I posted a couple days back on the growing 2nd Ed AD&D love I have been seeing on the net and in the blogs. Not a lot of it mind you, more like a few vocal people in a crowd still going on about how the LBBs are the "best thang evar!" (Ok for the record NO one has ever actually said that, that way.)
But the OSR movement has slowed down to stead pace now and we are not getting Yet Another OD&D Clone this month and I think people are giving 2nd Ed another look.
Why is any of that important? It's important because it has permanently colored how I view AD&D 2nd Ed. for years. I did remember the joy of the getting the latest Monstrous Compendium supplement, I only recalled the dreck of the Skills and Powers books.
But as time goes on and I wax on about earlier systems it is only natural that eventually my rose colored glasses gaze on 2nd Ed. Others seem to be doing the same.
2nd Ed as a retro-clone though has some issues it must deal with first.
- First, 2nd Ed is mechanically not all that different from 1st Ed. One could in theory play a "2nd Ed Game" with nothing more than OSRIC. One of the big selling points behind 2nd Ed was it re-organized the material from earlier editions. It is in a sense the first Retro-clone.
- What made 2nd Ed special to many were the campaign worlds, and those don't fall under the OGL at all. Plus most of the OSR folks seem to prefer sandbox worlds so anything created by them would naturally fit into any other world.
- The Proficiency system of 2nd Ed is needlessly complicated. Note I am not saying it is complicated itself, it's not, but it is more complicated than it needs to be for a game. 3rd Ed's Skill system is superior in nearly every respect, and 4th Ed's is better still. Reverse engineering it would not be difficult (premise, not every skill is worth the same amount) but I'd have to ask why?
The monster's in 2nd Ed were a nice improvement over 1st ed. I like the one monster per page format, something that 3rd ed dropped but 4th ed picked back up.
Personally I think it is only a matter of time before someone does a full on 2nd Ed clone. I know there are some in development now. I know of and have looked at the beta of Adventures Dark and Deep, a sort of "what-if game", as in what if Gygax had developed AD&D 2nd ED the way he had planned.