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What is the Best WOTC Edition of D&D?

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Jam The MF:
If you were going to play a WOTC Edition, which one would it be?

For me, it would either be 3.0 or 5.0 Without Feats or Prestige Classes.  3.5 was just a rewrite of 3.0 with more pages to read.  Neither was perfect.

What kind of game do you want to play with it? I found 4e combat to be fine, but out of combat it was garbage.Both 3e and 3.5e were flexible and detailed but had trap options and suffered from too many supplements bloating the lines. Beyond that, spellcasters vastly overshadowed non-casters. And 5e is basically the compromise version of D&D. It's not the best at anything, but it's (generally) not thr worst st anything either.

I played the absolute shit out of 3e/3.5, and there's some great memories there. It came out at the perfect time, when I was old enough to have a steady stream of disposable income, and young enough to be carelessly stupid with it. 3.5 was the better version, addressing some balance issues and ironing out some of the rough edges. Some things, like Grappling, still sucked ass, and the content bloat got ridiculous.

Core 5e is fine, but the system is starting to suffer from the same thing that killed 3e: useless bloat and power creep. If I had to pick between the two, I'd probably go with core 5e (with a few things pulled from Xanathar's and Mordenkainen's). It's just more streamlined and the subclasses offer players a nice variety of options (though I'd probably rewrite a few of them to better balance the classes). I would also ban Feats.

Easy, WotC Basic 5e. Everything simplified, robust, flexible for GM adjustment and adjudication, and most important... evergreen free.

Everything else is a pale shadow of utility. For playable content for Basic 5e just go third party products, pick & choose used 5e books (slim pickings), or port over better older TSR D&D content.

Edit: Oh, I would include the Basic 5e MtG setting conversion guidelines. They are not robust enough to fix MtG settings into something with tight canon, and that is for the best as it leaves things flexible. If you are a big MtG lore nerd you can go crazy because you already know the stories. If you just like the art and cards and wanna spin out your imagination from there with a few special rules, the Basic 5e setting conversions are so threadbare that your personalized planes and canon is easily placeable upon the card set lists and barebones rule suggestions.

5e D&D is my main game, I just try to avoid the later Crawfordian stuff. I occasionally still play 4e D&D, but it's really hard to maintain a campaign, and it's very narrow in what it can do - I like sandboxing, and 4e REALLY hates sandboxing. I don't do 3e any more, the only version I really like is the 1e Pathfinder Beginner Box, which is level 1-5 only. An E6 3e game could also work well I guess.


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