Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Review
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Optional Rules
2nd Edition AD&D presents a number of optional rules DMs can implement in their campaigns if they wish. Later books in the line, the Players' Option books and the revised core rulebooks, offered alternate rules to customize games according to preference. Some of these rules were incorporated into 3rd Edition, yet in 2nd, none are necessary to play the game.
Pro Compatible with 1st Edition material
AD&D 2nd Edition cleans up and clarifies a lot of the rules, but the core mechanics are the same. Adventure modules, monsters, etc. written for 1st Edition can be used with little or no revision.
Pro The rules give vivid explanation of the game
Since AD&D 2E gives vivid explanation of the game it comes with twists and turns you wouldn't normally see in a regular game of D&D.
Pro Very challenging
2E causes players to re-think their decisions before engaging in risky behavior. Death can happen at any stage, and there won't be a chain of saving throws to stave off the reaper: You reach 0 HP, you're dead! Much of the focus, then, reverts to problem solving and role playing.
Con Core setting is somewhat bland
Due to concerns over public perception, for 2nd Edition TSR chose to eliminate mature themes and explicitly "evil" player options; remove references to angels, demons and devils; and otherwise smooth over potentially offensive content in the core game. This deliberate sanitization is easily reversed in personal play, but results in a presentation that feels somewhat naive and juvenile.