What was so bad about the Core 2e rules? Why is it the red-headed stepchild of D&D?

Mircoles

Explorer
I hated the vancian magic system and race level caps, which never made sense to me.

I had no problem with racial class restrictions or the demon/devil thing.

I loved thaco, no more using charts to see if i hit.

I liked the loose leaf MM. I didn't need the whole book when I ran an adventer, just the pages of the monsters that I was using.

I defintely prefer the 2e bard over the 1e version. 5 levels as a fighter and then 5 levels as a thief befor you could actually be a bard. You started as a bard straight from the begining in 2e, thats much better.

Over all, I would rather play 2e than 1e. 2e was better organized and had all the rules I needed to play in one book. There were rules for proficiencies in 1e, but they were in the wilderness and dungeoneers survival guides.
The DMG was worthless though, I just used it for the magic items.
 

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M.L. Martin

Adventurer
I think you've really hit the nail on the head here. AD&D was written for adults, or at very least people with brains. 2E was seriously dumbed down. It was softer, cuddly, and fluffy. It didn't have that hard edge that AD&D had.

There were a few rule changes that were improvements, but their weren't a lot of improvements.

Instead a bunch of 1E material (monks, barbarians, half-orcs, etc.) were gone! So basically, they pulled some material out, added a couple of useful rules and a few useless rules, and then packaged everything up all cutsie - so it was clearly a *children's* game.

From another point of view, 2nd Edition helped move the AD&D game away from the 'dark side' that popped up among a subset of gamers--the temptations to intellectual pride and elitism, the fascination with evil, the tendency to a sociopathic and ruthless style of play that I've ocassionally characterized as "loot, pillage, murder, lie, cheat, backstab, betray, desecrate, and summon up a demon lord to commiserate with." ;) It may have overcorrected in some spots, but I think downplaying or removing these elements was generally a good thing.
 
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Orius

Legend
Of course, just to rant for a minute, having gamed a long time with and without THAC0 and seeing the value of 3.0 and on's "always roll high", I say it is bad design. The roll of the dice is a simple randomness tool. It's not modeling anything in the real world other than maybe "luck". It's a random number generator, and a system where sometimes you want high random numbers and sometimes you want low random numbers detracts from the system with more complexity and steepening of the learning curve far, far more than it adds to the system.

I would agree partially, but the that bad design goes back to 1e and even the original rules. Lot of non-intuitive stuff like low AC is good, which affected the hit-roll table layouts, which then became the basis for THAC0. It wasn't THAC0 itself that was bad, it was the foundation. Same thing with saves, NWPs, exceptional strength, rules from 1e and earlier that didn't always work well in practice but were preserved, and which in some cases caused confusion in 2e games.

We'll see if 4e's cleavage draws the same crowd.

Isn't the nipple ban still in place?

Oh wait a min, I got confused with something else there. :p
 

Draksila

First Post
Monstrous Compendium

In response to the earlier comment that a lot of the binder pages were taken up with 'filler,' you've actually touched on what I think is a weakness with all of the editions but 2E. Frankly, the descriptions of monsters in the 1E, 3E, and 4E monster books suck. And I can't begin to tell you how useful I found the 'ecology' section listed with each monster. A glimpse into the monster's native habitat and how it fits into the grand scheme of the same? Yes, please!

I loved the 2E monster books. I've hated every version since then for being nothing more than an over-glorified stat block. But then, I suppose if all you want is an underground cave full of random stuff to kill so you can take it's stuff it doesn't really matter how they live or what motivates them, right?
 

Ahglock

First Post
I think you've really hit the nail on the head here. AD&D was written for adults, or at very least people with brains. 2E was seriously dumbed down. It was softer, cuddly, and fluffy. It didn't have that hard edge that AD&D had.

There were a few rule changes that were improvements, but their weren't a lot of improvements.

Instead a bunch of 1E material (monks, barbarians, half-orcs, etc.) were gone! So basically, they pulled some material out, added a couple of useful rules and a few useless rules, and then packaged everything up all cutsie - so it was clearly a *children's* game.

Addendum:
Having said all that, the *good* things about 2E were not in the core. Planescape, Darksun, and Ravenloft campaign settings were amazing!

Huh, what?

AD&D was for people with a brain?? 2e dumbed things down??

Really how was 2e dumbed down. Somehow I don't see the removal of the Assassin class as dumbing down the game. Heck I'd say 2e actually added a lot of elements to the game that helped people use there brains more. As someone points out a post or two above this one the 2e monster manuel added a ton of information about the ecology of the mosnter. It tried to move away from here is a dungoen that for some unknown reaosn has a pile of unconected monsters inhabiting it.

I also did not find it softer, cuddlier, or fluffy. Assassins, demons & devisl aren't hard edged they are cheesy spoof evil.
 

Delta

First Post
AD&D was for people with a brain?? 2e dumbed things down??

Really how was 2e dumbed down. Somehow I don't see the removal of the Assassin class as dumbing down the game. Heck I'd say 2e actually added a lot of elements to the game that helped people use there brains more. As someone points out a post or two above this one the 2e monster manuel added a ton of information about the ecology of the mosnter. It tried to move away from here is a dungoen that for some unknown reaosn has a pile of unconected monsters inhabiting it.

I also did not find it softer, cuddlier, or fluffy. Assassins, demons & devisl aren't hard edged they are cheesy spoof evil.

Well, there's those 2E spelling & punctuation issues. ;)
 

Prisoner6

First Post
Huh, what?

AD&D was for people with a brain?? 2e dumbed things down??

Really how was 2e dumbed down.

Any product, when produced, has a "target audience" - a certain age group for sure, with possible ethnic, gender, and economic background (as well as others).

AD&D was targeted for educated adult gamers. The artwork featured full or partial nudity. The writing in the books featured complex language and verbiage. The layouts were small print, in black and white, almost like a textbook.

In 2e the artworks was cartoonish. Nudity was abolished. The writing was barely at an 8th grade level. The layouts were flashy and colorful (oh look! something shiny!). These books were meant to be read (and bought) by 13-14 year-olds.

Look over the books carefully. Read a few paragraphs and just examine how they were written. You should see what I mean.
 

justanobody

Banned
Banned
1- Artwork depicting nudes does not indicate "educated adults".

2- The language of 2nd was altered because Gary was no longer there. They probably didn't know whether they could reprint the exact words or not, and also while a good read of the paragraphs the book organizations were crap in 1st edition. Like a combination of badly designed college textbook, and a novel.

3- Yeah like a textbook with small print. Education level has nothing to do with making a book legible for people to be able to read without squinting. I would have much preferred larger print in the to this day as it was cramped and crowded in the books.

4- So the art changed because they wanted colored art rather than black and white. Nothing wrong with that. Also you had to worry about content just like comic books did at the time as well. These books were for entertainment and not education and so had to follow publishing standards which meant entertainment with nudes were pornography. Not very likely you would have seen many 2nd edition books sold as a porn game now would you?

5- The layouts were a lot of blue. Are you only referring to the revised set of books? They had full page art like 1st edition, but they were just in color. Notice the MCs were still two colored, either black and white or blue and white images.

6- I have read them, and they jsut clean things up and in the process lose a lot of prose. Are you saying that Shakespeare is only for adults, and Harry Potter is only for kids? I think all those adult readers and movie goers out there might have something to say about that, and may wish to have a word with you about it.

Sorry Prisoner, but you are way off base.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Nudity was abolished.

It may have been scaled back, but it was hardly abolished. The naked tabaxi lady in the Monstrous Manual was quite likely the introduction to furry porn for a lot of youngsters. :p

EDIT:
tabaxi.gif


Admittedly, not the most exploitive picture of a naked female (darn you, nipple-ban!), but still... ;)
 
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mxyzplk

Explorer
Huh, what?

AD&D was for people with a brain?? 2e dumbed things down??

Really how was 2e dumbed down.

Oh, with every edition people confuse the loss of meaningless complexity with being "dumbed down." 'Back when I was a kid we had to divide to figure out our to-hit! Two times!"
 

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