Dungeons and Dragons is the Greatest Game Ever!
RPG gamers love to argue about which game system is the best and I am gamer. In my long career at the game table I’ve played many of them, from original D&D to White Wolf’s very engrossing storytelling system and beyond and I will argue night and day that Steve Jackson’s Generic Universal Role Playing System is the best thing to happen to our hobby. It’s skill based mechanics make for effective but balanced characters and realistic situations rife for dramatic role playing opportunities. It is the game system for which I left D&D over two decades ago.
I have nothing but respect for Gary Gygax and his most wonderful of creations, that marvelous gateway drug, Dungeons and Dragons.
I fondly remember walking to my local Sears store to pick up the red box set of basic D&D that I had ordered from their catalog. My friends and I played that game every chance we got and soon hit the third level cap and had to move up to the blue box “expert” edition. We rose in levels and experience and soon discovered the broader depths of what was then called Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I had to go thirty miles to a bigger city to find copies of The Dungeon Master’s Guide, Players Handbook and Monster Manual.
And we began again, starting new characters and forging our adventurous way through the world of Greyhawk and others of our own design.
Then came the revised edition but we were old in our hobby and refused to move on. By this time we had The Fiend Folio, the second Monster Manual, Deities and Demigods and Oriental Adventures, so instead we added that incredible tome, Unearthed Arcana to our collection and gamed on.
Third edition came next and we became known as first edition holdouts. First edition. We liked that title and wore it with pride.
I still do.
I may have moved on to different game systems but I will always be a First Edition AD&D gamer. It is the wellspring from which I sprang. Just like Dungeons and Dragons is the source from which all the games that came later sprang. It is the game that everyone knows and most people play when getting into tabletop role playing. Without it we might not have our hobby at or at least not in the form we all know and love.
For that reason I stand by my headline.
Dungeons and Dragons—in whatever edition it is currently in—is the greatest game ever.
It’s creator was a man of vision and philosophy. He added rules to make believe and birthed a hobby and an industry.
I never got a chance to meet the man and shake his hand and thank him in person, so this will have to do.
Thank you, Mr. Gygax. We are all in your debt.
First Edition Dad