Kendal

Best Version of DnD?

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My favorite is Pathfinder - with house rules. (It took over the #1 spot with Advanced Player's Guide - which is pretty much when it became more than a 3.5 clone, and started striking off in a new direction.)

 

Two of my players will tell you that BECMI was and is the bast.

 

I would be very willing to try 5e, but aside from some modern games, do not have an urge to run it.

 

4e... I consider a broken covenant - WotC expecting people to go to the new game with no respect for those players that did not like the changes. I cannot separate my dislike for the system from my hatred of the way that they bungled the change. Tried the game - the first scenario had a fight with a green dragon and kobolds that lasted longer than we were willing to play. So, we quit, battle unfinished. As an introduction to the game, that battle was not fun, not at all.)

 

3e-3.5 - Pathfinder has taken that role.

 

The Auld Grump

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As everyone has said, the "best" version is the one you and your friends enjoy playing.  Personally, I think RPGs depend far more on the people than the mechanics, but I'll throw some of my opinions out.

 

1E: Before my time.  I've flipped through the books and run some of the adventures under later systems, but I've never played a game of straight up 1st.

 

2E: The system I actually started with in the 90s.  Most of my time was spent in the world of Dark Sun, but it had a lot of enjoyable settings.  I haven't played it since 3E came out though, and I'm not sure how much I would actually enjoy going back.  Game design has advanced during the last few decades and I suspect I would need more than a handful of house rules to get what I want out of it.

 

3(.5/pathfinder)E:  Believe it or not, game designers do listen to the fans and each system is a reflection of that.  By the end, 2E was all over the place and needed some streamlining.  Your average person prefers to add instead of subtract.  And another big one, players wanted to mix and match races and classes without worrying about level limits.  3E gave us the feat system, open class/race options (though some combinations appealed to min/maxers more than others) and no more THAC0.  The continuing success of the system under pathfinder says a lot about the robustness of the system and how well it was put together.

 

4E:  What was one of the big complaints about 3E?  Linear warriors vs. exponential wizards.  To put it another way, the classes were balanced across 20 levels rather than at any given level.  Marketing aside, if you look at 4E as an attempt to make all of the classes balanced at every level a lot of the design choices make sense.  Another goal was to take most of the art out of encounter design and make it easy, which gave us the +/- level encounter lists.  My group at the time really liked it and in spite of its flaws I enjoyed playing it as well.

 

5E: I haven't played 5E since the playtest, but the design philosophy is once again a reflection of comments made on the previous system.  Love or hate 4E as a system, the big complaint was that it didn't "feel" like DnD.  Turns out that for all the complaining people did about class progression in 3E, a lot of people expect their classes to progress like they did prior to 4E.  Thus 5E was all about discovering the "core" experience of DnD.  From the comments I've seen online it appears that they did a pretty good job of hitting their target.

 

C&C + the OSR:  All about people trying to recapture what they believe to be the "feel" of DnD.  From the ones I've seen, that feel appears to be a 1E style of play but, full disclosure, I have no nostalgia for 1E and haven't spent much time with the OSR.  C&C I have the core books and some adventures for, and it is well put together.  Good for all the greybeards out there. :;):

 

13th Age:  Once again all about designers going for what they feel is the version of DnD that they would like to play, we have a 3E/4E/indie hybrid that I found to be pretty enjoyable.

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Pathfinder. I loved 3.x in its day, and I glommed right on to PF when I started playing again. I love all the stuff. It's fun. I enjoy the Golarion setting (especially how they handle it) and the monthly AP installments, so it all really works for me. It's broken and has all the maths, but it's the maths I know by heart.

 

5e is fine. It doesn't get me excited, though. Simple, easy system, all that, but eh. It's the living system of the name-brand game--at least for now lol--so I'll play it with my buds and all's well.

 

Still have a ton of fun with 2nd Edition AD&D, if that's what's on the table. Grew up with it, so nostalgia helps.

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while all of the editions have advantages and disadvantages, 1st/2nd ed is still D&D to me.  even 4th ed has it's good points such as rules for making a good encounter per level, but effectively destroying the classic spell system was just wrong.

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Why no love for Rules Cyclopedia/BECMI D&D?? That's what I'm running right now for my Friday night games.

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OD&D: Tremendously innovative concept, poor design (horrific writing), terrible development, nonexistent playtesting. But the concept carried all the bad stuff. Still, the bad stuff meant that by '79 I was already effectively out of the ecosystem into 2nd gen. systems like Runequest.

 

AD&D1: Rewritten OD&D that did more playtesting and had better writing. But it still badly needed a good developer. Because I'd been playing Hero, Runequest, Traveller, whatever, I didn't really get into this until a friend started a campaign late in its history (overlapping AD&D2). Badly mechanically broken, but like any system fun with the right group. It helped that I understood how it was broken and that the GM was entertaining.

 

AD&D2: Rewritten AD&D1 that still didn't really address the fundamental flaws of OD&D, but much better organized and written. Good world design, but still essentially a 1st gen. game.

 

D&D3/3.5: Pretty strong 2nd gen. game. Good attempt to fix the basic problems of the game, though the writing  and organization were still very weak. Maintained the "simulationist" design ethic of the earlier editions while trying for a much more coherent game. (3.5 was essentially just an errata set for 3.0).

 

Pathfinder: Rewrite of 3.5 with a fairly successful rebalancing of classes. Much better organization, plus the choice to include all the mechanics in the free-to-use info was very useful. Still poor technical writing, but much better game.

 

D&D4: Major switch from "simulationist" to "gameist" design. The result was a game that was well balanced but (to my mind) both inflexible and bland. Sort of the Netrunner of RPGs; the choices you made in character design were either obvious or uninteresting. Rollout was a huge failure for WotC. Tried it, disliked it, dumped it.

 

D&D5: WotC lost me with 4. Haven't tried it; not really interested. If I go to another system from Pathfinder (which is largely a greatest common denominator game), it will be to 7th Sea, Savage Worlds, GURPS, Hero, or some other game I like better than any version of D&D.

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I couldn't even answer this because I play 1&2 so that:

 

A. I know there will be no new mechanical surprises or gamebreaking stuff

B. It lets me slay dragons and monsters for loot

C. It works with all my dice and minis

D. I haven't had to buy a new book since 1994

 

I'm future-proofed on account of living in the past.

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My vote would be Pathfinder.

 

But the REAL vote should be any of them, just play one!

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I couldn't even answer this because I play 1&2 so that:

A. I know there will be no new mechanical surprises or gamebreaking stuff

B. It lets me slay dragons and monsters for loot

C. It works with all my dice and minis

D. I haven't had to buy a new book since 1994

I'm future-proofed on account of living in the past.

You are my favorite goblin ::): I plan on telling everyone that I am future-proofed.

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An awful lot of it depends on the DM, as well as the group. With a good DM, good group and fun story I really did have a ton of fun with the 0E/Cylopedia rules. That's a good long while ago, though.

 

Currently still playing 3.5, mainly because we haven't had enough actual play time to work through the adventure material we've already got. I could see myself moving up to 5th edition eventually, I've tried it a couple of times at conventions. Pathfinder still feels a lot like 3.5 to me, I've played it a fair bit but I'm not feeling an incentive to switch.

 

Still dreaming of the D&D themed retirement home where we can finally get enough time to do some serious gaming. :;):

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An awful lot of it depends on the DM, as well as the group. With a good DM, good group and fun story I really did have a ton of fun with the 0E/Cylopedia rules. That's a good long while ago, though.

 

Currently still playing 3.5, mainly because we haven't had enough actual play time to work through the adventure material we've already got. I could see myself moving up to 5th edition eventually, I've tried it a couple of times at conventions. Pathfinder still feels a lot like 3.5 to me, I've played it a fair bit but I'm not feeling an incentive to switch.

 

Still dreaming of the D&D themed retirement home where we can finally get enough time to do some serious gaming. :;):

Dear Lords of Lead, please let me win the Mega so I can do this.....

 

1st ed was the game when I was introduced to the whole Concept of RPGs back in 1977....

We used all the Basic and Expert stuff as if it was AD&D....

Have pretty much all of the books / Adventures / supplements etc...

 

Switched to 2nd ed in collage in the early 90s, but we basically converted our ongoing Forgotten Realms game characters and kept on keepin on...

The addition of the skills and specialist classes was fun...

(one of my players wants to go back to this.... Says to much crap in 3/3.5/PF...)

 

Switched over to 3/3.5 when it came out had lots of fun, liked the skills and feats... Yeah there is a lot of stuff to wade through, but my core gaming group has been together a long time....

 

4th ed came out....

Many of us were Evercrack players, and to us, it was WotC trying to make the face to face, paper and pencil and dice, SOCIAL GAME into a computer game...

For whatever reason, combats for our group took FOREVER...

(We no longer own any 4th ed stuff....)

 

Pathfinder is where my group is now...

Sure there is a lot of stuff out there to wade through, but that is the kind of stuff that happens between gaming sessions, not during precious group time...

Plus, most of it is available online, so everyone that cares can find it relatively easy...

Our GM has most of the books, etc, as well as Herolab, which about half the party uses in game, so character write up isn't all that hard....

by now, we have to much invested in PF to really switch....

 

5ED- have heard good things about it, some of the concepts sound interesting, might check it out at RCon, if I have the time, and can find a n00b game...

 

Have played other systems over the years as well:

RuneQuest and it's spawn of % based systems liked many of them, but none ever really caught on in any group I ever played with, except for

Morrow Project, which was its own system that grafted on the skill system....

That game took over a 1st ed AD&D group with a vengeance...

Traveller was awesome! played that almost exclusively my whole sophomore year in high school... we started when it was the 3 book box, plus Mercenary....

Champions,  the best super hero system that I have experienced....

Shadowrun, My collage group really took off with this game when it came out! Loved the rules clean up of 2nd ed, but mourned the loss of "Turn to Goo"....

The newer stuff made interesting reading, but the current group isn't interested

Enjoyed playing Harn for a while, some of the stuff was a bit to dependent on dice though for my taste...

Top Secret was Awesome when it first came out, played quite a bit of that in HS as well, the later TSR stuff, Gangbusters, Star Frontiers never went far...

 

I also own a few RPGs that I have never gotten to play....

Twilight 2000

Firefly

James Bond

Men in Black

Space 1889

Can't remember anymore, but I am sure there are some....

 

But as others have said, it really is all about the Game, not the roolz....

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An awful lot of it depends on the DM, as well as the group. With a good DM, good group and fun story I really did have a ton of fun with the 0E/Cylopedia rules. That's a good long while ago, though.

 

Currently still playing 3.5, mainly because we haven't had enough actual play time to work through the adventure material we've already got. I could see myself moving up to 5th edition eventually, I've tried it a couple of times at conventions. Pathfinder still feels a lot like 3.5 to me, I've played it a fair bit but I'm not feeling an incentive to switch.

 

Still dreaming of the D&D themed retirement home where we can finally get enough time to do some serious gaming. :;):

 

The Auld Grump - obligatory....

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One of Megan and Jenny's co-workers wants to hire me to run Keep on the Borderlands for some younger players....

 

Much, much younger players.... (Eight to ten year olds... her son, her daughter, anywhere from four to eight players, depending on which friends they can dragoon into this.)

 

I told her that I am not willing to be paid for this, but if she feels like bribing me with pizza, I would be amendable.

 

*EDIT* Thank the gods of dice for Bones!

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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One of Megan and Jenny's co-workers wants to hire me to run Keep on the Borderlands for some younger players....

 

Much, much younger players.... (Eight to ten year olds... her son, her daughter, anywhere from four to eight players, depending on which friends they can dragoon into this.)

 

I told her that I am not willing to be paid for this, but if she feels like bribing me with pizza, I would be amendable.

 

*EDIT* Thank the gods of dice for Bones!

 

The Auld Grump

Are you playing it with the Basic D&D rules or are you converting to a different edition?

 

I've been running KotB with 5th edition since June and it's been a lot of fun!

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Pathfinder is where my group is now...

Sure there is a lot of stuff out there to wade through, but that is the kind of stuff that happens between gaming sessions, not during precious group time... Plus, most of it is available online, so everyone that cares can find it relatively easy...

Our GM has most of the books, etc, as well as Herolab, which about half the party uses in game, so character write up isn't all that hard....

by now, we have to much invested in PF to really switch....

Hero Lab!

 

If there is one digital tool that'll save you from the craziness of all the available options and material, it's that one. And not just for PF, but over a dozen game systems, and it has very good support and fan base community.

 

And I understand about heavy investment in PF. Even considering that they eventually make all their rules freely available online, it's still nice to have physical copies on the table.

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