Tuesday, January 17, 2012

From the Attic: Why D&D is the way it is; The Different Versions

Wizards is getting the word out that a major goal of the new edition is to reunite the D&D fan base. I figure it would be useful to list all the distinct versions of D&D that are out there. This list focuses on those games released by TSR/Wizards.

Chainmail Fantasy Supplement in 1971
Original Dungeons & Dragons published in 1974
Supplement I Greyhawk published in 1975
added rules made Dungeons & Dragon into a form we recognize today.
Basic Dungeons & Dragons by Holmes in 1977
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in 1977-1979
Basic/Expert Dungeons & Dragons by Moldavy/Cook in 1981
Basic/Expert/Companion/Master/Immortal Dungeons & Dragons by Mentzer in 1983.
Unearthed Arcana for AD&D in 1985, Some say that this made AD&D 1.5
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition in 1989
Rules Cyclopedia for Dungeons & Dragons in 1991,  A one book compilation of Mentzer's BECM D&D, some consider this the definitive version of the original Dungeons & Dragons line.
Skills & Powers for AD&D 2nd editionSome say that this made a AD&D 2.5
Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 in 2000
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 in 2003
Dungeons & Dragons 4.0 in 2008
Dungeons & Dragons Essentials in 2010. Some say that this made a D&D 4.5


Erik Tenkar said...

Rob, a much better list then I tried to put together earlier.

Nicely done!

Simon Forster said...

Is 4E really only three(ish) years old? For some reason I thought it was longer.

Yong Kyosunim said...

I like the Rules Cyclopedia. Pretty cool book.

1d30 said...

I like it too. I just wish the rules for weapon mastery didn't itemize by weapon because that's a huge headache.

Guy Fullerton said...

% sed s/Moldavy/Moldvay

What? This isn't a terminal?

faoladh said...

Good point about Chainmail. Other than that, that's pretty much the same list I put together.

Yong Kyosunim/1d30: Yeah, for a long time, I was pretty convinced that the Cyclopedia was the perfect iteration of D&D. I've since changed my mind (I'm pretty much in favor of 0E/S&W:Whitebox/LL:OEC now), but I still have a solid place in my heart for the Allston edition.

Ynas Midgard said...

From a gamer point of view, there is no need for a single unified version of D&D.

Pre-4th edition iterations of D&D and pretty much all the retro clones have interchangeable parts, which is basically why I love them - I can use whatever rule, spell, class, monster, or else I want with 5-10 minutes preparation at top.

No unified, full-of-optional-rules system could beat that.