The original covers for the 2nd edition Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide. The Monstrous Manual cover is from the re-released hardcover instead of the three ring binder.

Take It Back to ’89

I was texting to a friend of mine about their 5e game, but he interrupted himself to mention going old school. I immediately thought about B/X and thought about re-reading my old Blue Box at home. My friend remarked that his group would really like to run an older game, so I texted, "B/X, Rules Cyclopedia, or AD&D?"

He replied, "Second Edition."

I was taken aback a bit. That's when it dawned on me that I am old and he is not. AD&D came out before he was born, but was still around when he was a kid. I quickly moved on asking him who would run it. He said he has the books so he is learning it and then there was a pause. I waited a bit and then I made a fateful decision. I felt myself typing the question, "Would you like me to run it?"

Keep in mind that I have never really run 2e rules-as-written. My Edition was an unholy mishmash of systems, rules, and Jolt Cola infused madness. (Note, If you read the link, know that I don't use anything ACKS related anymore. I've replaced it with Old School Essentials.) Why did I just offer to run 2e, and 2e rules-as-written? I was dumbfounded by my brains' inability to stop my fingers from asking that questions. I eagerly awaited a response that said thanks for the offer but that the group will take care of it, would you like to play with us?

He replied that it would be awesome if I ran it. The full gravity of my hubris landed on my shoulders. I gently placed my phone on my desk and asked out loud, "what have I done?"

I sent a link to my Session Zero document to get a feel for what the group wanted to run. I found my backup of the 2e Rules on CD I found years ago at the thrift store and went to work. To paraphrase the Wu, I thought to myself, "Let's take it back to eighty-nine."

More texts followed with his desired character using the Myrmidon kit. When I saw that he rolled 18 for Strength, I had to explain the STR stat in 2e with 18 and percentages for Fighters. He rolled a 64. With that corrected, I then had to look up the kit. I found an Excel character sheet that calculated kits correctly, so I then turned that into a character sheet. I began to get excited about running it.

I started making a DM screen and offered to run Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Now I am awaiting confirmation from the rest of the group.

Meanwhile, I am piecing together For Gold & Glory with my other digital books. I am tempted to say "CAN I HAVE ONLY 80 POTENTIAL MODIFIERS PLEASE" and resurrect my ill-fated 2e clone. Alas, they want the original, so that will not work. So far, settings do not need to be canon. This means, of course, that I will simply need to create an actual three-ring binder for the creatures, kits, and locations.