About Me

My photo
Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I played some 2e today...

So I took a break from everything else and played a little 2nd edition D&D today with some friends and family.  I haven't actually played 2e since...  around 1999.

photo credit: Aztlek via photopin cc

The thing that struck me the most about 2e, as compared to more recent editions, is the class design.  Classes are far more important than attributes or racial selection, and they have a minimalist approach - only what is needed to accomplish the feel of the class is included in the class.

For instance, the "fighter" concept really just needs armor and the ability to swing weapons fairly well.  So it has a good THAC0 progression, can wear armor and shields, and gets a lot of weapon proficiency choices (with specialization as an option).

I found that approach fairly refreshing and the whole session did bring back some memories.  We played 3d6-in-order and I used a few house rules:
  1. All NWPs cost only 1 slot.  Why not?  And who thinks 3 slots for Weaponsmithing is worth it, anyways?
  2. Max HP at first level.
  3. Death is at negative CON with a 1 HP bleed out per round when under 0, unless an ally spends a round stabilizing the character.  A successful Healing NWP check on stabilization also restores 1d3 HP (but only once).
  4. The Rule of Assumption is in effect for food, water, and ammo.  Because I still don't want to track those.  If pressed, I'd let the rest of Phoenix's Rule of Assumption apply because, really, I don't care about counting torches or whetstones either.
  5. Instead of the 2e initiative system, I just used Phoenix Initiative cards.  The character with a high Dexterity got to use the Fast initiative method.  This worked great and let us have individual initiatives while avoiding extra calculations that go with weapon speeds, casting speeds, etc. in 2e.
The adventure was a mini-adventure from Dungeon Magazine #34 called Euphoric Horrors.  Pretty cheesy but, then again, it's Thanksgiving weekend after all!


  1. Sounds like fun, a blast from the past. I wish I knew more people (i.e. anyone) that played D&D.

    Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition is coming out in 5 days (28 Nov). That's based on 2E, and I'm buying it for PC (it's on the iPad as well).


    Here's some manuals if you want to read about the classes and spells and stuff

    I still don't get multiclassing!

    1. Now, I'm pretty sure I know at least one other player in your area :)

      Multiclassing and Dual-classing in 2e was a bit of a pain in my opinion. Multiclassing meant you had both classes and required the XP total for both classes together to advance in level. So two classes means twice as long to level (give or take).

      Dual classing was for humans; effectively you stop levelling completely in your first class and just start levelling up a second class instead. You can't ever go back to the first class and level it again.

      Did you ever play a BG game before? I rather enjoyed the BG Dark Alliance games, those being the ARPG versions.

    2. Yeah I've read up on the mechanics of multi/dual classing, but I don't get why you would ever want to.

      Why would anyone want a 14 fighter/13 mage who can't cast high level spells, or even cast spells while wearing armor. Why not go full mage and get all the best spells, or full fighter and actually wear armor and get the bonuses at a high level.

      I don't get it.

      I played all the Infinity engine games, BG, Icewind Dale, Planescape, NWN, etc. BG Dark Alliance was more of an action game, sort of like Diablo - nothing like the original BG.

    3. That's fair - I more or less agree with you. One thing to note, however, is that most 2e campaigns (in my experience anyways) never made it to very high levels. And if they did, a lot of stuff fell apart anyways (due to racial level limits, attribute-limited maximum spell levels, etc).

      For instance, sometimes the only way to continue advancing, as a human with certain attributes, might be to dual class.

      I'm not saying I like this system of multiclassing, mind you :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...