Monday, May 27, 2013

Do other games have Edition Wars?

This post is sort of a follow-up to AD&D 2e Apologetics--Part 1, and an intermediary to AD&D 2e Apologetics--Part 2, which I'll post tomorrow (Tuesday)

from 2d6cents.com
Do other games have edition wars? Heck, do other players of other games in general have edition wars?

Does anybody get upset at, say, when a new design for a boardgame comes out? I remember when WotC released a version of Axis & Allies that didn't have enough pieces to play the game--that was major gripe, but I've seen or heard of many Axis & Allies players yell at each other about it.

On larger scale, I've never heard of Warhammer players debating over the differences between the editions of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k. Games Workshop churns out another edition or army book. There's lots of grumbling, some threaten to quit the hobby, some even quit, but other than that die hard players pony up their cash without much debate.

Even with CCGs like Magic: The Gathering another edition comes out with whole new cards, essentially resetting the game--at least in the official sense. There's grumbling and complaints, but I have yet to see Magic players spout vitriol over editions of Magic like D&D players do over the various editions of D&D? 

Do other RPGs even have edition wars?

As far as I can tell, D&D and its derivative are unique in this regard. Yes, other RPGs have GMs, referees, or whatever you want to call them. But only  D&D has "Dungeon Master" as a trademark.

I think that little fact plays a key role in understanding what the Edition Wars are really about.

More tomorrow.

8 comments:

  1. Well there do seem to be hard core fans of the various editions of the Warhammer Fantasy RPG. And the various editions of Traveler also have their followings. But yeah, they don't seem to feud like the edition wars of D&D.

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    1. I do recall WFRP players getting upset at the "3rd Edition" WFRP with all of the cards and bits--the $100 price tag for the starter box probably didn't help matters either.

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  2. I just hope the games I play (Saga and Dystopian Wars) don't release any "new editions". Because I'm not going to buy them. Unless they have gorgeous illustrations worthy of the Sistine Chapel. Or new factions. Or new rules...

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    1. If they get popular enough, they will come out with a new edition. And they probably will have gorgeous illustrations, new factions, and new or "better" rules... all of which will cost more than the old set of rules.

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  3. Wargames definitely do. The stakes are a little different as wargamers are less independent of other gamers/gaming groups, since some of them play a lot at cons, tournaments, etc. Right now one of more popular tournament games, DBA, is experiencing a sort of schism between the people who liked version 2.2 as it was, those who have introduced some 'fixes' as an unofficial 2.2+, and the author who has had 3.0 in public playtests for a couple of years or more. The warring has fits and starts, but it's there. I think in the long run the majority of players adopt whatever changes are made official, but there are pockets of gamers who keep on playing the older sets, and this has been going on for decades.

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    1. I forgot about DBA having its passionate adherents.

      I haven't played it in at least seven or eight years or more. But the guy I played DBA with a few times really liked the current version (which ever that was), and told me to stay away from version X. He thought HoTT, which I own, was just "okay." He'd play it if there was no other choice.

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  4. D&D is 800lb gorilla of RPGs. It was the first, it has attracted the most players, and has the most media attention. So, my theory is that is why you have a more visible online "edition war".

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  5. Call of Cthulhu might now. Since the dawn of the RPG there has been little difference between CoC 1st ed and later editions. But the new 7th edition might change all of that.

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