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Ozreth
2011-01-06, 08:31 PM
So I've been trying to get a 2e game together for awhile but it just aint happenin at the moment.

Anyways, the one thing I've been most excited about is the apparently fast combat. The thing is I've heard many different ranges of how fast combat actually is. I know that the length will depend on all sorts of different factors, but generally how fast are we actually talking?

How fast can I expect combats at lvl 1 to be? And lvl 15?

I'm thinking around 5-15 minutes in my head. Am I way off?

Gamer Girl
2011-01-06, 08:34 PM
Just a couple minutes. Waaaaayyyyy faster then 3E.

At like 1st level combat can take less then 5 minutes. Even at 20th level it will only be less then 15 minutes.

Ozreth
2011-01-06, 08:34 PM
Just a couple minutes. Waaaaayyyyy faster then 3E.

At like 1st level combat can take less then 5 minutes. Even at 20th level it will only be less then 15 minutes.

godddd i want this.

dsmiles
2011-01-06, 08:36 PM
godddd i want this.

What wasn't mentioned is that at 1st level that 5-minute combat includes rolling up new characters for the recently deceased. :smallwink:

Oh, how I love 1e/2e...:smallbiggrin:

Duncan_Ruadrik
2011-01-06, 08:37 PM
well, giving you a minute range is difficult, because it depends on how many people are involved, various other issues that really boil down to DM desires and preferences. However... I can tell you that combat is faster compared to 3.x. There are less little rules to remember, and there arent attacks of opportunity to get muddled in. Some things are clunky, but combat isnt one of them.

Combat doenst tend to get any faster or slower as you level up, since there is a limit on attacks/ round, and those numbers really dont change much throughout the game, it is generally weapon based. Sometimes you have a fighter with Weapon Specialization, but other than that.. *shrug*(in 2e it gives you an extra attack, and I think +1 to hit and damage)

Hope that helps.

Ozreth
2011-01-06, 10:34 PM
Combat doenst tend to get any faster or slower as you level up.

Sounds great. Man, I'm tempted to just roll a character and play some battles out by myself haha.

Starbuck_II
2011-01-06, 11:15 PM
Just a couple minutes. Waaaaayyyyy faster then 3E.

At like 1st level combat can take less then 5 minutes. Even at 20th level it will only be less then 15 minutes.

Depends on the fight. I've seen a 10th level take a long time (it was against a lich though), much longer than an hour.

Also, are weapon speeds being used or not. This affects fastness.

Gabe the Bard
2011-01-07, 12:52 AM
It's been ages since I've played 2nd edition, but now that you've brought this up, I'm looking forward to going back to it after our current 3E campaign wraps up. We're getting close to epic levels in 3E, and combat is really slowing to a crawl. I remember a few really long encounters in our 2E games, but I think it had more to do with the story than the mechanics. I don't recall too many battles that took more than an hour, whereas our major battles in 3E average 45 minutes per round.

Kurald Galain
2011-01-07, 02:51 AM
It's been ages since I've played 2nd edition, but now that you've brought this up, I'm looking forward to going back to it after our current 3E campaign wraps up.

I was going to say the same. It's easy to lose sight of if it's the only game you're playing, but by Tymora is combat ever so slow in 3E and 4E.

Ozreth
2011-01-07, 04:58 AM
What do you think it is that makes 2e combat so much faster than 3.5? Do
Those of you who prefer 3.5 also prefer its combat length?

GreyMantle
2011-01-07, 08:03 AM
What do you think it is that makes 2e combat so much faster than 3.5? Do
Those of you who prefer 3.5 also prefer its combat length?


To put it frankly, there's simply a metric tonne more of things you can do it 3.5 that are explicitly spelled out in the rules. Spellcasters know and can cast more spells, martial characters have different combat abilities to choose from out of the box, get more attacks per round, have feats that grant them special attacks, have maneuvers, have mechanics for replenishing those maneuvers...

Plus the numbers got much bigger in 3.5, which added [/pun] to the time it took to perform the calculations.

Caliphbubba
2011-01-07, 08:12 AM
I'm going to break with the crowd here and say that combat takes just as long in 2ed games as 3.x games. Maybe it's just the group that I play with because it's pretty freaking HUGE (7-9 people depending on who shows up) and we use a mish-mash of 2ed rules from all over (including Weapon Mastery rules) but our major fights routinely take 4-5 hours.

as some one else mentioned I think a lot of it has to do with the DM and what they want from combat.

Dimers
2011-01-07, 08:42 AM
What speeds up 2e combat is both sides' lack of options. For example, a caster has fewer spells prepared. Once they pick from that shorter list, they cast without taking a 5-foot step or making a Concentration check to cast defensively, because those options don't exist. When the spell goes off, if its target has SR, there's a flat percentile roll rather than a caster level check that could involve several factors. Save DC doesn't change with spell level and there are no feats to alter it. Martially, most characters get one attack per round regardless of their level. The rogue doesn't need to make a Tumble check to flank an enemy because there are no AoOs for either side, and backstab takes effect far less often than sneak attack, so only the mages take much time counting up big handfuls of dice.

Eldan
2011-01-07, 09:05 AM
We had it completely the other way round, actually... our 3.5 fights take about ten minutes, at mid-level. Any longer, and we just get bored.

Matthew
2011-01-07, 10:58 AM
It is hard to say, though I think all of the points made above are valid. If you are using Combat & Tactics, of course, then forget about it being fast, as that is the D20/3e combat system plus a bit more complexity. In general, direct comparisons should be relatively fast, as during the action declaration phase the player describes his action, rather than looking at his action economy and deciding the best way to use it . Less predefined mechanical options and game complexity makes things run quicker. Of course, things will get increasingly slower the more options are used [e.g. individual initiative, weapon speed, [I]etcetera].

Crow
2011-01-07, 11:20 AM
Let me tell everyone a secret.

If you get rid of the grid, combat in 3.5 can be just as fast as combat in 2e. I remember the nice, smooth fights in 2e, where everyone moved around via narrative rather than by sliding a piece across a grid of 1in squares. It was indeed quite fast. After trying it, we've found that 3.5 can be just as fast if you play it this way.

Lost Demiurge
2011-01-07, 11:23 AM
It depends on the players and the gm.

If they're ones who take their time and ponder every option, then it can take 10 minutes or more to get through a round. If you've got someone playing a spellcaster who hasn't written down his spell radii, then be prepared for a lot of measurement.

If the GM pulls out hordes of monsters but doesn't have a system for quickly tracking them, then THAT takes a while.

In my experience, it's about equal to 3e.

BlackSheep
2011-01-07, 11:30 AM
Let me tell everyone a secret.

If you get rid of the grid, combat in 3.5 can be just as fast as combat in 2e. I remember the nice, smooth fights in 2e, where everyone moved around via narrative rather than by sliding a piece across a grid of 1in squares. It was indeed quite fast. After trying it, we've found that 3.5 can be just as fast if you play it this way.

I have fond memories of this. The "battle map" was just the sheet of paper that the DM drew on. Things got hectic and chaotic, sure, but it worked.

As for the original question, I think having a well prepared group has a bigger impact on combat speed than the system. Too often, a combat round's flow is spoiled by somebody who only starts considering their options when their name is called.

MeeposFire
2011-01-07, 11:43 AM
What really helps is that hp is so low in 2e. Monsters do not get a con bonus and if the DM rolls the hp you can bet they will not have hp that is too high. Also You can not cast as many spells per round in general so spellcaster turns are not usually quite as long.

Just remember your hp is very low especially if you play RAW. You could start at 1 HP even as a fighter (the fighter handbook says warriors should start with full hp at level one, I think all classes should in 2e). At 9th level you could have 9-90 hp plus con bonuses (if any you do not get any bonus until 15 con). If an orc hits you 1-8 damage you can see how you be killed often.

One thing that can make fights shorter/longer is that there are no good rules to set up encounters in 2e. This means you could have encounters that take a long time or will be fast. You never know in 2e. This also feeds into surviving as DMs have a tough time figuring out whether a creature is too tough without experience with the system.

grimbold
2011-01-07, 11:49 AM
2e has some of the fastest most exciting combat in a RPG. when i play i like to mix in some 3.x things (like feats and skills) to fix the clunky bits but i LOVE the 2e combat.

Person_Man
2011-01-07, 12:16 PM
Fun history fact: Lord Robilar (created and played by Robert J. Kuntz, one of Gary Gygax's best friends) was one of the first D&D characters ever created. He was the first character to reach the 13th (bottom) level of Castle Greyhawk, the first character to enter and defeat the Temple of Elemental Evil, and the first character to enter and defeat the Tomb of Horrors (generally regarded as the most difficult dungeon ever created). He did most of this by himself, and generally defeated each dungeon in a matter of (real life) days or weeks.

Robilar was a single class Fighter.

Suffice to say, the rules have changed a lot since Gary's kitchen table.

Mark Hall
2011-01-07, 12:32 PM
While generally combat in 1e and 2e is very fast (and, I'll add, C&C does much the same), I have been in monstrous slogs of combat before... three PCs vs. 1 lich, with us being in the 9+ level range. It took most of an afternoon because we had to plan everything very carefully.

Diarmuid
2011-01-07, 04:11 PM
I play in 3.5 games and I play in 2E games with the same group. Battles pretty much take the same amount of time.

Mark Hall
2011-01-07, 04:15 PM
I play in 3.5 games and I play in 2E games with the same group. Battles pretty much take the same amount of time.

I'm really curious as to how. Every time I've played, even with the same group, C&C rounds, at least, are much shorter than 3e rounds.

MeeposFire
2011-01-07, 06:03 PM
Fun history fact: Lord Robilar (created and played by Robert J. Kuntz, one of Gary Gygax's best friends) was one of the first D&D characters ever created. He was the first character to reach the 13th (bottom) level of Castle Greyhawk, the first character to enter and defeat the Temple of Elemental Evil, and the first character to enter and defeat the Tomb of Horrors (generally regarded as the most difficult dungeon ever created). He did most of this by himself, and generally defeated each dungeon in a matter of (real life) days or weeks.

Robilar was a single class Fighter.

Suffice to say, the rules have changed a lot since Gary's kitchen table.

Fighters were harder to kill in 1/2e as they had the best hp, AC, and saves. In 3e They lost exclusive access (warriors not just fighters) to extra hp from con compared to other classes, armor became less important due to mithril and armor enchanments, and saves became harder to pass (saves no longer versus a static number based on your skill) and you lost the best saves (fighters had best or near best in every save category and in 3e they only get fort).

4e gives some of the toughness back but it is not as big a deal.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2011-01-07, 06:12 PM
IME group matters much more than system when determining the length of combats*, though I won't dispute that a simpler rule set will generally resolve an issue more quickly than a more complex rule set.

*I've had combats of the same level against similar enemies last 20 minutes in one 3.5 group and 3 hours in another. Focus/organization and rules familiarity were the key differences.

Zeta Kai
2011-01-07, 08:12 PM
Fun history fact: Lord Robilar (created and played by Robert J. Kuntz, one of Gary Gygax's best friends) was one of the first D&D characters ever created. He was the first character to reach the 13th (bottom) level of Castle Greyhawk, the first character to enter and defeat the Temple of Elemental Evil, and the first character to enter and defeat the Tomb of Horrors (generally regarded as the most difficult dungeon ever created). He did most of this by himself, and generally defeated each dungeon in a matter of (real life) days or weeks.

Robilar was a single class Fighter.

Suffice to say, the rules have changed a lot since Gary's kitchen table.

Am I the only person that absolutely loves to read about trivia like this? I hope not.

As for combat, 3E takes longer than about any other system that I've tried (except RollMaster/Palladium), but DM/GM discipline can whittle that time down significantly.

MeeposFire
2011-01-07, 11:09 PM
Another aspect is that 2e does not care about encounters being a challenge. In 3e and 4e you make encounters based around a level of challenge you want for the party. In 2e you might 13th level and meet two orcs and fight them. Not level boosted orcs just 35xp standard orcs that were a challenge at level 1 (at least I think it was 35xp). Thus some fights will be short since they would not be a challenge.

Ozreth
2011-01-08, 02:38 AM
Another aspect is that 2e does not care about encounters being a challenge. In 3e and 4e you make encounters based around a level of challenge you want for the party. In 2e you might 13th level and meet two orcs and fight them. Not level boosted orcs just 35xp standard orcs that were a challenge at level 1 (at least I think it was 35xp). Thus some fights will be short since they would not be a challenge.

Also, awesome. Definitely gives that old school adventure/fantasy novel feel. I do that in my 3.5 games anyways.

So I finally found myself a 2e group and I'm playing next thursday! I'm trying to roll up a character but there is no clear cut character creation page in the 2e book like in 3.5 (pretty much a bulleted list of every step) and a lot of my character sheet slots are blank. Is there some sort of guide online to 2e character creation? I'm sure I can figure it all about my perusing the book more but a guide would be nice :)

olthar
2011-01-08, 02:47 AM
The thing that takes the longest in 2e combat is figuring out initiative order each turn. Otherwise combat it quick.

Matthew
2011-01-08, 08:00 AM
So I finally found myself a 2e group and I'm playing next thursday! I'm trying to roll up a character but there is no clear cut character creation page in the 2e book like in 3.5 (pretty much a bulleted list of every step) and a lot of my character sheet slots are blank. Is there some sort of guide online to 2e character creation? I'm sure I can figure it all about my perusing the book more but a guide would be nice :)

Not one that springs to mind, but if you list up the blank areas here I am sure we can help. :smallwink:



The thing that takes the longest in 2e combat is figuring out initiative order each turn. Otherwise combat it quick.

Under the default rules you only roll one die for each side every round, but the optional rules allow for individual initiative and modifiers (weapon speed, casting time, other actions) which can certainly make things a bit more time consuming!

Mark Hall
2011-01-08, 12:08 PM
The thing that takes the longest in 2e combat is figuring out initiative order each turn. Otherwise combat it quick.

What I do in C&C is a simple "count up". I start at negatives (because they're possible in my initiative system), and count up. If you don't call out when your number is called, well, you get to go later in the round. In 2e, I'd have people announce their action when their initiative came up, and then act at their adjusted initiative (due to weapon speed or casting time).

MeeposFire
2011-01-08, 02:50 PM
Not one that springs to mind, but if you list up the blank areas here I am sure we can help. :smallwink:


Under the default rules you only roll one die for each side every round, but the optional rules allow for individual initiative and modifiers (weapon speed, casting time, other actions) which can certainly make things a bit more time consuming!

Thats odd in my 2e books it lists doing init by side is an optional rule whereas doing init by the person is standard (with weapon speed and a that good stuff).

Matthew
2011-01-08, 03:44 PM
Thats odd in my 2e books it lists doing init by side is an optional rule whereas doing init by the person is standard (with weapon speed and a that good stuff).

That would be very surprising indeed. The headings in the contents page should read something like:

Standard Initiative
Group Initiative (Optional Rule)
Individual Initiative (Optional Rule)
Weapon Speed and Initiative (Optional Rule)



Standard Initiative Procedure

To determine the initiative order for a round of combat, roll 1d10 for each side in the battle. Normally, this means the DM rolls for the monsters (or NPCs), while one of the players rolls for the PC party. Low roll wins initiative. If more than two sides are involved in combat, the remaining sides act in ascending order of initiative.

If both (or all) sides roll the same number for initiative, everything happens simultaneously--all attack rolls, damage, spells, and other actions are completed before any results are applied. It is possible for a wizard to be slain by goblins who collapse from his sleep spell at the end of the round.

I have seen quite a few different PHBs and DMGs, but they all read like that. It would be interesting to see such a radically different version, let me know what the publication date is if you have it to hand.

MeeposFire
2011-01-08, 08:31 PM
I made a mistake. I remembered "group initiative" as an optional rule which I confused for the standard initiative (which of course is kind of "group"). I do not know how I remembered that but when I just dug out my old books you were right. After looking at it all I can say it has some interesting results but I am glad it is not done that way anymore.

cZak
2011-01-08, 08:48 PM
Am I the only person that absolutely loves to read about trivia like this? I hope not...

Have you ever heard of Quij, the first Orc Hero? Another Gygax/ Kuntz episode.
Last I saw this was published in Dragon #312 by EGG
:smallcool:

Kuntz apparently tried using quij in a game of scrabble and was called on it by EGG et al.

In a later game where Kuntz was playing Robilar with his conscripted orc guards in Greyhawk Castle he wound up in a fight with a group of ogres.
It wound up being Robilar facing two ogres & his last orc (all others being killed) fighting another ogre.
Covering many rounds of combat where the dice seemed to curse Robilar as much as the smiled upon the orc, they both dropped their adversaries at the same time.
EGG and Kuntz were so impressed by the orc's valiant effort and decided to make him an actual cohort whereby EGG named him 'Quij'.

I've found references to Quij in supplementals of Greyhawk City (boxed set) and I think in Living Greyhawk.:smallcool:

Ozreth
2011-01-08, 10:28 PM
I've found references to Quij in supplementals of Greyhawk City (boxed set) and I think in Living Greyhawk.:smallcool:

There is also a Quij reference in Expedition to the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk. The special at the Green Dragon Inn is "Quij's plate" or something along those lines. Its soggy sausage and mashed potatoes.

Anyhoo. This thread got me to wondering...has anybody implemented 2e type initiative into their 3.5 games to speed things up? What do you think of using the "State your actions around the table, roll initiative, and watch the action unfold" method in 3.5?