D&D General My Journey with D&D

gban007

Adventurer
A post no one asked for :) But one I've been thinking on since posting on another thread about coming here to discuss a hobby I like, and my likes / dislikes. While been doing other systems more and more lately, most of my TTRPG history has been D&D, so focusing on this here.

I'm also interested in other people's views / likes / dislikes of the various editions, how they got there etc - I won't necessarily reply to a lot, but will read them with interest. Was thinking of making this a (+) thread but not sure it applies if putting in some dislikes as such, but I do want to try and avoid edition warring if possible - people will have subjective thoughts on editions which may not line up with how they actually were supposed to work, just how they experienced it, and I'm more interested in the experience than trying to debate what was supposed to occur as such.

Anyway, without further ado:

Basic D&D - late eighties - my first exposure to D&D, finding a Basic D&D rulebook at school library, was quite an eye opener - being able to play a game that is inspired by fantasy settings that I love to read about - even has Halfling in there :) Didn't get to play a lot, as relying on a library book, and convincing some friends to play as well, and it was mainly dungeon crawling which we enjoyed running our newly created characters through, and otherwise me having fun doing up maps in our old maths workbooks and imagining what monsters would go where, depending on the dungeon level (1st level of dungeon has this, 2nd level that etc) - but was fun thought excercise.
Then we had to move town, where new school library wasn't so well stocked as such despite being bigger, had enough issues socialising in new town as a kid that D&D dropped off for a few years. Though during this period I Was able to start reading Forgotten Realms books (generally avoiding Drizzt novels for some reason, but read likes of Spellfire, Avatar trilogy, Maztica Trilogy, second Moonshae Trilogy).

Advanced D&D- 2nd Edition - then I had ability to find a group in later school years where people were playing D&D on a regular basis and you were able to join in - fantastic. Was around time of the revised format i believe, which caused a bit of confusion with differing art covers, but main game was the same. Even better one of the groups was playing in the Forgotten Realms, which I Felt I knew somewhat of now so was keen to play in - even if some knowledge was out of date (e.g. finding that Zhentil Keep was apparently sacked).
It was fun to play, THACO was a bit counter intuitive but tables etc were there to help get handle on it and it flowed reasonably from there. Got to choose classes for all races compared to Basic which was cool, though the class restrictions / limits funnelled towards certain races. Main thoughts / feelings here was that levelling was slow, and game was quite deadly (especially when just got fireball and do it in a tunnel and misjudge just how far away you need to throw it to avoid blowback on to the party - some of us survived at least), and at one point I tried rogues out because levelled faster at least, but it did feel a bit of a grind at times seeing any marked improvement, and don't think I had a campaign last long enough to go beyond 5th level for a wizard at least, despite choosing races based on getting to higher level. Knew that if I ever rolled stats well enough for it, would have to play a Paladin by virtue of how tough the requirements were, wouldn't get much opportunity otherwise.
Later on Baldur's Gate came out, and was a fantastic game to play, that with it's sequel and offshoots gave me more mastery into 2nd edition, even if some tweaks were made to sort of bridge the gap to third (especially for BG2).

Bit of a gap when went to university, by the time I came back to playing group:

Third edition had arrived - a new edition! First time really encountering the buzz for when a new edition was introduced, and gaming group was definitely keen to move over. Felt like a natural evolution from 2nd edition, maintaining the feel but smoothing out some kinks:
Shifted from the counter-intuitive THACO to a more intuitive feel, no more class limits / restrictions, and a unified level progression, saving throws also using similar system to everything else rather than percentile.
Through play, levelling was a lot faster, and still maintained a certain level of deadliness with saves vs death occurring. We had fun learning the system, though it was one that really rewarded min/maxing as such - and some spells were quite powerful - e.g once can cast Bull's Strength / Cat's Grace etc at beginning of day, but some quirks quickly led to:
3.5 - a bit annoying that this came out so soon after Third's release, but feeling overall across group was had to move over, even if did nerf some of our favourite spells. From then on kept with third edition (ignoring brief forays into other games) - lots of memories from this game, from the continued reward of system mastery, causing some issues if balancing play for those who min/max vs those who don't, having fun with Sorcerers where didn't have to worry about memorizing spell slots, and the 1 level behind in spells didn't seem to hurt too much, and once had Greater Invisibility, Fly and likes of Fireball etc felt quite strong / towards OP, but good fun. Also had good times with Druids, Sword and Board fighters and others, and both played and started DMing a chunk as well.
When DMing enjoyed sandbox play with some published adventure bits interspersed, and had great fun using the FR products -think I bought pretty much every one that was released, but particularly remember the core campaign book, Serpent Kingdoms and Silver Marches well - playing a lot in the latter two regions - and are three books I regret parting with, have started getting in PDF again but not quite the same.
One rule that I should have really moved away from playing RAW (but I erred a lot to RAW) was new characters coming back 1 level below the lowest level party member, at times through bad luck / bad play (latter was rare but did happen) could lead to a spiral with characters 5 levels apart in a party, causing all sorts of balancing issues.
Over time we did start tiring of the system, didn't like the min/maxing that occurred at times (more a player issue than system issue in hindsight, but i was younger then), and so we were quite interested when subsequently:

Fourth Edition arrived - felt came at a reasonable point, and seemed to resolve some of the issues of third edition, I can't recall lethality side of it, but didn't reward min/maxing so much, and classes were quite balanced, with similar amounts of options available, and seemed a good shift, albeit more than a simple evolution, quite a bit was revisited / changed, but were keen to try.
We gave it a good couple of years, but over time while it didn't reward min/maxing / system mastery, it did punish if a player tried to play their character against their role - I recall strikers who tried to tank that didn't go well, healers that didn't want to heal etc that caused real problems - again in hindsight more a player problem (one in particular who seemed determined that should play a class from a given role but not play the role - should have dealt with that behaviour) - and classes began to feel samey, with everyone getting similar suite of options each level, everyone with suite of daily, encounter, at will powers - the flavour wasn't enough to offset the mechanical feel / driver of it. We did like the introduction of Warlord class though - really enjoyed that. Eventually though the system combined with other life goings on reduced the enjoyment of D&D, and we just stopped, and did Board Game nights instead - though this eventually tapered off as well.

An interlude of a few years year, before eventually feeling itch for playing again, and some of the people I used to play with (not the problem players fortunately for me - arguably I had failed there as a DM and left it for another DM to deal with, or just not invite for new campaigns that they started), and I went to:

Pathfinder 1st edition - really didn't feel much different to third edition for me, too long since to see any real changes, but fell back into it easily, played a Sorcerer again, and I guess looking back it was probably better balanced against the other classes from how combats went, but was good to get back into and we completed a campaign using this and had good fun.

Then shortly after than the Pandemic arrived, and a chunk of free stuff became available, and we tried:

Fifth Edition - 4th edition had very much stopped any of us trying fifth edition when it came out - I had stopped playing altogether anyway, but the other group also didn't want to try Fifth. But with the Starter Set available for free on Roll 20, and my kids being interested in D&D now as well after joining in on board games, so in two different groups gave the Starter Set a go, and found we quite enjoyed it. Felt more harkening back to third edition than fourth, levelling seemed even faster again (part of this I think is how quick the first couple of levels go by for introducing the class features etc), and game even less lethal than before. It felt like spellcasters weren't as OP as third edition - Fireball for example started higher, but never reached the heights of third edition where at high levels doing 15+d6 as such, though still reasonably strong. Classes had changed somewhat - Wizard was more like the Sorcerer now, and the new Sorcerer quite different - I've ended up not playing either myself, despite the long history of playing arcane spellcasters, and tending to go for other classes when playing, and DMing wise seen a reasonable spread of different characters played.
Doesn't quite have the same level of reward / punishment that other editions had, with bounded accuracy helping there I feel - meaning whether min maxed or not still fair chance of hitting opponents. Have played in a couple of campaigns, and run Shadow of the Dark Queen / Tyranny of Dragons both through to completion, (these days I don't feel I have the time for prepping sandbox play, and the published adventures make it a lot easier - usually only need to spend 10-15 minutes before each session to get head around what coming up, and only a couple of times had to call a session short while determining what would happen as a result of what party did when doing something out of left field that I need to work out impacts of - party did well at times in short cutting / finding novel approaches through things - especially for Tyranny, Shadow was somewhat more rail roaded).
My kids have joined other groups as well through online play, my eldest especially playing a lot more D&D than I ever did, but all still enjoy it.

For my group, we are trying a few other systems at the moment (first Star Trek Adventures, when will be giving Soulbound a go, and I would like to try and run WFRP 4th edition), but will return to fifth edition, but likely to be after the revised books come out - I'm interested in the revised books, as still enjoying Fifth edition, but like some of the tweaks / changes they are making, e.g. the weapon changes giving a bit more variety.

I find it interesting that has lethality has come down, levelling has sped up, when think it should possibly be other way round - if levelling is fast, shouldn't matter so much if characters die more frequently. I like fifth edition, but I think would have liked a bit more of the variety of choices that Third edition gave, and miss all the campaign stuff.

If I Was to play other than fifth, would tend to be third or pathfinder that I would go back to, and not any of the other editions.

Anyway, that is my journey, interested in hearing others :)
 

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Shiroiken

Legend
Started back before I actually played D&D. I wanted to play D&D, as I'd been exposed to the 1E PHB and the cartoon, but never found a group. My brother joined a group, but refused to let me join. I decided to make my own RPG based on what I remembered from the PHB and various CRPGs I'd played (dragon warrior, final fantasy, etc.). I played it with my two friends, and while we had fun, looking back on it, it was bad. However, my brother's DM walked in on a session one time and was impressed at the effort I'd made. Not only did he invite all of us into his game, but he flagged me as a potential DM.

1E AD&D
Was a player for about 6 months before I started my apprenticeship towards being a DM. My first character actually was killed by my brother, but he dropped out of the game soon after, as he felt it was "too dorky." Playing was fun, but I found I really enjoyed DMing. Soon I was sharing DM duties with the DM, giving him a chance to play his many characters (which he typically used as DMPCs to fill out the party). Eventually the DM moved away and he gifted me his collection of books, which worked, because we'd been pooling our stuff for a while.

BECMI
I only run a few sessions of this. The system wasn't as good as AD&D IMO, but it had the best adventures. I used it as an intro for a couple of players, but found it was just easier to teach AD&D than to transition them from BECMI.

2E AD&D
My high school group moved to 2E only after I kinda forced them. The 1E campaign went way too long, with the party at super high levels. Moving to 2E game me the chance to reset the game. However, I eventually went to college, where I met a group that played 2E regularly. I fell away from my high school group and mostly just played 2E in college. As a system, I felt it wasn't better than 1E, just different.

3E
I was still hanging with my college group when 3E started, even though I wasn't in college anymore. We moved to 3E, but it pushed a playstyle with them that didn't agree with me. However, I found another group of friends that wanted to do 3E, so I moved on. I was GMing another system at the time, so I was primarily a player for 3E. I mostly enjoyed 3E, but it was way too crunchy for my taste. Add in the fact that it was largely unplayable at high levels, and I was ready to move on to 4E when it came out.

4E
I wanted to like 4E; I really did. I pushed for it far longer than I really should have. I even DMed it for another group in an effort to convert them. I was just so sick of 3E, I overlooked all the things about 4E that I really hated. Eventually I gave up on it, and we moved back to 2E.

5E
I jumped on the playtest the instant it was available. I wrote up detailed play reports for the surveys so that I could impact the game as much as I could. I loved the direction, and even though there were some excellent things from the playtest that got left in the trash, I still feel its the best edition of D&D. I'm also looking forward to the 2024 revision. I'm back to DMing regularly and super happy.
 

pukunui

Legend
I’m always amazed by how well some people can remember the details of their childhood D&D experiences.

I must have been 12 or 13 when my friends first invited me to play AD&D 2e with them, but I have no real memory of the rules. I can remember what the character sheet looked like, and I remember stuff like THAC0 and descending AC and 18/00 Strength. I remember the loose leaf binder sheets with monster stats on them. I remember taking over as DM at some point and having them fight a dracolich. One of them got taken prisoner by Lolth (or Lloth, as she was back then). But that’s about it.

When I was in college around the turn of the millennium, I played in a friend’s hybrid 2e / 3.0e game. Again, I don’t remember many of the mechanical details, just that it was in a home brew world if his that only had humans, although he made an exception for me to play a Scottish-themed firbolg. He died and then I played a human blade bard.

I stopped playing when I moved overseas, but then my siblings-in-law convinced me to play again with D&D 3.5e. Play and ran that for years till I got burned out with it (right around the time 4e came out).

Played 4e for longer than I ran it as a DM. Made the switch to 5e during the playtest period. Been playing 5e ever since and will most likely adopt the 2024 revised rules (in full or in part).

I’ve dabbled in a few other games but mostly have stuck with D&D.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
I’ll give this a go too. I’ll try to keep it brief…

Started by playing live-action roleplaying games (larp). Then my friends invited me to this tabletop game that was like a larp but without the « live action » part of larp. Turned out to be (A)D&D, with 2E fresh out the presses. I played at the community center after school.

Then we started our own games (still 2E AD&D) in my parent’s basement. It really picked up when we reached 16 and got our licences. Where I come from, your closest friend is 1-hour bike ride away through steep hills so a car is a necessity for any kind of social life. We played through our last year of high school and college (which, for anyone outside Quebec, is a kind of mashup of senior high-school and freshman-year college).

Then I moved to a small university town and found a new group at the gaming club. Those were the years of Skills and Powers and we had a lot of fun with it, despite the sneering about customization. These were also the V;tM days, because 90s.

3e came along and was highly praised for its high degree of customization, mostly by the same people who sneered on Skills and Powers. I avoided 3e out of spite, I think.

Then I moved to another university (where I still work to this day) and joined a new group. They were playing 3.5 and I fell in love with it. It was the homebrewer’s paradise edition! That lasted a while until I had a serious case of system fatigue. Around that time 4e was announced. I was expecting a slight rebalance along the lines of Star Wars Saga edition. It wasn’t. I was disappointed and turned off by the presentation of 4e. It also coincided with the toddler-years of my kids and couldn’t really find time to play. I experimented a lot with making my own rpg(s) however.

Finally, through work, I met new friends and joined a new group, with 5e fresh out of the presses. I really, really liked the design of 5e (and still do) and we’ve been playing ever since (along with a few more RPG), now with our then-toddlers-now-turned-young-adults kids. There we go - all caught up…
 
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Stormonu

Legend
It's hard to summarize 45 years of playing into a few paragraphs...

HOLMES. I got Holmes edition for Christmas in '79, when I was in 4th grade (9 years old). The game was a bit too advanced for me, so my dad helped me make my first character and ran me through the dungeon in the book (solo) - it didn't end well for me. Unfortunately, I lost the rulebook shortly after that, and only had B2, the weird dice and two boxes of Grenadier miniatures (one of monsters, one of heroes) for the next couple of years. I winged DMing my brother, friends, cousins and anyone I could talk into playing. Most of the time, I played at school with my friends.

B/X. In 6th grade, one of my friends got the Moldvay red box D&D. He let me borrow it and I devoured the rules, and started to actually use them. Still couldn't use dice at school though, as they were considered for "gambling". In 7th grade, one of my friends was getting rid of his D&D collection (he was getting into the Marvel RPG), and I bought a huge lot of modules from him, read through them and started taking bits out of them for our school game.

AD&D & LJN. For my 8th grade graduation, I got the 1E DMG & PHB, with the revised covers from Toys'R'us. That was also about the time the LJN figures came out, and my brother and I picked up the whole line. At this point, I started to switch to using the AD&D rules. Unfortunately, my original group was scattered to the winds, so as I entered high school I had to start a new gaming group. Luckily, there was a D&D club at school, and I picked up some players there.

DRAGONLANCE. After a year of two playing AD&D, I was starting to get bored with endless, pointless dungeons, and I was considering putting the game aside. Then Dragonlance came along and had an epic storyline to it. I dove back into the game with renewed interest. Shortly thereafter, I discovered Ravenloft, and was totally in love with D&D again.

AD&D 2E. When 2E was announced, I eagerly awaited it. The idea of a cleaned up system, cutting back down to one DMG and one PHB made me happy. The expanded monster entries, with ecologies and tactics - that you could resort when more were released, sounded great. I took a month or two to read through and aquaint myself with the updated rules, and it was off to the races. I played with my High School group until about '93, and then after meeting my future wife I started a new group with her, her sister and a few work friends.

MAGIC. Magic killed D&D in my area around '95. Everybody went to the card game, and when I went to the local Con the next year, I got booted from the open gaming tables because they needed more space for the Magic tournament. For the next few years, nobody was playing D&D, and I moved to Atlanta, where it was difficult to find a group, and finding places that sold D&D became harder and harder as they dumped the RPG to sell Magic cards. I've hated MtG ever since.

WHITE WOLF. Around '97 or so, I found myself drifting away from D&D and to the Storyteller games of Vampire and Werewolf. D&D was looking pretty antiquated so I started to put it aside.

The next bit of time is a bit fuzzy - TSR went bankrupt and was bought by WotC, my nemesis. Yet, I tried my hand at getting a gig at the revived D&D, and did get an adventure published in Dungeon Magazine. I made a couple more attempts to start building some design cred, but then...

D&D 3E. When I found out that a 3rd edition was coming, I was super-happy. I was ready for the game to get a face-lift. I bought the new books, started a new group and begin playing in earnest, still hoping to become an official D&D designer. I felt like I was just getting into my 3E groove when 3.5 was released, upsetting the apple cart. I got a new group of players, just freshly starting College and I continued to play, with the release of the SRD/d20 license I took a stab at producing my own content professionally. The latter didn't work out, so I just stayed on the consumer side.

D&D 4E. Was unwanted. My friends were eager to switch to it, but all the marketing coming out for it really made me feel sour about it. We did Keep on the Shadowfell twice with me DMing, and thereafter I told the group I wouldn't DM 4E. I made another stab at the game as a player, but it just wasn't for me. I bowed out, and my game group tried out several other games during this period, with the two most successful including Vampire and Savage Worlds.

PATHFINDER. When Pathfinder came out, our group switched to it with gusto. We played until the group parted ways, just a few months prior to the release of 5E.

D&D 5E. I was very skeptical about 5E, but bought the starter set to give it a try. My two children and wife were the starting group, and by the end of the adventure my brother, his wife and my own parents had all played it and had great fun with it. So, I fully adopted the ruleset, picked up some more players at the local FLGS, and have been playing it since then.
 

Oofta

Legend
It all started back in the late 20th century in an age long ago when memorabilia commemorating the 200th anniversary of the USA could still be found around the house. I was friends with 3 brothers and one had gone off to college. When he came back he brought back this brown box with rules for playing fantasy characters. As a big fan of fantasy, sci-fi and Tolkien, here was a game where I could play a hobbit thief or a dwarven fighting man! Yeah, the rules were pretty simple and everybody did a D6 damage with weapons, but we were hooked.

After playing that for the summer we found the basic set blue box edition and it was gaming almost every weekend. Oddly, we played differently than a lot of people. Lethality was pretty low (except for the elf I tried to play*) with plenty of "pools of healing water" and even "resurrection roots" although I don't remember ever using the latter. We rotated DMing, using a LotR board game map as our basis. While dungeons were a big part of play and my favorite was a dungeon I made where the corridors spelled out if I remember correctly DOOM, DEATH and DESTRUCTION. That or the 3x5 card I handed to one of the players that had "una de podera vive" ("one of power lives" in Spanish) that woke up a lich when the player read it out loud. :devilish: I also did my first draft of my home campaign world that I still use to this day.

I continued to play off and on in college, switching to AD&D. Fun times except for the DM who decided that his version of the SAW movies would be a lot of fun. It included a die roll and a giant hand that came out of the wall and killed a random PC. The fact that we each had 2 PCs should have been a warning. My elf PC was the second PC to die, my human cleric the last of the group in a TPK when I just gave up on the stupidity.

After college it was a few years before I started playing again, this time in AD&D 2E. At first things went quite well and then our DM grew tired of DMing and rather than just admit it started to do everything he could to be annoying. It didn't take that long before I decided to take up DMing again, to this day I DM more than I play. I did get to play some though through Living City where I almost made a DM cry because he killed off my elven ranger. I, of course, just laughed and explained the curse when he offered to have an NPC cast reincarnation on me. We started sharing DMing duties and had fun with Skills & Powers, especially my barbarian who refused to ever lie.

When 3E came along, I was so happy to get away from THAC0 and dice rolling weirdness. Sometimes rolling high was good, sometimes bad, not to mention negative ACs. However, in 3E there were some brutal things like orcs that could do 4x damage with a crit that led to one of my few near-TPKs when they killed off all the PCs but the wizard who ran. I was also active in Living Greyhawk where my elven wizard was eaten. On the other hand, my dwarven two-weapon fighter was truly broken. I was also part of a group that helped "break" modules play tested for our region including things like my half-orc grappler that won initiative, just ignored all the BBEG wizard's lackeys and ran to the wizard and wrestled him to death. Grappling really was kind of broken, almost as much as the same multi-classed character enlarging himself and having a spiked chain so he had reach and anyone that came close got attacked because you triggered an AOO if you moved anywhere in a threatened area.

But 3.x kind of started to fall apart at around 14th level when everyone was just kind of support for the bored player of the optimized wizard would wake up and decimate everything in a 2 mile radius on their turn. The game could still be pretty accidentally deadly with -10 HP being dead as my elven rogue found out.

So when 4E came out we embraced it, at first it felt like a breath of fresh air. Except of course for my elven paladin when I said I didn't need healing just yet, I had only failed a single death save. I rolled a one on my next death save and they died of course. But I did have fun for a while and even ran or helped run a couple of game days for LFR in a major metro area. I wasn't super happy about every PC having to follow the same AEDU structure, but I did have some fun characters. I appreciated that my cleric could both do damage (so many D12s at high levels) and heal on the same turn. But eventually I burned out on the edition between playing and running games to 30th level.

Towards the end of 4E we were debating whether to switch to PF or go back to 3.5. Then 5E was announced and our enthusiasm returned. Once again, it felt like I was playing the game I had grown up with. I started a new campaign (only 1 player out of a couple of groups wanted to continue 4E) and I've been running and playing ever since. Of course when I had a chance to play 5E instead of DMing I jumped on the chance and wrote up a wood elf monk. The first game, last encounter, he was hit with a critical strike and died instantly. It felt like old times. :)

*Yes, my curse of elven PCs dying started with basic. 🤷‍♂️
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I've done a post similar to this a number of times and its always fun. Imma go with a mostly rambling diary than a strict mechanical breakdown.

1E
My old man was a very active type. Active in not being inside that is. He was an avid hunter/fishermen and is in the fast pitch softball hall of fame. Video games baffled him and he only watched sports on TV. The reason this is important to note, is that I always had an interest in fantasy novels and gaming, but I had zero role models to help me make sense of them. Just my little brother who also had an interest in fantasy novels and gaming. We got a box set at some point but we couldn't make heads or tails of it. What we did play the ever loving crap out of was Heroquest and im baffled to this day there is no D&D equivalent. So, I had mere rules exposure to this era, but no real play experience.

2E
In this era I had a series of short experiences that always ended in failure. Others my age that didnt have a full grasp on the game. A single session during a sleep over here, a summer camp session there. Still no role models and not a lot of friends to play the game with. During high school there was a group but they very much treated it like a secret organization and they were not welcoming to others. Particularly others that were on the football team and sat at the cool table. Id occasionally get a conversation in class about the games they were playing, but never any invites. During college I got an invite to some folks who played at a pizza shop where we smoked cigs and a drank coffee into the wee hours. Those games were just chaotic. The players characters never trusted one another and eventually devolved into PvP over a handful of coins or some other trivial matter. Simply not serious play and groups just not built to last.

3E
Didnt play at all for a number of years. I finally found some cool cats to play with around 2005 and began to learn about this 3E that was now in its 3.5 edition state. The MMO was a fertile training ground and spurred a lot of interest in table top again. The system mastery required was daunting, but exciting all the same. My group finally played the game and stopped chuckle heading around and killing each other. There was lots of growing pains as I learned a very complex system as both player and GM. I had some older folks in my group that had a lot of old school baggage that made playing 3E sort of weird. At the time it could be frustrating, but now I look back at this era as an education period. I finally had a handle on the system and was really interested into getting into game mastering and designing my own adventures when 4E was announced.

4E
It was at this point I was working a third shift job that gave me copious amounts of time to surf the net. Thats when I stumbled onto places like EN World and started to put my ear to the ground on D&D and TTRPGs. 4E was not a welcome announcement for me as I finally felt like I had a handle on 3E. Though, it kind of felt like gaming history and was excited to finally be on the early stages of it. The more I read though sounded like tossing the baby out with the bathwater. The "fixes" seemed extreme to me. The greatest sin though was taking away 3E leggo style character building, multiclassing, etc.. I found myself very bummed that I couldnt make a striker, defender, controller, leader fighter. I had to choose entirely different classes to do that. Each one had path A or path B. It was stifling. Also, I was not happy about no barb, bard, or sorc which became my favorites in 3E. I know eventually PHB 2,3,4,5,6,7 would come along, but launch was not a good first impression for me. My group did not want to go through another learning period like they did with 3E. Since I was nonplussed by 4E, we simply didnt adopt. Out of curiosity I did eventually play in a 4E campaign. I could see why a tactics minded group would like it, but combat was too slow and ionvolved for my taste, but im greatful for learning a lot in this period about what type of gamer I am and the things I desire.

PF1
So, im sitting here still playing 3E. All I needed was adventures. Paizo adventure paths enter the chat and blew my mind. These campaign kits were like four course meals to a starving man. I ate them up and served many great campaigns to my play groups. We loved the familiarity with 3E and a couple adjustments. We could dive right in and enjoy the pace. Golarion being a single setting allowed us all to learn about that too with out drowning in a sea of options. Paizo took what they learned from years with D&D and applied it smartly and profricently. Setting, mechanics, gaming products, it was the cats meow. I could have played this edition forever...

5E
Annoucnemnt droped that the 4E was tossing in the towel. A massive E war, lofty economic expectations, and a series of errors made WotC call it quits on 4E. After seeing the community reach out and playtest success of Paizo, it would seem WotC took note for once and made their own journey with the D&D community. Polls, playtests, the NEXT edition. I was pretty happy with PF1, but also really interesed in giving my opinions to WotC. What dropped seemed like a very streamlined 3E with a few 4E treatments. Unlike previous editions, it didnt look daunting to learn, but at this point it didnt look exciting either. I kept with PF1after launch, but have to admit, bounded accuracy was something I was very jealous about missing in my PF1 game. I did play in two campaigns of 5E over the years. One was to learn the system, and it just wasnt exciting. I did get its causal vibe though and certainly think its a good look for D&D. My next campaign was to see how WotC was doing with adventures. Seemed rather pale in comparison to what I was used to. 5E is fine, ill play a game with a trusted GM who will bring an exciting campaign. If im in the GM seat, looking in a different direction.

PF2
Well, it had been 10 years with PF1 and nearly 20 with 3E, it was bound to happen. I started having some deja vu during the playtest and reveal of 4E days. I wa ssaddened that many of the items I liked, got axed during playtest, and everything I didnt got expanded on. I eventually just dropped out. I still had plenty of PF1 adventures to run. I did come back and kick the tires a little because of that damn curiosity of mine. PF2 is a solid game, but maybe too solid for my tatses. That tactical combat bit that I didnt like in 4E is present here too, which makes this not something I want play. I do keep my eye on developments and adventure paths though as I still very much admire Paizo. Also, covid killed my gaming group. Not any of the players, just cut us apart and we havent been able to put it all back together again since.

5E continued...
Well, its super successful so why mess it up? Seems WotC is going to fine tune and stay the course. Not exciting, but for once, seems like a solid decision for D&D (not those who hate it of course). I am interested in the Vecna adventure. I might try and run it if I can find a group. Not a super high priority though. Most iof my gaming is elsewhere in Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, and Battletech these days.

Honorable mention; DCC
Somewhere in there DCC dropped. I had a blast revisting old school skill play. I was also able to bond with some of my older gamer firends. I dont consider this a long term option at all, but ill oneshot anytime for fun and palate cleanse between other TTRPG options.
 

AK81

Explorer
5E:
I was one of the people who started playing during the heydays of 5e in 2020 during the pandemic. I have always been roleplay and geek culture adjecent, but coming from a small country in Europe there wasn't many people to play with as I grew up.
I did read some Forgotten Realms novels in my teens, especially the early Drizzt novels, and I also played games like Neverwinter Nights.

Then when Critical Role was at its most popular, and DnD was played on Stranger Things. My younger siblings started talking about wanting to play. I jumped on the chance when I got it, and bought the Starter Set with Lost Mines of Phandelver. It was great and we all loved it. It turned into a full campaign that ended at level 13. Although we still get the old characters back out every Christmas to do a Christmas One-Shot. We plan to do this until the characters reach level 20 😃

Now we are on our second campaign and just hit level 9. We are still using 5e rules, but playing in Star Wars. We are using the Star Wars 5e homebrew rules. And it has been great.
I have had a great time with 5e, but am interested in trying a new system for my next campaign when the Star Wars one is finished.
 

damiller

Adventurer
Hmm..Mine strays from D&D a teeny tiny bit...
and like any adventure
Starts before breakfast
or second breakfast

Red Box Erol Otus cover. Loved the art. All I remember from that was a long hallway that my hafling adventurer, cleverly named, Lerrad Rellim, died after inspecting a skeletal remains.

With that adventure my twin and I tried our hand with the Elmore cover Basic DnD.

But I noticed something amiss.

I wanted my MTV,

and Superheroes.

But what I got first was the Middle Earth Roleplaying adventure set. At a church ski retreat (hey, even jesus liked to shred some snow!!!) I opted for spending quality time with Gauntlet and MERP.

Alas, I never got to play MERP (has anyone?) because I couldn't understand how to play it (does anyone?) but I loved me them crit tables!!!

THEN I got me some supers

And MTV.

TSR Marvel Superheroes. Man I loved that game. Again, I think I spent WAY more time reading/creating characters than playing, but that's mostly due to the fact that I lived in a TINY town, in the 1980s. And if you know anything about either those things, then you know the towns folk thought I was satanic, and so by extension D&D and D&D related paraphernalia. Or maybe it was the other way around. I don't know, I never read those Tracks about Chicks.

My problem with TSR Marvel was I wanted rules or support for the Opera part of the Super, but I was too new to know that 1) I don't need rules 2) how to structure those things without rules 3) rules for that are ok too. That's changed.

Then I went into orbit with FASA Trek. The career system was the first I'd ever seen, and I enjoyed the loss of control when creating a character.

You guessed it.

I played it once. The mostly recreated Captain Kirk over and over.

About the same time I found Star Wars d6.

And you guessed it.

Wrong though.

This one I did play the hell out of because Star Was really popular, then. Now too, though. The last session we played a Wookie PC named Maudibshaihalud (bad spelling, worse book) was left being towed in space after trying to fix damage on the outside of the ship when it was attacked.

After that I joined a cult and they said I couldn't play pretend anymore except in their special jamies.

In the year 2000, with the coming of the 3rd Edition. I rejoined the RPG community, and left the cult.

And you guessed it.

I played a lot of STAR WARS 3rd. I never have been much for fantasy, save for LOTR. I used the system as a teacher to prepare my students for tests. We had like 12 kids around a table who could only take an action if they got a science question right. At the very least I had kids paying attention. And you can guess what the towns folk still thought of me.

This was also the time that Mutants and Masterminds 1e came to be. I loved it. I loved that it was based on 3rd Edition. I loved 1e. I tried the other editions, but they never had the magic that one did. I ran a highschool club with that game, and the two members ended up killing Satan. It was wild, and still I was feared and loathed by the villagers.

Then about 2004-2008 I ran probably a dozen or more systems for my face to face group. We tried a couple of sessions of 4e, and whilst I liked the system, I was not in love with fantasy. I think I mentioned that upthread, I hope you got this far.

Then I took a breakish. I tried to run stuff, but without a dedicated group nothing really happened.

Around 2011 I discovered I could run games online, and its been a whirlwind from then on.

Today I regularly run games of One Ring, Marvel Mutliverse, DCC (Wild West version), Star Trek 2d20, Pendragon and more.

What a great time to be alive, so many choices, so many players, so much fun!!!

NOW its time for lunch.

and MTV
 

Enrico Poli1

Adventurer
When I was in primary school, before any exposure to official rpgs, I invented and played an rpg together with my brother. We called it "Charlemagne". One of us was Charlemagne and had to conquer all of Europe. The other was the DM.

GAMEBOOKS PLUS "THE DARK EYE": My cousin gifted me a Lone Wolf gamebook while I was in primary school. That sparked my interest. In the italian gamebook lines, an rpg was included , the italian translation of the german rpg "The dark eye". We enjoyed it very much. Also, in Italy there was a fantastic rpg called "Kata Kumbas". Very stylish.

MENTZER BASIC. My brother moved into unknown territory buying the italian translation of Mentzer Basic D&D. We then moved to Expert and Companion, and explored the Known World with all the fantastic Gazetteers.

AD&D2e. In my high school years (1993-1997) I joined my brother's group. We played with intensity, every Saturday afternoon. We played AD&D2e. We explored with passion the new settings: Dragonlance, Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Spelljammer, Planescape, Birthright. Sometimes we would play other games such as Vampire.
In 1997 I left the group because of life.

D&D3e and 3.5. When 3e came out I read it and appreciated it very much because its rationalization of the game. 3.5 came too early but it was a good patch, the game was bigger and better then ever. In particular I was appreciating the work of Paizo: Dungeon Magazine was of terrific quality, and I still regard Age of Worms and Savage Tide as the best adventures in the story of the game. I returned to active play and DMing, and got a second group (in the gaming association founded by one pal of my first group!). So, when 4e came out so soon and WotC "fired" Paizo, I was enraged and jumped on another boat...

PATHFINDER 1e. I enjoyed Paizo's APs for some years. (Thank you Paizo)

D&D5e. In 2016, I decided to give D&D5e a shot and instantly fell in love again. I joined a third group, DMing first and then as a player again.
I also became a collector.

OSR + AD&D1e. Some years ago, mostly because of system fatigue and need of something different, I tried many OSR systems. In particular I enjoy the specific feeling of AD&D1e.

In the end, my favourite edition is D&D5e.
 

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