Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kickin' @$$ and takin' their stuff: Introducing a new generation to 2e AD&D

It is memorial day weekend and I can think of no better way to spend it than going to the drive-in (Thor was awesome!!), grilling out and playing a kick ass game of D&D.

Saturday I ran my daughter and my niece (both of which are teenagers), and my former brother-in-law through a six hour 2nd edition AD&D game. It was one of the best games I have had the opportunity to participate in for quite some time and all of the players did a great job.

I am especially proud because it was my daughter's first time with 2e (4e Essentials is all she really knows) and my nieces first time playing an RPG. I also think I did some of the best DMing I've done in years. It has been a long time since a six hour game went by and everyone was still eager to play. Even though I could have gone another 3-4 hours I had to stop the game because it was getting a little late. So I am declaring this session a huge success.

After not playing 2e for nearly a decade I can't believe how easily I feel back into the old rules. Sure there was the occasional 3e/Pathfinder or 4e rule that slipped in by accident, but for the most part we had to make just a  few clarifications on things during breaks. The girls had no problem with THAC0, my brother in law and I did a fairly good job of remembering most of the rules and fell right into how we gamed years ago.

My daughter broke from her usual routine of playing a fighter to play a two-weapon ranger and my niece played the fighter. My brother-in-law played I psionicist Minotaur (house-rules) to add a little bit of extra muscle to the party of new(er) players.

I ran them through an adventure that mixed a little bit of the Abyssal Plague story that is currently running through the core D&D novels (they aren't great, but they are fun) with a little bit of your normal meat grinder dungeon crawl. I even threw in a dungeon level that was nothing but puzzles and riddles to mix it up.

The girls seemed to have a good time and even reminded me of myself and the gang I played with when I was around their age and just learning the game. For them it was more about getting lost in the imaginary world and having a good time than it was about rules and minutia. I can't speak for my brother-in-law but Saturday's game felt more "old school" than any game I've played in a long time and it had nothing to do with the edition or system. I actually can't wait to play again and that, to me at least, is what gaming is all about.

We plan to finish this adventure in a few weeks and then we are going to decide if we will stick with 2e or move on to 3e/Pathfiner. Honestly I'm perfectly ok with either system as they are my two favorites. I've talked my daughter into giving The Mutant Epoch, Call of Cthulhu and maybe even a supers game a try. So I'll end up running a solo game for her with those systems/genre. Who knows, if she does well I may even try running a Starblazer Adv. or Hollow Earth Expedition game for her.

However, I can't decide between DC Adv./M&M, Silver Age Sentinels, V&V,  or Icons for running a supers game. Personally I think Silver Age Sentinels (d20 version is ok, but I think the tri-stat version is better) is a bit under rated, and I'm really wanting to run it, but I'm leaning heavily towards Icons because of simplicity or DC Adv. due to familiarity.


jasonjames said...

Have you thought of using Gurps for a super hero game. We are currently running that and to be honest I was able to build by character just the way I wanted him. The rules are pretty easy to use and adapt for just about every situation

Jason James

Geek Gazette said...

Hey JJ.
I actually don't own a single GURPS book. Of the hundreds of RPGs I own I have never played with anyone that played GURPS so I never bothered, or had reason to buy any.
I have gotten curious about the game and been tempted to buy it on several occasions, but I always end up buying something else.

GeekBob said...

2e AD&D? Nice. Surprisingly, the weekend before my weekend group was waxing nostalgia over 2nd Ed and realizing that most of our fond RPing memories were with AD&D. To the point that I'm looking to re-buy the old books (Sold em off for financial reasons years ago) and see which of my players want a go at it (Sans one that, for some reason, despises the Save vs Death rules)

Shinobicow said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. I'm going to have to give that edition a try sometime.

Geek Gazette said...

@ GeekBob
Considering how cheap you can buy then on ebay and Amazon, I say it is worth it.
Last week I bought 4 books (Complete Humanoids, Complete Psionics, FR: Drow book, & FR Adventures) for less than $20, including S&H. Granted I have a student prime account with Amazon so I get free 2 day shipping on most items(I only had to pay S&H on 2 items). Still even with S&H it would have been been less than $30 for 4 books. I almost bought extra PHBs because if you look hard enough you can find them for under $2 + $3.99 S&H or around $5 total. I got the black PHB & DMG for a total of $9 a few months ago.
I don't plan to abandon Pathfinder/3e by any stretch of the imagination, but I think 2e is going to be at my table quite a bit. It really is pretty simple compared to 3e and 4e and in a lot of ways also very similar.
I understand why 2e gets a lot of hate from hardcore Gygax fansm and I respect that, but since I had no idea who he was when I started playing D&D I just don't have that. Even though I had been playing for a few years (with Expert) before 2e was released, it was the edition I really started playing with on a regular basis. With the exception of 3e, 2e was the RPG I played the most and longest, so I have more fond memories of the system.
Everyone has their own opinion, but for me 2e & 3e/Pathfinder are the only D&D editions I will not part with. So far.

Browncoat said...

Good times! One of our group started up a Pathfinder campaign and I'm quite happy so far.

2e was around FOREVER. I loved the system. I fought tooth and nail against 3rd when it came out. (I was eventually won over) Most books you can still buy dirt cheap at used book stores, don't know if that's an option for you GeekBob. But that's where I got most of mine.

I'm so glad you got in a good session GG. It seemed like you were lacking that for some time.

Good Luck in all the adventures!

Geek Gazette said...

Thanks Browncoat. Nice to see you and JJ around these parts.
I'd love to have a regular Pathfinder game going. Pathfinder/3.x, 2e AD&D, HEX and Silver Age Sentinels are my favorite systems. There are a lot of games I really like, but I'm pretty sure I could do away all of my systems and just be happy to play with nothing but those 4. I would miss my Cortex Serenity & BSG books, but I could run those with SAS.

Though I do admit I am fond of M&M, V&V and Icons for supers games. I played in a few Villains and Vigilantes, Marvel and DC games when I was a teen, but SAS was the first supers game I actually owned. It was also the first one I ever ran. So I keep coming back to it.

Browncoat said...

We all have a system that just feels comfy. For whatever reason we feel ok hanging on to it.