Talk:Editions of Dungeons & Dragons

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Individual AD&D entrys[edit]

Since there is a large difference between the different edditions of D&D, I was wondering if it would be worthwhile to construct seperate articles for each eddition of D&D (Basic-Expert, AD&D 1e, AD&D 2e, I'm not sure about constucting one for the current game, as much of the main article has most of the information on that. My primary reason for stateing this that there are several fans of the previous games who do not appriciate the current rulesystem as demonstated by, and if information from this page were taken, and given lengthy expansions, it could easily make exellent individual articles. Avador 05:52, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

go for it, if someone starts the new articles I will definitley support in improving and expanding them!--Erik the guy (talk) 20:21, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I have no objection to this but no motivation to be involved in it either. So if you want to make an article just make sure you have enough encyclopedic edition specific information tand write it. I think this article is important as a comparison for people interested in the game but only familar with some editions (old or new) to understand the key differences - Waza 06:15, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree: this article is about the changes between the editions, and should not detail everything in each. Separate articles, however, are definitely a good idea. Secondary Oak 19:31, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes AD&D is a completely different game than the various forms of D&D. While both originate form the same concept it should be noted that they are NOT the same game and not intended to play compatibly with each other. As those people who may use Wikipedia to find out information may not understand and be confused when picking up used older editions thinking they can join their friends who have copies of materials currently in print only to find they have little in common for rules other than general roleplaying ideas and place/people names. 15:23, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the reason that this article is of such low quality is that we have tried to explain several games in one article. This article should be a short list of the major differences between the editions of D&D, as well as some historical information. What we have here is a mess. Look at how long the list of changes between 3.5th and 4th editions is, it's ugly! How about a separate article for each edition, just like a video game series has a separate article for each game. We can list just a few of the important changes between each edition and provide a link to the main article. In the article for each edition we can give the more specific differences between the versions in paragraph or point form. Much more professional looking, right?

-- (talk) 19:58, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Forking articles is, sadly, a good way to get content deleted. The more deletion oriented editors can demand that each individual article prove its own noteworthiness, with reliable third party sources. That, say, 2e is notable is obvious is irrelevant; the policies say the onus is on the editor arguing for inclusion. My suggestion if you want to fork the article: collect up citations and add them to this article. When a given section has at least a handful of reliable sources discussing it, then fork that section with a brief stub and a "For main article see..." link. Note that reviews published by trade magazines will likely be ignored by the more deletion oriented editors as automatic and not evidence for notability. It's not my preference that this be the way things are run, but having been involved in one article with good content that got forked then deleted, I know how frustrating it is. — Alan De Smet | Talk 23:02, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm surprised there aren't separate articles already. Each version was made by different owners, different cultures, different target markets, with different controversies, etc —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

4th Edition?[edit]

Is there any information about 4th edition, either on the internet or otherwise? Rumors, etc.? I'm not eager to get there---on the contrary, I'm hoping all my books don't become outdated! Just was wondering if it's been talked about at all.

The awnser is simple: no such thing exists. Given the amount of time between the updates & releases of the previos editions and the current popularity of the d20 system, I'd say you do not have to worry about that happing for a long time. Avador 08:17, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

There was a rash of rumours over the early part of August, but it's died down. There was no announcement at GenCon, or anything like that; the closest thing was a strong hint that there would be a big announcement, which may or may not be 4E, at Winter Fantasy early next year. So it seems pretty safe to say there's no definite information and won't be until next February at the earliest. And of course, there is bound to be at least several months, most likely around a year, between any announcement and the actual release. PurplePlatypus 23:53, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

There is information look at the D&D Editions article

Okay, on the wizards forums, people found a hidden forum for moderators to talk about 4th edition. People started posting what was said from that forum in the main forums, but then their posts got edited. Does anyone know what was said in that forum before it got closed to non moderator's eyes? Maybe someone here can contact one of the people who saw into the forum before it was shut down? -- 04:49, 16 August 2007 (UTC) announces fourth edition, currently (Aug 16th, 2007) the wizards D&D site displays onlyu a countdown with 5 hours left.

Someone has recently updated the class lists for 4th edition stating that Barbarian will also be removed and 'Warlord' will be added as a class. There is no link to a source supporting this and I was wondering if anyone could supply a source, if not it should be removed as speculation. Stoney2020 (talk) 15:39, 6 May 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stoney2020 (talkcontribs) 15:28, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

is any of the 4th edition rumors actually confirmed? I refuse to believe that WotC would be SO stupid... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:20, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

They're not removed, WotC is just releasing the core books in stages... thus i'm also changing the "8 Core Classes instead of 11" thing in the article. Ciobanica (talk) 06:55, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

But there are only 8 core classes, the other classes aren't part of the core rules unless D&D uses a different definition of the term in 4th edition. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 01:08, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes and No! The core books are PHB, MM and DMG, but instead of releasing them with all the info at once they're releasing them in volumes. Kinda like LotR was conceived as 1 book by Tolkien but they released it in 3 volumes for publishing reasons. Ciobanica (talk) 11:45, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
First, your analogy is flawed, the PHB series wasn't written as a single work and then split up into several volumes for publishing reasons, when the original 4e PHB was published, the class list for the PHB2 wasn't finalized and they probably hadn't even started writing the PHB3 or PHB4. As for being core rulebooks, can you cite any official source referring to 4th editions PHB2, MM2 or DMG2 as a core rulebook. -- Gordon Ecker 02:11, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
As if analogies have to be perfect...The idea is they want to sell more books over a longer period of time. As for sources, will this image with the PHB2 having CORE RULES written on it's cover do: ?! (compare with this: which has "core supplement" on it). Ciobanica (talk) 07:38, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I've rewritten the entry to remove any mention of the "core classes" term. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 09:27, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Hmm... it seems that D&D Core also includes supplements that aren't tied to any setting (see the WotC site, even some 3.5 extra races books are core), so removing any mention of core from the PHB classes seems like a good idea overall. Ciobanica (talk) 10:26, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

I think that the core books for d&d 4 is like this, in d&d 3.5 need to use 3 core books to use with the game, you can noot substitute the monster book 2 with the monster book, if you want to use the second you will need to use the first. In the d&d 4 will be like this: you can buy any of the race core books, any of monster books and any dmg books and use them in a core way ( or maybe choose between using mm, phb, dmg or using phb2, mm2, dmg2, or using both). In d&d 3.5 there ins much information for non-core classes in other books (feats, spells, prestige classes, itens....) this make the use of non-core restricted. Maybe d&d 4 will change that, making almost all classes having the same importance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Mr. Holmes[edit]

Is there a reason why John Eric Holmes isn't named in this article? If DCS gets a mention for his cover for the first Basic set, shouldn't JEH get a mention for his work on it?

The Holmes Basic set served as a introduction to either D&D or AD&D. (I need to look up a citation for this.) The original set remained in print until 1979, until it was replaced by the 1980/81 Expert set.

Just wanted to mention them & look up the cite before making these edits.

--Malirath 21:56, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Stupid template usage[edit]

Section Specific differences between versions of Dungeons & Dragons: "This article does not cite any references or sources!" Oh!! Isn't it obvious what are the sources?? Some fool littering around templates again! Said: Rursus 10:19, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

I came to the talk page to add exactly the same message. The sources are the books themselves, just like you don't reference a novel when discussing its plot. Removing the template now. -- Mike Blackney 00:44, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
While the template was probably overkill, the article could use more specific <ref>-style citations. Knowing which page a given detail is from would make it easier to other editors to check citations. Something like Dungeons & Dragons#Game mechanics, which I think does an exceptional job. — Alan De Smet | Talk 16:24, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Noting that a citation is needed to prove that v3.5 is frequently called v3.5 is ridiculous. -- 04:11, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Reliability verification for claim[edit]

Someone has requested a reliability check on the claim about anecdotal negative response for 4th ed. Here's what I can turn up. Next Generation called the author, Michael "Zonk" Zenke one of "Gaming's Top 50 Journalists" [1]. In addition to writing for Slashdot, he writes for respected sites The Escapist ([2], click "Advanced Search" then select his name from the Author list) and writes "Massive Update" for 1up. He's a professional game journalist with wide experience in the field and accolades from others. He was present for the announcement and at the convention immediately after the announcement. He seems about as reliable as any games journalist can be. — Alan De Smet | Talk 01:39, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:MonsterManual-v35-Cover.jpg[edit]

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If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 02:22, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

4dventure to be deleted[edit]

I've put 4dventure up for deletion. Not even WotC is using "4dventure" anymore, having abandoned the term after only a few months. And the core topic, 4th ed, isn't published yet, so it's hard to justify its own article instead of the coverage already in Editions of D&D. I'm just giving people a heads up in case they see anything in 4dventure they think should be copied into this article. I don't see anything that important myself, but a second opinion seems a good idea. — Alan De Smet | Talk 00:30, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Cutting explanation of TSR's bankruptcy[edit]

I realized I cut the paragraph that explained TSR's bankruptcy almost completely. But causes are something that have to be interpreted, and hence it's important to have citation and frequently to make it clear in the article who thinks that explanation is the correct one. In this case, I felt that at least some of the causes given were fan complaints more than real explanations. TSR failed because of "raised costs"? I was given to understand that one of the reasons they failed is because the Encyclopedia Magica set was sold at below cost. Did "the relentless persecution of perceived copyright infringement" really have any major effect on TSR? Were the supplements produced really of "of declining quality and little value to players or DM's"? I find "AD&D 2nd edition came perilously close to being the last version of the game ever published." completely bogus; the D&D name held and holds great value, and would have been sold to a buyer in about any conceivable circumstance.

Before any of it is replaced we should find a source that we actually quote as to the causes of TSR's decline.--Prosfilaes 01:44, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

According to Ryan Dancey, "AD&D 2nd edition came perilously close to being the last version of the game ever published" because TSR had so heavily borrowed against the valuable copyright and intellectual property of AD&D (their only real thing of value at the time) that it was doubtful that Wizards of the Coast could extricate the game from all of the loans on which it was held as collateral. - Iceberg3k —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
That would be a really good addition. What's the source for the quote? — Alan De Smet | Talk 02:55, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
that would be the "Ryan Dancey Report". no idea what better to call it, but it is included in the third post of this thread on WotC website. the above sums up pretty much what Dancey said about TSR and AD&D in general. . also there is a page that has a link at the very bottom, to an archived version of the "Dancey Report" shadzar-talk 07:00, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I've re-read the report, and I'm not sold on the summary that was deleted, and I'm certainly not finding the quote that Iceberg3k/ gave. That said, thanks for the reminder, it did let me add a useful entery to TSR, Inc. — Alan De Smet | Talk 20:26, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Deleting link to[edit]

I've deleted the link to several times and plan to continue doing so. My reasoning, in a nutshell, is that we should keep our links to a minimum. If two sites present significantly different information, linking both might be appropriate. But if they present the same information, we should try to pick the more complete, better cited one. Between dnd4 and enworld, the choice is clear. dnd4 doesn't cite where its information is from and it doesn't provide a feed of new information announcements. enworld does. — Alan De Smet | Talk 16:58, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Alan has requested that I support the reasons for putting a link on to on the external links section of the dungeons and dragons page. Although does a better job at citing it's sources it is my belief that does a better job at giving readers a clear cut and dry place to inform themselves regarding upcoming dnd 4e information. also has information on a broad range of topics, sometimes almost too much information, and the user interface can get confusing because of this. If you want to go to a site that has citations, go to If you want a site were the information is easy to read and only dungeons and dragons 4th edition related, is probably a better choice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) February 15, 2008

Thanks for replying. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I disagree. I agree we should link to a site collecting information about 4e. It's not appropriate for Wikipedia to collect every rumor, nor to be an exhaustive listing of every possible detail. So such a link is appropriate as a "Sites with other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article...." Wikipedia's goal is to be a great reference, so links to external sites that are good references are superior to those that aren't. enworld provides citations, dnd4 doesn't, so as a reference site it's better. Now, we could include two links, but given the goal that Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, we should err on the side of fewer external links, not more. All that said, I'd love for another opinion on the matter. Am I being overzealous in trying to keep the external link list pruned? — Alan De Smet | Talk 23:57, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


It says that unlike previous editions, there will be more than three core books, yadda yadda yadda. This is untrue, though not for the reason that people might think. The problem is that previous editions -also- included more than three core books - all core means, in WotC parlance, since at the end of second edition in fact, is "non campaign specific". Claiming this is a change new to 4th edition is erroneous. (talk) 19:21, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

You are correct, however "core rules" and "core rulebook" refer specifically to the 3 main rulebooks. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 01:33, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Until 3.5, there was a singular PHB and DMG. The PHB II and DMG II only showed up very late in 3.5. The citation for the claim quotes WotC staffers (you can check the podcast yourself), and is pretty clear; this is a different view of "core." He speaks of specifically withholding mosters from the first MM to communicate this new expectation. Why would the speaker feel the need to "train people" if it's the current status quo? — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:29, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
The product pages for the PHBII and DMGII describe each of them as a "D&D Rules Supplement", while the product pages for the 3.5 PHB and DMG describe each of them as a "Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook". "Core" is a broad, ambiguous term, but "core rulebook" specifically and unambiguously refers to the 3 main rulebooks, not to non-campaign-specific rulebooks in general. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 07:35, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

2.1 not 2.5[edit]

I have never seen it called 2.5, always 2.1e when not just 2 Edition. Before 3.5e came out nobody called any revised of anything x.5 but x.1 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

It's referred to as 2.5 in plenty of places, including by Paizo Publishing (proof) which was at one time affiliated with Wizards of the Coast. Wyatt Riot (talk) 22:43, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Do you have any pre-3.5 references to it being called 2.5, I know of some libraries having the 2.1 PHB in there database as the 3rd PHB back in 2000 and putting the 3rd in as 4th. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:51, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Sure, on Source via Google Groups I'm sure you can find more, because I know that my group of friends didn't come up with "AD&D 2.5" ourselves, but that's what we all called it. All this is besides the point, I think, because I don't think the article claims that the Revised Edition was referred to as 2.5 before 3.0 was released, just that it is often called 2.5 now, possibly as some kind of a retronym. Wyatt Riot (talk) 12:20, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Prestige classes and freedom of rules in 3rd edition[edit]

I have two issues with the section on the 3rd edition.

One: "Third Edition also presented the concept of the Prestige Classes which characters can only enter at higher character levels upon meeting certain character-design prerequisites or fulfilling certain in-game goals, previously setting specific, such as the three Knights of Solamnia classes introduced in the 1st Ed. "Dragonlance Adventures" hardback book and continued in the 2nd Ed. "Tales of the Lance" Boxed Set.[citation needed] Expansions for the game added to the optional ruleset, including super high-level campaigns with the "Epic Level" campaign options, and psionics."

This is incorrect. 3rd edition is not the first one to sport this concept as a generic, non-setting-specific feature. The 1984 Companion set by Mentzer already describes a number of classes, namely the Druid, the Paladin, the Knight and the Avenger, which can only be entered by reaching a certain level in another class (Cleric or Fighter), having the proper alignment, and performing certain in-game actions. Prestige classes in all but but name, they ought to be acknowledged as the first non-setting-specific instance of the concept, preceding 3rd edition.

Two: "The rules are somewhat less restrictive than the second edition and allow players more flexibility and choice in the character that they want to play."

This strikes me as the subjective opinion of a wikipedia editor stated as an objective fact. While the actual truth or falseness of the claim is probably beyond the scope of this page to argue, it should be noted that opinions and arguments contrary to the above are frequently seen and debated in online D&D communities.

Now, if anyone from Wizards of the Coast has ever actually gone on record saying that this was their design intent, then such a citation would certainly be in order, appropriately naming the source. The sentence above, however, is not that, but an absolute statement unsupported by citation and not even a homogenously accepted opinion in the roleplaying community (for what that would be worth). It really should be struck. (talk) 12:03, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

There's also the 1st edition AD&D Bard, and possible the OD&D Bard from The Strategic Review. 3rd edition did re-introduce "advanced classes" as a core mechanic, 2nd edition only had advanced classes in specific settings such as Dark Sun. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 07:52, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
A large number of restrictions on class and race choices were cut, such as certain races being able to take certain classes and even what options a class can take (like Clerics being able to use non-blunt weapons). The rules are less restricitve. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zelphi (talkcontribs) 10:54, 19 December 2008 (UTC)


"In 1997, TSR considered filing for bankruptcy but was purchased by former competitor Wizards of the Coast, the creators of Magic: The Gathering."

Does this really tell anything about the editions of D&D, or is it better suited to the article about one of the businesses? shadzar-talk 19:27, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

It is important to the editions of D&D in that 3rd edition would have been radically different if the purchase hadn't happened. I think that it is perfectly suitable to the article. -Drilnoth (talk) 00:35, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
It provides context for the editions; they didn't occur in a vacuum. — Alan De Smet | Talk 04:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Well Magic the Gathering has nothing to do with D&D really, so it doesn't matter about other games WotC owns, even if it really does add context, which I don't think it does, to the fact that 3rd edition was made by WotC rather than TSR. Also WotC published AD&D material prior to 3rd edition, and none of the books were changed due to the CCG, they only included the WotC logo in the newly printed runs under WotC. I think linking to WotC is all that would be needed if any of it to tell who WotC is. But that is just me. So vacuum or not, Magic the Gathering really has no effect on D&D until 4th edition and its power system comes into play. shadzar-talk 05:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
WotC probably wouldn't exist except for Magic: The Gathering, and the card game also caused a major ripple in the RPG industry when it was created. -Drilnoth (talk) 20:40, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I misunderstood what you were talking about; I thought you were talking about the WotC buyout, not MtG specifically. I'm with you, Shadzar; I think MtG is a bit far afield to mention in this already quite long article. People wanting to know why WotC had a pile of money to buy TSR with can find it in the Wizards of the Coast article. — Alan De Smet | Talk 06:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I think it is important to mention, because leading up to the bankruptcy competition from Magic the gathering was a major contributor to TSR financial issues. Even if that weren't the case, it is important because it provides meaningful context about Wizards of the coast. Something like WoC, makers of Magic the Gathering, would be helpful and isn't POV IMO. (talk) 11:55, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Variant games.[edit]

What is the relevance of this section? There are many games made around D&D rules before after and during the OGL and other allowed licenses, but none of the things listed are actual D&D editions, no matter how close they are and may confuse casual readers as to the importance of their mention in this article. If there no where better suited to place this information? Maybe the D&D page itself to show that there are other very similar games that took the ideas directly, and sometimes rules in the case of AD&D and Hackmaster, from D&D. shadzar-talk 08:50, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I think that this is the best place for that section, as those games are spinoffs of various editions of D&D. Granted, though, the section does need some work to bring it up to par. I certainly don't think that the D&D article should have it; it already mentions the spinoff games enough and much more would draw the focus to far away from D&D. -Drilnoth (talk) 19:14, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
And that is my whole point. Geez trying to get Gavin to stop with tagging and reverting tags without first discussion on a talk apge about osmething and you want to join him in the silliness. The editions of D&D article here does not need games in it that are not actual editions of D&D. You have fully proven to me that the D&D article itself would be best suited, so any info belong there as it does not matter what specific edition a spinoff is made form otherwise all spinoff games including MMOs, and of spinoff products like anime, movies, etc should be in the editions of D&D article itself. So I know how to fix that. shadzar-talk 00:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
You know, that new article you created is actually better than I'd expected; I hadn't thought that there was that much material already! Do you think that we should at least put a link in this article so that it's easy to access? -Drilnoth (talk) 13:07, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Considering the material will have variants as in knock-offs of D&D form earlier times, and also will include variants allowed by licenses such as OGL, STL, and GSL, I placed a link on the main D&D page under the license section for this new main article and hopefully it can evolve into something presenting material based on all the variant game concepts other than just licensed products, but those in the same vein as C&C, Lejundary Journeys, etc to tell where they can be traced back to for some obvious reasons. Since they have a link to the main variant article on the main D&D article, I don't think a link needs to go here with editions as this will free the editions of D&D up from reader confusion on what is D&D, and what is D&D-like. At least that is my hopes in a nutshell. But now we just need to gather the correct information on the new article, and maybe someone step in that is a better writer to clean up and separate out the parts to explain what these variant games are in terms of OGL/STL/GSL, and general knock-offs meant to emulate D&D. Sort of a big article on spin-off games right now, that needs some more meat in it without actually taking away from any game that already has its own article. Of course the new articles name itself may not be the best either, so feel free to change it to something more appropriate. Hopefully this change will make it wasier to get this editions article up to better status, and allow the inclusion of the other information as well which can be worked on at a later time. This all can be discussed on the new article talkpage for those interested in helping make it better and this passage will be copied there for that discussion. shadzar-talk 01:19, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

tidy up[edit]

Just remember that the changes through editions helps to differentiate them and that is a big crux of this article. removing too many things form say 4th edition may not illustrate exactly how many changes were made to the game to create the new system, as each edition as it were is really a new system with some relating so close that they could be used with each other, and others so far apart they don't even resemble the same game. Where 4th is concerned this is true for 95% of the game as it is not backwards compatible with any other edition, unlike many of the previous editions. This has not been an easy article to work on due to all the changes that cause problems not only for us editing and writing it, but for those who play the games, or those who try to understand what the difference between the editions are, and we don't want the reader mislead by accident, but to help remove their confusion with this article. shadzar-talk 02:35, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I completely understand that the differences between editions is an essential part of the article, but I think that it needs some work. I removed the stuff which I thought was more minor; there will be small differences between 2 editions of any game. I think that the article should focus on the more major changes... such as changes in monster design, the introduction of power sources, and "what classes are core." If I removed anything that you reckon should be kept, by all means add it back in. I think that what we should do is trim the list to get to the major changes between each edition, and then expand the information about those changes. At this point, I think that most people who don't already know a lot about D&D would have trouble reading the lists. -Drilnoth (talk) 13:52, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The problem is those changes that are seen as "major" are the "sacred cows" from the previous edition, and each person will view it subjectively. "Core" classes are always changing. I think the list should include as many changes as possible within the limits of page size, and if further explanation is needed, then maybe split the article into a new page to expound on those changes if needed. Again, I would say we could ignore 4th edition all together and act like it doesn't exist for the sake of the encyclopedia, but this wouldn't be the right thing to do to add my bias to the articles, so we should include as much as possible to give the reader the best information while being concise and condensed to not overload the article. It is not our fault that so many changes were made to 4th that some feel it a new RPG and not D&D anymore than just "killing things and taking their stuff". But we have to work with what we get to make the best article possible. I didn't really read all you removed, but will add things back that are major sticking points for the new system to show its "evolution", and the makers call it. shadzar-talk 01:23, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
We could fork off separate articles for each of the editions, making this article a general overview. IMO it should be fairly easy to establish the individual notability of each of the editions. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 01:39, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
It would be pretty easy to establish notability for each edition, but at this point in time I'm not sure if we want separate articles. Maybe we should see what we can do with this article before thinking about splitting it; as soon as the Gary Gygax, Gen Con, and Ravenloft (D&D module) nominations have been resolved, I plan to try and focus on this article next. -Drilnoth (talk) 02:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

4th Edition section Future tense[edit]

The fourth edition section is written as if it has yet to come out. It is, in fact, out, and much of the information is out of date or written speculatively. (talk) 05:48, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

It was originally written before 4th edition was released; that'll probably be cleaned up soon as we try to get this to be a Good Article. Thanks! -Drilnoth (talk) 02:17, 18 January 2009 (UTC)


I think we'd like to consider this one for a possible future GA nomination. It still needs some work, but the subject is certainly a worthy one. Right now, we're likely to be busy enough with Forgotten Realms and Drizzt Do'Urden, but that should give us some time to talk about how we'd like to work with this article. BOZ (talk) 01:50, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Awesome! I think that the first thing that needs to be discussed is the lists of changes from edition-to-edition: should they be included at all? Do they need citations? Conversion to prose? Complete reformatting? Once that's decided, I think that most everything else should kind of fall into place. -Drilnoth (talk) 02:02, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
They absolutely need citations, because it's too easy to suggest that things like that are subjective or original research. One place you can go is the WotC website - one old document there, for example, listed rules changes from 2E to 3E. They seem to be fine as lists, but we might have to go prose with them. The time line strikes me as might be in need of compression. BOZ (talk) 02:09, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, you might want to rework the citations in the same manner as you've done with the main Dungeons & Dragons article. BOZ (talk) 02:11, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Good idea; I'll work on that when I'm done with the main article. -Drilnoth (talk) 02:16, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Some D&D fans, however, continue to play older versions of the game.....[edit]

There is no real way to cite this. It is an undeniable state of fact since Dragonsfoot exists, as well as people can be seen playing it at various places. Does this type of statement really need some kind of cited proof form a news source to be to prove it a fact? I would hope a claim that some people still drive a Model T Ford car does not need some kind of proof. However someone may want to add info about the companies making unofficial products under the OGL to be added will only confuse this article, but is proof that people still play "older" editions of the game, and not all play the newest rendition. The fact these companies are in business as well means their products are being bought. While they may not be used to play older editions, at least those making the product for the OGL are playing editions older than the current in-production edition product by the trademark/copyright holder. Was the citation needed template added as someones attempt to create some sort of edition war on a wikipedia article? Common sense would state to any reader of the article that not everyone adopts every product change throughout its history, so proof already exists for anyone that reads the article in that knowing that not everyone adopts the newest version of everything. Can we please not let this informative article be dragged into edition war territory by requiring needless citations for globally proven truths? If someone really feels the need for a citation that some people play, and companies make products for editions other than the most current, then will the person requesting said citation please present exactly where you could find "reliable" sources to include, or information to prove the fact that would not disrupt this article or confuse it by adding things that are not the main focus of the article? shadzar-talk 16:07, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

People play older editions of the game. That's a fact. It's not a {{fact}}. :) A citation would be nice, but I think that this is one case where common sense should play a more important role... I've met people who have refused to go from 1st to 2nd edition and still play classic AD&D, and I personally have played 4E very little (hardly at all, actually), preferring 3E. Really, it's just common sense. And even if we can't find a "reliable" source for this, the sheer number of "unreliable" sources which discuss it should have some weight in the situation. –Drilnoth (TCL) 17:51, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Regarding Solamnic Knights, I agree that they are not a "prestige class" in 1E/2E per se... however, a lot of the concepts involved in the 3E prestige class are similar, that is you have to do a certain amount of things in another class before you can become one. That said, there's no need to make the comparison without a source to cite it to. BOZ (talk) 19:28, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
This is also the case for earlier versions of bards. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 23:21, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
and druid heirarchy as to why you can only have one level 15 druid, anything above would be a special class. The prestige classes were more along the lines of the class kits than anything. Burglar, Acrobat, Barbarian, etc. shadzar-talk 23:49, 18 April 2009 (UTC)


I think we should try to avoid using the term "core" because it does not have a single clear, consistent definition. In 3.x and 4th edition, "core" could refer to either the core rulebooks or to everything which is not campaign specific. In 4th edition every book in the PHB, DMG and MM series is considered a core rulebook, however in 3.x only the first PHB, DMG and MM is considered a core rulebook, the rest are considered supplements. I don't know what "core" means within the context of earlier editions. -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 05:46, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. (talk) 11:59, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Ayup. When "Core" is used the edition context should also be given, especially with 4E saying that the PHB2, MM2, etc., are "core". –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 15:18, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Pathfinder RPG[edit]

Since Pathfinder RPG is de facto a revised 3.5 Edition, shouldn't it deserve a mention in this article (in section of 3rd Edition)? Gamers are openly referring to it as 3.6 or 3.75 D&D. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:50, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Probably the important question then is, what is the gaming press or whatnot saying? Because we need a reliable source to even mention it on this page. (talk) 13:14, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Pathfinder definitely deserves a mention with 3.5, as it's basically a variant, and is considered as such by the community. There are a lot of articles that discuss 3.5 and Pathfinder together. Andrew Keenan Richardson (talk!) 01:46, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

I have added a brief mention of Pathfinder, along with several sources. Since it apparently frequently outsells D&D, of which it is a direct descendant, it seems like a noteworthy and important part of the topic. Hopefully the sources are found to be adequate. Grayfell (talk) 00:32, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Dungeons and Dragons in China[edit]

I've been living in Chengdu for four months now and playing Dungeons and Dragons in Chinese with my new friends. It is indeed called 龙与地下城 (龙 long - dragon; 与 yu - and; 地 di - earth, land; 下 xia - after, under (preposition); 城 cheng - city [城市]; I would disagree with the translation castle). It is also commonly called D&D (or, more properly, 地恩地). The entire core rulebook series for 4e is fairly readily available in gaming shops, and I've seen some 3.5e materials around. I haven't seen any copies of PHB 2 or other books; my group was very excited to have access to new classes when I gave them my copies. The dice selection here is somewhat lacking; I don't think Chessex distributes to southwest China regularly from what I've seen. Generally speaking, only one or two people own legitimate hard copies of the PHB, and everybody else pays to have the entire thing photocopied. The overwhelming majority of things have been translated well enough, but some western words are Sinicized (particularly names of gods, locations in the Forgotten Realms setting, fantasy words like Tiefling, Eladrin, etc.) and all key terms given this treatment are listed with the name in Latin characters beside in parenthesis, in all capitals. I will be going through my copy of the Chinese Player's Handbook in the coming weeks to see if I spot anything unusual but, to my delight, Chinese DnD players have the same sorts of rule debates that occur everywhere else in the world the game is played.Jeffrud (talk) 13:33, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Cool story, man!  :) BOZ (talk) 15:41, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

1st Edition & Unearthed Arcana[edit]

I think we need a lot more discussion of the Unearthed Arcana from 1e, and its influence on the later 2e game. A lot of 1e products written after the release of the Unearthed Arcana are very difficult to use without that book, as it rewrote huge sections of the Player's Handbook. Here's a short list of a few of the changes I can remember from it:

  • The class and sub-class system was completely redone, with the new Cavalier class becoming the parent class for Paladins. Barbarians and Thief-Acrobats also appeared here. Cavaliers and Barbarians had a lot of rules; Cavaliers began at negative level and had to advance to level 1 as fighters before they could become true Cavaliers. Barbarians were required to destroy all magic, including friendly spellcasters and magical items the party might need later in an adventure.
  • Rules were added to allow maximum-level druids to retire and allow a lower-level druid to move up to maximum level, although the other classes which could have used similar rules- notably the Monk and Assassin- got no such option. All three classes were normally required to hunt down a higher-level member of the same class and defeat them in order to advance; the rules specified that the combat was lethal in evil organizations, while in good or neutral ones the combat might be non-lethal and the loser would lose enough XP to reduce them to the previous level.
  • Proficiencies make their first appearance in hardcover print, although they might have shown up in Dragon Magazine sometime before.
  • Bards might have gotten a rewrite based on some material from Dragon magazine- my memory is fuzzy here.
  • Spellcasters got more spells, and there were a lot of extra magic items as well.
  • Social status rules appeared here, but I think they were copied in part from ones released in Oriental Adventures.
  • Rules for zero-level characters who had no character class, and an introductory adventure which was set in Greyhawk city.

The Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, which required the Unearthed Arcana, introduced orthographic mapping. This was a style of mapping which emphasized three-dimensional artwork, and required special graph paper. It had some weaknesses, notably a dependence upon two-point perspective which could render some terrain features invisible to the DM. Early 2e-era modules and sourcebooks only included orthographic maps, although later ones reverted back to the bird's-eye perspective introduced with original D&D.

Admittedly, most of the changes to the class system were dropped in 2e because of the problems all of those changes could bring. Including a Barbarian with the party, for example, made everyone completely unable to use magic.

Ironically, the changes the Unearthed Arcana made to 1e had more of an impact than that of the move from 3.0 to 3.5, but you don't hear people talking about it too much. It was in print for four years or so; maybe people simply chose to ignore some of the more problematic changes? (talk) 18:41, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Dungeons & Dragons in Sweden[edit]

As the one-time publisher of the TSR-licensed swedish version of D&D as well as the fan responsible for the OGL based translation of D&D3, I am a little concerned with the note about the swedish name of the game.

At the time when we published D&D Basic Set, we couldn't come up with a good name for the product, so the box had "D&D" as the title with "Dungeons&Dragons" as a subtitle. There was also competition from a totally unrelated swedish FRPG which called itself "Drakar&Demoner" (Dragons and Demons), so we wanted to take back the abbreviation of D&D in the mind of the public.

Eventually we closed business and Dungeons&Dragons ceased to be available in swedish. Until the advent of 3rd Edition and the OGL. At that point I took it upon myself to create and publish a swedish version of D&D 3.0 and decided to name it "Dunder&Drakar".

This being the long story, I think that the short note in the article is somewhat misleading. Maybe I should change it to state the name in swedish to be "D&D" and just mention the current name of "Dunder&Drakar" as an example of using the alliteration? Does someone with more experience in writing articles have a better idea? (talk) 13:48, 17 May 2011 (UTC) Oldtimer

I think the note should be removed entirely, because the cited source is from the Swedish Wikipedia: [3]. We aren't supposed to be using other wikis (including other language versions of Wikipedia), or even use English Wikipedia itself, as a source. (talk) 14:09, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree that it's not valid as a source, but that link (to the Swedish Wikipedia) could be useful as "further reading", right? If we want an external source, there is an official web site for Dunder&Drakar: [4]. (talk) 08:43, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and Yes! (talk) 11:51, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Edition Wars?[edit]

Shouldn't there be some mention of editions wars here (at least from 2E on, I think)? I am not suggesting adding POV here, or taking sides. But it seems odd that I can't find any reference to on and offline edition warring (something anyone who plays the game knows is highly prevalent). (talk) 11:51, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

If you can find a source, that might be worth including! (talk) 15:28, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

What sources would be considered acceptable for demonstrating a real phenomenon in a culture that isn't really in the news much. I doubt we will find any news sources on it. I am sure we will find blogs and rpg news site coverage. But don't want to go digging without knowing what will be acceptable. I could see this entry itself becoming a proxy ground for edition wars. (talk) 18:43, 11 June 2011 (UTC)


Any one have info on what languages it has been translated into? (talk) 18:24, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

I think the main Dungeons & Dragons article has a list of international printings? Not sure that we need to mention that on this page though. (talk) 18:33, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Arduin miscredit for good/evil axis inspiration?[edit]

I can barely even believe I am taking the time to argue this, but if the Wikipedia article on Arduin is correct, the first Arduin supplement did not come out until 1977? Gary Gygax published an article in the February 1976 issue of "The Strategic Review" (Volume 2.1/Issue #6) explaining that it was a misunderstanding of the rules that law/chaos and good/evil were the same thing, and presenting a chart that looks very much like the alignment axis system that came to eventual prominence in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (though he confesses his ideas on the subject had evolved). The claimed influence of the Arduin books is definitely incorrect, unless they came out before 1976 (which they could have, certainly). (talk) 06:38, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

further bridging the gap from 2nd to 3rd via 2.5[edit]

im trying to add information on the mentioned 2.5 Player's Options edition for more completeness or rather lack of inclusion and that seems to cause confusion for some people. i have already added the right headers, i think, so if anyone can help add the BIGGEST portions that transition from 2nd to 3rd in differences and some context to expand it beyond mention at the bottom of 2nd edition, that would be great. shadzar-talk 17:42, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't believe the Player's Option books were ever pitched as a new edition, just additional, optional supplements to second edition. While they were wildly perceived as being a new edition, I'm not sure we could support it with citations. — Alan De Smet | Talk 17:42, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
"2.5" was largely an unofficial fan invention, unlike "3.5". (talk) 18:33, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
my main attempt Alan, is not to say its an edition, and my table structure is off, so why i added the WIP or whatever tag tot he section, but to show where the changes came as there were more to "2.5" than UA offered for 1st. since WotC is making an edition to "capture the feel of all other editions" the feel and MAJOR changes of "2.5" might be helpful when that 5th edition comes out. should we state un/half-truths or facts? "point-buy" didnt exist first in 3rd but was also present in 2nd. you know me, just trying to collect facts and let others sort them into better organized material for the reader. shadzar-talk 16:11, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Neutrality and 1st Edition[edit]

The ambiguities and obscurities of the original rules helped D&D's success as individual groups had to develop their own rulings and ways of playing and thus gained a sense of ownership of the game. It also inadvertently aided the growth of competing game publishers, since just about anyone who grasped the concepts behind the game could write smoother and easier to use rules systems ng the first such).[2]

This seems pretty subjective and, while I'm not an expert, I suspect there are a lot of fans who would disagree strenuously that " anyone who grasped the concepts behind the game could write smoother and easier to use rules systems". Unless this is meant to be a quote from some source and this wasn't formatted correctly, I suspect this should be removed entirely - at the very least, the article shouldn't be endorsing it, it should be presented as the opinion of "many critics say" or something (necessitating the need for a source, of course.) - MugaSofer — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mugasofer (talkcontribs) 16:18, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

It's possible that the quoted section above is sourced to the White Dwarf article, the phrasing suggests that to me, at least. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the article to verify. While I think it could be phrased better and use another source or two to back it up, it's essentially true. A couple hobbyists released an oftentimes ambiguous system, inspired a number of similar systems such as Tunnels & Trolls that cleared up ambiguities, and then the hobbyists released their own official revision after gaining a bit more experience and resources. WoTC is still doing it today, although offshoots like Arcana Unearthed, Iron Heroes, and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game are changing the flavor of the game as much as resolving ambiguities or streamlining the rules. Woodroar (talk) 17:02, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Version vs. Editions[edit]

Oknazevad, you made it clear that you only understand the Advance/d20+ line of "Editions" and that you have failed to look at the source to indicate that there is clearly a conflict in using "editions" ( "it is called 'D&D 3rd edition' and '4th edition' for a reason"). It is standard usage per the source that "EDITIONS" is used for the Advance/d20+ line. The article, also cover the classic branch which common name doesn't used "Edition" at all and are never commonly refered to as Editions which are commonly refered to as Original, Basic (or Holmes), BX (or Molday), BECMI (or Mentzer), RC. So do you plan to remove the classic branch from the article? Confusingly enough intitally TSR did attempt to use Editions in regards to that line. The classic line would have been up to the "5th Edition" in 1991!!!! The collector site allow the lead to be clear and not case confusion that you knee jerkingly invoked and not have if we stick with IDing both lines with "edition" the seperate line's 4th edition smashed together in one section. Spshu (talk) 23:49, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Actually, I not on;y understand the Basic vs Advanced distinction, I even have a copy of the old Rules Cyclopedia for the d\basic edition. My point being that 3rd and 4th editions are no more part of the AD&D line than AD&D is part of the classic basic game, what with each having very different gameplay mechanics than AD&D (1st or 2nd editions, which are much more similar to each other than either 3e or 4e), or even between 3e and 4e. Essentially, there's been 4 rather different gameplay generations of D&D: Original/Basic; AD&D, 3e, 4e. To that end the title "versions" might be better, but that is not how the publisher refers to them, treating each of them as a separate "editions", using that terminology explicitly.
More specifically, I don't believe the source added fulfills the reliable source guideline, being a self-published blog, and its argument is not the final word, as you seem to want to make it. Plus I had a strong procedural objection to unilaterally changing the title of this article (which has always been at "editions") without discussion. But that's neither here nor there. I just think the using one self-published source as the definitive word is poor procedure. oknazevad (talk) 01:34, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Still based on you edit summaries made it clear that you have an Editions, or Advanced/D20 bias. No, you claim that "one SPS does not trump all other uses and general practice." General practice on WP is common name, not publisher designation. The WOTC versions (which I assume you are refering to, as you could be refering to "1981 Basic Sets as either 'Second Edition, Revised' or 'Third Edition', 1983 Basic Sets as 'Third Edition' or 'Fourth Edition'".) are a part of the AD&D line in there continuation of the AD&D edition count. While game play is not an issue here as there are more "gameplay generations" than 4. There is a need to disambig. classic line versus AD&D/d20 editions, which the Acaeum website attempts to do. How can I tell what you mean by Editions is that common usage is for Editions to refer to the AD&D/d20 versions, not the classic revision. Again, you show that you didn't look at the matter in that the source, Acaeum, is NOT a blog and that page had around 25 contributors, so not a "self published source". Nor, is the publisher's designation as you make it the final say as we use at WP the common name. The article being at "Editions" indicate in common usage excludes classic line D&D. Just because those editing the article have a POV of the Advance/d20 line, doesn't mean it it should be at "editions". And I think your personal option isn't enough to be the definitive word is even poorer. At least I have a source. Previous to my edits, the classic line was not refered to as "editions" but as "versions", so that blows a hole in your claim that they are all refered to as "editions" per all previous editors. If you have a strong procedural problem with being bold then leave Wikipedia as we are suppose to be bold. I have a strong procedural problem with editors make POV statements in edit summaries like you did. Spshu (talk) 15:15, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I meant to reply here sooner; my apoligies. I have been working with an excellent source called Designers & Dragons by game designer Shannon Appelcline. I searched through my copy of the book to find what he has to say about this, so let's examine a few excerpts:
  • "In 1980, with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons now complete, TSR returned to Holmes’ D&D Basic Set as Tom Moldvay wrote a second edition (1980). This was the edition of the game that explicitly broke the ties between D&D Basic and AD&D, creating a division that would last for over a decade."
  • "B1: In Search of the Unknown (1979) predated the second edition rules by Tom Moldvay."
  • "1980-1981 were the years in which TSR – and thus the roleplaying industry – truly came of age. D&D and AD&D were now out in new, polished editions."
  • "Frank Mentzer’s third edition of the D&D Basic Set (1983) was used as the launching point for a five-box series, which would eventually take Basic D&D characters from first level to godhood itself."
  • "The first was the D&D black box (1991), which was called ‘fifth edition D&D’ internal to TSR (counting original D&D, the Holmes revision and the Moldvay and Cook releases as the previous editions)."
That is how he refers to different parts of the pre-3E "D&D" game, emphasis mine. Here are his uses of the word "version" in reference to the "D&D" game:
  • "First, J. Eric Holmes – a doctor and professor of neurology and the author a Pellucidar pastiche called Mahars of Pellucidar – approached TSR with an offer to write an introductory version of D&D."
  • "Meanwhile Gary Gygax was already working on a more complex version of D&D which he called Advanced Dungeons & Dragons."
To me, his use of the word "version" here seems to be more similar to "variation". His use of the word "edition" above seems more in line with talking about editions as in AD&D 1E, AD&D 2E, D&D 3E, D&D 4E, and D&D Next. BOZ (talk) 22:05, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Dungeons & Dragons variants[edit]

This edit got me thinking: is there a reason we include releases that aren't actually "Editions of Dungeons & Dragons" in this article? I could be wrong here, but I don't think reliable sources generally include third-party releases when discussing specific D&D editions, except to state that they aren't, in fact, TSR/WoTC products. Woodroar (talk) 21:21, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

The explosion of third-party sources due to the OGL is notable in regards to TSR, because it resulted in a stable version of their earlier release under their license. It's not like we get into details, really; we just mention the rather significant presence of Pathfinder, 13th Age and Castles & Crusades. It's useful to link them. Ogress smash! 21:36, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I largely agree with Ogress here. Because these games are direct derivatives that use the OGL to include what would otherwise be exclusive TSR/WotC intellectual property that has been placed under an open license, they are different from other games that are thematically similar or in the same genre. They also have direct adaptations of game mechanics directly derived from D&D, unlike, say Rolemaster or Dragon Age. This means that they aren't purely alternatives to D&D, but alternate takes on D&D. As long as undue weight isn't given to them (and the current brief section really only mentions the games in passing) it is an appropriate level of coverage. oknazevad (talk) 23:15, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I think expanding coverage of 3rd party products, with sources, would be fine. This all centers in the definition of wikt:edition, which is pretty vague. There's a big overlap between edition, variation, and product-line here. Considering that the article is not titled Official editions of Dungeons & Dragons, important games which are clearly related, like Pathfinder, should be included. The article mentions Player's Option: Combat & Tactics, but doesn't mention Arcana Unearthed, which seems odd to me. The current mention of 3rd party products is functionally subtle editorializing, as it's implying that they're less important, but sources don't really support this- Pathfinder outselling 4th for several quarters being the obvious counterpoint. If sources can be found discussing the differences of unofficial editions, then they should be included. At the very least, wikilinking to them is appropriate. The article should be trimmed though, and doing that before adding more info would be nice to prevent it from getting even more cumbersome than it already is. Grayfell (talk) 23:40, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not normally the guy who argues against increased coverage of things, but... while a mention of the variants makes sense (perhaps in the specific context of their derivation from the OGL), I'm a little wary of having too much focus in this article on games that derive from D&D but aren't actually official versions of D&D. Why not restore and upgrade the Variant Dungeons & Dragons games article instead, perhaps by merging it with the Dungeons & Dragons retro-clones article, and link that here? I believe the variants are important enough to cover on Wikipedia, but I'm not sure if this article is the right place. JEB215 (talk) 00:40, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
I think Grayfell and JEB215 touched on my main concerns. There are certainly sources covering these products, but many (perhaps most) of them are primary. I'm just not sure this article is the place to include them. As far as I'm concerned, it comes down to this: if reliable, third-party sources lump variant products with official products, then so be it, they should be listed here. But we should let the sources guide article content, not our own opinion of what counts and what doesn't. And from my small amount of research, the only sources stressing that connection are by the companies making the variant products, which the first exception on WP:ABOUTSELF.
And if we do find sources lumping them all together, hopefully we can include Arcana Unearthed (as Grayfell mentioned) along with City State of the Invincible Overlord and Dark•Matter, two of the other oversights I've noticed. But I really think we're better off including them in Variant Dungeons & Dragons games as mentioned above. Woodroar (talk) 01:36, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
While I can certainly agree with mentioning Arcana Unearthed, as it's analogous to others like 13th Age, the latter two you mention are campaign settings, not full games, so they aren't in the scope of this article. They may warrant mention in Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings, however. oknazevad (talk) 02:27, 1 August 2015 (UTC) Addendum: Dark•Matter was for d20 Modern, not D&D. City State of the Invincible Overlord is already mentioned at the campaign setting list article as part of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy section, as that's the name of the full setting; City State'm was the first book for the setting, but it was expanded over the years. oknazevad (talk) 02:40, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As Woodroar said, the important thing is going to be sources, and those seem pretty thin. The distinction between campaign settings and rules is significant, but like 'edition' it has the potential to be very, very confusing to someone who's not already familiar with D&D. Dragonlance: Fifth Age was part of the campaign setting, but wasn't even close to D&D rules, for example, or compare Dark Sun to Masque of the Red Death and they barely seem like the same game in spite of being the same 'edition'. I guess my point is that we shouldn't over-rely on TSR/WoT's loose definition of the term while ignoring other products that are significant to the topic. Especially if trying to assess this from an 'outsider's' perspective. Figuring out exactly how to chop-up the coverage is an important question too. It's tempting to want to revisit the Variant Dungeons & Dragons games redirect, but creating yet another article about obscure D&D games seems like its asking for trouble. Grayfell (talk) 03:24, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Well, the difference is pretty clear to me, at least: campaign settings aren't self-contained games, and cannot be played with just the one product. There's also the use of the settings in other products, like novels and video games or the aforementioned Fifth Age game (which was a dud, iirc). It's a very important distinction, in that settings can be used for more than just the game, but are not themselves full games. oknazevad (talk) 04:12, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Two more comments to throw in for consideration. One, I'm actually not too worried about secondary sources for connecting Pathfinder, 13th Age, Castles & Crusades, and so forth to D&D. The Designers & Dragons series goes into that, for example, and I think there are even a few recent books (or at least e-books) on the retro-clones specifically. Two, perhaps a spin-off article just needs to have the right focus - instead of "Variant D&D games", perhaps something like "Dungeons & Dragons-derived games"? JEB215 (talk) 03:36, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
That's a pretty good title, I think, but I'm not sure if another whole article is really needed. I recently did some overhaul to the D&D retro-clones article, to remove redundancies and shorten sections on the games that have their own articles. After that, I think the article is pretty well focused on its purpose, which is a specific category of D&D-derived games that have a commonality of purpose and theme. The other games are don't have the same purpose (being created to essentially keep older editions available for new players). So retro-clones are kinda similar, but a distinct category; the mention (and link to the more complete article) is really all that needs to be said here. Meanwhile the other variants, like PF and 13A, have their own articles for details, and a passing mention is enough. A separate article for all variants would likely be either too short, or become bloated with redundancies to those stand-alone articles, which are deserved because of each game's individual notability. So I'm going to loose splitting off that section, for now at least. oknazevad (talk) 04:12, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Slightly off-topic, but some good food for thought for everyone in this discussion - since JEB215 brought up sources, I just want to commend him once again for his recent expansion of Wikipedia:WikiProject Dungeons & Dragons/References. Lots of good stuff there, now. BOZ (talk) 06:56, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
BOZ, I'm happy to help. And speaking of sources, here are those two books on the retro-clones I mentioned: The Role-Playing Game Primer and Old School Playbook and the Old School Renaissance Handbook. (I didn't add either to the references (yet), however, as the former is possibly biased - the author is the creator of the game Basic Fantasy, covered in the book - and the latter is strictly an ebook.) JEB215 (talk) 10:10, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Better version of the timeline at the beginning?[edit]

Way back in 2010, I thought that the timeline right under the ToC was confusing, and began working on what was IMO a better one. It lives at User:LukeShu/D&D. I sort of lost interest, and never finalized it and moved it into the article.

There was little-to-no additional research or citations for it, it is just a raw adaptation of what the existing timeline says.

I just now noticed that the Immortals set came out in 1986, not 1985 (I've just now corrected it in my version). This mistake is still in the timeline in the article, 6 years later! I'm afraid to correct it in the article, as it shares a line with Unearthed Arcana, and editing that can get real nasty real quick.

I could just copy/paste my version into the article. But I was thinking about it, and I wonder if one of the fancy timelines that band pages use for the timeline of band members would work better?

~ LukeShu (talk) 19:30, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

I honestly think the current version looks better and should remain. I like the way color is used to highlight the differing versions (especially for Basic D&D) without relying entirely on it. oknazevad (talk) 20:30, 31 August 2016 (UTC)