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Which edition of D&D should I get, as an absolute beginn


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Poll :: Which edition?

1st
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
2nd
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
3rd / 3.5
100%
 100%  [ 6 ]
4th
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 6


Author Message
Skinr
Title: Minituae Guru
Joined: Jul 17 2010
Location: Elsinore
PostPosted: Feb 23 2012 08:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I have decided to get into Dungeons and Dragons, and am wondering about which version is the "best". Obviously each has its own strengths and weaknesses; some are more complex, others less so.

The main thing I'm looking for is lasting value. If I'm going to spend $50+ on a set of books, I want them to last me a while.

Finally, let's assume the "Basic" versions don't exist; yeah, I know, it's probably better to start with those, but then this post will be about as long as the Magna Carta, and even more tedious.

"Original" D&D - The only reason I bring this one up is that, according to this post http://www.sydlexia.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=17054&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=, they'll be rereleasing it. I know nothing about it.

1st Edition - Again, don't know much about it. From what I've heard mumbled in the internet's deepest catacombs, it's not ideal.

2nd Edition - I've heard a lot about this one. What appeals to me about it (at least, from what I've heard) is the large number of options and extraneous bits. Most funny stories I've heard about D&D took place within 2nd Edition, although this might just be the most well-known one.

3rd Edition - Haven't heard a lot about this.

3.5th Edition - From what I've heard, this was an improvement over 3rd.

4th Edition - This is the current one, and the only one currently supported. The things I've read about it indicate that it's a lot easier for beginners to get into; conversely, I've also heard that it's "too balanced" if you know what I mean.

Again, I've never played any of these, and haven't bought any of the books. Which one do you, the people, think I'll get the most enjoyment out of?

Just one more thing...please do not recommend any of the board games to me. While I'm sure they are fun and a good springboard, they are also $60 at minimum, which is much more than I'm willing to pay for something I'll 'outgrow' quickly.



 
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UsaSatsui
Title: The White Rabbit
Joined: May 25 2008
Location: Hiding
PostPosted: Feb 23 2012 08:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The original D&D is not for you. It's way outdated. This is the "basic" version of 1st and 2nd edition, for the record.

First and Second Edition (they're called "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons") are actually largely the same thing rules-wise, the changes are mostly to classes and such. The only people who like it are diehard roleplayers who grew up with it and refuse to accept any changes to make their game more accessible to others.

3.5 is generally considered to be the "best" revision of the rules as far as D&D goes. As for the relation to 3.0, it's mostly just an upgrade that balances the rules out a bit, they're mostly compatible. It's not too tough to learn the system, but character creation can be a bit daunting (as it can for any of the systems) if you try and use every single option. Best part is, it's free, mostly. http://www.d20srd.com has the base rules, though it lacks character creation and a few licensed stuff.

4th edition is...well, polarizing. I've seen it and I like some things they have done, but they really do seem to be trying to make it into more of a customized board game or tabletop MMO than a classic RPG. I don't recommend it, but people who actually have played it may have other opinions.

I would suggest a system called Pathfinder, which people are calling "D&D 3.75". It's not published by WotC but another company which has again rebalanced the 3.5 rules, and I think it's very interesting. It's what the 3.5 supporters have migrated to, and it's still supported. The rules for this one are also free, though you can purchase the book and it's probably a good idea to. http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/index.html
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SoldierHawk
Moderator
Title: Warrior-Poet
Joined: Jan 15 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Feb 23 2012 10:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Oh, I would totally go 3.5. It worked to get me into RPG, and now I'm pretty well versed in 3.5 and 4e as well as NWOD and OWOD from White Wolf. Fantastic gateway, especially if you have someone to help teach you like I did. (Hi SLF D&D Chatroom guys!)

4e has easier rules in terms of learning them, but the overall experience is less satisfying imho, especially if you're looking for a good story driven game.


militarysignatures.com

William Shakespeare wrote:
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

 
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Skinr
Title: Minituae Guru
Joined: Jul 17 2010
Location: Elsinore
PostPosted: Feb 23 2012 11:35 pm Reply with quote Back to top

One thing that Kindled my interest in 2nd Edition (Advanced) is the spells. I've heard all sorts of stories involving almost useless spells like Stone to Mud, and obscure abilities like Counter Song.

Having a huge variety of spells really appeals to me; in fact, that's the reason I still play Morrowind. Does 3.5 have a good spellbook?

Regarding Pathfinder, I've heard a little about it, and might check it out. Mostly depends on what my local game store has, though.



 
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nihilisticglee
Joined: Oct 12 2007
PostPosted: Feb 24 2012 03:03 am Reply with quote Back to top

If what you are looking for is a large spell list filled with a lot of different option, 3.x is probably the way to go. While I prefer 4e to 3.x almost any day of the week, the sheer amount of content, particularly in the spell department, 3.x makes it sound closer to what you are looking for. If you are willing to deal with a smaller but still expansive list, Pathfinder is an option, or, if you don't want to spend money, I recommend taking a look at Legend, which is one of the best d20(3.x rule set) mods I have seen.

Also, if you can't find a game in your area, don't give up, plenty of people play online all time. SH mentioned the chatroom DnD, but if you go to almost any tabletop forum, there will be a place to sign up for games. If you go this route, may I recommend maptools. It isn't perfect, but it should solve all your rpg playing needs.
http://www.rptools.net/
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LeshLush
Joined: Oct 19 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
PostPosted: Feb 25 2012 01:13 am Reply with quote Back to top

If you want to do a quick comparison to see which you think you like better, take a look at the d20 System Reference Document that's already been linked to, and compare it to OSRIC (http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/osric/), a free, open-gaming RPG that is essentially 1E.

Can't help with a free 4E equivalent.
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Skinr
Title: Minituae Guru
Joined: Jul 17 2010
Location: Elsinore
PostPosted: Feb 25 2012 03:14 am Reply with quote Back to top

UsaSatsui wrote:
Best part is, it's free, mostly. http://www.d20srd.com has the base rules, though it lacks character creation and a few licensed stuff.


Sorry if this comes off as annoying, but bad link. Thankfully, I was able to use Lougle, and it's .org, not .com (nitpicking, je sais).

EDIT: Okay, after a quick cheque on Amazin'.com, the 3.0 Players Handbook is worlds cheaper than the 3.5 is. If I do decide to go with 3rd Edition, should I shell out the extra money for the extra .5 of update?



 
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lordsathien
Title: Head of Lexian R&D
Joined: Oct 15 2005
Location: Metro area, Georgia
PostPosted: Feb 25 2012 04:52 am Reply with quote Back to top

Pathfinder (aka 3.75e in some circles). Nuff said.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ For a compilation of all the rules from most of the printed material (not the same as having a physical book however).
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nihilisticglee
Joined: Oct 12 2007
PostPosted: Feb 25 2012 05:07 am Reply with quote Back to top

going with the 3.0 PHB is an option, the games aren't that radically different. Using the 3.0 PHB and cross referencing with the srd/friend who knows which things have been updated should get you a long enough.
PF does still release books and is in a d20 format, so at least you will have support that way, and a lot of the crunch stuff is on a database/srd, pending on the site you visit.
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lordsathien
Title: Head of Lexian R&D
Joined: Oct 15 2005
Location: Metro area, Georgia
PostPosted: Feb 25 2012 05:14 am Reply with quote Back to top

If you have to choose between 3.0 and 3.5, just go with 3.5. There's a lot of content from 3.0 that was revised and consolidated.


"Life is a waste of time. Time is a waste of life. Get wasted all the time, and you'll have the time of your life!"
 
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UsaSatsui
Title: The White Rabbit
Joined: May 25 2008
Location: Hiding
PostPosted: Feb 25 2012 07:32 am Reply with quote Back to top

Don't go with 3.0. 3.5 is worlds better. Nobody does 3.0 anymore. And sorry, was pulling that link out of memory.
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LeshLush
Joined: Oct 19 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
PostPosted: Feb 25 2012 03:37 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Don't listen to them! Get the 3.0 Player's Handbook. The SRD will have all of the information you need to see what's been changed, and all you really need the printed text for is fluff, character creation rules, and pretty pictures. Therefore, spend less, use the internet to add in the .5 yourself.

Also, the picture of the half-elf bard in the 3.0 handbook is way cooler than the jack-ass gnome that took his place after the conversion.
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Sehkmaenzo
Joined: Jun 29 2010
PostPosted: Feb 26 2012 07:08 pm Reply with quote Back to top

If best looking bard is your only concern, then you HAVE to get AD&D.
Image
Just... look at that. LOOK AT IT!
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Skinr
Title: Minituae Guru
Joined: Jul 17 2010
Location: Elsinore
PostPosted: Feb 26 2012 08:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Sehkmaenzo wrote:
If best looking bard is your only concern, then you HAVE to get AD&D.
Image
Just... look at that. LOOK AT IT!


Haha, he actually looks kind of like Spoony...

I think I've made my decision. If I can get the stuff I need cheap and in good shape, I'm going with 3.5. I'll probably get the 3.0 books and put sticky notes in, to save cash for my new car and caviar.

If I can't, then I'll either get Pathfinder or 4th Edition, both of which are available at my local game shop.

Last question: which books are necessary, and are there compilation volumes (i.e. a book with PHB I & II together)? Assuming that I can't borrow them from anyone, and have to buy them.



 
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nihilisticglee
Joined: Oct 12 2007
PostPosted: Feb 26 2012 08:19 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Player Handbook is the only thing required to play as a player, though for a full game you would need the Dungeon Master Guide, and the Monster Manual. Everything after that is supplemental.
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aeonic
Title: Sporadic Poster
Joined: Nov 19 2009
Location: Kissimmee, FL
PostPosted: Feb 26 2012 08:28 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Skinr, to my understanding, they don't have any two-fers in terms of the PHBs and such, but as nihilisticglee said, you really only need the PHB if you're planning on just being a player. My personal suggestion would be the Pathfinder Core book, Bestiary 1 and an Adventure pdf, which should run you about thirty to thirty five total if you get them electronic, maybe sixty to seventy in hard copy. As I've stated, I honestly do like Paizo's offerings even better than WotC's 3.x stuff; I suppose that's mainly because instead of having umpteen jillion prestige classes, they have alternate features for the character classes so you can do something different than "your ordinary fighter" right from the get-go. That's just me, though. Pathfinder, again, is basically just 3.5 with more core class customization, sleeker rules, different core deities and some names removed for legal purposes (mostly on spells and magic items).


Who likes role-playing games? Me. Way too goddamn much.
 
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UsaSatsui
Title: The White Rabbit
Joined: May 25 2008
Location: Hiding
PostPosted: Feb 26 2012 09:05 pm Reply with quote Back to top

You know, I've heard of a place called the NWO where you can...preview...the 3.5 books.
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LeshLush
Joined: Oct 19 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
PostPosted: Feb 26 2012 09:34 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah, and I've heard of adding filetype:pdf to the end of a google search, that doesn't make it right.

All of 3.5 is readily found in about 2 seconds per book if you're into that. Ethics aside, I personally get a feeling of warm satisfaction from owning things, so I buy my books anyway and can't really claim moral highground.
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aeonic
Title: Sporadic Poster
Joined: Nov 19 2009
Location: Kissimmee, FL
PostPosted: Feb 26 2012 09:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

See, I used to buy hardcovers, but I'm at the point where I use my computer for just about everything, including dice rollers and other stuff when I DM. Especially since I can transfer them to my phone, not to mention the price differential, I just buy them in pdf format now and save about ten to twenty dollars per book. Saves me a lot of effort when the wife and I end up moving back out to FL within the next year too.


Who likes role-playing games? Me. Way too goddamn much.
 
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Skinr
Title: Minituae Guru
Joined: Jul 17 2010
Location: Elsinore
PostPosted: Feb 27 2012 12:02 am Reply with quote Back to top

LeshLush wrote:
Ethics aside, I personally get a feeling of warm satisfaction from owning things, so I buy my books anyway and can't really claim moral highground.


This.



 
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VoluntaryMachinist
Joined: Dec 17 2014
PostPosted: May 30 2015 02:32 am Reply with quote Back to top

Since the 5th edition is out now I decided to bump this thread. I just bought the starter set at my local comic book store (picked up a MTG intro pack too) and I've never played, so I was curious about how it held up to the other ones as far as being "beginner friendly". I know at some point I'll need to get the 3 main books, going to get them on amazon though, much cheaper that getting it retail.
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Probable Muppet
Joined: Aug 05 2008
Location: CA
PostPosted: May 30 2015 04:46 am Reply with quote Back to top

Pathfinder.
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aeonic
Title: Sporadic Poster
Joined: Nov 19 2009
Location: Kissimmee, FL
PostPosted: May 31 2015 08:45 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah, I gotta say that I second Pathfinder. The Golarion campaign setting is just so sickly slick and robust...


Who likes role-playing games? Me. Way too goddamn much.
 
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