Edition Fatigue


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BryonD

Hero
I very much agree. When I started D&D (with OD&D as it happens), only the DM needed to know anything - and it was a fantastic (literally) environment for players to engage with.

The idea that playing D&D requires lots of rules knowledge and 'expertise' is a relatively recent concept IMO. Classically D&D requires little more than imagination and dice.

Cheers
This always has been and always will be true.

However, that doesn't mean there are not systems that provide a synergy and enhancement to the imagination, no matter how little or great that imagination may be.

The problem is that when it is just imagination, there is very little for tastes to vary on. Different players, in the same group even, can imagine different justifications for all many of fantastic events.

When you add a system you bring a sort of vector to the experience. If a given player's tastes run along that vector, the play experience grows. "Imagination and dice" are great, but that vector is a multiplier. It doesn't contradict the truth of your statement. But, your statement doesn't undermine the value of advanced systems.

It is just when another player's tastes run in a different tangent that the value of the multiplier drops below one for that person.
 

fumetti

First Post
If you mean SoC 'session' and 4E 'session' as the same kind of 'session' then 4E is in no way similar to SoC. Any role-playing game played in one 2-3 hour session, with no continuity between sessions would be absolutely boring.

I played in a 4E game where each set of encounters had a different DM and different plot. Most people simply played the numbers, and it was mind-numbingly boring, so much it was not a role-playing game at all. It would be like playing WOW or a computer game and having to do all the math yourself.

Yes, I mean that an SoC session has a fixed beginning and end, and there is no carry over to the next session. It's always a one-and-done event (no matter how many you play in an evening). It's no different from MageKnight or Magic in that regard.

4E is basically designed to be a session game, refered to as Encounters. You play one encounter this week with one set of players and characters, and you play another encounter next week next week but perhaps with a different set of players and characters. That the sessions are technically connected, it doesn't matter. It doesn't change the story. A one-time player can show up and play this week's encounter and then disappear forever. The group comes back the following week, plays with whoever is there, and there is nothing amiss from all the character changes each week. And this all works because 4E leaves all non-encounter activity virtually unplayed.

I have always bragged on DnD as the ultimate story (rpg) game that totally outplays video games. But 4E is far less story oriented than the popular video game "rpgs" like WoW or Elder Scrolls. It's so disappointing.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Given that static core games like HERO and GURPS are on their 6th and 4th editions respectively, I don't see the edition treadmill ending for ANY RPG...just slowing, perhaps.

On top of that, static core has it's own traps.

Adventures are only going to be purchased by 1/7th of the market, tops. AND they have to be well written or they won't sell THAT well, and that requires a good creative writing team...and creative writing skill is a bit rarer than we'd all like to believe.

If you keep publishing supplements- equipment, settings, whatever- you're almost guaranteed to introduce new rules that are going to interact with the core with varying levels of compatibility. They may even shed painful illumination on sections of the core, showing that they could have been done better. Perhaps it could even spawn an errata document...or a revision.

Or a new edition.


As someone who owns Low-Tech, High-Tech, and Bio-Tech for GURPS (all of which are refered to as 'equipment catelogs for the system,) I highly disagree. The same rules are used no matter if I'm using a lance, light machine gun, or a laser pistol. Though I would generally say that it's not unheard of for game systems in general (including GURPS) to find that there is a hole in the rules or an area which could be covered better, and have that lead to something being done differently enough to warrant a new edition.


I will somewhat agree with the adventures not being as profitable. That's usually because -with such a wide variety of game styles supported by the system- it's tough to write an adventure which will have useful crunch for all groups. However, I feel -at least in SJG's case- they have found a way to work with this: cheap adventure pdfs, concise articles written in Pyramid, and a few sample starter adventurers mixed into the world books. Also, since the system (again, in the case of GURPS... I don't know enough about Hero to have what I'd consider an educated opinion,) generally attempts to be somewhat realistic, adventures could -in theory- be written with very minimal game crunch and simply provide the real world statistics for things.

With this I agree. I don't think there's a perfect business model which suits everyone. If there were, I don't think multiple profitable rpg businesses would exist.
 

Canor Morum

First Post
D&D has to change periodically in order to appeal to new generations of players. It's no different than Marvel rebooting their whole line to modernize the characters and repair story continuity. Ultimate Marvel anyone?

The changes in game mechanics and art direction to resemble video games and miniatures games is not by accident. It's what the current generation of kids are into it. To ignore that most important section of the market would be foolhardy.

So I totally disagree with your assumption that D&D should never change. I would rather be able to share the game with my kids and grand kids than sit around listening to some old grognards reminiscing about the good ol' days.
 

Ulrick

First Post
For me, edition fatigue sets in when I'm moving to a new place and have to carry all of my boxes of gaming books from each edition of D&D. ;)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Johnny3D3D
As someone who owns Low-Tech, High-Tech, and Bio-Tech for GURPS (all of which are refered to as 'equipment catelogs for the system,) I highly disagree. The same rules are used...

As someone who was involved in a GURPS 2Ed (or 3Ed, I forget which) supers game who noticed that the TK rules varied between the basic books and the supers supplements, I can say that it happened even in that system.

Subsequent editions may have changed this, but that just goes along with what I said later in the post you quoted.
 
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Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
I don't think that edition fatigue is the real problem. I think it's supplement fatigue.

There's a significant potential market of roleplayers who only ever buy a couple of books for any game they play, even D&D. The reason is that most game supplements don't provide enough value individual for them.

Even I get a bit of buyers remorse from almost every 4e book I've ever purchased, not because the content is bad, but because I don't feel like I got enough for my money.

On the other hand, I think that the Pathfinder Advanced Players Guide is some of the best money I've ever spent.

I would argue that there is decent money to be made in releasing fewer, more comprehensive products.
 

Argyle King

Legend
As someone who was involved in a GURPS 2Ed (or 3Ed, I forget which) supers game who noticed that the TK rules varied between the basic books and the supers supplements, I can say that it happened even in that system.

Subsequent editions may have changed this, but that just goes along with what I said later in the post you quoted.


Right, I addressed that there are times when a rule is discovered to work better a different way. Indeed, that can lead to wanting to design a new edition and evolve the game. I'd even go so far as to say that evolution of the game for the purpose of making the rules better and more functional is healthy.

However, it's not necessarily true that printing more books requires printing rules which deviate from the core.

I wasn't suggesting that there's never a time when a game needs to evolve; I was stating that I disagree with the idea that more suppliments = more required rules in all cases.

edit: Now, in GURPS 4E there are suppliments which contain "new" rules. I say "new" because while there are some new options included, they are still based upon the same core concepts; with very few exceptions*, there aren't rules introduce which require changes to be made to the core. Also, the options are... well, optional. I can do everything with the Basic Set that I can do with the other books I have; the other books just showcase some really good worked examples and alternate ways I may not have considered of how to do some of the things I want to do. They're also written by people who have a much better grasp of game design than I do, so they often have advice which is valuable no matter what system I'm playing, and they often have ways of doing things which are better than what I had come up with myself.

*Thaumatology would be an exception because one of the purposes of that book is to showcase different ways of handling magic which break from the established system in the core books. In the case of something like Low-Tech, there are optional rules made available for those who want more in depth detail for things like how certain types of armor should more realistically react to being hit by certain types of weapons. The core concepts still function the same way regardless of if I use those rules or not. The only thing which changes is what level of depth or what level of abstraction I want.

None of this is to mean that there still aren't times when I choose to modify a rule. There are times when I do that. However, that's somewhat par for the game considering that part of the ideals behind a universal system is to allow customization to better suit the experience I want.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
I wasn't suggesting that there's never a time when a game needs to evolve; I was stating that I disagree with the idea that more suppliments = more required rules in all cases.

Ah, then you misunderstood my point.

I wasnt suggesting that new supplements required new rules, but rather, as the number of supplements increase, the greater the odds that someone will introduce new/variant rules.
 

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