Saturday, July 23, 2011

2nd Edition: The Game You have (probably) never played, part 16

The DM's Miscellany
  To be honest, this is the chapter that does make me wonder exactly what was going through the heads of the editors and game designers at TSR when they wrote 2nd edition. Most of the rules in this chapter, while all core, really belong in other chapters, or in an appendix all their own.
   First up is listening. I really believe they should have expanded the visibility chapter(or the encounter chapter) to include listening. The next thing is Secret/Concealed doors. Unless you're an elf or you're a dwarf and the door is stone, there are no actual rules for determining how to find these things. The "Official" response from TSR at the time was "If you look for the door and it's there, you find it. Others have stated that this is proof that 2nd edition is an incomplete game, and you need knowledge of 1st edition rules to play. The third option, and the option that is 100% core because it's actually printed in the book is that it's the DM's decision on how to handle this.
  Up next is Lycanthropy. To be honest, I don't even know why this is in the DMG at all. It belongs in the Monster manual in the section on Lycanthropes. To me, it feels they wasted ink here when the space could have been put to better use describing a few less specific curses and diseases, perhaps diseases of a non-magical variety and how to deal with them in the game. As it stands, all non-magical diseases seem to mimic the two used in the Cause Disease spell(level 3 priest spell, it's the reverse of Cure Disease).
  The last part of the chapter discusses the various planes of existence. I really think this would have been better as an appendix all to itself. This section does a decent job of introducing the DM to the idea of the planes used in D&D, without making it so specific that  DM can't change things(especially where the Outer planes are concerned).

  Next time: We're getting close to the end folks, now I just have to wade through the various appendices.

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