Friday, August 14, 2015

A 2nd Look at 2nd Edition

I bet just looking at this book brings back
buttloads of nostalgia for some of you.
Nearly decade ago, I was introduced to the  world of tabletop role-playing through the 3.5 Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. I knew about the game before then, but never had the chance to actually play it because so many people within the small corner of East Texas that I happen to live in viewed the game as demonic and evil.

Apparently, Satan felt the best way to reach the masses was through a fantasy game where you roll a bunch of funny dice. Who knew?

Because of insane beliefs such as this, I never had the chance to actually play the older editions. Most of the stores in my local area that happened to have rulebooks usually only went as far back as 3rd Edition, and ordering copies online is difficult when you're broke.

This all changed last Sunday while I was at my FLGS. While attending the Game Day for the latest set of Magic: The Gathering, I ran into three of the guys I regularly game with. They were sitting at the round table placed within one of the secluded corners of the store, the general place we role-players find ourselves when the Hideaway is having a big event. They were creating characters for a 2nd Edition game and asked if I wanted to join. Although I was there to play magic and get some cool promos, I also wanted to roll some dice and kill some monsters. That's when I decided to have my cake and eat it too.

Between each round, I snuck off to that slightly humid corner, cracked open one of the three Player's Handbooks, and rolled up a character to play later in the day. The first thing I noticed is how quick character creation took, especially since the three people who would be playing the game were relatively knew to this edition. You just roll your ability scores, see what race and class you can be with them, assign a few proficiency slots, purchase your equipment, and you're all done. That might sound like quite a few steps, but it really isn't. It's a nice change of pace.

As someone who began their gaming career with 3.5, I'm surprised how quickly I came to grok 2nd Edition. I've heard horror stories about it during my early days, especially about THAC0. However, I find myself liking how the game is structured and feel like those little quirks it has give it character. Although we didn't get to actually play (one of the players had to leave early), we're planning on having the first session this upcoming Sunday and I'm definitely excited. I want to see my human fighter Dirk in action, and see if I like the system just as much when I'm actually playing it. I'll try and post a follow-up next week afterwards.

What about you guys? Did you ever play 2nd Edition? What do you think about it? Do you like it, do you hate it, or are you ambivalent towards it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.