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D&D: could the Next version end the Edition Wars? - WestGamer
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:05 am 
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Dungeons and Dragons: could the Next version end the edition wars?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... ition-wars

Tweaks and alterations to the rules of Dungeons and Dragons have created vastly different play experiences – and often spawned monstrous arguments in their wake.'

At a casual glance, the basic rules of Dungeons and Dragons don't seem to have changed much since its inception in 1974. It's still a game played by rolling dice under the auspices of a games master, whose job it is to create a story for their players. The setting still primarily revolves around dungeons in which dragons may well be found. But for the players, it has evolved significantly with each new edition of the game, as tweaks and alterations to the rules have created vastly different play experiences – and often spawned monstrous arguments in their wake.

I first picked up a D20 at the relatively late age of 21. I found a group of gaming friends at university, and quickly discovered that pretending to be an evil monk with an affinity for elemental magic was surprisingly good fun and a great way to get to know people. D&D is often a gateway game for new tabletop roleplayers, as it's so widely known and universally played. It fosters a strange loyalty: thanks to its pop-culture status as iconic nerd hobby, its players tend to band together, and thanks to its complex nature, it's possible to have great depth of knowledge of the rules, and to develop a technical vocabulary that makes little sense to people who don't already play (if you can define THAC0, understand Vancian magic or explain the Cleave feat, you'll know what I mean). It has spawned a catalogue of other tabletop games, but despite newer, cooler titles starting to cross over more into the mainstream, tabletop roleplaying is still a niche hobby, seen as amusingly geeky in spite of the creativity and imagination it inspires at its best.

Good-natured debate about whether sorcerers are better than wizards, or disagreements about which is the best spell in the game (it's grease, if you're wondering) can be just as much a social, friendly experience – or an epic battle – as the games themselves. But at times, rules debates can morph into a strident defence of the best edition, with fans of one loth to admit there might be any merit at all in any others. So creators Wizards of the Coast are taking something of a gamble by deciding to let their vocal fans loose on D&D Next, the latest version of the game, before it goes to press.

There are sensible reasons to try to get the community onside before the game is finalised. In 2007, the publication of D&D Fourth edition splintered the player base. Paizo's Pathfinder, which is built on the open rules of 3.5e, proved wildly popular with players who much preferred the older game. The term "edition wars" has been used to describe the impassioned arguments between player bases, which have even spawned a satirical board game in which players must slavishly champion their preferred version.

With the fifth edition, Wizards are trying to lay the edition wars to rest. They are aiming to create a game that can be enjoyed by new players as well as everyone who played earlier editions – a risky task. So far the results of the open playtests are too mixed to tell how it's going to play out. Some friends see it as a step backwards; others like the new features. All, I'm sure, will have debates about them as the game progresses – and it's surely a good thing that Wizards are open to being argued with.

Regardless of the system you prefer, the most important element of a good tabletop game is the players. A good games master and a good group of storytellers can make or break the experience, and what the edition wars have taught me is that it's a shame when the rules get in the way. In Dungeons and Dragons, the rules are meant to be there to resolve conflicts, not to encourage them. So far, D&D Next looks like a good step down that road – but whether it's enough to prevent more edition wars remains to be seen.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:16 am 
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One rumour I heard was that they are goin to release the rules in sections (like role playing, combat etc) so you can cobble together what you want to use.

It's the same as always it will work as well as your group does!

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:33 am 
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Second Ed. before Skillz and Powerz.

Only real world is Greyhawk :)


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:42 am 
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im looking forward to the new edition, i have no time to play it, but i am interested to see what they do.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:49 am 
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Dnd + babies/toddlers = bad :(

I will probably buy the books and teach my kids to play! About six I hear they can start ;)

Iron kingdoms rpg I'm itching for.. But the time constraints still apply

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 12:26 pm 
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Quote:
Second Ed. before Skillz and Powerz.
I agree with this

I have played original, 2nd Ed, 3rd, 3.5 and a little bit of 4th and I have always Liked 2nd Edition the best. I am just starting a campain for a few friends in second ed very shortly as this is the one they all seem to like.

The rules were easy to manage for both player and GM. It was just the retarded amount of source books they released when it went a bit crazy. As bloodlust said after skills and powers.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
Second Ed. before Skillz and Powerz.
I am just starting a campain for a few friends in second ed very shortly as this is the one they all seem to like.
I liked the "Complete" series. eg. Complete Fighters, Rogues, Barbarians, Paladins, Wizards, etc. Were great. The "Complete" Race books got a bit wierd at times, especially the elf one.

Let me know if you have a free seat at your campaign for a barbarian :)


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 3:11 pm 
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I lost so much time to the legendary 2nd ed...Planscape was awesome (Thanks Massaen), but I am interested to see where it goes. I have bought the books for the other editions and even played a little 3.5...scifi (cyberpunk, shadowrun etc.) then took over my shelf space and time.
I have always held a dear place in my heart for D&D...
Centaur Ranger FTW! :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 3:22 pm 
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I am incredibly unreliable for campaigns without-end AdvanceOp can vouch for me here. . . .

I would like to play more of a chapter style campaign
eg
DM 'hey everyone i am running a campaign for 4-6 nights starting June 1st, characters can be level 3'
then after this campaign the DM can start another one. then another then another.

again, this is just me being really bad with committing to an infinite DnD campaign held every second thursday until the end of time


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 4:26 pm 
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I love infinite campaigns :)


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Quote:
again, this is just me being really bad with committing to an infinite DnD campaign held every second thursday Sunday until the end of time
I play in some of them :P

I started with 3.0 and that's still my favourite. 2nd ed has too many design quirks that rub me the wrong way (that may be unfair as my 2nd ed experience was a homebrew horror setting using some parts of Skills & Powers). I leapt into 4th ed with great enthusiasm but as more and more supplements came out and the power creep started becoming power sprint I lost interest. Curiously, it was the same reaction I had to Magic the Gathering: fun game but you had to buy more and more to "keep up". Eventually it became a tabletop strategy game.

I have some hope that D&D Next will sort things out but I've used a bunch of systems since (FATE anyone?) and they've quite a lot of ground to make up.

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Give me Iron Kingdoms. I have a poop-tin of minis for NPCs and enought terrain for a settlement and/or wilderness


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:23 pm 
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It's true, I'm keenly awaiting the new IKRPG myself. Played a gobber bodger and a human (Morridane?) fighter/rogue in the Witchblade Trilogy years before I got into Warmachine.

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Quote:
It's true, I'm keenly awaiting the new IKRPG myself. Played a gobber bodger and a human (Morridane?) fighter/rogue in the Witchblade Trilogy years before I got into Warmachine.
Well done on volunteering to run a campaign when the new edition is out. . . I have models and terrain :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 6:02 pm 
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Quote:
Only real world is Greyhawk :)
Two thumbs up, Jeremy.

Have been roleplaying for 30 years now. The best games are the simplest on rules and hence give scope for the players to explore and develop their characters. 1st edition worked. Sure D&D and other games have 'evolved' and become more technically complex with more options and bells/whistles, but such things really aren't needed for a good game.

Ahh... the days of 1st Edition. In the Greyhawk Boxed Set, kingdom were ruled by relatively low level characters (eg: a 7th level fighter). So when you were 4th or 5th level, you were still an important character at that level. The King listened when a 4th level fighter turned up - because in 1st edition that made you a veteran of many battles. You didn't need to be a 20th level Archmage to be important, nor did you need to survive one encounter to get to 2nd level. Levels meant something. And then along came 2nd Edition and Forgotten Realms -- and (I'll never forget this), there is a town run by eight 20th level Paladins. What a joke.

Am not hopeful for 5th Edition D&D..... the younger players like the ability to pick a class and have lots of whiz-bang feats, options etc - so that's what it will continue to be. 2nd edition started it, but then 3rd, 3.5 and 4th and modern computer games have just added to that trend. Whatever 5th edition ends up being, the players who join my games like to role-play, develop their characters and create a story. The game mechanics really aren't important - we could be playing 1st edition for all they care.

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