Friday, April 12, 2013


Second post - let's talk about AD&D 2nd Edition. It’s old news by now, but WotC is reprinting the core books for 2E. This initially came as a surprise. Despite starting tabletop roleplaying at the end of the that era, thus 2E being my first version of D&D, even I knew the edition does not hold the same nostalgic value as AD&D 1E and older versions, or have the same present day recognition and relevance as 3.5E.

That said, I’m quite pleased 2nd Edition is getting a reprint. While I’m aware of criticisms of the system from both old school players and the post-d20 crowd, I find it a worthy and quick ruleset, easily modifiable, and relatively compatible with most prior editions from what I know of them. It has its flaws, but every system does. I think it gets unfairly shoved into the awkward middle child category, not enough of either extreme to please segments of the gaming population. I actually like its middle ground approach, light enough to be flexible and brief, but with enough options for some additional definition. The additional rules beyond the base game being optional makes it clearly customizable to groups.

Sharp, not shiny.
Some time ago, WotC released the cover images to the books. I have to say, they’re probably the most elegant premium hardcover reprints thus far. They seem understated and stoic compared to the downright gaudy 1E reprints, or the merely ostentatious-by-comparison 3.5E rereleases. I am somewhat disappointed by their use of the ‘95 black spine cover art. Always found the art bland compared to the original 2E covers (and the black spine books were the first D&D books I owned). I understand the black spine books are the version they’re using for the reprint, but a hybrid of first version cover art with second revision interiors would have made these unique. I say that mostly for selfish reasons as it would increase my inclination to buy the reprints. Right now it’s a maybe.

Either way, I’m contemplating whether to get them for the sake of nostalgia and to support the system I first started roleplaying with. The books would see actual use as I’m in two PbP games that use 2E and likely would join more in the future as opportunities arise and time permits. It would be nice to have one set of books in my library for reference and one by the computer for game use.

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