D&D General 50 Years of D&D On a Single Chart


I like the bar graph one better than the pie chart, it is easier to make sense of the fact that the basic editions overlap with AD&D and so the percentages of D&D history add up cumulatively to over 100% of the time period. The pie chart makes it look like each one is a smaller slice of D&D history because of the overlap period.

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Follower of the Way
An argument could be made that 4E had the shortest run (of just 2 years), because a lot of folks consider 4E and Essentials to be two separate product lines. I don't; so in my not-professional-opinion, I would say that 4E had the second shortest production run, at just 4 years including Essentials.
And a lot of people are wrong. "4e" and "Essentials" are precisely as different as "5e" and "Xanathar's." That is, two books that both offer options for the same damn game. Every part of Essentials can be used seamlessly with everything that preceded it in 4e, with specific rules for how certain things interact (e.g. Knights cannot multiclass as Battlemasters, because no class can multiclass to itself, and both of them are Fighters.)

This is just giving completely unnecessary credence and screen time to a genuinely, patently false claim. 4e is Essentials. Essentials is 4e. They are the same game.

5.5e is going to be more different from 5e than Essentials was from 4e. (I refuse to call it the name WotC calls it, because I recognize it for what it is, an edition revision, not a reprint.)

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
More pie! Because pie is delicious!

Good idea!

I've whipped up a pie chart detailing the results of conversations about D&D I've had with people over the years.



Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Somebody had a birthday!

The 5th Edition of D&D was released on July 3rd, 2014, so it is exactly 10 years old (and counting). It's the second-longest running edition of D&D behind AD&D 2E, and it has the longest gap between rules revisions of any other edition.
  • OD&D only ran for 3 years, and didn't have any rules revisions.
  • 1E did not have any rules revisions either--it was the same 1E goodness for all six years of its run.
  • Basic D&D was the first to get on the "revised rules" train. It was released in 1977, and was revised in 1981, 1983, and 1991, sometimes running different revisions concurrently. Seriously it's all over the place.
  • 2E was released in 1989, and it was revised in 1995--a six-year gap.
  • 3E was released in 2000, and then revised in 2003--a three-year gap. I remember this gap between revisions (or editions, if you consider 3.5E a completely new and separate edition of D&D) was so short that a lot of folks were outraged.
  • 4E was released in 2008, then expanded in 2009 & 2010, and 4E Essentials were also released in 2010; I leave it up to you to decide if they count or not. Either way, this give 4E the shortest gap of all editions, at just one year (or two.)
  • 5E was released in 2014, and won't be revised until later this year--a 10-year gap.
All of this came from Wikipedia, so swallow it with the usual grain of salt.

(I meant to post this on the day of, but I was out of town for the holiday weekend and didn't get around to it.)
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