Versions of D&D


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Scarab Sages

Wasn't the reprint of 2nd Ed. in the nineties considered AD&D 2.5(the Skill & Powers being some kind of 2.75?) the way 3.5 was supposed to be errata and consolidation?

Flipping through such a PHB, I nostalgically point out the first sentence in the introduction "This is not AD&D 3rd Edition!"

Should probably throw OSRIC in there (maybe as AD&D 1/3rd?).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Jal Dorak wrote:
Wasn't the reprint of 2nd Ed. in the nineties considered AD&D 2.5(the Skill & Powers being some kind of 2.75?) the way 3.5 was supposed to be errata and consolidation?

Yeap, it was called Revised or sometimes Expanded. The only thing it clearly was, "This is not 3rd edition" edition. :) They made some minor rules changes but was completely compatible with "2nd edition."

If I was making the timeline I'd go like this..

D&D 1.0 (1974) - white box classic
D&D 1.5 (1977) - red box classic
AD&D 2.0 (1978) - "1st edition", demon statue or white wizard cover
AD&D 2.5 (1989) - "2nd edition", fighter on a horse
AD&D 2.75 (1995) - "revised 2nd edition", topless barbarian dude on the cover
D&D 3.0 (2000) - "third edition"
D&D 3.5 (2003) - "third edition"
D&D 3.75 (2009) - Pathfinder RPG
D&D 4.0 (2008) - "fourth edition"

Dates are probably off, but that's how I'd outline. The stuff in the quotes is how I believe the industry labels the editions, I numbered the editions based on how I'd label them.


SirUrza wrote:
If I was making the timeline I'd go like this..

I wouldn't disagree with your timeline, but where would you put in stuff like Castles & Crusades, Hackmaster, OSRIC, etc...

I think they're becoming much more a part of the "D&D Timeline" as well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

I wouldn't put Castles & Crusades as "2.5". Yes, it hearkens back to earlier editions of the game, but its mechanics are more based on the d20 system of 3.0 and above. Even though it is not an official "d20 System" game and doesn't use full d20 System mechanics, I think its mechanics put it more firmly after 3.0.

In other words, without the change to the d20 System in 3.0 (and publication of the OGL), there would be no C&C. So maybe classify it as "retro-3" or "AD&D 3.0" or something like that.


SargonX wrote:
"AD&D 3.0" or something like that.

That sounds about right. LOL.

Liberty's Edge

Sebastian wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Not to be a contrarian, but the historical warfare games that preceded D&D had those traits, and while there are still some people that play such games, that hobby is otherwise all but extinct.
Nothing contrary to that statement, it is a fact, and it is this reason, among others, that we now have a 4E. The question on my mind isn't should we have a 4E but is this the right direction for it to have gone, and was the timing right for it. Not to mention the whole GSL thing that is best to leave alone, as in not discuss in this thread, for everyones benefit.
Ack. I don't even want to begin to have that debate again and did not mean to stir it up. All I wanted to say is that D&D nearly died before and it could die again, and there may well be nothing that anyone can do to stop it. I don't see anything inherent in D&D that will keep it from following the same fate as historical wargames.

I understand what you are saying here Sebastian, being an old Wargamer as well...but the diference is: Wargames are a very niche draw...much like War Movies...It has a much more limited audience then D&D (or other RPG's)...It has a much higher draw.

Sovereign Court

... couple quick thoughts... yes, Castles & Crusades has earned some honorable mention in the chronology. They've done a nice job preserving the Gygaxian mileau along with support of d20. Also, I would place the PRPG timeline as 2008 Beta. There are many of us that began playing with the 65 page guide technically before even the release of 4.

Maybe...
PRPG 2008
4e 2008

...just my two cp worth...


Historical board wargames are not dead! But they are not nearly as popular...
There are a lot of websites that still offer board wargames for sale, and even more that offer printable games... and there are companies out there still producing them!
consimworld and webgrognards are 2 nice wargame websites with links to just about everywhere else...

Excuse me... I love board wargames and have a grand collection! Actually played them before getting into RPG's...

The Exchange

DoppleGangster wrote:

Historical board wargames are not dead! But they are not nearly as popular...

There are a lot of websites that still offer board wargames for sale, and even more that offer printable games... and there are companies out there still producing them!
consimworld and webgrognards are 2 nice wargame websites with links to just about everywhere else...

Excuse me... I love board wargames and have a grand collection! Actually played them before getting into RPG's...

He didn't say it was dead just all but dead.


Crimson Jester wrote:


He didn't say it was dead just all but dead.

Wow!

OK...sorry...
Sheesh...
No offense intended...

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Dread wrote:


I understand what you are saying here Sebastian, being an old Wargamer as well...but the diference is: Wargames are a very niche draw...much like War Movies...It has a much more limited audience then D&D (or other RPG's)...It has a much higher draw.

Maybe, but it was less of a niche before D&D came out and either cannablized its player base or opened the door for non-historical wargames that have proven much more popular (Warhammer, Mageknight, etc). And D&D is still very much a niche draw. Compare it to its own successor product that achieved greater popularity and a larger player base - Magic. Magic is still a niche, but it's less of a niche than D&D, and just like D&D diverted players that might have gotten into historical war games, Magic diverted players that might have gotten into D&D. And now, WoW is undoutably divering players that might have gotten into D&D. If enough players are diverted, the niche shrinks and shrinks. It may survive, but only so long as the older generation that played as kids is around. Once they are gone...

Liberty's Edge

unless we make sure we bring in younger players...if each player recruits say 10 younger players, then at least 2-3 of those will continue to play when they are older...I know thats how many players got into the game...word of mouth does wonders ;)


Dread wrote:
unless we make sure we bring in younger players...if each player recruits say 10 younger players, then at least 2-3 of those will continue to play when they are older...I know thats how many players got into the game...word of mouth does wonders ;)

I've often thought of DMing a group of younger kids to introduce them to D&D, but its always seemed sort of... weird. Unless you know the kids and their parents anyway.


For some random thoughts...

Had one group of youngsters looking for someone to run Shadowrun for them back in 1990 spot my name on the hobby shop bulletin board. I found out years later that several of the parents hired a private investigator to check on me: couldn’t see why an adult would put up with a bunch of 12-year-olds who wanted to play a game. Why? Because they learned fast, quite a few of them later ran games that I got to play in, and most of them are still playing RPG’s today (some are out of touch).

Basic D&D could be quite a lot of fun. Of course, the more detailed you want your characters to be, the longer they take to create - and things tend to get more complicated with each supplement, since they have to put something in them.

The Players Option system was abusable, but any flexible system is. Pretty rare these days to find anyone using it though. These days we mostly use Eclipse: The Codex Persona for d20 games, because it’s basically Hero for d20 - but stays compatible with the standard classes for those who want to take a shortcut and because you can get it for free over at RPGNow ( http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=51255 ) (a plug because I’d like to see wider use of d20 point-buy systems. It lets me make much odder characters).

I can’t really count 4'th edition as anything but a new game: the disconnect between “I throw dirt in his eyes!” and “You can’t do that because you don’t have that per-encounter ability!” is just too weird to count it a RPG.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
veector wrote:
I wouldn't disagree with your timeline, but where would you put in stuff like Castles & Crusades, Hackmaster, OSRIC, etc... I think they're becoming much more a part of the "D&D Timeline" as well.

To be honest though, I'd don't play any of those and know very little about any of them, I'm not really the one to place them.. but here goes.

OD&D 1.00 (1974) - white box classic
OD&D 1.50 (1977) - red box classic
AD&D 2.00 (1978) - "1st edition", demon statue or white wizard cover
AD&D 2.25 (2007) - Osric
AD&D 2.50 (1989) - "2nd edition", fighter on a horse
AD&D 2.75 (1995) - "revised 2nd edition", topless barbarian dude on the cover
AD&D 2.80 (2001) - Hackmaster
D&D 3.00 (2000) - "third edition"
D&D 3.05 (2004) - Castles & Crusades
D&D 3.50 (2003) - "third edition"
D&D 3.75 (2009) - Pathfinder RPG
D&D 4.00 (2008) - "fourth edition"

If I understand Osric correctly, it's based off 1st edition AD&D, so it comes before 2nd edition AD&D.

Hackmaster, if I'm not mistaken is just another iteration of AD&D. Similar to the revised edition TSR put out.

Castles & Crusades seemed to be 3.0 core with original D&D and AD&D parts.

TSR/WOTC D&D product should always be placed with the x.0 and x.5. IMHO, regardless of fan perceptionm until someone else is writing D&D's history, third party products are just that, third party and aren't part of the history of the game. WOTC will be writing the history of D&D until Hasbro sells them or sells D&D and that doesn't necessarily mean the new own will acknowledge third party either.


SirUrza wrote:
veector wrote:
I wouldn't disagree with your timeline, but where would you put in stuff like Castles & Crusades, Hackmaster, OSRIC, etc... I think they're becoming much more a part of the "D&D Timeline" as well.

To be honest though, I'd don't play any of those and know very little about any of them, I'm not really the one to place them.. but here goes.

OD&D 1.00 (1974) - white box classic
OD&D 1.50 (1977) - red box classic
AD&D 2.00 (1978) - "1st edition", demon statue or white wizard cover
AD&D 2.25 (2007) - Osric
AD&D 2.50 (1989) - "2nd edition", fighter on a horse
AD&D 2.75 (1995) - "revised 2nd edition", topless barbarian dude on the cover
AD&D 2.80 (2001) - Hackmaster
D&D 3.00 (2000) - "third edition"
D&D 3.05 (2004) - Castles & Crusades
D&D 3.50 (2003) - "third edition"
D&D 3.75 (2009) - Pathfinder RPG
D&D 4.00 (2008) - "fourth edition"

If I understand Osric correctly, it's based off 1st edition AD&D, so it comes before 2nd edition AD&D.

Hackmaster, if I'm not mistaken is just another iteration of AD&D. Similar to the revised edition TSR put out

OSRIC is an SRD of a revised 1st edition. Hackmaster is based off 1st edition AD&D around the time of 1st ed Unearthed Arcana (which should be considered another version in itself). You are also leaving out the 2nd edition Player's Option series that made substantial changes in the rules.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

darth_borehd wrote:


Hackmaster is based off 1st edition AD&D around the time of 1st ed Unearthed Arcana (which should be considered another version in itself).

Yeah, I also thought Hackmaster was more based off 1e than 2e, but having never played either game (Hackmaster or 1e), I can't say for sure.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I wouldn't consider Alternate rules different versions of the game... I call them splat books and wastes of money (because a lot of DMs say no to using them.) :P


I found this wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editions_of_Dungeons_%26_Dragons

I noticed they don't mention Pathfinder. :)


SirUrza wrote:
I wouldn't consider Alternate rules different versions of the game... I call them splat books and wastes of money (because a lot of DMs say no to using them.) :P

I think that is a matter of personal preference. One can see them as alternative versions of the main rules. However, a they could also be seen as intermediate steps to the next version because a lot of the features found in 1st ed Unearthed Arcana, Player's Option, et al, turn up in some form in the official rules of the next version.

Liberty's Edge

veector wrote:
Dread wrote:
unless we make sure we bring in younger players...if each player recruits say 10 younger players, then at least 2-3 of those will continue to play when they are older...I know thats how many players got into the game...word of mouth does wonders ;)
I've often thought of DMing a group of younger kids to introduce them to D&D, but its always seemed sort of... weird. Unless you know the kids and their parents anyway.

Yeah, Its something I probably wouldnt do because of the thoughts of others....also the possible risk for misunderstandings...Im more inclined to (and have) go in the direction of allowing friends and families kids to play....teaching them the game.


Fake Healer wrote:
You seem to be missing the 'Basic D&D' era that came in the boxes (red, blue, etc. as an example). They were classified as Basic Rules (red cover), Expert Rules (blue), Companion Rules (green, supporting levels 15 through 25), Master Rules (black, supporting levels 26 through 36), and Immortal Rules (gold, supporting Immortals - characters who had transcended levels).

Thanks for listing those. I couldn't remember the breakdowns, but that is what the 4e heroic/paragon/epic remind me of. Especially with all the 'ways to turn your character into a god' clips they posted.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
darth_borehd wrote:

I found this wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editions_of_Dungeons_%26_Dragons

I noticed they don't mention Pathfinder. :)

Of course they don't, because Pathfinder and the others aren't part of the Dungeons & Dragons brand, they're derivatives of Dungeons & Dragons.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
darth_borehd wrote:
I think that is a matter of personal preference. One can see them as alternative versions of the main rules. However, a they could also be seen as intermediate steps to the next version because a lot of the features found in 1st ed Unearthed Arcana, Player's Option, et al, turn up in some form in the official rules of the next version.

Except that a lot of DMs didn't allow a lot of the AD&D options after they discovered how poorly tested and imbalanced they were. TSR in the days of 2nd edition AD&D wasn't allowed to playtest because they weren't being paid to play games. :P

Liberty's Edge

darth_borehd wrote:
Hackmaster is based off 1st edition AD&D around the time of 1st ed Unearthed Arcana (which should be considered another version in itself).

i don't know if i'd consider unearthed arcana a "different version", per se. maybe like the first "splatbook" for the AD&D era (the "greyhawk", "blackmoor" and "eldrich wizardy" books being the first "splatbooks" for ODD...). all it really did was add a couple of classes, some spells, equipment, social classes, stuff like that. it didnt really change any major mechanics (unless you want to consider making the paladin a sub-class of cavalier and introducing the % score to con and dex a major change).

(i don't know how to do multi-quote). unearthed arcana in 1e was considered an "official" rulebook, not "optional rules" like ogl d20 splatbooks are. it was a different time in the age of gygax...

Sovereign Court

Does anyone else see the chronology placing PRPG before 4e? I seem to recall having a version of it in hand, long before 4e manuals were on shelves, or on the net for that matter... thoughts?


houstonderek wrote:
unearthed arcana in 1e was considered an "official" rulebook, not "optional rules" like ogl d20 splatbooks are. it was a different time in the age of gygax...

I think he meant it to be the 1.5 edition. UA, and Oriental Adventures, were experiments to see how he could tweak the game, and how well it would stand up.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Quentyn wrote:
The Players Option system was abusable, but any flexible system is.

I found it useful mostly as a DM resource. The class building rules worked especially well for creating cultural variants, specialty priests, training orders, etc. for a campaign setting. Requiring players to use the DM-created variants as the baseline and disallowing any removal of class abilities from the baseline prevented the worst potential abuse (and also prevented characters who didn't fit in the setting).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Sebastian wrote:
Dread wrote:


I understand what you are saying here Sebastian, being an old Wargamer as well...but the diference is: Wargames are a very niche draw...much like War Movies...It has a much more limited audience then D&D (or other RPG's)...It has a much higher draw.
Maybe, but it was less of a niche before D&D came out and either cannablized its player base or opened the door for non-historical wargames that have proven much more popular (Warhammer, Mageknight, etc). And D&D is still very much a niche draw. Compare it to its own successor product that achieved greater popularity and a larger player base - Magic. Magic is still a niche, but it's less of a niche than D&D, and just like D&D diverted players that might have gotten into historical war games, Magic diverted players that might have gotten into D&D. And now, WoW is undoutably divering players that might have gotten into D&D. If enough players are diverted, the niche shrinks and shrinks. It may survive, but only so long as the older generation that played as kids is around. Once they are gone...

I have never played old Wargaming stuff other than a couple of the old Avalon Hill games. So I am not really qualified but do you think the Axis and Allies Miniature game is filling that niche a bit these days. It seems very successful.


Khalarak wrote:
CourtFool wrote:
veector wrote:
For example, I was teaching my brother-in-law the basics of D&D the other day and one thing I found myself stumbling over was "why do ability scores range between the numbers 3 and 18".
A sacred cow perhaps?

It's based on the concept that you're rolling 3d6 to come up with your stats, or some variation thereof; this is fast becoming a sacred cow of sorts as more and more people simply buy stats with points, but rolled stats are one sacred cow I'm rather fond of. I named her Bessie, and occasionally trot her out for old times' sake.

And hey, barring a player who rolls ridiculously well, it works. If someone rolls low, you can just let them reroll.

I like the option where your players roll 4d6 (re-rolling ones and twos); drop the lowest die and tally. Repeat this 7 times and drop the lowest score.

Repeat the entire shebang three times and pick the set you like.

I have fewer dissatisfied customers that way.

But you're right- it works equally well to give them a ninety-five point dice pool and let them put the points where they like.

Or give them 1-18, 1-17, 1-16, 2-15s, & 1-14.


veector wrote:
Dread wrote:
unless we make sure we bring in younger players...if each player recruits say 10 younger players, then at least 2-3 of those will continue to play when they are older...I know thats how many players got into the game...word of mouth does wonders ;)
I've often thought of DMing a group of younger kids to introduce them to D&D, but its always seemed sort of... weird. Unless you know the kids and their parents anyway.

Unless, of course you all work together in a retail-sales environment. I'm 50+; and the ages of my Wednesday night group range from 21-29. I host it at my house; and yes, there is wry amusement when one of my players introduces me to one of their parents, and they notice I'm the same age they are... LOL.

They get to see the guy who dragged their kid away from a computer and put them into a social-gaming environment.

We sometimes go as a group to see new movies (like HellBoy II last week).

It's the only way the system keeps going.


SirUrza wrote:
darth_borehd wrote:

I found this wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editions_of_Dungeons_%26_Dragons

I noticed they don't mention Pathfinder. :)

Of course they don't, because Pathfinder and the others aren't part of the Dungeons & Dragons brand, they're derivatives of Dungeons & Dragons.

There is, however, a separate Wikipedia entry for Pathfinder:

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