• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[Positive Nostalgia Thread] What was great about 2e and the era?

Pete Whalley

Has Destrucity!
Validated User
Well thanks to this thread, I've spent most of the afternoon pulling my 2e books off shelves and out of boxes.

On the one hand it's been a pleasant few hours of nostalgia...on the other hand, I'm now planning a 2e campaign that I have neither the time to run, nor players to run for.

Thanks for that RPGnet. :p


Retired User
I was the DM for multiple BECMI and 2E campaigns as I was growing up (5th - 16th grade). The only "official" ones I didn't partake of was Birthright and Planescape.

For me, these editions were all about adventure and exploration in interesting worlds with interesting characters. So I echo the sentiment that it was all about setting.

We spent much more time exploring places, interacting with NPCs, etc. There was a lot of fighting, but it was fudged a lot just to keep the adventure and role-playing alive.

I must say, though, that as 2E continued to age, I felt pressure as a DM to keep up with the ongoing lore of the settings.... DragonLance being the worst, but FR having issues, too. It was jarring when a player would say, "Rastlin would never do that" or "Elminster would wouldn't talk like that."

That said, the 2E era was awesome for the sheer volume of campaigns and source material produced. It wasn't about the game per-se... it was about creating worlds.


*May Contain Multitudes*
Validated User
The thing I liked about 2e is the flavor.

I know, I know they "ripped all the flavor from AD&D" and "Watered it down" and "Made it too PC" etc... etc...

I contend that they didn't actually remove flavoring, or tone, or themes or anything.

They just changed them. If you went into 2e looking for the tone and flavor of 1e you would not find it and, alas, far too many people stopped there and assumed that this meant they had removed it.

2e is a game about "Romantic" fantasy (not the sub genre "Romantic Fantasy" but fantasy through a romantic lens). It s about being a hero and doing the right thing by people who depend on you. It's about striving to overcome challenges of the spirt. It a "clean" fantasy, with shining castles and good kings, friendly innkeepers and helpful travelers.

That's what I like about 2e.

Benoist Poire

New member
For me it's the base settings. Ravenloft, Spelljammer, Dark Sun, Planescape, Al Qadim and The Horde for FR, Birthright, and so many others.

I'm saying "base" settings because I didn't like the plots, didn't like the crapload of supplements, etc. But the base boxed sets were generally done right.


I will have sex with you!
Validated User
When asked, my answer to the "what was great about 2nd edition," question is always: Wild Mage.

Damn. So much fun with that concept and character.

Playing it (the character I had) like Daffy Duck with a Deck of Many Things was a hoot.


Independent Procrastinor
Validated User
I loved 2e in all its glory. Some things I liked (and miss about current D&D) include...

- tons of different settings with massive, epic support
- PCs had skills but not a bunch of special abilities
- I always felt the emphasis in 2e modules was on epic stories and plots. I never felt combat overhwhelmed the proceedings
- The "complete" guides were a terrific blend of fluff & crunch. They were full of actual ideas
- the artwork. No anime or comic book influences here. No impossible poses or silly expressions. Just lots of medieval stuff (with big hair).
- it was really easy to DM
- the layout of the books was simple and attractive


Registered User
Validated User

If I think about 2e then I think about the awesome three:
Planescape, Dark Sun, Birthright

Followed by Ravenloft, Spelljamer and Al Quadim

AD&D had so many great setting and Wotc kept the two boring ones for 3E..:(


Independent Procrastinor
Validated User
I'm posting this thread because my friend and I were talking about retro clones, and I was lamenting that there weren't any for 2e specifically. I don't think a direct clone is needed or desired- Osric could probably do a good mechanical 2e with some tweaks, but I'm wondering how a 2e Tribute game would go over, and wanted to get everyone's take on what made 2e great.
Well, I've been making one for over a year. It's called Orcs & Ogres and it kicks ass. Well, at least I think so ;)
Top Bottom