In re-reading my testimonial, it is really glaring how, when I was a kid, I didn’t get any real exposure to the original versions of D&D (i.e. Classic D&D, the versions behind much of the old-school renaissance) before I picked up with 1st Edition AD&D.
Many of the blogs I read are written by guys who started gaming in the 70’s or early 80’s, so they started with OD&D/Classic (aka Basic) D&D. I started in the late 80’s, so my first exposure was to AD&D. I had just a vague impression that something had come before the game I was playing, but no real interest in “going backwards.”
However, I did eventually pick up the Rules Cyclopedia, but that was more out of curiosity and a desire to add the book to my collection (it was advertised/talked up big time in Dragon magazine of course, and I guess the hype worked on me). I never really had any intention of playing it, however.
And for good or ill, my personal Dungeons & Dragons “fate” was to begin my gaming career not long before the appearance of 2nd Edition. I tend to associate 2nd Edition with the decline of my first era of D&D gaming during my teenage years. It may just be my least favorite version of D&D...or maybe not. No, come to think of it, my least favorite version would have to be 4th Edition. More power to those who like 4E, but it's not for me. Like many, I was intrigued with the arrival of 2nd Edition’s numerous (perhaps TOO numerous) settings like Spelljammer, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Planescape, and the rest. But I never really found these settings interesting enough to actually use them.
Yeah, 2nd Edition never really felt right. I never truly got comfortable with it, due to what I considered its unnecessary complexity, the move from the Monster Manual to the Monstrous Compendium, and what I considered to be some of the “lower-quality” artwork (I never was a fan of artist Tom Baxa, or at least the art he produced for 2E AD&D and especially the Dragon magazine of that era).
Anyway, this is all just more navel-gazing on my part, so I’ll stop rambling for now. Some of the stuff in this post will be fodder for other posts, for sure. Until then, game on!