30 March 2024

Time spent running and playing editions of D&D

A curious thought came to me - how much of each edition have I played? It feels like I have been playing a lot of 5e recently - have I in the grand scheme of things?

Starting off my time was split with different campaigns more or less being different systems - the three big starting ones were World of Darkness, WHFRP and AD&D 2e - that was my teen gaming; threw in a smattering of one shots here and there but that was the bulk of it

Hitting Uni - I ran 3.5e, played more World of Darkness and WHFRP plus some freeform nonsense from time to time.

Post college it became almost all 3.5e - run as PBEM or played as Living Arcarnis - but all the same system. 4e happened but I never picked it up; work was ramping up and my social circle was both smaller and not interested.

Rolling off that into recent years I saw 5e happening but I was buried under career stuff so did not bother to make the leap to the new system. I kicked off a campaign in 2018 using 3.5e and another in 2020 which is still grinding along.

I finally picked up 5e in 2019 when I started going to my local games club - since then I've run and played quite a lot of it there and as part of pandemic-driven online campaigns.

Post-lockdown I've gotten in a few other games - Spire, Scarlet Heroes - but mostly D&D.

So which system have I put most hours on? I went back and checked (best estimates before 2018) and...
...it looks like I *still* put more hours in running AD&D than 5e - and that 3.5e dominates both of them. I guess when you have no other committments as a teen you can really crank those long form campaigns.

I stuck hours played in on top and the main difference is that I am *playing* a lot more D&D these days - I ran 1/3 of the tables I sat to back in the day, it is just under 40% these days so pretty much the same.

Another aspect is that in previous times I was playing other systems, now almost everything is D&D.

AD&D era - 1/3 D&D
3.5e era - half
5e era - > 9/10 D&D

So over all, edition on edition, I split my available hours between playing and running similarly but I *play* a lot more 5e - other times when I was running other editions I was playing different systems in parallel. I was not seeking to play different systems then, I am not specifically seeking 5e now - I play what is being run around me and apparently these days, that is 5e.

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