D&D through 4E AD&D | RPG Review 2

The 2nd Ed. Player's Handbook pretty much eclipsed Dark Sun for my friends because, all of a sudden, they didn’t have to worry about dying in a desert from dehydration, or from Jamey psionically controlling them to jump into a large pool of silt that they thought was water. Jamey, by the way, was playing a world-class jerk. His alignment was Lawful Asshole.

All of a sudden, ADnD was more complex. They hadn’t just updated a few things, they had REWRITTEN THE ENTIRE DAMN SYSTEM. For one thing, instead of everything being measured in inches, because all DnD and ADnD 1st Ed. people were only as tall as the figures that represented them, all of a sudden shit was measured in feet. Spells were rewritten, level requirements for those spells were changed, and some spells were entirely deleted from the system. They made so many changes that even their own comic book series made fun of the changes.

I bled adamantium to find this image

They basically took all of our collective pooches, and screwed them all at once in some massive bestiality-gangbang at TSR headquarters. Were we pissed? Nooooo… of course not, we lapped it up. We bought those books hand over fist… and then we went back and tried to change the rules for every single damn expansion we had bought to work with ADnD2. Unearthed Arcana? We did it. Oriental Adventures? Yep, that one too. Ravenloft? Got that one… NOT THAT WE EVER PLAYED IT EVEN ONCE. Dark Sun…. no, of course not. Too tough. Sigh.

In addition to changing the very structure of damn near everything, ADnD2 added something that would someday become the Greatest Goblin To Ever Live. They introduced the concept of ThAC0.

A Goblin Monk. Yep.

What is ThAC0, you may ask? ThACo is not only a goblin monk (click the image to go to the best webcomic out there), but a mind-bogglingly complex mathematical construct designed to completely fuck several pooches on many different levels by making nerds do math when all they want to do is fucking kill orcs. And by mind bogglingly complex, I mean you take your “To hit” score and subtract your opponent’s AC (armor class, for you heathens that don’t play ADnD) from it in order to get what you have to roll to hit them. How did this fuck shit up?

Because some of the damn AC scores were negative. Which ones were negative? The REALLY good ones. So if you were in combat with a great fucking phantasmal doom wyrm, you then had to deal with not only getting scalding acid-flame spewed out over your well armored (or scantily clad, if female) body, but you had to deal with fucking double negative pseudo math. All while trying to figure out who didn’t bring enough damn Doritos and Mountain Dew.

Overall, after all the bitching and moaning, 2nd edition was wildly popular because of how much more simple the system was… as long as you didn’t try to hit anything with your sword. The company quickly started updating some of the older products that my friends and I had put so much effort into reconfiguring ourselves, and then started kicking out some nice tools called “Class Handbooks.” These handbooks gave every single damn class eight more choices on what they could be, twenty more ways to do it, and a ton of background material, class-specific gear, and nifty tricks and traps you could use to completely skullfuck your GM in to submission.

Somehow our GM, Al, managed to keep up-to-date on every damn thing every single fucking character class could do. Mind like an adamantium trap, this guy. Wouldn’t let a damn thing get past him… except for his brother and another player named Terry, who had ninja-monk-psycho-Cuisinart classes that could somehow manage about 7 attacks in a round, many of which counted as backstabs. How borked were they?

They one-rounded a Terrasque. A fucking Terrasque.

A Fucking Terrasque. The above caption is completely correct.

But I’m not bitter. It was a great game. We played it for years.

ADnD 2nd Edition gets 9 crits out of 10 in my book.

And it was truly a glorious game… until TSR fucking sold out to a bunch of asshat lawyers due to some bullshit marital scandal which left a wife who had no concept of how fucking valuable the damn game was with complete and total control of the damn franchise. Where once TSR had been owned by gamers, it was now owned by lawyers.

Fucking lawyers. The only thing in the system you couldn’t kill enough of.

They took our beloved game, rewrote the rules, printed them in urine on pages made of pressed feces, and then sold it to us. How did it look? A little something like this:

Pictured: A steaming pile of feces and urine

HINT: DO NOT LOOK INSIDE!! See that big lock on the front? It’s a clue.

It’s lawyer speak for “We’re fucking you, and laughing about it while doing coke off of your wife’s tits, whom we rented with the money you paid us.”

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