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Thread: AD&D 2e

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    Default AD&D 2e

    Love it, Hate it, lets talk about it. Also, anyone know any great sites for it?

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    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.

    Forum member Matthew alerted me to this site which is really, really good. Expect him to post in 3... 2... 1...

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    Default Re: AD&D 2e

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbrown View Post
    Love it. Fighters were useful,
    You know it! I love 2e fighters. And with the use of kits, they were very versitile

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    Default Re: AD&D 2e

    "0"

    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.
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    Default Re: AD&D 2e

    Hey, Matthew, There is a Matthew on those boards with the same avatar, is that you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Froogleyboy View Post
    Hey, Matthew, There is a Matthew on those boards with the same avatar, is that you?
    Yes, it is indeed.
    Last edited by Matthew; 2009-11-27 at 08:29 PM.
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    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.

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    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

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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radiun View Post
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    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".
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    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.
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    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
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    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), 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.


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    Quote Originally Posted by averagejoe View Post
    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), 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.



    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.



    I will say that I'm satisfied with the artistic direction of 4E. 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.
    Last edited by jmbrown; 2009-11-28 at 01:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radiun View Post
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmbrown View Post
    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.

    Forum member Matthew alerted me to this site 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.
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    Never played 2e, loved their take on Netherese casters though. Thought the mechanics fit the fluff well
    Last edited by Wings of Peace; 2009-11-28 at 01:51 AM.
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    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. 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).

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVosh View Post
    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"

    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:
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    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2009-11-28 at 02:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmbrown View Post
    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.

    As far as 3.5, I have to admit to having a certain weakness for some of the art done for Eberron Campaing Setting. 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 odd gems, 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, which makes someone jump kicking someone else somehow look static...)

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbrown View Post
    I will say that I'm satisfied with the artistic direction of 4E. 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.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbrown View Post
    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.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    Never played 2e, loved their take on Netherese casters though. Thought the mechanics fit the fluff well
    Tell me about this, please.

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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    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?
    My own "AD&D 2.5" uses an 2e framework, but is inspired from 3e and even 4e.
    Last edited by Zombimode; 2009-11-28 at 07:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    This is why there is an optional rule that allows the DM to slap upside the head any fighter that specializes in "wizard weapons"
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    This is why there is an optional rule that allows the DM to slap upside the head any fighter that specializes in "wizard weapons"
    Is there a rule in the book that isn't "optional"? Half the book was optional.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    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:
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    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
    Last edited by BobVosh; 2009-11-28 at 07:53 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVosh View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Matthew; 2009-11-28 at 08:24 AM.
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by averagejoe View Post
    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.

    As far as 3.5, I have to admit to having a certain weakness for some of the art done for Eberron Campaing Setting. 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 odd gems, 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.

    Quote Originally Posted by averagejoe View Post
    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, which makes someone jump kicking someone else somehow look static...)
    I'm sure I don't have to introduce you to Hennet, 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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVosh View Post
    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.
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    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

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