D&D 1E How about a little love for AD&D 1E


Honestly, having played since basic and through each of the succeeding editions, it wasn't any more magical than any other era in which a player first encounters the game, becomes enthusiastic about it, and has more time to devote to playing and thinking about it. No edition was more real than any other, though some obviously worked better for individual players and groups than others... and will continue to do so. And some inspired styles of play better than others... and will continue to do so. And some blended various good aspects of different editions better than others.
Yeah, this is it. Regardless of which edition we started on, it was our first, and we all have nostalgia about it. I started in 1981 myself (so missed OD&D), but it was still a magical experience for me and I still love that edition because of that. I've heard folks who started with OD&D claim it's the best because it was the first to capture an RPG. And others I've heard say 1e is the best because of the era it was in (I've made claims like that myself). But you know what (general you, not you specifically)? I went back years ago to play the edition I missed, OD&D, and did not have fun. Trying to parse the rules was too much work. It was completely disorganized and there were a ton of gaps. I didn't start with an experienced OD&D group to teach me or run me through the game as my first experience like most OD&D fans did. The same applies to people who might have started with 3e and picked up a 1e book. The complexity and unrefinement of 1e could make it hard for that player to learn the game and/or enjoy it despite the fact that I love it and didn't have those issues (because I had an experienced 1e player to learn from when I first picked it up and the game was new to me and thus exciting discovery).

Someone starting with 5e will most likely have the same feelings and experience that I had with B/X in 1981, and they'll look fondly upon 5e as the edition continue to evolve. One day, they will become grognards as well ;)

TL,DR: Whatever edition someone starts with is going to be the nostalgic edition because it's the edition that unlocked the magic. And going back to a previous edition won't necessarily be any more magical because it wasn't your first. So don't sweat about missing out on learning in the 70s, or 80s, or whatever. Because you did experience the same magic. Just at a different time.

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my active D&D years spanned a decade (1980-1990), so 1E was the edition for most of it. I started when it was all still pretty new, but starting to explode in popularity, and gaming stuff was still pretty sparse, so homebrew was a big part of it. Nostalgia no doubt colors a large part of my memories of it all, but the sheer 'this is something new in the world' aspect of it all was a big part of it too. Which is part of the reason I never got back into it; it's just not a new thing in the world anymore. Plus, ever since 3E, the game rules have changed vastly, and I haven't really been willing (or able) to commit to the time needed to become familiar with it all....


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Plus, ever since 3E, the game rules have changed vastly, and I haven't really been willing (or able) to commit to the time needed to become familiar with it all....
This worked to the advantage of a friend of mine. She had been reluctant to join the D&D game we were playing until 3e came out. Then, as she put it, we were ALL learning the game and she no longer felt there was an intimidating gap in rules knowledge. She felt she could engage with the rest of us as equal participants.


Lots of great comments on 1e. As someone who wants to start sharing my homebrewed adventures with a community of players (yes, and publish them for a few bucks), I realize that I'm going to have to make the move to 5e, or even just wait for this new version of D&D to come out. I hate to admit it, but the 1e community is too small. My adventure module, Nicomeiden's Tower, just barely made its modest goal of $2200. By comparison, the latest KS promoted by EN is raking in over $60k. Now, my modest adventure, my newness to the adventure publishing biz, and my own limited capabilities also factor into the results of my KS--I can do better! But the fact is, an adventure targeting 1e just isn't going to make it compared to an adventure targeting the latest, most popular editions.

So... that's life.

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I got nothing against Level Up (I'm definitely sure I'd like it better than 5e, and I'm pretty dubious about WotC's "New 5e, with a new and improved taste!"), but the DM of my current group is pushing in a different direction, since he's adopted the Midgard setting.

I'm disappointed we didn't play Adventures in Rokugan to be honest, but that's a setting that's not for everyone.

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