Tuesday, February 17, 2009

AD&D 2nd Edition: 20 Years Later

Back in 1989, AD&D 2nd edition hit store shelves. Greywulf mentioned that Zeb Cook's intro was dated January, 1989. So, 2e is nearly old enough to drink.

I'll always remember 2nd edition as a missed opportunity. I have no idea what sort of restrictions or goals the designers worked under. Was backward compatibility deemed the most important element? What did TSR's designers see as the game's goal?

As a 14 year old when the game came out, my reactions were mixed at best. I liked some things (THAC0, expanded spell lists, a more flavorful ranger class, the bard as a class, the color art, the layout, the clearer rules, non-weapon proficiencies, rogue skills) but hated others (no demons or devils, a really annoying binder format for monsters, goofy art, plentiful attack spells for clerics).

The worst sin in my eyes, though, was the tone. The PHB, and many of the books after it, made it clear that there was a right way to play AD&D and a wrong way.

The right way centered on talking in funny voices, spending hours shopping for gear or chatting with J. Random NPC, and generally carrying on like a bunch of spastic Ren Faire rejects. If you liked goofy puns, pop culture references, and joke monsters, this was the game for you.

The bad way involved combat, dungeons, loot, kicking in doors, and kick ass characters. If you like, I don't know, dungeons, and perhaps dragons in those dungeons, get lost. Beat it. This is not your game.

To me, the RPG world had been turned upside down. I loved AD&D. Yet, it was pretty obvious looking at my gaming shelf that things were due for a change. Here was AD&D 2e, babbling on about story and bad puns. Over there was Warhammer FRP. It had an orange mohawked dwarf on on the cover, splitting an orc in half with a battle axe.

Hmmmm. Which game should I play?

Really, it was only the 1e books I already owned, and the quality adventures in Dungeon, that kept me interested in AD&D. By the end of high school, though, I was pretty much out of gaming as my active hobby.

Looking back, in my eyes 2e was a missed opportunity. Cut out the condescending attitude and the love of all things goofy, and the game was a reasonable update of AD&D. The mechanics were easier to use in many places, but the stench of one true wayism and a commitment to the worst aspects of gamer humor undercut the game.

As the line matured, a lot of good stuff emerged like Dark Sun and Planescape, but I can't help but believe that 2e did some deep damage to the D&D hobby, damage that wouldn't be truly repaired until the launch of 3e.

So, happy 20th birthday, AD&D 2nd edition.

39 comments:

PaulofCthulhu said...

If it was British, it would have been drinking for a couple of years, already.

greywulf said...

Positive as I tried to be about 2nd Edition AD&D (considering it's birthday and all), I can't help but agree with you Mike.

I was never an AD&D fan; I loved my D&D flavoured Basic/Expert/Companion/Master style, and just didn't see why any of it needed complicating. Heck, I still do, and rate the D&D Rules Cyclopedia as being the Best D&D Ever. 4e is now a close second though :D

But then, while I didn't like the AD&D rules, I loved the imagination it wrought. I loved Dungeon & Dragon magazines from that era, and the glorious, wonderful settings we had. I ran a Dark Sun campaign for a while using Classic D&D, and played in an AD&D Spelljammer campaign that seemed to go on forever. But in a good way.

Being British, I came to Warhammer pretty quickly. I still own a set of black books from the original Warhammer game, and loved the RPG when it came out. That's where I learned all about gritty low-level role-playing, and that's a style I favour even now. Give me fantasy-noir, and I'm a happy bunny.

Without 2e AD&D and the shifting fortunes of TSR, there would have been no Third Edition, and no Fourth Edition neither. That's a legacy that's hard to ignore, and means (whatever I might think of the rules themselves) that we all owe it a debt of gratitude.

AnthonyRoberson said...

Ignoring the tone of the rules, 2nd Edition AD&D was hands down, my favorite version of D&D. It was mechanically cleaned up and much of the awkward junk from 1st Edition was gone.

While I have shown love for 3.5 and 4E, if I ever wanted to run a bare-bones campaign again - it would be with the core 2nd Edition books (and probably with the Skip Williams revised version).

Greg Gillespie said...

If it was Canadian, it would have been drinking early as well :P

To be honest, we read right over the nonsense you are talking about and continued to play D&D (including the items you mentioned) with the same feel and interest we did under 1E.

4E is the frist edition of the game we have abandoned entirely.

Dave The Game said...

While 1e was probably the first edition I played, 2e was the edition that I first campaigned in, bought books for, and ran campaigns in. For a loooooong time, it was what defined D&D for everyone I knew.

I think I'll have to write my own article about it- thanks guys.

Kameron said...

Like greywulf, I loved the D&D boxed sets and preferred gaming with them, though I did incorporate some rules/elements from 2E, mainly the separation of races from classes. I detested 2E kits, but enjoyed some of the published adventures TSR put out.

Ripper X said...

What in the heck are you talking about? I still run 2e games and I don't do any of the stuff which you claim the books "make" you do. The books don't make you do anything, and it never once says that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, in fact, it says the exact opposite. Even playing by the rules as they are written, they aren't even remotely like you just described them.

The format of Modules evolved over time, but most folks didn't run games exclusively off of the modules. The best campaigns were the ones designed by the DM him/herself, and the rules did nothing but aid that specific process.

My beef with 2e is the bloating of all of the settings. I lost a taste for much of the published adventures long ago as they generally center around things that nobody can stop from happening, but this is the nature of modules anyway. The really old mods weren't written by writers, they were written by Dungeon Masters, once the writers took over, you got a more polished product, but it was a railroad job most of the time.

jreyst said...

I started playing around 1980 in 1E, then continued into 2E. I liked both and just saw 2E as a general clean-up of 1E. It wasn't "revolutionary" for me so much as "evolutionary" and we played it for years. To be honest though, interest was really waning in the mid to late 90's and so 3E was extremely welcome. We did/do love what 3.X did to the rules (mostly). I agree with Greg though that 4E is the first version that I have tried and completely disliked. Its almost like if your mother made you take a taste of cod liver oil and your face crinkled up immediately, that was my reaction to 4E. I tried it out and was suddenly "WTF??? WHAT HAPPENED TO MY D&D??? WHERE IS IT???" So now we are all happily playing Pathfinder Beta and eagerly awaiting Pathfinder final rules in August. Paizo has, for me, taken over spirital ownership of D&D while some other yahoo's are using the name D&D on some weird product that is completely NOT D&D. Oh well, that's all I have to say :)

Jonathan said...

Well, I'm 8 years older than 2e, but considering that I didn't get into gaming until 2003 (Hi White Wolf!), I'd have to say that it seems like an ancient relic to me. I gave up on the d10 for the d20 about 4 years ago, and I'm loving the 4e now. It's like D&D finally caught up to the way I play it. (Though paragon and epic monsters have either too few powers or too many hp in my opinion - waiting for MM2 to correct that). :)

noisms said...

Weird post. Have you actually played WHFRP? It most definitely does not allow you to be 'awesome' and play kick-ass characters etc. in the manner of 4e. It mostly lets you be a dirty pissant at the very bottom of the fantasy heap who gets bullied and kicked into the gutter. Part of the charm, but you couldn't get further away from what you seemed to be wanting.

I don't get this accusation of 'goofiness' either. If anything 2nd edition's tone was quite serious-minded high fantasy. Not everybody's cup of tea, but OD&D and 1st edition were WAY goofier. Keep on the Borderlands, anyone? No? How about a bit of Arduin?

Dar said...

Dude, he means the older WFRP.

I use to blame 2e for lots of ills, including me getting out of the hobby. But really it was life that did that. I like 2e, so much so that I recently tried to get rid of my 2e books, and could not.

Cam_Banks said...

2e's worst crime? Shoving all the campaign worlds into one multiverse and cross-pollinating it together. Want some Soth in your Ravenloft? How about Spelljammer ships in Greyhawk's backyard? At best, it was a sort of half-hearted recognition that everybody threw things together in their own home brew campaigns, but at worst it reduced settings to long lists of exceptions ("no, you can't get to Dark Sun by Spelljammer, but there's a Ravenloft domain from there...") and other nonsense.

The fact that this was reinforced three times by campaign settings designed to link worlds together (Spelljammer, Ravenloft, and Planescape) is made only more ironic when it turns out those three settings are much more interesting when they're not used for that purpose.

I loved 3rd edition for avoiding this altogether when it was possible. I am steadily growing annoyed at 4e for trying to go back to this principle with its World-Axis and washed-out references to other worlds. 4e is my D&D rules set of choice, now, so I really hope THAT aspect of tone is shelved soon.

Roger said...

Give me WarHammer FRP any day of the week!

buzz said...

Didn't Ryan Dancey confirm (in his interview with Fear the Boot) that it was overwhelmingly common during that era that most of the designers working for TSR didn't actually *play*? I.e., most product was written by guys who not only didn't play much, but actually had a kind of disdain for playing D&D?

I dunno. The attitude you speak of fits that mindset, and 2e, pretty well. It also explains why so much of 2e was mountains of fluff-rich setting material, and lesser mountains of shitty mechanics.

Brock Cusick said...

Pot, kettle ...

I've been reading the 4E DMG and thinking the exact same thing. "The authors of this book only care about combat encounters. It's 'the exciting part' of D&D, apparently. One-wayism, much?"

4E is my ruleset of choice at this point, but I do not care for the tone in parts of the DMG. I also can tell that games within the WotC offices are not at all similar to the games I run or have played in, where combat can advance the plot but can also be a distraction.

I guess I'm just a guy who grew up playing AD&D 2E then. Sorry it's not to your taste.

Lizard said...

Hmm... 2e got me out of D&D for a dozen years, 3e brought me back, but only some of my complaints align with yours -- no demons, devils, half-orcs, or assassins, and the attitude that change embodied, certainly turned me off, but a focus on actually (gasp! the horror!) ROLE PLAYING in a ROLE PLAYING game never struck me a grievous sin. (As for goofy monsters... well, I consider the Arduin Trilogy to be the essence of "What Is Dungeons&Dragons?", so I think we'll agree to disagree...I'm going to guess my charcharodoom (From Mongoose's monster book) was not your favorite creature EVAR. Sorry.)

But in terms of one-true-wayism... uhm... the 4e books are as guilty of it as 2e. The impression I get, over and over, from the 4e books is "If you are not rolling a to-hit, you are NOT HAVING FUN! As a DM, if your players spend any time not in an Encounter -- whether with monsters or in a formal skill challenge -- you are a FAILURE!" The "proper" way to play 4e, in terms of the impression I get from the rules, is to toss the PCs onto a fast-moving conveyer belt that rushes them from one sound-stage set to the next. Bam! Fight the kobolds! Bam! Have a skill challenge! Bam! Fight some more kobolds! Bam! Here's two treasure parcels, update your stats, take an extended rest! Bam! Here's the next encounter!

Now, let me be fair -- you (and your fellow designers) made a damn good rules system, now that I've seen it in actual play, and our 4e games are only slightly more combat-focused than our 3e games -- the rules themselves support styles of play other than conveyer belt -- but the 2e rules supported kick-in-the-door dungeon crawling, too. If one of your design goals was to make the 4e rules seem to be open and inviting to playstyles other than the "core D&D experience" (Kill things! Take their stuff!), that goal was, in my personal opinion, not met.

Justin Alexander said...

Yeah. The one-true-wayism of the 4th Edition rulebooks leaves me feeling the same way.

Oh, it's a different one-true-way being espoused. But, on the flip-side, it's also been much more deeply entrenched into the mechanics of the game itself.

The change from 1E to 2E was almost entirely tonal. Ignore the tone and the game was virtually unchanged. The change from D&D to 4th Edition? Without rewriting the rulebooks, it doesn't play like D&D.

Matthew Miller said...

The change from D&D to 4th Edition? Without rewriting the rulebooks, it doesn't play like D&D.

That's weird. My 4E game is playing totally like D&D. And not just because it says "D&D" on the box. Maybe you're doing it wrong.

(And yes, I see what you did there.)

buzz said...

If there's one-true-way-ism in 4e, I have yet to see it. To compare the solid advice in the 4e DMG (the best yet in D&D, IMO) to 2e's "You should be happy to play PCs with 6 STR and 3 hp! That's *real* roleplaying!" is laughable.

Justin Alexander said...

I'm guessing you don't see it because it's your own one-true-way that's being embraced.

Gygaxian naturalism? Gone.

Dissociated mechanics? Rampant.

Institutionalizing balance to the detriment of traditional encounter design? Certainly a trend that got started during the 3rd Edition era, but wholeheartedly embraced and brought full force into the core rulebooks with 4th Edition.

When your design team says that the way the game used to be played "wasn't much fun" (cite), you're talking about a paradigm shift.

And, look, I wasn't a fan of save-or-die effects, either -- but 4th Edition deliberately and drastically reduced the fragility of characters at low levels.

Another major shift is the 4th Edition's dislike of spotlight balance. This used to be one of the fundamental principles of the game. In 4th Edition, it's replaced with Doc Savage balance -- everybody's good at everything so that everybody can be "special" all of the time.

And you may like any or all of these changes, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a radical departure (and, specifically, a narrowing of scope) from all previous editions of the game. And, as I said, this one-true-wayism wasn't just a DM's advice section advocating using the mechanics in one particular fashion -- it was a hard-coding of the designer's preferences into the mechanics.

If 4th Edition hit your particular sweet spot, then you're golden. If it didn't -- or if you liked the fact that previous editions of the game offered several different sweet spots -- then you're screwed.

buzz said...

I'm guessing you don't see it because it's your own one-true-way that's being embraced.
Ah, an ad hominem. Obviously, you must be right.

Justin, "one-true-way-ism" is when the text presents the idea that there is one true way to roleplay. That is different from an RPG clearly presenting the way the designers intended the game to be played, i.e., the game having focus.

4e doesn't claim anywhere that there is one way to *roleplay*. It does, however, talk extensively about what 4e was designed to do and how to make that work. 4e embraces the core of what D&D has been about since 1974 (fight-y dungeon adventure), and shows you how to deliver that core.

2e, otoh, presented rules that supported that core, and then surrounded it with text that said the opposite. "Real roleplayers don't like fight-y dungeon adventure. You should be happy playing a fighter with 9 Str!" It was bogus.

yeloson said...

Right on.

I was doing a reread of 2E a few months back and am amazed at how much of it came to inform a lot of traditions of 90's rpgs, especially stuff on social contract, sliding between rules and essays on play preference/one-wayism, etc. and the general tendency to repeat truisms without actually looking at if they ever make sense in play.

One of my favorite "HUH" quotes is:

"The DM must learn nearly everything he knows about experience points from running game sessions. There is no magical formula or die roll to determine if he is doing the right or wrong thing. Only time, instinct, and player reaction will tell."

We then get a chapter on XP, which is contradictory throughout. And then a formula.

lokipan said...

I'm really not sure what the whole "old school D&D" hype is about. Without trying to sound simplistic or ambivielent, each game is what you make it. Sure, looking back 2e was little more than a collection of broken mechanics and laughable 3D dungeons but to my 11 year old self nothing compared to it. It was awesome. The memories of playing D&D (be it OD&D, 2e or whatever) is what keeps me a gamer. I am playing and loving 4e right now despite the fact that many gamers my age and older are hate and despise it.
Anywho, happy belated b-day 2e. If you were from West Virginia you would also be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the loss of your virginity.

Justin Alexander said...

Buzz wrote: Ah, an ad hominem. Obviously, you must be right.

You consider the suggestion that you have a set of likes and dislikes when it comes to roleplaying games to be a personal attack?

Weird.

Buzz wrote: 4e embraces the core of what D&D has been about since 1974 (fight-y dungeon adventure)...

Ironically, of course, you go right ahead and immediately start pushing your personal one-true-way of D&D again.

I disagree with your claim that 1974 D&D was about fight-y dungeon adventure. The rulebooks directly dispute the claim.

Previous editions of D&D certainly could be used to run campaigns made up entirely of combat-oriented dungeon crawls. But they were also deliberately designed to support much more than that. And that's a design legacy dating all the way back to 1974.

4th Edition chose it's one-true-way of "fight-y dungeon adventure" (as you put it). The way that you're trying to simultaneously deny that it's true and claim that it's true is, frankly, confusing.

And, like I said, 4th Edition's one-true-wayism is far more pernicious than 2nd Edition's. It's a lot easier to ignore pontificating than it is to redesign the mechanics.

buzz said...

You consider the suggestion that you have a set of likes and dislikes when it comes to roleplaying games to be a personal attack?

Weird.


Justin, if you didn't intend the comment to come off as a snipe, I can only take you at your word. That said, given you don't know me from Adam, your comments earlier and in the post am I now responding to don't come off very charitably.

Ironically, of course, you go right ahead and immediately start pushing your personal one-true-way of D&D again.

See?

I disagree with your claim that 1974 D&D was about fight-y dungeon adventure. The rulebooks directly dispute the claim.

My copies are pretty much about fighting monsters in dungeons, as well as overland on your way to dungeons. I'm not seeing where there's support for much more than that. And if you're going to argue the support-by-omission idea, then I can tell we're at an impasse.

4th Edition chose it's one-true-way of "fight-y dungeon adventure" (as you put it). The way that you're trying to simultaneously deny that it's true and claim that it's true is, frankly, confusing.

I'll reiterate that you're completely misusing the phrase "one-true-wayism".

I really find these edition wars funny nowadays. When I compare the editions of D&D to all of the other RPGs on my shelf, the differences between the editions seem miniscule. 4e is the same game as the AD&D 1e I grew up with, just with better rules.

Dwayanu said...

"Better" if that's what you prefer -- but thoroughly different. As has been pointed out already, the 2E books included a lot of "game philosophy" seemingly at odds with the mechanics because those were not radically changed. As I recall, though, the blather taken as a whole boiled down to, "Do your own thing; there is no 'right' or 'wrong.'" That's the essence of the D&D "philosophy" from 1974.

With 4E, there's not so much inner conflict because it's a comprehensive system designed to enforce a particular mode of play.

Your apparent notion that "support" means imposing a burden of rules is at odds with the original premise. So much in 4E is deliberately opposed to what D&D has meant for decades, that the claim that it's "the same game" is absurd. It's as if one were to call Parcheesi an improved form of Chess, or a milk-cow a better lion.

buzz said...

So much in 4E is deliberately opposed to what D&D has meant for decades, that the claim that it's "the same game" is absurd.
Sorry, I don't see it. Especially if you're taking D&D-as-written as opposed to D&D-as-interpreted. Given the diverse RPG designs we see today, Keep on the Borderlands and Keep on the Shadoiwfell don't look fundamentally different to me.

Honestly, I think D&D edition wars are mostly about not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Justin Alexander said...

Buzz wrote: My copies are pretty much about fighting monsters in dungeons, as well as overland on your way to dungeons. I'm not seeing where there's support for much more than that.

Are you sure you're looking at the 1974 version of the game? Because in that version of the game more than half of every class description is given over to non-combat and non-dungeon gameplay. And a significant chunk of the third rulebook is given over to realms management.

The entire game is designed around the concept that, while the dungeon may be the common beginnig of the story, it is not the entirety of the story. And this was even more explicit in the BECMI version of the game.

Buzz wrote: 4e is the same game as the AD&D 1e I grew up with, just with better rules.

I remain incredulous that anyone could say that with a straight face. The gameplay of 4th Edition is a radical departure from the gameplay of classic D&D.

You cannot change the way wizards gain spells, prepare spells, and cast spells and then say, "Wizards play the same."

You cannot take take fighters, rebalance them around the use of encounter and daily powers, and then say, "Fighters play the same." (This is, in fact, an almost complete inversion of their former gameplay.)

You cannot move from Gygaxian naturalism to an open-hearted embrace of dissociated mechanics and then say, "The game is the same."

I really don't understand why so many 4th Edition supporters are so unwilling to acknowledge reality in this regard. You like Kill Doctor Lucky. Good for you. Why do you so desperately want to believe that you're still playing Clue?

Ormiss said...

Why is it that every argument about D&D versions always includes a scornful, rolling-my-eyes-as-I-speak remark about "speaking with a British accent" or "speaking Ye Olde English" or, as in this case, "chatting with random NPCs"?

Why is it that people defending D&D so often seem to throw renaissance faire enthusiast, LARPers, and others, under the bus?

It seems more common with fans of D&D than with fans of other roleplaying systems. I see this often on the Wizards forums. "Oh, we don't play the D&D you heard about. We don't speak in a silly accent or dress up like elves. We just eat some pizza and kill orcs. It's like Monopoly."

I know there's no ill intent involved, but these scornful remarks often crop up in discussions about D&D. Perhaps it has to do with D&D's distrusted mass media past? Perhaps D&D players feel a need to throw other sub-cultures under the bus to justify their own hobby?

Whatever it is, it makes me kind of sad to see. :p

PS. I have no edition preference, but I have to say that my impression upon reading the 4e DMG was that Encounters were all that mattered. Some aspects of the rules gave me the impression that you're not supposed to do anything out of Encounters.

In the end, it doesn't matter to me because we just play the way we want to. :p For example, I really like a lot of the streamlined rules in 4e, but I won't be using Powers except for spellcasters, where I really like At-will/Encounter powers and Rituals over spell memorization (which I never liked.) No daily powers, though.

Take care!

thanuir said...

Buzz, I agree with the claim that non-D&D games are generally more different than editions of D&D.

Still, I'd say that editions, or at least the styles of play they are good at supporting, also vary wildly. This is not to say that people play the rules contrary to the style they support well.

Two elements. First is the importance of resource management in old school play, as supported by the rules. Vancian magic, for example, is a good way of adding resource management aspects to play. That combats tend to be fairly fast also supports strategic-level gameplay; wandering monsters can drain resources without taking too much time to play out. Recovering hit points is not easy (or if done, costs magic, and recovering magic is even harder, or potions) so that the choice to whether continue on or not is important.

4e has much more focus on single encounters and less on long-term decision making and strategy.

Another aspect is that older editions had more interaction through the fiction; that is, since there are little in the way of rules for most such interaction, players must think in terms of what is possible and likely in the fiction (also: in this GM's view of the fiction, which has its flaws). Combats tend to be deadly, especially at low levels, so there is extra incentive to figure out ways around them and other ways of getting to the treasure (see also: Gold as experience).

Again, contrasting with 4e, the combat rules and other rules take much of the decision-making to be about rules and fiction only as mediated through them.

There are good and bad aspects to both, but I would not say that they are very similar. Personally, I am attracted towards the older style and see 4e play as a more boring version of chess. This may change if I get to actually play 4e, though.

Dwayanu said...

"It's D&D, but with better rules."
Where have I heard that before?
Oh, yeah: T&T, C&S, RQ, TFT, Rolemaster, Palladium ...

It can't be "better" without being at least to that degree different.

Since there's so much value being placed on the claim of "sameness," some might prefer to get even more similarity for a lot less than $105.

There's OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, BFRPG, Swords & Wizardry ...

Games put out by people who actually consider Original, Basic and Advanced D&D -- steel yourself -- fun!

RobAD&D2E said...

Well, really interesting to read everyones comments. Im new to this and I purchased 2E through eBay about a month ago. Im 27 and dead excited about it all,
Although a little confused...

Im creating a Mage. The Wizard level (according to table 21 in the Players Handbook) does not correspond to the same spell level I can use.

i.e. the table does not indicate that a level 6 wizard can use any level 6 spells...

Am I being thick?

Regards, Rob Newbie

edforth said...

Rob,

No you're not being thick. In 2nd edition spell levels and wizard levels are not the same.

The reason is because other classes have access to the same spell list, they just need to be an even higher level than a wizard would be.

ie: if a wizard has access to a 3rd level spell at level 5, a bard may not have access to it until level 8 (these numbers aren't exact I haven't owned a 2nd edition Player's Handbook in many years)


To solve your problem, check the wizard class description, it should tell you what spell levels you can cast

Cameron said...

Think of the spell levels more as "Levels of Magical power" and not so much character level of power. You could instead use the term "circle" instead of "Spell Level".

As an example: I'm going to fire my level three Fireball, while I'm at 6th level. Or one could say, "I'm firing my third Circle of magic fireball, while I'm at 6th level." and you really haven't changed much.

In fact in my game group, we use the term circle while speaking in character, the "speaking in silly accents" previously referred to.

Hopefully I made sense.

Frederick Milton said...

I have to blame me because I haven't played D&D. It is pity that I didn't play it. But I would like to do it. But I ain't good with table games. I will wait until the game is release on PC. I hope that I have some time left After I finish to play Generic Viagra.

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Geek Gazette said...

Now that I'm back to playing 2e, I'm finding that it may even take the lead as favorite edition. But for now 2e & 3e are tied for my favorite editions of D&D.

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Nick said...

I absolutely, positively, 100% disagree with your interpretation of 2e. Sure, the game could have a goofy tone at times, but that was in no way a forced "right way". No dungeons and no dragons? What the hell are you on? Dragons were a huge focus on the game, and while dungeons wasn't as strong as a focus as it was in 1e, they were definitely still there and a strong part of it.

And what's this about a condescending tone? I don't know how they wrote in the modules (which is where I hear most of the storygamer-type of stuff lay), but in the core book I found the tone friendly and inviting, and very open to do your own thing. Of course, claiming demons and devils didn't exist at all in 2e just shows how ignorant you are on the subject of that edition.

Yeah, so way to insult my favorite edition of D&D, but then again I shouldn't be insulted by the critique of someone who knows so little about it.

Nick said...

@buzz "2e, otoh, presented rules that supported that core, and then surrounded it with text that said the opposite. "Real roleplayers don't like fight-y dungeon adventure. You should be happy playing a fighter with 9 Str!" It was bogus."

Where the fuck did 2e EVER say anything of the sort? No combat-dungeon adventures? I seriously think you are just making stuff up.