Monday, October 14, 2019

Rediscovering AD&D 2nd Edition - Part One

(Caution:  As you may know dear reader, I ramble and most of my blog posts are just a stream of thoughts.  I tend to not edit posts) 

Recently I've been rediscovering 2e and really enjoying it.  I'm feeling like a 15 year old again!  I blame Steve from Hogtown games for this, I just bought the City Of Greyhawk boxed set off of him.

I am thinking that I may start a bit of series of posts regarding this topic.  First up, my introduction to 2e.  My "writer" biography discusses it a bit.  Long story short, I started gaming with Advanced Fighting Fantasy, and had previously played a little bit of 1e with my cousin.  I slowly grew out of AFF and was looking for something a bit more intense.  At the same time my Mom was working at a bookstore.  I should also note, that the year that D&D was originally published, was right around the time that I was conceived.  So really, 2nd edition was my first edition.  For Christmas in 1993 I received the PHB & the DMG.  Shortly thereafter I got a copy of the Monstrous Manual.  In all honesty that's all I've ever needed.  I never got into the splat books, skills & powers etc.  So when I run 2e it's the core three books only. 

My second edition collection is as follows:

  • Obviously the PHB, DMG, and monstrous manual. 
  • Menzoberranzan boxed set
  • Forgotten Realms Boxed set
  • Sword of the dales adventure
  • Dragon Knight adventure (dragonlance) 
  • The Dales campaign setting 
  • DM Screen (including one of the worst adventures ever written, which I still haven't had a chance to run yet) 
  • Drow of the underdark splatbook (yes I have one, it was given to me by an acquaintance) 
  • A decent collection of dungeon, dragon magazines. 

Recent acquisitions are:  The greyhawk boxed set, and Legends and lore.

Here's a few posts about 2e.

Rambling about second edition
The 2e campaign I should have ran 24 years ago
Take me down to ramble city 
Vale of the mage

I have to say everytime I crack one of those books, my head fills with ideas.  The Ten Monster setting idea came about because I picked up my monstrous manual.  Before I even had a campaign setting, I started writing ideas out, and it was the usual start with a small town, dungeon close by, etc. 

Alright I'm rambling.

Hopefully this was a decent introduction. 


  1. Agree on the wonder and fun of the second edition. It was better organized and otherwise sanitized from first edition. People I knew were sour that there was no assassin or Barbarian class (but Barbarian from UA was basically immiscible with wizards.) None of that bothered me. I liked it.

    It was very different from the BX and BECM of my youth but hey - this was ADVANCED. I don’t even think I realized it was a different game from BX for a long while. It was close enough that you could use the B series and X series and all the 1e modules and whatever.

    One thing about 2e is that the dragons are super deluxe king sized. Either you love that or you don’t. (I love the concept of Godzilla dragons but I tend to run dragons more like birds of prey with breath weapons.)

    Also do you remember the list of elite followers for fighting men? Like... it seemed so random, but that’s only because you didn’t know what it has devolved from. It was super mysterious. Where did these guys come from?

    I even loved the cover with the guy riding out of a yellow cloud holding a sword.

  2. I never played 2E but I always liked the idea of kits. Maybe I'm alone because they got rid of them but it seemed a nice way to customize the archetypal classes.