Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions

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NeikeDjour

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Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« on: June 15, 2015, 09:11:42 AM »
Hey guys, I'm setting up this section to discuss the different editions of Dungeons and Dragons and the differences between them. What you like about each one, what you don't. Which ones you've tried.

Feel free to chime in with your experiences!
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NeikeDjour

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 09:16:20 AM »
How does 5E compare to 4.0 or even 3.5?

I've only ever played 3.5, and not for very long at that. My group had some issues getting together and it started to feel more like a chore then anything. If I were to get into it again, what do people think I should look for? Another 3.5 group, or should I give 4.0 or 5E a chance?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 09:18:11 AM by NeikeDjour »
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Matt Robertson

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 10:01:13 AM »
I played a lot of advanced D&D, then 2nd edition, and finally, the 3.5 version.

For me, it became a chore with all of the material that was released. The material was not released in a logical or indexed manner. Much of the material was by different authors and some of the rules were incompatible with others. In the end, it started to feel more like an exercise in statistics and an R&D project.

I sold or gave away everything... and I had a lot. I have not looked at 4 or 5.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 10:28:41 AM »
On the surface 5th 'looks' more like 3.5 than 5 did, with its spell slots, and lack of at-will/utility/daily powers.

I didn't play 4th much and my experience with the 3.5ish games is mostly through Pathfinder, which in itself has become pretty overloaded with splat books and content. I agree with

For me, it became a chore with all of the material that was released. The material was not released in a logical or indexed manner. Much of the material was by different authors and some of the rules were incompatible with others. In the end, it started to feel more like an exercise in statistics and an R&D project.

While Paizo might have done slightly better thank Wizards before, it is still an overwhelming mess of content that's available out there.

With that 5th Edition is nice at the moment that there is only the 3 core books and a couple adventures published to date. The adventures even have free online supplements for users of the free basic rules.
The rules for 5th edition really support empowering the DM to make calls and rules, and simplify a lot of the old nickel and diming of modifiers into their 'advantage/disadvantage' system.
From what I've read and can tell from the games I've run, the classes are well balanced in 5th as well, one of my players made a half-orc rogue, and there were many interesting synergies that came from that previously unlikely combination.
The Monster Manual is chock full of cool inspiration, with neat effects like how dragons alter the regions in which they inhabit. Really offers a lot of good inspiration and tools for DMs to make interesting worlds.

Anyway, I'm a big fan of 5th, and have really only heard positive reviews from some of my friends who were big into the 3.5 scene back in the day.

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Alphadork

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 10:48:24 AM »
IMHO - 5th Edition is a love letter to 1st/2nd with a little bit of garnsih from 3rd/4th.

Classes have the feel of the earlier editions but with more options than 1st/2nd had baked into the class design.

3rd influences - AC still goes up (as opposed to THACO or the ancient combat matrixes) and there are options for feats/backgrounds. Multi-classing feels the most like it did in 3rd as well.

4th influences - Cantrips give spellcasters "at-wills"; there is a hit dice healing mechanic that's similar to healing surges; a number of the power options for melee classes are still available as spells (or in the case of fighters - maneuvers).

My biggest complaint is that monsters have slid a little too far back to the "bags of hit points with different weapons" days of the earlier editions, but an experienced GM can easily address this.

@NeikeDjour - to answer you question from the other thread, yes I enjoyed 4E (or parts of it anyways) the character options were fun and I thought the paragon paths were a nice evolution from the prestige classes from 3rd (which I never liked). Minion monsters were also a great addition. The downside was that all reactions and interrupts that characters could use sometimes mad combat feel too much like a CCG or MMO. Also that the designers had to make classes to fit their "roles" - (defender, sriker, controller, leader) created a lot of "sameness" between a class that filled a given role (e.g.- all defenders "marked targets"; all leaders has per encounter heals)     
 
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NeikeDjour

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 10:55:12 AM »
The downside was that all reactions and interrupts that characters could use sometimes mad combat feel too much like a CCG or MMO.
That actually sounds more like a bonus to me, rather then a negative. But I'm a big CCG player. Haha  :)

The sameness to the roles sounds kinda meh though. But it might be worth a try for me.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2015, 11:04:17 AM »
IMHO - 5th Edition is a love letter to 1st/2nd with a little bit of garnsih from 3rd/4th.


I agree with this and the way they not-so subtly kept a lot of elements from 4th.

Also it seems that 5th still includes the reactions, though by the sounds of it to a more limited extent.

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Alphadork

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2015, 11:19:10 AM »
IMHO - 5th Edition is a love letter to 1st/2nd with a little bit of garnsih from 3rd/4th.


I agree with this and the way they not-so subtly kept a lot of elements from 4th.

Also it seems that 5th still includes the reactions, though by the sounds of it to a more limited extent.

Yes, 5th has reactions. What they've done is streamline what a character can do.

On their turn a character gets an action, a move and one bonus action (a number of spells and class abilties are bonus actions - you get one per round) and the have a single reaction per round as well (again, some spells and abilities are reactions - characters get one per round).

I think this helps keep combat moving while still giving players some options on their turn.   

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PhotoJim

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2015, 11:58:41 AM »
I've played 1E, 2E, 3.5E and 5E.  The bones are all similar.

1E has a very retro feel to it by today's standards and that's no bad thing.  DM creativity is a little more important because rules don't cover everything.  It's still a blast.

2E corrected a lot of the faults and thus is one of the most playable editions.  Complexity is higher but not crazy.  There's a huge amount of material available for this edition.

3E/3.5E made the game a lot more sophisticated and in some ways more playable, but complexity is higher still.  (Pathfinder, Paizo's RPG, fits in the 3.75E sort of niche here.)  It's a lot of fun to play once you get through the learning curve.

I never played 4E but it was designed to appeal to MMORPG gamers and has some really interesting aspects.  Unfortunately it seems to have offended a lot the classic RPG tabletop gamers.

5E seems to be a simpler yet still sophisticated correction to all this.  It's sort of a 2E/3.5E hybrid in some ways with some really interesting ideas.  There isn't a lot of material for it yet but WotC has made a good start with this.

Personally, I'd play any edition.  If I were to DM today I'd probably DM 1E, 2E or 5E.  (2E I could DM tomorrow; I DMed it enough that I remember how.  :) )
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Tempest

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons: The Different Editions
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2015, 01:06:04 AM »
Been playing since 2nd edition, and I think I'm going to stick with 4th. I'll give fifth a try, but what I've seen isn't very appealing. My view on the game is that there are two important components, the role playing, and the combat/strategy. Personally, I think you don't need a lot of strict rules to dictate what happens in the role playing portions of any given session, so it comes down to the strategy/combat for me. 4th edition, in my opinion, does the best job of making that combat interesting. A lot of the rules from previous editions get streamlined and while there's still a lot of stuff (there always has been) it isn't too hard to understand. Also, the non-caster characters get to do interesting things aside from just swinging their weapon one to X times. I think the argument that 4th is trying to rip off MMOs is kinda weak, since those roles have always been there since first edition. The difference is now that they actually say what each character's role is and do better at enforcing that role.

It isn't perfect, I think some of the non-combat stuff could use extra mechanics, etc. but again, I don't think it's that necessary.

I feel I should point out, I also see the complaint about keeping up with all the different books quite a lot (for any given edition) but in reality, the only books that ever been important are the core 3: Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster's Manual. The extra books are nice, especially if your DM wants more material to work with, but realistically, unless a book has a class or character option you really want, there's no real reason to buy it. Another thing to consider is if you want more stuff and have a regular group is communicating about who has what book and only buy ones that people don't already have and simply sharing resources amongst each other.


...please don't rain hate on me for loving fourth, but honestly, if you're wary, I highly suggest still giving it a try. I've had nothing but fun with it and highly recommend it.
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