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Froogleyboy
2009-11-27, 07:32 PM
Love it, Hate it, lets talk about it. Also, anyone know any great sites for it?

jmbrown
2009-11-27, 07:43 PM
Love it. Fighters were useful, AC and to-hit values had hard caps to keep people from cheaply skyrocketing them, there were no "magic shops" forcing DMs to either be creative in their treasure handouts or have the PCs find the level ridiculous wizard who could cast enchant item, hirelings gave a sense of "oh man, dropping like flies here!" to the combat, and your level wasn't nearly as important as good play and tactics.

Lots of problems inherent to the system, but because AD&D is less about mechanics you could pretty much ad hoc any situation and it would be moderately balanced.

I'm working on an OGL version here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132779).

Forum member Matthew alerted me to this site (http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/index.php) which is really, really good. Expect him to post in 3... 2... 1...

Froogleyboy
2009-11-27, 07:54 PM
Love it. Fighters were useful,

You know it! I love 2e fighters. And with the use of kits, they were very versitile

Matthew
2009-11-27, 07:59 PM
"0" :smallbiggrin:

Yeah, Dragonsfoot is really the place to go to talk about AD&D/2e, because a lot of folks who play it congregate there. However, I always enjoy seeing AD&D threads crop up here.

Not sure what to say as regards love it/hate it, though. I like the freedom and briefness of the system, though I have little love for some of its more eccentric components.

Froogleyboy
2009-11-27, 08:15 PM
Hey, Matthew, There is a Matthew on those boards with the same avatar, is that you?

Matthew
2009-11-27, 08:29 PM
Hey, Matthew, There is a Matthew on those boards with the same avatar, is that you?

Yes, it is indeed.

erikun
2009-11-27, 08:37 PM
I have good memories of the system, and liked that it didn't have the same problems as D&D 3.5e. I probably wouldn't find it amazing after playing 3.5e and 4e, but I would have no problem with giving it another try.

Radiun
2009-11-27, 08:49 PM
Oh how I wish to merge 3.5 and 2e

but might as well merge Shadowrun and DnD4e for all the sense it would end up making

horseboy
2009-11-27, 09:00 PM
Hmm, knowing what I know now, It'd be a fun, low detail system I could use for all kinds of things. Knowing what I knew 20 years ago it was a vague, self contradicting mess that if you ever tried to do more than "I hit it again with my sword" broke down.

You really have to have some personal knowledge if you want to run it. I still remember the day that I found out that it wasn't a lacy undergarment that controlled fire elementals. Course, it was several years after that before I learned that it wasn't a circuit board that controlled an air elemental. Never did see the correlation on that one. Then it was years later I learned to sword fight so I'd have some idea on how hard something in combat may or may not be.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-11-27, 09:22 PM
Oh how I wish to merge 3.5 and 2e

but might as well merge Shadowrun and DnD4e for all the sense it would end up making

It'd make more sense than you might thing--I'm working on just such a 2e/3e merger at the moment when I have time, and it's turning out fairly well; it manages to (mostly) retain the customizability/modularity of 3e with the balance and freedom of 2e.

Eldariel
2009-11-27, 09:53 PM
It'd make more sense than you might thing--I'm working on just such a 2e/3e merger at the moment when I have time, and it's turning out fairly well; it manages to (mostly) retain the customizability/modularity of 3e with the balance and freedom of 2e.

Same here; I'm working on basically 3e with lots of 2e AD&Disms carried over - I'm only adding few concepts not in either and that's mostly to work out some 3.X kinks that would be carried over like caster multiclassing and combat turns.

I'm trying to move from individual turns into Combat Missionish "say what you're gonna do and then the turns happen simultaneously with priority being initiative order".

Haven
2009-11-27, 09:56 PM
I love 2e forever for bringing us Planescape and Spelljammer.

Also, I actually liked the Player's Option stuff quite a bit. Potentially munchy, to be sure, but some of them were really interesting options.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-11-28, 12:20 AM
I've been hankering to run a 2E game lately, actually, but I have to say Hackmaster is running a close second.

Both have similar aesthetics, but Hackmaster is like 2E turned up to 11 :smallbiggrin:

averagejoe
2009-11-28, 12:38 AM
It really is a neat system. It had a, I don't know how to describe it, a sort of mechanical aesthetic that I found very appealing, and one which I try to capture (with varying amounts of success) in the 3.5 games I run. It did have its problems, and admittedly the majority of my experience with the system comes from Bauldur's Gate, but it still had many worthwhile elements which seem to be further marginalized in 4e (for better or for worse; not to 4e bash, because it does have worthwhile elements in its own right, just saying.)

Also, a lot of the art was just neat. I do love 3.5, but a lot of the art was just plain bad (I'm looking at you, Extend Rage (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/cw_ag/75437.jpg)), and, even when not technically wrong, tended to be pretty bland. There are some gems, sure, but a lot of the 2e art was just neat.

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 01:14 AM
Also, a lot of the art was just neat. I do love 3.5, but a lot of the art was just plain bad (I'm looking at you, Extend Rage (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/cw_ag/75437.jpg)), and, even when not technically wrong, tended to be pretty bland. There are some gems, sure, but a lot of the 2e art was just neat.

I can't elaborate on the art enough. AD&D helped pioneer fantasy art in the 70s and 80s. While fantasy greats like Frazetta and Vallejo already had their feet wet, AD&D introduced unheard of artists like Larry Elmore (who wasn't a novice to the freelance art world but D&D was his first foray into fantasy) into the scene.

This was the first image many of us associated D&D with.

http://i49.tinypic.com/es3p1k.jpg

This is what D&D is about. Five friends gathered around the body of a legendary (if young) beast they slew with the modest haul they earned as a result.

D&D 3E completely abandoned this. The core books had very world defining art like this and the character art wasn't that great either. I liked some of the individual artists, but the only 3E art that really impressed me was Tom Kidd's fantastic wrap-around cover for Libris Mortis.

http://i47.tinypic.com/2poo6jc.jpg

I will say that I'm satisfied with the artistic direction of 4E. (http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs28/f/2008/161/c/e/4e_DnD__DMG_Chp__1__by_RalphHorsley.jpg) I'm not fond of digital art (gives it a cold, impersonal look except in the hands of a true expert IMO) but the 4E editors do a real good job of visually expressing the new D&D assumptions. Monsters are more opposing than 2E's fairy-tale fantasy beasts but not as grotesque as 3E's "Straight Outta Lovecraft" design for most beasts.

Edit: Speaking of modest, look at that picture by Elmore. The adventurers just slew a young green dragon. Do you see them decked out in ridiculous magic items? Huge, bulky armor with 500lb pauldrons? Glowing swords and rods? Bikini armor? You can tell by the rips and tears in their clothing they had some trouble taking it down, but you know they killed the beast with skill and cunning not overwhelming power based on the assumptions that CR 5 dragons happen to carry wealth by level for 5 random travelers.

Nai_Calus
2009-11-28, 01:21 AM
but might as well merge Shadowrun and DnD4e for all the sense it would end up making

...I want to see this done now. I really do. :smallbiggrin:

BobVosh
2009-11-28, 01:28 AM
Love it. Fighters were useful, AC and to-hit values had hard caps to keep people from cheaply skyrocketing them, there were no "magic shops" forcing DMs to either be creative in their treasure handouts or have the PCs find the level ridiculous wizard who could cast enchant item, hirelings gave a sense of "oh man, dropping like flies here!" to the combat, and your level wasn't nearly as important as good play and tactics.

Lots of problems inherent to the system, but because AD&D is less about mechanics you could pretty much ad hoc any situation and it would be moderately balanced.

I'm working on an OGL version here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132779).

Forum member Matthew alerted me to this site (http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/index.php) which is really, really good. Expect him to post in 3... 2... 1...

Fighters who threw daggers broke 2ed in half. Like a weak, rotted stick. Which is hilarious in consideration from 3.5.

Wings of Peace
2009-11-28, 01:50 AM
Never played 2e, loved their take on Netherese casters though. Thought the mechanics fit the fluff well

arguskos
2009-11-28, 02:15 AM
I loved the nebulous and hard to define feel that 2e evokes. Baldur's Gate really does the best job I know of presenting it. That artwork above does an excellent job too, for that matter. :smallwink: It's FAR superior to 3.5 or 4e or GURPS or anything else I know of, feelwise. I was never a big fan of 2e's disorganized style of design, though, it had it's moments, such as Spelljammer and Planescape (the best setting ever right there). :smallcool:

Oracle_Hunter
2009-11-28, 02:20 AM
Fighters who threw daggers broke 2ed in half. Like a weak, rotted stick. Which is hilarious in consideration from 3.5.
This is why there is an optional rule that allows the DM to slap upside the head any fighter that specializes in "wizard weapons" :smalltongue:

Also: Man, the art put out in TSR products was pretty amazing. Of course, nothing can beat the pinnacle of artistic excellent that is the Invisible Stalker:

http://thearchnemesis.com/images/Invisible%20Stalker.jpg

averagejoe
2009-11-28, 02:42 AM
D&D 3E completely abandoned this. The core books had very world defining art like this and the character art wasn't that great either. I liked some of the individual artists, but the only 3E art that really impressed me was Tom Kidd's fantastic wrap-around cover for Libris Mortis.

Before you got to the end I though you were going to be putting that picture up as an example of bad 3.5 art, in which case we would have had Words. :smallwink:

As far as 3.5, I have to admit to having a certain weakness for some of the (http://wizards.com/dnd/images/eb_gallery/82071.jpg) art done for (http://wizards.com/dnd/images/eb_gallery/82077.jpg) Eberron (http://wizards.com/dnd/images/eb_gallery/82079.jpg) Campaing Setting. (http://wizards.com/dnd/images/eb_gallery/82087.jpg) Arguably a bit comic book-y, but Eberron is supposed to have a very nontraditional aesthetic anyways, so it fits pretty well. Maybe not to everyone's taste, but kind of interesting in their own way, and stylish. The Player's Handbook II also had a few (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97160.jpg) odd (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97181.jpg) gems (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97180.jpg), though none of these images are really big enough to get a good look at.

I mean, I largely agree with you. A lot of 3.5 art could have most kindly been called competent, and an appalling amount couldn't even have been called that. (I still don't know what is up with that half orc's legs in the picture I linked to in my previous post, and there's actually a lot of 3.5 art that screws up simple perspective, makes anatomical errors, and other such screw ups. Then there's stuff like this (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97158.jpg), which makes someone jump kicking someone else somehow look static...)


I will say that I'm satisfied with the artistic direction of 4E. (http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs28/f/2008/161/c/e/4e_DnD__DMG_Chp__1__by_RalphHorsley.jpg) I'm not fond of digital art (gives it a cold, impersonal look except in the hands of a true expert IMO) but the 4E editors do a real good job of visually expressing the new D&D assumptions. Monsters are more opposing than 2E's fairy-tale fantasy beasts but not as grotesque as 3E's "Straight Outta Lovecraft" design for most beasts.

I've never seen that one, but it is pretty nice. The wizard's staff seems somewhat Escherian, and I could do without the scintillating energy bow, but the goblins look very cool, and it has a lot of nice details. The thing is, this could have been in a 3e sourcebook; the look of goblins hasn't changed very much. The thing is, 3e didn't do a whole lot of this sort of art in general; it was a lot more, "This is what a wizard prestige classed into alienist might look like," than, "This is a situation adventurers might find themselves in," which, looking back on what I've linked to and what you've posted, seems to make for better art.


Edit: Speaking of modest, look at that picture by Elmore. The adventurers just slew a young green dragon. Do you see them decked out in ridiculous magic items? Huge, bulky armor with 500lb pauldrons? Glowing swords and rods? Bikini armor? You can tell by the rips and tears in their clothing they had some trouble taking it down, but you know they killed the beast with skill and cunning not overwhelming power based on the assumptions that CR 5 dragons happen to carry wealth by level for 5 random travelers.

I absolutely agree.

Harperfan7
2009-11-28, 06:28 AM
Never played 2e, loved their take on Netherese casters though. Thought the mechanics fit the fluff well

Tell me about this, please.

Zincorium
2009-11-28, 06:48 AM
I think a lot of my appreciation for 2e's foibles was mostly nostalgia and the sense of wonder that is usually lost as one passes into adulthood. However...

One of the big things I prefer in 2nd edition is it's lack of rules in many areas, which while it can be a crippling weakness in certain groups, allows a certain slack when it comes to homebrewing creatures, kits, and so forth that is hard to regain in 3rd edition. Mostly, it's the details. 3.x has more of them, and while the guidelines are better, there's more work for a given concept than there was before.

Another point is this: Dragon and Dungeon were better, in my opinion, back in 2nd edition. Different writers is a big part, I'm sure, but things that were incredibly wonky mechanically were a lot more common back then because there wasn't the same amount of synergy, stacking, and rules interaction around to conflict with or break.

Zombimode
2009-11-28, 07:30 AM
Same here; I'm working on basically 3e with lots of 2e AD&Disms carried over - I'm only adding few concepts not in either and that's mostly to work out some 3.X kinks that would be carried over like caster multiclassing and combat turns.

Heh, such project are quiets popular, no? :smallsmile:
My own "AD&D 2.5" uses an 2e framework, but is inspired from 3e and even 4e.

Matthew
2009-11-28, 07:33 AM
This is why there is an optional rule that allows the DM to slap upside the head any fighter that specializes in "wizard weapons" :smalltongue:

Plus the awesome range of 30' makes dagger specialisation of limited use, not to mention the sheer volume of such items that would have to be carried about to make it worthwhile. Eventually there was a rule issued in C&T to address the problem, limiting damage bonuses to die size, but they would have done better cutting attack rates down to 1/1 in my opinion.

BobVosh
2009-11-28, 07:51 AM
Plus the awesome range of 30' makes dagger specialisation of limited use, not to mention the sheer volume of such items that would have to be carried about to make it worthwhile. Eventually there was a rule issued in C&T to address the problem, limiting damage bonuses to die size, but they would have done better cutting attack rates down to 1/1 in my opinion.

What? You don't want people to throw 10 daggers at 1D4 (1D6 if large or bigger IIRC) +16 or so?


This is why there is an optional rule that allows the DM to slap upside the head any fighter that specializes in "wizard weapons" :smalltongue:
Is there a rule in the book that isn't "optional"? Half the book was optional.


Also: Man, the art put out in TSR products was pretty amazing. Of course, nothing can beat the pinnacle of artistic excellent that is the Invisible Stalker:

http://thearchnemesis.com/images/Invisible%20Stalker.jpg
I dunno, beholders looked pretty good. Either first or second ed had the really hilarious Tarrasque pic.
I'm impressed I spelled Tarrasque right in one try

Matthew
2009-11-28, 08:19 AM
What? You don't want people to throw 10 daggers at 1D4 (1D6 if large or bigger IIRC) +16 or so?

Heh, sounds like you might have been doing it slightly wrong. The maximum attack rate with specialised dagger throwing would be 5/1, and if the game master allows an off hand attack 6/1. Depending on the damage adjustment, it was often better to use darts because you could get 7/1 out of them. There was no die size increase mandated, though I could imagine somebody ruling that way for an enlarged character.

In first edition, of course, you had to get specially made ranged weapons to get a strength bonus to hit and damage when using them (and their existence and availability was at the discretion of the game master); second edition changed this without fully considering the consequences for ranged weapons with a high attack rate.

Tetsubo 57
2009-11-28, 08:42 AM
I played a lot of 1E and 2E. Mostly because it was all we had. But once 3E came out I never looked back. I sold odd 90% of my 2E collection. Some I kept for nostalgia. I can't ever see myself wanting to play 2E again. Not with 3.5 and Pathfinder in the world.

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 10:41 AM
Before you got to the end I though you were going to be putting that picture up as an example of bad 3.5 art, in which case we would have had Words. :smallwink:

As far as 3.5, I have to admit to having a certain weakness for some of the (http://wizards.com/dnd/images/eb_gallery/82071.jpg) art done for (http://wizards.com/dnd/images/eb_gallery/82077.jpg) Eberron (http://wizards.com/dnd/images/eb_gallery/82079.jpg) Campaing Setting. (http://wizards.com/dnd/images/eb_gallery/82087.jpg) Arguably a bit comic book-y, but Eberron is supposed to have a very nontraditional aesthetic anyways, so it fits pretty well. Maybe not to everyone's taste, but kind of interesting in their own way, and stylish. The Player's Handbook II also had a few (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97160.jpg) odd (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97181.jpg) gems (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97180.jpg), though none of these images are really big enough to get a good look at.

Well, Eberron did a Marvel-esque feel to me what with the swashbuckling style vice high fantasy of core.


I mean, I largely agree with you. A lot of 3.5 art could have most kindly been called competent, and an appalling amount couldn't even have been called that. (I still don't know what is up with that half orc's legs in the picture I linked to in my previous post, and there's actually a lot of 3.5 art that screws up simple perspective, makes anatomical errors, and other such screw ups. Then there's stuff like this (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97158.jpg), which makes someone jump kicking someone else somehow look static...)

I'm sure I don't have to introduce you to Hennet (http://www.wizards.com/books/images/hennet_300pix.jpg), the belt fetish sorcerer. It's a good thing he's not a wizard because he'd spend an hour studying his spell book plus an hour getting that ridiculous clothing on.


Also: Man, the art put out in TSR products was pretty amazing. Of course, nothing can beat the pinnacle of artistic excellent that is the Invisible Stalker:

I like how they credited someone for the invisible stalker picture in the opening credits.

Mark Hall
2009-11-28, 11:34 AM
Fighters who threw daggers broke 2ed in half. Like a weak, rotted stick. Which is hilarious in consideration from 3.5.

Not really. Now, mind you, I have seen ONE halfling fighter do it, but keep in mind:

1) He was low level, where the bonuses have a much greater effect.
2) His most awesome moment was against other low-level humanoids, where AC is likely to be in the reasonable range.
3) We were using critical tables (from C&T) and he was rolling awesomely.

He could manage 3 daggers a round at +5 to strike and +3 to damage (also had a 16 strength). However, once he got down to his last two daggers, he was at a severe disadvantage... his bonuses dropped to +1/+3, and while he was attacking at 5/2, he wasn't doing much damage compared to the longsword fighters, or even the thief who was non-proficient with his magic (+1) broadsword.

Morty
2009-11-28, 11:53 AM
AD&D 2e sounds really awesome in some respects, mostly in terms of lower overall power level and "awesome level". I only know if from Infinity Engine games, and they're not entirely accurate. What I'm not so sure about is smaller possibility for variety in character creation and alignments as well as treatment of "monster races" being even worse - though I may be wrong about the former. Of course, I can't really get the books from anywhere, which is why jmbrown's project looks interesting.

Mark Hall
2009-11-28, 01:14 PM
AD&D 2e sounds really awesome in some respects, mostly in terms of lower overall power level and "awesome level". I only know if from Infinity Engine games, and they're not entirely accurate. What I'm not so sure about is smaller possibility for variety in character creation and alignments as well as treatment of "monster races" being even worse - though I may be wrong about the former. Of course, I can't really get the books from anywhere, which is why jmbrown's project looks interesting.

1) Variety in character creation. As with a lot of things in AD&D, it depends on what options you use. Using Skills and Powers, it is possible to build your class from the ground up into pretty much whatever you want. Some classes suffer from limited options (thieves have too many CPs and too many low-cost options to get too much in the way of variety, fighters just don't have many options), and others can become way too Swiss army if allowed to (clerics, in the Spells and Magic system, can be ANYTHING), but you've got a lot of mechanical variation possible. With Kits, you can do the same thing, though in a slightly more stratified way.

The big difference between AD&D and d20 is the metagame of building your character. In AD&D, your character build was more or less complete when the DM says "You're all sitting in a tavern"... you might have a few proficiencies to pick up, or you may be planning on dual-classing, but aside from dual-classing, your character build is more or less finished at 1st level. In d20, character building is a level-by-level experience... while you may have everything planned out at level 1, the fact is that every level you're making choices about what your character will be capable of.

I'll also add that a lot of 2e folks are fans of "variety through description." Sure, my character class is thief, but my character is named Master Kwan and uses a ninja-to (read: short sword) and shuriken (read: throwing knives that look funny). I've dumped most of my points into CW, HS, and MS. I'm a ninja.

2) Monster races are treated a bit oddly in 2e. Most standard humanoids are pretty easy... Skills and Powers does them pretty well, and the Complete Book of Humanoids isn't bad (though the Monstrous Traits can make them kinda munchkin, and they've got some options I find questionable for 2e's power... like the Ogre Mage and Fremlin). However, as these are optional, they're not something everyone uses.

Speaking of Monster races in 2e, you might take a look at the old game Ravenloft: Stone Prophet. While your PCs are standard races, there's also an Undead Paladin, a Wemic, a Desert troll (they take damage from water), and a Jackalwere as playable NPCs (in fact, I can only recall 2 regular people playable NPCs... a human thief and a half-elf ranger/cleric).

averagejoe
2009-11-28, 02:33 PM
I'll also add that a lot of 2e folks are fans of "variety through description." Sure, my character class is thief, but my character is named Master Kwan and uses a ninja-to (read: short sword) and shuriken (read: throwing knives that look funny). I've dumped most of my points into CW, HS, and MS. I'm a ninja.

I agree with what you're saying, but would like to point out that "thief" was probably an unfortunate name for a character class. Heck, this lasted into 3.0 for some people I know, who kept calling rogues "thieves" and kept insisting on trying to steal things at every opportunity.

Mark Hall
2009-11-28, 02:39 PM
I agree with what you're saying, but would like to point out that "thief" was probably an unfortunate name for a character class. Heck, this lasted into 3.0 for some people I know, who kept calling rogues "thieves" and kept insisting on trying to steal things at every opportunity.

I don't think so. The guy who steals from the party is a valid way to play the rogue, even in 3e. That's not a matter of naming... that's a matter of players being douchebags.

averagejoe
2009-11-28, 02:57 PM
I don't think so. The guy who steals from the party is a valid way to play the rogue, even in 3e. That's not a matter of naming... that's a matter of players being douchebags.

Oh, of course, but when your guy is a "fighter," there's an expectation that you will have him fight, and when a guy is named, "thief," there is an expectation that you will have him steal. Of course it's possible to play thieves in other ways, but it's always kind of right there in the name, and it creates expectations among newbies.

Also, for clarification, I've never played with a guy who steals from the party, nor would I tolerate it; it's more people who waste time stealing from largely inconsequential/poor NPC's and bring the legitimate authorities down on our heads.

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 03:12 PM
I agree with what you're saying, but would like to point out that "thief" was probably an unfortunate name for a character class. Heck, this lasted into 3.0 for some people I know, who kept calling rogues "thieves" and kept insisting on trying to steal things at every opportunity.

The naming convention is likely a result of Bilbo Baggins being called a "burglar" and the name stuck. Regardless, thieves did exactly what their name describes; they stole stuff. Looting abandoned temples and picking jewels from tombs is still considered robbing in many civilized cultures.

Matthew
2009-11-28, 03:23 PM
The naming convention is likely a result of Bilbo Baggins being called a "burglar" and the name stuck. Regardless, thieves did exactly what their name describes; they stole stuff. Looting abandoned temples and picking jewels from tombs is still considered robbing in many civilized cultures.

Possibly, or more likely the Zamorian thieves from the REH Conan tales, or possibly Mouser. In any case, a "thief" is about as valid an occupation as a "fighting-man", I would say. When the thief became the rogue, the archetype suffered some dilution.

averagejoe
2009-11-28, 03:31 PM
Possibly, or more likely the Zamorian thieves from the REH Conan tales, or possibly Mouser. In any case, a "thief" is about as valid an occupation as a "fighting-man", I would say. When the thief became the rogue, the archetype suffered some dilution.

I'm not saying that it's invalid, just that a few people got the wrong idea. There were just too many people who thought it meant, "Steal at every opportunity." I mean, it's unfortunate behavior that adventurers are prone to anyways. No need to encourage them.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-11-28, 03:41 PM
I'm not saying that it's invalid, just that a few people got the wrong idea. There were just too many people who thought it meant, "Steal at every opportunity." I mean, it's unfortunate behavior that adventurers are prone to anyways. No need to encourage them.
I'd disagree.

Remember, y'all are adventurers - stealing stuff is what you do. Sure, some guys might think Thief = Kleptomaniac, but those same folks probably thought Fighter = Violent Sociopath. That's a player-problem, not a character problem.

Heck, I still think of Rogues as Thieves; one problem in 3E is that "Thieves" went from "the guy who did sneaky stuff" to "the guy who hit weak points for massive damage" - IMHO, of course :smallwink:

AllisterH
2009-11-28, 04:06 PM
Campaign worlds.

That was what 2e was truly about.

Roderick_BR
2009-11-28, 04:36 PM
I love AD&D, that's the system I learned to play. A few messed up rules, but nothing compated to 3e.
The only thing I'd use from 3e is the BAB in place of THAC0.
Funny story! Before 3e came out, they had a free system based on "wuxia" movies (flying monks, ninja, and samurai), that used a rule similar to BAB to simplify some calculations, in the same way that Tome of Battle was a "experience" for 4e.

The more things change...

Eldariel
2009-11-28, 04:44 PM
I love AD&D, that's the system I learned to play. A few messed up rules, but nothing compated to 3e.
The only thing I'd use from 3e is the BAB in place of THAC0.
Funny story! Before 3e came out, they had a free system based on "wuxia" movies (flying monks, ninja, and samurai), that used a rule similar to BAB to simplify some calculations, in the same way that Tome of Battle was a "experience" for 4e.

The more things change...

Mmm, don't you prefer 3.X's multiclassing, saves and spell save DCs + bonus spells? IMHO those were the big steps forward from 2e to 3.X; saves depend on the caster as well as the spell and the saver, there are enough spells to keep low-level casters from being useless, and saves depended on things other than levels.

Morty
2009-11-28, 04:46 PM
1) Variety in character creation. As with a lot of things in AD&D, it depends on what options you use. Using Skills and Powers, it is possible to build your class from the ground up into pretty much whatever you want. Some classes suffer from limited options (thieves have too many CPs and too many low-cost options to get too much in the way of variety, fighters just don't have many options), and others can become way too Swiss army if allowed to (clerics, in the Spells and Magic system, can be ANYTHING), but you've got a lot of mechanical variation possible. With Kits, you can do the same thing, though in a slightly more stratified way.

The big difference between AD&D and d20 is the metagame of building your character. In AD&D, your character build was more or less complete when the DM says "You're all sitting in a tavern"... you might have a few proficiencies to pick up, or you may be planning on dual-classing, but aside from dual-classing, your character build is more or less finished at 1st level. In d20, character building is a level-by-level experience... while you may have everything planned out at level 1, the fact is that every level you're making choices about what your character will be capable of.

I'll also add that a lot of 2e folks are fans of "variety through description." Sure, my character class is thief, but my character is named Master Kwan and uses a ninja-to (read: short sword) and shuriken (read: throwing knives that look funny). I've dumped most of my points into CW, HS, and MS. I'm a ninja.

Yes, I'm aware of all of that. I can live with character generation as it is in AD&D; it's just that in the long run I prefer the model from 3ed. On the other hand though, I don't have to worry about my "build" - I just pick a character and roll with it.


2) Monster races are treated a bit oddly in 2e. Most standard humanoids are pretty easy... Skills and Powers does them pretty well, and the Complete Book of Humanoids isn't bad (though the Monstrous Traits can make them kinda munchkin, and they've got some options I find questionable for 2e's power... like the Ogre Mage and Fremlin). However, as these are optional, they're not something everyone uses.

Speaking of Monster races in 2e, you might take a look at the old game Ravenloft: Stone Prophet. While your PCs are standard races, there's also an Undead Paladin, a Wemic, a Desert troll (they take damage from water), and a Jackalwere as playable NPCs (in fact, I can only recall 2 regular people playable NPCs... a human thief and a half-elf ranger/cleric).

I wasn't really talking about mechanics - though they're a concern too - but rather than in AD&D, the "it has green skin and fangs, let's kill it!" is even more encouraged than in 3ed.
Though another thing that I'm not fond of in AD&D is mages. One or two spells and then sling-shooting... flavorful, maybe, but kind of annoying in actual play.

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 05:05 PM
I wasn't really talking about mechanics - though they're a concern too - but rather than in AD&D, the "it has green skin and fangs, let's kill it!" is even more encouraged than in 3ed.
Though another thing that I'm not fond of in AD&D is mages. One or two spells and then sling-shooting... flavorful, maybe, but kind of annoying in actual play.

At low levels but wizards were meant to waste scrolls and wands, not memorized spells. This notably changed in 3E with the introduction of metamagic and accelerating prices. If you wanted a wand in 2E, you prayed it was in a stash, enchanted it yourself (which you gained xp from, another big difference), or you paid someone else to enchant it.

There was also more a wizard could do like acting as spotter, moving supplies, and tossing pots of oil. Let's not forget that memorizing a single spell took 10 minutes * spell level. It was rare for a level 5+ wizard to end the day with all of his spells spent because it was simply too costly. His scrolls and wands, on the other hand, were expendable.

Mark Hall
2009-11-28, 05:16 PM
Yes, I'm aware of all of that. I can live with character generation as it is in AD&D; it's just that in the long run I prefer the model from 3ed. On the other hand though, I don't have to worry about my "build" - I just pick a character and roll with it.

Which can work fine, but it's still a matter of a different game. With 2e, you're very much playing whatever take on an archetype that you've chosen to take... if you're playing a ninja-like thief, you can't easily switch gears and become a middling wizard or sorcerer.


I wasn't really talking about mechanics - though they're a concern too - but rather than in AD&D, the "it has green skin and fangs, let's kill it!" is even more encouraged than in 3ed.

Entirely a DM thing. I tended towards "It has orange skin and fangs... and is offering us a disturbingly good deal on the fruits of the land it has stolen."


Though another thing that I'm not fond of in AD&D is mages. One or two spells and then sling-shooting... flavorful, maybe, but kind of annoying in actual play.

That is a problem. One thing I've found really helps is simply giving the wizard an additional 1st level spell at 1st level. It doesn't make them fantastic, but it does give them a little more flexibility. I also like 3e's introduction of Wands and Scrolls... they greatly increase the viability of a wizard, while remaining scarce and precious.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-11-28, 05:28 PM
That is a problem. One thing I've found really helps is simply giving the wizard an additional 1st level spell at 1st level. It doesn't make them fantastic, but it does give them a little more flexibility. I also like 3e's introduction of Wands and Scrolls... they greatly increase the viability of a wizard, while remaining scarce and precious.
Up until 4E, the power of a wizard was always an issue. I'm not sure I like the 3E approach (I disagree about Wands & Scrolls remaining "scarce" in a 3E game); I'd prefer a "Different Strokes for Different Folks" method.

That is to say, not everyone should be fighting in combat. If a bunch of Orcs attack, the Fighter is supposed to step up and deal with them; the Thief & Wizard can stand back and help as they can, and the Cleric hangs by the Fighter in case he needs healing.

Of course, this works best with NWP, since you can let the Wizard serve as the party library when dealing with Ancient Mysteries. Sure, this results in a bit of a Decker Problem, but that's par for the course for AD&D.

BTW - does an additional spell slot really "fix" the Wizard problem? I guess it lets Wizards memorize 1 combat spell and 1 utility spell... but does it make that much of a difference?

Eldariel
2009-11-28, 05:52 PM
BTW - does an additional spell slot really "fix" the Wizard problem? I guess it lets Wizards memorize 1 combat spell and 1 utility spell... but does it make that much of a difference?

Well, the 3.5 version where you can get an extra or two from high Int and one more from specialization means that they can have enough combat gas to use magic in probably all the tough encounters you run into. Further, cantrips (particularly Daze) are actually relevant on level 1 which further gives them options; they're not amazing, but Daze amounts to "we both lose an action" most of the time on level 1, which is good enough from a level 0 spell when you'd otherwise be doing nothing.

This doesn't help your utility one bit (though cantrips again mean you can probably prepare some level 0 utility like Prestidigitation, Detect Magic or similars), but then again, they can pull a ton of utility out of their high Int and all Knowledges in class. Tehy should be able to cover just about everything.

Matthew
2009-11-28, 06:28 PM
I'd disagree.

Remember, y'all are adventurers - stealing stuff is what you do. Sure, some guys might think Thief = Kleptomaniac, but those same folks probably thought Fighter = Violent Sociopath. That's a player-problem, not a character problem.

Heck, I still think of Rogues as Thieves; one problem in 3E is that "Thieves" went from "the guy who did sneaky stuff" to "the guy who hit weak points for massive damage" - IMHO, of course :smallwink:

Indeed. In actual play we had very few problems in this regard.



BTW - does an additional spell slot really "fix" the Wizard problem? I guess it lets Wizards memorize 1 combat spell and 1 utility spell... but does it make that much of a difference?

It alleviates some of the pressure. Really what is required is massively flattening out the power curve on a magician (or cleric). Quite how to do that is up for debate.

ken-do-nim
2009-11-28, 06:52 PM
Mmm, don't you prefer 3.X's multiclassing, saves and spell save DCs + bonus spells? IMHO those were the big steps forward from 2e to 3.X; saves depend on the caster as well as the spell and the saver, there are enough spells to keep low-level casters from being useless, and saves depended on things other than levels.

Absolutely not. Multiclassing and spell dcs are largely where 3.x falls flat on its face. Why do you think gestalt play is so popular? Why do you think it had to introduce a class like mystic theurge? Why do you think the low will save is such a problem for high level fighters?

I think the best thing 3.0 introduced were the 3 saving throw categories; it's always hokey at best in AD&D to say "roll a save vs paralysis or you will be knocked off your feet."

I do like the prestige classes that aren't patches to the multiclassing system but actually something meaningful, like the thaumaturge or the archmage. But I would have preferred splatbooks full of more substitution levels and class variants and less prestige classes.

Zombimode
2009-11-28, 07:15 PM
On low level wizards:

My take on this is to split spells into "spells" and "rituals". Those rituals work very much like 4e rituals. They have longer casting time, can be cast as much one like a day and consume material components which have a listed price.
Most rituals are 1st level, but there are some on every spell level. They count for the maximum spells/level as normal, and take space in the spellbook like normal spells.
Trivia: I had this idea, before I even knew of 4e ;)

This way, low level wizards can load up full with combat/combat related spells, and do the other stuff when it comes up (and become an even greater money sink for the party).

Furthermore wizards can now use weak magic items called "foci" (singular: focus). They are similar to wands: they have a weak magic effect that consumes a charging everytimes it is used. Im thinking on exploring the foci more, but for now they can dish out small elemental damage.
Why not just use a wand of magic missles? Becaus the later is expansive: more the 1000 GP. The focus is cheap: 50 GP will get you a focus with a 50 charge maximum, another 25 GP (0,5 GP / charge) to get it fully charged.
Does it make wands of magic missle obsolete? No, a wand of magic missles is much better then a focus item.

Eldariel
2009-11-28, 07:27 PM
Absolutely not. Multiclassing and spell dcs are largely where 3.x falls flat on its face. Why do you think gestalt play is so popular? Why do you think it had to introduce a class like mystic theurge? Why do you think the low will save is such a problem for high level fighters?

Yes, it takes further development for it to truly work as intended, but I feel the fundamental idea that every character can choose freely where to take class levels, and switch those as the events decree is just awesome.

The implementation of caster multiclassing was horrible leading to all those patch PrCs. Also, the implementation of base saves and BAB while multiclassing was horrible, but that's what Fractional BAB/Saves were written for. Martial multiclassing works perfectly fine, IMHO.

You can make a Fighter, a Fighter/Barbarian, a Fighter/Ranger, a Ranger/Barbarian, a Barbarian, a Ranger, a Fighter/Rogue, a Fighter/Rogue/Barbarian and so on to cover countless and countless sets of class features and it all works out; the only drawback is that the class design wasn't planned with this in mind leaving a lot of untapped potential.


But it was the first edition with this kind of multiclassing (unfortunately, seems like Wizards thought they couldn't fix it and as such, the last edition too) and the idea is what I adore. Of course, the implementation is going to be far from perfect, especially with WoTC's playtesting; they didn't playtest what kind of gameplay the new edition works for, but how the old gameplay seemed like in the new environment.

As such, sure you need some rewriting to get caster multiclassing to work. I've got a few ideas on how to accomplish it with Vancian casters; every other system practically solves this by itself. Ardent+Practiced Manifester giving a solid shell to add to Psionics, ToB has a built-in IL system to cover this, Incarnum has feats to cover most of what you need (though could probably use some help in this) and ToM offers some nice progressions with feats, while giving single-classed characters some abilities these feats can't buy. Some class rewriting would also be called for to generate sufficiently stable class feature progression to give both, single-classed and multi-classed characters something at various points making it always a trade off.


And Fighter's Will-save is hardly a problem if you know what you're doing. If anything, in AD&D the "poor progression saves" were much more of a problem since there was practically nothing you could do to speed up the progress.

In 3.5, you have feats that can vary stats you add to the save, you have ACFs (such as Resolute for Fighter) that give up something else to patch up a vulnerability, you have equipment that can cover this and so on. Hell, even multiclassing can help.

If you're playing a Fighter and the Fighter realizes how dangerous he is to his friends if he cannot protect his mind, he can engage in practice that makes up for that vulnerability in no time. Not true in Core, of course, but that's just one of the billion Core-problems.


I think the best thing 3.0 introduced were the 3 saving throw categories; it's always hokey at best in AD&D to say "roll a save vs paralysis or you will be knocked off your feet."

I do like the prestige classes that aren't patches to the multiclassing system but actually something meaningful, like the thaumaturge or the archmage. But I would have preferred splatbooks full of more substitution levels and class variants and less prestige classes.

This I can agree with. Again, I'm not at all satisfied with how most things were ultimately implemented in 3.5, but I do love the ideas and the fundamentals of the system, the consistency in how you gain abilities in various classes, the skill system (the idea there-of anyways) and so on.

To me, 3.5 is like a rough diamond; it has an incredible number of great ideas, but they're all rough on the sides. I guess that's why so many of us were so disappointed when 4.0 wasn't a total rewrite of 3.X.


EDIT: At Rituals, I actually do like them in a way in lieu of Vancian casting. As I like to think of it, a ritual is the "complete casting of a spell". As such, every spell is a ritual. The morning preparation of a Wizard therefore involves casting these rituals leaving them just lacking the finish and effectively storing the energy/spell in their mind.

Then this ritual can be called for when you cast the spell. The actual ritual takes a long time which is why Wizards prepare spells, but when necessary, they can call upon any spell they know just given the time. I know this is nothing like what 4e does with them, but I feel it's most logical and while still maintaining Wizards as they are, gives a new ounce of resilience to them in the long run.

Swordguy
2009-11-28, 08:06 PM
I have to admit, I rather like the idea of giving 2e wizards rituals in addition to memorized spells. I'd probably do something like "a non-combat spell (as determined by the DM - usually a spell that cannot injure or incapacitate any creature) can be cast as a ritual by spending the same amount of time it would take to memorize the spell to cast the ritual, and by using all applicable material components. If the caster is disturbed during the ritual (with the same definitions of "disturbed" as when casting a spell in combat), the ritual fails and expendable material components are destroyed".

Whatever it ends up being, this bears thinking upon. Into my houserule binder you go!

tyckspoon
2009-11-28, 08:24 PM
I have to admit, I rather like the idea of giving 2e wizards rituals in addition to memorized spells. I'd probably do something like "a non-combat spell (as determined by the DM - usually a spell that cannot injure or incapacitate any creature) can be cast as a ritual by spending the same amount of time it would take to memorize the spell to cast the ritual, and by using all applicable material components. If the caster is disturbed during the ritual (with the same definitions of "disturbed" as when casting a spell in combat), the ritual fails and expendable material components are destroyed".


That's actually a pretty natural follow-on from the basic fluff of Vancian spellcasting. If the process of 'preparing' a spell actually involves casting most of it and then locking it away in your head with just the final gestures and phrases left to activate it, then it makes perfect sense that instead of choosing to put it in one of your spell slots you can just finish it right there and cast the spell.

Swordguy
2009-11-28, 08:35 PM
That's actually a pretty natural follow-on from the basic fluff of Vancian spellcasting. If the process of 'preparing' a spell actually involves casting most of it and then locking it away in your head with just the final gestures and phrases left to activate it, then it makes perfect sense that instead of choosing to put it in one of your spell slots you can just finish it right there and cast the spell.


Yeah, that's kinda the reasoning I had too. And, IIRC, the PHB says that a wizard can only cast X number of memorized spells a day. Important distinction. It ain't memorized if you just cast the spell straight-up. :smallamused:

arguskos
2009-11-28, 08:42 PM
Yeah, that's kinda the reasoning I had too. And, IIRC, the PHB says that a wizard can only cast X number of memorized spells a day. Important distinction. It ain't memorized if you just cast the spell straight-up. :smallamused:
Oh good lord, that's the start some something truly RAWtarded right there. *checks 3.5 PHB*

Oracle_Hunter
2009-11-28, 09:20 PM
I have to admit, I rather like the idea of giving 2e wizards rituals in addition to memorized spells. I'd probably do something like "a non-combat spell (as determined by the DM - usually a spell that cannot injure or incapacitate any creature) can be cast as a ritual by spending the same amount of time it would take to memorize the spell to cast the ritual, and by using all applicable material components. If the caster is disturbed during the ritual (with the same definitions of "disturbed" as when casting a spell in combat), the ritual fails and expendable material components are destroyed".

Whatever it ends up being, this bears thinking upon. Into my houserule binder you go!
Maaaybe, but then I worry about Batman Wizards in 2E.

Really, I'd go the opposite route - allow 2E Wizards a reservoir of minor magical attacks (1d4, Save vs. Spell for No Damage) so that they wouldn't have to resort to the undignified habit of chucking darts at things. This keeps them lively at low levels but, being unenhanceable and weak, they should fall by the wayside when Wizards start throwing Fireballs around.

Whether it'd be limited or at-will is another question entirely.

...but I'm not going to use such a thing. When I'm playing 2E, I'm playing for flavor - 3d6, in order, for stats, as an example :smallbiggrin:

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 09:22 PM
Yeah, that's kinda the reasoning I had too. And, IIRC, the PHB says that a wizard can only cast X number of memorized spells a day. Important distinction. It ain't memorized if you just cast the spell straight-up. :smallamused:

If you're talking about AD&D, You can only cast spells that are memorized and to memorize a spell you have to sleep first. There's no "spell swapping" either so you have to cast all the spells in your memory (tons of fireballs going off in the night) then sleep, then study your book for 10 minutes per spell level per spell.


I have to admit, I rather like the idea of giving 2e wizards rituals in addition to memorized spells. I'd probably do something like "a non-combat spell (as determined by the DM - usually a spell that cannot injure or incapacitate any creature) can be cast as a ritual by spending the same amount of time it would take to memorize the spell to cast the ritual, and by using all applicable material components. If the caster is disturbed during the ritual (with the same definitions of "disturbed" as when casting a spell in combat), the ritual fails and expendable material components are destroyed".

Whatever it ends up being, this bears thinking upon. Into my houserule binder you go!

Another big difference between AD&D and 3E is that you're supposed to be adventuring, not stopping every five steps to take 20 on a check or rememorizing spells for beneficial play. If a spell could have made your life easier then too bad. You can't win every situation or predict every hazard and the rules encouraged you to suck it up and press on. If you tried the "15-minute day" thing by resting inside a dungeon, RAW had you roll on the random encounter chart (and dungeon random encounters were something like once-every-ten-minutes opposed to wilderness encounters which were once an hour and even then monsters roamed so a random encounter at a dungeon entrance would likely lead to a band of hungry wandering monsters).

Adventuring in AD&D was supposed to be fast and furious. There were no magic shops (yes, magic items had NO price) so players were the ones designing adventures because that was the only way to obtain treasure of a specific type. A literal play session could be



Fighter: I could use a magic sword before tackling the dragon's lair. Wizard! Find adventuring sights now!

Wizard: *rolls ancient history check and turns to DM

DM: *rolls on treasure chart and picks a magic weapon and armor then passes a note to wizard*

Wizard: Five hundred years ago a cruel baron, realizing his death drew near, went through the dark ritual to become a lich. It was fortold on the third day of the third month of the third year in the third decade of the third century that his keep would rise from the mist and the baron would haunt the realms.

Fighter: That's tomorrow! ADVENTURERS CLUB PACK UP AND ROLL OUT!


I can't remember how many times I, as DM, came to the table unprepared only to have my group go "Those frost giants to the north have been giving me the creeps. Let's kill them!" I hadn't even established frost giants anywhere near the party but the guys were dead set on killing giants so I whipped out the monster manual, some stock NPCs, and created an entire 3-part adventure setting out of it. I can't say the same thing has ever happened to me in a 3E game because the shift is on the DM supplying the adventures and wealth-by-level not the PCs motivation to actually make money.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-11-28, 09:26 PM
I can't remember how many times I, as DM, came to the table unprepared only to have my group go "Those frost giants to the north have been giving me the creeps. Let's kill them!" I hadn't even established frost giants anywhere near the party but the guys were dead set on killing giants so I whipped out the monster manual, some stock NPCs, and created an entire 3-part adventure setting out of it. I can't say the same thing has ever happened to me in a 3E game because the shift is on the DM supplying the adventures and wealth-by-level not the PCs motivation to actually make money.
So your players were in the habit of declaring war on a potentially hypothetical threat? :smallconfused:

Maybe my PCs weren't as... proactive as yours, but in general they fished about for plot hooks and seized 'em as they came.

...now that I think about it, I've never actually run a Treasure Map Crawl. I really should get around to that someday.

jmbrown
2009-11-28, 09:40 PM
So your players were in the habit of declaring war on a potentially hypothetical threat? :smallconfused:

Maybe my PCs weren't as... proactive as yours, but in general they fished about for plot hooks and seized 'em as they came.

...now that I think about it, I've never actually run a Treasure Map Crawl. I really should get around to that someday.

That's why I liked it. It wasn't a "potentially hypothetical" threat because the players took an active role in world building. If they said an army of frost giants was gathering to the north of their stronghold, my response was a weakened band of adventurers banging on their door asking for sanctuary. If the PCs allowed it, the adventurers said how they went on a recon mission but were discovered and almost killed. The PCs, for their generosity, have new allies. If they ignore the threat and decide to do something else they'll come back to a jarl tossing rocks at their towers.

If the PCs said it, it existed. I just happened to put my own twist to things. An army of frost giants gathering to the north? Thanks for the idea guys; I'll just write on my sheet behind the DM screen that they're being led by a white wyrm who's in turn being bullied by a death slaad and his army looking to draw attention from himself so he can launch a planar invasion.

That's at least 5 play sessions right there.

My players were quick to learn not to talk out-of-character at the table because I follow the "all rumors are true" trope. My first game of 3E had the party crossing a bridge and someone jokingly said "I wonder if there are bridge trolls around here." They were immediately challenged by a water troll who demanded tax.

The encounter ended up with two PCs ripped in half. Good times.

arguskos
2009-11-28, 09:43 PM
My players were quick to learn not to talk out-of-character at the table because I follow the "all rumors are true" trope. My first game of 3E had the party crossing a bridge and someone jokingly said "I wonder if there are bridge trolls around here." They were immediately challenged by a water troll who demanded tax.

The encounter ended up with two PCs ripped in half. Good times.
Damn, that's amusing as hell right there. :smallbiggrin: Sir, you are the DM I wish I could be.

Roderick_BR
2009-11-29, 02:47 AM
http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs28/f/2008/161/c/e/4e_DnD__DMG_Chp__1__by_RalphHorsley.jpg
The way they've been "humanizing" the halflings since 3.0, this image makes the halfling standing close to the dwarf look like a human close do a hill giant.

Tetsubo 57
2009-11-29, 03:01 AM
The way they've been "humanizing" the halflings since 3.0, this image makes the halfling standing close to the dwarf look like a human close do a hill giant.

For me the change to halflings in 3E was welcomed. I much preferred them to the 2E 'hobbits'. I think in the entire run of the 1E and 2E rules I played one halfling. 3E made them much more attractive to me. The only thing that 3E really failed at was translating the 2E settings. 2E was great at settings.

ken-do-nim
2009-11-29, 12:10 PM
For me the change to halflings in 3E was welcomed. I much preferred them to the 2E 'hobbits'. I think in the entire run of the 1E and 2E rules I played one halfling. 3E made them much more attractive to me. The only thing that 3E really failed at was translating the 2E settings. 2E was great at settings.

Yeah, I think that was because 3E's motto was "back to the dungeon". It's funny that despite the mechanical similarity between 1E and 2E, 3E claimed more in common conceptually with 1E.

I think the one 2E setting/system I wish I had more exposure to was Birthright. Oh, and Planescape.

Edit: Eldariel, good post back there on pg 2 replying to mine.

Faulty
2009-11-29, 03:39 PM
This thread has been quite an interesting read, and I plan on tracking down the 2E handbooks as a result.

Radiun
2009-11-29, 03:54 PM
This thread has been quite an interesting read, and I plan on tracking down the 2E handbooks as a result.

Even if you don't like the system, read the monster manuals
So much flavour it's to die for. Oh ecologies.

like weird diseases that boost your mooks but are fatal
A weird old man living in a giant shell is actually a morphed hermit crab like creature that will wine you, dine you, give you a place to sleep, and promptly lock you in the shell's basement in the night and take you back to his city where you will be a zoo animal.

Vorpalbob
2009-11-29, 05:51 PM
AD&D? Love it, love it love it love it love it.

My only complaint, looking back from 3.5, is the overly-complicated upside down AC, requiring those hit tables. Gary must have had a face-palm moment when he realized that an AC that went *up* as it got better would have been much easier to work with.

Other than that, arguably better than 3.0.

Matthew
2009-11-29, 05:56 PM
My only complaint, looking back from 3.5, is the overly-complicated upside down AC, requiring those hit tables. Gary must have had a face-palm moment when he realized that an AC that went *up* as it got better would have been much easier to work with.

Arneson seems to have been responsible for inverting armour class (in Chain Mail it went up). Gygax indicates in the DMG that he kept that form in AD&D mainly for the sake of continuity.

ken-do-nim
2009-11-29, 08:23 PM
This thread has been quite an interesting read, and I plan on tracking down the 2E handbooks as a result.

What a happy result of this discussion!

CorvidMP
2009-11-30, 09:01 AM
I absolutely loved 2ed when i was playing it back in the day, but i always thought it had a lot of problems even then. The lack of viable custumization with out wierd kit rules, the counter inutitive thaco, and those needlessly complicated and arbitrary saving throws that were needlessly specific and poorly explained (wth does the save against wands staves and wands represent and why am i using it to avoid a trap? if its supposed to represent how quick i am why not just call it that? and is petrification so comon it needs its own damn stat?).
Of course most games in those days paid only lip serice to anything resembling balance, rule coherency/tranparency and streamlining. My other big game was shadowrun and that was practically like having to learn 3 totally different systems with the magic and net rules.

3e fixed so much for DnD it was mind boggling. And hell even with some of its problems (caster balance, DMing being such a chore, and just a general lack of anything interesting for melee classes to do in a fight etc.) it's still a pretty damn good system (i especially like the monte cook off shoots Iron Heroes, and Arcana Unearthed) and i undersatand why a lot of ppl will continue to play it and pathfinder into perpetuity, even as i personally have moved on to 4ed.

I guess what i'm getting at is that one must look at 2ed in the context of both its early years (when for its time it was a remarkably concise and well written roleplaying game) and its later years (when the rest of the gaming world had learned from 10 years of 2ed's mistakes, while 2ed was locked into continuing to repeat them)

Lvl45DM!
2009-11-30, 09:14 AM
2E main attraction for me is its lack of rules. Im a DM lately but a player first and foremost so not having all this minutia to bog the game down is annoy
AoO anyone?

jmbrown
2009-11-30, 09:33 AM
Someone earlier in this thread mentioned how 4E was more of a continuation of 2E and not 3E and I dismissed it with a "Pfffft." Then I woke up this morning and realized how genius the statement was. 4E's design truly is a continuation of 2E as opposed to 3E. I think I'll have to make a topic about this, now.


2E main attraction for me is its lack of rules. Im a DM lately but a player first and foremost so not having all this minutia to bog the game down is annoy
AoO anyone?

I liked how building monsters in 2E was a 60-second affair. All monsters had d8 hit dice with the same THAC0 and saves progression. Just cross reference their hit dice with the charts and BAM 90% of the monster was finished. From there the DM could assign special abilities on a whim such as how many extra hit points it got, what special abilities/weaknesses/resistances it had, etc.

Meanwhile, creating a monster in 3E required you to jot down its base statistics, calculate saving throws, skill points, natural weapons, base attack, grapple, possible spell casting and the levels it has, ARGHAGHAFHGHAGHAGHFGH

Matthew
2009-11-30, 10:01 AM
Someone earlier in this thread mentioned how 4E was more of a continuation of 2E and not 3E and I dismissed it with a "Pfffft." Then I woke up this morning and realized how genius the statement was. 4E's design truly is a continuation of 2E as opposed to 3E. I think I'll have to make a topic about this, now.

That contention has been made ever since D20/4e turned up; basically, it is the same contention that was made about D20/3e and its relation to first edition. The reality is also similar in that in some ways they are more similar to one another than D20/3e and in other ways they are worlds apart.

Zombimode
2009-11-30, 10:02 AM
Someone earlier in this thread mentioned how 4E was more of a continuation of 2E and not 3E and I dismissed it with a "Pfffft." Then I woke up this morning and realized how genius the statement was. 4E's design truly is a continuation of 2E as opposed to 3E. I think I'll have to make a topic about this, now.

Why do you think this is the case? Because I REALY dont see it. In my view 4e has so many concepts that DIRECTLY contradict the ideas of 2e and even statements in the 2e DMG.

Maybe you think of AD&D 1e.

jmbrown
2009-11-30, 11:02 AM
Why do you think this is the case? Because I REALY dont see it. In my view 4e has so many concepts that DIRECTLY contradict the ideas of 2e and even statements in the 2e DMG.

Maybe you think of AD&D 1e.

Several reasons off the top of my head without going into too many details right now.

Few Rules, Many Exceptions: This is the core #1 assumption of 4E as it is with AD&D. The core rules were light because it was designed to build a strong foundation. Additional material was added in Dragon magazine and in supplements and 2E added dozens of optional variants for those that wanted them. Key word here: optional. 3E bloated the PHB with rules and mechanics (all of the combat maneuvers like bull rush, charge, shield bash, grappling, etc.) that they later tried to fix in splat books with varying success or just flat out ignored.

Non-combat Mechanics:Gygax didn't care for mechanics that didn't directly influence the game (IE didn't help you adventure). Many fans of 3E complained about the neutering of skills in 4E by saying it restricted versatility for non-combat. This isn't the case; 4E simply doesn't care about non-combat mechanics. Gygax would be quoted as saying "If it isn't in the book, DMs should ad-hoc it." A 4E character can be a cook, blacksmith, or what have you there just aren't rules attached to it because they aren't important and the designers know that, being a game of combat, people will always pick combat oriented feats over non-combat unless the game itself is tailored towards the latter.

Fixed Skills: The assumption in AD&D and 4E is that everyone is average at everything but some people are experts at it. Just because a rogue has percentages for hiding and climbing doesn't mean no one else can't climb, it just means the rogue has a hand-waving automatic success chance that other people lack. In 4E, you're either trained in a skill or you aren't. This is completely counteractive to 3E's skills which, giving the fast incremental DCs and opposing rolls, means that characters who don't pump full points into their skill or max out their potential through magic will easily be trumped by everything.

Fixed Economy: Gygax hated the idea of magic shops and while 4E assigns a cost to magic items, the designers specifically mention that it's always better to find magic through adventuring than buying it from a store. Because items were 1/5th the price in sale/disenchanting, hauling magic items around wasn't advisable because they depreciate in value rapidly.

Specific Roles: 4E gives specific roles to every class; striker, defender, controller, and leader. A balanced party should have one of each. Like in AD&D, an unbalanced party would have a more difficult time than a balanced one. This is in direct contrast to 3E where one of the most talked about criticism is the concept of "tiers."

An AD&D wizard couldn't replace the value of a fighter. A cleric couldn't replace the value of a thief. Even at level 20 when the wizard could time stop and gate, the fighter could still win the day. Each class was important because they had specific abilities no one else had. Likewise in 4E, defenders can mark, drawing attention away from controllers who debilitate opponents allowing strikers to dish out the damage while leader's keep everyone recharged. A fighter could become trained in stealth or disabling traps and he could take multiclass feats to obtain other class powers, but he'll never be as good as a rogue. This is in contrast to 3E where classes, specifically rogue (and I was going to post this in the "rogues" topic), serve as little more than a stepping stone for PrCs.

Fixed Increase in Power: AD&D had a fixed level of power. THAC0 capped at 1, regardless of modifiers and AC capped at -10. In 3E conversion, this meant BAB +19 and AC 30 which is laughable even for a 10th level character. 4E makes the base assumption that, through magic items and the 1/2 level deal, your character gets (on average) a +1 to their attack, AC, and defenses every level. You simply can't make this assumption in 3E because magic that increases saves and AC is ridiculously cheap.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-30, 11:37 AM
(regarding the assertion that 4E is somehow a continuation of 2E)



Few Rules, Many Exceptions: This is the core #1 assumption of 4E as it is with AD&D.
Except that it's not. 4E is a clear example of exception-based design, comparable to Magic the Gathering and similar games. There are set rules how the game works that apply in every case, except that every player gets discrete powers (or cards) that may contradict and override those in specific uncommon cases. This is different from whereas the 1E/2E principle, which has rules only for common cases, and let the DM wing it for everything else. The latter is much more rules-light and much more dependent on how your DM works.


Non-combat Mechanics:Gygax didn't care for mechanics that didn't directly influence the game (IE didn't help you adventure).
Regardless of EGG's opinion on the matter, 2E clearly does have non-combat mechanics, such as "secondary skills" and many non-weapon proficiencies that have no clear use for an adventurer, explained ecologies of pretty much everything in the monster manual, and a lengthy list of mundane goods you can buy. 4E has none of that, and the designers have explicitly said that what monsters can do outside the 3-5 rounds where they fight the PCs doesn't matter.


Fixed Skills: The assumption in AD&D and 4E is that everyone is average at everything but some people are experts at it.
Aside from the point that 4E "experts" really aren't all that much better at their skill than "non-experts", the assumption in AD&D really isn't that "everyone is average". Rather, if you're not a rogue, you can't use most rogue skills period, and if you don't have the Religion non-weapon prof, then you simply don't know much about religion.


Fixed Economy: Gygax hated the idea of magic shops and while 4E assigns a cost to magic items, the designers specifically mention that it's always better to find magic through adventuring
Where 2E offers random item tables, 4E offers the suggestion that players make a list of Items They Want and that the DM gives them those. 4E also lets any characters of level 2 or higher start with three items of their choice, and makes it easy for everyone to enchant the item they want even if there is no magic shop. 4E is all about getting the exact items you want, whereas 2E is about getting random or quirky items and seeing what you can do with those.



Specific Roles: 4E gives specific roles to every class; striker, defender, controller, and leader. A balanced party should have one of each. Like in AD&D, an unbalanced party would have a more difficult time than a balanced one.
Yes, that's the suggestion 4E gives, but it turns out in practice that strikers, defenders, and controllers are mostly interchangeable. As long as you have at least one healer, it doesn't matter what your party composition is. So again 4E is the opposite of AD&D, in that the former suggests you follow a strict party composition that in practice doesn't matter, whereas the latter suggests you play what you feel like, but in practice it'll screw you over if your party composition fails.



Fixed Increase in Power: AD&D had a fixed level of power.
No it didn't. Power in AD&D is wildly variable depending on what you roll on your hit dice, what items you get on random treasure, what spells you get, and so forth. It offers a huge difference in power differential even among characters of the same level. 4E doesn't: all characters of level X are approxiately the same power (and also, all characters of two levels higher or lower, because it really doesn't make that much of a difference) barring a few design flaws like stunlock orbizards.

So no, 4E is nothing like 1E or 2E, despite WOTC's marketing department attempting to claim the opposite.

Radiun
2009-11-30, 11:47 AM
[...]Power in AD&D is wildly variable depending on what you roll on your hit dice, what items you get on random treasure, what spells you get, and so forth.[...]

Not to mention what class you took (differing XP progressions and whatnot).

jmbrown
2009-11-30, 12:19 PM
Except that it's not. 4E is a clear example of exception-based design, comparable to Magic the Gathering and similar games. There are set rules how the game works that apply in every case, except that every player gets discrete powers (or cards) that may contradict and override those in specific uncommon cases. This is different from whereas the 1E/2E principle, which has rules only for common cases, and let the DM wing it for everything else. The latter is much more rules-light and much more dependent on how your DM works.

I'm talking about building upon existing rules. Core 2E has simple initiative (roll 1d10, see who goes first), simple rules for non-lethal combat, simple rules for memorizing spells, no encumbrance, etc. Then they built upon these rules by adding the options to include categorical encumbrance, using group initiative and weapon speeds, how spells are memorized and max spells known, incremental encumbrance instead of the standard encumbrance categories, etc.

If you add a rule in 2E or 4E, you're not going to contradict an old rule you're going to superscede it because no class uses that rule exclusively. Try rewriting the way spells are learned, how full attacks are handled, or grappling in 3E and you have to take into account every single class feature or feat that might use what you've written.


Regardless of EGG's opinion on the matter, 2E clearly does have non-combat mechanics, such as "secondary skills" and many non-weapon proficiencies that have no clear use for an adventurer, explained ecologies of pretty much everything in the monster manual, and a lengthy list of mundane goods you can buy. 4E has none of that, and the designers have explicitly said that what monsters can do outside the 3-5 rounds where they fight the PCs doesn't matter.

Optional mechanics. Optional. You don't have to use proficiencies and the rules are written assuming you're not using them. Whenever an optional rule comes into question, the text appears in a blue box and specifically states "If you're using the [optional whatever] system, then..."

As far as ecologies go, that was a mechanic that could have been ignored. 4E assumes that, outside of combat, "Your world, your rules." As much as I loved the monster ecology, it wasn't important to how monsters fought which is what players will care about 99% of the time.


Aside from the point that 4E "experts" really aren't all that much better at their skill than "non-experts", the assumption in AD&D really isn't that "everyone is average". Rather, if you're not a rogue, you can't use most rogue skills period, and if you don't have the Religion non-weapon prof, then you simply don't know much about religion.

Not one bit. One of the very first items in AD&D 2E's glossary was ability score checks. Basically, if you wanted to do something not specifically listed, roll against the relevant ability score. A fighter could check against dexterity to disable a trap but in nearly every single case a thief would have a much higher chance of disabling it simply through class features.

Under the proficiency system, yes, things were more strict. Nobody could swim unless they were proficient in swimming. They could check against their strength to see if they would stay afloat but even reading your native language was impossible without read/write language.

Then again, proficiencies were, yeah, optional.


Where 2E offers random item tables, 4E offers the suggestion that players make a list of Items They Want and that the DM gives them those. 4E also lets any characters of level 2 or higher start with three items of their choice, and makes it easy for everyone to enchant the item they want even if there is no magic shop. 4E is all about getting the exact items you want, whereas 2E is about getting random or quirky items and seeing what you can do with those.


4E has a random treasure table and the DM is encouraged to use that but even then in 2E it's specifically written that DM's should give items, not roll randomly. A player may list an item he wants but it doesn't matter because he's going to get N level +3 magic foo, N level +2 potions, etc. As far as enchanting goes, 2E assumed that every spell caster after 9th level researched and/or enchanted his own items and you can't deny this because enchanting/researching items even gave experience point awards! But, as in 4E, adventuring for items was always better than creating your own because you can only create your level in magic where adventuring would give you better equipment.


Yes, that's the suggestion 4E gives, but it turns out in practice that strikers, defenders, and controllers are mostly interchangeable. As long as you have at least one healer, it doesn't matter what your party composition is. So again 4E is the opposite of AD&D, in that the former suggests you follow a strict party composition that in practice doesn't matter, whereas the latter suggests you play what you feel like, but in practice it'll screw you over if your party composition fails.

I have never DM'd a 4E game where I created encounters following the DMG that didn't end in a near TPK against a one-sided party. All the healing in the world be damned, a soldier-type monster with its high defenses will wreck controllers like a artillery-type monster with its area attacks will wreck strikers.


No it didn't. Power in AD&D is wildly variable depending on what you roll on your hit dice, what items you get on random treasure, what spells you get, and so forth. It offers a huge difference in power differential even among characters of the same level. 4E doesn't: all characters of level X are approxiately the same power (and also, all characters of two levels higher or lower, because it really doesn't make that much of a difference) barring a few design flaws like stunlock orbizards.

At early levels in 2E, yes. After you're done gaining HD your hp is fixed permanently. In 4E, early level characters are nearly identical but start to branch off once they hit paragon and their abilities and magic items become more varied.

Regardless, I can always expect 2E warriors to lose 1 THAC0 each level like I can expect 4E characters to gain +1 to their attacks every 2 levels. Very few magic items will give them a vastly differing THAC0 or AC bonus.


So no, 4E is nothing like 1E or 2E, despite WOTC's marketing department attempting to claim the opposite

I've never read WotC making that assumption. I'm making it.


Not to mention what class you took (differing XP progressions and whatnot).

This was a balancing mechanic. A level 9 wizard was more powerful than a level 9 fighter. That still didn't mean the wizard could mechanically replace a fighter of the same level it just meant the wizard had access to more rule breaking abilities.

kjones
2009-11-30, 06:52 PM
A fighter could check against dexterity to disable a trap but in nearly every single case a thief would have a much higher chance of disabling it simply through class features.


Regardless of your other points, I'm pretty sure that this is flat-out false. A 1st-level fighter with average dex (10) would have a 50% chance of disabling with a simple Dex check. A thief probably wouldn't get his Find/Remove Traps skill that high until later - I'm AFB and haven't played for a while, but I remember my 5th level thief having Find/Remove Traps at around 50%.

Sure, you could have the fighter roll half dex or whatever, but I'm pretty sure that thief skills were things that were explicitly restricted to thieves.

jmbrown
2009-11-30, 07:05 PM
Regardless of your other points, I'm pretty sure that this is flat-out false. A 1st-level fighter with average dex (10) would have a 50% chance of disabling with a simple Dex check. A thief probably wouldn't get his Find/Remove Traps skill that high until later - I'm AFB and haven't played for a while, but I remember my 5th level thief having Find/Remove Traps at around 50%.

Sure, you could have the fighter roll half dex or whatever, but I'm pretty sure that thief skills were things that were explicitly restricted to thieves.

There's nothing stopping a fighter from disarming a trap. What sets the thief apart is that he can find traps. Automatically. Simply by touching the object that may be trapped. The fighter can't do that. Furthermore, the thief's percentage score only represents whether or not he can remove a trap automatically. If you fail, you can't remove it. Simple as that. There's a small, 4% chance (96-100 on your d% roll) that you spring the trap.

Nobody else can get an automatic search for a trap and if they fail their check to disarm then it's up to the DM what to do with them. Penalties also directly apply to your ability score for checks using it; a fighter, with no experience disarming and without the tools to disarm, would get a pretty hefty penalty to do it. That's why most parties carry around poles for prodding and heavy stones.

Regardless, I'm not going to argue further on the topic of 2E->4E because A) it's off topic, B) it's an endless argument of my-opinion-vs-your-opinion, and C) my sudden burst of insight is gone and I really don't care anymore Alright, way to dodge the subject!

Someone else mentioned earlier how 2E had the best campaign settings and I couldn't agree more. I recently bought the boxed copy of Council of Wyrms off eBay. I remember playing it a few times as a kid and it was the greatest thing ever because you were a dragon.

A democratic dragon.

kjones
2009-11-30, 11:09 PM
There's nothing stopping a fighter from disarming a trap. What sets the thief apart is that he can find traps. Automatically. Simply by touching the object that may be trapped. The fighter can't do that. Furthermore, the thief's percentage score only represents whether or not he can remove a trap automatically. If you fail, you can't remove it. Simple as that. There's a small, 4% chance (96-100 on your d% roll) that you spring the trap.

Nobody else can get an automatic search for a trap and if they fail their check to disarm then it's up to the DM what to do with them. Penalties also directly apply to your ability score for checks using it; a fighter, with no experience disarming and without the tools to disarm, would get a pretty hefty penalty to do it. That's why most parties carry around poles for prodding and heavy stones.

Regardless, I'm not going to argue further on the topic of 2E->4E because A) it's off topic, B) it's an endless argument of my-opinion-vs-your-opinion, and C) my sudden burst of insight is gone and I really don't care anymore Alright, way to dodge the subject!

Someone else mentioned earlier how 2E had the best campaign settings and I couldn't agree more. I recently bought the boxed copy of Council of Wyrms off eBay. I remember playing it a few times as a kid and it was the greatest thing ever because you were a dragon.

A democratic dragon.

So, here's the question, then - why did Spelljammer and Dark Sun never get updated to 3.5? And what new campaign settings did we get for 3.5? (Aside from Eberron, of course.) I feel like there were a lot fewer campaign settings for 3.5e than for 2e.

jmbrown
2009-11-30, 11:23 PM
So, here's the question, then - why did Spelljammer and Dark Sun never get updated to 3.5? And what new campaign settings did we get for 3.5? (Aside from Eberron, of course.) I feel like there were a lot fewer campaign settings for 3.5e than for 2e.

Good question. It's probably because they wanted to focus on one thing. 2E had awesome campaigns but only a handful books were ever released for anything outside of Forgotten Realms.

I do miss the additional flavor although some of them have been updated in Dragon. Al Qadim, Dark Sun, and Planescape forever have a special place in my heart.

In case you don't know, Spelljammer was discontinued by TSR before Wizards bought them and a fan website (http://www.spelljammer.org/) publishes material now. I don't know if they still update but they're there if you want it.

Mike_G
2009-11-30, 11:36 PM
In all fairness, a campaign setting is one of the easiest things to update. A lot of it is fluff, and what mechanics there are are pretty much homebrewed anyway, so converting is fairly easy.

If you miss Spelljammer, it wouldn't be that much work to do Spelljamer 3.5.

We've used the same setting for 1e-3.5.

jmbrown
2009-11-30, 11:42 PM
In all fairness, a campaign setting is one of the easiest things to update. A lot of it is fluff, and what mechanics there are are pretty much homebrewed anyway, so converting is fairly easy.

If you miss Spelljammer, it wouldn't be that much work to do Spelljamer 3.5.

We've used the same setting for 1e-3.5.

It's a matter of popularity. How many people would play a game of Dark Sun, even if updated to 3.5, if I posted it in the recruit board? Now that 4E is releasing a version of Dark Sun and more people are discovering it, the chances of playing earlier versions is higher as people are curious about a game's origins.

The conversion factor isn't a problem as much as finding other players is.

Matthew
2009-12-01, 05:04 AM
Dark Sun and Spell Jammer were both converted to D20/3e at their respective WotC endorsed fan sites:

Spell Jammer (http://www.spelljammer.org/)
Dark Sun (http://www.athas.org/)

The Dark Sun site has been playing up recently, not sure why.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 05:05 AM
I'm talking about building upon existing rules. Core 2E has simple initiative (roll 1d10, see who goes first), simple rules for non-lethal combat, simple rules for memorizing spells, no encumbrance, etc.
Precisely. 2E has simple rules that cover common cases, and a load of optional rules for extra cases. 4E has neither: it has simple rules that cover every case, and a load of specific exceptions that aren't optional. In that is very different from 2E.

Of course, houserules are irrelevant to that: they are exceedingly common in every edition, and it's simply false that houseruling 3E is complicated (as evidenced by this very message board).


Optional mechanics. Optional. You don't have to use proficiencies and the rules are written assuming you're not using them.
Okay, so 2E has optional rules (albeit highly visible ones in the very first book) for out-of-combat activities like dancing, pottery and so forth, whereas 4E has no rules for that. That means they're different, again.

(mind you, I'm not saying that rules for such activities are necessary or desirable; the point is that a significant difference between 2E and 4E is that the former has such rules, and the latter does not)


As much as I loved the monster ecology, it wasn't important to how monsters fought which is what players will care about 99% of the time.
I'm not saying that ecologies are important (that's a matter of taste); I am saying that this is another point where 4E is nothing like 2E.


One of the very first items in AD&D 2E's glossary was ability score checks. Basically, if you wanted to do something not specifically listed, roll against the relevant ability score.
If you interpret the rule that way, then you immediately obsolete most non-weapon proficiencies and thief abilities. Who on earth is going to invest in Tightrope Walking or Pick Pockets if your DM will let you do either on a successful dex check?

But this is another point where 4E is different from 2E, further invalidating your claim that they are similar. Notice a pattern here? You score zero out of three so far.



4E has a random treasure table and the DM is encouraged to use that but even then in 2E it's specifically written that DM's should give items, not roll randomly.
Even with your allegation that in 2E DMs are supposed to hand out exactly what the players want and in 4E they're supposed to hand it out randomly, the fact remains that regardless of your DMs opinion, 4E makes it extremely easy to get exactly what you want using the Enchant Item ritual, whereas 2E makes this pretty hard (e.g. because Permanency is an 8th-level spell).


I have never DM'd a 4E game where I created encounters following the DMG that didn't end in a near TPK against a one-sided party.
Okay, now you're completely exaggerating.



At early levels in 2E, yes. After you're done gaining HD your hp is fixed permanently. In 4E, early level characters are nearly identical but start to branch off once they hit paragon and their abilities and magic items become more varied.
Okay, so that's another major difference between 4E and AD&D.


I've never read WotC making that assumption. I'm making it.
Regardless, it should be clear by now that this assumption is blatantly incorrect.

System philosophy? Different. Out-of-combat rules? Fundamentally different. Monster backgrounds? Important in one, nonexistent in the other. Getting the exact treasure you want? Very easy in one, difficult in the other. Power level at a certain character level? Widely divergent in one, mostly the same in the other. The pattern is very obvious.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 05:09 AM
So, here's the question, then - why did Spelljammer and Dark Sun never get updated to 3.5? And what new campaign settings did we get for 3.5? (Aside from Eberron, of course.) I feel like there were a lot fewer campaign settings for 3.5e than for 2e.
It's a matter of business strategy. If, as a company, you release two different campaign settings, you are essentially competing against yourself. If you release ten different campaign settings, you're increasing the problem, and you'll also need more people to support all that.

The paradigm of "focusing on your core business" essentially means investing your energy in the two or three most popular campaign settings, rather than in twelve divergent settings. At least in theory, it results in a higher quality product.

Eldariel
2009-12-01, 05:13 AM
I'm not saying that ecologies are important (that's a matter of taste); I am saying that this is another point where 4E is nothing like 2E.

To a simulationist (such as yours truly), they're incredibly important even over monster stats themselves 'cause the ecology is what defines the world (through the monsters; creatures define what kind of a world is possible with them) and without it, it's impossible to make a believable, logical, interesting fantasy world to explore.

So if we're doing the gamist/simulationist division, it's important to the other half, which does seem like a relevant number of people.

CorvidMP
2009-12-01, 05:41 AM
....monster ecology's are still very much a part of 4e. Either A) they're in source books like dragonomicon and open grave if you like to buy that kind of thing or B) You apply a little creativity and figure out how the monsters exist in live in your own setting, which a lot of us have been doing since 2ed anyway (especially since some of the ecologies were just plain silly at times).

Neverind that most monsters have little bits of background tied to knowledge checks in damn near every entry in 4ed... just cause something is in a different place or format, or is left up to the DM doesn't mean it simply ceased to be.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 06:16 AM
B) You apply a little creativity and figure out how the monsters exist in live in your own setting,
Sure, you can always do it yourself. But if you compare the amount of background information available per monster in the 4E Monster Manual to that in earlier editions, there is a clear and obvious difference there.

hamlet
2009-12-01, 09:50 AM
AD&D? Love it, love it love it love it love it.

My only complaint, looking back from 3.5, is the overly-complicated upside down AC, requiring those hit tables. Gary must have had a face-palm moment when he realized that an AC that went *up* as it got better would have been much easier to work with.

Other than that, arguably better than 3.0.

Actually, descending AC makes some sense if you break out of the "armor points" mode.

Armor worked literally on a class system. AC1 wasn't just a result of numeric bonuses, but an indication that said unit/character had "first class armor."

It makes more sense in a military minis sort of way.

But yeah, if you don't like it in 2nd edition, it's absurdly easy to simply turn the entire system on its head without making any changes in probabilities. It's what I've done to 2nd edition for about a decade now and I've never regretted it.

jmbrown
2009-12-01, 09:54 AM
If you interpret the rule that way, then you immediately obsolete most non-weapon proficiencies and thief abilities. Who on earth is going to invest in Tightrope Walking or Pick Pockets if your DM will let you do either on a successful dex check?


Because a skilled person is always better than a non-skilled person. That's what the modifiers are for.


Even with your allegation that in 2E DMs are supposed to hand out exactly what the players want and in 4E they're supposed to hand it out randomly, the fact remains that regardless of your DMs opinion, 4E makes it extremely easy to get exactly what you want using the Enchant Item ritual, whereas 2E makes this pretty hard (e.g. because Permanency is an 8th-level spell).

And enchant item can be used in 2E to make anything with charges and it's a level 6 spell. Creating magic items is also cheaper and because of the gain in experience and hiring someone else to do it is encouraged by the DMG.

My point is, both games encourage adventuring over sitting around in the workshop, both games encourage to give items rather than choose randomly, and both games have their own charts if you care about random treasure.


Okay, now you're completely exaggerating.

Not one bit. Never played a 4E game with an unbalanced party I didn't end up destroying because they couldn't handle the encounter setup the DMG recommends.


Okay, so that's another major difference between 4E and AD&D.

I can still always expect my characters never to exceed a certain measure of power. Take away their items and give them mundane equipment and I can still set up an encounter without having to worry about damage resistance, spell-like abilities, and all that garbage.

Mark Hall
2009-12-01, 10:04 AM
But yeah, if you don't like it in 2nd edition, it's absurdly easy to simply turn the entire system on its head without making any changes in probabilities. It's what I've done to 2nd edition for about a decade now and I've never regretted it.

I ran A1 without conversion in Castles and Crusades. Flipping the AC in my head was easy.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-01, 10:30 AM
Because a skilled person is always better than a non-skilled person. That's what the modifiers are for.
It doesn't work that way. Many skills have a zero or negative modifier if you're trained in them (e.g. tightrope walking). A dex check is always going to be easier than a tightrope walking check. So a DM that allows plain ability checks in the place of skill checks is strongly misunderstanding the skill system.

What was your point again? Oh yeah, "everyone is average except the people who are experts". The part that "everyone is average" doesn't hold true in 2E, and the part about the experts doesn't hold true in 4E. So this is certainly not an example of 2E being similar to 4E.


And enchant item can be used in 2E to make anything with charges and it's a level 6 spell.
Meaning it won't be accessible for the majority of your career, and never for those races that can't advance to level 12 as a wizard.

Compare: 2E encourages magical item creation as a time-filling quest for high-level characters, that only works if you have a wizard of a suitable race and the DM gives you the spell for it, and that occurs at a higher level than most campaigns end. 4E encourages magical creation as a quick and simple endeavour whenever you need the item, using a low-level ritual easily and cheaply available to every character. It's hard to get more dissimilar than that.


My point is, both games encourage adventuring over sitting around in the workshop,
All RPGs encourage adventuring over sitting around in a workshop. That's a meaningless statement.


both games encourage to give items rather than choose randomly, and both games have their own charts if you care about random treasure.
In all games it is possible to give items either randomly or as the players want it; that's another meaningless statement. On the other hand, 4E doesn't even have random treasure charts in the PHB or AV, lists treasure in the player books rather than the DM books, and makes it very very easy for players to buy or enchant whatever they need, whenever they need it. Again, it's hard to be more dissimilar than that.


Not one bit. Never played a 4E game with an unbalanced party I didn't end up destroying because they couldn't handle the encounter setup the DMG recommends.
This contradicts the entire premise of e.g. RPGA campaigns, and the sections in the DMG that explain that you can easily compensate for a party with no striker, a party with no controller, and so forth, and the fact that nearly every class covers at least two roles anyway. Sorry, but the notion that you must play 4E with all four roles present is completely nonsensical. That's a subject for another thread, though; for the sake of this one, it is obviously not a similarity between AD&D and 4E.


Take away their items and give them mundane equipment and I can still set up an encounter without having to worry about damage resistance, spell-like abilities, and all that garbage.
That doesn't work either. 4E has specific level-based encounters that do expect the players to have level-appropriate magical items (or compensatory features as given in the DMG2). 2E doesn't have that. 4E also has e.g. damage resistance easily available as a racial ability, feat, or background, which is pretty hard to do in 2E.

hamlet
2009-12-01, 10:51 AM
I ran A1 without conversion in Castles and Crusades. Flipping the AC in my head was easy.

Yup, and it actually, IME, makes things that extra 2% faster that helps keep things going rather than stopping things while the DM checks a chart or does some subtraction in his head. Now the only hesitation is from the players as they add numbers in their head.

It really isn't much of a difference, but it's JUST ENOUGH sometimes to make combat just a little extra exciting.

Of course, if you dont' want to do that, it's just as easy for each player to write out a line on their character sheet with their to hit values, so instead of announcing "I rolled a 17, did I hit?" they can check their chart in about 2 seconds and say "I hit AC 4, good enough?". Distinction without a difference maybe, but it works just as well.