Raising the AD&D Banner

Nostalgia can be a powerful thing but BITD I liked AD&D. Over the last few weeks I have been running a few one off games of AD&D with d20 era players to see what they think. Overall they liked it and I have house ruled things like level limits and racial restrictions away and they have noticed things like Halfling do not suck, Fighters were nerfed in 3rd ed and the Druid was not a broken abomination.


While it is entertaining to watch the 3rd and 4th ed crowds fight it out I still like AD&D both 1st and 2nd ed and I still like BECM as well even if overall I prefer 3rd ed slightly. While I cannot stand bounded accuracy as implemented I do like how D&DN seems to be going back to AD&D expectations on things like magic items. Wondrous items need to be wondrous and not just a gp value you pick up in the nearest city once you accumulate enough gold or have an hour spare and a ritual.


Balance at least in the way a modern d20 would understand it need to be thrown out the window. The main appeal of AD&D is that it is more balanced than 3rd ed and doesn't have the problems of 4th ed- long combats, inflated hit points, magic item/inherent bonus treadmill and it is easy to run. The major downsides are things like THACO and counter intuitive mechanics like initiative and ability checks. Higher is not always better in 2nd ed. Things like level limits and racial restrictions do not need to be brought back and they seemed t be on their way out in 2nd ed material anyway and gamers seemed to hate them anyway. Where possible I have translated AD&D mechanics into modern terms in regards to things like ability checks, saves, THACO etc.


Anyway things I think one can consider from AD&D.


Character class deign for classes such as the Druid. We all know the problems the 3rd ed Druid had, the 4th ed Druid while mechanically fine did not feel like a Druid. The difference between 2nd ed 3rd ed polymorph broke the class along with the animal companion which in 2nd ed was more of a familiar than a pseudo pocket fighter. THe fighter was also a good class even at higher levels. While one doesn't need to balance D&DN liek 4th ed was balanced I do not think one needs to aim for 3.5 levels of CoDzilla either. One could also look at things like Clerics and Druid really requiring level 8 and 9 spells as that was the trade off in AD&D for better armor, weapons and class features.


Bounded Accuracy. This is not a D&DN concept and it predates 3rd ed. AD&D had it as ACs for example topped out at 32 (-12 in AD&D), ability checks were really DC 20, saving throws were DC 20, and Fighters gained +19 to hit over 20 levels. Ability scores were capped at 25. One could easily recycle this into D&DN as stats have been capped at 20 (a good move IMHO) and you can tweak ACs to somewhere between 30-35 (40 at the most). BA as implemented has created some problems in regards to armor and a sense of class progression. Mearls apparently likes 2nd ed, he can't seem to figure out why we liked it. One would need to narrow the to hit ranges between fighters and everyone else and 3rd ed and SWSE achieved this without going to the extent 4th ed did by giving everyone the same numbers to hit with. If warriors gain +20 to hit by level 20 everyone else could have +15 +18. +5 is in D&DN is lame.


Different xp tables.
3rd ed unified the xp tables. In effect this buffed the spell casters as in AD&D classes progressed at different rates. A thief(rogue) would hit level 20 while a wizard would be level 16. I don't think I would resurrect that as even back then the tables were a bit wonky as wizards hit level 9 before fighters and Druids rocketed to level 9 and then hit a wall at level 12 or so. Pathfinder however does have a fast/medium/slow progression table where one can choose how fast to level the PCs. I don't think anyone yet has worked out one can use medium xp progression for the tier 3 classes, slow advancement for the tier 1/2 classes and fast advancement for the weak classes. Having that as an option could also prevent problems further down the track should inevitable power creep break something (probably a spell caster).


Optional Rules.
The d20 mechanic was the most modular version mechanically of D&D ever and the OGL has more or less proved this. 2nd ed was the most modular version in terms of play styles. The rules would quite frankly discuss the pros and cons of changing various mechanical aspects. Speed factor for example was an optional initiative rule that kind of nerfed spell casters which could cause problems later on. Proficiency's were optional, level limits could be broken with optional rules. High and low magic worlds were discussed along with banning certain classes to make something fit as a concept. Tech levels also ranged from the stone age through to about the 16th century AD/CE. One could play a historical game, a mythical game with some magical elements, a default game or magitech tech level etc. There was a basic assumed default but the DMG presented other options. With no wealth by level guideline or assumed magical bonus required from magic items it was no big deal. Being modular did not mean anything goes either as some things like Darksun for example Gnomes did not exist as they were wiped out in a genocidal war which was mirrored in real life events with the ethnic cleansing in the Balkens in the 1990's. The settings were a large reason that TSR folded and were bought up by WoTC, so there is a balance they could try and find. A stone axe was not meant to be baanced vs a steel axe but if the PCs were a stone age culture and the fantasy equivilent of the Spanish turn up it was tough luck. The idea was to have fun and sucking up a minus 1 or 2 here and there was not a big deal. 

 In conclusion I think AD&D has a lot to offer D&DN even if some of it dates from the 1970's. If you get something right the 1st time do not change it. One does not have to hold AD&D as a perfect ideal however and there are large parts of it that can stay buried such as gender and racial limits, level  limits, THACO etc. It was not perfect by any means but neither was it universally awful. AD&D is still fun and we have another game schduled for Sunday and it is almost a new system after a 12 year absence. 


 Fear is the Mind Killer

 



Optional Rules.
The d20 mechanic was the most modular version mechanically of D&D ever.



I agree with this and later on in 2nd edition they actualy released books with moduals, combat and tactics and spells and power books.
The more I hear about the kind of moduals there will me to more it sounds to me it would be like a PHB that has spells and powers and combat and tactics integrated.

grid combat, massive batlefirlds where coverd in combat and tactics.
alternatived to vancian where coverd in spells and powers 

actualy looking trough these books the moduals might be very simular to them 
 Theplayers option books were really misnamed. They should have been called DMs options as they basically rewrote the core rules in some of them.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

In conclusion I think AD&D has a lot to offer D&DN even if some of it dates from the 1970's. If you get something right the 1st time do not change it. One does not have to hold AD&D as a perfect ideal however and there are large parts of it that can stay buried such as gender and racial limits, level  limits, THACO etc.



THAC0 is 2e.  1e had attack matrices.
In conclusion I think AD&D has a lot to offer D&DN even if some of it dates from the 1970's. If you get something right the 1st time do not change it. One does not have to hold AD&D as a perfect ideal however and there are large parts of it that can stay buried such as gender and racial limits, level  limits, THACO etc.



THAC0 is 2e.  1e had attack matrices.



Technically THAC0 showed up in some late 1st edition products.

But it didn't show up in a 'core book' until 2nd ed.


Edit:  It actually show up as early as 1982 in published modules (example:  R1 To the Aid of Falx).  And the 1st edition DMG had a column in its table of monster stats labeled "To Hit A.C. 0" - i.e. THAC0 without the abbreviation.   So the concept was in AD&D 1st from day one and the term THACO was in pretty common use well before AD&D2nd. 


Carl
In conclusion I think AD&D has a lot to offer D&DN even if some of it dates from the 1970's. If you get something right the 1st time do not change it. One does not have to hold AD&D as a perfect ideal however and there are large parts of it that can stay buried such as gender and racial limits, level  limits, THACO etc.



THAC0 is 2e.  1e had attack matrices.



touche

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Balance at least in the way a modern d20 would understand it need to be thrown out the window.

If that what it takes to get classes that resemble themselves so be ti. you ask about a druid that acts someting like a druid aroundhere and get 'how do you balance that?' Who cares. if its balanced but its not a druid I don't want to play it.

 The main appeal of AD&D is that it is more balanced than 3rd ed and doesn't have the problems of 4th ed- long combats, inflated hit points, magic item/inherent bonus treadmill and it is easy to run.

I like AD&D both editions but I dont see how its balanced at all. I can see how 1e didnt have all teh crazy builds that 3e had but 2e started that ball rolling with kits and specialty preists and players options stuff.


Character class deign for classes such as the Druid. We all know the problems the 3rd ed Druid had, the 4th ed Druid while mechanically fine did not feel like a Druid. The difference between 2nd ed 3rd ed polymorph broke the class along with the animal companion which in 2nd ed was more of a familiar than a pseudo pocket fighter.

Teh druid originall shapechanged which was a lot better than any version of polymorph I ever heard of or at least is supposed to be better, as a 9th level spell. Animal forms weren't overpowered in AD&D, animals weren't that bad unless they were really huge and the druid shapechange had a weight limit black bears no grizlies ceraintly no Trex or anything. 3e animals were off the charts especially the bizarre 'legendary' ones.

Teh 4e druid would have been fine - if you just combined all 3 or 4 sub-classes into one.

THe fighter was also a good class even at higher levels.

not that Id ever noticed

Bounded Accuracy. This is not a D&DN concept and it predates 3rd ed.

rediculous, characters have always gotten better at hitting as they leveled always, every ed, its as un-D&D as.. as.. as the 4e Druid!

Different xp tables.
3rd ed unified the xp tables. In effect this buffed the spell casters as in AD&D classes progressed at different rates. A thief(rogue) would hit level 20 while a wizard would be level 16. I don't think I would resurrect that as even back then the tables were a bit wonky as wizards hit level 9 before fighters and Druids rocketed to level 9 and then hit a wall at level 12 or so.

it did make classes more distinct it also made it kind of funny that a theif, with the fastest exp chart in effect had the lest to fear from vampires.
Interesting. But you are talking about AD&D 1st Edition or AD&D 2nd Edition?
Interesting. But you are talking about AD&D 1st Edition or AD&D 2nd Edition?

not a lot of major differences

Interesting. But you are talking about AD&D 1st Edition or AD&D 2nd Edition?



 Either one. I would be looking at the concept in the editions more than the mechanical parts of them. Are individual xp tables that bad, how over powered were wizards at higher levels and how to we tone them down if thats what is required/wanted. HTings like that.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

In conclusion I think AD&D has a lot to offer D&DN even if some of it dates from the 1970's. If you get something right the 1st time do not change it. One does not have to hold AD&D as a perfect ideal however and there are large parts of it that can stay buried such as gender and racial limits, level  limits, THACO etc.



THAC0 is 2e.  1e had attack matrices.



Good things can come from agttack matrices if properly applied. Look at the Lone WolfMultiplayer RPG.

 Is that the Moongoose Publishing LW RPG? I bought that a few years back on PDF, never got around to trying it.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

 Is that the Moongoose Publishing LW RPG? I bought that a few years back on PDF, never got around to trying it.



Yeah...the system is a very slightly tweaked verson of the Lone Wolf Gamebook rules,and uses the same acton resolution chart.

It works like this:



  • Compare the Combat Skill of each combatant. The difference is the Combat Modifier.

  • Player either points to a number on a random number table, or rolls a d10, reading the results as 0-9

  • Cross reference the random number result with the Combat modifiers column on the chart to determine how much damage the player deals to the target, and receives from the target.

Yeah I still have my Lone Wolf Gamebooks from when I was a kid and X2 copies of the magnamund companion. I have the 1st 23 gamebooks and 12 novels.
 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Bounded Accuracy. This is not a D&DN concept and it predates 3rd ed. AD&D had it as ACs for example topped out at 32 (-12 in AD&D), ability checks were really DC 20, saving throws were DC 20, and Fighters gained +19 to hit over 20 levels. Ability scores were capped at 25. One could easily recycle this into D&DN as stats have been capped at 20 (a good move IMHO) and you can tweak ACs to somewhere between 30-35 (40 at the most). BA as implemented has created some problems in regards to armor and a sense of class progression. Mearls apparently likes 2nd ed, he can't seem to figure out why we liked it. One would need to narrow the to hit ranges between fighters and everyone else and 3rd ed and SWSE achieved this without going to the extent 4th ed did by giving everyone the same numbers to hit with. If warriors gain +20 to hit by level 20 everyone else could have +15 +18. +5 is in D&DN is lame.


 
Bounded Accuracy is one of the best things about 5e! Bigger numbers =/= better. You say a +5 is "lame", but why? What makes that particular number "lame" but a +20 good? On the contrary, having such high attack bonuses was a big mathematical problem in past editions. Before 3e, when AC had a cap of -10, it meant high level fighters ended up almost always hitting (and no, that is not okay). With 3e, it led to AC creep and a ever-widening difference in hit rates between fighters and other classes. 4e resolved this by giving everyone the same attack bonuses, but the bonuses still grew at such a rate that you couldn't use monster at a much lower or higher level than the players are. Keeping the bonus range between 0-5 allows you to use a much wider range of monsters, and that is one of the greatest benefits of bounded accuracy in Next.

Different xp tables. 3rd ed unified the xp tables. In effect this buffed the spell casters as in AD&D classes progressed at different rates. A thief(rogue) would hit level 20 while a wizard would be level 16. I don't think I would resurrect that as even back then the tables were a bit wonky as wizards hit level 9 before fighters and Druids rocketed to level 9 and then hit a wall at level 12 or so. Pathfinder however does have a fast/medium/slow progression table where one can choose how fast to level the PCs. I don't think anyone yet has worked out one can use medium xp progression for the tier 3 classes, slow advancement for the tier 1/2 classes and fast advancement for the weak classes. Having that as an option could also prevent problems further down the track should inevitable power creep break something (probably a spell caster).



Different XP tables for different classes are one of the dumbest things about old editions, and I hope it never returns. It's a stupid copout for not making classes balanced with each other. It also creates logical difficulties. If a 3rd level wizard is equal to a 5th level fighter (just an example), why even have levels? And what level creatures should the DM use to challenge the party, when he's not even sure what a given character level even means as far as its relative power?

Optional Rules.
The d20 mechanic was the most modular version mechanically of D&D ever and the OGL has more or less proved this. 2nd ed was the most modular version in terms of play styles. The rules would quite frankly discuss the pros and cons of changing various mechanical aspects. Speed factor for example was an optional initiative rule that kind of nerfed spell casters which could cause problems later on. Proficiency's were optional, level limits could be broken with optional rules. High and low magic worlds were discussed along with banning certain classes to make something fit as a concept. Tech levels also ranged from the stone age through to about the 16th century AD/CE. One could play a historical game, a mythical game with some magical elements, a default game or magitech tech level etc. There was a basic assumed default but the DMG presented other options. With no wealth by level guideline or assumed magical bonus required from magic items it was no big deal. Being modular did not mean anything goes either as some things like Darksun for example Gnomes did not exist as they were wiped out in a genocidal war which was mirrored in real life events with the ethnic cleansing in the Balkens in the 1990's. The settings were a large reason that TSR folded and were bought up by WoTC, so there is a balance they could try and find. A stone axe was not meant to be baanced vs a steel axe but if the PCs were a stone age culture and the fantasy equivilent of the Spanish turn up it was tough luck. The idea was to have fun and sucking up a minus 1 or 2 here and there was not a big deal. 



On the contrary, 3e had a wealth of options that 2e never even approached. One couldn't even play a dwarf wizard in that game! Most of the optional rules were just there to get rid of the silly restrictions the system imposed upon itself or merely added a shallow bit of depth to characters (like non-weapon proficiencies, which were an incredibly poor susbstitute for a modern skill system). You also speak of things like wealth by level guidelines as if they were mandatory. They were just that, guidlines! The DM was free to adjust or ignore them as he pleased.
Bounded Accuracy. This is not a D&DN concept and it predates 3rd ed. AD&D had it as ACs for example topped out at 32 (-12 in AD&D), ability checks were really DC 20, saving throws were DC 20, and Fighters gained +19 to hit over 20 levels. Ability scores were capped at 25. One could easily recycle this into D&DN as stats have been capped at 20 (a good move IMHO) and you can tweak ACs to somewhere between 30-35 (40 at the most). BA as implemented has created some problems in regards to armor and a sense of class progression. Mearls apparently likes 2nd ed, he can't seem to figure out why we liked it. One would need to narrow the to hit ranges between fighters and everyone else and 3rd ed and SWSE achieved this without going to the extent 4th ed did by giving everyone the same numbers to hit with. If warriors gain +20 to hit by level 20 everyone else could have +15 +18. +5 is in D&DN is lame.


 
Bounded Accuracy is one of the best things about 5e! Bigger numbers =/= better. You say a +5 is "lame", but why? What makes that particular number "lame" but a +20 good? On the contrary, having such high attack bonuses was a big mathematical problem in past editions. Before 3e, when AC had a cap of -10, it meant high level fighters ended up almost always hitting (and no, that is not okay). With 3e, it led to AC creep and a ever-widening difference in hit rates between fighters and other classes. 4e resolved this by giving everyone the same attack bonuses, but the bonuses still grew at such a rate that you couldn't use monster at a much lower or higher level than the players are. Keeping the bonus range between 0-5 allows you to use a much wider range of monsters, and that is one of the greatest benefits of bounded accuracy in Next.

Different xp tables. 3rd ed unified the xp tables. In effect this buffed the spell casters as in AD&D classes progressed at different rates. A thief(rogue) would hit level 20 while a wizard would be level 16. I don't think I would resurrect that as even back then the tables were a bit wonky as wizards hit level 9 before fighters and Druids rocketed to level 9 and then hit a wall at level 12 or so. Pathfinder however does have a fast/medium/slow progression table where one can choose how fast to level the PCs. I don't think anyone yet has worked out one can use medium xp progression for the tier 3 classes, slow advancement for the tier 1/2 classes and fast advancement for the weak classes. Having that as an option could also prevent problems further down the track should inevitable power creep break something (probably a spell caster).



Different XP tables for different classes are one of the dumbest things about old editions, and I hope it never returns. It's a stupid copout for not making classes balanced with each other. It also creates logical difficulties. If a 3rd level wizard is equal to a 5th level fighter (just an example), why even have levels? And what level creatures should the DM use to challenge the party, when he's not even sure what a given character level even means as far as its relative power?

Optional Rules.
The d20 mechanic was the most modular version mechanically of D&D ever and the OGL has more or less proved this. 2nd ed was the most modular version in terms of play styles. The rules would quite frankly discuss the pros and cons of changing various mechanical aspects. Speed factor for example was an optional initiative rule that kind of nerfed spell casters which could cause problems later on. Proficiency's were optional, level limits could be broken with optional rules. High and low magic worlds were discussed along with banning certain classes to make something fit as a concept. Tech levels also ranged from the stone age through to about the 16th century AD/CE. One could play a historical game, a mythical game with some magical elements, a default game or magitech tech level etc. There was a basic assumed default but the DMG presented other options. With no wealth by level guideline or assumed magical bonus required from magic items it was no big deal. Being modular did not mean anything goes either as some things like Darksun for example Gnomes did not exist as they were wiped out in a genocidal war which was mirrored in real life events with the ethnic cleansing in the Balkens in the 1990's. The settings were a large reason that TSR folded and were bought up by WoTC, so there is a balance they could try and find. A stone axe was not meant to be baanced vs a steel axe but if the PCs were a stone age culture and the fantasy equivilent of the Spanish turn up it was tough luck. The idea was to have fun and sucking up a minus 1 or 2 here and there was not a big deal. 



On the contrary, 3e had a wealth of options that 2e never even approached. One couldn't even play a dwarf wizard in that game! Most of the optional rules were just there to get rid of the silly restrictions the system imposed upon itself or merely added a shallow bit of depth to characters (like non-weapon proficiencies, which were an incredibly poor susbstitute for a modern skill system). You also speak of things like wealth by level guidelines as if they were mandatory. They were just that, guidlines! The DM was free to adjust or ignore them as he pleased.




so basically all you did was slam 2nd editon and said 3rd edition was better, restrictions are only considered "silly" by you because you dont understand the reasoning behind them. it seems you like 3rd and 4th and that is fine i dont own one book from those editions i own a full library of all basic,1st and 2nd edtiton. you said seperate xp tables was "dumb" even though with all the susposed balance of new editions there are still complaints about druids in 3rd and spell lists in 3rd and 4th so how was that for balance. 
As I said the differnece between a fighters BAB and a Thieves BAB/Thaco would nbeed to be tightened. Right now the Rogue more or less outclasses the fighter in D&DN in combat. It is very very close.

 Who cares if a creature becomes a bit redundent as you level up. THis is how it has always worked in D&D in every edition. If BA= some bland boring mess that can''t handle a +5 sword so be it. One can stretch bounded accuracy and if a Ogre is no longer relevent vs a 10th level PC meh. Add class levels or hit dice to it if you care that much.

 Look at the wizrd class it is boring as. The fighter class is also boring, the Cleric and Rogue are better. BA doesn't even work anyway as the game is awful starting from level 5. If this is balance its not worth it.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

how over powered were wizards at higher levels and how to we tone them down if thats what is required/wanted.


Overpowered wizards? Didn't 3.x invent those?

AD&D wizards had to spend their spells wisely at higher levels over the course of an entire adventure unless they could take every other day off just to prepare spells, since it took 10 (2e) or 15 (1e) minutes per spell level to prepare each spell, rather than just 1 hour to prepare however many spells you happened to have...

...and then you get into differences like number of spells (fixed by level in AD&D with potential rings of wizardry to add more; then made more mutable in 3.x because Intelligence boosting items came into existence, permanent magic items could be crafted by characters less than 11th level and had a codified system for their creation rather than a "making an item is a quest" system like before, and Intelligence granted bonus spells to a degree that overshadowed the differences in spells-per-day-by-level charts), and don't even get me started on the things that were taken away from other classes while all of the above was being given to casters.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

3.5 broke wizards earlier and other classes made the fighter redundant. A high level fighter was better off in 2nd ed and 2nd ed wizards were easier to interrupt and if they came across stuff that was 75%+ spell resitence they were in trouble. A death from a deck of many thigs was also a auto death sentence for a wizard while a fighter could deal with them. 3.0 was the big offender for overpowered wizards compared to 3.5 which was actually an improvement.

 Wizards were broken in 2nd ed but it was to a lesser degree, and it was at very high levels and the did not obsolete the other classes as much.

 CoDzilla was the main offender in 3rd ed though and the wizard was in 3rd place and they were kind of weak at low levels but Druids and Clerics were great from level 1-20. Saving throws worked different in 2nd ed as well and thigs like Save or suck/die did not work very well at higher levels.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

3E mostly just made the inherent design flaws of 1e/2e much more obvious.
[
Different XP tables for different classes are one of the dumbest things about old editions, and I hope it never returns. It's a stupid copout for not making classes balanced with each other. It also creates logical difficulties. If a 3rd level wizard is equal to a 5th level fighter (just an example), why even have levels? And what level creatures should the DM use to challenge the party, when he's not even sure what a given character level even means as far as its relative power?



1) Well....  Creatures in those editions didn't have levels/CR values/etc. 
Sure, there was an obvious ramp-up in power.  And reading their powers/backgrounds (or in the case of the BECM books order of publication - as those books each covered a certain span of levels) often implied a certain LV range for when to pit them against the PCs.

But the it was up to the DM to decide.  OMG! You had to THINK abit.  ArGHHHHHH!  Not THAT!

2) Who said anything about a 3rd lv Magic-User being = to a 5th lv fighter?  They weren't.  They just got to lv x at different speeds.
If you wanted = ?  Then the closest you'd get would be to look at a 5th lv MU vrs a 5th lv. Fighter.  But it'll still be skewed (how just depends upon your own bias) 

so basically all you did was slam 2nd editon and said 3rd edition was better, restrictions are only considered "silly" by you because you dont understand the reasoning behind them.



I do understand the reasons behind them, and I think they're silly and unjustified. Not all reasons are good reasons.


it seems you like 3rd and 4th and that is fine i dont own one book from those editions i own a full library of all basic,1st and 2nd edtiton. you said seperate xp tables was "dumb" even though with all the susposed balance of new editions there are still complaints about druids in 3rd and spell lists in 3rd and 4th so how was that for balance. 



I hate to break it to you, but pre-3e editions were far from balanced, and none of the balance problems have ever been, or ever will be fixed by having different xp tables for each class. It was the wrong answer to the wrong problem.

And FYI just because I criticized something about 2e doesn't mean I hate it. There have been things I have disliked about EVERY edition of D&D. There are 3e and 4e rules that I thought were just as silly as racial class restrictions and different xp tables for each class. If my post seemed to have a 3e bias, it was because I was responding to the OP who made this thread to praise 2e and tell us how much better it was than 3e.

1) Well....  Creatures in those editions didn't have levels/CR values/etc. 
Sure, there was an obvious ramp-up in power.  And reading their powers/backgrounds (or in the case of the BECM books order of publication - as those books each covered a certain span of levels) often implied a certain LV range for when to pit them against the PCs.

But the it was up to the DM to decide.  OMG! You had to THINK abit.  ArGHHHHHH!  Not THAT!

   

So wanting better designed rules must mean I don't want DMs to have to think!
... *sigh*


2) Who said anything about a 3rd lv Magic-User being = to a 5th lv fighter?  They weren't.  They just got to lv x at different speeds.
If you wanted = ?  Then the closest you'd get would be to look at a 5th lv MU vrs a 5th lv. Fighter.  But it'll still be skewed (how just depends upon your own bias) 



If you have a party of characters who begin play together at level 1 and go adventuring, the classes with the lower XP table will outlevel the classes that require more xp to level. If that weren't the intended outcome, why have different xp tables at all?
so basically all you did was slam 2nd editon and said 3rd edition was better, restrictions are only considered "silly" by you because you dont understand the reasoning behind them.



I do understand the reasons behind them, and I think they're silly and unjustified. Not all reasons are good reasons.


it seems you like 3rd and 4th and that is fine i dont own one book from those editions i own a full library of all basic,1st and 2nd edtiton. you said seperate xp tables was "dumb" even though with all the susposed balance of new editions there are still complaints about druids in 3rd and spell lists in 3rd and 4th so how was that for balance. 



I hate to break it to you, but pre-3e editions were far from balanced, and none of the balance problems have ever been, or ever will be fixed by having different xp tables for each class. It was the wrong answer to the wrong problem.

And FYI just because I criticized something about 2e doesn't mean I hate it. There have been things I have disliked about EVERY edition of D&D. There are 3e and 4e rules that I thought were just as silly as racial class restrictions and different xp tables for each class. If my post seemed to have a 3e bias, it was because I was responding to the OP who made this thread to praise 2e and tell us how much better it was than 3e.



 Erm you do know 3rd is is my favourite edition right? I still like 2nd ed and 1st and and parts of them are better than 3rd ed.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I, too, have move over to 2e AD&D recently from 3e. I really like 3e, warts and all, but I think probably 2e's a better game.


I don't agree with everything Zard says though.



The reason 2e AD&D is my flavour of the moment and probably will be for a little while (I'll probably run a 3e game in the next few months) is because it encourages a lot of creative thinking at my table. 3e's propensity for putting everything on lists has the probably-unintended side effect of giving players tunnel vision. They consider what's on the list and they don't make things up nearly as much, and that's not as fun for me as a DM.


My AD&D house rules centre around giving the game more consistency. Mostly I'm tying a lot of things to attribute checks and devising a set of standard modifiers (similar to DDN's DC table). I'm also looking at folding the thief skills into attribute checks and making the thief skills offer modifiers to the checks.


I don't mind the "roll low sometimes, roll high sometimes" thing in AD&D. In a way, it's kind of nice 'cause it keeps different things feeling different. I like the wider variety of dice used to determine things for the same reason, and I grapple with unifying mechanics because I don't want to lose too much of the variety.


But AD&D's balance comes from its players, often the DM. It's not inherently more or less balanced than any other ttrpg I've ever played, but it does rely on the people at the table to actively engage with the system and fix the things that matter to them more than other ttrpgs I've played. Even then actually, it's not really all that much more in relative terms. Everyone's got a gripe and a house rule to patch it, no matter what game we're playing.



At any rate, AD&D is at its best when people are taking the bull by the horns and modifying things to suit them. DDN's promises of modularity could make that true for 5e. That's an encouraging thought.

Oh yeah - weirdly enough, thac0 stayed. We all spoke about making it base attack (the conversion is pretty easy) but we actually found resolving thac0 quicker on both sides of the screen once we got our heads around it.
Yeah thats the idea. 2nd ed mechanically may not be the greatest but is has some attractions and the modular nature and optional rules part of it can offer a lot to D&DN.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

 Erm you do know 3rd is is my favourite ediotin right? I still like 2nd ed and 1st and and parts of them are better than 3rd ed.



In that case, I apologize for mis-stating your position.
There were a lot of things that AD&D was a head of it's time on.

Take for example exceptional strength for fighters.  The best fighter would have a +3 to hit, +6 damage from strength and the best rogue could only have a +1 to hit, +2 damage.  This really separated the fighter as far as melees as the expert in fighting.

Even the separation of the hit and damage bonus from strength fits in line with Next's concept of bounded accuracy.  As you strength goes up, your accuracy bonus improves , but to a smaller degree when compared to your damage bonus.

And say what you will about varied XP rates, but it is actually a pretty good balancing tool.  No game is ever going to come off the shelf with perfectly balanced classes.  This is something that can be easily adjusted down the road to balance the classes.  Is and 8th level wizard as powerful as 10th level rogue?  Well, easy fix, change the XP charts so that when the wizard hit's level 8, the rogue hit's level 10.
Yeah I still have my Lone Wolf Gamebooks from when I was a kid and X2 copies of the magnamund companion. I have the 1st 23 gamebooks and 12 novels.

May it never be forgotten
www.projectaon.org/en/Main/Home

Magic Dual Color Test
I am White/Green
I am White/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.
Interesting. But you are talking about AD&D 1st Edition or AD&D 2nd Edition?



 Either one. I would be looking at the concept in the editions more than the mechanical parts of them. Are individual xp tables that bad, how over powered were wizards at higher levels and how to we tone them down if thats what is required/wanted. HTings like that.

My memories of magic-users at high level was that they were overpowered, yes.  But, the various things DMs changed made them more overpowered.  Mana systems, for instance.  

- Warlords! Join the 'Officer Country' Group! Join Grognards for 4e, the D&D that changed D&D.


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Zardnaar ole buddy,
    You know how I feel about AD&D. It is my prefered system. I have been a TSR D&D player since 1989. I began with The Mentzer Basic red box, owned Basic/ Expert, and moved on to AD&D after a year of play. I have played Both First and Second edition AD&D consistantly for years. I tried 3e. but played a fighter and within one campaign decided that the caster non Caster dispairity caused to much imbalance for my prefered game. I tried several martial classes and the WOTC&D game turned me very sour toward the 3e design. 
    I have recently purchased the Pathfinder RPG at a discount and after a recommendation of a friend and have found that a bit more to my taste though it's very fiddley- or rules heavy. I bought it in Dec. when I saw the playtest for Next up to level 20 and grew bored. For the record I think it's a better balance over all for my playstyle. It does not eclipse what I love, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
   Here's the thing about this though. I seem much that I could mine for in the way of ideas from every edition of the game to make 5th ed. great. My playstlye is not an exclusive "right way". I was hoping Next would truly be Modular and accomidate both the old school and new school playstyle. Hence I am very disappointed thus far at the design teams offerings. I believe we have yet to see the best from each prior editon applied to Next. I doubt we ever will.  Requests for it are ignored wholesale up to this point it appears.
   In 1999 I was on the battlefield during the 3e influx and shelving of AD&D. I remember what being thrown away as a fan felt like and now I see a whole new generation of fans being fed to the wolves.
This is plain wrong, so Zard you raise the banner knowing my shield is broad and scarred from many a battle, my sword is knicked and worn and still sharp, but I cannot through a misguided sense of edition pride take it up ever again. I want the Best game not my best loved game.
 Yeah this time around it is the 4th ed players being fed to the wolves. No more warlord for them. I may not be the best paragon in that regard but I woulod let them have the Dragonborn and Warlock and Warlord for startes.

 D&DN doesn't have to be a clone of AD&D or 3rd ed for me but right now it is a nice boring biege of an edition. It does capture a nice old choolfeel at low levels and then goes downhil from there. We played AD&D on Sunday, Pathfinder a few weeks ago and SWSE a few months ago all of which were more fun in their own way than D&DN. If I got to do a proper 2nd ed 2.0 for example I woidl be looking at the xp tables, some form of the d20 mechanic in places, and narrowing the THACO difference at higher levels between Fighteres and everyone else probably with a THACO score of 4-8 for the other classes. Actually I wold probably dump THACO and replace it with BAB or THAC.

 AD&D is not perfect by any means but its still fun and I still like 1st and 2nd ed. I never got to DM 1st ed but I did get to play it in the 90's with some grognards who preffered it over 2nd ed (they still played 2nd ed on occasion, just not running it).

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Whenever someone mentions the joys of AD&D on this forum they never mention the one thing that I favored the most about AD&D. Ranged combat was far more effective in AD&D. For whatever reason the rules have shat on ranged combat. 3e removed rate of fire and weapon speed that gave ranged weapons initiative bonuses and extra attacks, it introduced stricter definitions of cover, rules that made it harder to shoot into a melee, shortened ranges and increased foot speeds. 4e made characters slower in relation to range attacks but shrunk maps and celebrated the melee fighter giving the class zero ranged exploits.  Compared to wand poisons were weak, and extremely over priced for their usage.

Ranged combat was quite good in 3rd ed, just feat intensive. We have 2nd ed characters using bowsm daggers and darts for those exact reasons. Ranged combat is a bit better in D&DN. Apart from the weapons themselves they have done a reaosnable job with that sort of thing in D&DN except dex is overpowered.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

 
Bounded Accuracy is one of the best things about 5e! Bigger numbers =/= better. You say a +5 is "lame", but why? What makes that particular number "lame" but a +20 good? On the contrary, having such high attack bonuses was a big mathematical problem in past editions. Before 3e, when AC had a cap of -10, it meant high level fighters ended up almost always hitting (and no, that is not okay). With 3e, it led to AC creep and a ever-widening difference in hit rates between fighters and other classes. 4e resolved this by giving everyone the same attack bonuses, but the bonuses still grew at such a rate that you couldn't use monster at a much lower or higher level than the players are. Keeping the bonus range between 0-5 allows you to use a much wider range of monsters, and that is one of the greatest benefits of bounded accuracy in Next.



Bounding accuracy just pushes bigger numbers to other areas.






Different XP tables for different classes are one of the dumbest things about old editions, and I hope it never returns. It's a stupid copout for not making classes balanced with each other. It also creates logical difficulties. If a 3rd level wizard is equal to a 5th level fighter (just an example), why even have levels? And what level creatures should the DM use to challenge the party, when he's not even sure what a given character level even means as far as its relative power?






It worked for the Wizard and Paladin. The stated goal was to simulate the difficulty in mastering magic. It mechanically represented the wizard’s vulnerability, and resistance to natural aging. AD&D had stronger war game roots with larger suggested parties so that one sleep spell that could end an encounter was worth the extra party member slot. The balance was just a byproduct of overall design.


I agree on the Thief. At the time the Thief was just a thief and not the current extraordinaire. Faster level gain was necessary for the sake of balance.





Different xp tables. 

3rd ed unified the xp tables. In effect this buffed the spell casters as in AD&D classes progressed at different rates. A thief(rogue) would hit level 20 while a wizard would be level 16. I don't think I would resurrect that as even back then the tables were a bit wonky as wizards hit level 9 before fighters and Druids rocketed to level 9 and then hit a wall at level 12 or so. Pathfinder however does have a fast/medium/slow progression table where one can choose how fast to level the PCs. I don't think anyone yet has worked out one can use medium xp progression for the tier 3 classes, slow advancement for the tier 1/2 classes and fast advancement for the weak classes. Having that as an option could also prevent problems further down the track should inevitable power creep break something (probably a spell caster).





In theory these strange XP tables were there to reflect different stages of a learning curve in the character's class.

The fighter was more or less a straight arrow from bottom to top, the rogue all the way quicker to level than the rest,

and the wizard... slower in the begining because he was a man dabbling in magical arts which are very hard to learn, then faster at mid-levels when he experiences a surge of a certain degree os mastery from what he struggled to learn in the begining of his career... and finally at 10+ levels it would become very very slow because only through a lot of hard work (hard "studies" more likely) could one truly master high levles of wizardry.

But... yeah, even knowing that there was some supposed logic behind the XP tables, it doesn't really make much sense. 
I could use the different XP tables no problem, but the crazy progression was a tad off for my taste.
I`d use a straight up slower progression for the wizard in that case.

Some classes in AD&D were just not as "powerful" destruction-wise as others, and that is why I think they made some harder to level than others (since XP is reflected by success in combat more than anything else).
Take the rogue in AD&D for example. It was a class that simply couldn`t compete with a fighter or wizard in damage dealing, and even his skills took a while to raise to comfortable levels of "not failling too many rolls", so to compensate, I think, they gave the rogue a faster progression.
Later editions gave the rogue a lot more options, and even made him a beast in combat, given favorable circunstances. So I guess it made more sense to equalize the XP. 
I do not mind different xp tables for classes for whatever reason. The AD&D ones were a bit wonky as the progression ratio was not equal. Druid hits level 9 very fast for example, wizard levels faster than the fighter from level 5-10 or so.

 I would prefer different xp table over the mess of 3.5 and the way 4th ed unified the classes. Wizards power needs to be dialed up a bit in AD&D at level 1-4 or so and dialed down at higher levels. RAW it is not perfect but neither is 3rd or 4th ed in that regard. If they can get the classes right unified xp progression is a good idea and I have only seen them get it right once and it wasn't D&D.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 


rules that made it harder to shoot into a melee


I do not agree with this statement.
 
2nd edition
shooting into melee between 2 Human sized creatures 50% chance of hitting your ally.

3rd edition
-4 to hit 0% chance to hit your ally.
 

rules that made it harder to shoot into a melee


I do not agree with this statement.
 
2nd edition
shooting into melee between 2 Human sized creatures 50% chance of hitting your ally.

3rd edition
-4 to hit 0% chance to hit your ally.
 


2E - depends on how much you really care about your "ally" Innocent

3E - if they were in the way (providing cover) and you missed by that cover, you attack your ally instead. I believe they got rid of this in 3.5, as the odds of missing your opponent AND hitting your ally's AC were very low, but can't remember for sure.
Wizards power needs to be dialed up a bit in AD&D at level 1-4 or so and dialed down at higher levels.



Well, I can understand your desire for the wizard to be more balanced in power with other classes all along the way, and I know some other players would like it best that way too.
But that`s only a matter of preference of concept, really. 

That characteristic in particular of the wizard was not really an "error of design" in AD&D but really something intentional.
A wizard, in AD&D, was supposed to struggle hard (very hard!) to survive and master his knowledge of magic in the lower levels, during which he could only produce a few weak magical spells each day... but if he did get past those trials and became a master of magic (high level) in the long run, he would then have access to the most powerful tools all around.

As an example, that concept is seen very iconically in Raistlin in the first Dragonlance books, where early in his life he was very much dependant on his brother (the fighter!) and his companions, but after several hard and dangerous trials he grew to be one of the most powerful men in Krynn.