AD&D 2e, Learn the Game

Combat in ADnD 2e, Part 3

The combat sequence of Dungeons and Dragons 2e is quite a bit different from that of 3e. In 2e the sequence goes as follows:

1. The DM decides what actions the monsters or NPCs will take, including casting spells (if any).

2. The players indicate what their characters will do, including casting spells (if any).

3. Initiative is determined.

4. Attacks are made in order of initiative.

Cook, 122

In 3e, by contrast, the players and DM all roll initiative together and each acts in order. There is no calling of the action early as existed in earlier versions of the game.

The longer that I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons the more I come to the conclusion that we have lost something along the way when it comes to combat. In the early versions, where you had a caller to give the players’ decision for their actions, there was a level of team work that often fails to manifest today. We had to work together to figure our way out of the latest mess.

With more modern combat sequences we’re all in it for ourselves. We each roll, and often tables limit the conversation between players to what you might say in 6 seconds, which means that what teamwork does occur is often limited.

More later.

Works Cited

Cook, David “Zeb,” et al. Player’s Handbook for the AD&D Game. USA: TSR Inc, 1996. pg 116, 122 PRINT

1 thought on “Combat in ADnD 2e, Part 3”

  1. There’s also a Step Zero “The DM describes the state of the field”. Step 1 and Step 2 are then done in that context.

    Where the decision of what action to take occurs after initiative is rolled, and typically after preceding PCs and NPCs have had their turn .. this means every PC wants to completely re-evaluate the state of the battlefield before taking their turn. The consequent slow-down usually means someone stops paying attention and then when their turn rolls around they want the DM to provide an update state of the field, further slowing down play even further.

    Liked by 1 person

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