What's your favourite edition of DnD?

So there's 5 editions of DnD now, how do you even decide which one to play? Is the newest one the best and most refined or have they just been messing things around for 4 versions? I've only played 2 sessions of 3.5 a couple years ago but I'm curious what other Escapists like best.

DnD5 seems pretty decent so far playing up to level 5. Player characters seem quite powerful even at low levels. There are some balance issues like how OP the spell Faerie Fire is. Another group of friends has a DnD5 campaign as well and they seem to be liking it overall.

DnD4 is horrible, pretend it doesn't exist. I don't think really anyone plays anything earlier than 3.5. I never played DnD 2 or earlier but I think DnD2 is the one where negative armor is better and it's kinda number backwards.

If you wanna play DnD3.5, Patherfinder is basically DnD3.75 as Paizo bought the rule-set and added to it. Also, Pathfinder 2nd Edition just came out and we played our first session of it yesterday and I'm liking it a lot, quite a bit of streamlining. Character creation is pretty simple and there's a proficiency system that determines like 90% of all your stats and it's pretty intuitive. The only thing I don't like about it is the ability scores towards mid-to-higher levels where characters will end up rather similar with regards to ability scores because (like Starfinder, Paizo's space RPG) your ability scores increase by 2 when you increase them until you get to 18, then they only go up by one, and you get to boost 4 ability scores every 5th level. Thus, whatever you start high in like 18 strength for a Fighter or 18 intelligence for a Wizard (you can get one ability score to 18 for a level 1 character), it's then hard to up those scores so your lower scores will catch up when they go up 2 at a time and your main score is only going up 1 at a time. And, that strength-based fighter and intelligence-based wizard ability scores at level 20 won't be all that dissimilar.

TLDR: If you want maximum customization go with Pathfinder 1st edition. If you want a more streamlined game, go with DnD5 or Pathfinder 2, though I think new Pathfinder is more newbie friendly and easier to understand, but it's literally brand new and only has base classes and 6 races right now.

Also, PCGen is free character creator software, the interface takes a bit of figuring out (it's not as user friendly as the paid Hero Lab) but it supports Pathfinder 1 (with support for 2 coming) and DnD5 support along with a few other systems.

I know everyone love to punch 4, but I quite like the system of having everything works trough ability that can be used either at will, once per encounter or once per rest. Your basic attack were more varied than just hitting stuff over and over, since even re useable ability had some interesting flair to it and spell caster weren't stuck not doing anything most fight since they could actually use there spells every encounter knowing they would be re usable next encounter. The biggest weakness is that it makes the classes very similar for the first few levels, but once everyone has a couple of encounter abilities class start to distinguish themselves.

Phoenixmgs:
If you wanna play DnD3.5, Patherfinder is basically DnD3.75 as Paizo bought the rule-set and added to it.

I have no issue with what you said but I just want to clarify, Paizo didn't buy the ruleset, it's more like when Wizards Published D&D they made most their D20 system legally free to use for everyone else under something called the Open Gaming License so that there would be a lot of 3rd party content for their game without having to worry about legal repercussions, that's why other games with very similar rulesets exist such as a D20 version of Star Wars, Call of Cthulu & even Legend of the 5 Rings (Even if all those games have more popular non-d20 rulesets), & Paizo just used that open license to make their own game, in fact if you wanted to make you're own D20 derivative system you also could without having to pay anyone for the license just so long as you call it something else & it's not the exact same thing.

On-topic: I'm unsure, I've only played D&D 5E & Pathfinder in an actual tabletop & TBH I'm not a huge fan of either system, but probably just for ease of use I would go with 5E since you can get people playing with you without they having to be as well-versed in the system, I even successfully ran a game yesterday with minimal trouble with a player that had never played any tabletop RPGs ever, so there's that.
Though as a player I find it kind of frustrating due to it's very linear leveling progression & find it mechanically shallow & unsatisfying, the system that I've read that I've liked the most is called Burning Wheel but I haven't been able to convince anyone of playing it with me so far.

None of the DnD systems were anything more than simply functional. For the folks that want a dice roll and rule for everything there's Palladium and its myriad of settings. For those who like a more free form system you have your White Wolf or Fate style settings. And for those who just want the best one ever made there is Pinnacle's original Deadlands. As someone who has played all the older DnD systems, starting with the 1st ed... probably 3.5? 2 easily had the most supplemental material, as it came out as a genuine upgrade from 1 rather than just a money grab to make everyone have to replace their books. And THAC0 wasn't as hard or unintuitive as most people made out (it is kindergarten math.) However there were serious balance issues, and when they introduced psionics (well, and spelljammer) it broke the entire system. 3.5 had probably the best balance... but they rebooted so quickly just to make a buck there wasn't a lot of material out there. Plus my favorite setting was Ravenloft, and 3 than 3.5 Ravenloft was crap by comparison to 2. And after a couple of cursory attempts with 4... my friends and I just gave up on DnD for core rules. So 3.5 for core rules... but 2 for variety of settings and supplemental material.

I still remember my first session with my college gaming group. "So, what have you played before?" they asked. "Well Ravenloft, a Greyhawk variant, and of course Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms. We even played around with a little Dark Sun." "So, have you played anything other than DnD? You know... anything actually good?"

I guess 3.5, cuz that's what my group plays. It's also the ruleset I'm most familiar with as DM. We've dabbled in Pathfinder, 4E and 5E, but those tend to be one-shots, since our homebrew setting makes use a lot of 3.5 specific stuff and I'm too lazy to port all of it to a different edition. Though we don't really play pure 3.5, but a hybridized version that's mostly 3.5 but replaces some of the more tedious and/or superfluous rules with their Pathfinder or 5E versions.

3.5 is the best of the ones I've played, although I haven't played 5 yet. 2nd Ed is alright, it's a bit clunky but once you get your head around some of the overly complicated rules it's still a decent system. 4th Ed is too simple for my tastes, like a tabletop wargame with RPG mechanics rather than being a down-to-the-bone RPG. 3.5 has the most going for it as far as I'm concerned.

The only real complaint I have with it is that due to the high number of source books (we have well over 20, maybe as many as 30) available, well-learned players can cherry-pick feats and abilities from different books that were never designed to work together to create game-breaking synergies. Although that can be easily solved by the GM picking only one or two supplements at the start of the campaign - for example our current campaign uses the PHB, DMG, Complete Adventurer, Cityscape and *nothing else*, despite our large library.

Grouchy Imp:
The only real complaint I have with it is that due to the high number of source books (we have well over 20, maybe as many as 30) available, well-learned players can cherry-pick feats and abilities from different books that were never designed to work together to create game-breaking synergies. Although that can be easily solved by the GM picking only one or two supplements at the start of the campaign - for example our current campaign uses the PHB, DMG, Complete Adventurer, Cityscape and *nothing else*, despite our large library.

Are you talking about Serpent Kingdoms? It's Serpent Kingdoms, isn't it? Either that, or Book of Exalted Deeds.

But yes, limiting which splatbooks are available to players can help curtail a lot of excesses. Also good if your group of players has a wide range of experience with the game.

I really like 5e. I know that most veteran players like 3.5 the best (at least that's what I usually hear) but frankly 5e is a great version.

I like it because it allows you to play an actual game rather than getting together to bitch about rules at the table. It's simple, it's easy to learn and get into which makes it easy for more people to get into Dungeon Mastering, and I find that it is a tweakable enough system that you can do some really creative things with it.

Previous editions were more rule heavy and some people really like that, but it made a huge barrier to entry not only for players but it also meant that DMing was a pain because you had to be a walking text book in order to DM. Either that or constantly looking shit up in the book.

So IMO 5e is the best DnD has ever been.

Meiam:
I know everyone love to punch 4, but I quite like the system of having everything works trough ability that can be used either at will, once per encounter or once per rest. Your basic attack were more varied than just hitting stuff over and over, since even re useable ability had some interesting flair to it and spell caster weren't stuck not doing anything most fight since they could actually use there spells every encounter knowing they would be re usable next encounter. The biggest weakness is that it makes the classes very similar for the first few levels, but once everyone has a couple of encounter abilities class start to distinguish themselves.

DnD4 is horrible because the combat drags on forever when you get to mid-high levels. Nothing can really kill you (wizards can tank), attacks don't do enough damage. Everyone at the table knows how the battle is going to end but it'll take 2 hours to get there. Most that stuck with DnD4 made their own changes to the combat; one of the common "fixes" is: Divide monster hit points by 2. Multiply their damage by 1.5. At low levels DnD4 is pretty good.

Kaleion:

Phoenixmgs:
If you wanna play DnD3.5, Patherfinder is basically DnD3.75 as Paizo bought the rule-set and added to it.

I have no issue with what you said but I just want to clarify, Paizo didn't buy the ruleset, it's more like when Wizards Published D&D they made most their D20 system legally free to use for everyone else under something called the Open Gaming License so that there would be a lot of 3rd party content for their game without having to worry about legal repercussions.

Ah.

5e. I love how easy it is to run. It has its flaws, but so far it is easily the best edition of DnD. I hope future editions just improve on 5e rather than start over, like, add tiny and large sized races, add magic item creation, but otherwise I dont desire the number crunching of 3.5 or Pathfinder.

I do wish 5e would be less stingy on additional rulebooks. I get not wanting to be as overburdened like 3.5e, but that doesnt mean we need to starve to death. I am tired of Adventure Modules and setting books. Give us more Xanathar's Guide.

I have heard good things about 5e, but my group has been playing Pathfinder 1e for 10 years now so I can only personally recommend that. As mentioned above, Pathfinder 2e also just came out and I am loving it so far. It has a lot of potential!

Chimpzy:

Grouchy Imp:
>snip<

Are you talking about Serpent Kingdoms? It's Serpent Kingdoms, isn't it? Either that, or Book of Exalted Deeds.

But yes, limiting which splatbooks are available to players can help curtail a lot of excesses. Also good if your group of players has a wide range of experience with the game.

Exalted Deeds, that's the main culprit. That and Weapons of Legacy. We used WoL for one horribly broken campaign and never touched it again.

Grouchy Imp:
Exalted Deeds, that's the main culprit. That and Weapons of Legacy. We used WoL for one horribly broken campaign and never touched it again.

Ah, just to be sure then, give Serpent Kingdoms a wide berth. BoED and WoL shenanigans are cheecky compared to the high-yield bullshit you can pull with Serpent Kingdoms. It's the book that spawned fucking Pun-Pun, and that's not the most broken thing you can do with it.

I have played 2nd edition, 3rd, 3.5 and Pathfinder

and i have been Dungeon Master for fifth

I usually prefer different roleplaying games, but of the DND ones i vastly prefer Pathfinder, then 3.5. Eh, i have lots to say about roleplaying and such... but i am going to stop myself - i am not going to write a 20-page treatise on interaction of rules and atmosphere or the problem of overloading information and putting out too much content into your gameworld.

5E by fairly wide margin.

It's basically 3.5's rough structure with all the fiddly BS filed off and a bunch of the better bits of 4E added then shoved inside a 2nd edition shaped body. It's a nice greatest hits edition.

4E is probably the only other version I'd still play besides it.

I've only played 5E, so I say that one. It's accessible, I learned it by watching a video series on it, and just has everything nice and neat. It ain't perfect though. The first few levels can be a bit dull for combat heavy groups or min-maxers and the later levels can be a bit of a slog as well. Still the best though, since my biggest complaint is we don't get content fast enough.

Never played 4E, but I've heard some solid defense of it. I like the concept of minions. Good way of making fights larger without making them super dangerous.

I've not played 3.5 or 3E, but I played Pathfinder, which is normally called 3.75. I didn't care for it. Modifiers and feats out the ass aren't enjoyable to me.

Anything before that has obtuse and bad rules in my mind, fucking THAC0, so I don't have a solid stance on them.

Chimpzy:

Grouchy Imp:
Exalted Deeds, that's the main culprit. That and Weapons of Legacy. We used WoL for one horribly broken campaign and never touched it again.

Ah, just to be sure then, give Serpent Kingdoms a wide berth. BoED and WoL shenanigans are cheecky compared to the high-yield bullshit you can pull with Serpent Kingdoms. It's the book that spawned fucking Pun-Pun, and that's not the most broken thing you can do with it.

Wow, that was an interesting read! O.o

I'll take your advice and make sure our group steers well clear of that. Thanks!

I like Pathfinder most of all D&D versions.

But i prefer other systems like Splittermond over D&D.

Kyrian007:
And for those who just want the best one ever made there is Pinnacle's original Deadlands.

So what makes it so good and how does it differ from DnD?

I grew up on 1e and 2e AD&D, had to play some 4e with friends when it was new, and have played exclusively 5e since it released.

I have a lot of nostalgia for 2e. There's a lot of jank to it; people like to scapegoat the "bad" math (people way over-exaggerate the difficulty of THAC0), but the actual rules that clash with sensibility, then and now, are race, class, and alignment restrictions. Some grognards like to gripe that complaints in those directions are the result of modern snowflake think that everybody should be able to make whatever character they want without restriction, but even back then plenty of folks chafed at the restrictions, and you had things like "antipaladins" for playable evil paladins in magazines. Where 2e really shines is the amount of truly flavorful content that got made for it, along with some of the most imaginative and weird game settings to that point or since. Not the mainstays of Faerun, Dragonlance, or poor forgotten Greyhawk, but Darksun (a desert world where magic requires sacrificing HP, and psionics are the dominant supernatural force, druids are the dominant religious force, and the rarity of iron is such that things like fragile obsidian are the mainstays of weapon material, oh and also there's some bug guys hopping around), Spelljammer (fly sailing ships through space to battle beholder space-pirates and journey between all the different DnD worlds), and Planescape (I'm not even gonna try summing up Planescape). Every character class gets an expansion book, which gives them reams and reams of customization options, all of which notably have roleplaying guides and several of which have flaws which are expected to be roleplayed. People say what they want about roleplaying and D&D and how systems encourage or discourage roleplay and the benefits and implications thereof. My experience is that out of all of D&D, 2e, despite all its restrictions on how you can create your character, is the edition that most expects and directly prods you to roleplay that character, which is hardly the prevailing view on how people think of old school D&D.

So when I run 2e (and when my old group used to play it and somebody else ran it), I just houserule things to take out the jank. No class restrictions from your chosen race. You can play unusual alignments for a class if you can incorporate it into your backstory and show you'll roleplay by it in the first few sessions (I make any paladins come up with their own sworn code, no matter their deity or alignment, that they have to live by). We don't use those tables that modify your to-hit chances based on the type of damage your weapon deals vs the type of armor that's being attacked. And I reserve direct control to modify splatbook options, cuz back then, the company that made D&D was being run by a woman that... to be charitable, didn't really understand games, and thought play-testing was gaming on company time, so forbid it. So there's some funky and broken options out there. The tradeoff from dealing with jank is a really imaginative, character focused atmosphere. 5e tries to recapture some of that, but its too... modern. Part of the charm of old school D&D is the imaginative weirdness from being a blended mix of all the pulp fantasy from the 1910's to 1970's that its creators loved and threw together. With 3e and the Wizards of the Coast acquisition, DnD largely abandoned the weird and kept to modern high fantasy and Tolkien, which feels a lot more sterile.

I've never played 3e and its variants myself on tabletop. I've played some videogames adapting the ruleset, and I've heard and read stories about it for years and years. I fundamentally dislike systems that start the game with rolls of d20+5 and go up to d20+65. I dislike systems that enables and passively encourages "efficient" builds and tier list of classes. Yeah yeah, 2e had the quadratic wizards and whatever, it was a bitch and a half to ever get a character capable of making reality their plaything, and if a player is able to put up with it enough to get there, fucking let them! 3.5e and Pathfinder just seem to revolve around all sorts of player creation options which certainly allows you to create anything you want, but then doesn't really funnel you into roleplaying anything with that. You can roleplay, and plenty of people do, and quite a few of those people probably value absolute freedom of expression, but I like it when a system provides you with a focus to direct you. Cuts down on characters that come down to "lol so random", cuts down on people who only play to make killing machines.

I'm not gonna talk much about 4e. I never liked it from day 1. "4e is tabletop WoW" became a meme that 4e fans are derisive of these days, but that was my genuine feeling back when I first read and played it: it felt like videogame design in tabletop. And combat was easily the worst it'd ever been for D&D. I know I just got finished talking about making characters be more than efficient killing machines, but the mark of good D&D combat (if not tabletop combat in general) is actually how efficient it is. In terms of character options. Don't give every class a god damn laundry list of situational abilities for each player to sort through and decide among each and every turn. The accumulative wasted minutes easily add hours of padding where most of the players are passive observers for the 90% of the time it isn't their turn. The key to good tabletop RPG is player acting and initiative, and quite conversely to most expectations, combat is actually where players have the least amount of that due to breaking up the action into turns and having to go in order. 4e was so, so horrendous in that regard. It should have been released as a miniatures wargame rather than a roleplaying game.

Finally, 5e. I talked some shit about modern D&D up above, but 5e is all I play these days. Just because it's simple and painless. DM doesn't need to expend effort to rebalance things if they don't want to, unlike 2e where its a requirement. People get enough character customization and options to satisfy most (or at least a lot of) people while still keeping those options simple enough that combat doesn't become too much of a joyless slog. There's a whole section of nothing but setting up backstories and making everybody at the table come up with some character traits and motivations and history. It's not perfect. The fantasy feels somewhat sterile. The character building feels pretty gamey. It kind of has a diluted version of all the strengths and all the weaknesses of all editions of D&D, which averages out somewhere to "pretty fun".

5e is all I recommend people who want to start playing D&D. It was built specifically to reinvigorate the game after a lot of player base burnt out and dwindled in the twilight of the 3.5e and 4e years. It does it's job reasonably well. Its probably the edition of D&D that is the easiest to master, even if that means it doesn't have the most options or isn't the most flexible.

Drathnoxis:

Kyrian007:
And for those who just want the best one ever made there is Pinnacle's original Deadlands.

So what makes it so good and how does it differ from DnD?

When people start talking about a "best" game and it isn't a generic system, but one with a defined genre and setting, really they're usually big fans of that genre and setting, and that game has the best ruleset for that genre and setting. Deadlands, which I've never played but which I know is "popular" (in that it's a big name in the small pond of "tabletop roleplay systems that aren't D&D, GURPS, or Fate"), is a setting that blends Wild West with spooky horror supernatural stuff. "Weird West" is typically what that sub-subgenre is called.

Drathnoxis:
So there's 5 editions of DnD now, how do you even decide which one to play? Is the newest one the best and most refined or have they just been messing things around for 4 versions? I've only played 2 sessions of 3.5 a couple years ago but I'm curious what other Escapists like best.

I feel like I should answer this question more directly. 1e to 2e D&D was a new edition, itself a continuation of a single game system perpetuated across 15-20ish years. It refined rules and added more content. 2e D&D to 3e D&D was a new game, and it's been like that for edition changes ever since. Certain motifs, styles, and objects are perpetuated between editions since 2e, but they all have new rules to describe their relationships with each other in each new system. Adventures, encounters, and characters are not cross-compatible between editions after 2e; you have to remake them within each new system. Therefore it's better to think of them as different games which follow the same themes (and with the Forgotten Realms setting's narrative being the default "D&D story" for most of the game's existence at this point).

All the games have different sensibilities in design and imagination. People's favorite is usually whatever they start with and learn the ropes to. Unless they started with 4e. Zing!

Only ever played much of 2nd ed, so I guess I'd have to say that was my favourite. Lots of supplemental material and sourcebooks. That sort of stuff has always been my favourite part of RPGs in terms of the pre written material, the worldbuilding element.
ThAC0 wasn't too bad, it was very simple maths...but at the same time the simplicity of the "fix" makes you wonder WhyTF they didn't just implement that fix in the rules so your brain didn't have to take the extra step.

I did play one game of actual old school 1st ed DnD as opposed to ADnD but it was a single session.

Played a few computer rpgs with 3rd/3.5 ruleset but obviously hard to compare pnp to crpg. I did read the ruleset and I think making the whole thing internally consistent was the best change for me, the old non combat proficiencies of 2nd ed looked a whole lot better when changed and resovled in a similar fashion mechanically to combat.

Never played or even looked at anything beyond that.

As to OP, I would go with 5th edition. As I've said, I've never played it but it seems to be well regarded and it's currently supported so should be easier to find games etc.

Finally: WHFRP 1st/2nd ed. til death! DEEEAAAATH!

SupahEwok:
Big snip

Thanks for making such a detailed post. That was helpful. Have you played Pathfinder? How would you compare that?

Drathnoxis:

SupahEwok:
Big snip

Thanks for making such a detailed post. That was helpful. Have you played Pathfinder? How would you compare that?

I have not played Pathfinder. I hope to play Kingmaker, a cRPG adapting Pathfinder rules into a videogame, someday when grad school gives me some time. You could try to play that for some exposure to the system, although don't expect a 1-to-1 correlation between tabletop rules and a videogame adaptation of them.

Pathfinder in a general sense is simply an extension of 3.5e; you can consider it a revision and continuation to 3.5 in the same way I call 2e a revision and continuation of 1e rather than a whole new game (although Pathfinder by necessity cuts out proprietary aspects of D&D IP such as certain classic monsters, magic items, and settings). Presumably my dislikes for 3.5e will apply to Pathfinder, but with no real exposure to Pathfinder I cannot speak definitively. I've already said enough to get PF fans pissy at me.

Pathfinder kingmaker is realtime and not turned based (no I have no idea why decided to go this route when adapting a turn base system) so it's not a very good way to experience the system.

It is the same real-time-with-pause as the old Baldur's gate stuff, so it is not that bad to get an impression of the system, which they otherwise tried to model fairly accurately.

I miss the home brew aspect of 3.5 you could type any word follow it with 3e and find a home brew splat book. Now I like the 5ed rules more because they feel more flexible my only real complaint is how they use sub classes rather then making new classes. It's just more complex to me to do it that way.

I have great nostalgia for AD&D 2e. I quite like 5e also. Didn't play 3 or 3.5, and I've only dabbled a little in 4e.

SupahEwok:

Drathnoxis:

Kyrian007:
And for those who just want the best one ever made there is Pinnacle's original Deadlands.

So what makes it so good and how does it differ from DnD?

When people start talking about a "best" game and it isn't a generic system, but one with a defined genre and setting, really they're usually big fans of that genre and setting, and that game has the best ruleset for that genre and setting. Deadlands, which I've never played but which I know is "popular" (in that it's a big name in the small pond of "tabletop roleplay systems that aren't D&D, GURPS, or Fate"), is a setting that blends Wild West with spooky horror supernatural stuff. "Weird West" is typically what that sub-subgenre is called.

That is part of it, I won't deny that. The weird west setting is one of the better backdrops for a game I've ever run across. Much like D&D's Ravenloft, the major antagonist is the world itself... and they are my favorite settings. Not just a harsh environment, but an intelligent and malevolent world working against the heroes. However, and however well the system goes with the setting... just by itself the system is a great mix of structure with a levelless free form that allows for a wide variety of characters that don't fall into the "best minmaxed builds" trap. Each character has 'edges' that are bought by beating up the character with 'hinderances.' But rather than just acting to hamper your character, role playing the game with your hinderance in mind earns a player more 'fate chips' which are experience points that can be spent to increase abilities (converted into experience or 'bounty') or spent in game to 'tip the scales of fate' (a number of effects are possible.) And the best thing, it isn't just simply dice-based. Things like combat rolls and skill checks are done with dice, but initiative is kept track of using standard playing cards. And cards are also used to resolve magic effects in everything from direct spellcasting to a mad scientist creating some crazy steampowered device. So yes, my love for the setting is probably a part of my describing it as the best. But the addition of adding poker chips to represent fate, playing cards for magic and the best representation of an encounter's initiative, as well as just dice... just makes it work better than any other I've experienced.

5th edition for me sets the standard not just for D&D but for pen and paper role playing in general.

I think it's a great example of accessibility done right, in that it still has complex systems, but the player-side interaction with those systems is simplified to the point where I genuinely think parents could play with their children without having to compromise the rules too much.

Add to that, the books themselves are just nice objects. I think people often overlook the importance of production values in roleplaying games. If you're introducing a game to friends who don't play it, then having a really nice book is just going to be immediately more compelling. The production values on the 5e core set is some of the best I've seen outside of kickstarter.

When I was younger, I always felt that D&D was the putrid mass that gathered at the bottom of the RPG tank where the really sweaty nerds went to discuss "optimal builds". Now, I look at the most recent versions of games I was playing back then and I feel if I owned them I'd be slightly ashamed of how infantile they are, whereas 5e (despite, again, being a game you could literally play with children) could go proudly on a living room shelf somewhere. I think if pen and paper games have much of a future, that's a good sign for it.

Only ever played 5e. So that one

I'll always have a soft spot for 4. It's what I started with, and it's the edition that finally fixed Monks, one of my favorite classes, and cured them of the MAD Syndrome that made them useless in 3/3.5. That and the powers made it a fun turn based tactical game as far as I'm concerned.

Opinions are going to vary wildly on this. Each editions has its strengths and weaknesses but for someone just getting into the game I'd recommend 5e, the current edition. It's extremely new-player friendly and the has enough rules to allow for structure while leaving enough flexibility for the DM to make creative (but sensible) rulings on the fly.

I have played 5e through the entire level range and it's fun at all stages. I am currently running my own game once a week (homebrew story set in the Forgotten Realms) and play a Ranger in a high level campaign that we've had going for the past few years that's seen us go from level 12 to 21. We are now playing with custom prestige classes that kick in after level 20 homebrewed by our DM.

I rarely if ever play fantasy tabletop since that isn't my local group's preference, but of all D&D systems I'm partial to 2nd and 3rd. Neither system was perfect, but 2nd and its mechanical foibles had flavor, grit, and a real sense of identity in which 3rd felt lacking, but a lot of that also boiled down to WotC's decision to tone down the edge, pulp, shlock, and camp for broader appeal. It just doesn't feel like D&D to me, unless it's making fundies scream in horror and run to the nearest fainting couch. 3rd on the other hand was vastly superior mechanically, and opened a lot of possibilities for fun play. The lack of QA on supplements, and the sheer level of power creep and supplement bloat killed it.

Never bothered with 4th or 5th; the few times we've played FRPG, it's been Pathfinder which is a great game and shored up many of 3rd's mechanical failings. But, archetypes and the sheer number of classes introduced later, and the general failure of game balance over later supplements, killed it for me just as power creep and supplement bloat killed 3rd. Honestly, Paizo would have done better for themselves leaning harder into the UA/Incarnum system of a la carte stat/ability buys, and ditched the class system altogether if they wanted a route to maximize character customization.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here