I started roleplaying back when 1st Edition AD&D was giving way to 2nd Edition. We had the rulebooks for the latter system, but used adventures from Dungeon Magazine and modules for the prior. When 3rd Edition was released, along with the Open Game License, it opened a vista of writing and publishing opportunities that were previously unknown to me. That is what, of course, let T.S. Luikart, Gareth-Michael Skarka and Ian Sturrock write the Skull & Bones supplement, which led to the Buccaneers & Bokor ezine, and thus to this blog. The 4th Edition of D&D left me cold, however, and I jumped ship to start playing Pathfinder. While I stand by that decision, the release of 5th Edition has me feeling a little nostalgic.
For one thing, Wizards of the Coast has released the core of the rules in PDF form via their website, a nice touch that lets me read through it without committing to buying the book. I must say that I like what I've seen of it so far.
Free D&D 5E Downloads
The thing that is making me even more nostalgic, however, is the release in PDF form of material for older editions. The prices seem fair, and reading through the descriptions of the modules and sourcebooks is a trip down memory lane. I'll mention in particular a trilogy of adventures, the U Series--The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater and The Final Enemy. These were some of the first adventures in which I played, and their nautical themes and thoughtful style of play made a huge impression on me.
Even though I'm playing through the Skull & Shackles AP for Pathfinder right now, and eagerly awaiting the new Freeport book for that system, these developments leave me itching to draw a map of Saltmarsh and use it to launch a campaign in the new/old style.