Originally Posted by Roland St. Jude
If someone can, more power to them. That seems like an incredibly difficult undertaking. I'd suggest that you take whatever anyone tells you in response with a grain of salt. Experiences differ greatly depending on when you played each version, who you played it with, what version you started with or played the most, and so on. I recall a startling conversation I had in the early 80s with some gamers from the next town over, and it quickly became clear that the AD&D they played was very different from the one we played. How much more varied are the experiences are the experiences of people picking up the old versions 20+ years later or gamers who've been playing older editions for just as long now looking at 3e and 4e?
In my experience, older versions tend to have simpler and quicker chargen, fewer choices in chargen, higher lethality, greater emphasis on player skill to defeat challenges, less concern with level-by-level balance between PCs, less reliance on magical items (though games vary widely between the Monty Haul and the mundane), and a general default position that your characters could try to do anything and the DM would adjudicate accordingly. [/url]
I realize it's a very vague question with a lot of different answers, and is kinda like asking "So can someone give me an Idea of what its like to use a computer?", Everyone uses one in different ways, and therefore have different experiences with them. but your second question is exactly what I was trying to ask for, without knowing how to state it. Kind of a summary of basic design, was what I meant.
The wikipedia article clarified a lot. It's much easier to understand visually for me than trying to read about it. Well thanks for weighing in everyone, i'm gonna see about trying to findeither some AD&D 2nd edition rulebooks, or try one of the more recent systems mentioned that emulate the Ideas of earlier editions, Like Crusades and Castles.
Edit: oh and as someone mentioned one of the things that brought me to interest in older editions were the campaign settings. A friend of my had an old Planescape book laying around which I absolutely loved.