Day 7: Favourite Edition
Today’s question is about my favourite edition. But does the question relate to rules edition or campaign setting edition? I ask myself this because each new rules edition has brought with it a new campaign setting edition. So, I’m going to answer both aspects…
Favourite Edition: Campaign Setting
We’ve already determined that the Forgotten Realms is my favourite setting. Over the years the Realms has seen world-changing updates every time the rules have changed edition. The original Campaign Setting box set introduced us to this wonderful world, building on the words already publishing in Dragon magazine. 2nd Edition brought with it the Time of Troubles which were a handy way to introduce the rules changes within the setting.
3rd Edition shortened distances between locations for some strange reason but otherwise, didn’t add much to the setting. Then we come to the downward spiral. 4th Edition destroyed the Realms and swore me off D&D for a while. 5th Edition has tried to bring back some of the earlier edition charm and works to an extent. So, which edition do I prefer? I think it’s safe to say that 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms is my favourite edition.
Favourite Edition: Rules
I’ve played every version of D&D from the Basic Red Box set,: 1st Edition AD&D, 2nd Edition AD&D, 3rd Edition (and 3.5) D&D, 4th Edition D&D (albeit only for six months) and now 5th Edition. Each had their merits. Basic fed my desire for something more than Fighting Fantasy and I jumped at the chance to play 1st Edition AD&D. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view¹), Warhammer Fantasy Role Play was released at the same time as I was moving to 1st Edition, so we didn’t play much of it.
Likewise, 2nd Edition arrived just as I was joining the military (and a five-year absence from roleplaying due to a lack of local gamers). However, I was lucky enough to take part in a brilliant 2nd Edition campaign in the later ’90s. I learnt a lot from that DM to be sure. With 3rd Edition I jumped fully on board (even becoming a part of the team that ran the UK Living City campaign, Sarbreenar).
As I’ve intimated earlier, I tried 4th Edition but didn’t like it and moved away from D&D until 5th Edition came out. And here it’s where I fell in love with the game again. 5th Edition takes the best of every prior edition (including 4th!) and molds it into something special. I can’t quite describe how, but it pushes every single one of my buttons–in a good way and I play as often as I can now (and have even introduced some non-gamers at work to roleplaying and run a regular game for them). So, obviously, 5th Edition is my favourite edition.
¹ I think fortunately, as playing Warhammer Fantasy Role Play gave me my love for gritty fantasy. Something I hope to show more in the future here.