Sunday, April 1, 2012

How I actually played second edition AD&D

Teazia's comment on my last post got me thinking about how I actually played second edition AD&D. When I started playing as a child I devoured source books, splat books, campaign settings, and optional rules with the reckless abandon of a young person. Knowing nothing else I drunk deeply from the well of second edition folly. As I grew older I began to realize that my game had lost something important. So in my late teens (the last time I played a lot of D&D until my late twenties) I began to pare down the monster of second edition until I was left with the things that had originally enthralled me.

My selected optional rules and house rules (as best as I can remember) looked something like this:

  • 3d6 in order for stats.
  • Secondary skills - no non-weapon proficiencies.
  • No kits.
  • No sub-races.
  • Actually, pretty much nothing from the Complete books series.
  • No specialty priests.
  • No weapon proficiencies - I at first experimented with weapon groups from The Complete Fighter's Handbook (which sees final fruition in third edition) but ended up abandoning proficiencies entirely.
  • A 10 second combat round.
  • Nothing at all from the Player's Options books.
I might be missing something, but that gives you the gist of it. What I find fascinating is how close it is to Labyrinth Lord + Advanced Edition Companion (no half-orcs or assassins, but . . . bards?). Obviously, not everyone likes this sort of paring down. I had players who really didn't think much of it. Those players went on to become avid third edition players and I (largely) stopped playing.

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