Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition - Page 3
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  1. #21
    Great article! It's refreshing to take a break from the "what's new" mindset and take a look back at the history of our hobby. Regarding future articles - I would love to hear Jonathan's thoughts on the D&D Chainmail game that was resurrected briefly in 2002. I played this game extensively in college and was crushed when it got cancelled after just one year. In retrospect, what worked and what didn't with this game? Why did it get cancelled so quickly, and what lessons could be learned from it?
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  2. #22
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    Great to hear from JT! Thanks to Morrus for lining up these great stories.

    BTW, if WotC would simply scan the M:tG RPG in-house documents and release them as PDFs in the D&D Classics section of DMsGuild, charging a few bucks for them, they'd probably make a ton of money. And could serve as a gauge of interest - or even as playtest documents for a full-blown Dominaria 5E, beyond the existing Ravnica etc.

    Missed one: "TSR released Forgotten Realms, Maztica, Al-Qadim ... "...and Mystara!*

    *(Jeff Grubb wrote a Mystara 2E campaign setting book which would've converted the BECMI D&D Known World setting in one go. But in a cash grab, the book was cancelled, and replaced with an unwieldy series of boxed sets, which only covered one country at a time, and which was quickly canceled.)
    Last edited by Travis Henry; Thursday, 6th June, 2019 at 02:45 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    LARPs: LARPing represented a new point of entry into the RPG hobby, one that was apparently more popular with slightly older (college age seems so young now) fans, and less boys-only than D&D's traditional entry-level demographic (who were, again, all playing M:tG).
    LARPing is as old as writing. I've seen many TV shows where people dress up in Victorian garb and pretending to be Intellectuals sipping tea and discussing Phlogiston to show these people are different. My friends in colleges were into LARPs (and Ren Faires) in the 80s. (I have very little taste for theatrics.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmucchiello View Post
    LARPing is as old as writing.
    As is any sort RP, in retrospect, if you interpret it broadly enough.

    But, in the 90s, LARPGs became relatively popular (for a nerd thang), and brought a somewhate different demographic into TTRPGs, thanks to Mind's Eye Theatre and Storyteller both being WWGS products leveraging the same oWoD franchises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralif Redhammer View Post
    On the converse, my gaming group back then was pretty oblivious to any disgruntlement over the removal of demons, devils, half-orcs, and assassins. We were young enough that we just thought it was cool that there was a new edition, with interior color art, even!

    I had lapsed from gaming when 3e came out, and got back into gaming not long after 3e came out (like many, I think, the release of Fellowship of the Ring kindled my interest again). These days itĺs pretty easy to forget how revolutionary some of the simple design decisions were. Something as simple as allowing all races to play all classes had my brain exploding with all-new character concepts.

    I find it interesting that from the get-go, Wizards was trying to find a way to integrate it with Magic. It only took what, about 20 years to finally get The Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica.
    I had a similar experience. I had not done any RPGing over about a 10-year period. I had enjoyed the professional look of the 2nd edition books, but the system seemed even more wonky than 1E and severely lacked elements that Jonathan Tweet mentioned. My old college buddies and I had just gotten back into AD&D about 1 year before 3rd edition came out. When 3E appeared, I was hooked once again. I bought all the books (something I had never done before) and I was all in. We have since continued playing on a semi-regular basis (opting for Pathfinder instead of 4E). I am sure that had 3E not come along, I and many other RPGers would have probably just given up the hobby and moved on to something else. For me, probably computer or on-line gaming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AriochQ View Post
    I would be interested in hearing about the period between 3 and 3.5 There must have been some interesting discussions with only 3 years between them.
    3.5 was planned well before 3e was even released; Monte Cook wrote about it at some length back in 2003 and I believe the article was published or reposted on this very site. There was no "necessary revision," just a long(er) game marketing strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by collin View Post
    I am sure that had 3E not come along, I and many other RPGers would have probably just given up the hobby and moved on to something else. For me, probably computer or on-line gaming.
    2e lost me with the proliferation of Complete _______ books, settings I had no interest in, and the _____ Option books. It just bloated and drifted, I guess.
    But, I had been a fan of Champions! for years and I was well into Storyteller, by then. 3e brought me back to D&D, but I wasn't about to leave the TTRPG hobby.

    3e also shook up the hobby. It put D&D back in the industry-leader position, not just in sales but in head-space. Everyone jumped on the d20 bandwagon, rival systems & companies died on the vine.
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Thursday, 6th June, 2019 at 12:07 AM.
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    Good stuff.

    As someone who grew up on 1E but didn't really explore "alternate games" until the early 90s, I remember being struck by how anachronistic 2E felt by the time we got to the 90s, especially compared to Tweet's own Ars Magica and also Talislanta. The dX + modifier vs. target number just made more sense than AD&D's THAC0.

    But probably like a lot of folks who grew up on D&D, I mostly stuck with 2E because, well, it was D&D - I grew up on it and while I dabbled with other games, I always found my way back "home."

    3E provided the best of both worlds: It was still "home" but with a modernized game system.

    That said, the 2E era remains the Golden Age for settings - for sheer imaginative, fantasy goodness. I realize that it was simply not a lucrative approach, but the riches of the early 90s in particular was something to behold.

    I have some Ars Magica questions for Mr Tweet, but I'll wait until that article.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnwolf666 View Post
    I never noticed this problem with 2E because I was writing my own adventures with the 1E mindset. It was never problem with me. A TanarĺRi was just a type of demon. I actually though 2E monsters were an improvement on 1E.
    The reason for reskinning the lower plane denizens was stupid, but I can't really complain with the results. They came up with pretty good names as replacement for devils, demons, and daemons and up-gunned a significant number of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercurius View Post
    Good stuff.

    As someone who grew up on 1E but didn't really explore "alternate games" until the early 90s, I remember being struck by how anachronistic 2E felt by the time we got to the 90s
    Oh yeah. I had given up of AD&D in the mid 90s after exposure to other game systems made me realize how amazingly bad some od AD&D's mechanics were. It was 3e that brought me back D&D after several years. The lead up from rumors on Eric Noah's site really hooked me.
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