So the post after this winds all around the place, so let me encapsulate it.
No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
Edition 1 - D&D, called Original D&D or Classic D&D.
What it was: Three half-sized pamphlets and some tables in a small wood-grained or white box.
What is did: Started the whole thing, aimed at an audience who already played miniature wargames.
Edition 2 - D&D, called Blue Box D&D.
What it was: Full-sized booklets with various additional material
What is did: Explained the game to people who never held a polyhedral die before.
Edition 3 - D&D, called Red Box Basic or BECMI.
What it was: A series of boxes that progressed the levels of the characters.
What is did: Refined the idea of an expandable ruleset.
Edition 4 - AD&D, also called First Edition
What it was: Three hardback books released over two years.
What is did: Expanded into the bookstore trade, sought a higher level of completeness for the rules.
Edition 5 - AD&D 2nd Edition.
What it was: Two hardback books and a ring binder, later 3 hardback books. Two-color interiors.
What is did: Cleaned up both the rules and background to a wider market.
Edition 6 - D&D Rules Cyclopedia.
What it was: Single hardback volume.
What is did: Encompassed the Basic D&D line, culmination of BECMI, only one-volume Edition.
Edition 7 - AD&D 2nd Edition, later AD&D, most recently AD&D 2.5.
What it was: Three hardback books, full color throughout.
What is did: Reorganized, Strove for accessibility.
Edition 8 - D&D 3rd Edition
What it was: Three hardback books that looked like books, full color interior.
What is did: Revised, streamlined, made gaming cool.
Edition 9 - D&D 3.5
What it was: Three hardback books.
What is did: Further and definitive refinement of the 3.0 rules.
Edition 10 - D&D 4.0, also called 4E
What it is: Three hardback books, full color
What is does: Complete revision of the system from the roots up.
Hmmm. I think even my summary needs a summary.
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