D&D General The Rubber Band Effect


log in or register to remove this ad

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
One advantage that all these years gives me is that I know no game is perfect. Then, now, or in between. That provides important context.

In terms of pull...I have warm feelings for many of my early gaming products. But when I look at them now--one is sitting about 6 feet from me as I type this, I know how good they were. Its not just warm memories.

I also know the books only count for so much. Even how most people play only counts for so much. Who you play with of course matters, but again is not the full answer. My best campaigns were with D&D, with rules I knew to be deeply flawed, surrounded by norms that weren't much better, with players who were friends, or became friends, or were really never friends. (Also, I was not a teenager). They were great.

What do I credit: stubborn determination for the campaigns to be good, and keep going.
 

Egon Spengler

"We eat gods for breakfast!"
I enjoy running TSR D&D. I do not enjoy running WotC D&D. I have a few hypotheses for why this is so, but this isn't the time or the place to get into them. Suffice it to say, "nostalgia" does not make the list. The TSR editions are good games in their own right. They're just aimed at a different play-style from the WotC editions.

D&D has evolved over time — not "evolved" in the colloquial sense (improvement over time), but in the strict sense (adapting to changing circumstances). D&D changed to fit the majority of gamers' ideas for what D&D ought to be. It changed to match audience expectations. To serve ever better the trad campaign style that has dominated the hobby since the Hickman revolution.

If you like trad play, there's little reason to abandon WotC D&D for TSR D&D. But on the flip side of that coin, if you like the wargamey play-style that the old editions support natively, it's a foolish thing to let yourself be held back by memes and myths that grossly exaggerate TSR D&D's supposed clunkiness.
 
Last edited:

Hex08

Adventurer
My fondest memories are of 2nd edition AD&D, in part because, as was previously mentioned, of the amount of time I had to play. I played 3rd edition the longest because I migrated to Pathfinder but eventually got burned out and have grown to think it's too rules heavy. I chose not to play any editions past 3.x because I was tired of dishing out cash for newer editions when I had enough material that I could play for a long time to come. When I finally moved on from Pathfinder it was to other game systems (although one of my players does occasionally run Pathfinder), primarily Savage Worlds but nostalgia for my 2E days brought me to Castles & Crusades and while it's not my primary game it is what I play when I get the urge to play D&D again.
 

theCourier

Explorer
Whatever the pull is, it's not nostalgia for me. Didn't grow up with D&D, especially not back during the 80s or 90s, and the only chance I had to play old D&D was in the 00s as a kid (I rejected it back then because I had a bit of a complex about being seen as a nerd). Got into a game of D&D (4e, but this was before I even knew about editions) around 2015-16ish, and then got super into 5e afterwards but bounced HARD off of it based on my experiences actually DMing it and playing it.

Then I found out about OSR play and systems and idk, there's just something about the restrained, down-to-earth initial impression it gave me. Looks cool, mundane maybe but I can see why people liked it. And then I delve a bit further and the scene is brimming with so much weird, gonzo, creative stuff that I can't help but wish I'd gotten into the hobby with it instead of 4 and 5e.
 

Gnosistika

Mildly Ascorbic
There is something about 2e that will always draw me back to lovingly read the books. 1e was my starter edition, but the play style was never something we enjoyed at the table. Castles & Crusades and Monsters & Magic replaced those games mechanically. But when I run that type of fantasy now I use Fantasy AGE. Yet the smell of the original 2e books and nostalgia call ever so often.
 

I definitely think there are different flavors of nostalgia. There's nostalgia for things I want to re-live, nostalgia for things I don't need to revisit, and nostalgia for things that I would be ruined if I tried to experience them again.

Old movies, classic video games, and childhoods foods are things I want to re-do. Heck, I want to share a bunch of them with my kids. They can live on forever, as far as I'm concerned.

Things like LAN parties, nights of overindulgence, and musical theatre are things that I loved the first time around, and I wouldn't give up the memories of them for the world. But I just can't see doing them again. It's simply not feasible to recreate the experiences that made them great for me.

And some things I just have to avoid. I loved the movies "Trainspotting" and "Requiem for a Dream" when I was younger, but after having someone close go through heroin addiction, there's no way can watch them again. I went to Glacier National Park when I was a kid and played on the glaciers; I don't think I could bring my kids there now. The new pain isn't something I want to mix with the fonder memories.

It would distress me to find an RPG in the third category. But I get it. I can see how it could happen.
 



AnotherGuy

Adventurer
I've committed myself to playing till level 20 with 5e. My preferred style is a slower progression.
The PCs are level 13 so we have a ways to go before rebooting.

My rubber-band is pulling me towards Mystara, with a low level start but with massive changes to the 5e chassis and some influence from OSR and C&C. But I have got to stick it through, the players are quite invested and I'd like to say, just once, I've done high level play.
 

MrZeddaPiras

[insert something clever]
Nostalgia is part of it, at least for some. But older editions of D&D are different enough they might as well be different games (different fantasy rpgs of course, but still). 5E did a remarkable job of putting all play styles under one roof, but it still lacks the openness of old-school D&D, and I guess it is not as satisfying as a miniature board game as 4E.
 


I'm a sucker for nostalgia, I'll admit. Old movies, old books, old bands. I just got a cocktail guide from 1986. I love dipping back into the old editions and games I grew up with. But I've never left the current edition for good.

One of the dangers of nostalgia, is to mistake nostalgia for quality. It's one thing to say you prefer the class system of 1e and another to say the class system of 1e is the best, not for any observable reasons other than nostalgia.
 

Nostalgia is part of it, at least for some. But older editions of D&D are different enough they might as well be different games (different fantasy rpgs of course, but still). 5E did a remarkable job of putting all play styles under one roof, but it still lacks the openness of old-school D&D, and I guess it is not as satisfying as a miniature board game as 4E.
it is no where near as balanced as 4e,
nor is it fun for people who want to play martial character/concepts but not be left out of the complex play or high level powers
 

Hex08

Adventurer
it is no where near as balanced as 4e,
nor is it fun for people who want to play martial character/concepts but not be left out of the complex play or high level powers
It seems to me this ends up being where the problem lies. All of the editions of D&D are so different: BCEMI from 1st & 2nd ed from 2nd ed with Skills and Powers from 3.x from 4E and from 5E. Some of the changes between editions are so radical that it becomes easy to say "I liked this more" or "This was better". It's not just nostalgia but also personal preference.
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top