D&D General Did D&D Die with TSR?


I don't think the various groups I've played with have really required a grid for any edition except 4th. All others have easily been done with theatre of the mind.
Actually 4e was incredibly easy to do TotM if you were used to it. WE came to 4e straight from 1e and had no issue doing TotM in 4e. I actually think it was easier than 1e becuase everything was defined so well. I constantly used grid paper to keep track of things in 1e, but found I didn't need that in 4e.

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I love tactical play, but it has definitely taken dominance in the game over the past 20 years. Moving pieces on a board is the default assumption in every game I've played since 2000. Before that, crude sketches on paper if anything.
That is a you and your group issue then. They are not requirements for playing 4e or 5e (I know because we've played barely tactical, TotM 4e and 5e for the past 12 years. We had to use more grids (grid paper, not maps) and minis when we played 1e than I've had to use in 4e or 5e. Now I don't know about 3e as we didn't play that edition, but yoru experience is nothing like mine if 4e an 5e. 5e in particular feels very similar to our 1e play.
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Relaxed Intensity
B/X is very near and dear to my heart. It's in competition for my favorite version of the game mostly with Freebooters on the Frontier, and other B/X variants (like Worlds Without Number and The Nightmares Underneath).

The idea that early versions of D&D did not meaningfully place constraints on the DM/referee is something I find silly. We are talking about a game with rules for checking for hex crawling, exploration turns, secret doors, wandering monster checks, morale, surprise, and reaction rolls. All things I miss in more modern D&D.

I'm skeptical. I think the major shift happened during late 2e with the introduction of Skills and Power and Combat and Tactics. So many of 3e's developments came from those two books. Early and late 2e are two completely different games.


If it weren't for WotC, D&D may very well have died with TSR.

As for the various editions, I basically seen them as two separate forks of the original D&D, with Holmes belonging to OD&D.

AD&D came first, and regardless of what some players want to believe everything WotC has put out is a continuation of that lineage. They're called 3e, 4e, and 5e for a reason. If one looks at the developments of 2e over the course of the 90s, the links to 3e are pretty evident.

The classic D&D game is a sepeate system. Moldvay did not follow Holmes with his Basic set, and the work done by Cook, Marsh, Mentzer, and Allston followed up on it. Now, B/X generally was very similar to 1e, but the systems started to diverge with Mentzer's work on Companion and Masters, and the differences got even bigger with 2e and then the RC being noticably different systems. And since 2e was much more popular, the D&D line eventually died out.


Lol. There is NO degree of system mastery that can trump the power of an actual DM.

Oh I agree completely. I just witnessed that kind of insanity pretty much exclusively with 3.x/PF1e in the FLGS before I finally stopped going. I couldn't stop shaking my head when I'd see it happening.


Oh stop with that emasculated DM nonsense.
We've had a codified skill system in D&D since 1e with the Non-Weapon Proficiencies . Around 1985. Or was it '86? Go read the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, The Wilderness Survival Guide, &/or Oriental Adventures. It was slightly clunky. It boiled down to; On a d20, with various modifiers, Roll Under your relevant stat.
Most played it that the lower you rolled the better the result.
So, assuming this optional system was being used at the table, DMs have been tasked with deciding what/how much info to give out based on a d20 roll for about 35 years.

Wich wasn't really much different than many were already doing it prior to these books & "official rules". Just now each class only had so many skills they could use & it was made slightly clunky.

And then pretty much this same system appears in 2e. This time it's right there in the PHB.
So once again, the DM has been tasked with determining what/how much info to give out on a dice roll.

The only thing 3e did was flip it from Roll Low to Roll High & introduce target DCs.
But somehow this time it was all removed from the DMs hands?? Pfft. Same job, different edition. Player rolls dice, tells you total. You decide how much to tell them. And if there's info you want to give them? Well.... You're the DM. You literally have the power (and the job!) to create the world, play everything in it that's not one of the PCs & can completely dictate what the PCs see/hear/smell/taste/feel(touch/& even know, etc. So you can just give it to them if you want. But if you really really really must set a DC? Because the rules say to? Just set it really low.

it was not a codified skill system because Thieves Skills worked off a very unfavorable percentile system while NWP worked off very favorable ability checks.


5E more or less consumed the OSR, while at the same time bringing in a hefty newer generation. Neat trick.
Can't say that I agree. I believe that 5e courted OSR briefly at the beginning of its market life, but then reneged on that once it garnered immense popularity, particularly among more mainstream audiences. It undoubtedly brought a number of prior gamers back, but that doesn't really mean that it consumed the OSR movement. Though 5e appeals to some people who like the older editions of D&D (from which OSR draws inspiration) - mainly those with the understanding of OSR as "rulings not rules" and more streamlined classes/rules - there is a LOT about 5e that still feels antithetical to OSR movement. (Hello, adventure path design.) So I'm not really sure how much of the OSR that 5e actually consumed as the OSR indie scene is still strong and kicking. OSR is arguably stronger now than it was at the time that 5e was released.


Actually 4e was incredibly easy to do TotM if you were used to it. WE came to 4e straight from 1e and had no issue doing TotM in 4e. I actually think it was easier than 1e becuase everything was defined so well. I constantly used grid paper to keep track of things in 1e, but found I didn't need that in 4e.
That could very well be true, but I think when we started playing the grid maps were so prevalent and the feel of the game felt like it needed a grid more than previous editions. I think it was just the way it was presented.

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