The Edition Wars

I’d like to take a break from my regularly scheduled writer updates to chat a bit about another passion of mine: Dungeons & Dragons. Specifically, let’s examine the edition wars and my take on them. There are so many editions, from Advanced D&D to 5th Ed, and many more opinions than there are editions. Which one’s best, and why, has been a hot button topic for decades. A lot of people say the debate ended with 5th Ed, because it brought back the classic feel of the game with modern rules. Mine is a different stance.

I’ll probably never play 5th Ed. Not because I think it’s crappy–I don’t know enough about it to judge, although a quick browse of the Player’s Handbook made me think it’s overpowered–but because I’m not going to transition to another edition. The costs these days are astronomical, and I’m not dropping hundreds of dollars on an edition I’ll probably never play. Should circumstances change in my group, or should I get into other groups, then maybe, MAYBE I’ll give in and change. I just don’t see it.

I went through a 3.5 Ed phase, and I like a lot about it. Feats are pretty cool, and I liked a lot of other fixes, too. It’s more streamlined and easier for n00bs to learn, which can be vital. 4th Ed I will never play, because, let’s face it, 4th Ed was geared towards video gamers and minis fanatics. Which, hey, there’s nothing wrong with that, and nothing wrong with wanting to play that, but I knew it wasn’t for me when someone’s claim to it being the “best” edition was that you can create a character in five minutes. Yeah, that’s taking the R out of RPG!

For me, I’m solidly in the 2nd Ed category, with the caveat that it’s heavily home brewed. The DM and I have made many sensible rules changes, judged things differently based upon party size, have brought in aspects of Skills & Powers and Combat & Tactics, and all around used 2nd Ed as a platform to create whatever the heck we wanted to create. And that’s what D&D SHOULD be: a basis for having the kind of fun YOU want to have. So sure, I have opinions on the edition wars, and strong ones at that. The bottom line with every individual, with every DM, with ever party, though, should be about having fun. If it floats your boat, it’s the perfect edition for you. Yes, even if it’s 4th Ed. Maybe 🙂

One comment

  1. Frank says:

    My son just started a first edition game with strict 3d6 character ability rolls. He’s getting a kick out of it. When I played (always as DM) I was so homebrewed—read fast and loose—the rule set hardly mattered.😀 i never believed in rules getting in the way of my story. While still giving the players the feeling they had free will. (Insert maniacal laughter here)

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