Home » Ancient Posts » Which Edition of D&D Should I Play?    
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Aaron E. Steele

Scott, if you have never played, my suggestion would be to start with the easiest version. That probably means getting a group of newbies together and trying Swords & Wizardry or another retro-clone.

Then, if you like it, but want "more", you can always try joining a Pathfinder or 4e group, or start one of your own.

If you've played before, then ignore what I just said.

Norman J. Harman Jr.

Nice to map original editions to their closest retro clone equivalents. Not everyone has the old books.

1 OD&D -> Swords & Wizardry

2-3 BD&D et al -> Labyrinth Lord



Weirdly, this post helps very little with answering the question of "Which edition of D&D should I play?"


#3’s major disadvantage is also its greatest advantage. ^_^ When the highest level PC you’ve ever had is around 9th level, all that CMI stuff is just a waste. (Also, the faster progressions means that gratification isn’t held off until that 36th level that some groups will never get to.)

And, of course, the best thing about 1–8 is that you can easily steal stuff from the other seven to import into your choice.


One of the advantages of the older editions is that you can mix and match pretty freely. In my campaign, it wouldn't be far off tha mark to say that my players are using OSRIC while I'm DMing Swords & Wizardry.

The lighter the rules system, the easier it is to add what I or the rest of the group would like.


Frost: If I were to include C&C in this list, it'd be just after first edition AD&D in my list. I have some issues with the SIEGE engine system, but overall C&C is a very good D20 version of AD&D at least in my opinion).


I know it technically isn't, but Castles & Crusades feels like an edition of D&D to me as well.


Love this write-up. Very succinct and well done. Thank you, I finally understand why I don't like the newer editions of the game.