Thursday, January 4, 2018

Rambling about 2nd Edition

I do most of my thinking about RPGs when I'm either trying to sleep or walking to work.  Lately it's been so cold, that walking is out of the question.  The other night I started thinking about 2nd edition.  It was the game I started DMing with.  I had previously played a bit of first edition with my cousin.  Shortly after I got into 2nd Ed a friend at the time was running the Rules Cyclopedia.   This whole post sort of goes back to my biography (which I should really update!)

The gist is that If I had never discovered the OSR then I would have always played 2nd Edition.  Basically if someone said "hey you wanna play some DnD", I would have pull out those books. 

There's a few reasons why.  First I should state that I only have the core books.  I have one splat book that was given to me (the drow of the underdark). What was contained in the 3 core rule books was always enough for me.  Later on I got a copy of the FR campaign setting and the Menzoberranzan setting.  In general however I pretty much played in my own world, on occasion jumping to Shadowdale. 

Part of the reason that I would have just stuck with those books and edition, is that I'm very cheap! hahaha.  I'm a grognard, in the way that I was perfectly happy with 2nd Ed (even thaco).  Because I didn't know any better! I have to admit there's a bit of comfort in only knowing one thing.  Of course I'm on the other side of that now, I know about ascending AC, and a variety of other cool things. 

Case in point, when we first started playing fifth edition a friend of mine really wanted to try D&D.  Even though I had already begun to fall down the OSR rabbit hole, I pulled out my 2e books and started re-reading them.  I do that from time to time.  There's some good ideas in those books.  Of course there was comfort in them for me as well.  Once we got into fifth ed, I remember having a conversation about how spells worked.  I honestly could wrap my head around spell lists, and the character only have access to those and knowing them all regardless of level (this shit must have been implemented in 3rd ed or something). 

I must admit that the 1e/5e DMGs are far superior than the 2e one.

My collection of 2e books has not got any further than the following: 
*PHB, DMG & The basic MM (There was a pile of them! I had the one pictured below).
*Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
*Drow Of The Underdark
*Sword of the dales adventure
*The Dales Campaign Setting
*Dragon Knight (DLA2) Dragonlance Adventure
*DM screen with the terrible adventure "terrible trouble at traigdore" (remember that gem!)

And that's about it!

Looking back on playing 2e, knowing what I know now about the OSR, I basically played the game like basic but with classes.  I didn't worry too much about proficiency's, etc.

Know and again I pull out the monster manual and start flipping thru it.  There are a pile of great adventure ideas hidden within that book.  On that point, I have no intention of buying the 5e MM.  There's enough information in the DMG to convert the 2nd ed monsters.  As well there's enough information to convert 2nd ed adventures (which I've done already). 

This post lost a bit of focus.  Had I not discovered the OSR the following would have probably happened.

1.  I doubt strongly that I would have ever released any material.
2.  I would have probably played a bit of 2e every once in awhile. (It's not the easiest game for a newb)
3.  I still would have disliked but dealt with thaco.
4.  I would not have met all these cool liked minded people
5.  I may have ended up buying full into 5e. Although the games would have felt like a 2e game.

Maybe someday, at some point I will run this game again.  I will never part with these books however.  Well except one "Dragon Knight", because reasons. I will probably run the adventures again, although converted to 5e probably.  Despite how much I've rallied against FR, it's in my gaming DNA (as you can see in some of my writing).  Wrapping my brain around the new timeline and the 2nd edition time line could be entertaining.  "Sorry there are no dragonborn or tieflings in this game".  Anyways, that's my thoughts for this morning.  I should get to work!