One of the lasting, if unfortunate, legacies of the Revised Third Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is the widespread use of version numbers when discussing the game's various editions. Thus, pre-Unearthed Arcana Gygaxian AD&D becomes 1.0, while post-UA AD&D is termed 1.5. Second Edition is termed 2.0 and the Player's Option books herald the arrival of 2.5. And so on. So ubiquitous has this usage become that gamers argue about whether the upcoming Pathfinder RPG from Paizo should count as D&D 3.6 or 3.75 or 3.9, depending on their estimation of just how much the game deviates from 3.5.
Though I'm guilty of using this scheme from time to time, I'm not a big fan of it. For one, I don't think the hobby gains much by aping the conventions of computer gaming. Indeed, it remains my contention that what the hobby ought to be doing is playing up the ways in which it differs from computer gaming, because, when it comes to direct comparisons of the things traditional RPGs and computer games have in common, traditional RPGs generally lose. As a friend of mine once famously put it years ago, "Why would I play D&D when Diablo has better graphics than my imagination?" Secondly, versioning assumes an evolutionary paradigm that I don't think has much applicability to RPGs. 2.0 is not simply a less fully-featured version of 3.0, but a different game entirely. I'd probably be much happier calling the current edition of the game Dungeons & Dragons IV after the manner of movie or video game sequels, since it doesn't carry with it any connotations of either evolution or improvement but only succession.
All that said, I was much taken with the comment by ckutalik to my earlier post in which he "yearn[s] for something like D&D .75 edition (for lack of a better term)." I know exactly what he means. One of the reasons I returned to OD&D rather than AD&D, despite my great love for the latter, is that, after the bloated mess of Third Edition, the last thing I wanted was another complex RPG and AD&D, while far simpler than 3e, is still more complex than I wanted. Futhermore, baseline AD&D has a much sharper power curve than I like in my fantasy these days. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's "munchkin-y," because that'd be hyperbole, but there's little question in mind that AD&D, with its "it is usually essential to the character's survival to be exceptional (with a rating of 15 or above) in no fewer than two ability characteristics," caters more to that mentality than does OD&D.
Yet, AD&D possesses a lot of great flavor. The ambience and trappings of 1e are far more to my liking than much of OD&D. And I find that, when it comes to inspirations and the practical matter of how I play, I feel a lot more affinity for the AD&D grognards than I do for the OD&D ones. That's why my Dwimmermount campaign has begun to borrow a lot more from the supplements to OD&D, laying the groundwork for the "proto-AD&D" to which I've alluded in the past. Like ckutalik I realize that I want a game that plays as fast and loose as OD&D but has much of the "chrome" of AD&D. In short, I want a kind of AD&D-flavored OD&D, which may explain why projects like Goblinoid's Advanced Edition Characters hold so much appeal for me. The thought of the clean, easy-to-use rules of Labyrinth Lord married to the flavor of AD&D is where I want to be these days.
Am I the only one?