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D&D General How Long Did You Play the Different Editions of D&D? (+)


Goblin Queen (She/They)
3.5e: 2004-2007, but pretty sparsely during that time.
4e: 2008-2012, plus a few one-off sessions between then and 2014 when 5e came out.
D&D Next 2012-2014. I jumped in on the playtest immediately, switching back and forth DMing between me and my roommate’s partner at the time so we could both get a chance to try it from both sides of the screen. Kept DMing with the final packet even after the playtest ended, right up until the release of 5e.
5e: 2014-present.

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Victoria Rules
Ignoring one-offs and convention games:

1e and our ever-evolving homebrew variant - 1982-present, unbroken
3e - 2001-2006
3.5e - 2006-2007 (or 2008?) (same campaign as the 3e one, after an on-the-fly system changeover)

Yes, those years overlap: in the 3.x period I was playing 3.x and DMing 1e.

I've played 4e and 5e at conventions and in at least one other one-ff, but that's it.


Baronet of Gaming
2e: 1999-2003(?)
  • Intermediate School and most of Middle School. Not sure exactly when I picked up 3rd Edition, but I remember having just the D&D Adventure Game boxed set from 1999 for several years.
3e: 2003-2008
  • Late Middle School and all of High School. By the time 4E was released my group was ready for something new.
4e: 2008-2010
  • 4th Edition was great for the first year but began to show its flaws (flaws to us) as we played a longer campaign.
PF: 2010-2014
  • We went back to the cozy familiarity of 3.X with Pathfinder, like many other D&D groups.
5e: 2014-Present
  • By 2012 I was ready for a new version of D&D, as 3.X was starting to really get long in the tooth for me. Participated in the Playtest by reading and providing feedback, but was not in a position to play much as I did not have a group in college.
I'm fine playing 5E, but I do miss the optional stuff that WotC promised during the playtest to tweak the game to your tastes (low magic, high lethality, etc.). In terms of being a DM, I've moved on to learning the rules to be a Judge for Dungeon Crawl Classics. Such a great system!
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1976-1979: Original White Box. From age 13, mainly at school.
1980-1985: 1E. Through the end of school and during university
1985-2001: Didn’t really play much at all. Not a conscious decision to not play, but career, sport and family kind of took over all available time.
2001-2008: Got back into gaming and discovered that 2E had happened. Played that for a bit then really liked 3e and 3.5 in a new group.
2008-2014: Pathfinder. None of our group took to 4e at all. Quite enjoyed Pathfinder, at least until bloat became an issue
2014 onwards: 5e.

Love the game now, just as I did in 1976

Total about 31-32 years
  • 1E: 5-6 years (1990 - 1995) Final year was 1E/2E mashup as this group resisted 2E as long as possible
  • BECMI: 3-6 months (1994) Didn't fit for my high school group
  • 2E: 6-ish years (1995 - 2000; 2011) First year was 1E/2E mashup, but fully 2E in college and after 4E
  • 3E: 7-8 years (2000 -2008) Played only 3E during the edition, despite having issues with it later
  • 4E: 2-3 years (2008-2010) Looked forward to it after falling out from 3E, but didn't fit my style
  • 5E: 8-9 years including Playtest (2012-present) Loving 5E, although losing interest in the direction WotC is taking it. Likely will continue to play without changes after 5.5/6 (as I did with 1E)


Elder Thing
1e/2e: 1993 - 2001
3.x: 2000-2007
4e: a handful of games in 2008-9
5e: since the NEXT playtest
D&D Rules Cyclopedia: 1994-present

I list 1e and 2e together because while I technically started with 2e, I actually didn't realize there was a difference between the two for ages and used sourcebooks and materials from both. The Player's Handbook and DMG were 2e though.


2E: About a year
3E: Full run
4E: Full run, but got into other games heavily
5E Full run up to now
1E: a couple of one shots
2E: Back to it a year now
Basic: I want to try it...


2e: a handful of sessions (but many hours of video games based on this edition), ~1992-2001
3/3.5e: the edition I played most, ~2001-2015 (with a break in 2007, and after that it was mostly PbP)
5e: significantly less than 3e, IIRC a couple of sessions in 2016, then again a new campaign this year
0e/1e: didn't play yet, but will probably do so once the Dolmenwood books are out (will probably play with B/X, but Swords&Wizardry is an option)

I have also played Dungeon Crawl Classics a couple of times and am looking forward to play either Beyond the Wall or Whitehack. But nothing set in stone so far for the latter two.

Greg K

  • 0E: Finally, played a few sessions in 2018(?)
  • Holmes Basic: Christmas 1979- circa February 1980
  • 1e: 1980-1989 (primarily 1980-1985)
  • 2e: 1989-2000 (primarily 1991-1996) At some, point in the mid to late 90's, my main group switched to our 2e campaign to Fantasy Hero (short-lived) GURPS and then Rolemaster. However, I still participated in a few AD&D 2e games until 2000
  • 3e: 2000-2007: Played a couple of sessions. In 2004, upon the release of Unearthed Arcana), I switched the campaign that started in 2e from Rolemaster to 3e. Then, I ran another short campaign. Eventually, switched to a short urban fantasy/Men in Black Savage Worlds campaign followed by a 7+ year Mutants & Masterminds campaign. Have not since run/played D&D despite owning the quickstart, PHB2, and Martial Power for 4e and, for 5e, the online Basic set and several third party supplements (free and paid).
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1E: '79-'86
2E: Playing it currently
3E: 2000-2001
4E: Nevah
5E: From the time the core rulebooks came out through the present.

Actively playing 2E and 5E at this time. Both have their charms.


First played in 1993.

D&D 1993-1994. Used the Black Box for about six months until I got the 2e PHB. No more RC at that point.
2e 1994-2000. At first it was just PHB supplemented by D&D until I picked up the other core books and then expanded my collection. Ran and played a few different campaigns until June 2000.
3e 2000-2004. Ran online games at this point. Eventually, the campaigns fell apart and IIRC, I had problems with one of the services I was using. The 3.5 switch didn't help here either, but it really wasn't much of a factor in the game falling apart if at all. There was also the pbp game I tried running here around 2010, but that fell right apart on me as I didn't have a good feel for running a pbp game.
2e 2014-2015; 2018. Ran a campaign for my sister and her kids, the RL stuff kept disrupting things. I went with 2e because I had published adventures for it and I didn't want to put a lot of work into campaign building if her kids didn't like it. Played about three sessions of 5e here because my younger niece wanted to DM but I think she got something of a rude awakening when she found out what things were like on the other side of the screen.


1981 - 1983 Basic.
1984 - 1989 1e AD&D
1989 - 1994 a mix of 1e and 2e - sometimes one or the other, sometimes a mix of both.
2000 - 2003 3e
2003 - 2010 3.5
2010 - 2012 4e
2014 - Present 5e

Gaps were filled with playing a variety of other Non D&D games. A lot WOD in the later 90s, but also other games sprinkled along the way.


BECMI: 84-85 (Not a full year. Started with 1e but got the Red Box and played that for the summer)
1e: 85-94 - The Golden Era of D&D for me.
2e: Never fully played it. Used 2e splats and core but kept Unearthed Arcana and a lot of 1e.
3e: 00-14 (Around the last five years were Pathfinder and 3e games).
4e: 07-12 (Wished I could have played longer but my work scheduled changed and I lost my Saturday group after 7 years of playing together)
5e: Playtest to Present (I miss playing the drunk Wizard)


BECMI: 1984? - 1987? or thereabouts
1e: 1987 - 1990
2e: 1991 - 1994
Nothing: 1995 - 2001
3e: 2001 - 2009 (we switched to Pathfinder when it came out)
4e: Never played
5e: 2021 - 2021 Played one campaign, that has now ended, but I'm open to playing another one

So it looks like 3rd edition brought me back to role-playing, but in fact I never left; what changed in 2001 was actually having a group to play with!


DM's Guild Author
AD&D 1e 1984 (player)
Basic/Expert/Companion 1985-1990 (player + DM)
AD&D 2e 1990-1998 (DM)
D&D 3.5 1999-2008 (DM)
D&D 4e 2008-2011 (DM)
Pathfinder 2011-2014 (DM)
D&D 5e 2015+ (DM)
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