PDA

View Full Version : AD&D BEFORE editions



thomaswhodoubts
06-24-2008, 09:48 AM
I just wanted to put something in here that wasn't about 4th edition, which, from what I understand, is about selling miniatures - of which I already have entirely too many. I notice some comments about corporate greed, and am reminded of a much younger me saying almost the exact same things when 2nd edition came out. Give me Greyhawk, Dragon Magazine, and the original hardbacks anytime. There's nothing in the rules that says you can't make up feats where appropriate, creating subclasses, and get all the fun without all the paperwork.

But I digress. Again. I was really just wondering if anyone else has a sense of deja vu all over again with the comments re: 4th and the original 'edition' being introduced, 2nd?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-24-2008, 09:56 AM
In every edition there were the hardliners. They felt that there was no need for a newer edition and complained endlessly. It always amazed me because newer editions will always be released. All this being said, I never have a problem with newer and newer editions for it is the way of things.

Do i have a favorite edition? Yes i do.

Thoth-Amon

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-24-2008, 09:58 AM
"Give me Greyhawk, Dragon Magazine, and the original hardbacks anytime. There's nothing in the rules that says you can't make up feats where appropriate, creating subclasses, and get all the fun without all the paperwork."

I couldnt agree with you more.

Thoth-Amon

Engar
06-24-2008, 10:19 AM
I see more comparison with 3.x, but that may be because 2e came out a short time after my group discovered Advanced (less vesting). There was a huge backlash over WotC buying TSR too.

I may have just missed out on the Adv-2e grumbling, but 2e-3.0 was hard to miss. The 3.0-3.5 then solidified my general distrust/dislike of WotC. That they may have "goofed" and doubled their money due to simple irresponsiblity which did not begin as greed is the kindest thing I have to say about the 3.x shenanigans.

Oldgamer
06-24-2008, 02:07 PM
I never understood the Splat books, any book containing Complete ??... In the older editions, if you wanted to play a swashbuckler... you role-played one using the fighter class, you didn't need books to tell you what you were already imagining. I guiltily admit I have the Complete books, they were gifts though, so I never had the intention of buying them, but it aggravates me to no end to see people who forget that you dont need all the rules to play this game... and then the next edition comes out, and we all have to have it, regardless of common sense screaming that you don't need a whole new set of rules to keep playing the game that didn't need rules to begin with :) Playin' with imagination has no rules. But if you want rules, that's not a problem, buy the core books and imagine yourself as a Swashbuckler, heck, go so far as to imagine what Feats and Skills set them apart.. save yourself the money and imagine it, and not buy someone else's version of what you should already be imagining... you only feed the machine known as WotC :) Make your wallet smaller and continue telling them it's okay to come out with 3 versions in 8 years, the flock will most certainly be there to buy the next one coming down the line...:flock:

Webhead
06-24-2008, 03:31 PM
I never understood the Splat books, any book containing Complete ??... In the older editions, if you wanted to play a swashbuckler... you role-played one using the fighter class, you didn't need books to tell you what you were already imagining.

Aye, and that is how we (my game group at the time) used to play our RPGs in the pre-3rd Edition days. If I wanted to be a frothing barbarian, I made a Fighter and described him as a frothing barbarian and everyone else (DM included) went along with it. We had fun. I've always approached my RPGs this way, but there seemed to be a tangible shift in this for the games I played in post-3e. It's what I refer to as 3e's "supplementitis". The idea that if you don't have a supplement that says you can do/be it, you can't.


...and then the next edition comes out, and we all have to have it, regardless of common sense screaming that you don't need a whole new set of rules to keep playing the game that didn't need rules to begin with :)

Sure, but as was eluded to elsewhere on these boards, often times as new editions come out, some players convert out of a desire to "upgrade" or just to try something different. The rules part and the imagination part are the sort of "Yin and Yang" of RPGs. The "imagination" makes it role playing and the "rules" make it a game. For most folks (and this is why there are so many RPGs and so many editions of them), it's a matter of finding the mixture of rules and imagination that makes for the most enjoyable game. Some like equal parts rules and imagination, some like more of one or the other and some just want all of one and to ignore the other completely.

So where am I going with this? The reason we have different editions is because there was a desire by some players to change that mixture. To redefine how the game works to better suit their tastes. Not everyone would be happy playing Basic D&D, or 1e...or 2e...or 3e...or 4e. But they can look at these different games and try to decide which is the best foundation to start from to give them the experience they are looking for. Some folks (like me) are perfectly happy playing a barbarian who is actually a "Fighter". Others say, "if I'm playing a barbarian, I want to have rules for being a barbarian" and those are the pebbles that begin the proverbial avalanche.

fmitchell
06-24-2008, 03:46 PM
I never understood the Splat books, any book containing Complete ??... In the older editions, if you wanted to play a swashbuckler... you role-played one using the fighter class, you didn't need books to tell you what you were already imagining.

(I'll omit my usual mention of skill-based systems ... oh, wait ...)

The plethora of "core" classes, prestige classes, advanced classes, and so forth is one of the most off-putting things about 3.x ... despite the fact that feats should make classes more modular. With "powers" making classes yet more modular, I would hope that WotC stops pumping out new classes and starts adding new powers and feats to customize what we already have. I also hope that Angelina Jolie realizes her terrible mistake and leaves Brad Pitt for me, but I'm not holding my breath.

But to your deeper point ... I guess players and GMs want to be a measurable mechanical difference between Grond the Northland Axeman and El Cucaracha the Fuscia Pumpernickel. Unfortunately, in previous editions picking a rapier instead of a battleaxe or longsword meant a character did less damage with no apparent compensations. GMs had to invent house rules for a player to realize this vision of a nimble and dashing swashbuckler ... and most GMs lack the time, confidence, and/or expertise to add rules that don't make a player either a weakling or a one-man army. Thus WotC makes its money with "official rules" that consumers assume are playtested (wrongly, more often than not).

Maybe the base problem is that, when we don't like the rules, or an implication of the rules, we add more rules. To take the rapier example: if the GM simply declared that all players do 1d8 or 1d10 with their "signature weapon", and less damage with other weapons they pick up, we could avoid the whole mess and make sure nobody is left out of the action. Which seems to be a stated goal of D&D 4e, but I'll have to see for myself how well they realize that goal, and whether they maintain it over time.

Engar
06-24-2008, 03:58 PM
If I wanted to be a frothing barbarian, I made a Fighter and described him as a frothing barbarian and everyone else (DM included) went along with it. We had fun. I've always approached my RPGs this way, but there seemed to be a tangible shift in this for the games I played in post-3e. It's what I refer to as 3e's "supplementitis". The idea that if you don't have a supplement that says you can do/be it, you can't.

Those without the creativity or the patience now have a work around to avoid ever having to stretch their imagination.

Webhead
06-24-2008, 04:35 PM
Maybe the base problem is that, when we don't like the rules, or an implication of the rules, we add more rules. To take the rapier example: if the GM simply declared that all players do 1d8 or 1d10 with their "signature weapon", and less damage with other weapons they pick up, we could avoid the whole mess and make sure nobody is left out of the action. Which seems to be a stated goal of D&D 4e, but I'll have to see for myself how well they realize that goal, and whether they maintain it over time.

This ties somewhat into my attraction to the approach a few game systems (FATE, Risus, Wushu) take that instead of looking at combat in terms of "damage", they look at it in terms of "scene impact". Rather than focus on the direct physical injury a character inflicts, those games focus on how much "impact" your character's actions have on advancing/resolving the scene or defeating (either physically, psychologically, or whatever) the opposition. They take the stance that a character shouldn't be less "effective" because he chooses an "inferior" weapon or style.

The knife-fighter can be just as, or more, deadly than the guy the totes an axe. They just go about their fighting in different ways. The axe-guy swings hard and heavy, hoping to tear enemies in half with sheer strength and the knife-guy ducks and weaves until he can gouge his enemies' vital spots or sever their arteries. It's about style. Style should be a major consideration of a character. Many games can make some style choices harder for some players as they clearly favor some weapons, tactics or powers over others. Some games introduce some measure of balance for this (such as a Rogue's Sneak Attack abilities). That's just the nature of the beast, I guess.

Engar
06-24-2008, 05:02 PM
I see a great deal of one-upsmanship encouraged in more recent editions of DnD (definitely not the style approach). There is a point very quickly reached in DnD where a "style" based character is obsoleted by a "system" based character and the system supports the latter.

Lets face it, those of us who spent the time fleshing out our character history and attitude and chose not to max out all the stats or specialize all the feats have to be tied to a storyteller that appreciates it or we might as well go see a movie.

agoraderek
06-24-2008, 05:07 PM
I see a great deal of one-upsmanship encouraged in more recent editions of DnD (definitely not the style approach). There is a point very quickly reached in DnD where a "style" based character is obsoleted by a "system" based character and the system supports the latter.

Lets face it, those of us who spent the time fleshing out our character history and attitude and chose not to max out all the stats or specialize all the feats have to be tied to a storyteller that appreciates it or we might as well go see a movie.

if you have a decent dm "smart beats stats", a theme pretty much borne out by the "kobolds are fodder" thread. with a good dm, works the same for players...

Moritz
06-25-2008, 07:43 AM
To me, new additions are just out to make more money because it's like some hack rewriting the Lord of the Rings trilogy to make it 'better'.

warlock
06-25-2008, 09:47 AM
To me, new additions are just out to make more money because it's like some hack rewriting the Lord of the Rings trilogy to make it 'better'.

So you are still playing Chainmail then? Or the original DnD Box?

Moritz
06-25-2008, 10:45 AM
Heroically, I still have the blue box. :)

But no, I got on the 3.5 boat and it has sailed to golden horizons.
Same with Champions, I didn't 'upgrade' when 2.0 came out.

I played 'the buy the updated game' back in the day, Basic, Beginner, Expert, Advanced. I missed out on 2.0, but wasn't interested in D&D at that point. Then in 2002, a friend said, "Hey Mo, why don't you run a D&D game?" And I looked it over, and jumped right in.

WotC has enough of my money.

<edit: I will admit, the books are really pretty - but it strikes me as a lot of rules for a 'minatures' game now>

Webhead
06-25-2008, 11:08 AM
<edit: I will admit, the books are really pretty - but it strikes me as a lot of rules for a 'minatures' game now>

That's how I began to feel about 3.X, minus the "looking pretty" part...but I'll admit that 4e doesn't seem to do anything to inherently discourage this mentality (that's why I generally tended to avoid games that encouraged the use of minis and battlemats in the past).

tesral
06-25-2008, 11:24 AM
AD&D was better than D&D. But D&D was Awful. We played it because it is what was. AD&D was also Gygax being so full of himself you could barely stand to read it. (I just subjected myself to a taste of it, yuck.)

2e was far better organized than AD&D and I went for that. Some people complained that the rules change too much, I never noticed.

3e started the change for change sake. I dislike altering so many spells and the gratuitous changes of spell names. I don't think a class is needed for everything. I do like what they did with the basic mechanic. It should have been done in AD&D. It even mentions the idea of positive AC. They didn't, but should have. The change in saving throws was good. A true mix of good and bad.

4e is a total break with everything before it, different game

Oh, and I I'm glad Lizards bought T$R. They were bankrupt, and going down fast.

Moritz
06-25-2008, 12:16 PM
That's how I began to feel about 3.X, minus the "looking pretty" part...but I'll admit that 4e doesn't seem to do anything to inherently discourage this mentality (that's why I generally tended to avoid games that encouraged the use of minis and battlemats in the past).

I don't think I got into the Mini aspect till about 2003, maybe 2004. D&D, regardless of the edition, was always cerebral for me. Telling the story to the players and letting them imagine the scene in their heads. The mini aspect of it came when we adopted two new players to the game who had a lot of mini's and said, "hey, can we use these?" - those players were used to playing MechWarrior, so huge battle maps came out and the game changed somewhat.

Webhead
06-25-2008, 01:50 PM
I don't think I got into the Mini aspect till about 2003, maybe 2004. D&D, regardless of the edition, was always cerebral for me. Telling the story to the players and letting them imagine the scene in their heads. The mini aspect of it came when we adopted two new players to the game who had a lot of mini's and said, "hey, can we use these?" - those players were used to playing MechWarrior, so huge battle maps came out and the game changed somewhat.

I think the change came for me when we actually sat down and began to implement the 3.0 rules.

Pre-2e, some things were still measured, but they were in large enough increments that not using a battle map wasn't a problem. If you were in "melee" range, you could use your melee attacks. If your spell had a range of "100 feet" or had a "30 foot radius", that was easy enough to visualize and didn't require you to draw things out.

Post-3e, combat actions got segmented into much smaller units of measurement. Now you had things like the "5-foot adjustment" and "Attacks of Opportunity" that really required you to know, within 5 feet, where your character was in relation to others. You could handwave it if you chose, but that meant you either had to ignore AoO's and 5-foot steps completely which nerfed a lot of Feats and combat actions (not that I minded, but a lot of players would get defensive about this), or you had players constantly wrestling with their choices in combat, repeatedly checking with the DM to make sure they weren't opening themselves up to the risk of unforeseen consequences to their intended actions.

Anywho, just my 2 cents. I miss the days when we ran entire thousand-man battles in our minds, with PCs swinging through treetops and wading through tides of foes without having to worry about provoking AoO's or having to track the 5-foot steps of every footman on the field.

cplmac
06-25-2008, 01:50 PM
I have only played 2E, and currently don't see changing anytime in the near future. Of course, anyone just now starting may find that starting with the new 4E may be more advantageous for them, since there will be lots of supplemental materials to come. Personally, I like 2E. I'm not wild about the idea of having to deal with all kinds of different feats. Now I know that in 2E there is the proficiency slots, but we only use them as a place to notate something that a particular PC knows or is trained in (ie. metal smithing). I know there are folks out there that are not fond of it, but I like the Thaco for figuring out if you hit your intended target.

OK, so much for my ramblings, but just my 2 cents worth.

starfalconkd
06-26-2008, 07:09 AM
I started playing with 2e and had a good time with it for many years. It was a good system for me.
3.5 is my system of choice now. I'm having a good time with it and don't see the need to put it aside. Maybe someday down the road I will. Who knows?
My games have evolved (story-wise) and I like to to think I've become a better dungeon master through the years. I've changed systems and changed the stats of the people in my game. But people are people. The adventure continues. The style may change but the song remains the same.

warlock
06-26-2008, 07:41 AM
Heroically, I still have the blue box. :)

But no, I got on the 3.5 boat and it has sailed to golden horizons.
Same with Champions, I didn't 'upgrade' when 2.0 came out.

I played 'the buy the updated game' back in the day, Basic, Beginner, Expert, Advanced. I missed out on 2.0, but wasn't interested in D&D at that point. Then in 2002, a friend said, "Hey Mo, why don't you run a D&D game?" And I looked it over, and jumped right in.

WotC has enough of my money.

<edit: I will admit, the books are really pretty - but it strikes me as a lot of rules for a 'minatures' game now>


Well, some hack felt the need to re-write the stuff in the blue box, then all the upgrades through advanced, and then released a 2.0 of advanced. And then the idiots had the audacity to try to rewrite that!

I cant fault WOTC/TSR for trying to make money. Its why they are in this. But I can fault them for writing a ****ty system, which I think they have. I bought the 3e core books, and was terribly disappointed. This edition isn't looking much better to me, but if it does its job, it does its job. I can see this pulling in the MMO crowd like flies to teh cowpie, and I think thats what they are shooting for.

agoraderek
06-26-2008, 02:40 PM
maybe im weird (and it sounds like it, reading the general opinions on the subject in these forums) but i LIKE AoOs. i like players having to think a bit more tactically and considering the pros and cons of a combat action. when im playing, i might consider the effect of an AoO if im ailing a bit, but, for the most part, if the tactical advantage outweighs the potential damage from a successful attack, so be it.

plus, i play mostly rogues anyway, so i rarely even have to think about it, unless i blow my tumble roll...

but, from a dming perspective, it does cut out the "but i want there, i was here" type arguments that always seemed to pop up when combat wasnt on a grid, and it cuts back on the "i run through the crowd of goblins and attack the wizard" craziness, when most of those goblins get a free swipe as you pass...

Webhead
06-26-2008, 03:04 PM
I understand why AoO's were added to 3e and what they were trying to bring to the "tactical" considerations of combat, but I didn't care for them. I like epic, cinematic, over-the-top action anyway and AoO's (and 3e's movement system in general) were kind of a downer on that. Just personal experience, nothing more. YMMV.

agoraderek
06-26-2008, 03:10 PM
I understand why AoO's were added to 3e and what they were trying to bring to the "tactical" considerations of combat, but I didn't care for them. I like epic, cinematic, over-the-top action anyway and AoO's (and 3e's movement system in general) were kind of a downer on that. Just personal experience, nothing more. YMMV.

exactly, i prefer low fantasy, mud on the boots, think of the little things when preparing to leave out away from civilization type games, so the addition of AoO was cool.

now, when i PLAY, all i care about is that the gm can help me have a fun time, dont give a whit about the genre or the rules set.

most of my 4.0 posts on here come from a dm's perspective, not a player's perspective. 4.0 looks fun, i'd play it, just ain't gonna run it...

Webhead
06-26-2008, 04:01 PM
I like epic, cinematic, over-the-top action anyway...

I suppose I should qualify that. For many genres (including sword-and-sorcery fantasy), I prefer epic, cinematic, over-the-top action. Obviously, if I'm running a Zombie Survival-Horror game (:)) I take a more "down and dirty" approach to things, but it's all about style-emulation.

I've run (and played) "down and dirty" fantasy and it's not a bad thing. But if I'm gonna run D&D, I'd prefer it to be a bit more loose and over-the-top.

thomaswhodoubts
06-01-2010, 01:32 PM
I've been listening to a several actual play podcasts of 4e and it seems like rules-lawyers have a field day, and combat seems to be a dice slog. The AP's I listen to are mostly rping, so are interesting, but I think that may be these groups. Now that the core books are up to $500 (THREE players' manual?) is it worth it?

Dark
06-06-2010, 08:13 PM
WotC has enough of my money.
But......Think of the fat suits not getting your money......:Cry:...............Nah just busting on you and I agree thats what yard sales and Ebay are for.

fmitchell
06-07-2010, 08:39 AM
AD&D was better than D&D. But D&D was Awful. We played it because it is what was.

Even at the time, I was drawn more to "Basic D&D" than AD&D, even though AD&D was what everyone was playing. (Original D&D just confused the heck out of me.) Having read Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future, and perusing TSR's Rules Cyclopedia, I still think it's closer to the sort of D&D I might like playing than the pretentious tomes of AD&D.

Oh, and Chaosium published RuneQuest in 1978. Metagaming published Melee 1977 and Wizard a year later; the full Fantasy Trip system came out in 1980. There were alternatives back then, and not just those two.

thomaswhodoubts
06-07-2010, 01:06 PM
Even at the time, I was drawn more to "Basic D&D" than AD&D, even though AD&D was what everyone was playing.
That's my point about 4ed - if I want to pick up new players, or get into a game at a game store, it's got to be 4ed. I've put together a group for 1ed who are either older than me or don't know any better, but it has been a major struggle.

Umiushi
06-10-2010, 04:51 AM
Fmitchell, you're mentioning a ton of the Good Stuff! I love the Rules Cyclopedia! It would be handy (though not necessary) if it had fit in the Immortals rules, too. Even when other editions get packed into storage, that book always stays with me. I used to play Melee and Wizard, but they belonged to a friend, and I've wanted to look through them one more time for years.

Aelanna
07-07-2010, 08:20 PM
I started out playing DnD, but switched to AD&D when it came out and never went back. I selectively bought a few books from 2nd ed, mostly just to add new monsters/items/spells to my campaign, but I've been playing 1st ed with GM mods on my own gameworld since 1984. No plan to 'upgrade' or whatever. I don't need new books or new rules to play the game, anything I didn't like about the original rules I changed to fit my style. I liked when you didn't have a rule or a class pre-defining everything for you, and you could make up things as you wanted to. My game focuses on role-play, so combat doesn't happen often, and even when it does there's not a lot of dice-rolling or calculating distances. It's done more in a story-telling way. I don't even use the rulebooks at all any more except to look up details as needed for some spell.

Hangman
08-14-2010, 05:34 PM
I have only played 2E, and currently don't see changing anytime in the near future.

I admire the commitment. I have tried 3e (even bought the core books) and recently 4e, but I keep coming back to 2e (and only because I don't know anyone who plays original AD&D anymore).

3e seemed alright; it was just a money grab. 4e is about as similar to D&D as Magic: The Gathering.

I would love a group of 6 people and no more than 3 different books at the table. $500 on core 4e books? Maybe I should be looking for players in soup lines.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-14-2010, 07:04 PM
Put me down for 2E and earlier... back when rulings ruled, and rules did not.

Crom on his Mountain
08-14-2010, 08:47 PM
I never understood the Splat books, any book containing Complete ??... In the older editions, if you wanted to play a swashbuckler... you role-played one using the fighter class, you didn't need books to tell you what you were already imagining. I guiltily admit I have the Complete books, they were gifts though, so I never had the intention of buying them, but it aggravates me to no end to see people who forget that you dont need all the rules to play this game... and then the next edition comes out, and we all have to have it, regardless of common sense screaming that you don't need a whole new set of rules to keep playing the game that didn't need rules to begin with :) Playin' with imagination has no rules. But if you want rules, that's not a problem, buy the core books and imagine yourself as a Swashbuckler, heck, go so far as to imagine what Feats and Skills set them apart.. save yourself the money and imagine it, and not buy someone else's version of what you should already be imagining... you only feed the machine known as WotC :) Make your wallet smaller and continue telling them it's okay to come out with 3 versions in 8 years, the flock will most certainly be there to buy the next one coming down the line...:flock:

The problem was that there was absolutely no advantage in not strapping on heavy armor, a heavily armored tank was just flat out more powerful than anyone wanting to play a swashbuckler could ever be. At least the swashbuckler kit gave a small bonus to offset the huge disadvantage of weaker armor and weapons. 3e was really the first edition where playing a swashbuckler was really a viable option, in the form of a fighter/thief. In fact that's what my first 3e character was, I was just excited to play a lightly armored dashing warrior who didn't suck. And I didn't need an 18 strength to be an effective warrior!

froglegg
08-19-2010, 05:09 PM
The problem was that there was absolutely no advantage in not strapping on heavy armor, a heavily armored tank was just flat out more powerful than anyone wanting to play a swashbuckler could ever be. At least the swashbuckler kit gave a small bonus to offset the huge disadvantage of weaker armor and weapons. 3e was really the first edition where playing a swashbuckler was really a viable option, in the form of a fighter/thief. In fact that's what my first 3e character was, I was just excited to play a lightly armored dashing warrior who didn't suck. And I didn't need an 18 strength to be an effective warrior!

Crom dont I see you posting at dragonsfoot?

John

---------- Post added at 06:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:07 PM ----------


I have only played 2E, and currently don't see changing anytime in the near future. Of course, anyone just now starting may find that starting with the new 4E may be more advantageous for them, since there will be lots of supplemental materials to come. Personally, I like 2E. I'm not wild about the idea of having to deal with all kinds of different feats. Now I know that in 2E there is the proficiency slots, but we only use them as a place to notate something that a particular PC knows or is trained in (ie. metal smithing). I know there are folks out there that are not fond of it, but I like the Thaco for figuring out if you hit your intended target.

OK, so much for my ramblings, but just my 2 cents worth.


Cpl you would love dragonsfoot, it has alot of 1st edition and 2nd edition AD&D stuff. You should give it a look see.

John

Hangman
08-22-2010, 12:11 PM
The problem was that there was absolutely no advantage in not strapping on heavy armor, a heavily armored tank was just flat out more powerful than anyone wanting to play a swashbuckler could ever be.
As it should be. After all, we are talking about medieval battles and dragon slaying here, and not Boot Hill or Pirates of the Caribbean. Poor armour either stems from poor finances, class or occupational restrictions, or some very special case (like you're going up against a horde of druid who love to heat metal). I'm thinking of Madmartigan in Willow, who traded up to a nice suit of plate mail when the opportunity arose.

AD&D 2e does list some equipment from the Renaissance, but it really isn't apt for such scenarios. Swashbucklers came from the latter half (16th & 17th centuries), at a time when weaponry had evolved to the point where armour was next to useless. It's not difficult to see where D&D's strength lie - it stemmed from Chainmail (and a bunch of other war simulation games) which focused on large-scale battles with a few monsters and wizards thrown in. Armour was expensive, so only your elite got the good stuff, and it was always a boon.

So is D&D 3e an improvement? It allows you to play your favourite pirate type, sure, but at the cost of mixing time periods. It's like that TV program on TLC where they theoretically pit samurai against vikings.

Crom on his Mountain
08-23-2010, 02:45 AM
Crom dont I see you posting at dragonsfoot?

Yeah, that's one of the forums I frequent.

---------- Post added at 12:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:39 AM ----------


As it should be...

That depends on how you like your d&d. Some people like to mix genres; allowing mounted knights, musketeers, samurai, and Zulu warriors to all be in the same party. Other campaigns are very strict about that though, I've run campaigns where I drew a hard line about allowing only medieval or only ancient Greek or only late renaissance, etc. Before 2e you were allowed to play swashbucklers (the phb even included rapiers under the long sword alternate names listing), but you'd be crazy to do it.

lomifeh
08-23-2010, 11:51 AM
4E is very much a reboot of the entire thing. And they had to do it since they needed to keep the game going. The older editions from a rules perspective were a mix of overpowering (think 2e ranger) and pure harshness if you did not modify them. I may be generalizing but my point being it was a different mentality.

4e also allows a lot of busy adults to play the game without having to come up with tons of rules on their own. I know between work and family I don't have the time I used to to craft a world, modify rules, and actually play the game like I used to. I don't mind the upgrade thing when it makes sense. And also the fact you can still play and develop your own stuff based on a ruleset means it becomes moot.

---------- Post added at 12:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:47 PM ----------


As it should be. After all, we are talking about medieval battles and dragon slaying here, and not Boot Hill or Pirates of the Caribbean. Poor armour either stems from poor finances, class or occupational restrictions, or some very special case (like you're going up against a horde of druid who love to heat metal). I'm thinking of Madmartigan in Willow, who traded up to a nice suit of plate mail when the opportunity arose.

AD&D 2e does list some equipment from the Renaissance, but it really isn't apt for such scenarios. Swashbucklers came from the latter half (16th & 17th centuries), at a time when weaponry had evolved to the point where armour was next to useless. It's not difficult to see where D&D's strength lie - it stemmed from Chainmail (and a bunch of other war simulation games) which focused on large-scale battles with a few monsters and wizards thrown in. Armour was expensive, so only your elite got the good stuff, and it was always a boon.

So is D&D 3e an improvement? It allows you to play your favourite pirate type, sure, but at the cost of mixing time periods. It's like that TV program on TLC where they theoretically pit samurai against vikings.

But in the end the game is about the players having fun. If I want to play a pirate and my GM is for it then I shouldn't immediately have to be second fiddle to the warrior in full plate. It's like any good story, reality always plays second fiddle to a good story as it should. The rules have evolved with the audience I think and to be more inclusive to what players wanted to do.

Crom on his Mountain
08-23-2010, 12:19 PM
4E is very much a reboot of the entire thing. And they had to do it since they needed to keep the game going. The older editions from a rules perspective were a mix of overpowering (think 2e ranger) and pure harshness if you did not modify them. I may be generalizing but my point being it was a different mentality.

It's not a reboot anymore than stratego is a reboot of chess. They made up a completely different game and then slapped the Dungeons and Dragons name on it to ensure sales. Realistically neither 3rd nor 4th edition is the same game in any respect.

tesral
08-23-2010, 12:29 PM
It's not a reboot anymore than stratego is a reboot of chess. They made up a completely different game and then slapped the Dungeons and Dragons name on it to ensure sales. Realistically neither 3rd nor 4th edition is the same game in any respect.

Agreed, it is not an upgrade of the game. It's a side grade. Plazio did a decent job of "upgrading" 3.5. I only wish they would halt the slow but steady power increases. I want heroes not superheroes.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-24-2010, 12:01 AM
I'd have to agree with the last two posters on this one. Of course my gaming buddy would argue that 3E and 4E were very much DnD. Ah well, guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

BTW, I also believe that Paizo did an incredible job of "upgrading" 3.5.

Sascha
08-24-2010, 12:45 AM
Realistically neither 3rd nor 4th edition is the same game in any respect.
Not the same game, mechanically or thematically, no. Still D&D, though.

The different editions (TSR and WotC both) cater to different play styles. Given the diversity in gamer culture, back in the day and especially now, this is a good thing.

Crom on his Mountain
08-24-2010, 04:58 AM
It's only D&D because they put the name on it, it's not really D&D. D&D is a game, if you change the mechanics of game as completely as W0tC did it's not really the same game any more. The new edition of GURPS is still GURPS because the rules are fundamentally the same.

tesral
08-24-2010, 08:10 AM
For me the test is converting a character up from older editions. I can play a 2e character in a 3e game without a great deal of adaption. It is mainly adding a few things. Not the case with 4e. You have to rewrite the character as if converting them to a different system, which you are.

Sascha
08-24-2010, 11:00 AM
It's only D&D because they put the name on it, it's not really D&D. D&D is a game, if you change the mechanics of game as completely as W0tC did it's not really the same game any more. The new edition of GURPS is still GURPS because the rules are fundamentally the same.
"Dungeons & Dragons" is both game and brand. D&D the game (brown-box) morphed into two lines, starting D&D the brand. Basic D&D and Advanced D&D aren't the same game, either, despite having shared mechanical foundations; they're D&D the brand. WotC D&D isn't D&D the game any more than AD&D is (less so, indeed), but they're still D&D the brand.


For me the test is converting a character up from older editions. I can play a 2e character in a 3e game without a great deal of adaption. It is mainly adding a few things. Not the case with 4e. You have to rewrite the character as if converting them to a different system, which you are.
Yep, it's not the same game. The rules have changed. Doesn't make the brand invalid.

Crom on his Mountain
08-24-2010, 03:45 PM
"Dungeons & Dragons" is both game and brand. D&D the game (brown-box) morphed into two lines, starting D&D the brand. Basic D&D and Advanced D&D aren't the same game, either, despite having shared mechanical foundations; they're D&D the brand. WotC D&D isn't D&D the game any more than AD&D is (less so, indeed), but they're still D&D the brand.

I don't play brands, I play games. I suppose you'd think if Pepsi Co. stopped making cola and started making lasagna you'd think it's the same food as well.

lomifeh
08-24-2010, 04:27 PM
It's not a reboot anymore than stratego is a reboot of chess. They made up a completely different game and then slapped the Dungeons and Dragons name on it to ensure sales. Realistically neither 3rd nor 4th edition is the same game in any respect.

Well I am defining reboot in the sense of when you reboot a known franchise like in comics and the like. They kept some core themes and ideas maybe but its different now. It is D&D just not what you think is the classic version.

They rewrote the game, it's a totally new version. This was not incremental at all. And frankly they needed to do something drastic to bring in new blood.

Sascha
08-24-2010, 06:38 PM
I don't play brands, I play games. I suppose you'd think if Pepsi Co. stopped making cola and started making lasagna you'd think it's the same food as well.
Faulty analogy (and a dash of other fallacies). If we're using soft drinks, New Coke's introduction is a much better example - easier to draw parallels (same changes to a core product, same branding issues, same-ish outrage).

Ignoring, of course, the bit where New Coke ceases to exist due to consumer uproar and Coca-Cola Classic makes it triumphant return. I think it's a pretty safe bet D&D will not be reverting to an older rule set, as the official face of the brand. At best, we'll see pdfs return or (longshot) print-on-demand of the old stuff as alternatives to the current edition.

(Which reminds me: I liked Crystal Pepsi. And, I'm thirsty.)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-24-2010, 07:16 PM
I miss the old coke before they changed the recipe.

fmitchell
08-24-2010, 11:08 PM
I don't play brands, I play games. I suppose you'd think if Pepsi Co. stopped making cola and started making lasagna you'd think it's the same food as well.

Ignoring for a moment the borderline insult, I do think a number of people play D&D due to brand name recognition. "I'm running D&D" typically gets more interest than "I'm running RuneQuest" (or whatever your favorite game is).

Having said that, while D&D 3.x and D&D 4e share some mechanical similarities, they clearly are two distinct games. The "fluff" has been reinvented nearly from scratch, and Powers have subsumed or demoted a number of mechanics from 3.x, like skills and spells. Most other radical new versions of old games keep the fluff but change the crunch, like D&D 2e to 3e or Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e vs. 3e. In some ways, the "fluff" is more important, since it contributes to the feel of the game and complements the mechanics.

The transition from 2e to 3e ripped out most of the old mechanics, but replaced them with something that played like previous versions of D&D. At best, 4e reverts to the style of OD&D, which only really defined combat and magic, and adds whole new layers of rules to make combats more interesting. At worst, it's D&D rebuilt from the memories of old-time players, which would be OK if the older versions were actually out of print at the time.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-24-2010, 11:12 PM
I do think a number of people play D&D due to brand name recognition. "I'm running D&D" typically gets more interest than "I'm running RuneQuest" (or whatever your favorite game is).

You got that right.

tesral
08-25-2010, 10:07 AM
At worst, it's D&D rebuilt from the memories of old-time players, which would be OK if the older versions were actually out of print at the time.

I disagree. One none of the people that worked on Forry had anything to do with the "old time" And if that is there memories they need a memory upgrade. It played nothing like that.

Frankly Forry was a lawyer mandated clean break with the old system so they could get out from under the Open Game License. Yes that is the work from insiders that would prefer to not be named. Hasbro has spoken. We will have none of that openness around here. How well or poorly it worked was secondary. The feel of the game they didn't care about. It just had to be totally different, but the same.

I'm not saying that the designers didn't care, but the people handing down the mandates who never get their hands dirty with anything as messy as game design did not. What they wrote is the Hellish terms of the Forry licence which in short is tie this noose around your neck and we get the other end. We can tug or not tug as hard as we want when ever we want, and you get to like it.

Hangman
08-25-2010, 10:50 PM
The different editions (TSR and WotC both) cater to different play styles. Given the diversity in gamer culture, back in the day and especially now, this is a good thing.

I suppose it is a good thing for WotC sales. For the rest of us - depends if you are looking for different styles and better and balanced, or if you think the game was fine when it was published. From my point of view, it just made 2e players scarce. I feel like I am a Windows 98 user trying to play WoW online.

---------- Post added at 08:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:34 PM ----------


They rewrote the game, it's a totally new version. This was not incremental at all. And frankly they needed to do something drastic to bring in new blood.

Yes - I agree. I just can't understand why. Isn't there a way to stimulate a franchise without replacing it entirely? People still bowl and bird watch - as far as I know, there have been no significant changes to either in decades. You have to know that in the end it boils down to marketing. The research showed that D&D: The Gathering would sell, so that's what it became.

Sascha
08-26-2010, 11:12 AM
I suppose it is a good thing for WotC sales. For the rest of us - depends if you are looking for different styles and better and balanced, or if you think the game was fine when it was published. From my point of view, it just made 2e players scarce. I feel like I am a Windows 98 user trying to play WoW online.
A pattern I've noticed in the stories of just about every edition change. Not to make light of the difficulties of finding folks to game with; I'm primarily a non-D&D gamer, so I understand the process.


Yes - I agree. I just can't understand why. Isn't there a way to stimulate a franchise without replacing it entirely? People still bowl and bird watch - as far as I know, there have been no significant changes to either in decades. You have to know that in the end it boils down to marketing. The research showed that D&D: The Gathering would sell, so that's what it became.
Sort of. Bowling has its own variants, too, each with its own set of equipment. The objective could be said to be similar enough - "knock down as many pins in a given number of throws" (barring some of the outdoor variants, where you get your ball as close to the target ball as you can); likewise, the D&D editions could be said to have a shared objective of "having fun by creating fantasy adventures." The particulars of both may change, like the specific rules and tools, though the base goal is still present.

Lord.Sorasen
08-28-2010, 03:50 PM
As it should be. After all, we are talking about medieval battles and dragon slaying here, and not Boot Hill or Pirates of the Caribbean. Poor armour either stems from poor finances, class or occupational restrictions, or some very special case (like you're going up against a horde of druid who love to heat metal). I'm thinking of Madmartigan in Willow, who traded up to a nice suit of plate mail when the opportunity arose.

I know what you're saying here, but I think it's just as fair to say that Dungeons and Dragons takes place in a world with mages, halflings, and monsters.. Realism can be a nice touch but more often than not I am more concerned with a character I find fun to play.


On that matter.. I've been playing DnD 3.5, but that's mostly because I'm new to this sort of thing, DnD sounded like a trustworthy brand to go by, and my local used book store is more likely to have the books at near $10.

Personally, I've found it to be a very rewarding system: character creation is fun, and feats, classes, and equipment add more than enough customization. Moreso, though, I've found I can create pretty much any character I want to... Want to create a drunken master type monk? Well, there's a prestige class for it (which actually isn't very much like the class should be at all) and beyond that you can make one out of other classes and just change the name... I chose in the end to make a monk/rogue, to symbolize the way a monk would catch his opponent off guard to deal blows. My point is 3.5 seems to let me make whatever build I want to decent enough to be fun to play in game.

Admittedly, though, a lot of people I know aren't like that. A friend of mine wanted to play a barbarian and asked me for help, and when I asked him for style said something along the lines of "destroy everything." So I suggest destructive rage, improved sunder, and a warhammer, which he got really excited about... But once he saw his ax dealt d12 damage, and the warhammer was only d8, he dropped the build right away... Which I guess is his style of play so whatever, but it seems to me like it would sap a lot of fun out of the gameplay...

fmitchell
08-28-2010, 05:29 PM
I disagree. One none of the people that worked on Forry had anything to do with the "old time" And if that is there memories they need a memory upgrade. It played nothing like that.

The Corporate Overlords mandated the legal and commercial effects, not the design. To me, 4e does look like someone started with an idea of 0e -- specifically well-developed combat and magic, handwaved everything else -- and then subjected it to massive second-system effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-system_effect), perhaps using atomic rays. The end result harks back to the "kill things and take their stuff" mode that many D&D games lapsed into, only with a massively over-designed combat system that gives everyone infinitesimally different magic powers, and a few token concessions to the last 40 years of game design.

---------- Post added at 05:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:01 PM ----------

On a more positive note, a lot of the Old School Renaissance games that depart from strict emulation understand the appeal of older editions while incorporating lessons from the last 40 years.

I've been singing the praises of Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Weird Fantasy Role-Playing (http://www.lotfp.com/RPG/) lately, because (among other things) it uses d20 + bonus vs. armor-class-as-target-number instead of THAC0. Also its version of the Thief, called the Specialist, grants every other character base chances to Climb, Find Traps, Search, etc. but gives the Specialist skill points to improve those abilities, which makes the Thief less of an outlier among the Big Four. More than the mechanical improvements, though, it takes Basic D&D away from Tolkien and more toward R. E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Jack Vance (beyond Magic).

The Peryton Fantasy Role-Playing Game (http://www.perytonpublishing.com/perytonrpg.htm) essentially uses the d20 rules except skills and feats. Instead, characters can try anything, resolved by d20 + characteristic bonus + level/3 vs. a target number. Every even-numbered level, the player can choose a "knack" for a specific activity or stunt, with GM permission, that grants a higher chance of success.

Finally, "Microlite20" (http://www.microlite20.net/) strips down d20 further, into only three attributes, four "skills" (absent in an OD&D variant), and class abilities. It still manages to retain some compatibility with existing d20 material, so you can add crunch to taste ... and as such a lightweight system a GM can use "rulings, not rules" instead.

Hangman
08-30-2010, 11:16 PM
The end result harks back to the "kill things and take their stuff" mode that many D&D games lapsed into, only with a massively over-designed combat system that gives everyone infinitesimally different magic powers, and a few token concessions to the last 40 years of game design.
Hear hear. I did appreciate some of the changes, though. The powers system is interesting, and the spell casters don't seem so handicapped. I think what I prefer with the older systems is the variety of spell effects. In 4e, it just seems like all the spell effects hamper the enemy until a 50/50 saving throw is made.

The more classes I read about, the more they seem to be the same as the other classes, but the powers have different names and rely on a different ability score. I think it dawned on me when I saw the bard class shooting a bow with Charisma that 4e might be too "balanced" for me.


The Peryton Fantasy Role-Playing Game essentially uses the d20 rules except skills and feats. Instead, characters can try anything, resolved by d20 + characteristic bonus + level/3 vs. a target number.
That's interesting. I always just made the ability score checks easier for a high-level group, but this way you give the players more bonuses to stack on. I have to consider stealing that one...

Utgardloki
08-31-2010, 12:41 AM
In my opinion, 2nd Edition was really needed. As the 1980s had progressed, new ideas kept getting added to the game, things like non weapon proficiencies and wilderness skills that the original rules never had. By 1988, it required seven or eight books to create a PC. Not to choose "splat", but to choose essential characteristics like nonweapon proficiency training.

I never liked 2nd Edition though. While I appreciated the cleanup and the fact that the Player's Handbook now had everything a player needed, they kept adding more stuff and an arms race developed among the various fighter types. (1st edition also had such an arms race.)

so by 1999, it was apparent that 1) 2nd Edition was starting to collapse under its weight, 2) that there was no point in playing a human in 2nd edition unless you wanted to be a Paladin, 3) There were a lot of ideas that 2nd Edition was not really able to support. When the game was redone from the ground up, the result was a game that absolutely rocked.

I don't think there was a need for 4th Edition. Things in 3rd Edition were starting to get out of hand, with Complete Adventurer, Complete This, Complete That. But it seemed like WoTC was really running out of ideas except for "Let's make this guy really really elite at X." Most importantly, in my mind, was that all this new stuff was not adding new things to the game the way late additions added new stuff to 1st and 2nd Edition. It was just more stuff, not new stuff that the old framework could not handle.

4th Edition does have a new philosophy behind it. I think this is the most controversial change, because a lot of D&D players and DMs don't agree with the new philosophy. A lot of players and DMs do. The problem I see is that while 3rd Edition was designed to try to support multiple styles of play, 4th Edition is designed for a single style, and it is a style that many don't like.