Not trying to stop you with such a project, but I can say from experience that attempting just one of these port overs from 2E to 5E (in my case, the entire psionics system), was a very arduous process I didn't complete.
I think it would be simpler to take the ideas you like from 5E and port them into 2E. Flip the numbers and you can get positive AC. Increase HD for player characters if it's too lethal. Advantage/ Disadvantage is so intuitive you don't even need to write it down.
Boom - that's everything good (I can remember anyway) about 5e.
Yeah, I recently started flipping through my 2e books trying to remember how I ran encounters to balance them. Digging through a few random notes I had from 25 years ago, I quickly realized the answer is I didn't. lolI know lots of people will disagree, but I love how, in 2e, the world did not need set "proper level challenges". You could have a party of 10th level characters that slashes against 1/2 HD kobolds (Dragon Mountain, anyone?) or a 3rd level party that meets a beholder in a random encounter. That made the world feel more real for me as a player. I never had the illusion that all challenges would be proper to my level and take care with my actions. Also, run away was almost always a valid option
Yeah, I recently started flipping through my 2e books trying to remember how I ran encounters to balance them. Digging through a few random notes I had from 25 years ago, I quickly realized the answer is I didn't. lol
Errr. Okay, 'good things' is sufficiently vague as to be hard to answer. The whole expanse of multiple unformulaic systems was part of the charm of that era, and as such has its' own value. However, on a whole, there was also a lot of unnecessary complexity and doubling-up of costs or benefits, etc.Are system shock and resurrection survival good things? Hear me out, because this is based on my experience with the game over the years.
-System shock seems to exclusively come up when bad things happen to you (I count aging due to Haste as a bad thing, YMMV). So as if being aged by a ghost or polymorphed against your will isn't bad enough, we have to tack on this percent chance you also just die? How is that a good thing? The game already has plenty of ways you can die due to circumstances out of your control, now you get to add "man, too bad you didn't have a 16 Constitution instead of a 17" as well?
-Resurrection Survival. It's not easy to get Raised from the dead in D&D. It's expensive, hard to find a caster who can or is willing to cast it (unless you're lucky to have one in your party). There are already penalties inherent in the game for being brought back to life, and a maximum value of times this could be attempted in the first place. So given all of that, where's the benefit in "you did the quest, you paid the priest, he goes to cast the spell and...you die anyways. Too bad you didn't have a 13 Constitution instead of a 12, huh?"
If this is about stat dumping or people playing Elves (who have their own woes when it comes to returning to life), and penalizing people who choose to dump Con, I'd like to point out there are other ability scores you can skimp on that players tend to find more attractive to do, like Charisma or even Wisdom (which has a fairly trivial penalty to as low as a 5!).
Now most people I've played with wouldn't want a Wisdom of a 5, but sometimes that's how the dice fall, and I don't see any low ability score being really worse than any other in the grand scheme of things, but the subsystem for system shock and resurrection survival penalizing you for not having a high value in Constitution seems extra punishing for no real benefit, given the sheer amounts of ways you can already die or have death be permanent to begin with.
I feel like most people who played in the TSR era had some house rules to keep the game on the rails. I'm sure now that I said this, people will pipe up saying they played A/D&D version ______ completely by-the-book, and more power to you if you did, but man does it seem impenetrable (or at least a massive case of throwing massive amounts of new characters at the RNG until one makes it to a plateau-point alive). At least unless they played using the style EGG and co apparently used (6-12 players, plus lots of retainers/henchmen/hirelings, playing different character from large arsenal of PCs so you could level up one while the other was healing, sticking to 10' wide dungeon corridors until well into your character career, etc.) that didn't quite get communicated in most of the versions of the print game. I say that because a lot of the math and mechanics never got updated from then.I have had so many more characters die in WotC era D&D than in AD&D. But that's because I had no illusion of balance and tried to avoid challenge in the early days, always rolled behind a screen, and kept the PC's HP in a notebook so I could make sure they didn't die. Actually playing by the rules, TSR-era games are grinders.
Did you ever have to find ways to "fast track" new characters to get them up to levels where they were useful to the rest of the party, or did the xp they gained from hiding in the back and letting the higher level characters do all the heavy lifting balance things out?Since new characters started at level 1, bringing back to life has always been important in my old school games. But 3e onwards that really didn't work, sadly
We always started replacement characters at the midpoint XP to reach one level lower than the lowest levelled character.but I've always wondered how it played out for other groups.
Ah, xp from gold, that's what I was missing. That was an optional rule in 2e and one none of the DM's I played under wanted to use for whatever reason, so I never did either.*Admittedly we never really got to high level, I had one go into early teens, the rest were all single digit. The xp the first level players got from gold quickly leveled them up, and I was generous with monsters targeting them etc. In addition the were often helped by their ex PC's magic items. My players enjoyed it as a bit of a escort role, and most went through the experience. It's just what it was, and we got on with it.
I started playing in 2e and the idea that GP = XP seemed utterly ludicrous - why would anyone play like that? How unrealistic!*Strangely, no one I played with seemed to use it in 1e either, when it was the law of the land. Perhaps they just liked slower leveling?
Did you ever have to find ways to "fast track" new characters to get them up to levels where they were useful to the rest of the party, or did the xp they gained from hiding in the back and letting the higher level characters do all the heavy lifting balance things out?
I ran one game where a 1st level Thief joined a party of 5th-6th level characters back in 2e, and they were not only useless, they didn't last the session, so against all the advice of my fellow DM's, I let that player come in with a 4th level character instead, and in fact, I stopped starting players at level 1 entirely, since it made my life a lot easier as a DM, but I've always wondered how it played out for other groups.
Yeah starting in 4e, WotC decided making monsters that use the same rules as PC's was a bad idea, so you really can't build a PC sheet and put it up against the players without there being some issues.I've never played 5E, so a question.... how hard is it to make an NPC based on the PC classes? For example, in 1E/2E it was rather easy to make an NPC fighter of a certain level with certain equipment to face off against the PCs. From what I see of 5E though, character creation is a lot longer process, and NPCs seem to be in the MM with such titles as archmage and bandit....