February 15, 2014

40th D&D - Least Favorite Edition

Day 15: What was the first edition of D&D that you didn't enjoy? Why?

I have played all of the editions of D&D. My gaming life-cycle tends to follow a predictable pattern (predictable for me). I play the current edition of D&D, take a break from playing it (usually to try some other rpg games) and then start up again when the next edition comes along.

I played 1E until we stopped to play more Marvel Superheroes.
I played 2E (my longest edition) until we stopped to play White Wolf (Vampire/Werewolf/Mage).
I played 3E until we stopped to play Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea.
I played 4E until we stopped to play Savage Worlds. 

I have never gone back to play a previous edition of D&D. I either play the current edition or move onto other games. That being said, I have never stopped playing an edition because I didn't like it, but rather because we wanted to try something different.

However, to answer the question, the edition I am least likely to go back and play again at any point would be 3E. While I enjoyed my time playing it, out of all the editions it is the one I like least. I would rather play any of the editions again before I played that one.

Why? It was so ponderously heavy. By its end (though some could rightly argue that Pathfinder is really 3E continued, so it really hasn't ended) there was so much material for the game. It became a headache to run the game. If you looked at the stat block for a "named" monster it could be over a page long. Worst of all to properly play the monster you'd have to either know what every feat did or look up over ten different feats/abilities to know how they would affect things. It simply wasn't worth it. I prefer faster games; I hate looking things up in the middle of an encounter. There were too many variables in each encounter between what the player characters could do and what the monsters could do. It simply wasn't worth it.

Sure, a case could be made that you could keep 3E simple. Do not allow splatbooks, keep the levels low, limit what is allowed. However, then what's the point? If you aren't using what 3E has to offer then you are really playing something else at that point, something almost like a retroclone of 3E.

All that being said, one of my players wants to run a 3E campaign and if the group decides that is what they want to play next, I would play it and have fun. I wouldn't vote for it when the group votes for the next game, but I wouldn't hate my time playing it.


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