I'm calling it: The Edition War is over! And the winner is...
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  1. #1
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    I'm calling it: The Edition War is over! And the winner is...

    ...whatever edition you play.

    OK, that's a little facetious--even cliche at this point--but bear with me; I am going somewhere with this!

    As I see it, there are three "tiers" of D&D games:


    1. The"Official" ones published by TSR or Wizards of the Coast, that include OD&D, BECMI in its various incarnations, AD&D 1ed, AD&D 2ed, D&D 3E and 3.5E, and D&D 4E.
    2. The "Unofficial" OGL or "Retro-clones" published by a company other than TSR or WotC, such as Pathfinder, Fantasy Craft, Labyrinth Lord, Trailblazer, Monte Cook's stuff, etc.
    3. The house ruled variants used in countless campaigns.


    (Arguably you could add a fourth between 2 and 3 above, in which an individual DM has gone one step further than a few house rules and come up with their own variant, but I'm still including that within the 3rd group until it gets formally published, even only as a PDF, and then it enters the 2nd group).

    So there are well over a dozen published variants of D&D, plus literally thousands of different gestalts of house rules. One thing I find fascinating is just how many DMs take it upon themselves to write their own version of D&D, the one that will be "the Best Edition of All," combining one's personal favorites from across different games and publishers and three and a half decades.

    Heck, I'm doing one, albeit rather casually. But it seems like a natural progression for a D&D player. Personally speaking I have been into RPGs for close to 30 years (gasp!) and I have tried my hand of game design a few times (albeit always rather casually). But D&D, of all games that I have been into, seems especially prone to the House Rule, whether simply DM-designed Feats and Classes, or a reworking of the entire game ala the 2nd category above.

    And you know what? I love it. I love the fact that a large percentage of DMs take it upon themselves to fiddle with the system--that is a large part of the fun for me and, I imagine, everyone else that does it. We don't really do it because "X Edition Sucks" but because we like to tinker, we are creative people, and we want to try to come up with the best version of our beloved game as we can.

    We can talk about which "official" or "unofficial" version is better or worse. But really, whether we realize it or not, we are always matching it up against our own personal edition of D&D. We may not even house rule it or have our own rules set, but we have our own edition, our own version of the game. We may play a certain edition exactly as RAWly as possible, but even then...I am guessing that there is divergence, however slight--and if only in emphasis. There is always the X-Factor, whether we call it DM Fiat, DM's discretion, collaborative consensus, or simply individualized tone and style. Each and every one of us--especially as DMs--plays a different version, "edition" even, of Dungeons & Dragons. And that is exactly as it should be.

    So the thing is, there really is no Edition War, because there is no winning or losing, and there certainly is no One Edition to Rule Them All. There is only an ongoing, perennial, Eternal Debate--a conversation, really, as to what works best, what we like best, and how can we bring it to the "official" (or unofficial) version of our choice that most of us use as a template and framework to start from, not a static set of codified rules.

    So let's keep the Debate going--or Dialogue, if you prefer--yet with the understanding that it never was a War. There is a Best Edition of D&D, but it is the one that you are playing.

  2. #2
    Pa-shaw! Rolemaster wins the edition wars!

    It crits your favorite edition. Your favorite edition suffers massive brain hemorrhaging as it is liquefied. It falls to the ground, gurgles, and passes away ingloriously. Anyone want some jello?

    joe b.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgbrowning View Post
    Pa-shaw! Rolemaster wins the edition wars!

    It crits your favorite edition. Your favorite edition suffers massive brain hemorrhaging as it is liquefied. It falls to the ground, gurgles, and passes away ingloriously. Anyone want some jello?
    I thought I heard a ruckus out in my front yard. Rolemaster was coming after my favorite edition, but it tripped over an invisible imaginary deceased turtle.

    This happens a lot, actually.

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    deleted
    Last edited by El Mahdi; Monday, 9th March, 2015 at 09:42 PM.

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    The game is not near as important as the people playing it and running. It's not my game that's better then yours ; it's that my group is better then yours!

  6. #6
    I've gotta call it for Cthulhu. Not because the Great Old One has won, but because eventually death itself will die and Cthulhu will end up eating all of us. That sounds like a victory for him.

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    Wait, are you saying 'the winner is you?'

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerWickett
    Wait, are you saying 'the winner is you?'
    No, he's saying:



    Besides, we all know that Maid the RPG is the winner of the Editions War.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbait View Post
    Besides, we all know that Maid the RPG is the winner of the Editions War.
    I wasn't all that impressed by it. I think Panty Explosion might be the better game.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Barastrondo View Post
    I thought I heard a ruckus out in my front yard. Rolemaster was coming after my favorite edition, but it tripped over an invisible imaginary deceased turtle.

    This happens a lot, actually.
    Well to be honest, those turtles tend to breed like rabbits.

    joe b.

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