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

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think at some point, we just stopped rolling to see what type of weapon was found and just made it whatever type was needed for simplicity. Didn’t the table you rolled on to determine the type of sword for a magical weapon have something like 1-60 Long sword while leaving two-handed sword as needing to roll 100? It was something that heavily favored long and short swords.
Yeah. About 1 in 4 magic weapons was a sword. Out of those 70% were longswords and 1% two handed. Interestingly, scimitar has its own entry on subtable B AND also a 20% chance to be one of the swords rolled if a sword comes up.
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
Reaching back to 1990 to 1998, so memory is a bit foggy, but in AD&D2e I think we used rules in green...

PHB Optional rules
  • Initial stat generation options
  • Weapon Proficiencies
  • Nonweapon Proficiencies
  • Encumbrance
  • Spell Components – we applied this very irregularly, mostly due to forgetting to track them
  • Weapon Type vs. Armor modifiers – though we did not use this rule, we did sometimes restrict which weapons PCs could use when in a tight tunnel, when their hands were tied or strung up in cobwebs, etc.
  • Group initiative
  • Individual initiative
  • Weapon Speed and Initiative - I think we didn't start with this, but incorporated it later on
  • Parrying
  • Jogging and Running movement
DMG Optional rules
  • Racial level restriction slow advancement
  • Racial level restriction exceeding level limits
  • Armors made of unusual metals
  • Individual experience awards - I think we started with this, but then evolved into party XP
  • Training to level - not exactly, but generally we just had PCs need to be in a safe area to level up
  • Critical hits - I think we just did double damage for the fighter PC rolling a 20
  • Specific injuries
  • Character death: Hovering on death’s door - can't remember, but I seem to recall us setting death at -10 Hit Points
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Using someone else's list. .. We would later also adopt a bunch from Combat & Tactics.

PHB Optional rules
  • Weapon Proficiencies
  • Nonweapon Proficiencies
  • Encumbrance
  • Spell Components
  • Weapon Type vs. Armor modifiers (but we reversed it so that every armor had three ACs - we carried this over to 3E as well)
  • Individual initiative
  • Weapon Speed and Initiative
  • Parrying
  • Jogging and Running movement
DMG Optional rules
  • Racial level restriction exceeding level limits
  • Individual experience awards
  • Training to level (yes, but using a modified system from a Dragon article)
  • Critical hits (yes, but our own charts again adapted from Dragon)
  • Specific injuries
  • Character death: Hovering on death’s door (switched to this after the TPK in the first campaign we ran in 2E)
 

teitan

Legend
My disdain for NWP comes from using them! :D

We actually used, like most groups, the majority of them up to the Player's Option series. While wildly out of balance with each other by today's standards, with a good DM they added to the game and made it fun but the barnacles started showing as they added to NWP, the plethora of options, Psionics were always overpowered so we didn't use them anyway, and some kits were basically useless. About 1992 we stopped using most of them and were using core rules pretty explicitly with the only NWP being the ones in the PHB. We also used the 1e version of many classes like Druid, Ranger and Illusionist over the 2e version. Kept monks and assassins as well as Half-orcs because 1e half-orcs are just cool.

*edit to add, reading through this thread just brings me to a definite space of being glad that I have opted for OSE for future old school D&D instead of revisiting 1e or 2e. I love them, 1e is my favorite and the DMG is the best D&D book ever but while the rules were evocative and 2e cleaned a lot up, I think BX got it right. Moldvay/Cook and then the additional races in OSE advanced are so iconic it's disgusting!
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Oh and speaking of optional rules: I got rid of the "generic" cleric in my 2E games and each god has its own specific "specialty priest" class of which druid was just one of them. I also ported this into 3E which required re-writing every single one of those classes.
 

Voadam

Legend
Yeah. About 1 in 4 magic weapons was a sword. Out of those 70% were longswords and 1% two handed. Interestingly, scimitar has its own entry on subtable B AND also a 20% chance to be one of the swords rolled if a sword comes up.
Scimitars in AD&D are a bit complicated.

In my 2e DMG PDF page 189 it gives the chart you are referring to with both scimitar and sword entries with a later breakdown of swords possibly being scimitars. And then even later a specific entry for scimitars of speed as a separate thing. It gives a four out of six chance that weapons will be on the chart that uses swords and entries 9-17 on a d20 roll (45%) on that chart are swords. So just shy of 1 out of 3 magic weapons are swords in the 2e charts, and just over since scimitars are entries 4-5 (10% more) on that chart.
1700146608811.png

This compares to 1e where swords were their own category and were 11% of all magic items and 44% of all magic weapons.

1700146784878.png


On page 241 of the 2e DMG it says that "Most weapons are of the specific type listed. However, 70% of swords are long swords, 20% are scimitars or broad swords, 5% are short (small) swords, 4% are bastard swords, and 1% are two-handed swords, unless the description of a specific item indicates otherwise."

I have been trying to find something similar about scimitars to this in 1e for a while. I randomly generated a +6 defender scimitar for an NPC fighter in a 1e game (A1 mentions a bunch of unstatted NPCs with just race and class and level as random encounters) in the 80s that became a PC's treasured weapon for years and years and was recently trying to find references to scimitars in 1e sword stuff and have not been able to find it where I expected to.

The 1e DMG has basically the same chart on page 124 as 2e but does not include scimitars in the 20% category at all.

1700147323774.png

It has only the Scimitar +2 on its miscellaneous weapons chart but the entry for that weapon says:

1700148366959.png

This matches up well to the 2e scimitar of speed entry which is also a specific item entry with a +2 default bonus and chance for varieties of bonuses:

Scimitar of Speed: This is a magical weapon, usually of +2 bonus, that automatically grants its wielder the first attack in a melee round, even though some magical effect might have otherwise slowed his speed and reaction time. It also allows more than one strike in some rounds, increasing the wielder’s figure for attacks per melee round by one place, so that if one attack is normal, then the improvement is to two attacks per round. This increase in attacks is cumulative with any other bonus attacks (such as those provided by a haste spell).
The order of attacks in the round is determined normally after the wielder of the scimitar of speed has made his first attack to begin activity in the round. It is possible, for instance, that a wielder entitled to three attacks in the round will attack once before any other action takes place, and then (because of poor initiative rolls or other factors) take his remaining two attacks at the very end of the round.
There is a chance (25%) that the weapon will have a bonus of something other than +2; if this occurs, roll percentile dice and refer to the following table to determine the appropriate bonus:
D100 Roll Type XP Value
01–50 +1 2,500
(normal form) +2 3,000
51–75 +3 3,500
76–90 +4 4,000
91–100 +5 4,500

Unearthed Arcana (which has the +6 defender as an option on its sword charts) on page 89 has a similar sword chart to the 1e and 2e DMG ones with slightly different percentages:

"Note: 65% of swords are longswords, 20% are broadswords, 5% are falchion swords, 5% are short (small) swords, 4% are bastard swords, and 1% are two-handed swords, unless the description of a specific item indicates otherwise."

There is some modification stuff in the weapons section though on 1e UA page 78 talking about Falchions and Khopesh swords.

"The falchion gets its name from its slightly curved, vaguely sickle-like shape. While it could be treated as a scimitar (which term generally encompasses such sword forms as sabre, yatagan, and tulwar), many medieval European falchions were much heavier and the point was actually used for thrusting. It has, therefore, been included in the forms of swords possible in an expanded AD&D game campaign. The Dungeon Master should assume that 25% of magic broadswords are falchions."

"Of all magical scimitars discovered, 10% will be khopeshes."

Which does not really mesh well with the page 89 sword break down which includes falchions as their own thing separate from broadswords, but not an entry for scimitar swords explicitly.

1e also has the scimitar cover a bunch of similar weapons "includes Cutlass, Sabre, Sickle-sword, Tulwar, etc." which is one of the few expansive weapon proficiency categories.

2e does not do so for the scimitar, when they introduce the cutlass in the Complete Fighter's Handbook they classify it as a short sword variant with a basket hilt.
 

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