Escapist Podcast: 128: Which Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is Best?

128: Which Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is Best?

This week, we discuss the recent leaks on Dungeons & Dragons Next and argue about which edition is best. We also go over the newly announced Batman: Arkham Knight.

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About the DnD insider subscription. My problem with it was that it gave me too many new classes, races and rules. Most of the time I did not need more crunch to make games more interesting. I wanted cool fluf. More NPC's, towns, dungeon maps and so on. Also all the new crunch made for an easier to break game.

*Reads Title*

Oh's about to go down. Grab your funny shaped dice gentlemen, this could get nasty.

I vote 2nd ed*

* I've never played any of the others, but they are all clearly inferior because I haven't played them.

Also, WHFRP fo' life yo!

For me it's 3.5 all the way. A little more slick than version 3 but nowhere near as convoluted and unbalanced as version 4. Plus the 3.5 guidebooks where the easiest to read.

BECMI takes the first spot by a long-shot. 2nd edition... comes in 2nd, appropriately enough.

I'm gonna have to go with 3.5ed. I think it's an elegant, easy to understand system that allows for great individuality and wonderfully realised characters. while I do remember 2nd well enough, it had lots of restrictions and a few things which were counter intuitive. in particular, I didn't like the multiclassing or dual classing. 3.5ed allowed practically any conceivable character to be created, effective and fun to play our interact with.

I just wish they would make new, current tech, D&D 3.5ed PC cRPGs. or even's a tragedy that despite the huge success of these games in the past, there is no one anywhere in the world right now working on a new one, and likely never will be again. I'd buy it preorder based on nothing more than "new 3.5ed d&d pc game", don't even care who makes it.

why don't WotC create an in house game development studio to create d&d video games, seeing as no one else is, there's gonna be a market for them and they own the damn property? It's not like they can't afford it and it's a natural extension of their business.

I never had much in the way of opportunities to play D&D, but when I did, I read pretty much every 3.5 supplementary book I could find. I got a huge kick out of planning out obscure class/feat combinations and whatnot, and there was SO MUCH to choose from with 3.5. I took a look at 4, but it never really appealed to me.

As for why my favourite video game character isn't Ezio?
1. Because he's a protagonist, and while he's a great protagonist, and very high up there on my list of favourites, they're limited in how out there and unique they can be as characters. For example,
2. HK-47. Awesome, hilarious, and with interesting, unique things about him that just wouldn't work with a protagonist.

"There is a faction of meatbags called the Sith. They want what any rational meatbag would want - the power to assassinate anyone they choose at any time."

Usually its whatever edition you started with. Its not always true, though. I started with 4th and like it, but I like 5th better. The combat in 4th was just way too long at higher levels.

I don't have any experience with the first edition or AD&D. I started with 3.5, then moved on to 4e, which I actually enjoyed a lot more. Most of my D&D experience is with 4e. I don't subscribe to the belief that the edition you start with is the edition you like most.

Lately, I've been running a lot of Next/5e, and to me, it's great. I have played and DMed 5e, and it is certainly the edition that I'm planning on sticking with. My friends and co-players are all on board with it.

it can be factually proven that 3rd edition is the best edition of D&D so far.

If your talking about Combat and Miniatures, you've already missed the point of AD&D. It is a much more elegant system of story telling and role playing. That why if you ask people who played 2nd Edition, they will tell you they still only play 2nd Edition.

An authority has already answered this question:

If your talking about Combat and Miniatures, you've already missed the point of AD&D. It is a much more elegant system of story telling and role playing. That why if you ask people who played 2nd Edition, they will tell you they still only play 2nd Edition.

Almost everybody I play with started with 2nd. Nobody still likes it. Nor is it a good 'story telling system'. It's not a story telling system at all, story telling PNP systems rely on very fast universal mechanics that allow for an extremely broad range of effects on minimal rules, and can adopt to various ideas without requiring new rules. 2nd Ed was completely in the opposite direction with tons of different challenge/success mechanics and *everything* having its own rule.

Also: Pathfinder if that's allowed, since it greatly cleans up some of the problems with 3.5 (minus the whole splitting CM feats in two nonsense). 3.5 otherwise.

It's difficult to say, they all had their strengths and weaknesses. I can put paid to the whole "you like the one you started with" rap... I started with dnd. 2nd ed was a HUGE improvement. 3rd ed was a move to make it more generic a "d20" system... and I got that. It meant they could buy out other games and incorporate their gameworlds into their system, a good idea. It was fairly good, although I didn't like what they did to the established gameworlds from 3 onward (my specialties were Ravenloft and Gothic Earth, RL got soooo watered down and GE disapeared completely.) But that wasn't a dealbreaker because I just use the rules and only use worlds as kind of a loose framework. 3.5 and 4... were kind of cash-ins that "solved" problems nobody really had, but were decent systems and easy enough to play.

I guess 2nd may have been my favorite. But they all had 1 thing in common. Each one drove me to finding a much better pen and paper system and better game world elsewhere. Almost every other system I've played is better than anything that TSR or WotC have ever done. There are some exceptions. West End Games did a pretty terrible Star Wars. White Wolf was always hit or miss with me. But those are the only "worse" systems I can name. Everything Palladium put together was better. Pinnacle's Deadlands is the best setting and system I've ever played.

For what it's worth: I started with D&D 3.5, and haven't tried 5E/Next yet, but 4E has been my favorite thus far. It gets a lot of grief for various reasons, but I'll always prefer it to 3.5.

That said, FATE has become my go-to RPG system. Love me some FATE.

I vote for 3.75.

Oh wait, that's Pathfinder...ah well, I stand by what I said. Mostly because of Gunslingers. Yes, in a world of knights, wizards and the occasional ninja or samurai, Paizo dared to introduce a Wild West character class. And it is AWESOME (even with the lack of a two-weapon archetype).

3.5 for rules is the best edition IMHO but I think 2.0 is better in terms of the quality of the settings. Not a fan of what 4.0 did to either the rules or the settings. (seriously, how did they manage to screw up Forgotten Realms so badly?!?) If I had to choose, I'd probably go with 3.5 as my favorite.

Pathfinder is pretty good as well.

My favorite is version 2 with "skills and powers", (essentially 2.5). And, yes, I still know people that play it. Version 2 is complex. I get that. It can be a HUGE obstacle to new players and even more so for new DM's, but that is part of the charm for me. With version 2.5 it was like you had to learn a whole new world in order to be a part of it. With later versions especially after 3, it was more like a world that was there that you pretended to be a part of. One that held you hand throughout the process. You didn't learn what it was like to be an elf. You are TOLD "this is an elf, this is what they do, NO NUANCE, NO EXCEPTIONS!". With all that complexity there was a lot of room for customization, and there wasn't, what I feel, that annoying trend to map out very specific things that your character was going to do or be as he progressed in levels. Characters tended to grow organically and were more real to me. Not only my characters but others' as well.

I had a friend that played a wizard. There were literally tomes of different, obscure spells that he knew or had at least an idea of where to look for a specific spell or desired spell effect. Granted he had to be a hardcore geek in order to keep track of it all, but it lent very well to the idea and persona of a wizard, someone who had to learn and keep track of volumes of obscure spells and effects and at least had the semblance of someone that had spent years studying the arcane arts.


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