30 days of Dungeons and Dragons (day 7) Favorite Edition


Day 7: Favorite Edition of Dungeons and Dragons

Wow, this question can cause fights across the internet and even in bars. Lets look at the different kinds of editions that Dungeons and Dragons actually has and when they came out. This information was taken from Wikipedia. Sadly I couldn’t find any more sites that had all of the different editions listed in this fashion. So thank you whoever contributed to the wikipedia version. Dndwiki is another good place to get information but it doesn’t have any information on the older versions of Dungeons and Dragons.

Dungeons & Dragons Version History
noting key rule publications
1974 Dungeons & Dragons (original white box set with three booklets)

  • Men & Magic
  • Monsters & Treasure
  • The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures
1977 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Edition)

  • Monster Manual
Dungeons & Dragons (2nd version)

  • Basic Set (blue box) (levels 1–3)
  • Players Handbook
  • Dungeon Masters Guide
    (Core rulebooks complete)
1981 Dungeons & Dragons (3rd version)

  • Basic Set (magenta box)
  • Expert Set (light blue box) (levels 4–14)
1983 Dungeons & Dragons (4th version)

  • Basic Set (red box)
  • Expert Set (blue box)
  • Companion Set (teal box, levels 15–25)
  • Master Set (black box, levels 26–36)
  • Unearthed Arcana (a “fourth core rulebook”)
  • Immortals Set (gold box, levels 36+)
1989 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition

  • Player’s Handbook
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide
  • Monstrous Compendium
1991 Dungeons & Dragons (5th version)

  • Monstrous Manual
    (Replaces Monstrous Compendium)
1995 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition revised

  • Player’s Handbook
  • Dungeon Master Guide
  • Player’s Options
  • DM Options
2000 Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (Core rulebooks)

  • Player’s Handbook
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide
  • Monster Manual
2003 Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition revised (v3.5)Revised editions of the core rulebooks (compatible with 3rd Ed. via errata)
2008 Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (Core rulebooks)

  • Player’s Handbook
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide
  • Monster Manual
  • Player’s Handbook 2
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide 2
  • Monster Manual 2
  • Player’s Handbook 3
  • Monster Manual 3
Dungeons & Dragons Essentials

  • Starter Set (levels 1-2)
  • Rules Compendium
  • Dungeon Master’s Kit
  • Monster Vault
  • Heroes of the Fallen Lands
  • Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
2012 Dungeons & Dragons NextPlaytest Starts (May)
2013 Playtest Ends (December)
2014 Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

  • Starter Set (levels 1–5)
  • Basic Rules (PDF only; limited player options)
  • Core rulebooks:
    • Player’s Handbook
    • Dungeon Master’s Guide
    • Monster Manual

So, now that you have looked at the lovely table. You are probably saying to yourself, if you are new to DND, “good lord that’s a lot of different versions of the game!”. Yes, yes it is. However, the most widely played version is the Dungeons and Dragons revised edition, or 3.5 as we call it. It came out in 2003 and 12 years later it is still the most widely used. Seriously, the books are hard to come by in tabletop game shops. Fourth edition came and went like a tornado through Oklahoma. (no jokes, I live in Oklahoma)

When fifth edition came out, just last year, people went crazy for it. Supposedly (I haven’t played it yet) it is like 3.5 but easier to understand and the math is easier, or so I have been told. I am not sure how the math is hard in Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition, but maybe that’s just me.

So back to the question at hand: my favorite edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Well, I started playing when I was 10 or 11, so if we add my year of birth with 10…then I must have started on 2nd edition or possibly Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Not sure what my brother was using when we played. I didn’t play that version long and restarted playing DND on 3.5 edition. So that is the edition I prefer. I have been watching how other players use fourth and fifth edition and get information on what they like and dislike about each edition. I will be honest with you, I utilize  A LOT of house rules when I play DND and I do use monsters and prizes from other editions when I play (gotta keep my players on their toes, they can get a copy of and read the monster manual for 3.5 too).

I don’t have a particular reason for liking 3.5, other than its what i started dm’ing with and the edition that made me realize what i loved about DND. I guess I am not wanting to change something because it ‘aint broke.

Which edition do you prefer and why? Leave a comment below!

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Published by: Dungeon Master Kristi

I am a nerd. There I said it, it's out in the open now. I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Doctor Who...and the list goes on and on. I also LOVE to play Dungeons and Dragons. I am the Dungeon Master of a game I run once a month with my friends. This website, my Facebook group, and my YouTube channel, are all out there to show you how I design a campaign and build my dungeons. I usually use Hirst Art molds to create and build my dungeons, however, I have been using foam board and random other objects you might think are trash to create items for our games. Four four weekends a month, I work on the story, the design, and putting the game together. I love that my friends can leave their lives behind for a few hours a month and just immerse themselves in my game. This page will just be blog posts describing things that happen in the games, things that happen while working on my builds, and other thoughts on our dungeons and dragons adventures.

Categories dungeons and dragons, entertainment, geek, nerd, tabletop gamesTags, , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

One thought on “30 days of Dungeons and Dragons (day 7) Favorite Edition”

  1. I started with basic D&D in the early nineties. I played the heck out of 2nd edition until its final death throws. I skipped 3 / 3.5 from life’s circumstances, and I started playing again when 4th came out in ’08. 5th is the system for me, no question. I resist the notion that it’s simple. There’s enough optional material to make it as “complex” as 2nd with speed factors and other layers of fiddly parts if you want them. I would characterize it as “elegant.” The advantage/disadvantage system makes adjudicating difficulties intuitive and organic, rather than slowing the game down for a forgotten situational modifier. Spells are spells again, the system is solid, and feels like the D&D I played as a kid, without the need to house rule all the broken bits.


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