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

Zardnaar

Legend
What was printed for 1E in 1990? Seems odd that they'd continue printing 1E material when 2E was already out? But then again, we all know TSR weren't the most business savvy of people.

1E phb iirc.

I think ToEE had reprints into 2E as well but not sure on that one.
 

log in or register to remove this ad



ezo

Where is that Singe?
Anyway, I thought it was interesting.
Very! :)

One thing I would add is that in many ways if you consider 3 and 3.5, 4 and Essentials in potential "groups" as almost a single "edition", I would argue 1E and 2E could also be grouped as a single AD&D edition. Most people freely combined rules from 1E and 2E, much of the text in 2E was nearly copy and pasted from 1E.

In many ways, 2E was simply "1.5E".

Interestingly enough, if you group 1E/2E, as many people played it as a single AD&D, but also group all the "Basic" versions, you end up with three nearly equal groups: Basic, AD&D, and WotC-era.

1720353848891.png
 
Last edited:

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Essentials was neither a new edition, nor even a half edition. More importantly (as it pertains to the context of this discussion), it didn't have a continuous line a products, nor did it stop the release of content which continued to update and support previous 4th Edition material.

In fact, none of the products produced after the initial Essentials line was released were designated as Essentials or otherwise. Everything was still considered 4th Edition D&D.

So, to be clear: There were exactly 10 products designated specifically for the Essentials line; all were released about the same time:

Starter Set
Rules Compendium
Heroes of the Fallen Lands
Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
D&D Roleplaying Game Dice
Dungeon Master's Kit
Monster Vault
Dungeon Tiles Master Sets (The City, The Dungeon, The Wilderness)

Technically speaking, the Essentials line ended the moment it was released, and became part of the entire 4th Edition run which lasted 4 years with supported and updated content until the last 4E book was released.
 

The Soloist

Adventurer
OP: I prefer a horizontal staircase graph that shows D&D Basic (the four versions) was concurrent with AD&D 1e (starting with the MM) and 2e. It paints a more accurate picture of that era.

Personal:
Owning the various D&D editions and playing the game is not the same. While I have owned every edition since D&D 1980 Moldvay, when I look at the numbers, I played D&D for 14 years over 44 years. About one-third of the time. If I add the years I played non-D&D RPGs it goes up to 20 years. Which is less than 50% of the time.

The editions I played the least amount of time were D&D Basic (switching to 1e) and 4e. The editions I played the most were D&D 2e and 3.5. D&D 1e and 5e are somewhere in between.

Since 2022, I’ve soloed Basic, 1e, 2e, 3e and 5e. Surprisingly, 3.5 is the one I want to keep soloing. That is not the result I was expecting. I just ordered the three core books in POD with Drivethru. No plans to buy D&D 50 anniversary.
 
Last edited:

Voadam

Legend
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.)
This is an odd grouping.

OD&D Supplement I Greyhawk changed how OD&D stats work (in particular adding percentile strength) and HD. Instead of PC classes being based off of d6 Hit Dice with some levels being just a modifier instead of a new die, it became d4, d6, d8 revisions to the rules for OD&D class HD.

1e as noted had Unearthed Arcana adding in a comeliness stat, social status, and revising rules for level limits and allowable classes, OA created nonweapon proficiencies, and DS, WSG changed up how you gain nonweapon proficiencies.

I am not sure what it considers rules revisions for 4e before essentials. Backgrounds and themes as new stuff to add as part of characters as opposed to new options to choose when making characters?
 

Chaltab

Adventurer
Essentials was neither a new edition, nor even a half edition. More importantly (as it pertains to the context of this discussion), it didn't have a continuous line a products, nor did it stop the release of content which continued to update and support previous 4th Edition material.

In fact, none of the products produced after the initial Essentials line was released were designated as Essentials or otherwise. Everything was still considered 4th Edition D&D.

So, to be clear: There were exactly 10 products designated specifically for the Essentials line; all were released about the same time:

Starter Set
Rules Compendium
Heroes of the Fallen Lands
Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
D&D Roleplaying Game Dice
Dungeon Master's Kit
Monster Vault
Dungeon Tiles Master Sets (The City, The Dungeon, The Wilderness)

Technically speaking, the Essentials line ended the moment it was released, and became part of the entire 4th Edition run which lasted 4 years with supported and updated content until the last 4E book was released.
Yeah, the Essentials material is way more compatible with other 4e than 3.5 was with 3E
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
All of this came from Wikipedia, so swallow it with the usual grain of salt.
Fair!

  • OD&D only ran for 3 years, and didn't have any rules revisions.
The Greyhawk supplement in 1975 was a major revision and expansion, TBF. The total overhaul of the hit dice system, a large revision of what ability scores did, the introduction of variable weapon damage, the addition of half elves, thieves, and paladins, and the introduction of the multiclassing system as it would work in AD&D were all big updates.

  • 1E did not have any rules revisions either--it was the same 1E goodness for all six years of its run
Hmm. Unearthed Arcana made big revisions to level limits, added a seventh core ability score, added new core classes and changed the Paladin to be a subclass of one of them, added weapon specialization, added a new ability score generation method, and social class and standing rules. Then OA, and the WSG and DSG added the non-weapon proficiency system.

  • 2E was released in 1989, and it was revised in 1995--a six-year gap.
But this was just a layout and art update. The rules didn't really change (no more than when a given printing gets a few errata/corrections included). The big new rules stuff was in the Players Option books, but those were optional.


  • 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.)
4E was just 4E, really. While it had errata, the new books were almost all just additional material for the same game. Even Essentials, while introducing a bunch of new classes which worked differently and new feats, was all compatible with the existing systems and rules. It didn't change them.

Hmm. I might accept the Rules Compendium as an actual revision. They did change how some of the skills worked, and the magic item rarity system.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top