On Reader Mail, Your Favorite Version
What is my favorite style of Dungeons and Dragons to play?
I am perhaps, the worst player.
Original Dungeons & Dragons: This is a version I've never run, but certainly the one I would choose to run for people who have never played Dungeons & Dragons before. How do you start? Roll dice immediately! What do you do? What you can do in life! How do things work? It is uncertain!
Basic/Expert: This is one of my favorite versions to hack and modify. The core of the system is so simple, well put together, and direct, It certainly is very conducive to adding lots of entertaining house rules
1st Edition: I very much like running this game, particularly the version known as Hackmaster 4e. It captures a certain type of adventuring spirit, where tactical considerations blend with strategic ones and the existing systems motivate both the players and the characters to continue to adventure. This is certainly my choice for a long term campaign of heroic adventure.
2nd Edition: Splitting Strength in to Muscle and Fitness? No thank you. Spelljammer, Planescape and Dark Sun are worth it though.
Pathfinder: If I were going to play with gamers I didn't know, I'd want to play this. I mean, at least that way there's some objective definition of what should be occurring. I wouldn't attempt a grapple though.
I sometimes get a jonesing for a character build and the old 3.x, but it only takes a session or two of that before I realize how much time we spend just dealing with the numbers instead of playing.
I think 4e could be a fun thing, but the fact that I need a software subscription and 900$ worth of games to play mean I'm not really interested in trying. Also, the fact that on first pass the system was way broken left a very bad taste in my mouth.