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Sightless Posted - 11 May 2013 : 04:15:24
I probably should have placed this in Sightless’s silly questions, lord knows, it kind of feels like one, but for any of you that have played in 2e, I could use your experience, as this will be actually the first time I’ll be creating a character from scratch in this system, having had help in creating my halfling psyonic, and the characters I played before that were essentially DM constructs. So, I am requesting assistence in creating a half orc Witchdoctor, I understand the basics of character construction, and the racal ability adjustments of the half orc, what I am less sure of is in regards to the witchdoctor kit itself. Do they function the same as the wizard, or the priest? I shall admit the comments in the book seem a bit unclear on this point, at least to me. Moreover, what school of magic would any recommend for a half orc in the north taking? The only major difference, or break from the rules that the DM is making is the exclusivity of shawmen and witchdoctors, as the tribe will have both. I thank you all for any advice.
21   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Sightless Posted - 20 May 2013 : 06:58:48
Willpower is a stat for us, but I don't have that flashdrive with me so I can't tell you precisely all the mechanics, but It's your wisdom something and if you have a psychic defense or not. Something like that at any rate. I'll tell you exactly when I get the chance.
Markustay Posted - 17 May 2013 : 01:03:55
Without splitting the stats, how do you write-up a paraplegic watchmaker?

Agility and Dexterity are two VERY different things, and one of the few things I feel D&D has always gotten wrong (except for what they did in the options books, but they did so many 'bad' things in those, all the good got lost in the mix, IMO)

And while I am at it, Willpower should be a STAT, not a type of save. You know how easy a psionics system becomes if willpower becomes a stat?

Why they split INT and WIS but don't have separate attributes for so may other things is beyond me. One of the few things that really should go back to the drawing boards were the six basic stats... but then we are stepping on one of the sacred corner-stones of D&D.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 16 May 2013 : 23:15:19
Originally posted by Markustay

One thing I really liked from the Options books was splitting the stats, but like everything else, some made perfect sense (dexterity vs agility), while others not so much (Mental abilities are already spread across 2, perhaps 3, stats).

I liked the split stats, too. They really made a lot of sense to me -- especially Dexterity. I myself have the eye-hand coordination of a drunken, myopic cyclops -- but I never lose my balance.
Ze Posted - 16 May 2013 : 18:46:32
Originally posted by Markustay
One thing I really liked from the Options books was splitting the stat

Even playing 3e for so many years now, I still think in terms of splitted stats.
Not that it is of any more use, it just got in my way of thinking, and there it stays.

Sightless Posted - 16 May 2013 : 16:10:30
Well, as much as you guys generally don't like it, my DM is using the skills and powers book, at least as far as the physical abilities are concerned, and he's leting me by the scent ability for my half-orc. I don't know, I'll give it all a try and see what I think. I have a preference for 3.5 myself, but that's probably only due to it's what I cut my teeth on. I've also played it enought to kind of feel comfortable with it, which is something I can't say about other systems. Marcus, I'd be interested in hearing more about your damage system, so I could incorperate it. I tried doing it once myself, because that's something I wanted to carry over from Battle-tech, but it never worked out.

Finally, sorry about errors, but I can't hear what I'm typing when I'm in the box for posting, and so have to go purely by feel.
Markustay Posted - 16 May 2013 : 15:30:14
I do miss kits - those were nice. PrCs seem to have been designed to be a logical extension of those, but they got way out of hand (they went from a 'career choice' to a power-builders/multi-classing mess).

Some of 2e's options were very good. Some were very, VERY bad. Five different systems for Fatigue? NO THANK YOU.

I use Fatigue IMG, but I turned HP into Fatigue points. Real HP/Body damage (IMG) is more along the lines of how Runequest did it, with a certain number of CON points allocated to each body region. It also doesn't go up exponentially with level, which keeps things sane. That takes care of 'below zero' HP, Massive Damage, and the immensely stupid subdual/non-lethal damage systems. It also covers criticals (which always go directly to the Body) and aiming (a system I adapted form Aftermath). It also greatly reduces the amount of rolling.

One thing I really liked from the Options books was splitting the stats, but like everything else, some made perfect sense (dexterity vs agility), while others not so much (Mental abilities are already spread across 2, perhaps 3, stats).

Shows you how bad things are getting... I 'm even waxing nostalgic over 2e's rules.
Bakra Posted - 16 May 2013 : 14:48:29
For those who are interested in the 2E reprints come out this month. They are reprints of the black cover versions which came out in the mid-90’s. Also, Steve Winter mentioned in a podcast that that they took some time to ‘errata’ the reprints.
Hoondatha Posted - 16 May 2013 : 03:00:47
Yep. I'm running one 2e Realms play-by-post game right now, and another CK'er is running another.
Kris the Grey Posted - 16 May 2013 : 02:02:56
2E, a lovely system, admittedly flawed somewhat as all are, but mostly muddled by the addition of the Skills and Powers/Options (3E preview lite) nonsense. Pretty solid up through the brown (players), blue (DMs) and green (settings) books. Oh, and my vote for the glory days of the Realms at TSR/WoTC. I also hear it may be the system of choice for certain old school Realmsers hereabouts...
Hoondatha Posted - 16 May 2013 : 00:45:30
Sightless, I'm going to assume you meant to ask why I don't allow the character building options, and some of the text got accidentally deleted.

There are two reasons. Well, three I suppose. The first is that it makes character creation a real chore. One of the things I like about 2e is that if you know the system, you can create a character in a couple of minutes. To really take advantage of the build options you have to really pull apart the class you're trying to play, figure out exactly what abilities you want, then make sure you've spent all of your character points. That takes time, and more math than many people like.

Second is once you have this special priest or wizard we suddenly have to figure out how it fits into the Realms. I'm definitely more of a role than a roll player where it comes to the Realms, and I'm not going to include something just because the player whipped it up. It needs to fit, it needs to have an explanation. Now, the Realms is broad enough that pretty much anything can be introduced, but again, it takes more time. Where is this class from? Where was it developed, who taught the PC, and above all, why aren't they of the more "normal" type? It's more work for both player and DM.

And third is that since I allow essentially everything else in 2e, the build options aren't needed. Those rules were created primarily so that you could have a wizard or priest doing non-wizard/priest things, like swinging a two handed sword, or casting other spells. But just for the priest class, in canon in 2e, we have the cleric, more than a hundred specialty priests, monks, mystics, three different types of crusaders, and shamans. Look at that list, and those deities, and tell me you can't find something you want to play. Same with wizards. Clerics with two handed swords, wizards with long bows, fighters with a bit of cleric casting, etc. etc. It's there. No need to make things difficult.
Ayrik Posted - 15 May 2013 : 23:09:50
By a mess I mean a lot of "core" rules evolved alongside the background content as the 2E product line matured, sometimes in parallel sometimes in isolation. From the earliest 2E rules (which were essentially just 1E products translated from High Gygaxian into English) to the last of the TSR-branded product line (the "2.5E" Options books and Dark Sun revisions were like hybrid-prototypes of what became 3E/d20 game mechanics).

A very specific example of 2E mess would be, say, the rules for Unarmed Combat. Or the half dozen attempts to present Martial Arts rules. Or the "Monk" classes built to make much use of them. Another example would be Psionics - 'nuff said.
Sightless Posted - 15 May 2013 : 20:48:07
, wouldn't you allow the build aspects? I only ask, because there are a couple of options from that area, which I rahter like.
Sightless Posted - 15 May 2013 : 17:25:07
My DM wont allow half-orcs to take the school, and since I'm from a barbaric group, I can understand.
Ze Posted - 15 May 2013 : 15:57:02
We used to have lots of fun with Skills&Powers actually.

Hoondatha Posted - 15 May 2013 : 14:26:09
I don't think it made a mess out of 2e at all, and I'm speaking as a long-running 2e DM and player who is still playing in the system. I allow anything printed in 2e, generally, with only the build-your-own-class options from the PO removed. And that's the great thing about all the 2e stuff: all of it is optional. The system works just as well without the kits or extra equipment or spells or whatever as it does with it.

I actually wouldn't mind having an artificer wizard in my group, because the class is so incredibly gold intensive. The poor wizard is going to be constantly trying to find more money to do anything, and then once they spend it, all they get is a temporary item that fades in a week or two. That's a very easy way to keep him or her under control, and an endless source of adventure hooks (what? abandoned dwarf mine? Let's go! I don't care if the rumor is unfounded!).
Ayrik Posted - 14 May 2013 : 23:24:15
Oy, all the PHBR, DMGR, and various Options books - along with rules suggestions and variations within all the various settings - did make quite a bit of a mess out of AD&D 2E ... not a lot different, in practice, from the jumbled chaos of late D&D 3E. Most (2E and 3E) DMs I've met are very particular about which books and rules and variations they allow or discard in their gaming, a few use the more "holistic" (lazy) approach of letting their power munchkins discover all the breaking points before deciding anything.
Sightless Posted - 14 May 2013 : 21:01:10
We're using the player's options. *laughter*

I've seen the priest options. *more laughter*

While I'm not allowed to take artificer, there are plenty of other options.
Hoondatha Posted - 13 May 2013 : 22:40:00
Well, since 2e didn't have any restrictions on how many skeletons and zombies you could control, animating a whole bunch of dead things was a useful way to give your nasty witch doctor something to hit people with, and intimidate the rest of the tribe, without going the really bad way of just letting him fireball the party as soon as they show up.
Markustay Posted - 13 May 2013 : 14:53:25
And yet, for some quirky reason, most NPC witchdoctors go into necromancy.

Although we might assume a dual-class thing is going on there, but then thats mixing some 3e in with 2e. I know 3e had at least 2 priestly variants (PrCs) of the necromancer. Back in pre-3e, NPCs were allowed to 'break the rules', so you didn't really worry about how the witchdoctor was raising the dead.
Hoondatha Posted - 11 May 2013 : 18:56:58
The way you need to look at the witch doctor is that it's a way for a number of the more savage races, which cannot have full-up wizards, to get access to a limited amount of wizard spells. The witch doctor is a priest. Check page 77; witch doctors are found right after shamen in the Priest Kit sidebar. Also useful is the table on page 9, which lists the classes and level limits for the various races in the book. Notice that most of the races that can become witch doctors cannot become wizards.

The other confusing thing is that the witch doctor has references to the previous Shaman kit. Basically, the witch doctor kit looks like this:

Class: Priest
Requirements: Int 9
Weapon Proficiencies: As wizard and tribe
NWP: As table
Equipment: Weapons as above, no armor, magic items as wizards
Hit dice: d6
Spells: Three priest spheres and one wizard school (wizard casting at 1/2 level)
Cannot turn undead or case raise dead/resurrection
Can take healing and herbalism for 1 NWP slot
Reincarnation as 5th level spell at level 9

The key there is you only get one wizard school, at half casting, and three priest spheres. So you're really going to need to decide on what kind of caster you want to be. You'll want your spheres to be as broad as possible. Elemental is probably your best choice, followed by things like Plant, Animal, Protection, and Divination. Go for versatility.

For your wizard school, you're again going to want to go for something large, that covers a lot of ground. Alteration is probably king here. There are just so many good things you can do with that school. Conjuration honestly isn't as much help unless you're starting at a fairly high level and can conjure animals or elementals to help. Illusion is fantastic, since in a way what you can do is only limited to your creativity, but its damage output is essentially nil, and if your tribe figures out what you're doing, they'll just start disbelieving everything you cast.

Really, though, what school you take depends on what you want to do. If you want to be your tribe's heavy artillery, go with Elemental, Protection, Evocation, and a sphere of your choice, and that's a really workable combo. About the only wizard schools you don't want to take are abjuration and necromancy. They're too small, and specific. Otherwise, have fun.
Jorkens Posted - 11 May 2013 : 15:49:54
Oh, boy, the Complete Book of Humanoids. These kits were never among the clearest written for 2nd.ed, but my interpretation is that they function as priests, with added limitations.

As for school it depends a bit on how you view the character and orcs. I would probably go for Summoning or Illusionism as the first choices myself, with Alteration as a third alternative. The lower level spells here can easily impress or give the impression of far greater power than the Wich Doctor has.

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