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Does anyone know if it is possible to mix different versions of AD&D? I'm hoping to mix Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st edition with the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition. What I would really like to know if there are any major differences between the two.

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Also while I'm assuming you mean the mechanical side of things over campaign settings designed for one edition vs the other you might want to clarify that as well! – mirv120 Aug 15 '11 at 3:27
My DM used to mix 3.x and 4th edition all the time. I'd be interested to hear more about what you come up with for the 2nd ed and original mix. – 千里ちゃん Aug 15 '11 at 3:42
Please be more specific with your question. There is are many old versions of Dungeons & Dragons, and the one usually known as "original" D&D looks to not be the one you're asking about. I assume you are asking "Is it possible to mix Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition and Second Edition?" from the context of your other questions. But this isn't a complete question either - the answer is "Yes." What specific advice are you looking for? Please edit your question to prevent it from being closed... – mxyzplk Aug 15 '11 at 4:00
First, you need to get a Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters' Guide, and Monster book for one edition, read them, and then worry about whether it's possible. It is, and mixing 2nd edition and earlier editions is trivial if you've learned one edition first. – SevenSidedDie Aug 15 '11 at 4:29
@Aang please be more detailed about how you want to mix the versions. Do you mean convert characters, use 4th ed monsters in 2nd ed, use 2nd ed adventures in 4th ed...? – mxyzplk Aug 17 '11 at 13:51

There are major differences, but nothing too insurmountable.

  • AD&D 1E adds non-weapon proficiencies in DSG, WSG, and OA, while they are core in AD&D 2E
  • 2E allows points to be spread amongst thief skills, rather than using a fixed table per skill.
  • 2E groups classes differently, and lacks the assassin and monk.
  • Minor differences in several tables
  • several spell changes.
  • minor NWP changes
  • Psionics are incompatible between editions - pick one, and only one, and use it exclusively.
  • 1E Class List: Fighter, Magic User, Cleric, Theif, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Monk, Assassin, Fighter/Thief/Bard; adding UA adds thief-acrobat, Cavalier and Barbarian. Dragon adds a dozen or more NPC classes of various quality levels. DLA adds 4 classes of knights ad 3 of wizards, plus tinkers. OA adds several oriental classes as well
    2E class list Fighter, Magic User, Cleric, Thief, Bard, Paladin, Druid, Ranger, PsiHB adds Psionicist. Sages and Specialists adds a dozen NPC classes, all pretty consistent power levels, and many playable as adventurers. Dark Sun adds a few more classes, including Gladiator, and in Dragon Kings, adds more thief abilities; the Thief abilities are in some later 2E Player's Option series books.

Most 2E DM's used some 1E materials. THe key is picking your core edition, and what you'll cross over. Monks and Assassins crossed over VERY easily. DSG/WSG non-character rules can be used as is.

Again, Pick your reference edition: the rules are subtly different in many places, and it trips people up. So use one as your ruleset, but allow the stuff you want from the others as a port-in.

Also, note that monsters from other 3E/3.5E/PF can be used easily enough simply by looking up THAC0 from HD, and spells directly across by name (even when they do very different things).

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Total agreement here. Use the Psionics from 2ed as 1ed psionics are just far too overpowered at low level. There were assassin and monk kits for 2e but they were definately different from 1e. The assassin was a thief kit and the Monk was a paladin kit. They were laid out in "The Complete [Class] Handbook" books. The books also had information on how to create your own kit. As you said you can bring stuff in from 1e to 2e pretty easy. Going the other direction is harder since 2e basically nerfed the really strong stuff so a 2e char is liable to be under powered. – Chad Aug 15 '11 at 16:48
Yeah, monsters have always been the easiest thing to import from 1e to 2e. Were my players ever surprised to meet that Volt in a 2e game! It even tripped up the player who had the Monstrous Manual memorised. – SevenSidedDie Aug 15 '11 at 17:58
Yeah, in 2e we used 1e modules without comment. – mxyzplk Aug 16 '11 at 18:26
+1 for choosing a reference edition - you can always translate mechanics, monsters, and items from one edition to the other. But you need to pick what you're translating into. :) – Allen Gould Aug 16 '11 at 18:48

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