I just realized that it has been every bit of more than two decades (21 years for sure, maybe 22) since I began playing D&D and roleplaying games. After being introduced to the concept by a cousin of mine who had beaten the AD&D 1E books into complete submission (they required a folder since the covers had fallen off!), I remember I had no clue about what to get the first time I went to buy something with my allowance, and wound up with the Taladas boxed set for Dragonlance, which has turned out to be of some influence in my games (I hardly ever play as a player, mostly DMing for me). Then it was the Goblins Lair boxed set, followed by the Haunted Tower boxed set, the Rules Cyclopedia, and then the black box with the Red Dragon on it, followed by beat up copies of the BECMI red box and blue box. By the time I was 12 I was on my way. I completely skipped 1E (but I have the books now) and went right to 2E since that's what my school friends had been playing. I never lost the love for the Rules Cyclopedia, however. I ran my best school-era campaigns from that book. Monte Haul though they were, it was great fun. I love 3.x for the ability to make everything a rule (and boy does it ever), but I like the early rules the best. That's why even though I own a library full of Pathfinder supplements, I am using Swords & Wizardry for the next campaign. It works best for me. On-the-fly adjudications and off-the-cuff rulings are fun, and I don't have to worry about how this or that works in the ruleset (not to mention the mental gymnastics that is monster-building in 3.x-based games). Give me simplicity.