Starting a new 2e campaign and looking for tips

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I'll be starting up a new AD&D 2nd edition campaign. I'll be using just the 3 core books, specifically the new deluxe reprints (the new green cover versions of the 1995 "black" edition). No players options, in fact nothing allowed for the players that's not in the PHB (the players are okay with this, they want a core game experience with simple, streamlined options).

So.... I'm looking for any tips or suggestions anyone might have on how to run the game. I'm quite familiar with the 2e rules and have run 2e games off and on ever since it first released, but I have a particular way of running my games and I'd like to mix things up a little bit by using other player's insights, suggestions and house rules. Basically trying to look at 2nd ed from someone else's point of view.

Any and all suggestions on how to make the game experience better are very welcome!

Thanks! 
Let them have magic items.
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Aside from class selection and how characters are played remember there are only a few things that would seperate one character from another in the same class:

Ability Scores/Race
Magic Items.
Proficiencies and/or Spells selected.

Beyond these there really isn't much difference.

I put ability scores at the top because you often rolled against ability scores and every point helped.  As scores moved over 14 the benefits from a score often grew very quickly yet "default" scores still used 3d6 to generate.

Magic Items are next because, at least to me, these are what really define a 2ed character.  They really aren't "assumed" to the level they are in 3x which make them really special an often character defining.  More mundane equipment such as armor and weapon choices could also factor in here as well as proficiencies.

Now Spell selection for spellbooks may really seperate two wizards but when it comes to divine casters the distinctions just become what spells get prepared.  A lot of differences can be seen here but a number of choices are often so much better there often isn't as much variation as there could be.
 
find the Planescape Setting, and play it!
As StevenO said, characters can start to look a like if everyone is playing single classes. I personally always allow kits for flavor. Granted some have to be powered up, and others powered down, but it's fairly easy to judge which is which and as I said, they allow for quite a bit of custimization for character flavor (just remember that multi-classed characters cannot take kits except in very specific books). Honestly it doesn't add any layers to the rules and uses the rules directly out of the PHB. The kits just add flavor and in some cases an extra ability and disadvantage that is very easy to keep track of. 

Also if you want something different in terms of setting go with what wwanno said and go Planescape. Otherwise check out Dark Sun or Birthright for different as well. 
Spelljammer, homie.  Friggin' pistol shootin' space hippos!
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Spelljammer, homie.  Friggin' pistol shootin' space hippos!

This. So much this.
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57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
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58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
We also had some great fun with Spelljammers, though it had it's problems with taking the party magic-user out of the game. Stupid mechanic, that. But if you don't mind a new attitude, designing ships is fun, and remember that in designing a starmap, (oxygen counts), it's A^2*B^2*C^2=days traveled to get from sphere to sphere, assuming your void is 3-D, not elliptical. Moral of the story being, you can't always travel from Earth to Vulcan to Romulus and then from Romulus to Earth; You might have to re-route. Not enough days of oxygen always. 

Now that I've scared you off, back to shooting at hippoes. 
Oh yeah?  Well, buddy, Spelljammer also has ... this:



Awww yeahhh ...
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

I think rolling scores is right up there. Personally, I would say look into Specialty Priests, these can really make for an interesting game. If your players decide to go this route, you can make custom priests, with specializing powers, weapons, taboos, etc. This is something my players over the years (the ones that play priests) really enjoy and it opens up the game in very interesting ways. 

I would avoid some of the kits, there are a few good ones but many are just broken. Maybe tone the bonuses down for some of them (and no ninjas!)


I would suggest you look into Ravenloft for source material, it definitely gives some new ways to play and can be really fun for players that have never played in a horror-based campaign. 
2e's strength is definitely it's abundance of great settings and just oodles of material for each of those settings.
get a copy by any means of ad&d core rules 2.0 and its expansion. it has all the core books on it and a map maker you can also customize classes, monsters and create and print out encounters you designed or pages of monsters. it works with windows 7 as that is what i am running.
i am designing my own homebrew campaign, i spent a few hours customizing the races i wanted to be playable. so good luck to you 2nd is my favorite edition and its always a blast to run.
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