D&D 2E Which optional rules did your group use?

The usual drawback IME is that in many combats there simply isn't any room to swing it effectively, thus increasing your chance of fumbling and-or clobbering an ally.
Which works for a dungeon, but doesn't really do much in a more open field or larger room where combatants had space to spread out. The weapon speed modifier just made so much sense to us, so we used it.

I remember us trying out weapon type vs. armor modifiers and I remember it quickly being tossed out for being pretty rough on the DM since they would constantly need to figure out what modifiers applied to monsters.
 

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Voadam

Legend
The usual drawback IME is that in many combats there simply isn't any room to swing it effectively, thus increasing your chance of fumbling and-or clobbering an ally.
Did the DMs in your experience ad hoc a fumbling and clobbering ally system and increased chances for restricted spaces? Did they come up with a regular system?

My experience from 1e when space required was on the weapon charts was fairly binary, either you had enough room to use a weapon or you did not.
 

Almost all of them!

PHB Optional rules
  • Initial stat generation options -- 4d6 drop lowest arrange to suit
  • Weapon Proficiencies -- yes
  • Nonweapon Proficiencies -- yes
  • Encumbrance -- no because why limit the loot we can carry
  • Spell Components -- yes, although it seldom came up
  • Weapon Type vs. Armor modifiers -- no; we dropped it after getting our fill in 1e
  • Group initiative -- no; we thought this one was crazy
  • Individual initiative -- yes
  • Weapon Speed and Initiative -- yes
  • Parrying -- yes
  • Jogging and Running movement -- yes
DMG Optional rules
  • Racial level restriction slow advancement -- yes
  • Racial level restriction exceeding level limits -- yes
  • Armors made of unusual metals -- yes
  • Individual experience awards -- yes
  • Training to level -- yes
  • Critical hits -- yes
  • Specific injuries -- no; we didn't like how it played (felt too punitive)
  • Character death: Hovering on death’s door -- yes
 

Tough question, mostly because so much of 2e was called out as technically optional. But here's a (at least partial) accounting:
It really is surprising looking back how much of it was marked as optional. That's probably a big reason why it was debatable how lethal the system was, since your play experience could vary wildly just because you did or didn't allow critical hits for example.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
PHB Optional rules
  • Initial stat generation options
Yes, 4d6, with some small tweaks.
  • Weapon Proficiencies
Yes.
  • Nonweapon Proficiencies
I used to. Now, I normally use much broader "macro-skills".

  • Encumbrance
No.
  • Spell Components
Yes.
  • Weapon Type vs. Armor modifiers
Sometimes.
  • Group initiative
  • Individual initiative
Normally, if the group is large, I use group initiative, otherwise individual.
  • Weapon Speed and Initiative
Sometimes.
I allow parrying, but the rules are different.
  • Jogging and Running movement
Yes.
DMG Optional rules
  • Racial level restriction slow advancement
  • Racial level restriction exceeding level limits
Typically, I don't use level limits, but instead I give an XP bonus to humans.
  • Armors made of unusual metals
A few times.
  • Individual experience awards
No.
  • Training to level
Rarely.
  • Critical hits
Yes.
  • Specific injuries
No.
  • Character death: Hovering on death’s door
Yes.
 

Voadam

Legend
Weapon Type vs. Armor modifiers
I did this in 1e for a while, but I eventually came to the conclusion that it was basically incoherent because most ACs do not represent a specific armor or a specific armor with a shield but two different situations, a set of armor with no shield and a different set of armor with a shield. Studded leather (and ring mail) with shield and scale mail with no shield are the same AC 6 for example, so the charts do not show effectiveness versus shields or not, or versus specific armor types, but sort of both but not in ways you can really parse. It all seems fairly arbitrary with a lot of extra figuring in the middle of a combat that you want to keep going swiftly for pacing purposes.

I eventually dropped using it in 1e.

When 2e came around with slashing, piercing, bludgeoning versus different armors that seemed much more manageable and conceptually coherent compared to 1e's AC chart.

I still concluded that in effect it was not something as a DM I wanted to sweat in the middle of combat.
 
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Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
For several years, I ran a heavily house-ruled AD&D 1e game, in which I used weapons vs armor type modifiers. Basically each weapon had a modifiers vs none, leather, chain and plate. I modified the tables created by a user on Dragonsfoot. At some point, however, with PC of a higher lever and a large number of henchmen, we decided to drop that rule (along with the individual initiative system that we were using) in order to speed-up combats.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Did the DMs in your experience ad hoc a fumbling and clobbering ally system and increased chances for restricted spaces? Did they come up with a regular system?
We've had fumble (and crit) rules in place since before I started playing, never mind DMing. :)
My experience from 1e when space required was on the weapon charts was fairly binary, either you had enough room to use a weapon or you did not.
In a typical 10'-wide passage we allow three front-liners (four if they're all Hobbits or Gnomes), and every now and then someone will still insist on busting out the ol' two-hander.
 

Conceptually "this weapon (type) is more or less effective against this armor (type)" makes some sense, but in play it becomes inconsistent (viz. AC numerical value DNE armor type) and/or overly time-consuming. Although there are some players and groups who really thrive on super detailed combat so to them I say: do it! Have fun the way you want to have fun.

2e was a fascinating edition. It began the desperately needed cleanup of 1e's mess of Gygaxian rules and made a lot of nods towards player/DM empowerment at the same time. Hence alllllll these optional rules!
 

hoffrg86

Explorer
[old thread, old lurker(2015!) back into 2e since '22, played 2e throughout the 90s] Since I run Dark Sun, they "require" some of the optional rules like WP/NWP, different ability dice method, Psionics. I say required, but I could easily pass on them.

I'm using the standard initiative in 2e, in the past/and current other groups we used individual initiative modified by speed/casting time etc., since I run DS in a pbp/play by post, it's to choppy and slow to do. I started to enjoy standard initi in B/X or group init as ref. there. [ each group rolls a die to determine who goes, pc team is one group, whole group goes the same time"]

One that stands out for me is "Horde Combat" not sure what to call it, but in the [wizard/dragon cover] dmg.pg.57 is where I got it, but I think i altered it slightly.

[HB] Starting at 4th level, warriors in melee fighting a creature(s) with 1HD or less, double their attacks. Every four levels they add +4HP, so at 12th level it would be 2HD or less, 20 is 3HD or less.

Using this optional rules, XP will be given for the cash value of non-magical treasures.(dmg.pg.47)


 

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