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

jdrakeh

Hero
Holmes Basic: 1985
AD&D 1e: 1995-1998*
AD&D 2e: 1998-2002*
D&D 3x: 2005-2013
OD&D: 2006-2011**
D&D 5e: 2014-Present

*Some combining of rules from both of these editions took place at one point.
**I forgot this as it had less table time than the others. It basically got broken out three or four times a year for very brief games.
 
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pukunui

Legend
Oh gosh. Let’s see …

I started with AD&D 2e. I want to say 1993 or 1994. Can’t remember how long I was actively playing it for but I continued buying books for a good chunk of the 90s.

Then I played in a friend’s campaign that was a hybrid of 2e and 3.0e. I don’t remember the mechanical specifics. I think that was around ‘99-‘00.

I moved to NZ in 2003 and didn’t think I’d play D&D again but got back into it with my siblings-in-law, who were playing 3.5e. That was probably in 2005. Played that until 4e came along.

I stopped DMing 4e pretty quickly but continued as a player until the Next playtest came out. Then we started playing that.

During the Next playtest period, the DM of the group I play in decided to do a nostalgic look back at earlier editions before we switched to the final 5e, so we played a short Against the Slavers AD&D 1e campaign. That was my one and only experience with that edition.

We also played a short 3.5e campaign ostensibly set in Dark Sun.

I’ve also played a single session of Pathfinder 1e but I don’t remember when that was. All I remember is not liking it.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Oh gosh. Let’s see …

I started with AD&D 2e. I want to say 1993 or 1994. Can’t remember how long I was actively playing it for but I continued buying books for a good chunk of the 90s.

Then I played in a friend’s campaign that was a hybrid of 2e and 3.0e. I don’t remember the mechanical specifics. I think that was around ‘99-‘00.

I moved to NZ in 2003 and didn’t think I’d play D&D again but got back into it with my siblings-in-law, who were playing 3.5e. That was probably in 2005. Played that until 4e came along.

I stopped DMing 4e pretty quickly but continued as a player until the Next playtest came out. Then we started playing that.

During the Next playtest period, the DM of the group I play in decided to do a nostalgic look back at earlier editions before we switched to the final 5e, so we played a short Against the Slavers AD&D 1e campaign. That was my one and only experience with that edition.

We also played a short 3.5e campaign ostensibly set in Dark Sun.

I’ve also played a single session of Pathfinder 1e but I don’t remember when that was. All I remember is not liking it.

Moved here ha. Sucker;) (ducks).
 

4e - 2010 to 2014/2015 would have stayed in it if one of my closest players hadnt tainted it by association when my friend group imploded. Incidentally, in 2010 I was a high school sophmore.

5e - 2015/2016 to 2019 I spent this entire time having fun but being vaguely dissatisfied with the game and hacking it to hell and back, but unwilling to go backwards because... complexity i guess?

PF2e - 2019 to present, still the perfect game for me.
 

Basic around 84 and 85. (I doubt my friends and I played it correctly.)
1st edition 86 - 89.
2nd edition 89 - 92.
Then Dangerous Journeys, MERP, Rolemaster, EarthDawn, Twilight 2000, MtG, James Bond, etc. from 91 - 96.
Then we moved apart and none of us kept up with the hobby, although we all bought the books to read.
2006 played 4e and Pathfinder.
Then whenever the playtest rules for 5e came out we shifted. I think it was around 2013?
 

5E: 2019-Present.

2E(Advanced): Planning on to sometime in the upcoming years.

BECMI/Rules Cyclopedia/Lamentations of the Flame Princess kit-bash: Planning onto sometime in the upcoming years.

Pathfinder 2nd Edition: Well, I splurged on the prior(not the current one) Humble Bundle Pathfinder deal and pretty much have the PDF of the main book, Lost Omens World Guide, and The Character Guide. Now I want to get the Special Edition of Gears and Guns, the Ancestry Guide(specifically for Kitsunes*cough-Fox Girls*), the Advanced Players Guide, Secrets of Magic, and the Gamemastery Guide. Finally I want to nab the complete Abomination Vault AP book that is coming out next year. (Special Editon of course.) Hopefully the idea/sales scores big enough with Paizo that they start to release the other previous APs, like Extinction Curse, as a complete book as well. So amazingly, planning onto sometime in the upcoming years.

13th Age: I'm actually still kicking myself for not pulling the trigger on it when Humble Bundle was offering it. Planning on trying it out when Humble Bundle offers it again. Will combine elements from 13thG into it with Shards of a Broken Sky being the main "campaign focus" for playing it.

Complicated Answer/Choice: 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder 1 Black Tokyo's knock off version of Strike Witches (with some of the more questionable elements removed) Unknown at this time/looking up crap.
 
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Oh also:
Pathfinder 1: Frog God Game's The Slumbering Tsar saga Campaign.
Except, instead of the regular default class list from Pathfinder 1, the entire class selection is replaced with the classes from both of Little Red Goblin's Games Gonzo 1 and Gonzo 2 books/pdfs.*
 

GuyBoy

Hero
Oh also:
Pathfinder 1: Frog God Game's The Slumbering Tsar saga Campaign.
Except, instead of the regular default class list from Pathfinder 1, the entire class selection is replaced with the classes from both of Little Red Goblin's Games Gonzo 1 and Gonzo 2 books/pdfs.*
Slumbering Tsar. That was a meatgrinder of a campaign. I played a half-orc cavalier called Gunther von Panzerkrieg in @TheSword 's campaign. It was seriously tough sledding!
 

haakon1

Adventurer
PF2e - 2019 to present, still the perfect game for me.
I haven’t tried PF2. I‘d wonder how it compares to PF1 or 3.5e, but it looks like we don’t share those as common points of comparison. PF1 started up as a 3.5e clone, somewhat up powered - no clue what’s happening in PF2.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I've both been playing and selling D&D for a long time.

I played 1e for one session in 1986, then I played a few other RPGs, then I got into D&D in a big way the week that 2e dropped. I was there at my local comic and game store when they got it in. We played 2e like mad for its entire existence, including all the rules expansions. Though I wasn't DM for our first campaign, I wound up doing 80% of the DMing, and I never once ran an adventure that I didn't make up. So I never had any experience with the "classics" until more recently. By the time 3.0 dropped, I'd been tinkering with my own system (a mix of D&D, Call of Cthulhu, and a lot of my own rules) that I called Rampant Griffon. We played 3.0 and 3.5 as soon as each dropped, but during those years we mostly played Rampant Griffon. I would honestly characterize 3.x as my least favourite edition of D&D, even though I appreciate a lot of its innovations.

When 4e was announced, I found my way here to ENWorld and ate up all the rumours and previews. I played 4e and Essentials for its duration. I agree with some criticisms of it, and have many of my own, but playing it got me together with my current group. We switched to 5e with the D&D Next playtests, and haven't looked back.

So... I've never played any earlier versions of D&D once the new one drops (usually once the new one is announced I switch to the current playtest version.) You might say I'm an early adopter.

The other side of me is this: I've been the owner of my own Comic and Game store since 1993. I've sold every edition as they've come out since midway through 2e. I can personally attest to the amazing life that 5e has had - we've never sold so many core books this far in to an edition before. I mean, I've sold more 5e core books in the past week than we would have in a whole year by six years in.

Probably one of the reasons that I keep up so tightly is because I both demo and hand-sell the current edition to customers, so it makes sense that I commit to playing the edition that I can sell the most of. (When we were playing Rampant Griffon, 3e wasn't the greatest seller for us, in spite of being a very popular edition - I sold more 4e overall than I did 3.0 (though not 3.5 - but the worst selling 4e book did better than the worst selling 3.5 book, if that makes sense).
 

I haven’t tried PF2. I‘d wonder how it compares to PF1 or 3.5e, but it looks like we don’t share those as common points of comparison. PF1 started up as a 3.5e clone, somewhat up powered - no clue what’s happening in PF2.
I've tried very minimal 3.5 sadly, but I'd be happy to answer any questions you have, feel to free to PM me, I'm as familiar as one can be through video games and osmosis.

Its d20 based, but it isn't a direct progression of 3.5 either, although a lot of elements will look familiar-- attack rolls, saving throws, etc. The designers have basically said its how they fixed everything that was frustrating them about the core 3.5 engine they had been dealing with for a decade. I would say the significant difference is that classes get a locked in progression of features that function to set their math up, but then have 'class feats' they choose every few levels in a lego-brick build-a-class approach.

Multiclassing and Archetypes, from PF1e are merged into one system where your base class math doesn't change from it (which means you aren't dealing with losing BAB or spell levels or whatever by multiclassing) and you spend class feats to pick up things from archetypes-- multiclass or otherwise, so for instance, fighter archetype feats make you more like a fighter, or you could take Shadowdancer for that kind of stuff, building it in feat by feat, or Dandy for social stuff, or caster to get light spell casting, and so forth, there's limitations so it functions like a big puzzle. The archetypes give you limited ability to do other class's stuff, a fighter with a wizard dedication doesn't give up their attack bonus, but they don't get a wizard's level of spellcasting bonus either for offensive magic (the game keeps them technically to the point where it could be useful, but you won't see many fireball slinging fighters as a matter of optimization, generally) but like... True Strike for instance? Great spell for a fighter to benefit from that way.

Finally, the game is harder and it has a more finely tuned balance than pf1e did, and tighter bands for numerical bonuses-- casters are about on par with Martials, and team PC will struggle without teamwork, which heavily emphasizes buffs and debuffs so people set up for each other. Crits deal double damage, and they happen when you beat/fail the DC by 10 or more (in addition to a 20/1 on the die) so the increased accuracy from teamwork translates into way more damage. The game has fleshed out exploration and downtime, that make it a total sleeper excellent system for some OSR styles of play, in my own opinion.

I think Morrus's review is actually pretty good too. We've gotten substantial amounts of support since then, which has really fleshed out the system's potential.

EDIT: OH AND 3 ACTIONS, its so natural I literally forgot about it, players have three actions per turn they can spend on stuff like 'move' or 'attack with a stacking penalty for each attack per turn' special attacks and spells take more than 1 action, so the game is super flexible about how you actually arrange your turn between attacks, spells, and various feats, and different classes and archetypes use those in different ways. I should also note Attack of Opportunity is no longer universal, instead being a feature, feat, or special ability for certain classes or monster-- which raises the value of mobility a lot.
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
The other side of me is this: I've been the owner of my own Comic and Game store since 1993. I've sold every edition as they've come out since midway through 2e.

That's really cool !

I can personally attest to the amazing life that 5e has had - we've never sold so many core books this far in to an edition before. I mean, I've sold more 5e core books in the past week than we would have in a whole year by six years in.

That is extremely impressive. Although it would probably be wrong to use this to rely on to create a global statistics (since lots of people probably buy online too), what are the demographics of your customers ? I suspect that these are more than your usual customers ? Do they also buy comics, or do they come into your store to buy D&D only ? etc. :)
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
That's really cool !

That is extremely impressive. Although it would probably be wrong to use this to rely on to create a global statistics (since lots of people probably buy online too), what are the demographics of your customers ? I suspect that these are more than your usual customers ? Do they also buy comics, or do they come into your store to buy D&D only ? etc. :)

Oh sure, it is only what it is and nothing more, but you gotta keep in mind that back when I was selling 2e, you pretty much had to go to a game store to buy D&D, and now you can buy 5e from Amazon, or D&D Beyond, or any of a ton of other places. And yet, we STILL sell more books. To be fair, my store is quite a bit bigger than it was then. It's complicated and not proof of anything, but it's impressive and telling.

I would say that most of the people that buy games buy games and most that buy comics buy comics, but there is certainly a crossover. For instance, four of the five of my personal gaming group (made up of customers who have become friends, and not counting me) buy both, but I would say they're unusual. Probably why I like them so much. The last one buys hardly anything at all, but is fun to game with.

As an aside, back before the pandemic, I did weekly "learn to play D&D" sessions. I've taught hundreds (perhaps even a thousand? It's been almost thirty years - I'd have to do the math) of people to play D&D. I can't wait to get back to it.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
As an aside, back before the pandemic, I did weekly "learn to play D&D" sessions. I've taught hundreds (perhaps even a thousand? It's been almost thirty years - I'd have to do the math) of people to play D&D. I can't wait to get back to it.

Thanks for the details. While probably not having as impressive a palmares as you - I have a more than full time job that unfortunately does not involve roleplaying - I have also induced at least hundreds of people to roleplaying and its always been a great pleasure. Still doing it as much as I can, with all ages being welcome.
 


Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
In short form:
  • Holmes Basic - 6 months
  • 1st AD&D - 15 years
  • 3.x/Pathfinder - 14 years
  • 5E - about 4 years

For some reason I tended to skip the even numbered editions.

Holmes Basic in '77 for a few months
AD&D from '77 to '93 or '94. So about15 years. My playtime of D&D got smaller and smaller thoughout this time as I found and enjoyed other games.
3.x/Pathfinder from 2001 until about 2015.
I did play the D&D next playtest but didn't actually start playing 5E until 2017 or so. Played that off and on, but now have switch my D20 fantasy gaming to Level Up.

Outside D&D I was seriously into HERO/Champions from 1985 to 2019. Basically drifted away about the time 6th edition came out.
When not playing D&D as my secondary game (HERO being primary) - I tried a bunch of different systems - Genesys, WOIN, Fantasy Age, Fate, pulled out some old Rolemaster...

Starting about 4 years ago, I got into Numenera & then broadend to the Cypher System, and that is the only system the wife and I play. We haven't had any group play since Covid started.
 

1983 - B/X or BECMI - one campaign over the summer
1985-1990 - 1e AD&D - Irregular campaigns
1991-1995 - 1e and 2e AD&D - Irregular campaigns
1998-2001 - 2e AD&D - Regular weekly campaign
2001-2004 - 3.x D&D - Regular weekly campaign. The same campaign as the prior 2e campaign. Yeah, this one went on a long time.
2007-2008 - 3.x D&D - Regular weekly campaigns
2008-2009 - 4e D&D - Regular weekly campaigns
2009-2014 - 3e D&D - Irregular weekly campaigns (interspersed with other games)
2014-2019 - 5e D&D - Irregular weekly campaigns (interspersed with other games)
2021-current - 5e D&D - Irregular weekly campaigns (interspersed with other games)
 


Stormdale

Explorer
1983-1990 AD&D

1991-2002 AD&D/ 2E. Like many I ran a hybrid of both games.

2002-2004- 3E- till I grew completely frustrated with trying to DM it and refused to DM any more and gave my players and ultimatum- C&C or nothing.

2004-2013 Castles and Crusades/ 2E- going from one to another, mainly C&C though.

20012- brief (6 month) attempt to play 4E which despite trying to get to grips with it my group hated and when one of our key players threatened to quit we all agreed none of us liked the system and so the players agreed to try the 5E playtests.

2013- present- playtests and 5e with a heavily 1/2e inspired vibe. I do have issues with 5e but it sems to be the edition that causes the least angst for the players and so we stick to it. Current game based on Saltmarsh and lots of 1e modules and Dungeon Adventures which is entering its third year (currently finishing Kingdom of the Ghouls from Dungeon #80).
 

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