D&D General When did you leave D&D? Why? For what game? And what brought you back?


Follower of the Way
Since someone's gonna ask: have you looked into PF 2e yet? Because it's closer to 4e DnD than any other edition thereof. I suspect you have but you didn't mention it.

It's not as openly high-magic as 4e, which I do miss and also can't find people to play with, but it definitely scratches the "DnD but the rules are actually clear" itch beautifully.
I have, but was disappointed by some of the design choices I saw.

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We struggled to get Traveller to work in that era as well. Everyone could see it should be brilliant, and I would devour Andy Slack's White Dwarf column each month, but we couldn't quite get play to spark into life.

I think the problem for us was that sci-fi was defined by a range of brands - Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, the Stainless Steel Rat, Neuromancer, Blake 7, Doctor Who - and Traveller didn't give you those. Or Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog, or ABC Warriors from 2000AD. It wasn't built from recognisable sci-fi. It was more like the computer game Elite - it did it's own thing, and you had to appreciate that thing for itself.
Yep, that was definitely a part of our problem. I think another part was similar to what you say with RM - even if the genre/"point" had been clear, it wasn't clear how to get to that destination using the tools provided.

In my Traveller Renaissance period (which started in the second half of 2017) I've approached prep and resolution in a way that is closer to Apocalypse World (something I had no idea how to do in 1978, when I got the books, or in the early to mid-80s when I dabbled with playing them). And the genre has been more "conspiracy"-oriented than action-oriented, which is a departure from the sci-fi I knew was a kid (Star Wars, a bit of Trek, Dr Who, Dan Dare).

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Played D&D in Jr and High School. Took a break for 5 years. Got a job at the FLGCS. Worked there. Someone started a D&D campaign with the staff (maybe it was 2e? I don't know, I didn't buy any of the books) but the GM moved away shortly after we started, so maybe only 2-3 sessions were played.

And THEN Shadowrun came out, and we got the video promo, which in 1990 was so cool but is super cringe now, and we had all read Tolkein AND Gibson. So we played that in the store. Eventually we ended up playing GURPS, and MegaTraveller, a session or two of Toon, another campaign of Shadowrun, and then more GURPS for a loooong time. Meanwhile I had moved away and was driving 2 hours to play every Sunday and then had kids so that was the end of that.

In 2006 I moved back to that town, and in late 2007 or early 2008 I saw the self-same FLGCS I used to work at a flyer for 4e - the points of light flyer. Super cool I thought!. And then I ran into one of my buddies from our old group and said "hey, great to see you - what do you think about trying out this 4e?" We got a bunch of the old crew together and some new folks too. Various people dropped and re-joined - but that group is still going strong. We got a forever GM for that group, which has given us some stability. So... you could say my group is 34 years going, or 16 18 years going, depending on how you want to parse it

We were playing AD&D as teenagers, and then sometime around 19 or 20, we started perusing other books. MERP caught our eye for the art and the simple fact we already knew the lore. So we played that, then that turned into Rolemaster, then Rolemaster turned into Dangerous Journeys, then Dangerous Journeys turned into Earthdawn, then Star Frontiers, then Gamma World, then James Bond 007, then Top Secret, then back to D&D. Seems crazy, but all that was in a four-year period. Some of the games we played three or four sessions and then stopped. Others we played for an entire campaign.

I think what brought us back to D&D was that we missed fantasy (we were doing space and spies for a while, and that really wasn't our jam. The other reason is all of the 2nd edition splat books. We just ate them up. Then we all moved away from one another, so I took a 15-year hiatus. Still bought the core rulebooks because I liked to read them. But career and marriage were the driving points at that time in my life. Jumped back in right when 4th edition came out.

When I started: summer of 1982 when a new kid moved inand showed me the game. (Summer before high school.)
What: AD&D 1e in “what’s a setting” and Greyhawk. Later Oriental Adventures when it came out. Player to DM.
Stopped January 1991. (Senior year in college.)
Why: Hated 2e. Was running RECON, Boot Hill, and Top Secret.
What: Player of a Half-Orc Assassin in AD&D 1e homebrew that converted to 2e in spring 1989. Played in an AD&D 1e one shot in 1990.
Restarted: Summer of 1996
What: DM of AD&D 1e in homebrew + Greyhawk. Converted to 3e and pure Greyhawk in 2001. Running 3.5e Greyhawk since 2003. At least 5 of my players have become DM’s, either of 3.5e or 5e.
Player of every D&D version but Basic/BECMI, OD&D, and 2e over this 28 year period.
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I started with Basic D&D, through 1e and 2e. But sometime in 2e, D&D felt like it had been left behind by the huge world of other RPGs that were proliferating. Me and my peers, being young and hungry, dove into just about every other rpg that we could get our hands on. By the mid 90s we really weren't playing D&D anymore and were playing a round-robin combo of things like WEG Star Wars, World of Darkness, MechWarrior, Shadowrun, among others. Then we really got deep into Champions and HERO.

For the fantasy itch, we had cobbled together a homebrew fantasy heartbreaker that looked a lot like HERO meets Stormbringer.

I did come back to D&D to check out 3e, but I didn't have a regular gaming group anymore, and I just never really got into 3e or 3.5e. In the early, mid-2000s I didn't play much, with the exception of a semi-regular Exalted campaign.

I didn't really come back to D&D until 4e, and I loved it, probably for all the same reasons that fans of other editions hate it! It really leaned into the cinematic, epic-hero storytelling I wanted from fantasy games. I was never keen on the lore changes, though, so I stuck with all my 2e books, particularly focusing in on the original "Planescape" setting.

We made the switch to 5e a few years after it came out, but it took some homebrewing and 3rd party materials to really make it feel right. Me and my group bounced off of 13th Age and PF2, even though they are kind of championed as the 4e successors (the latter leaned into the fiddly, mathy bits I don't like... really the one thing 4e gave me felt lacking, were all the cool abilities martial classes got).

I still occasionally dabble with other RPGs, but my main group will probably be sticking with our homebrewed D&D for the foreseeable future, adding what pieces we like from Revised to our toolbox.

Left BECMI to try MERP and then whfrp. Went to uni and found Chill, Role master and lots other stuff.
Didn't return till I saw a preview of 3rd on early iteration of enworld.


OG D&D, then 1e ad&d, long break (most of 2e)... then back for 3e. (and 3.5e)

Left after a legit try at 4e, ran a campaign and everything, just didn't jive with our gaming groove. We went to mainly Savage Worlds Beasts & Barbarians, ran a whole excellent campaign. Came back for 2014 5e, stoked about it! Now absolutely leaving "wotc neo-d&d" 2024 6e, it disgusts me as far as a gaming thing can. We are looking at ShadowDark and latest Castles & Crusades as possible replacements. I really hate (as much as you can hate a gaming thing) what I've seen of the new 2024 6e. Not for me is an understatement. I mean 4e was one thing, this 6e in stuff in next level bad. I'd take 4e art and feel over this 6e thing any day. But really 2014 5e was the sweet spot for us.

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