Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dungeons & Dragons, Edition Too Much

I haven't read much about the looming newest edition of Dungeons & Dragons. I stuck with the game up through 3rd, but decided to get off the bus with the announcement of 3.5. My reason? Too many editions.

Consider, the game was created in 1974. That game, now commonly referred to as Original Dungeons & Dragons (OD&D), did go under revision with the publication of the J. Eric Holmes edition in 1977. That same edition did get minor revisions (but not new editions) with the subsequent Tom Moldvay 1981 edition and the Frank Mentzer 1983 edition.

The largest edition change came with the publication of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, with the publication of the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide and the Monster Manual between the years of 1977 and 1979.

So as can be seen, there was change early in the hobby. Within five years of original conception, the game underwent three revisions and one edition change.

However, the next edition change was not seen until 1989, with the publication of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons second edition. AD&D1, was given 10 years shelf life before being canned. AD&D2 reigned for eleven years before D&D3 was published in 2000.

But since then, new editions crop up too often. 3rd edition was quickly canned and replaced with 3.5 in 2003. That was my warning sign that it was time to get off the bus.

And I am glad I did. Five years after asking its players to ditch the rule books they had bought only a three short years earlier, Wizards of the Coast published 4th edition in 2008. Now in 2012, they are play testing their latest edition (which their marketing guys are smartly calling D&D Next).

A new edition every approximate five years? No thank you sir. That is Edition Too Much. I will stay off the bus.

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