning. Which turned my spell back on my wizard and disintegrated him.

D&D is an RPG - a role playing game. You want a rule set to support heroic stories for the PCs. 5E does that much better.
 
D&D is an RPG - a role playing game. You want a rule set to support heroic stories for the PCs. 5E does that much better.
Well, *you* want that. It's hardly universal, otherwise we would have venerable games like WHFRP or Call of Cthulhu. The scenario described is quintessentially D&D to me: weird fantasy, terrifying foes, and mechanical systems that brought about an unexpected result. If you know what's going to happen, what's the point of playing?
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
D&D is an RPG - a role playing game. You want a rule set to support heroic stories for the PCs. 5E does that much better.
5e has PCs that have more power, and start off with more power at level 1 than 2e, but for the rest? I guess that depends on what your definition of "heroic" is. For me, a heroic story has nothing to do with how powerful a PC is, but what happens in that story. In fact, for me it feels more heroic when the actions in the story have overcome greater odds to achieve said actions. I.e., when you're already powerful, doing a powerful thing doesn't feel so special. But when you start out as pretty much a normal person, and have all these things stacked against you, and you still succeed? That to me is heroic. Having a PC survive to level 10 in AD&D felt a lot more heroic and accomplished than having a 5e PC make it to level 10.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Well, *you* want that. It's hardly universal, otherwise we would have venerable games like WHFRP or Call of Cthulhu. The scenario described is quintessentially D&D to me: weird fantasy, terrifying foes, and mechanical systems that brought about an unexpected result. If you know what's going to happen, what's the point of playing?
So you enjoy a story being disrupted in the middle when a PC that you've spend hundreds of hours playing steps into a hallway, sets off a trap, rolls a low number on the dice and disappears forever? No completion of the story? All those hours of character building ending in random death?

We're not talking about preferences here, really. We're talking about universal human instinct. We don't like to have things taken from us, we don't like things being incomplete, and we do not like confusion. Those are all greater problems in prior editions, especially 2E and AD&D.
 

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