I'm posting this out of curiousity.
My gaming group has played since Basic and due to age, wow, and several bad expansions of the game, it has dwindled from 16 to 4 in this area.
There has been 3 dm's (myself included) in the span of 25 years, and after 4th edition hit and several games of it my players said ewww and requested I run a game using advanced rules. So after blowing the dust off the old books, making photocopies or scans considering the shape they are in. I began running my campaign set in good old Greyhawk.
Now the question is what version of the game are you playing? or running?
I've been running games since 1st ed, and mostly on Greyhawk, with a few diversions. I haven't run Greyhawk since '05, but am preparing to return with Pathfinder. My favorite system so far is 3E/3.5, though my fondest memories of Greyhawk are from the 1st ed days. _________________ Greyhawk is dead; long live Greyahwk! It is not heresy; I will not recant!
I've been running GH almost nonstop since I began playing nearly 30 years ago, with only a few forays into other settings.
I prefer 3.5e due to its mechanical diversity and versatility. Admittedly, though, it lacks various elements that earlier editions possessed. For this reason I tinker with the system from time to time, attempting to recapture what was lost.
One example of this tinkering is that I've reduced 3.5e's overly-rapid rate of level advancement. Another is that I've adjusted the Challenge Rating/Encounter Level system. I've also tweaked in various ways 3.5e's over-reliance on mechanics. With only a very few changes it's worked out great. Most of the adjustments, though, have fallen in the realm of adjusting the way I and my players think about the system. Just because a given system pushes min-maxing and tactical thinking in favor of roleplaying doesn't mean we have to play it that way.
I've also tried Pathfinder, 4e, and various other systems, but they just don't have the "feel" I'm looking for. I'm even in the process of writing my own "Greyhawk Roleplaying Game," with a grown-up version for myself and a kids' version for my little ones. I hope to see this latter version complete in a year or four - I'll probably finish it at about the time they're old enough to begin using the grown-up version. *Sigh.*
I have been playing & DMing since the red box basic days. Our main group had 3 DMs, each preferring a different world (mine was and is Greyhawk). When 2nd Ed came out we used it and incorporated some items from 1st ed. When 3rd ed came out we didn't really care for it all that much, but we incorporated the things we liked about it into our existing game. So, now we play a conglomeration of all three editions.
I started gaming in 1st edition in Greyhawk. When second edition came around we transitioned to it in our original Greyhawk campaign.
A few years after 2nd edition started our group broke up, we had played together through high school and college and were graduating from college, getting married, and moving all over the country.
I moved across the country myself and for several years didn't play anymore... my original group was so good it was hard to find another group I enjoyed as much.
After the release of 3rd edition I got really reengaged right from the start of Living Greyhawk (I missed the Living City/Forgotten Realms campaign) and I kept going mostly strong with LG until the last year where I got swamped with work and couldn't find time to play as often anymore.
Now I've been considering doing another Greyhawk campaign with a hybrid of 1-4th edition rules, picking and mingling what I liked best from each edition. But I'm not sure when I'd find the time for such an undertaking or if I could even pull it off.
I've played and run short campaigns in both Eberron and Forgotten Realms and I love the lore of those two worlds (although not as much as Greyhawk). I've done a bit in other worlds (Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Harn, Poltus, homebrew, etc) but the vast majority of my experience has been with Greyhawk.
I started with Basic in 1979, moved to Expert, and then on to 1e. When 2e came out I bought the PH, took a look, and decided to stick with 1e. I did pick up a few of the better 2e supplements, though.
In 1995 I started running games online with "Into the Land of Black Ice", using the 1e rules. It was during the run of my first undersea game "Beneath the Pinnacles of Azor'alq" that I switched from 1e to 3e.
I bought the 4e PH, MM, and DMG when they were released and again decided to be a "leap-grognard" and skip an edition. My current campaign "Heirs of Turucambi" will keep with 3.5e.
3.5e is the best version of D&D to date, IMO. Should I flesh out any ecologies or adventures in the near future, I'll probably use the OGL.
My friend chaoticprime is running the Saltmarsh series using Castles & Crusades. Not a bad system, for those who like simple mechanics. _________________ Greyhawk is dead; long live Greyahwk! It is not heresy; I will not recant!
My group started out with 2E. After looking at Hackmaster I began incorporating more and more of those rules into the game until, ta da! we were playing Hackmaster. I'm running the ToEE and since Kenzer came out with the Temple of Existential Evil, I am using the stats from that although I am using the original ToEE for source material.
One of the house rules that I came up with, and we're still using, is an Active Defense. Its where if someone takes a swing at you, you get a parry, block, or a dodge. Each, of course, have their own mechanic.
I know the new Hackmaster 5E, or Basic, has totally done away with AC and Thaco and uses only that.
I played 1e AD&D starting in 79 with a group that lasted about 14 years. We were pretty much always recruiting. Kinda like the OP, there was a core of about 4 of us, and others who came and went. Attrition has always been a fact of life of TRPGs.
Eventually the group petered out, but the successful recruiting accounts for why it lasted as long as it did.
More recently I've resumed with a couple of the old timers and some new faces for a 4e game, and it's a lot of fun. Everyone has something useful and interesting to do in play, and the DM can get the ball rolling without a lot of prep.
But, version matters less to me than a good group of people to TRPG with, and part of being a member of a good group is being open to other people's interests.
That's why I'm playing 4e with this group, but I'd play 1e or 3.5 or Pathfinder or almost anything with them and be happy as a clam.
I believe that most people looking for a game group are like that, they're most interested in finding a good group that fits schedule wise and personality wise, and version is flexible. Probably more so than a reading of special interest message boards like this one or ENworld or RPGnet might cause someone to conclude.
It sounds like the OP is on the right track, he's open to other people's interests, he has a good core group, he and his friends just need to cast some wide nets and find some new blood.
I've started with the basic edition in the late seventies then switched to 1st, then 2nd, 3rd and finally 3.5 edition. Always the same campaign, now playing with the children (and the same ol' timers) of the first wave of players who are still used as powerful NPC's.
I am currently running Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk (3.5 ed), using resources I have collected over the years including From the Ashes, Iuz the Evil, The Adventure Begins, the Marklands and Slavers (all 2.0 ed), as well as the LGG (3.0 ed)...Generally, my group uses old (before 3.0) source material with the 3.5 ed rules system...
I've played D&D since 1981 (and Greyhawk since 1982, IIRC), starting with the D&D blue book (and got the tan "Greyhawk" & "Blackmoor" supplements), went to AD&D 1st Ed', then AD&D 2nd Ed'. I skipped the whole D&D 3.0 thing (still using 2nd Edition, since we weren't playing very often anyway), and went straight to 3.5 in 2006; I don't intend to shift to 4.0 (they've got enough of my money ).
In 3.5, I like:
1) Almost everything is based on d20, with high = "good", and low = "bad". Under the previous systems, it was all over the place; this is more elegant (and easier for the players to remember);
2) Skills & skill points;
4) All classes (and races) use the same progression charts, and I like that it's somewhat easier to rise in level, since it was almost impossible to become a 2nd level Fighter in my campaign under 2nd edition rules (and because I run a pretty strict campaign );
5) Human age "break-points" are 35, 53, and 70 years of age (for 2nd Ed', 45 years of age was ridiculously old to start "feeling the strain").
The only things I've seriously modified are:
1) The "Hustle" and "Running" speeds are ridiculously fast: In my campaign, "Hustle" is 1.5 x "Walking" speed (instead of x 2), and "Run" is normally 3 x "Walking" speed (instead of x 4); this sort of brings it in line with the old AD&D rules. According to the standard 3.5 rules, someone with 1 STR, 1 DEX, and 1 CON could do a 2-mile run in about 17 minutes, 36 seconds using "Hustle" speed (i.e. 200 yards/minute), while hardly breaking a sweat, or breathing hard. Ridiculous.
2) Language skills as "all or nothing": In my campaign, "Speak Language" uses points, like every other skill. Anyone who writes "you either know a language, or you don't" has obviously never learned (or used) a foreign language...
As for Greyhawk source material, I use everything, from the original "WOG Gazeteer" and the original modules (e.g. T1, "G", "S", etc.) all the way to stuff I've found on the "Living Greyhawk" websites.
Always fun to dust off this topic for a poll. My last GH campaign before the hiatus was 3.5/Expedition to the Ruins of GH. One of these days I'd like to do a 1e campaign since I have stacks of old modules that I'd like to use before I get old.
Talking strictly about Greyhawk, I have playing with AD&D2E for several years, from 1990 to 2000. Since 1 or 2 years we have been playing again with 3.5 rules, but we have recently switched to Pathfinder, even if the rules are still in beta, so my system is a hybrid of the two (3.5 and PF).
Previous to 1990, i have been playing "Holmes" D&D and some 1E, but different settings, not Greyhawk.
we've started playing D&D and greyhawk with the 2nd edition, heavily modifying, borrowing elements from lots of systems, until it became something incomprehensibly eclectic : ) we resisted for a long time to switch into 3.5 (3 was long past when we finally did) to the point of almost completely skipping it, discovering pathfinder and using it happily for about a year now.
Started play the dim and distant late 70's with BASIC & Expert, played 1st Ed until 2nd came out. Looked at 2nd and encorporated some of it into 1st but mainly 1st as player and DM.
Have just started back playing in anger (with my son and his mates) DMing a bastardised version of mainly 1st, some 2nd and 3rd thrown in. Would like to move to 4th as my son and his mates have played Neverinter Nights (4th Ed) and like what they see but being an oldy mould I'm reluctant to "upgrade" for the sake of it, that and I've loads of 1st & 2nd ed stuff and haven't got the time to convert it.
I started as a player with 1st ed., but didn't really get serious about D&D until High School when I ran TOEE converted to 2nd. edition (and it basically took all of high school to finish). By then we were pretty burned out on D&D and started playing mainly Rifts (great setting but the system isn't up to snuff).
Thankfully 3rd ed. came out and renewed our desire for D&D. Ran a long running Planescape campaign (switching to 3.5 halfway), and for the last three years I've returned to Greyhawk running a 3.5 RTOEE with the characters from high school as powerful NPCs in the background.
The jury is still out on 4th edition. When this campaign ends one of my players wants to DM 4th and we'll see how it goes. _________________ <a href="http://dave.monkeymartian.com/" target="_blank">Menage a Monster</a>: A gamer in the house of monsters
Just getting everything together for a 4e game, set down in the lower Sheldomar on the Yeomanry borders. Players are in place, characters made, and looks like we're shooting for a September start date, once everyone's done with various obligations over the next two months (one player's got a 3 week vacation out of the country in August, two players are moving for new jobs, all that stuff).
started in jr high with 2e.
in high school, moved to 1e (lucked into some books cheap at the local used bookstore)
moved to 3e when it came out.
just now moved to 3.5, i managed to get all the books used real cheap on amazon.
just started a greyhawk game (first time using the setting), and im using the living greyhawk gazeteer, greyhawk adventures and some box set a friend lucked into.
i really prefer 3.5 over the other editions, alot of people i know like pathfinder, and out of the 15-20 people i know who play, 1 likes 4e.
Predominantly 3x but with liberal use of 1e and 2e materials, particularly magic. I've also stripped out feats and other energy sucking elements of 3x, making things simpler to prep and run (adding feats etc. back in as specials PCs can obtain but have no inherent right to have). Reading this thread, however, makes me wistful for 1e. 3x has all the chrome but 1e was just a surperbly classy vechicle. _________________ GVD
Hmm. I can't really select just one. It depends on the adventure that I want to run. I would say primarily 1e, with a some 2e features incorporated, and 3e/3.5e/Pathfinder adventures are used with a mish-mash of the systems. So, the PCs have no feats, per say, and their skill points are guestimated (a 95% detect noise score equals... um +19 Listen?), and their saves, AC, bonuses for abilities, etc. are all retconned using 3e rules.
Predominantly 3x but with liberal use of 1e and 2e materials, particularly magic. I've also stripped out feats and other energy sucking elements of 3x, making things simpler to prep and run (adding feats etc. back in as specials PCs can obtain but have no inherent right to have). Reading this thread, however, makes me wistful for 1e. 3x has all the chrome but 1e was just a surperbly classy vechicle.
I love that idea... all the way in the 80s and with 1st edition my group was using feats and prestige classes. Of course we didn't call it that, and it had to be earned and roleplayed out... characters could track down teachers whom they could convince to teach them special skills (feats) and once you reached your 'name' level (usually around 9th level) you could start learning a set of additional, specialized abilities (prestige class).
For example: my ranger at one point took some time off from adventuring (and paid a nice chunk of change) to enroll in a warrior school where she learned some new combat skills (which were similar in some ways to 3.x twin-weapon fighting and twin-weapon defense feats and the 4th edition twin strike ranger power). Our party rogue, after hitting 10th level, was approached by an NPC we had known and been friendly with for years, it turned out the NPC was a member of a secret society that had been watching him and felt he was finally skilled enough to join the society if he could pass their indoctrination tests. It was a secret society of rogues and underdark creatures that studied the mysteries of using and controlling darkness and shadows. The character joined them, and began to study with them to learn their powers (becoming a kind of proto-shadowdancer).
Predominantly 3x but with liberal use of 1e and 2e materials, particularly magic. I've also stripped out feats and other energy sucking elements of 3x, making things simpler to prep and run [...]
I think it is funny how feats simultaneously make something more difficult and yet less... exacting.
It used to be that a wizard didn't need a feat to create a magic item. They just said they wanted to do it, spent the money on the research, possibly went on a quest for same rare material component, and the DM rolled to see (or just decided) if they were successful, never telling them if their efforts were for naught. Potentially, a very exacting process to piece together the proper arcane formula and gather together all the necessary ingredients.
Now, a wizard needs a feet to be able to construct a particular type of magic item. He has to consider carefully whether or not to invest in that particular character development path at that particular time, since it will close off other options. However, once chosen, creating a magic item is formulaic - a simple deduction of a set amount of time, xp, and gp and it is a done deal. It seems to take some of the wonder out of magic, to me, but I prefer my campaigns to be more magic-light.
I think anything beyond 2nd edition is quite unrealistic and uninspired.1st was great,i mean you could have a lot more stuff to fear than just dying in battle.Gary Gygax really put a lot of thought into each detail of what he was doing,it did'nt require fancy artwork or any of the bells and whistles that WOTC used to butcher the entire genre with.It was simple,and it was fun,that's why most ppl have a fondness for 1st and 2nd over the later craptacular editions.
I am currently running two 4E games, playing in one (although it's going on hiatus for a modern day game). I've got a 3.5 Eberron game on hiatus which will not be upgrading to 4E (Eberron was MADE for 3.5, although the upgrade has merit, its not strictly eberron). I have AM's Gran March game that is 3.5 that I really want to get back in on, but time has been an issue - but that has less to do with the rules and more to the fact that AM runs a fun game. :)
While I like the 4E's rules, 3.5 still has a place in my heart and it will never lose out. Kinda like a first love.
I've played 1E and 2E, and found them both to be clunky. Other folks have this issue with 3.X. That's cool. 3.X is really just a matter of understanding the base formulas and then adding onto it. 1E and 2E had issues with that. That said both are worthy of respect simply because of how much they brought to the hobby, same with Red Box DnD. I just have other rules systems if I want clunky rules (Rifts and Robotech for example )
That said my introduction to Roleplaying was MERP under ICE rules, and I got that pretty well. But then I am a math geek with a very good understanding of mathematical systems. I find fun in using the DMG tables, and Expiditous Retreat's Magical Medieval Europe to stat out kingdoms with realistic (within the system) portrayals of actual gross and net income for a kingdom, fief by fief.
You'd probably love Fantasy HERO then. Everything is formulaic. The in-game effects are just window dressing. Don't get me wrong, I love that about Fantasy HERO. It is a very well balanced game system overall, and you can represent pretty much anything with it one way or another. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
3.0/3.5 is our main flavor. We have been playing since 1979 using 1e and by the time 2e came on the scene our original group took divergent life paths so we never got into the second incarnation of AD&D.
Then 3.0/3.5 came along and some of the original group plus new members have made it fun again. WoG is our choice of setting. We will not take on 4.0.
That being said, my brother steadily DMs 1e. It is still alive and well for us. In fact, we're supposed to have a game tomorrow night at his place in the venerable City State of the Invincible Overlord.
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