Sunday, February 16, 2014

40th Anniversary D&D Blog Hop Challenge -- Edition Wars!

So this question is: "What was my first edition war and did I win?"

First to answer whether or not I won ... no ... no one wins a version war.

I really honestly did not have much in the way of edition war nonsense in my life until 4th edition D&D came out.  Then of course it was unavoidable.  There was mass ranting and raving everywhere one looked.  I didn't get it honestly because I don't like 3.0, 3.5 or 4e.  I would have been so much happier of 2nd never went away.  Human nature though, we like what we know and we fear what we do not. 

But rant and rave we all did at some point over the 3.5 vs. 4e nonsense.  I feel it was the D&D war to end all wars and we had a "lost generation" as a result.  For me it completely drove me away from anything related to 3.5 FOREVER ... I really hope I never have to play a game of 3.5 again and as I said in the previous post I utterly refuse to DM any 3.0-4e era game ever again.  I'd just not play RPGs if that was my only choice.  I feel the same about 4e and Pathfinder as well.  Just completely not my cup of tea.  So there is my own angst about it.  That said I don't hate people who play 3.5/4e ... if my home group really wanted to play a 3.5/4e game and someone else was going to run it ... I'd join in without being grumbly.  I did that very thing for several years actually. 

As we all know what is so crappy about "edition wars" is here we go again soon with 5e coming out.  Its going to be wall to wall ranting and raving for another few years.

So when tabletop gaming is dying a slow death due to everyone wasting 10 extra hours a week on youtube, so their "hobby" time is now diminished, we have to have a mass "pee in our own pool" episode with version wars again.  Old grognards being all superior with OSR, the 3.5/Pathfinder supporters being superior with "our fat books are the best fat books!" and the inevitable honeymoon people with 5e who proclaim it as the best thing ever.  Que two years of ranting, massive divisiveness and at the end of it several camps of people who could have had great exchange on ideas about how to run and play in essentially the same damn game ... but rather completely divided and bitter.

Version wars suck and they tend to hurt everyone involved and just create negativity, divisiveness and bitterness!  Those from outside who look in and see this just immediately tune out anything that is being said.  I wonder how many potential D&D fans were just outright driven away by version wars?

At the end of the day we are sitting around a table pretending to be fantasy characters ... as adults ... seriously everyone we need to get the fuck over ourselves and just realize how silly it is to argue about this crap.  If only we could focus on the 95% that all this stuff has in common I think we'd all be better for it.


Sean said...

Interesting blog. I have not played D&D since the 80's but I thought the Fiend Folio was too new, if that gives you a glimpse into my luddite perspective.

I do not understand the edition wars either. From the perspective of players it shouldn't make a difference. I have been introduced to 4e through the Critical Hit podcast, and while it doesn't make me want to play 4e it is very enjoyable to listen to the role playing and story.

Just my 2 cents.

The Lord of Excess said...

I agree. At the end of the day people are always going to have preferences. That is great that is what makes the world diverse and interesting. But to hold up one viewpoint (with games anyway) as the only correct view. Is silly at best and with the example of D&D it has been actually damaging to the community.

Sadly there is so much division now due to edition/version wars.

The same is true for other things. Privateer Press vs. GW. Historical mini gaming vs. non-historical. 3rd edition WHFB vs. 8th.

As someone who lives in an area that does not have legions of gamers. I have come to realize that this attitude really prevents gaming from happening at all in some cases. So maybe I've just become more aware of it.