D&D General So those of us who know later editions yet still play AD&D 2 - what are its draws?


I started with BECMI and then discovered 2E. 2E is my most beloved edition of the game.

One thing that old D&D did that d20 D&D gets wrong IMO is saving throws: saves in old D&D were a function of the character, not the targeting effect, and could therefore be really useful in balancing things out. Fighters, for example, had great saving throws which kept them relevant even as the casters leveled up. To a lesser extent, NWPs did the same thing regarding skills: it was about how talented the character was, not how difficult the thing was.

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Thankfully, the DM in question has mellowed greatly over the years, and has turned from a "No" DM to a "No, but/and" DM, which is nice.
Because I’m prepping a 2e game, I’m refamiliarizing myself with the 2e PHB and DMG, and I’m struck by the authoritarian tone in them. We’ve come a long way, and we know the game will definitely NOT fall apart if you remove level limits for demihumans, for example. But the book spends paragraphs trying to convince you otherwise. That attitude had to have influenced a whole generation of DMs.


I would happily play 2E again but if I were DMing it would turn out to be some ghastly hybridization of 1e, 2e and 3e.

What to like about 2E: character classes are somewhat more filled out and playable than their 1e versions; lots of materials available for further customization; psionics subsystem fleshed out and playable; preserves 1E/2E focus on exploration and treasure retrieval but RP and storytelling are brought more into focus; still has that gonzo attitude that made us fall in love with 1e.

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