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I looking to make a home-brew to fit a certain scenario and type of gameplay, with the "skeleton" being based on DnD. My question is, which is the easiest/simplest edition out?
By simplest/easiest I mean:
easiest to understand,
fastest learning curve,
All help is greatly appreciated :D
I'd go 4e or 2e.
4e may have a slightly steeper learning curve but once you get it you will hardly need to look at rulebooks during play. 2e is initially simpler, especially at low level, but then it escalates more drastically in complexity at higher level.
All in all, if your are looking for quick and easy way to get things rolling go 2e. If are looking long term and care for balance all along go 4e.
I think to answer the question I need to know who your players are. Specifically how much experience with D&D do they have? How much experience with RPG's in general do they have.
The reason I ask is that 4E is wonderfully intuitive and easy to learn for people who have not played D&D before because they have no preconceptions about past editions to get in the way. The eight-year old daughter of some friends took to it like a duck to water.
If they've not had any experience with D&D before I'd recommend using the 4E Player's Handbook 1 and 2 for character building as they'll not have any issues with the idea of a fighter and a wizard being equally complex and advancing in the same way.
If they've played D&D before then I'd recommend the Essentials classes (Heroes of the Forgotten Land and Heroes of the Fallen Kingdom) as they hew a bit closer to the expectations of people who've played D&D before.
The best part is that both types of classes can play at the same table so you could even vary it from player to player.
Regardless of which type of player characters you choose to use, I definitely recommend the 4E DMG (probably the best DMG ever) and the Monster Vault instead of the Monster Manual 1 or 2.
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