Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Edition Wars.... NOT!

I know this may be old hat for all of you, if not most of you. But it's official, Wizards of the Coast is coming out with another edition of Dungeons and Dragons. I'm not here to tout which edition is better, I'm not going to compare rules and say, this is where this edition went wrong. I look at the edition wars through two lenses, one as a player and the other, as a DM/GM.

As a player, quite frankly, I will play any edition of D&D just as long as I get to play. D&D is a social game. You're there to perform deeds of heroism, or.. dastardly deeds of ill repute with people of like minded interest. The point is to have a fun.

D&D is an interactive story. Both the DM and the players can contribute to an incredible playing experience. I don't really care what edition my fellow players choose to decide to play, because this a 'team sport', I need to check my ego at the door and cooperate with the group, not be a bastard and refuse to play a particular edition because I'm uncomfortable with it.

However, I do draw the line if I'm in a group that is playing a particular edition on a continous basis and I begun losing joy in playing the game, it's time to go. It may not be the edition, it may be the group. The premise is simple, if I start not having fun anymore, then that's a sign for me to leave. I'm not doing anybody any favors by trying to stick it out, because in the end my misery will rob my fellow players of the fun they may be having with the game.

So as a player, I have no qualms about playing any edition of D&D.

As a GM/DM, it's different, not only because I have a bias to a particular edition that I feel comfortable in running, but also there's the matter of finances and shelf space.

I don't necessarily hate any edition, what I do hate is the business model, marketing strategy of the company that is making a new edition. Yes, I'm speaking specifically of Wizards of the Coast.

Every few years, WOTC seems compelled to make a new edition of D&D, which means, that as a GM/DM, if I want to run the game I have to fork out another few hundred bucks and shelf space. I simply do not have the time, the patience, the money and yes, the shelf-space to put up with these shenanigans any longer.

I realize that these guys have to find some way to stay in business, but I don't agree with making a new edition every few years is the right way to go about it. I would think that a lot of it would have to do with being more involved in the gaming community. Why not instead of making other editions, why not continue to support the older editions?

But really a lot of the onus rests on us as gamers, we need to spread our love of the game to younger generations, to show these kids why this game is so magical, regardless of the edition we use. If we argue about which edition is better, we're taking away that magic and lessening the value of the game that we cherish so much.

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