AD&D 2nd Edition

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AD&D 2nd Edition

Post by Kaiser_Kris »

I noticed some 2nd ed AD&D books available for fairly cheap at my FLGS, and I was wondering if it would be worthwhile for me to pick them up. While I've heard a lot of talk of OD&D and 1st ed, I haven't really heard nearly as much about 2nd edition. All I know about the system, really, is what I know from it being the basis for the Baldur's Gate series.

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Post by Rigon »

Well, if you liked Boulder's Gate, then you'll like 2ed. I got into gaming about the time it came out and played it almost exclusively until 3rd edition came out. It's a very playable and enjoyable system, IMO.

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Post by Orpheus »

Sure thing. I started playing right in the middle of the switch from 1st to 2nd edition and I still have all if my small collection from those days. Most of that stuff is interchangeable with 1e material and, naturally, very useful for C&C.

Folks have their beef with 2nd edition, but we're far enough removed from the emotions which were apparently fairly intense at the time of the change. Therefore, you can check it out and judge it based upon it's own merits.

If anything, you can use some of the materials for 1st or C&C if you'd like. The Monstrous Manual is better than the 1st edition MM to me, but others prefer the original. Durability-wise, I can tell you that the 1e stuff is much better than the 2e stuff by far.

If it's cheap then you won't be out much and you'll at least have a chance to first hand check out a cool, though often maligned, era in D&D's history.

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Post by Treebore »

2E is my favorite edition. Of course I ignored all of those "optional" books they put out for it and only recently bought those many "handbooks", but I do really like the "Faith" books put out for Forgotten Realms.
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Post by Go0gleplex »

I'm with Tree. 2nd ed was my favorite edition of AD&D as well. Were I to switch back from C&C, I'd most likely go back to it.

I particularly enjoyed the Skills & Powers stuff, also with which folks have mixed feelings about.
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Post by Kaiser_Kris »

Cool. Thanks. Hopefully those books are still there by the time I'm next able to go to the gaming store.

I can understand why just about anyone would feel very strongly about an edition change. I only hopped on the RPG train fairly recently, just in time for the 4th edition changeover. Which, well, it's an enjoyable squad-level tactical game, but it really wasn't what I'd expected from 'Dungeons and Dragons'.

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Post by Breakdaddy »

2nd edition was fine. The only thing really lacking to me was the Gygaxian prose, which was a loss IMO. The rules themselves were very compatible with 1st edition and the additional rules were actually pretty good. The addition of "kits" in later books was an attractive feature which is still in use today in games like Dragon Age and newer editions of D&D, even if they dont call them "kits" anymore.
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Post by Treebore »

Breakdaddy wrote:
... even if they dont call them "kits" anymore.

Shhh!

That is a trade secret!
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Post by Secret Skeleton »

All the kit books like The Complete Wizard's Handbook plug in to C&C nicely. Actually, most AD&D stuff you can just sort of -use-. I do, a lot, and I am always right in any situation or circumstance. I also invented Time.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

2nd Edition is the win. From a rules standpoint, best version of D&D in my opinion. It still regularly competes with C&C as my fave game of all time.

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Post by Lord Dynel »

I agree with others, Kris - you wouldn't be doing yourself any disservice if you bought them. I liked 2nd Edition a lot - it was the edition I played the longest (well, it's about to be surpassed by 3.x) and though I flipflop about which editon I prefer (between 1st and 2nd), it really is a fantastic ruleset. I think you'd be fine scooping up any 2sn Edition stuff you can find, and would almost guarantee you'd find something to use for your game in those books.
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Post by Traveller »

There were a lot of things to like about 2d Edition, as long as you didn't stray too far from the core books (which in my view means PHB, DMG, MM, Tome of Magic, Book of Artifacts, Arms & Equipment Guide). There were also a lot of things NOT to like about 2d Edition, such as the sheer number of splatbooks.

The best thing about 2d Edition is that you could pick up that 1st Edition or even Basic D&D module and run it without too much difficulty. The same cannot be said for d20, or for the new monstrosity IMO. The books up until yesterday had no place on my shelf. I made a place for them, specifically because of this thread. After all, they did beef up the dragons.
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Post by Rigon »

Let's just say that if I weren't playing C&C, I'd be playing 2nd Ed AD&D.

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Post by Piperdog »

Yep. We switched over to 2e back in the day when it came out. I remember oohing and ahhing over the new covers and clutching them like a teddy bear (hell, did I sleep with them? I think I did.....)

We all thought proficiency slots were kick-ass back then. I think each edition had it's quirks, but also it's own innovations. I was thumbing through my old 2e Oriental Adventures book the other day, looking at how special maneuvers were handled by the use of proficiency slots. Those special combat manuevers in there are the forerunners of feats, btw. Anybody who wanted to thow 3e feats into 2e would have little problem doing so by following the OA structure, which is badass. We had some epic Kung Fu Theatre style games back in the day.
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Post by Aneoth of Ironwood »

Traveller wrote:
There were a lot of things to like about 2d Edition, as long as you didn't stray too far from the core books (which in my view means PHB, DMG, MM, Tome of Magic, Book of Artifacts, Arms & Equipment Guide). There were also a lot of things NOT to like about 2d Edition, such as the sheer number of splatbooks.

The best thing about 2d Edition is that you could pick up that 1st Edition or even Basic D&D module and run it without too much difficulty. The same cannot be said for d20, or for the new monstrosity IMO. The books up until yesterday had no place on my shelf. I made a place for them, specifically because of this thread. After all, they did beef up the dragons.

For the most part I agree about the so-called splat books produced by TSR for 2nd Edition.

Many of them were fluff books.

With some exceptions.

Such as this one:
http://www.acaeum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9776

There are others (as stated above) but The Creative Campaigning Rules Supplement was (and still is) a very good product.

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Post by Secret Skeleton »

I love the Creative Campaigns book. Every of the "complete" books I have found great use for. The Complete Bard's Handbook is very good for any game. The way to raise reputation and popularity and gain fans and patrons is kickass. My current player running a bard uses it religiously.

Complete Book of Necromancers and Monster Mythology are really kickass, as well.

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Post by Lucifer_Draconus »

Get it if you have the $$ as they can be a useful resource for C&C. I still have mine but I only played it once or twice. I prefered 1st ed. I did love the Faiths books for FR. But shortly after 2nd ed. came out I started playing Palladium Fantasy ( amongst others) & began GMing Cyberspace.

Didn't get back into D&D though I still bought the occasional AD&D product till 3.0 came out.
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Post by Fiffergrund »

Re: Kits:

I have several 2E campaigns under my belt, and without exception, kits were detrimental to game balance and enjoyment.

The worst offenders were the elf and ranger kits. Nothing but ridiculous power-gaming madness.

Re: sourcebooks:

Creative Campaigning is an excellent book, but I also recommend the Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide. Paul Jaquays was the prime mover on that one, and it shows.
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Post by Relaxo »

I too loved 2nd ed, but I started playing it first and it was my first love.

like others said, skip the kit books, but the player's options book, I do like, FWIW.

so... PHB, DMG, MM, Tome of magic, Player's option: all 3, (can't recall the titles)

very compatable w/ 1st ed, in my 2nd ed game someone played a Dragon lance knight of the rose no sweat, we ran 1st ed modules with no modification (none that we couldn't do on the fly).

I do prefer the attack bonus thing from 3rd over THAC0, I must confess, and the unified rules for saves and everything are better.... so that's why I love C&C, it's like a best of all stew.

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Post by Go0gleplex »

We always found the kit stuff to be excesively fiddly, so we didn't use it. The skills and powers customization stuff was more than adequate to make some fun stuff happen...without getting overly over the top IMO.
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Post by serleran »

There are some really nice 2nd Edition resources:

1) Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume I - IV

2) Priest's Spell Compendium Volume I - III

3) Encyclopedia Magica Volume I - IV

4) Van Richten's Monster Hunter's Compendium Volume I - III

5) Volo's Guide to... (Series; several of them; some better than others)

6) Historical References (HR "greenbooks"; some better than others)

and many others depending on what you like, such as The Blood War from Planescape.

So, I'd say there are some potentially useful things to get when it concerns 2nd edition, but a lot of that depends on what you're looking for... there is certainly more to get.
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Post by Breakdaddy »

I guess Im in the minority, having actually liked the kits and whatnot. Mightve been the fact that I never used the base kits but always tweaked them to fit our campaign. That usually left them a bit more balanced, especially when one of our guys went the bladesinger route. I tweaked the hell out of that one.
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Post by Omote »

Played lots of 2E here, and allowed and used many of the splatbooks, particularly the demi-human ones. I can't say we had a ton of rule abuses because of these, but there were some. Just corrected, or upped the bad-guy potential and moved on.

Loved some of the Historical Supplements (Vikings in particular), and really loved Monster Mythology. Had the best Greyhawk games using the 2E supplements for that setting. Still some of my favorite RPG supplements are from the 2E era.

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Post by Treebore »

Secret Skeleton wrote:
I love the Creative Campaigns book. Every of the "complete" books I have found great use for. The Complete Bard's Handbook is very good for any game. The way to raise reputation and popularity and gain fans and patrons is kickass. My current player running a bard uses it religiously.

Complete Book of Necromancers and Monster Mythology are really kickass, as well.

I have to agree they have a lot of non kit material that is seriously good stuff to consider using. Especially gear and certain sub systems. Its why I have always owned the Thief and Cleric books, but never the others until a year or so ago.

I did also get the Necromancer book way back when, and found a lot of good stuff to use in it, but there is also a lot of things in there I never used as well, but over all was glad I got it.

I also got those other books similar in look to the complete books, about the Harpers, Draconomicon, Ships, Sages, etc... and found those great for mining tons and tons of ideas.
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Post by Traveller »

Aneoth of Ironwood wrote:
For the most part I agree about the so-called splat books produced by TSR for 2nd Edition.

Many of them were fluff books.

With some exceptions.

Such as this one:
http://www.acaeum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9776

There are others (as stated above) but The Creative Campaigning Rules Supplement was (and still is) a very good product.

I painted with too wide a brush. Books like that don't "stray too far from the core". Things like the various card sets were ridiculous, especially when the only thing they did was duplicate what appeared in the books earlier. And of course...the kits. We can't forget the horror that was the kits.
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Post by Lucifer_Draconus »

I really liked the kits, but as I said before , haven't really played 2e much.
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Post by moriarty777 »

Hehe...

AD&D 2E was my entry into the hobby in the late 80's and I loved it.

TSR's heavy release schedule with an overabundance of supplements for it caused me to leave the game and explore other options.

Ironically, it was WOTC's 3rd Edition (with the $20 core book promo) which got me back in.

Having play a lot of it and being exposed the second edition when it just came out, I made a decision early on with regards to the kits. Basically, I allowed for material in the Complete Fighter, Wizard, Thief, and Priest. For years, those four and the Complete Book of Humanoids are the only Player supplements I cared for. And as much as I like a lot of the 'blue' resource books, I never bothered with them at the time.

I suspect most of that had to do with money. When I played AD&D, I didn't exactly have a lot of money as a teenager.

Since then and since I've started with C&C back in 2006, I have bought up a lot of these guides just for information sake. As neat as they are, I do occasionally ponder the notion about selling some of these books. This pondering is usually quite brief.
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Post by Sundog »

In a vaguely ironic twist, my first ever issue of Dragon, #141, (I was fed up with White Dwarf by then) featured a 2nd Ed advert on the back cover.

Buggrit, thought I. Money was tighter than a body-builder's thong, an now the mag I was hoping would support my personal AD&D renaissance was going for a rewrite? That was irritating. Still, I needn't have worried; everything was so readily compatible that I tootled along quite happily until a leaky roof put paid to very nearly all my 1st Ed stuff.

That was a bad night.

In the end I plumped for a shot at 2nd and I have to admit that before we got splat-bloat, it was a perfectly happy system. I thoroughly liked it, though things did get a bit, well, odd towards the end.

I still have a lot of books and adventures from back then which I can always plunder for ideas, and they gel perfectly nicely with C&C, too.

And I have to say, those complete handbooks were very attractively bound.

. . .

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Post by Breakdaddy »

Sundog wrote:
Buggrit, thought I...

In the end I plumped for a shit at 2nd and I have to admit that before we got splat-bloat, it was a perfectly happy system....

I am still trying to figure out what these mean. Ill ask one of my English friends next chance I get.
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Post by Traveller »

"Dammit, thought I...

In the end I tried 2nd and I have to admit that before we got splat-bloat, it was a perfectly happy system...."

Better?
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