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

Aus_Snow

First Post
Are you saying that Shakespeare is only for adults, and Harry Potter is only for kids?
I'm with you on all of your post except this part. Not because 'Shakespeare is only for adults', and not because 'Harry Potter is only for kids' either, but well, it mightn't have been the best two examples to fit there. Shakespeare is probably more suited, on the whole, to adults - 'educated adults' to borrow a phrase from this very thread, in fact. And Harry Potter, while it is no doubt readable by er, anyone who is capable of reading it, I suppose, was actually written as kids' stuff. Just like Narnia and many others before it. Sure, there are plenty of adults who read kids' books, but. . . again, maybe not the best examples.

For the rest, hear hear! And yeah, I know what you were saying anyway. It just seemed a bit unfortunate, is all.
 

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justanobody

Banned
Banned
JKR wrote it as all ages series, not with kids in mind because not everything is suitable just for kids. There are things like killing that aren't really kids. Shakespeare was taught to me in the 4th grade, so maybe I just come from a different background. But yeah, Harry Potter wasn't meant as kids books, but that is just what many people want to classify them as because they don't have sex and nudity. Some people think that all animated programs are for kids as well, but I could list many that are not porn and not for children. Just check your late night TV programs for some.

I just figured those to be the best known examples...maybe there are better ones that everyone this day would know I just didn't think hard enough on the example. :(
 

Achan hiArusa

Explorer
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.

page 26 PHB 2nd Ed 1st Printing: ...There are many famous fighters from legend: Hercules, Perseus, Hiawatha, Beowulf, Siegfried, Chuchulain, Little John, Tristand, and Sinbad. History is crowed with great generals and warriors: El Cid, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Charlemange, Richard the Lionhearted, and Belisarius...

page 33 (same source): The cleric is similar to certain religious orders of knighthood of the Middle Ages: the Teutonic Knights, the Knights Templar, and Hospitalers. These orders combined military and religious training with a code of protection and service. Members were trained as knights and devoted themselves to the service of the church. The orders were frequently found on the outer edges of the Christian world, either on the fringe of the wilderness or in war-torn lands. Archbishop Turpin (of The Song of Roland) is an example of such a cleric. Similar orders can also be found in other lands, such as the sohei of Japan.

Yeah, that's dumbed down langauge, I'll leave those paragraphs to speak for themselves. As for Cartoonish art, we have full page splashes of beautifully rendered art from Elmore on page 7 of the Dragon Hunters or Easley on page 43 of the Sleeping Paladin in the PHB as opposed to Sutherland's Fighter slipping on a Banana on page 11 of the 1st Edition PHB, 6th printing, or the mentally impaired mage on page 10 (same source).
 
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Delta

First Post
page 26 PHB 2nd Ed 1st Printing: ...There are many famous fighters from legend: Hercules, Perseus, Hiawatha, Beowulf, Siegfried, Chuchulain, Little John, Tristand, and Sinbad. History is crowed with great generals and warriors: El Cid, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Charlemange, Richard the Lionhearted, and Belisarius...

page 33 (same source): The cleric is similar to certain religious orders of knighthood of the Middle Ages: the Teutonic Knights, the Knights Templar, and Hospitalers. These orders combined military and religious training with a code of protection and service. Members were trained as knights and devoted themselves to the service of the church. The orders were frequently found on the outer edges of the Christian world, eith on the fringe of the wilderness or in war-torn lands. Archbishop Turpin (of The Song of Roland is an example of such a cleric. Similar orders can also be found in other lands, such as the sohei of Japan.

Yeah, that's dumbed down langauge, I'll leave those paragraphs to speak for themselves.

Look, this isn't meant as a slam or an edition war. But those are all non-complex sentences, with simple vocabulary. They're all (subject verb object), and there aren't a bunch of modifying clauses. It's not "high language".

When I first read those paragraphs circa 1989, and still now, yes I do cringe a little bit. 1E players didn't need to be told literary examples of what constitutes a fighter/cleric -- they'd already know! You don't find the same thing at the start of the 1E PHB, because it would be wasted space.

Those paragrahs above are almost precisely what let me know I could comfortably skip 2E in its entirety.
 

Mallus

Legend
Look, this isn't meant as a slam or an edition war. But those are all non-complex sentences, with simple vocabulary. They're all (subject verb object), and there aren't a bunch of modifying clauses. It's not "high language".
I'm not convinced that writing game rules in challenging prose is, by definition, a smart idea (as some people around here seem to be implying). There's also a difference between complex prose and intelligent prose.

I like game rules when their written in clear, concise, let's go all in and say pedestrian language. If I want challenging prose I'll take another crack at Finnegan's Wake...
 

Mallus

Legend
AD&D was targeted for educated adult gamers.
I always thought AD&D was targeted at nerdy adolescent polymaths of all ages. Note: this is a good thing.

The artwork featured full or partial nudity.
So? Not being suitable for children doesn't necessarily mean it was meant for adults cf. many Hollywood movies.

In 2e the artworks was cartoonish.
Well, in core 1e, the art ranged from "good" to "drunk nerd with a ballpoint pen doodling on a cocktail napkin".

The writing was barely at an 8th grade level.
So it matches most SF/F novels and the New York Times. Not bad company. Is there some reason a set of game rules should aspire to the complexity of Faulkner?
 


Stoat

Adventurer
I like game rules when their written in clear, concise, let's go all in and say pedestrian language. If I want challenging prose I'll take another crack at Finnegan's Wake...

I agree with Mallus. I've seen folks criticize 2E by saying, "the books read like a set of instructions," or the like. But the books ARE a set of instructions. I'm happiest when the rules of the game are written in clear, easy to understand language.
 

Jack99

Adventurer
As a 2e purist, I haven't got much to add, aside from this. I see several people slamming the multiple campaign settings released during 2e. Well I am glad they did, because while there was a good amount of crap, it also gave us Dark Sun and Planescape, the two coolest settings, ever :p

We loved 2e and had an absurd amount of fun playing it, clunky bits and all.

I'm a bit late to the thread. 2E is awesome!
 

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