What 1st Ed Elements should 2nd Ed have kept?

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Havard
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What 1st Ed Elements should 2nd Ed have kept?

Post by Havard »

Let's not turn this into a 1st Ed vs. 2nd Ed debate, but let us instead imagine that Zeb Cook and the 2nd Ed design team could have kept some elements from 1st Ed that they ended up discarding, what should it have been?

For me I think the biggest thing is the 10 second rounds.
Also, the Barbarian and Monk Classes seem like they deserve a place in the D&D/AD&D universe. Barbarians sort of came back in the Complete Barbarian's Handbook I suppose.

Are there any other good rules or concepts that were lost in the transition from 1st Ed to 2nd?

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Re: What 1st Ed Elements should 2nd Ed have kept?

Post by night_druid »

A good chunk of the DMG. Rules for herbs come to mind; random dungeon map generator is another. I might have kept artifacts in the DMG, too.
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Re: What 1st Ed Elements should 2nd Ed have kept?

Post by dulsi »

(When I first saw the title I thought it was going to be about quasi-elemental planes or something of that sort.)

For barbarian, I would have said no during 2e. After seeing the 3.5 version, I could see adding them in. The magic restriction on the 1e version made the class seem unusable. (That is from what I remember. I haven't looked at the 1e rules since 2e came out.)

For 4e, I kinda wished they didn't say how long rounds took. Give some guidance sure but the tracking of minute to minute isn't that important. So I can't say I really have a preference for the length of time for a round.

I like random dungeon map generators but can't say they have that much value. Besides we still had the 1e manuals if we needed them.

2e seemed like they took all the rules we used from 1e and threw out the rest. To me there isn't much I would bring back.
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Re: What 1st Ed Elements should 2nd Ed have kept?

Post by AuldDragon »

Havard wrote:Let's not turn this into a 1st Ed vs. 2nd Ed debate, but let us instead imagine that Zeb Cook and the 2nd Ed design team could have kept some elements from 1st Ed that they ended up discarding, what should it have been?

For me I think the biggest thing is the 10 second rounds.
Also, the Barbarian and Monk Classes seem like they deserve a place in the D&D/AD&D universe. Barbarians sort of came back in the Complete Barbarian's Handbook I suppose.

Are there any other good rules or concepts that were lost in the transition from 1st Ed to 2nd?

-Havard
10 second rounds? Was that from Unearthed Arcana? Rounds were 1 minute in the DMG.

I can't think of any rules that should have been brought along; I think 2e did a good job of distilling the core rules down and adding in good optional alternatives. Much of the general descriptive stuff in the 1e DMG, like Adam mentioned, however, would have been useful. I didn't miss the Barbarian or Assassin, as I agree with 2e's reasoning that those are backgrounds that almost any class could be. I never liked monks, since they were a poor fit for western fantasy, and weren't a good representation of western monks.

Because of the changes to the way priests were redesigned, the druid should have been revised more, IMO, especially the experience chart and high level advancement.

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Re: What 1st Ed Elements should 2nd Ed have kept?

Post by BlackBat242 »

10-second rounds were OD&D. 1E AD&D was 1-minute rounds.

To me, the Assassin and half-orc should have been kept as primary elements, not put off until a splatbook years later*.

Keeping Druid spells as unique and different from clerics is another - they destroyed the unique flavor Druids once had, and again it took years to get that back*.

Ditto with Ranger skills - a Ranger's tracking is different from (and better than) what anyone else learns as an NWP.

The Monk was always something we considered "not as well done as it should have been", and should have been kept - but cleaned up and made to better fit the proto-European vibe of the rest of the base game. I would have made them unarmored staff-wielding lay priests - with a small low-medium-level spell list and good staff/cudgel/fisticuff/wrestling/sling-using combat skills, but not "Kwai-Chang-Caine clones". More Friar Tuck than Bruce Lee. Keep the Kung Fu specialists for the Kara-Tur setting book.

Ball-bearings... sorry, barbarians, were never really liked by most I played with, and they really needed the Barbarians Handbook to do them justice - they did fine as a fighter kit if you weren't using a "barbarian lands" adventure setting.

Horse-armor, social standing, the comeliness stat (always rolled separately, and not allowed to be switched with another stat), and 90% of the DMG (properly re-arranged to be easier to use) are pretty much the rest of what I would keep.


* That was a big problem with me - when the "user poll" came out in Dragon asking if we wanted 2nd Ed to be in a small number of large hard-bound rule-books or a large number of "mix&match soft-cover booklets", I stated, and my friends agreed, that TSR would do both - make big expensive primary hard-bound rulebooks that said a lot but didn't actually contain much (but were essential to play at all), and lots of single-subject soft-cover booklets that contained most of the material on the classes & races that was actually needed to properly run PCs. The reason we thought that was what would be done is that that would be the most expensive option for the buyers of 2E - maximizing TSR's profits without regard to whether we could afford it.

They should have either made a hard-bound "how to play the game PHB" without any classes at all but with complete race info), and a couple of hard-bound class books (Spellcaster's Handbook, Warriors and Rogues Handbook), and the hard-bound DMG & MM - or everything in the soft-cover handbooks.

Face it - most of the kits in any of the "complete XXXX Handbook" are rarely if ever used - if they were eliminated the booklets could contain all the info, including spells, weapons, etc for each class in the same size as what was actually published for the "expanded class minus the basic class rules".
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