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

Ahglock

First Post
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.

1e was not complex language, it was just poorly written prose. Throwing in a couple vocab words that I somehow understood when I was 8, does not make it for the highbrow smarty pants intellectual types. I just don't get this argument. AD&D came out when I was around 6, I started playing it when I was 8, and I had no problem understanding any of it. I think people are fooling themselves on how adult and complicated 1e was.
 

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Kzach

Banned
Banned
...the dumb decision to use a looseleaf MM...
I love all your sweeping generalisations. I thought this was one of the best things they ever did. I wish I could buy themed packs at a third the price of a hardcover that I can slot into a large binder and use individual pages that I can slot into a campaign folder for 4e that I don't have to personally make.

2. Non-weapon proficiencies were formally introduced and gave just the right amount of flavor to a character, without giving it a burdensome mechanic at the same time.
Beg to differ again. NWP were a good idea, done badly.

3. I was one of the ones that actualy loved THACO. We first used THACO in 1e while playing the 3pp module Lich Lords, and adopted it for the rest of our 1e games, so when 2e came out we appreciated that all NPC's now had that mechanic built into their stats.

0.o

That's just crazy talk.

I read somewhere that Gygax said he didn't like 2e. Anyone know why not?
Politics.

I think people are fooling themselves on how adult and complicated 1e was.

You have to understand that the average D&D player thinks they're smarter than the average person. The average D&D player also started playing D&D when they were somewhere between 10-15 and of course think they were smarter than everyone else, 'cause otherwise they were just geeky, socially dysfunctional teens who locked themselves away from the bullies at lunch-time in the library with their socially inept peers.
 
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Faraer

Explorer
I always looked at 2e as a good upgrade to 1e.
None of these rulesets are 'upgrades' of each other, they're parallel approaches to different sets of design goals. Pretending one ruleset is 'better' or more 'evolved' than another is just a way of shilling books.
I read somewhere that Gygax said he didn't like 2e. Anyone know why not?
Two reasons are that David Cook took the surface of the AD&D rules while stripping out much of their underlying logic, and that the published 2E rules took the place of Gary's own 2nd edition which he'd been working on for years.
 

delericho

Legend
None of these rulesets are 'upgrades' of each other, they're parallel approaches to different sets of design goals.

While that's true of AD&D, 3e and 4e, it's much less true of the differences between 1st Edition AD&D and 2nd Edition AD&D. The latter is a direct and clear descendant of the former, in a way that other editions are not - for 3e and 4e it is clear that the designers took the game apart, decided how they thought it should work, and rebuilt it accordingly.

The move from 1st to 2nd is much more similar to the move from 3.0 to 3.5 than from 2nd to 3e or from 3e to 4e.

So, yes, I think 2nd was very definately intended to be an upgrade to 1st. Whether it is actually successful is questionable.
 

Remathilis

Legend
None of these rulesets are 'upgrades' of each other, they're parallel approaches to different sets of design goals. Pretending one ruleset is 'better' or more 'evolved' than another is just a way of shilling books.

Everyone remember this when you're dumping on 4e now. ;)

Two reasons are that David Cook took the surface of the AD&D rules while stripping out much of their underlying logic, and that the published 2E rules took the place of Gary's own 2nd edition which he'd been working on for years.

I'm sorry. Did you say AD&D had underlying logic? :p
 


Achan hiArusa

Explorer
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.

There is something wrong with them because they are SVO like the rest of the English language? Look there are prepositional clauses in there. Sure you don't see the word "aggrandizement" at least on that page, but I am sure he stuck to SVO since he wasn't writing in Japanese (which is SOV btw). And if the players were so knowledgeable then what about these:

"This class of character [the Cleric] bears a certain resemblance to religious orders of knighthood in medieval times." --page 20

"Druids can be visualized as medieval cousins of the ancient Celtic sect of Druids had it survived Roman Conquest." --page 21

Don't you think the players would have know that? And you dodged the whole art issue.
 

justanobody

Banned
Banned
I think you hit another thing there. How many languages was 1st edition translated into vs 2nd? Maybe the wording changes just had to happen to make it easier to translate for people just learning a new language and English is one of the harder ones to learn because it always changes so much.
 

Orius

Legend
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.

It's useful for new players who aren't aware of the literary examples. While perhaps a bad idea in 1989 when 2e was supposed to be an upgrade from Basic D&D for more experienced players, it became more important when the basic line was discontinued several years later.

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.

Yeah, clear concise language helps to cut down confusion that can lead to unneeded arguments and rules lawyering. This is a good thing. And while Gary's prose may have had its charm, everyone mentions the choatic organization of the 1e rules. A logical organization is probably better when looking up rules during the game.

Course the same argument is used with 3e and 4e. You'd think from all the "dumbing down" complaints, D&D reads like an elementary school primer used to teach the basics of reading to first graders.
 

Delta

First Post
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.

So it sounds like we agree that 2E does in fact use simpler (less complex) language than 1E, right?
 

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