As most of our established users have learned, we have a strict tagging policy requiring the asker to specify the game system when asking a question in most cases. In games with substantial changes between editions, most notably Dungeons and Dragons, we also require the user to specify the edition. Questions that fail to include a system tag will get closed as unclear (unless there is a good case for the question being truly ).

The problem

While the aforementioned policy is good, many of our questions that'd seem to concern are closed because the asker doesn't specify the system and fails to do so despite requests. The fifth edition is well-known for attracting new players into the game, which can result in people not even knowing what an "edition" is in this context. The fifth edition is also reputed for not being very up-front about being "fifth edition" instead of "just D&D": see Do the D&D 5e source books specify which edition they are?

To put it briefly, I think the "which edition are you playing?" question, while necessary, is a hard one to many players but can be made easier. See my self-answer for my recommendation on this.


1 Answer 1


Recommended course of action

Turns out we have a relatively low-traffic question asking exactly this: see How do I know which edition of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) the books I'm looking at are for?

However, it lacks an answer with images! If someone with legal access to DnD books of various editions (especially the latest ones) or images to those would provide one (or edit the existing answer to include images), it would make using that question much easier for future newcomers.

Finally, since we have such a question, I wanted to spread it around in hopes people would link it to new users who might need help identifying their DnD edition. Kindly do so and see if it helps!

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would suggest that the images to that answer include (or even concentrate on) the logos: pictures of the full cover may be helpful but may also grow unwieldy very quickly. But 0e, 1e, 2e, 3e, 3.5e, 4e, and 5e logos are pretty distinctive. (While who knows with B/X, BECMI, &c.) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Jan 6, 2019 at 13:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think I'm going to post a new answer to seed the process... the author of the existing (very good) answer was prodded a few months back with a suggestion to add images and hasn't done so yet. (Which is their prerogative, but they're a near-daily user so I think we can be safe in assuming they saw the suggestion.) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Jan 6, 2019 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Thanks! That's awesome! \$\endgroup\$
    – kviiri
    Jan 6, 2019 at 15:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also note that non-English versions may have different covers than the English ones, so keep in mind of that (and if you have a fan-translated copy because you were living in the Soviet bloc where D&D was seen as a subversive tool of Western influence, then you're probably out of luck!) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 7, 2019 at 2:19

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