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Yet again, my move has uncovered some things that I haven’t laid my eyes upon in years. This time, I found a bunch of 4th Edition D&D (“4e“) material that I never used, and some I didn’t really use.
I know that 4e wasn’t for everyone. If it wasn’t for you, and you’re just a hater, then this post isn’t for you. Stop reading and go do what makes you happy. No one will give you shit for it.
When 4e ended, I knew what was coming. Everyone with whom I played D&D — and I mean everyone — would be moving onto 5th Edition (“5e“). Why? Because we were all people that met, directly or indirectly, through organized play. Therefore, we were all people who’d just move on to next edition without questioning it. We’d always have to be playing the current edition, whatever it was.
At the time 5e was announced, my friend, Erik, and I had a conversation. We were both of the mindset that 4e was ending too soon. (Erik would eventually be happy because he prefers 5e to 4e.) There was far too much material that we hadn’t yet used. Well, I was reminded of this as I unpacked a ton of 4e adventures and source books that I never used. Sure, I had seen some Shadar-Kai in Living Forgotten Realms, but I never played a Shadowfell campaign. I really wanted to make use of The Shadowfell supplement, either as a player or DM. That’s just one example. There are more than I could list here, especially when you consider the multitude of adventures.
But it’s not just 4e. Once 4e came out, I was so happy with it that I completely abandoned 3rd Edition (“3.0e” and “3.5e“). (Having to confirm critical hits is the dumbest rule in RPG history, so I was happy to see it go away.) As I’ve mentioned, I sold off all my 3.5e material because, as above, I knew that everyone with whom I played would move to 4e. This was a lot of material. I owned literally every sourcebook WotC published for 3.5e, a couple for 3.0e that were never upgraded to 3.5e, as well a ton of adventures (though not all that WotC had published). I also sold off a few 3rd-party products. The only things I kept were the three core books, the Spell Compendium, and Mongoose Publishing’s Pocket Player’s Handbook. I came to regret selling Deities & Demigods, Hordes of the Abyss, and Tyrants of the Nine Hells. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking (pun absolutely intended). Fortunately, Deities & Demigods was gifted to me later, but that’s not great for campaigns. I would really have liked to used Hordes of the Abyss, and Tyrants of the Nine Hells, but I’m not going to pay a minimum of $75 for Hordes or a minimum of $150 for Tyrants.
Of course, I’m capable of reading the material and adapting it to whatever edition I want to DM. Many of the monsters already exist across editions (though not 4e‘s uber-cool Immolith, except unofficially), but the cosmology and character options are very different. Crossing those streams has two disadvantages: 1) it’s more work; and 2) it subverts my players’ expectations for how the cosmology is currently structured. I wouldn’t know how to convert the Hellbred race from Tyrants of the Nine Hells to 1st Edition (“1e“), which is my current focus. Also, I want to start with the classic adventures first. Adapting adventures from other editions will happen later rather than sooner.
I’m not sure it’s in the cards, but there’s a lot of great legacy material out there that I wish I had used.