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Geeks Next Door – The Endless Debate

Written by Geeks Next Door - Published on May 16, 2009

Jessi, Mattt, Barry, and Maggie share their adventures with Dungeon Mastering readers. Follow them on Twitter: Barry, Maggie. You can read more GND @ GeeksNextComic.com

This is a guest post from Geeks Next Door. They agreed to write D&D-related strips for Dungeon Mastering and share their thoughts on their creative process, as well as their Dungeons and Dragons adventures. Enjoy!

Geeks Next Door on DM #4

Thoughts from the Geeks Next Door

The GND crew agreed to give their thoughts and comments on the strips they write for Dungeon Mastering. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment. I hope you enjoyed the webcomic.

JESSI – Oh yeah.  We’re going there.  I think we can keep it civil, though.  Which edition is your personal favorite and why? First Edition has a very special place in my heart; when I was younger, I was poking around in the library, and I found some first edition books.  I pored over them and thought, “this is neat – looks hard”.  No one I talked to seemed really interested in playing in or running a game, so it was always in the back of my head.  Last time I went to the same library (which was… …a while ago, before Fourth Ed. got released), they had a LOT of D&D books, including some of the Bestiary-type things and AD&D, which I thought was cool.  Didn’t see the books I had seen in my youth, though…

MATT – Yes, I’m personally most comfortable with 3.5 — if only because I started playing D&D right after 3.0 debuted.  I do have a copy of 4th edition, but I haven’t yet gotten to play, let alone run.  And I don’t have any earlier editions for obvious reasons (.pdfs what?).  When you get down to it, though, I suppose I just like Vancian magic and prestige classes.  (THIS STATEMENT IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO SUGGEST (READER’S FAVORITE EDITION) IS INFERIOR TO MY TASTE AND/OR TRIGGER FLAMEWARS.  SERIOUSLY.)

MAGGIE – My boobs look like they’re on fire.  Oh well.  I didn’t know that there were that many editions of geekdom.  I thought there was only one.  The only bard I know was Shakespeare, and I don’t think he played anything like that.  I don’t think I’d really get that angry, either – I’m pretty tolerant of geekiness.  I’m a worldly woman like that.

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27 Responses to “Geeks Next Door – The Endless Debate”
  1. Joshua says:

    White box is the one I started with, so hands-down it provided me with the most hours of fun. If I had to run one nowadays, straight no house-rules, I’d probably go with Basic/Expert as being almost as light-weight but much better edited.

  2. Gregory Weir says:

    A bit odd that they picked (built?) characters before choosing editions. Those sure seem like character sheets they’re holding… although I suppose it’s really a better idea to come up with a character concept before you get into the nitty-gritty of rules and stats. Unless you’re playing an edition with randomly assigned stats, of course.

    (by the way, the link to comic #3 is broken.)

  3. Dyson Logos says:

    Personally my favourite is Moldvay Basic (1981) but I also play a lot of 3.5 – the d20 system was a wonderful upgrade to the game overall, just not as simple as our old 1981 favourite.

  4. Yax says:

    Maggie’s sweater is getting shredded by her anger Akira style. Sweet.

  5. Kr1m3t says:

    Hmm… favorite edition…

    Well I never played AD&D, but I’ve probably spent the most time with those books because in my school library they had a copy. So every day I pretty much spent pouring over stats and what have you.
    3.5 is the only edition I’ve played, and loved it. Tonight Ill be running 4e for the first time, and am anxious to see how it works.

    To all who are against 4e, let me say this: 3.5 was good because the rules laid out an infinite amount of options. 4e is still in its infant stages, give it another year or so and 4e will surpass 3.5 by light years. Just be patient.

  6. Dimitris says:

    Hmmmmm, Easy one.

    Best edition, according to my opinion, is AD&D 2nd ed. I tried D&D 3.5 but I didnt like it. Let me point one think about the editions after AD&D 2nd edition. DWARFS WITH MAGE SPELLS? Come on, this was for me the most ridiculous thing ever. If I ever decide to play D&D(any new edition) as a DM I will make it a rule that dwarfs cant use mage spells. By the way, the people playing with me agree totally.

  7. Scott says:

    The Best Edition.


    Each one has its pluses and minuses.
    1st …. You just can’t hardly get hold of it any more. Rules are college level style.
    2nd… You just can’t hardly get hold of it any more. Some things changed, still compatiable with 1st to a point. Rules downgraded in reading level (good idea/bad idea)???
    3rd… Messy
    3.5… Much Better
    Hackmaster Love it, funny as hell. Cool idea of a skill system. LOVE THE DIBS IDEA. LOL
    4th… Well 1st let me say that to me 1st, 2nd and 3.5 feel and seem to have things in common. Yes 3.5 is a new system, but its feel still gives me the feel of 1st and 2nd. Now with 4th, I read it, the feel is just not there it is so totally different , that to me its junk..

    Which brings me to even another edition.
    PATHFINDER. or as i like to say. D&D 3.7 LOL
    If you have downloaded and read these rules. OMG they are awsome.

    Best ED… Pathfinder. Hands down, not even a contest.


  8. crimmy says:

    Well, I personally prefer 3.5

    Why? It seems easier for me to use it. Then again, I haven’t used many, just 3.5 and 4th.
    Anyway, funny to see Mags getting al fired up for that.

  9. Neko chan says:

    XD Zomg! But I’m with Jessi on this one! First edition all the way! ^_^ Lol, Maggie’s on fire XD *much huggles for every one*

  10. Not10 says:

    I have to vote for Vancian magic too. It’s really one of the things that makes D&D different. 3.5 would be my most comfortable edition too.

  11. Gus Gus says:

    Im new to the whole D&D thing and have only played 4e but so far i love it!

  12. jesuslegofreak says:

    with me i’ve never palyed the first to editions but i have flipped through the 2e players hand book(i own it) and all i’ve ever played is 3.0e,which i enjoy greatly but then again we had quite a few house rules to make it run smoother.i recently(2 weeks ago) picked up the starter set(which i would recommend doing) and it is awsome!for the longest time i was thinking 4e was crap but i gave it a try and i like it,so now i’m trying to get a 4e group going but it’s not to well.so my fav. are 3.0e and 4e.

  13. Yax says:

    I must say – keeping it civil is fun. But I do miss the initial edition flame wars. Just a little bit.

    Looking forward to see what people say about the D&D Insider price increase!

  14. Cuddly Cthulhu says:

    My personal favorite is AD&D 2nd Ed., since it’s the one I first learned and therefore the one I know best. My second favorite is Pathfinder (@ Scott: hey, my group calls it D&D 3.75, too!).
    I remember the first time my friends and I created characters for 3rd Edition. It produced such classic exclamations as “How’d my AC end up 18? That sucks!” and “Where’s my THAC0, dammit?!” Good times, good times.

  15. GiacomoArt says:

    I’m very much biased toward 4E because it does the whole dungeon crawl thing better than any previous edition, and dungeon crawl is the one and only thing that D&D does better than all the other RPGs out there.

  16. Jackson says:

    I’ll play whatever my friends are playing, and lately they’re playing 4E, so that’s what I’m playing. :) D&D isn’t my preferred system, but I still have fun with it when I’m gaming with people I enjoy. On a tangential note, the Earthbound-style creator commentary icons are made of win.

  17. Kristen says:

    Its funny, because when I read this I laughed. ^^

    But no, I have been playing since I was 7 yrs old, and I started out in 2nd ed. Then moved up to 3rd then 3.5. I dont know whether im just scared or biased, but I have not tried 4th ed. yet… and I am not sure if I will. But I miss gaming. I had to put my gaming on hold since the DM left a year ago…

  18. Jimmy says:

    I play mostly 2nd. I love the 2E specialty priest class, especially when used in conjunction with Legends and Lore and priest spell compendiums. I feel there was so much material written in this edition that anything was possible with the right literature. many of the complaints people have about this edition are part of the reason that i like it, such as Thac0 (of course) and and the loose leaf monstrous compendiums.
    Im also a fan of Spelljammer, Dark Sun and Planescape. Having said that I must admit that I prefer the 1E manual of the planes interpretation of the planes and I also prefer the conciseness of the 1E adventure modules to some of the lengthier campaign settings of 2E. The artwork of 1E also somehow captures my imagination and puts me in more of a gaming mode.

    I enjoy the white set for the history (remember when bugbears had pumpkins for heads!?) and for the Gods, Demigods and heroes supplement.

    Hollow World and the creature catalog are major bonuses to basic rules, but stay away from those immortal rules. they are just plain weird!

  19. Drax40K says:

    For me it’s no contest. 4th Edition is the best. It’s fun and easy to run as a DM. I love the monsters, and I love the character classes. To me, having played every edition of D&D, it’s the culmination and natural evolution of the system. They have done away with all the heavy and fun leeching aspects of the previous editions of the system. Encumberance? Gone. 5 Minute Wizards? Gone. Combat Medic Clerics? Gone. Monster class levels? Gone. One dimensional rogues? Gone.

    It’s not perfect, skill challenges are very awkward, and keeping the player classes balanced is going to be a real challenge as the game moves forward. However, on the other hand, the combat system has never been more fun as a player or DM. I love making new monsters and I also love trying the different race/class combinations. Game preparation is a breeze and I find myself able to concentrate on the fun of crafting a good story driven campaign rather then spending countless hours tweaking encounters that never end up being the correct ‘CR’.

    I actually find it a bit of a culture shock to go back to other systems where the mechanics feel a tad clunky compared to the extensively play tested and smoothly working mechanics of 4th Edition. I am playing in a Shadowrun campaign that starts tonight, and I felt this overwhelming ‘meh’ as I began to page through the character creation rules, though I am still looking forward to play it. I am anxiously anticipating a time when they will take the 4th Edition rules set and apply it to different genres! :)

  20. Megan says:

    4th edition was the first edition I ever played (and is my favorite edition, especially to DM). By now I’ve played 3.5 and have heard a little about 2nd edition. Though 3.5 has its good points (more skill options, more non-combat spells, better multi-classing (Vancian magic can be a + or a -)), I still prefer 4th (easier to play, much easier to DM, the CB exists, and it’s fun).

    I’ve found that it always seems rather odd to me when people say that 4th doesn’t feel like D&D (Though I do understand why; I agree that it is very different from any other edition).I found 4e to be more similar to what I assumed D&D was like before I started playing than any of the other editions. I think that’s is part of the reason why 4th is so much easier to learn how to play as a beginner.

  21. Nedark says:

    For me, 3.5 is the best. I have seen 4th addition, and own a copy of 1st (thank you, Dad) and read them both through. I have however only played with 3.5. I find that this system allows both the DM and Players to get creative the most. With my group, we pretty much go by the motto “if you can justify it, you can do it.” And 3.5 I find is the best for this. For example: I have a blind-ranger who uses a flint-lock rifle. The justification is that he has a disease that is slowly rotting his brain away and trained for a while to use some minor echo-location. In 3.5, the rules are relaxed enough that I can do this pretty well.
    Also, in my campaign I needed a race that was kind of a swarm type army, but still had organization. They also had to be tougher than goblins and hobgoblins. I went into the SRD for 3.5 and found the Formians (I think that is how its spelled). I looked in a 4e monster manual, and they weren’t listed. I looked for somthing else that fit, but I was hard-pressed to find one.

  22. Dylan Danger says:

    Hahaha, I can’t believe I haven’t known of this comic before, hilarious! Sad to know that awesome people live so far apart from one another… Anywho, as the DM of our little D&D gang I stick with MAtt on this one. 3.5 is a pretty solid set for general occurances, but allows changes for the specifics. *sad face* When I had a character, our DM kinda was…. anyway I had a lvl 8 sorcerer like Barry’s, basically just owned all with metamagic XD It’s so strange reading the comic though, Resemble’s our lives over here lol. *is a graphic artist as well* Don’t know if you ever do this, but go ahead and look at the web link there, I have some of my art on there :D *bookmarked* Keep it comin!

  23. Rob says:

    I am old. :-)

    I started with a boxed basic D&D with chits instead of dice. I grew up playing some D&D, some first edition AD&D, quite a bit of edition “1.5”, (first ed with Unearthed Arcana and some other sourcebooks, Dragon Mag mods, house rules, etc.), and a bunch of 2nd edition. I have stacks of old 1st and 2nd edition books, modules, and magazines, a big bag of dice, enough miniatures to lay out a medium sized battle, and TONS of good memories of time spent as a player and GM. Many of my old players call the stuff I GM’d “2.Rob”

    Year later (but still several years ago) I started to playing again after 3.0 had been out awhile… but just as I was getting comfortable with it they put out 3.5. I am getting too old to keep track of constant rule changes, and while I liked 3.0 well enough, I did not appreciate having to buy the books again. When they announced that they were doing 4.0 I drew the line. It’s not that I can’t afford it, I just don’t believe in ‘edition extorsion’ If the game works, leave it alone and put out a bunch of supplementary material.

    My kids are almost ready to start playing. Their introduction will be “2.Rob” :-)

  24. Gavin says:

    As a ‘young’ player (23), I’ve been lucky enough to have a fairly wide experience of various editions of D&D. I remember being confused by THaC0 (“What the hell is THIS thing? That’s not a word!” “Gav, we’ve explained it to you six times…”), snowed under with feats (“How the hell can I choose my first two feats if they’re spread across sixty books? I just want to be a Fighter!” “Gav, you really should do some research…”) and offended by what appears to be deliberate profiteering (“I’m here to play D&D not Warhammer, what the hell do I need a miniature for? I’ve never used one before!” “Gav, the rules don’t work if I don’t know exactly where everyone is…”)

    Overall, I have to say that 3.5 does it best for me. Yes, there are tons of options and complicated bits, and about a million books to trawl through to find exactly what you want, but I feel that if it slows play up we can just dump some of them (which we do). I like the ‘anything goes, within reason’ ethos, and goddammit, I like the characters and games I’ve had playing 3.5 more than any other edition.

    2e was fun, while it lasted, but 3-3.5 was just so much more fun to play (for me, at least), and 4 was released, in my opinion, years ahead of schedule. I felt like I’d only just got my 3.5 collection together and was happy with it before Wizards showed up with a big bag with a $ sign on it saying “Time to update! By the way, miniatures are mandatory now, unless you really don’t want the game to work.” On top of that, it felt… like a board game, I’m sorry, but that’s the only way I can put it. When I finally got around to playing it (with my cousin’s books, I’m not stupid) it reminded me of the dinosaur of a GW product Space Hulk with extra bells and whistles.

    Damn, I have gone on, haven’t I?

    So yeah, 2, good, 3, better, 3.5, great, 4 cash cow. And not even one I liked. Sorry 4-ed fans!


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