Saturday, February 15, 2014

D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop Challenge Day 15

This post is part of a series of posts in the D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop Challenge.  The information in many of these posts is related to events that occurred primarily in the1980’s. Since it is now 2014, I can not guarantee complete accuracy with such a large passage of time but I will present the events and information as best as I can recall.

Day 15: What was the first edition of D&D you didn’t enjoy? Why?

The first edition of D&D that I did not enjoy was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition.  My buddy Jamie picked up the core rulebooks as soon as they were released; he was a big fan of second edition and would later buy a boat load of the “Complete” series of books and other expansion material.  I had been following the articles and surveys in Dragon magazine leading up to the second edition so I was pretty interested to see what they were going to do with the game. Jamie brought the PHB, DMG, and MM over after he bought them and I looked through them and determined “they had gotten it wrong”.

It did not take me long to form my opinion – this is the kid friendly version of AD&D.  I kept noticing stuff that was taken out of the game.  The Assassin and Monk were absent from the classes like the Half-Orc was absent from the races.  There were no demons and devils in the Monster Manual.  The DMG was not full of archaic references that Gygax made in the original version.  It appeared that nothing from Unearthed Arcana was included, either.  Comeliness was not added to the list of Abilities.  Why were the Barbarian, Cavalier, and Thief-Acrobat not included?  I was not happy with the products as I perceived them – updates that actually took away content from the original – and I never did buy them. 

We did use some second edition stuff in our AD&D games, though.  The Bard and THACO were great changes.  I just never really saw the necessity to change over because the game systems were very similar.  For the most part, if something from a supplement caught my eye then I could most likely just use it as is or make a judgment call.  I was a little interested in the reprints but I held off because I am still not ready to pull the trigger on second edition.    



  1. THAC0 existed in 1E. Frank Mentzer put it into modules. There isn't a change of to-hit chances, just an easier way to present it than the matrix in the DMG: THAC0-AC=Chance.

    The UA Druid changes made it into 2E.

    There is very little new content to 2E. Specialist mages/clerics were taken from the Dragonlance rules. Non-weapon proficiencies were in OA and then a couple of other books. There were class changes to the Ranger and Bard, neither of which I liked. I liked the idea of the Bard being an initial class, I just didn't like the version in 2E.

    The only 2E change that I liked was the theif abilities. Now, you could allocate to skills instead of a standard set adjustment. At least this almost qualifies as a "new" idea.

    1. That pretty much sums it up. Yeah, I remember THACO being in 1st edition now that you mention it.