Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

We need your feedback on the new forum text editor switch.
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has been released! Visit nwn.beamdog.com to make an order. NWN:EE FAQ is available.
Soundtracks for BG:EE, SoD, BG2:EE, IWD:EE, PST:EE are now available in the Beamdog store.
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Why i'm not very fond of 2nd Edition D&D

2

Comments

  • KaltzorKaltzor Member Posts: 1,050
    I personally feel THAC0 makes more sense than the other AC systems they use in later editions...

    Since the THAC0 is your characters ability to hit stuff with a weapon, and the targets armor affects the swing and you don't just need to cut through it to hit.

    And the Multi-classing in my opinion is better handled than in 3e as you constantly are gaining levels in both classes and not worrying which class you should level everytime you get a level up...

    jackjack
  • ArchaosArchaos Member Posts: 1,416
    edited May 2014
    I guess the debate is: Simplicity vs Customization

    3.5E is all about giving you lots of options to make the character you want, as unique as you want with very few restrictions.
    That makes for some unique characters, builds and concepts.

    ADnD is about simplicity. Roll, pick a race, class and off you go. You don't have many options with your build but it's straight-forward and hard to screw up.

    You want someone that can handle traps and cast spells? Make a Thief/Mage multiclass and you're done.

    Personally, I like options. The more the better. But I can appreciate simplicity and I love kits. They're basically what the subraces are to classes.

    And Pathfinder took the best of both worlds.
    Simplified some rules and skills. Added archetypes and making the classes worth keeping pure, without multiclassing.

    And added some more flavor to the races without needing a bazilion of them.

    ShapiroKeatsDarkMage
  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 158
    I started off playing Basic and Expert D&D as a child (now called 1st edition). I switched to AD&D as it came out (now called 2nd Edition). Eventually we moved on to a system called Rolemaster, because of the more advanced and intricate combat system and the developments of skills. I was delighted when 3rd Edition and 3.5 came out, as they incorporated many of the aspects of the Rolemaster with D&D in a simple, elegant D20 system that we (several groups of gamers that I DMed over the years) all felt was the best system available for both its simplicity and its flexibility in character design and creation.

    4th Edition seemed to lose much of the flexibility and intricacy of 3.5. As such, we never played it and viewed it as an inferior product. I still believe this to be true, but 3.5 grew to be very complex, especially to manage from a DM´s perspective. If you were not a 20-year pen-and-paper gaming veteran, DMing 3.5 and the complex battles and rules interpretations that often resulted, while maintaining the pace of the session so that no one became bored (while the DM searched for spell descriptions and rules clarifications) could become very difficult. As such I understood the need for a 4th edition that played faster and smoother. I just never cared for it myself, as I was well versed in all the rulesets and could manage a game and maintain a smooth pace as DM using the 3.5 ruleset. For those who were newer to gaming, 4e was probably an improvement.

  • TeflonTeflon Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 517
    So please tell me what edition is you fond of.
    4th? :)

  • Ploughed_JesterPloughed_Jester Member Posts: 87
    Railing against any edition is silly. There are grand arguments for and against every new edition. New adopters say "this is for me", old gamers yell "get off my lawn", then the new edition comes out and the new adopters are now the old gamers. Rinse repeat forever. I get it, I do. Here's the problem... every system has fantastic things about it. I know, some will say new editions are just about money, and to the marketers and the company that's certainly true, but not to the game designers. They actually want to make something fun. Bashing a system before giving it an honest try is just plain NOT fair, to the system, the designers, it's players/supporters, and yourselves.

    So... let's look at each system after first...

    What are the main complaints about second? Limitations, and Thac0... right? Let me know if I miss anything. So limitations... often arbitrary, bug people and can stifle creativity. Sure. All supplemental books are gm's discretion and open to changes/suggestion. This is stated in the books if I'm not mistaken. The GM can make more or less limits as he/she may want. Give a good gm a good reason and he/she'll work with you. Thac0... I like the old school argument best. AD&D is elitist (not a bad thing). If you can't subtract, that isn't my problem. Same with saves, skill percentages, and nwps. Do I roll high or low? Doesn't matter. Worst case, the GM will tell you. Just roll the die and smile. Do you really NEED to know the odds to do what your character would do? No. Try... you may fail. That's ok. D&D isn't about winning.

    What's great about Second? It's simple in concept, involved in GM work, but it's quick and streamlined. Thousands of options, 80% your character can't pick, yet each little choice tells a story about your PC. Also, turns go by so rapid, that you can roll initiative EVERY ROUND and not bog the game down.


    3.5 (since 3 was an open beta for all intents and purposes)... Problems? Too many options, designed to make money, it's "not 2nd", etc. In all honesty, the 3/3.5 haters have quieted since everyone can hate 4e. Still, too many options is one of the things 3.5 players like. I like it too. Options are great, and most of them add a lot of... well... character to your character. It's also a good thing that it's designed to make money... that means they're at least trying to make it good. Will it be your cup of tea, maybe not, but you don't have to buy every supplement or allow every option in your game. If d&d doesn't make money, then d&d dies. It'll eventually fade, and that's the last thing I want. So keep making money, I probably just won't buy the last 3-6 books in any edition, because that's when they lose steam. It isn't 2nd, it's different, this is a good thing. Different =/= bad.

    The real problem in 3/3.5 is actually a lack of limitations on the options. The game breaks too easily. If I can build a character that can routinely do 19,723,639,034,880d6 per round fire damage to an area the size of the continental US, the game is broken. That's ok, though, as a good gm will solve the problem. If a player is irrational about not being able to use a broken concept, they can find a new game. Optimization can take away from rp, but it doesn't have to. And game breaking optimization is good from an evaluation perspective. Also, if you can optimize, you can learn Thac0 dagnabbit.

    Pathfinder... I played it... didn't care for it. It carries on 3.5, sure, and it's skill simplifications are great, but it's a munchkin's delight. They didn't fix any balance issues as they claimed, they just switched things and made a few things worse. Wizards are more broken, but have less low level risk, druids now suck, paladins wreck the world, and casters can kill cr13s with first level damage dealing touch spells (that don't do ability damage). It's a powergamers delight and did everything it said it wouldn't. Still a decent game, it's just not what it claims to be. It makes 3.5 MORE broken.

    4e... everyone hates it... hatses them like filthy hobbitses they does. Gollum! Anyway. Its vastly different. Most say oversimplified, with options that mean nothing, feat taxes, too slow, no rp, just designed for money, and it isn't 2nd or 3.5 Well on money and it isn't (insert favored game here) see above. The simplification actually carries well in skills so I don't get the oversimplified argument. It does the one good thing Pathfinder did with skills. Most of the options that mean "nothing" still provide a little bit of depth, background, and crunch to the character. Yes, some seem like feat taxes, but the game still works and is still fun for the players who don't take them (I have 2 of those players in my current game). Crunch isn't everything. Optimization is not the end all be all to everyone. The game DOES bog down... hard. Combat is slow and methodical. You don't kill arch-demons with one spell. That's a good thing, but it goes too far. I've taken to making custom monsters, and lowering hp to 75-80% while multiplying damage by 1.5-2. This speeds combat, doesn't break the system, and creates dynamic combat sequencing, very similay to non-uber powered BG2 combats, but very cinematic in nature. If you say there's no rp, you either haven't given the game an honest go, or have a bad gm or group. RP is still present but skill challenges allow players, not good at rp, to participate and help. A successful or failed roll means I describe what happens and they learn about RP. Two completely new players have progressed to veteran status through a good group atmosphere.

    The real benefits of 4e are something people who don't give it an honest go miss. It's combat is group chess, not a battle of one-upmanship like 3/3.5/Pf or a big free for all like 2nd. Everyone has to work together to succeed. Teamwork is key, and that's actually cool to see in an rpg. No other d&d game out right now does teamwork this well. Also, the vancian casting system is finally absent from a d&d game. It's not a bad system, but the balance achieved in 4e (some will say it's too balanced, but they again, have likely not given the system a real chance) is fantastic. There is no disparity between any base or most supplemental classes. Everyone can be as useful as anyone else at every level. No "oh dear gods I'm 500 times more likely to die than that guy cause we're low level but in 10-15 more levels he won't hold a candle to me". There is no good reason that a wizard who spent the last 15 years studying control of arcane energies should be that much more likely to die than Noober who spent a tenday with the militia and was handed a rusty spear, hand me down armor, and a bucket for a helmet after they've gained 3 or so levels. The balance, or over balance, ensures that the geme is far less likely to break, so much so that it's harder to break or powergame than 2nd (pnp 2nd, not BG2+ToB... that's easy to power game)

    All d&d games have merits and flaws. They are all still great. Their uniqueness is a fantastic thing that should be celebrated, not fought over.

    Oh, and the last argument against 4th is what they did to the Realms and Realmslore. One of my 2e players felt the same. I've shut down every point he's brought up. Anyone care to try me? Every "change" is an RP opportunity. In fact, 2nd players HATED the Realmslore changes to 3.5, and yet that gave us the Time of Troubles, the Bhaalspawn Wars, and this great series. The Spellplague is no different.

    SirK8
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    There can be many reasons why a player dislikes a particular edition, and all these reasons can be at once valid and invalid - valid because they are real points of contention for a player, and invalid because there is always another player who can offer a reasonably valid counterargument. I am most comfortable with 2E, dislike (but can tolerate 3E), and strongly reject 4E, but I recognize there are changes in each edition (3E and 4E) that address existing issues. There are pros and cons to each edition, so there is really no need to do any chest-thumping about which edition is best and get all worked up for nothing.

    We need to realize that each of us calls the final shots as individual players. If you do not like a particular edition, find like-minded players who are willing to play the same edition that you like, or leave D&D altogether (or stay away until there is a new edition that you like). I know my D&D life is in its last days, only kept alive by 2E (or mostly 2E) games like BG. I save money by not buying 3E and 4E materials, I retain the old 2E realms lore when I write any stories in D&D settings, and I am happy knowing that even if D&D collapses, I have enough 2E materials to recreate worlds and run games if I have to.

    jackjackAurorusSirK8
  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 158
    To be honest, I never liked the Forgotten Realms. I liked Greyhawk much better. However, I generally used my own campaign settings. I had 2 over the years, each with their own 150-page atlas and maps drawn in campaign cartographer (all my maps were drawn in Campaign Cartographer- great program if you can get used to the CAD engine). I like a more Roman-Imperial style setting (which was my first campaign world) and a post-imperial/empire-in-decay-style campaign world (my second setting, which was just my first 500 years in the future).

    jackjack
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,247
    I love Greyhawk! Yet another great thing about ToEE.

  • Ploughed_JesterPloughed_Jester Member Posts: 87
    Disliking an edition or not playing it is fine, but I've seen people openly bash editions and those who enjoy them. That behavior is unacceptable. No edition deserves that, and moreover, no player.

    SirK8
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,304
    I think those criticizing those of us (old timers) who are critical of 4th edition, on principle, may be doing more of a dis-service than they realize. It is taking a higher ground to shut down a debate without ability to reason, yet those of use who played and loved the earlier editions of the game feel that our game *has* been taken away from us. Yes, we can continue to play with our aging books, and our aging gaming groups, but we cannot easily introduce the love of our game to a new generation of gamers.

    I am not saying that 4th Edition is a bad game. It is not a game that appeals to me, but it clearly does appeal to a large group of gamers, which suggests it is probably a very good game. For my sins, I tend to reach for Advanced HeroQuest when I want to game in that style, so I know it can be very enjoyable. But it is more than a just a different take on the existing game - 3rd Ed was very different to what came before, but it retained much of the distinctive character of the previous 2 or 3 decades of gaming - all the familiar classes and races from the original game were present, with just a couple of additions (sorcerers, and bards moved up from an optional appendix). The magic system was retained, essentially identically. The spells from the original player's handbook were for the most part all there, at the same levels, and had the same effect. Not just magic missile and fireball, but hundreds of spells, this is a deep and cherished lore.

    Another defining characteristic of D&D is that balance was entirely the responsibility of the DM - the character classes advanced at very different rates, and power levels would fluctuate around the party accordingly. There are many other games I can play if I want a relentless balance, but D&D has traditionally not been that, and that is something distinctive that draws us back again and again.

    I have no grudge against 4th Edition as a game system. I would have no grudge if it had been branded a parallel 'basic' D&D game, as existed in the early years of the game (if fact 'basic' is the original D&D, and while I know folks who played it, it (just) predates even my gaming). The problem is that it has replaced 30 years of shared history of many gamers. Not just the shared history of *a* game, but the shared history of *the* game. D&D is special in another way, as it is the grand-daddy of all RPGs, it is the first, the original. Messing with D&D goes beyond just messing with one game, it has an emotional appeal that you are messing with the whole hobby, that has been an important part of many of its fans for a disturbingly large part of their lives.

    So yes, I do resent 4th edition (but not its players) and it has nothing to do with the quality of the game system itself, and is entirely to do with its attempt to rewrite out of history 30 years of gaming as if it did not matter. (For the company looking to pull in money from consumers today, it probably really did not matter - for the folks who work for the company making that game, I suspect it mattered a whole lot more, but understand the need to keep drawing a paycheck for doing something that you love, which ultimately means satisfying those that pay your bills.)

    jacobtanelminsterjackjack
  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 158
    As an aside, D&D was not the first. The hobby actually originated from miniatures combat systems, which became popular in the late 1960s as offshoots of Civil War and World War II miniature combat games. Basically people developed rulesets for playing with WWII models and miniatures and Civil War miniatures.

    This expanded into fantasy, first as I understand it, under a game-system and group of miniature figures known as Empires of the Petal Throne, set in the world Tekumel. It was both a miniature combat system (for large and small-scale battles) and a role-playing game. The world of Tekumel was much different from the fantasy worlds that we have become accustomed to. It was not "Tolkeinesque" and was very unique. For example, the predominant non-human races were Schen- a bipedal lizard-race that had mace-like tales and Ssu- a four-legged race of humanoids, if memory serves.

    Not long after, Gygax and the others began developing a game-setting based much more on Tolkein´s world (though Gygax vehemently denied that this was true, it obviously was). Basic D&D came out about a year after Empires of the Petal Throne, and was originally capped at level 6 (if I remember correctly). Expert D&D came out about 2 years later, lifting the level cap. One or two companies were already in the market producing metal miniatures for fantasy and they quickly picked up figures more suitable for Tolkeinesque fantasy. I still remember, however, playing my first games of D&D as a young child, using miniatures of Schen and Ssu for orcs and goblins.

    GreenWarlockjackjackelminsterBelgarathMTH
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,304
    My understanding is that D&D was the first to combine story telling and a world of persistent characters on top of the established war-gaming world. I knew of Empire of the Petal Throne, but had always thought that it followed D&D, had not realized it had a 12 month lead - good info. While I have not played Empire, I remember a brilliant review from the early 80s that described it as the likely result if Tolkien had poured his world building talents into creating a game world, rather than a series of novels. The depth, cohesiveness and immersion of the setting was legendary. I can now add originality of creating the RPG genre to that list!

  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 158
    Actually, I am wrong. TSR had published 500 copies of D&D just prior to publishing Empires of the Petal Throne. Empires was the more popular and better-selling product for the first 2 years of TSR, however.
    I was unaware of this until now, but it appears that M.A.R. Barker (professor of South Asian studies at UMINN), the author and creator of Tekumel, was running the first role-playing-game sessions in Minnesota, sessions that included Gary Gygax.

    Amazing to think now that, as a child, I had a copy of the first edition of the rules for D&D, along with a first edition ruleset for Tekumel, along with the complete first line of miniatures for both games, and copy of both Panzer Wars and Boot Hill (TSR publications the year following the publication of D&D and Empires of the Petal Throne).

    GreenWarlockBelgarathMTH
  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,676

    Oh, and the last argument against 4th is what they did to the Realms and Realmslore. One of my 2e players felt the same. I've shut down every point he's brought up. Anyone care to try me? Every "change" is an RP opportunity. In fact, 2nd players HATED the Realmslore changes to 3.5, and yet that gave us the Time of Troubles, the Bhaalspawn Wars, and this great series. The Spellplague is no different.

    What? "RP opportunity" is not a sign of quality. Even the most ridiculous, stupid, and boring setting imaginable would have "RP opportunity". The fact remains that they wanted a different setting, but also wanted the FR brand recognition, so they forced a lot of changes on FR to give way for their new setting and it's metaphysics. Including, you know, unsubtly cutting out several FR continents and dumping a big part of their new setting down where Maztica used to be.

    The complaints about what 4th Ed did to FR goes a lot longer than just "Spellplague".

    jacobtanCatoblepas
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited May 2014
    @scriver‌

    I can identify with that. Spellplague was used to kill off gods and goddesses, kill off heroes and villains, restore and destroy continents, create new monsters, etc. I'm just surprised Spellplague didn't cause menstrual mood swings to cease, prostitutes to be made chaste and re-hymenated, and all that stuff. And yeah, why didn't it cause world peace?

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,304
    And while I am 99.3% anti-4th edition (as the D&D brand) it was not all bad. I did quite like the return of the Netheril. But that is about it.

    As for trashing The Forgotten Realms to make a new setting in their own image, that was entirely un-necessary. D&D thrives on multiple settings, with Krynn, Greyhawk, Mezzobaranan (sp?) and on to Ravenloft, Dark Sun, The City of Sigil, and more - even before we add many players home-brew worlds. It would not have been hard to create a new setting, and not unreasonable to launch a new setting as the natural home of the new rule set, adding expansions for the other established worlds only after the new one has bedded in, and players are looking for more again.

    @Ploughed_Jester‌: Losing my job is a great opportunity to find a new job, there are many unique opportunities arise out of poor health - opportunities are not in themselves the sign of a good thing, you must consider if the opportunity is fundamentally something you wanted in the first place.

  • Ploughed_JesterPloughed_Jester Member Posts: 87
    edited May 2014
    Right, so what I gathered from this barrage against 4e is people miss... dead gods, dead world characters, and maztica.

    I can't say much about maztica, as I never played there, but returned Netheril is a fair trade from what I've heard. In addition, the five players I know who had games "there" found it to be only a short diversion before becoming whites v "savages" almost every time with Helm constantly painted as a malevolent presence. Boooo to that.

    As for world characters, who would still be alive after the amount of time passed that isn't still around? Can't address the situation as vague as it is currently, but would be happy to discuss it.

    As for dead gods, I can say some, but not all of my theories and ideas, as some of my 4e players lurk the forums. Helm and Mystra are "dead". Not dead. Just like Bhaal died but was not gone, I feel it is obvious that Helm, the Watcher, saw his own death. Instead of fighting it, he saw the greater good in both his and Mystra's downfall. The weave is fractured but not gone, especially as long as Larloch and his blueflame items exist (canon long before spellplague) as they preserve portions of the weave. It is also canon that Lolth is trying to rebuild the weave and claim it as her own. Combine this with the end of the demon/devil blood wars, and Asmodeus's rise to true deity status, and his ally (they had a falling out millennia ago... The perfect devil scheme to consolidate power) Grazz't, and you've got the perfect army to overthrow the gods and have demons and devils take over. The Godswar comes. You may say demons rarely work together, but that is due to a stalemate for power among Grazz't, Orcus, and Baphomet. Interestingly enough, the first two 4e modules have you weaken Orcus and Baphomet's cults, creating an imbalance and giving Grazz't greater power. The lady cleric in adventure one who sends you to Shadowfell keep could easily be a lamia in disguise. I digress, Mystra's chosen still hold some power, and yet remain inactive, protecting her essence. Why wouldn't helm do the same. There is a grand conspiracy at large and Helm saw it coming. He had to "die" for Asmodeus, Lolth, and Grazz't to make their move. With him "out of the way", they go for it, and Helm springs the perfect trap... With the help of the plucky party of PCs of course. This story is right on par for epic with the Bhaalspawn wars and the time of troubles and is not out of character for the realms at all. Oh, and Lathander is gone and Amaunator has returned. Three-Faced Sun heresy for the win... Especially since CHARNAME sparked his revival.

    If I missed any issues so far, I'd be happy to discuss them (discuss =/= fight over. I'm here pointing out positives for all d&d systems because I really enjoy gaming in... ALL D&D SYSTEMS.) Let the edition wars end, you're playing right into the hands of the dark gods! Only through unity can they be stopped.

  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited May 2014
    The edition wars will end eventually. There are already many Old Edition guys like myself who have basically abandoned D&D. If D&D survives, more power to it. If it does not, WotC asked for it. D&D has already served its purpose for us by giving us some really fond memories, and it will serve its purpose for the New Edition guys as they create new memories of their own.

    It is already a win-win. No need to fight. No need to discuss. No need to establish solidarity. By rejecting the new editions, we deny D&D of players, advocates and money, but it is really not our business. Consumer likes product, consumer embraces product. Consumer dislikes product, consumer ditches product. This is not Hotel California where we can check out but we can never leave :)

    jackjack
  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,423
    I was always under the impression that the Spellplauge and 4th edition were done so that all the old standard characters could be killed off and whichever company now owns all the rights (Hasbro...WOTC...I don't keep track any more) wouldn't have to pay royalties to anyone (specifically Greenwood and his Gandalf rip-off).

    If you want to play a pencil/paper game where any character can be any race and any class then forget 4th Edition and go buy GURPS--now your half-orc assassin/mage can fight alongside a dwarven gunslinger, a human telepath, a gnome netrunner with an enchanted cyberdeck, and a felinoid alien who is a Jeet Kune Do master.

    jackjackjacobtan
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member, Moderator Posts: 10,446
    @Mathsorcerer Actually, Elminster was supposed to be an unreliable narrator character. A possibly senile old mage who didn't always tell the truth. He was never supposed to be "Gandalf" or "Gandalf-lite". But the Powers That Be decided that Elminster had to be right, and so it was that he eventually ended up the way he did. But Ed Greenwood didn't intend for him to be that way at the beginning. His role as the unreliable narrator was eventually taken over by Volothamp Geddarm (aka Volo). And possibly Mirt the Moneylender of Waterdeep.

    Blackraven
  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,423
    edited May 2014
    Interesting article. Strangely, I have never even *heard* of Mirt the Moneylender before. He wasn't mentioned in any of the Forgotten Realms books I had eons ago (the late 80s and early 90s) when I had most of the 2nd Edition AD&D books. Well, at the very least I do not recall ever seeing the name before.

    Preferences over editions is all a matter of opinion--those who like 2nd yet dislike 4th have good reasons as do those who like 4th yet dislike 2nd.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,288
    edited May 2014
    Aurorus said:

    As an aside, D&D was not the first. The hobby actually originated from miniatures combat systems, which became popular in the late 1960s as offshoots of Civil War and World War II miniature combat games. Basically people developed rulesets for playing with WWII models and miniatures and Civil War miniatures.

    This expanded into fantasy, first as I understand it, under a game-system and group of miniature figures known as Empires of the Petal Throne, set in the world Tekumel. It was both a miniature combat system (for large and small-scale battles) and a role-playing game. The world of Tekumel was much different from the fantasy worlds that we have become accustomed to. It was not "Tolkeinesque" and was very unique. For example, the predominant non-human races were Schen- a bipedal lizard-race that had mace-like tales and Ssu- a four-legged race of humanoids, if memory serves.

    Not long after, Gygax and the others began developing a game-setting based much more on Tolkein´s world (though Gygax vehemently denied that this was true, it obviously was). Basic D&D came out about a year after Empires of the Petal Throne, and was originally capped at level 6 (if I remember correctly). Expert D&D came out about 2 years later, lifting the level cap. One or two companies were already in the market producing metal miniatures for fantasy and they quickly picked up figures more suitable for Tolkeinesque fantasy. I still remember, however, playing my first games of D&D as a young child, using miniatures of Schen and Ssu for orcs and goblins.

    EGG released Chainmail, a medieval miniatures wargame, in 1971. The basic Chainmail rules didn't include fantasy elements, but a fantasy supplement was released. This supplement led to the original version of D&D in 1974 (white books, often called OD&D)

    Basic D&D (blue dragon cover) and the first edition of Advanced D&D came out in 1977. Basic was limited to levels 1-3, with the expectation that you'd then progress to AD&D.

    In 1981, Basic D&D (red book, but not the Elmore cover) was revised and extended beyond 3rd level with the Expert set.

    I always preferred the BECMI D&D books, myself (i.e., the 1983 classic "red box" revision of Basic D&D with the Elmore cover). Simple enough for new players to enjoy quickly, but the rules grew as the players advanced in level.

    Mathsorcerer
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member, Moderator Posts: 10,446
    @AstroBryGuy‌ True. But AD&D didn't start at Level 4, but rather, level 1. And if it was intended to follow the first three levels of D&D, there was a stunning mis-alignment. In the original Basic D&D set, "Elf", "Dwarf" and "Halfling" were classes as well as races. Dwarves were warriors, Elves were Fighter/Magic-Users and Halflings were thieves by default. Anyone trying to transfer their characters over was going to experience severe "System Shock". Not to mention that AD&D had the all-new Gnome, Half-Elf and Half-Orc races. It may have been true that you were expected to transfer over at some point, but you wouldn't exactly be playing the same game any longer. I remember preferring the AD&D system over the D&D system, but I did have the Expert Set (I never bought the Master, Companion and Immortal Sets- I was too into AD&D at the time. In fact, the D&D world was its own place, and eventually got Retconned into Mystara.

    I also preferred the Forgotten Realms over Greyhawk. I'm not sure why, maybe because Greyhawk never felt like a "real" place to me. It was… too fantastic- I'm not sure I can put it coherently, but FR felt much more "Real" to me as world, where Greyhawk seemed like a world created on paper, and not so real. Maybe it was because GH seemed made up ad hoc, whereas FR seemed more planned out beforehand. It still feels more real to me today than GH, Mystars or the Dark Sun world of Athas.

    Ploughed_Jester
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,288
    @LadyRhian‌ - They were definitely not compatible games. I don't think it wasn't intended that you could take your D&D PC directly into AD&D. Rather, the idea was that players could start with the newbie-friendly D&D, play until 3rd level, and then "graduate" to AD&D. That changed in with the 1981 revision to the Basic set and introduction of the Expert set. D&D also came in a box set with dice and an adventure module, which was toy store friendly.

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member, Moderator Posts: 10,446
    @AstroBryGuy Not quite. The original Boxed set came with *chits*, not dice. a big plasticized sheet of numbers that you cut out and made piles and picked from. I know… that's how my D&D boxed set came (I bought it in 1977 in Spencer Gifts- now there's a memory!). Dice didn't come out until the 1981 boxed set, I believe. And the dice were a very light blue and came with a white crayon so that you could "Fill in" the numbers to make them more visible. I didn't get actual dice until I went to the Complete Strategist in New York City (the 11 East 33rd St. location) and actually bought dice. But those dice were horrible- the numbers weren't inked to stand out and many of the faces weren't congruent, so they rolled in a horribly wonky fashion. They only started getting better some years later, as I recall. I don't recall who made the dice, only that they were in a box behind the counter. I also picked up my first dice bag there and I used it until it fell apart (The stitches pulled apart). Unlike some people, neither my parents nor I drank, so I didn't/couldn't use a Crown Royal bag for my dice.

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member, Moderator Posts: 10,446
    Oh, also… the original Boxed Set came with B1, Journey Into the Unknown. The later Boxed Set came with B2, Keep on the Borderlands. B1 is a module where the DM is expected to do most of the work: the module's rooms are all detailed, but you have to fill in the monsters and treasure yourself from tables in the back. (By Random rolls, of course!)

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,288
    @LadyRhian‌ - The Crown Royal dice bag! Ah yes, I had one of those! They were perfect for D&D. :-)

    jackjack
  • Ploughed_JesterPloughed_Jester Member Posts: 87
    @Mathsorcerer‌ Who was killed off by the spellplague that warranted not paying authors? Drizz't, E., Jarlaxle, Halaster, Larloch, Szass Tam, the Simbul, Khelben, all exist in one form or another. Of those, only Khelben and Halaster are dead (excluding pre-existing liches) and they a are both still included. Khelben's spirit resides in blackstaff tower to guide future blackstaffs, and Halaster died during an epic spell casting, but lives on through Undermountain, with multitudes of magic messages, many insane clones, and insane apprentices. If it was about royalties, they're still paying everyone.

    Paraphrasing a wise friend here:

    To keep an IP going on for any substantial length of time, creators have to have freedom to progress. Artists need new vistas to inspire their work, writers need new characters' stories to explore, and audiences deserve fresh experiences. This can't be achieved with a static, unchanging universe. Characters must occasionally take their final bow and exit the stage to make room for new leads.

    Yes, it's gut-wrenching to see a series move beyond your comfort zone, into unfamiliar territory but the change is necessary; and, if the same writers are involved, it' likely they'll recapture some of the old excitement in addition to the new.

    FR, in this case, May be a victim of its own success when it comes to growing new fans and retaining the old. There are so many great and wonderful stories, that it's hard to jump in fresh and take it all in. Jumping ahead in the timeline and centering the focus on a different era keeps the stories grounded in our world but is just foreign enough that new players and old get to learn parts of the world and its inhabitants together. Some fans are never going to be ok with change but it's a risk that long-lasting franchises have to take to stay relevant.

    End paraphrasing.

    In the end, most of the main world power players still exist. Some are gone but that is necessary for the world to grow. America was relatively sad when George Washington died... much of Europe mourned the loss of King Edward VII, whom some called "The Peace-maker" in 1910. You don't ask for a rewrite. You progress. You look to new heroes and legends. Time marches on. Of course the world "ain't what it used to be", but there's a great big new world out there for the next generation. Teach them of the heroes of old, but encourage them to accept new heroes, or better yet, become them.

    In short, quit yelling "Get off my lawn" and go play in the grass instead. You never know what fun you might have.

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,423
    If I came across as one of those grumpy "get off my lawn" or "quit changing the series" fanboys then I didn't make myself very clear. I stopped playing pencil/paper games more than 20 years ago, preferring only to indulge in some computer-based games since then, and it neither bothers nor upsets me what sort of changes WotC have made to the Forgotten Realms--I wasn't that attached to it, anyway, beyond it sometimes saving me the trouble of coming up with my own world (which I ultimately wound up doing, anyway).
    Now....for my being under the impression why they did what they did with Spellplauge....as I said, I don't pay much attention to the Forgotten Realms these days and because of this I am unclear what their actual storyline involves. What little I browsed about it gave me the impression that they were, in essence, clearing the old-and-busted characters so that new-and-improved characters could emerge; my cynical nature concluded that this was done so they could quit paying royalties on the use of those characters, but it isn't surprising that people found creative ways for their pet creations to survive. This doesn't bother me at all--they aren't my characters.

    All of your advice about growing past the tried-and-true characters and needing to break new ground for new generations should be applied to the comic book publishers. Some of the biggest names and most widely-recognized characters are 50, 60, or even 70 years old and yet we still have stories about them. Rather than letting those characters retire with dignity they keep getting rehashed and retconned every 15 years to keep them relevant. Why not just create new characters? (see? I'm actually on the same page you are) Of course, we know why they don't--brand name loyalty keeps the fans happy and happy fans buy merchandise.

    There actually *is* a shared world which has aged gracefully, where characters are allowed to retire or even to die (sometimes nobly, sometimes not) and new characters are introduced to take their place: Wild Cards. Most of the original cast--Dr. Tachyon, The Great and Powerful Turtle, Yeoman, Fortunato, the Sleeper, Puppetman, etc--are either dead or gone but new people have come along to take their place--Bubbles, Bruja de Tierra, Lohengrin. Even the authors move on--some simply move on to other projects while others unfortunately are, themselves, now dead.

2
Sign In or Register to comment.