Favourite D&D edition that’s not 5E

Favourite D&D Edition

  • OD&D

    Votes: 18 6.1%
  • AD&D 1E

    Votes: 43 14.6%
  • AD&D 2E

    Votes: 72 24.5%
  • D&D 3E/3.5

    Votes: 79 26.9%
  • D&D 4E

    Votes: 73 24.8%
  • Other (not 5E)

    Votes: 9 3.1%

  • Total voters


Well, that was fun
Staff member
Favourite D&D edition that’s not 5E

Taking 5E out of the equation, what’s your favourite D&D edition — and why?

I spent the longest time with 2E, but the launch which excited me most was 3E. I think I’d vote 2E, but it’s close.

For poll purposes, OD&D includes everything and overlapping before 1E, including BECMI, etc. Even Chainmail, if that’s anybody’s vote.
Last edited:


Same as [MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION] , a close vote.

Many fond memories of 2E, but 3E coming along and "modernizing" things we had houseruled for 2E anyway, makes it my favorite.

At least at the beginning.
Seems odd to have OD&D include B/X and BECMI, since both of those came out well after AD&D and aren't particularly close to OD&D, having race as class most notably and somewhat different monsters (no demons for instance)


I'd go as far as saying that AD&D 2e is my favorite edition to this date. It does have some artifacts like THAC0 and negative AC, and the non-weapon proficiency rules are a mess, but I like ability scores meaning more than a modifier, I like each class earning XP from different activities, and the rules for fighting styles and weapon mastery in Combat & Tactics made our warriors not feel useless after 5th level. That said, people like to play a version of the game with official support, and 5e is good enough for me. But I'd be running 2e if my players were willing to play it.


Same as [MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION] , a close vote.

Many fond memories of 2E, but 3E coming along and "modernizing" things we had houseruled for 2E anyway, makes it my favorite.

At least at the beginning.
Yeah. At least at the beginning.


I went with 3.5 for a couple of reasons.

First, it was the edition I started playing in. I'd gotten some rulebooks for earlier editions, but without anyone to play with or explain them to me, I never understood what they were about.

Second, thanks to the OGL and SRD, the base game was mostly free. This made looking things up, as well as copying and making my own notes, cheat sheets, spell books, etc much easier than any option before or since.

Third, with the Player's Handbook II, it included my favorite druid variant that could shapeshift at-will, rather than a limited number of times per day, and even then not until reaching a certain level. 4e's druid had this too I think, but 5e went back to the x/day and not at level 1 restriction. (I'm sure there's a DM's Guild or other homebrew option out there, but I rarely encounter groups that allow third party material.)

Fourth, I've got a ton of books laying around still, and wouldn't mind starting and playing in a (non-Pathfinder) 3e game just to get more value out of my old purchases.


I grew up on 1st and 2nd edition, but 3rd changed things in a great new way. Maybe it was the timing or 3rd party publishing, but it struck a cord of being new and fresh again. I liked 4e fine and did not have any big problems with it, but 3e allowed me to make certain characters I wanted to play. Although 4e was easier for me to DM when I could just make powers for bad guys and just say that it was a daily power.


1st edition strictly for nostalgia. It is in no way better, or even close to, 5e in terms of design.


I began playing with my older brothers at the beginning of 2e, the same time that Shadowrun went 2e. However, my brothers did not bother with 2e as in their words 2e was nothing more than 1e minus the UA and the addition of material from The Dragon. So thank my mom from telling the boys to either let me play their rpg games.


Voted for 2E as it has options and has aged the best plus settings.

Played all the old ones in the last 5 years and 2E is one of the better ones along with B/X.


I voted for 2e.

3e came along and I was very excited for all the changes...but in the end it seemed more tedium than it was worth. I had a lot of good times with both of those editions, but I tired of 3e in a way that I never tired of 2e.


39th lv DM
My favorite edition to date is 1e.

In no particular order (and likely not a comprehensive list);

*I like its slightly clunky mechanics, its stat based limitations on things, it's To-Hit/Save system, its Save or Die stuff, its % based treasure charts by Alphabet letter, its % based magic item tables, that alignment means something, etc etc etc.
*I like it's art.
*I like the vision of the game that it presents.
*I like that character creation & advancement is fast & simple.
*I like that (with the exception of the Unearthed Arcana book) these are books that will survive decades of HARD use & even abuse. I own multiple copies of some of the 1e books for convenience. I've bought multiple copies of the 5e PHB & a 2nd MM because they can't survive normal wear & tear.
*I like reading Gygax's stuff in the DMG.
*I like that 1e always feels....unfinished. It's sooo easy to house rule.
*I like that there's very very little errata.
*I like that no two groups will actually be playing 1e the same.


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
For nolstalgia, 1e.

But I wouldn't want to play it now. If I had to play a D&D edition other than 5e, I suppose it would be Basic D&D (Moldvay / Metzner (but not Expert/Companion rules), which for some reason you are categorizing as OD&D.

But more likely, if I couldn't play 5e, I wouldn't play D&D, I'd play Dungeon Crawl Classics.



We played 1E from early 80s, adjusting our rules with 2E modifications as they emerged. We remained in the holding pattern until 2014 and the emergence of 5E


I voted 2E, but it is a close run thing with BECMI or B/X, but since those are in no way the same as OD&D I went with 2E. OD&D, 1E, 2E are so very close, B/X & BECMI are not, it's very weird to chuck them in OD&D.


Goblin Queen
I'm actually surprised 4E has that many votes. Wow.
4e was much better received than popular opinion might lead one to believe. In fact, it was very successful with new players, its problem was that it didn’t appeal to established players, who were very much necessary to bring in new players at the time.