Which of those is your favorite?
Personally, I started with, and still love, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition. I was really excited for 3rd Edition, but that excitement was killed after reading the core rules. I haven’t played 4th Edition yet, but it sounds like it moved farther away from the things I loved about AD&D 2nd Edition.
I’m sure there’s plenty out there who agree with me, disagree with me, or don’t even care.
So what’s it going to be?
I have played just about every version of D&D, though some much much more than others. All of them have been fun with the right people and groups.
For me, system-wise, the 3.x/Pathfinder version hits my proper balance of choices, flexibility and playability.
I’ve played AD&D and 3.5.
I saw 4 and didn’t like it.
So I bought the Pathfinder core rulebook and am planning on using it from now on.
I played a lot of the editions, starting with red box basic, but mostly I played 2e. Since I’m the DM, 3e filled me with hatred and rage and made me stop playing D&D, and 4e brought me back to the game after many years. So I have mixed feelings. As a player, 2e has so much cool stuff. As a DM, 4e allows me to still have a life and play D&D. 3e is worst of both worlds.
My favorite was the 3.5 version. Pathfinder is an excellent upgrade to 3.5 which I am really pleased with. The old boxed basic set is fun to play after all these years; I think of it as the “Pong” of fantasy roleplaying games. I mean after you play all the way up to 4e and then go back to the basic set, I am like, “this is fun but there should be more that I can do…”
The D&D original box sets were it for me. Gave enough rules to play but not to many to kill the imagination
I grew up playing Basic and then AD&D and had a great time with it. I played 2nd (or 3rd?) edition once and hated it. Our board gaming group started playing 4th edition last year and I love it! The daily/at-will/encounter powers and the combat with miniatures makes it feel a lot more like a board game with epic depth. I understand how this turns off some RPG fans, but it was a huge improvement for me.
Still playing AD&D 2nd, too. I had some years of D&D 3rd / 3.5th edition but as a DM you have to start to hate this system some day. The NSC desgin is much too complicated and there’re a lot of other flaws, too.
Sure, AD&D 2nd got it’s flaws, too, but it’s still much easier to come up with NSCs, monsters and new magic. And there were so many great sourcebooks from TSR and WotC in the later stages… where has all this magic gone?
I have only played the original D&D and the original AD&D. Of the two, I prefer the original D&D. AD&D added vast quantities of rules that were thoroughly useless. For the speed of action, and the simplicity of its archetypes, D&D has a role for me. But, honestly, I quickly moved onto other systems.
Opening up the red box of Dungeons and Dragons bought from the towns toy shop is still a great memory. But playing countless campaigns in the Forgotten Realms wins hands down. 2e was teh last version I played and for me the best.
I was a big fan of 2nd edition when it came out, but eventually I went back to 1st edition (and I’m still playing it today). At this point, I am so familiar with the rules that I can DM it without the books, mostly. I never tried 3.x, but I have played 4th edition. Not my cup of tea.
I’ve played (mostly as a DM) all versions since the original Basic D&D red box. Prior to 4E, most of my D&D time was spent with 2E and I didn’t really get in to 3E very much. In my opinion, 4E is the best edition yet. Classes are well-balanced and the rules are way more streamlined. In 4E, combat encounters last a lot longer than in previous editions but they are extremely visual, dynamic and tactical. The character builder rocks too!
For anyone out there who hasn’t given 4E a fair shake, you are missing out!
I’ve played Dungeons & Dragons nearly constantly since the “red box” Basic Set of the early 1980s (when the hobby was only a decade old). Although I’ve played D&D4e (pre-Essentials), I miss the flavor and flexibility of AD&D2 and D20, so Pathfinder has been my group’s choice for my long-running homebrew campaign setting.
I’ve played multiple versions since the LBBs. The only edition I never played was Basic et al (we went from OD&D to AD&D at the time) so I’m leaving it off of the list (and BTW I count at least six editions, seven if you separate 3.0 and 3.5. Perhaps as many as nine depending on your subdivision of Holmes, Molday and Cook). It’s hard to rank them objectively, because nostalgia no doubt plays a role – but my preference is as follows (ranked favorite to least favorite):
AD&D 1st (I spent more hours playing this than any before or since)
4E (fwiw I like the essentials and wish they had been the original release and the PHs and X Power books had come later)