I have to say in my experience all of the first 3 editions seem to actually have much more complex campaigning and rp than 4e (admittedly i havent played 4e more than a single one shot campaign session because i just really didnt like it but ive watched a lot of people play it) and 5e (admittedly still pretty new to this one but ive played enough to make this assessment on my own experience i think). Its contrary to general opinion though and im not quite sure how this perception grew into being. Actually it really confuses me.
Indeed, the original campaigns were, by their very early nature, filled with all sorts of off-the-wall creativity! Some creations certainly grew standardized over time, but much of that early magic failed to find its way into the published content that most of us grew up on. I think that's one of the reasons that the earliest content draws so much interest, from both a historical as well as a gaming POV---because it still stands the test of time (in many cases), and remains a unique window into the big bang of creativity bouncing back-and-forth between Lake Geneva and Minneapolis BITD.
I have to say in my experience all of the first 3 editions seem to actually have much more complex campaigning and rp than 4e [snip] and 5e [snip].
Well, I'm not sure what the general opinion is, I suppose, since I've always felt that you can run a good game under any system with the right group of players. That said, I think I understand your point, @Son of the Serpent , in that the general assumption/perception may be that as each edition is created, it improves on the previous ones. I believe that's the case with OD&D (which improved upon and codified the playtest versions of the game), and with AD&D (which streamlined and rationalized OD&D), but my sense is that editions after AD&D (even within AD&D, given the 1.5e books from UA, OA, and onward) simply seemed to serve the product and marketing needs of the company, without design as the key driver for their creation.Its contrary to general opinion though and im not quite sure how this perception grew into being. Actually it really confuses me.