Time is weird. And when you've been playing D&D for nearly 40 years, the time you spent playing one edition over another can seem really skewed, as some editions can have an outsized influence on your view of the game even when you didn't play them that long. So I decided to try to break down how long I played/ran each edition.
- BECMI: 1983 to 1985 (2ish years)
- AD&D (1E): 1985 to 1989 (4ish years) [switched to it eagerly because "advanced" meant I was more "mature" ]
- AD&D (2E): 1989 to 2000 (11ish years) [switched reluctantly at first but then jumped in whole hog]
- Used Combat & Tactics options for 2E from '96 to '00.
- D&D (3.xE): 2000 to 2016 (16ish years) [I was adopting 3E rules before it had even been released thanks to Eric Noah and picked up my PHB at GEN CON 2000]
- D&D (4E): One playtest session in 2008 [was skeptical, remain skeptical - but still adopted a rule or two from it]
- D&D (5E): 2019 to present (hasn't been two full years yet, but will be soon) [after a break from D&D and a move to a new city I was talked into starting a new game]
So I was wondering what other people's breakdowns might be. I know some people play multiple editions with different groups at the same time, so in that case just break it down how it makes sense for you (maybe just focus on the most common and/or the one you preferred to play). I also know that some of you have not been playing as long, but that is okay - I am just curious when and if you shifted to each edition after playing the previous for however long. I am even interested in hearing about people who stuck with a previous edition or switched back to it after trying a newer one.
For myself, 2E is always gonna have a large influence on my play and DM style and what I want out of a game, with a healthy dose of 3E's tactical focus (but without the "arms race" and "build" mentalities and sans the overly-granular rules), thus why I find myself enjoying 5E (which feels like a good mix of those two), even if some of its choices are not what I would have done.
One other notable point: I have used material for or from each of the editions in each of the other editions that I played for any length of time and have never had any issue converting stuff (in fact, I find it fun). I still used the best DMG (1E) regularly and have barely cracked the 3E or 5E DMGs.
Notice the "(+)" in the thread title. This thread is not meant to become an edition war. It is okay if you want to mention why you switched editions, but don't slag off on other people or judge their choices.