It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of Wizards of the Coast, and the twilight of TSR; it was the creation of the OGL, and the destruction of T$R,  it was the birth of Attacks of Opportunity, and the Death of Thac0.

Most of us had survived the Millennium, but some believed the End Times would still come because technically the Millennium would start on January 1, 2001.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer would enter it’s fifth season, while Firefly and Smallville were yet-to-be, but we all began to hear about the Dungeons and Dragons movie.

And Rammstein had yet to release Sonne, one of the best songs and videos of all time.

In Dragon Magazine you got to see tidbits of what Third Edition would be like. Everybody watched and waited–even those who left D&D for Magic: The Gathering or another RPG like Vampire: The Masquerade.

EN World was still in its first incarnation, with Eric Noah picking up any scope on Third Edition he could get.

Every gamer waited for August. August 2000. 16 years ago.

When D&D Third Edition would be released upon the world.

It was an exciting time. A dreadful time. I was going to start school at a university in the fall in a new town–and I had little idea what I wanted to do with my life. My old gaming group from high school was beginning to drift apart; it was getting harder and harder to meet up.

Overall, I was anxious for a lot of reasons.

Wizards of the Coast had resurrected D&D from the dead. And, given all the sneak-peaks, it seemed to be a different beast.

When I finally purchased the core books at the FLGS, I remember the store owner saying: “They finally did it. They finally got D&D right after all of these years.”

I took the books home, liked what I read, and wanted to run a game right away…


This month is about my journey through what I call the “heady days” of Third Edition, from around 2000 to 2003, where many gamers had bought into the craze…

Aside from The Art of Wargaming series on Tuesdays and Thursdays, August will be dedicated to Third Edition here at the Word of Stelios I’ll be posting reviews, retrospectives, advice on how to run the game, and personal stories.

If anybody else wants to come along on this journey, they’re more than welcome. It’ll be an unofficial D&D 3e blog hop of sorts.

Although the heady days would turn into a heady daze, there was still nothing quite like those early years of D&D 3e.