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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Hey old-school RPG players! Although I've been playing D&D 3e and 3.5e for around 6 years now (and loving it), I find myself looking for a bit of a change-- and from looking around some forums here and elsewhere, I know I'm not alone in this. I dipped my toes in 4e but found extremely quickly that I disliked it intensely. I don't mean to put down those that do enjoy it, I understand it's merit and value, but it just doesn't gel with my particular play style/view of pen and paper RPGs. So I figured, instead of moving on to newer editions, why not go back in time?

    I've seen many videos and read many reviews on AD&D 2e, and it sounds like the edition for me.

    So, basically, ITT: Give advice to those of us who are not new to RPing but are wanting to try out AD&D 2e.

    A couple questions I have right off the bat: How hard would it be to find a Skype group for new players to join? Where can you find books to buy or pdfs to download? And also, is there a standard 2e character sheet that people use?

    Thanks!
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    You are just a bit early! I believe WotC is planning on reprinting the 2nd ed. rules this spring. I swear I heard that they are also re-releasing their digital catalog or already did.

    Hunt used bookstores, ebay or friendly local gaming store. My group were recently discussing switching back to 2nd edition for a campaign. Most of my group started in 2nd ed.

    I've never played on skype and I don't think we ever used character sheets back then. Just notebook paper. So I can't help you there.

    On a side note yet related. I never cared much for forgotten realms back when we played 2nd edition, but can't get enough of the 2nd edition stuff now. I read the various FR sourcebooks all the time. Who'd of thought. Good luck on your other two questions.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    I believe WotC is planning on reprinting the 2nd ed. rules this spring.
    That is awesome news! I will definitely consider picking up the core rulebooks when that comes around. Perusing used bookstores just wasn't turning up much... I'll look into that, thanks!

    I'm not really a huge fan of Skype games anyway, just thought it would be a way to cut my teeth on 2e before bringing it back to my local group of version 3ers. And yeah, I got the impression that there weren't really any official sheets released, thanks for finally clearing that up for me.

    Interestingly enough, I've never used a pre-established campaign in all the years I've been playing. Just seemed like it was more work (and less rewarding) to learn the ins and outs of someone else's world than to make my own, you know? But I'll consider changing my ways and giving FR a try when the books are re-printed.

    Thanks for the response, and welcome to the forum!
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    If you're used to 3ed D&D, going back to AD&D can be a bit of a right-angled crowbar jammed in your head when it comes to certain basic assumptions.

    One of the very prominent ones is that combat in ad&d is even less simulationist than 3ed. Each combat round is one whole minute long. That's really a very long time to be fighting and to wrap your head around ad&d combat you first have to get your head into the space which says "each round of combat represents a lot of stuff happening". An attack isn't just a single thrust of your blade; it's 60 seconds worth of cut and thrust, taunting, parries, advancing, retreating and so forth. Moving from point A to point B probably takes you via points C, D and F too (so throw out your ideas about Attacks of Opportunity).

    Make sure not to mistake Non-Weapon Proficiencies (if you decide to use them at all...it's an optional rule) as being the same thing as Skills in 3ed. They're not. They're similar, but one thing to remember is that outside of unusual circumstances, you never have to roll to see if you can use most Non-Weapon Profciencies. You have a N-WP for Basketweaving? Then you can weave baskets.

    Classes and the whole Multi-classing thing is kinda different, too. Once you've made your choice, you're pretty much stuck with it (unless you're Human). Then there's the racial restrictions. If you want to be a thiefy-wizard, then you're going to have to be an Elf or Half-Elf. If you want to be a thiefy-cleric then it's Gnome or nothing!

    Don't expect to have lots of modifiers to your dice rolls. Ability Scores don't really do anything in combat until you're hitting 16+ and even then you're only looking at the odd 1 or 2 points, here and there. The main purpose of Ability Scores is for out-of-combat checks and in those circumstances, every point counts! None of the +1 every 2 points stuff you get in 3ed, in ad&d you're trying to roll under your stat on a d20...so there's actually a functional difference between someone with Dex 13 and Dex 12.
    I apologise if I come across agressive. I'm the sort of person that will poke a wasps nest, just to see what happens. I don't hate you, I just like a good argument

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Combat was one of the first things that I came across when looking into 2e, and I think the word that sums it up well is abstract. Which, as it turns out, I absolutely love. I never use the grid when I play 3e, I find it cumbersome and infinitely less evocative than my own imagination.

    All excellent tips though, Jelly. When these re-prints of 2e books arrive, I'll make sure to have a bottle of headache pills handy. I hate crowbars to the head.
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    You can always dig up copies off of Amazon. You can find quite a few of the books there with little effort, and it is for the most part cheap.
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Playing

    There's no "balance" all over everything. That's not the point.

    Races aren't equal - humans are worse, until (if ever) you get to the high levels, where demihumans (elves, half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings) start to bump up against level caps. But that's okay, because 1. those levels are rarely reached (they're mostly there "in case," IMO), and 2. demihumans should be multiclassing anyway, because it front-loads awesomeness. Stay mostly 1-2 levels behind a single-class character to be a fighter who casts like a wizard, or a wizard who also casts (and fights) like a cleric? Yes please. And past 9th level, the differences between noncasters of different levels are shrinking. When an elven fighter/mage finally bumps up against his limits (F12, M15), he's got the XP to put a single-class fighter around 22nd level, but with 7th-level spells, his personal power still blows the fighter out of the water.

    Classes are "balanced" against each other by requiring different amounts of XP. The "base rate" (fighter) is 2000 for 2nd, 4000 for 3rd, and then some not-entirely-logical growth, evening out to 250K per level after 9th. The thief needs much less (1250, 2500, etc.), the mage somewhat more (2500, 5000, etc.). The relative speeds of advancement jump around - a wizard with 90K XP is actually a level ahead of a fighter with the same.

    Once you choose a class, you're stuck with it - unless you're a human, in which case there's an onerous (but easily fixed; nix the inability to use previously earned class abilities freely) dual-classing system with tough requirements. Multi-classing is for demi-humans, who can start out with 2-3 classes (from approved combos per race) and split their XP between them. (I prefer tracking separate XP totals and applying the XP modifier for prime requisites to each total separately; so you can, for instance, have 18,000 XP in one class and 19,800 XP in the other).

    THAC0. It's confusing for many people. (And the 2E PHB explains it so badly!) The simple of it is: roll d20. Add your opponent's AC and your bonuses. If the total is your THAC0, you hit. It's not hard to convert into ascending AC and attack bonuses, either (your attack bonus is 20-THAC0, ACs become 20-AC).

    There's alternative formulas to use, too. You can deduct all your bonuses from your THAC0 (recording THAC0s for separate weapons with your permanent modifiers applied was very common), then deduct your opponent's AC from it, and that's your target number. I've found most people feel addition is more intuitive than deduction, though.

    Saves. A lot of effects don't explicitly state that you get a save against them, but it's generally assumed that, for instance, if you may be petrified, you save against petrification, etc. (Many spells explicitly don't let you save, though.) Note, too, that traps would mostly make attack rolls, work automatically, or use some kind of ability check - saves weren't really meant for traps. (That's why there's no save that applies to, say, avoiding a pit trap.) Saves also have a hierarchy - you use the top (leftmost on Table 60 in the PHB) save that applies. And a small detail: 2E monsters generally save using their HD as their level, as whatever class fits them best. (DM judgement call.)

    Dungeon Mastering
    There's also some different base assumptions from the DMing perspective, although with AD&D 2E, they were starting to get muddled.

    The big thing is XP for GP (1:1 for non-magical treasure found and returned from dungeons and other adventures). This is a great rule that all campaigns should use (it's on page 69 of the black-cover DMG), while ignoring the rogues' similar individual award (it's bad enough if you just use that, because it means they'll usually have the most XP, in addition to needing the least XP to advance).

    This reinforces that the idea isn't to go and fight dangerous monsters, but to get their treasure. Stealth, trickery, bribery, and running away should all be standard tractics. Just look at the random encounters for the first level of the Undermountain (Ruins of the Undermountain boxed set): you can encounter goblins, orcs, or carrion crawlers (standard dungeon level 1 stuff), but can just as easily run into 12 trolls, a death kiss beholder, a spectre, or 20 shadows!

    The 2E DMG is, unfortunately, full of horrible advice about railroading your players, "preserving your plot," and other vile nonsense that unfortunately became standard (starting with some 1E modules, like the Dragonlance series - although the first modules aren't really that different from any other "plotty" modules).


    I gotta admit, while I prefer the 2E rules to 1E and even B/X (or rather the Mentzer red box/BECMI, to be specific), the books are IMO objectively worse - less comprehensible, over-long with unnecessary prose hiding salient rule points, and full of bad advice for DMs.

    Also (again, a matter of taste), stay away from the Player's Option books, at least to start with. They add a great deal of complexity, and really make the game feel more like 3E anyway. (Combat & Tactics particularly has many, many mechanics that ended up in 3E.) You do not need 300+ pages MORE rules for your AD&D game...

    If you like AD&D 2E, you should check out older editions (Basic or B/X, AD&D 1E, etc.). You can buy PDFs from WotC again as of just lately, or you can get a retro-clone game like OSRIC, Basic Fantasy, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, and so on - many of them are free, and most are pretty awesome and very simple in presentation. There's also related games with more of their own spin, like Adventurer Conqueror King (just awesome), and Dungeon Crawl Classics (a bit very gonzo but fun).

    Character Sheet
    There is no standard 2E sheet. For some twisted reason, AD&D 2E didn't come with one. (The Mentzer Basic did!) Well, I guess they sold them in booklets later, but good luck finding those. There are many, many, MANY available online, but almost all of them are by necessity customized; are you using weapon or nonweapon proficiencies, etc. Check out Dragonsfoot and ADnD Downloads.
    Last edited by Rhynn; 2013-02-16 at 09:19 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Just for your info there are two retro-2E games.

    Myth and Magic, which is a 2E 'feel' game has free Player's and GM's Guides so you can get a feel for the rules. The Player's handbook is available as PDF and hard copy from New haven Games website. The GM book is in production (kickstarter). Pick up the freebies here: http://www.rpgnow.com/index.php?cPath=335_8521

    There is also For Gold and Glory, which is a clone of 2E (although not exact). It is available as a word doc only ATM. However the webpage is down at the moment, not sure what the story is: http://www.feysquare.com/archives/142

    Just to give other options :)

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    It is definitely necessary to rethink assumptions about D&D when playing AD&D. Although it is possible to play it like D20, the experience overall will not be as good, and you will find yourself thoroughly sympathising with the system changes, which rather misses the point of trying something different. The best advice, in my opinion, is to throw out all of the optional rules (including paladins, rangers, bards, druids, illusionists and so on) and play as minimalist as possible. This should give you an idea as to how the "empty space" works, which is to say what to do when the rule books are not specific about how to proceed. Get hold of a decent starting module and local setting (either purchased or of your own devising) and have at it. Do not be afraid to let the dice fall where they may and be as open as possible to player suggestions with regard to non-standard actions.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    You have one assumption that you must drop before you start reading the rules. It is NOT TRUE that all high die rolls are good. Often you have to roll low.

    It's not hard to keep track; you just need to realize it from the start.

    Also, the character stats never start above 18, and rarely reach 19. Don't assume your character stats will keep growing. Advances in stats are actually pretty rare.

    There are no rules for WBL, CR, and the like. It's the DM's job to determine reasonable limits.

    Check out all the biggest used bookstores in town, every month or two, and you'll probably have all the books you want fairly quickly.

    Finally, if you're just starting out, use only the PHB, MM, and DMG. The "Complete" books, & "Players' Options" books are mostly unnecessary, stuff to use when the base rules get stale.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    The best advice, in my opinion, is to throw out all of the optional rules (including paladins, rangers, bards, druids, illusionists and so on) and play as minimalist as possible. This should give you an idea as to how the "empty space" works, which is to say what to do when the rule books are not specific about how to proceed. Get hold of a decent starting module and local setting (either purchased or of your own devising) and have at it. Do not be afraid to let the dice fall where they may and be as open as possible to player suggestions with regard to non-standard actions.
    Absolutely agreed. Start simple. Ditch weapon and nonweapon proficiencies, etc.

    Also, the beautiful thing about 2E is that it's basically 99% compatible with 1E and 95% with Basic, especially modules (you'll need to recalculate XP for monsters, and may or may not want to update them to 2E versions).

    If you can, try a module like The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (U1) (AD&D 1E), The Village of Hommlet (T1) (AD&D 1E), In Search of the Unknown (B1) (Basic), The Keep on the Borderlands (B2) (Basic), Palace of the Silver Princess (B1) (Basic), or The Lost City (B4) (Basic)...

    These are mostly "location-based" adventures, not "scene-based" adventures (like basically everything published for 3E and onwards, and even most 2E stuff).

    D&D Classics for sale by WotC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Machpants View Post
    Just for your info there are two retro-2E games.
    I had no idea, thank you!
    Last edited by Rhynn; 2013-02-17 at 09:26 AM.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Seconding Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. My favorite adventure of all time. I think I've been thru it 3 times..... followed closely by the Ravenloft adventure Night of the Walking Dead

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Wow, awesome responses, chaps. More than I expected actually, this is great. Thanks so much for the info/tips, particularly on which books I should look into.

    A further question: how do I actually get my foot in the metaphorical door and get started in 2e? Coming from small town prairie Canada, there aren't exactly many local gaming enthusiasts. Mostly just farmers, polar bears and old people, actually. I know I need to just dive in and play a game or 20 to familiarize myself with the rules before I can run my own game, but how do I do that? Skype? Conventions? Any ideas/stories how you guys got started?

    Keep the advice coming, if you have any more!
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Great For you! 2E is one of my favourite games I have ever played.

    BUT! There is one game that I like even more:

    Myth & Magic! Its like 2E adapted with the BAB system! And guess what? There is a quite a bit free trial sample right here!

    Its essentially 2E with the best aspects of 3E (BAB, saves condensed into 3, some of the chunkier rules where removed)

    I suggest you check it out.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Myth & Magic! Its like 2E adapted with the BAB system!
    Well, seeing as you're the second person to suggest that, it's definitely worth a shot. Although I'm itching for the full AD&D 2e experience, if nothing else Myth and Magic might ease my learning curve... Thanks for the suggestion, friendo!
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    There is the full 2E experience, and then there is intentionaly making things confusing for yourself. You loose NOTHING by dropping Thac0. You loose NOTHING by compressing the weird saves.

    Im serious. Use M&M for the mechanics and 2E for the fluffset.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddfellow View Post
    A further question: how do I actually get my foot in the metaphorical door and get started in 2e? Coming from small town prairie Canada, there aren't exactly many local gaming enthusiasts. Mostly just farmers, polar bears and old people, actually. I know I need to just dive in and play a game or 20 to familiarize myself with the rules before I can run my own game, but how do I do that? Skype? Conventions? Any ideas/stories how you guys got started?
    A lot of people seem to think that you need to have experience to run a RPG, but that's silly - being a player doesn't make you that much better at it (other than getting a handle on the rules). Almost everyone I play with started the same way: between ages 10 and 12 or so, they got Basic D&D or Cyberpunk 2020, and one of the kids was the GM while the others were players. It took a lot of growing up to really process experience into useful skill, but that'll be faster for an adult, anyway...

    Read the books until you understand them, get a group together (at a table is best), and play. You can try joining games online as a player, too.

    BTW, the Myth & Magic free books at least have a great advantage: they simplify things enormously by cutting the classes off at level 10, spells of at level 5, and leaving out the variant classes. The proficiency system isn't too divergent from AD&D 2E's, and you can leave it out anyway. (Of course, by now you're pretty closer to Basic D&D, but I think that's mostly a good thing...)
    Last edited by Rhynn; 2013-02-17 at 06:43 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with folks who repeat the claim that Myth and Magic simplify AD&D. They just don't.

    In fact, in my view, they massively complicate it with loads and loads of extra add ins that you just don't need, and the task resolution system is not that great when compared to the simplicity of the AD&D method (literally, pick the appropriate attribute and roll under it, done).

    If you're looking for the true AD&D 2e experience, I recommend getting your hands on the books, or if you're cash light at the moment, get yourself a download of For Glory and Gold (I think that's what it's called) and use that. Just edit out many or most of the optional rules on your first go around (though I really do recommend keeping the weapon proficiencies in, they don't seem important, but they do make a difference in the AD&D game) and just start it up.

    If you want to experience the game before running it, then I recommend hopping over to Dragonsfoot forums and looking in the "Seeking Players" section. There's lots of groups that would probably be willing to let you tag along for a session or three just to see how it all works out online. It's not tough.

    Or, very simply, just run it and take it slow and steady. DMing 2nd edition is imeasurably easier than DMing 3.x. It really is and there's just no way around it. The rules are much looser and you don't have to sit down for hours in advance setting out the statistics of every little thing balancing feats and skilll points and bonuses simply because there's dramatically less of that stuff to go around. And as long as you take it slow as the DM and start small, you'll do fine.

    As for the claim that the 2nd edition DMG is full of advice about keeping the plot and railroading your characters, that's just flat out inaccurate. That advice is not in the book.
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Yeah. Please explain yourself mister hamlet. Just saying how its complicated discourages people from looking.

    I guess there are the feat type things, but they are given in much smaller quantities, and much better balanced.

    I don't see any other addons.

    And the ADD task resolution method begins to crumble when comparing resolutions to each other, and setting a difficulty standard.

    Like why does breaking down an Ordinary door have the same DC as breaking chains of iron? So instead your forced to mentally mess with giving ability score penalties instead of just setting a higher number DC

    If these things bug you (And they will if you try to set a decent level of difficulty for the players) then take M&M instead.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhynn View Post
    The 2E DMG is, unfortunately, full of horrible advice about railroading your players, "preserving your plot," and other vile nonsense that unfortunately became standard (starting with some 1E modules, like the Dragonlance series - although the first modules aren't really that different from any other "plotty" modules).
    Rhynn, you must have missed my Favorite Bad Advice thread (Don't post there now, as it's nearly a year dead, and you'll be accused of Thread Necromancy). There was surprisingly little bad advice cited there, considering the "conventional wisdom" regarding the 2E DMG. I think if you read carefully through the book, you'll find the railroading advice is from another source. If not, though, feel free to start a new thread detailing the evils of the 2E DMG.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Scowling Dragon View Post
    Yeah. Please explain yourself mister hamlet. Just saying how its complicated discourages people from looking.

    I guess there are the feat type things, but they are given in much smaller quantities, and much better balanced.

    I don't see any other addons.

    And the ADD task resolution method begins to crumble when comparing resolutions to each other, and setting a difficulty standard.

    Like why does breaking down an Ordinary door have the same DC as breaking chains of iron? So instead your forced to mentally mess with giving ability score penalties instead of just setting a higher number DC

    If these things bug you (And they will if you try to set a decent level of difficulty for the players) then take M&M instead.
    Or you could read the rules and realize that breaking down a door would be governed under the open doors or bend bars rules listed on the strength table fairly explicitely.

    The ability check method is used as a catch all for things that aren't specified by another rule. Like having somebody creep past a guard as best he can, or to topple over a heavy stone statue, or arm wrestle with an ogre.

    And yes, I'm talking about the extras that were added to M&M. There don't look to be that many immediately, but there really are IMO. They are complicated in the way they work (including the skill system) and the target difficulty setup is needlessly complicated when simply rolling under your ability works just fine for me.

    It is, largely, a matter of personal preference and I've never denied that. I offered my advice based on my own experiences.
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Or you could read the rules and realize that breaking down a door would be governed under the open doors or bend bars rules listed on the strength table fairly explicitely.
    Which go into very little detail. Because its an "Internal Roll" system

    The ability check method is used as a catch all for things that aren't specified by another rule. Like having somebody creep past a guard as best he can, or to topple over a heavy stone statue, or arm wrestle with an ogre.
    This is what I call "internal baggage" system. Where your character rolls against his own internal number instead of an external number. Its easier to remember but harder to modify, and makes it more annoying for the GM.

    And its still almost identical you know? It just allows for specifics more.

    What if the Guard is a Ninja? Or asleep? What If the statue is made out of wood and is light?

    Wrestling with an ogre doesn't work that well either. Since there are different creatures, and each wrestling attempt would end up identical against each one.

    Since M&M actually provides monsters with a visible ability score, you can actually ROLL against each other for once.


    And yes, I'm talking about the extras that were added to M&M. There don't look to be that many immediately, but there really are IMO. They are complicated in the way they work (including the skill system) and the target difficulty setup is needlessly complicated when simply rolling under your ability works just fine for me.
    WHY are they complicated? They are nearly IDENTICAL to the standard system!

    Go into detail!

    It is, largely, a matter of personal preference and I've never denied that. I offered my advice based on my own experiences.
    I just meant that you should never make negative, yet open ended statements. It leaves people discouraged from trying a stuff, yet because of the explanation they can't even understand WHY and might be discouraged from trying something that sounds perfect for them.
    Last edited by Scowling Dragon; 2013-02-18 at 03:28 PM.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Scowling Dragon View Post
    Which go into very little detail. Because its an "Internal Roll" system
    I don't think it needs any more detail than it has. It's quite clear: open doors is for opening stuck doors or portals, things that aren't locked but are otherwise difficult to move/budge while bend bars is for, obviously, bending bars, breaking open a locked door by main strength, busting chains, etc. It's very clear IMO. Don't see that any additional detail is required here.


    This is what I call "internal baggage" system. Where your character rolls against his own internal number instead of an external number. Its easier to remember but harder to modify, and makes it more annoying for the GM.

    And its still almost identical you know? It just allows for specifics more.
    Yes, it is "internal baggage" I suppose, but it's more intuitive to me. Somebody with a higher strength is more likely to be able to succeed on that check than somebody with a lower attribute. And it keeps the entire thing within, generally speaking, a bounded realm from 1-20 (barring major outliers).

    And it's very easy to modify on the fly. Yeah, you can attempt to tip over that statue, but it's very heavy and bottom heavy, so your only rolling at, say, 4 less than your actual stength score. Or, one that I use all the time, rolling a d20 under half your wisdom or intelligence to just come up with something or put together bits of information: i.e., the DM's throw the players a bone mechanic when their characters are smarter than they are at any given moment. It's easy to modify and relies on no more "DM Fiat" (oh how I've come to loathe the use of that term) than adjusting DC/TN.

    What if the Guard is a Ninja? Or asleep? What If the statue is made out of wood and is light?
    See above. IF the guard is a Ninja . . . then he's underemployed. If he's asleep, I'd say it's almost an assured success unless you roll a "1" on the check, in which case you've stumbled and made a loud noise inadvertantly. If the statue is lightweight, it's easier to tip (adjust your strength up by 4 or 5 points for the task say) but it's probably far less useful as a baricade in that instance.

    It takes common sense and the willingness to sit back as a DM and make a decision based on the situation. I know, that's wrongbadfun nowadays, but it's still a matter of personal choice.

    Wrestling with an ogre doesn't work that well either. Since there are different creatures, and each wrestling attempt would end up identical against each one.
    Not really. It would require more work, yeah, and the DM would have to sit there and basically make decisions behind the screen on the fly, but it works. And I've done it from both sides. In one case, I just rolled the strength of the ogre in question and we worked from there. In another (another game/campaign entirely) I just winged it and had the ogre receiving a bonus to his strength roll due to his obvious muscular nature. Worked out just fine in both cases with precisely zero drama or headache.


    Since M&M actually provides monsters with a visible ability score, you can actually ROLL against each other for once.
    Which is fine, if that's what you need or want. I, personally, don't need or want that 99.9% of the time, and so when asked I will say that I find it not to be neccessary for the most part and easily dispensed with and even say it's needlessly complicating the matter. It is extraneous information most of the time, and even if it suddenly becomes pertinent, it's nothing that I could not have supplied entirely on my own.


    WHY are they complicated? They are nearly IDENTICAL to the standard system!

    Go into detail!
    I find them complicated. They are not nearly identical to the original system except, perhaps, mathematically in the end. And I grant that, in terms of math, they probably (I haven't looked at a proof for it) work out to be just about ballpark identical. But to me, and I can't stress that aspect enough that this is IMO, they are complicated. I prefer the original formulation of non-weapon proficiencies at the very least because they took less room in text to explain, I understood them better/easier and can explain them easier to the players, which is important.

    This isn't me telling anybody that they are objectively worse and that they suck or anything like that. It's me saying that I find them more complicated and a pain to deal with when the original NWP were easier to fathom and work with.

    I just meant that you should never make negative, yet open ended statements. It leaves people discouraged from trying a stuff, yet because of the explanation they can't even understand WHY and might be discouraged from trying something that sounds perfect for them.
    I know what you mean. But you're putting words in my mouth here. I didn't try to discourage the OP from trying a new thing. Hell, if he wants, feel free to try it. I encourage him to read it and make the choice himself.

    I am saying, from my point of view and in my experience both as a player and as a DM, that the original AD&D 2e system is simpler in implementation and execution and easier to make use of than M&M. I've tried M&M for several sessions and it just didn't come easy to the group who were very much 3.x players. When I converted everything to AD&D 2ed and started explaining it that way (and mind, only one of them had ever actually read the AD&D rules to begin with), it clicked much faster and worked much better.

    This is all my experience and I'm not pretending to point out any objective or numerical failings of the M&M system, I'm simply offering my opinion and advice.
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Whole Bunch of stuff to which my answer would be: So its almost Identical to M&M except its an external based system
    So its almost identical except its an external based system? OK then.

    I consider M&M simplifying because its all grouped under "Roll High". With 2E DD some things its good to roll high, others low, others modify your die to roll low whistle you want to roll high.

    Its personally confusing. I prefer the universal system of "Roll higher then the number" with a 1D20+ modifiers. And as a DM I find it easier to say "Ok Players Roll higher then this number" then have to fiddle with each individuals ability scores.

    Plus the save system is more compact and Thatc0 is not a good roll based system system. As best its slightly more complicated then BAB. So why not just use BAB?

    This is all my experience and I'm not pretending to point out any objective or numerical failings of the M&M system, I'm simply offering my opinion and advice.
    Well you just kinda came off in your first post like what you where saying was fact, rather then opinion.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Scowling Dragon View Post
    So its almost identical except its an external based system? OK then.
    Yes. I do not, as a personal matter, prefer "external" methods of task resolution. They tend to be fiddly, annoying, and vague in my eye. When you go beyond the rules as written on what constituted this DC versus that DC, it tends to get troublesome wheras, again IMO, an "internal" method has a sort of . . . buffer built in I guess. Even if you're just flat out faking it, you an pretty much rest assured that (assuming you're following the methods of attribute generation that belong in the "roll 3d6 in order" modes) that you'll end up with a result that, while not simulationist or perfect all the time, at least generally stays within the bounds of common sense and is quick and easy to figure.

    I consider M&M simplifying because its all grouped under "Roll High". With 2E DD some things its good to roll high, others low, others modify your die to roll low whistle you want to roll high.
    And I suppose I can appreciate that, though personally I've never had trouble remembering when one was roll high and one was roll low and found it more intuitive that some were the way they were while others were different. It just clicks in my brain better, and that helps me help it click for players better, which creates a better game.

    Though I will say that the alure of "always roll high" isn't foreign to me. It does make a certain kind of sense, but it's all "head logic" as opposed to "gut logic" if you take my meaning. AD&D, for me, is always run "by the gut" and works well that way, while 3.x seems (I've limited experience running it) was very heady stuff and took me absolute ages to even figure the simplest things (i.e., a combat between four characters and a like number of ghouls) whereas in AD&D, that was a random encounter and took me . . . 10 seconds to set up.

    Its personally confusing. I prefer the universal system of "Roll higher then the number" with a 1D20+ modifiers. And as a DM I find it easier to say "Ok Players Roll higher then this number" then have to fiddle with each individuals ability scores.

    Plus the save system is more compact and Thatc0 is not a good roll based system system. As best its slightly more complicated then BAB. So why not just use BAB?
    I have absolutely no problem with THAC0, except that the PHB explained it wrong and then further supplements went on to make it even worse. Really, it's VERY simple if you know the proper method: player rolls d20 and adds his modifiers, DM takes that number, add's the creature's AC and compares to the THAC0 of the player and informs him if he hit or not. Done. Mathematically virtually identical to BAB, just split up a bit differently and putting a bit of burden on the DM at the same time.

    HOWEVER. I will say that I've played in an AD&D game where we flipped the to hit charts and created a BAB like system (before 3.x mind you) that worked very well for us at the time before we figured out the easy way to conduct THAC0. It works very well either way, you just have to drop your preconceptions.

    Well you just kinda came off in your first post like what you where saying was fact, rather then opinion.
    Well, the internet is notoriously difficult to communicate anything even within the same time zone of nuance with you know. And much as we hate to admit it, most people's immediate assumption with folks on the internet is that GIFT is in full effect.
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Okay, so Scowling Dragon likes Myth & Magic, and Hamlet prefers straight 2nd Edition. I think we get the idea.

    I think one of the reasons I like Non-Weapon proficiencies and Ability checks goes back to Jay R's remark. High rolls are not always good. I suspect they did things this way so those with not-perfectly-balanced-d20s will still be able to get both good and bad rolls with the same die.

    I haven't looked too deeply into Myth and Magic, but I decided to stick with straight 2nd Edition, mainly because I don't want to have to convert all my monsters and NPCs to BAB and Fort/Will/Reflex saves rather than the defaults they come with. THAC0 doesn't give me hives, and, after adjusting the Breath Weapon saves for thieves, I'm fine with 5 saving throws.

    Just ditch System Shock rolls. They really just add another opportunity for your character to fail.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Yes. I do not, as a personal matter, prefer "external" methods of task resolution. They tend to be fiddly, annoying, and vague in my eye. When you go beyond the rules as written on what constituted this DC versus that DC, it tends to get troublesome wheras, again IMO, an "internal" method has a sort of . . . buffer built in I guess. Even if you're just flat out faking it, you an pretty much rest assured that (assuming you're following the methods of attribute generation that belong in the "roll 3d6 in order" modes) that you'll end up with a result that, while not simulationist or perfect all the time, at least generally stays within the bounds of common sense and is quick and easy to figure.

    OK then. Glad we understand each other.


    And I suppose I can appreciate that, though personally I've never had trouble remembering when one was roll high and one was roll low and found it more intuitive that some were the way they were while others were different. It just clicks in my brain better, and that helps me help it click for players better, which creates a better game.
    Whatever works better for you mate.

    Really, it's VERY simple if you know the proper method: player rolls d20 and adds his modifiers, DM takes that number, add's the creature's AC and compares to the THAC0 of the player and informs him if he hit or not.
    I know its not as difficult as most people make it out to be yet its STILL needlessly complicated. Here is BAB for comparisons sake:

    Player rolls d20 and adds his modifiers, If the DM sees the number and tells the player if its a hit or not.

    You just don't GAIN anything from Thatc0 over BAB, thats just what im sayin.

    Well, the internet is notoriously difficult to communicate anything even within the same time zone of nuance with you know. And much as we hate to admit it, most people's immediate assumption with folks on the internet is that GIFT is in full effect.
    Yeah. Im sorry for overreacting as well. I love 2E. And I do like the roll lower method. But Im a more fiddly guy, and prefer the external baggage system. Thats about it.

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by Scowling Dragon View Post
    Yeah. Im sorry for overreacting as well. I love 2E. And I do like the roll lower method. But Im a more fiddly guy, and prefer the external baggage system. Thats about it.
    And hey, sorry if I came across badly at first. Like I said, the internet message boards are not ideal modes of communication for much.
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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    And hey, sorry if I came across badly at first. Like I said, the internet message boards are not ideal modes of communication for much.
    It is funny I agree with most of what you say in relation to 2e (with a few differences in opinion such as with race level limits but that is not important right now) but I hate the way you resolve THAC0. As a DM it would drive me nuts and somehow I never had a problem getting my players to do simple subtraction but hey whatever works for you right?

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    Default Re: New to AD&D 2e/Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by MeeposFire View Post
    It is funny I agree with most of what you say in relation to 2e (with a few differences in opinion such as with race level limits but that is not important right now) but I hate the way you resolve THAC0. As a DM it would drive me nuts and somehow I never had a problem getting my players to do simple subtraction but hey whatever works for you right?
    It makes no difference to me, because for each character I have, in any game, the character sheet shows the number to hit each AC, for each weapon. My computer calculates that before play.

    ThAC0, BAB, doesn't matter. All arithmetic that can be done in advance, should be done in advance.

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