Games with "terrible" follow-up editions

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
Our GM was very upset with the TSR, as I recall.

WOTC owns the IP now. I wonder if they will eventually do something with it. Maybe it's too close to D&D and they want to avoid competing with themselves.

I was reading the rules for Arena of Death, the intro mini-game for Dragonquest, not long ago. Fun game. I want to try it out in 2022.
If they do it would be easy enough to just use it as a D&D Setting.
 

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Micah Sweet

Legend
D20 Star Wars was a big step down in emulating Star Wars from WEG Star Wars.

D20 Call of Cthulhu is an even bigger step down from Chaosium Call of Cthulhu.

Basically, shovelling an IP into the d20 system because you can doesn't make for an improvement.
I don't think it was ever done to improve the game. It was done to make more money, and that's about it.
 

also! as 'shadowrun' has come up, so many times, has anyone had any experience porting the 6th ed stuff to a different system?

Why bother? Seriously. It's not like 6e lore is particularly good or well-written. It's just more backstory for players to wrap their heads around, and further from the initial setting and themes that were always the main draw.
 

DrunkonDuty

he/him
Back in the day I ran a long campaign in SR 1e. It was fun but the system is clunky. Workable, but clunky.
I played 1 session of 2e and a power gaming buddy of mine broke the system in that session so I don't want to use it.
I haven't played or even read any of the other editions.

But I do love the setting.

Open question: which edition of Shadowrun is playable?
 

Mercurius

Legend
I mean he specifically kind of pointed out that that particular discussion is going to be useless. Maybe he was a bit too subtle about it.

To try to drag this back into non edition war territory - the various editions of Ars Magica had a variety of negative reactions around them over the years. IIRC - and I might be misremembering - Fourth was especially contentious.
I think "Ars Magica purists" like 2E best - an improvement on 1E, but still sticking close to home. 3E was considered OK, but was infected with White Wolfianism. No one remembers or plays 4E. 5E was better than 4E, but in addition to weird art, still felt somewhat removed from the vital purity of 1st and 2nd edition.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I'm gonna go with Everway here. The original boxed set was a really innovative, beautiful, thing. The world wasn't ready for it and it had some rough edges, but it's overall an amazing product, IMO. Recently, a new edition was published. It is both extremely expensive and, as far as I can tell, doesn't improve on the original (still widely available) game in any appreciable way. I don't know that I'd call it "terrible" but it seems to be perfunctory, at best.
This is disappointing to hear. I just recently discovered "Silverway" and was excited, as Everway is one of my all-time favorites.

Not to threadjack, but do you own the books? It seems like the page count has enormously increased...I assume that means a ton more lore? Setting stuff? Etc. Is there a lot of new stuff, or did they just incorporate Spherewalker's Handbook into the main books?
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I think "Ars Magica purists" like 2E best - an improvement on 1E, but still sticking close to home. 3E was considered OK, but was infected with White Wolfianism. No one remembers or plays 4E. 5E was better than 4E, but in addition to weird art, still felt somewhat removed from the vital purity of 1st and 2nd edition.
Well considering that they outright stole House Tremere and the Order of Hermes for the World of Darkness, I guess it was inevitable that when they got the license, things would be retconned.
 

heks

Explorer
Why bother? Seriously. It's not like 6e lore is particularly good or well-written. It's just more backstory for players to wrap their heads around, and further from the initial setting and themes that were always the main draw.
because that's the version of the lore that my group is familiar with and wants to use (we've been using the 6e rules, so far, but they're honestly such a mess that we voted unanimously to switch to a different system if we could come up with one that works with the current lore.)
 

MGibster

Legend
I mean, structuring the entire "engine" around cooldown abilities with outrageous, flashy effects like an MMO is enough to warrant a comparison on its own.
I started playing World of Warcraft shortly after 4th edition came out, and it didn't take me long to conenct the cooldown abilities in the MMORPG with 4E. Plus the roles changed to include tanks, strikers, healers, and controllers which sure seems an awful lot like tank, DPS, and healer we see in MMORPGs. The connection between MMORPGs and 4th edition D&D seemed obvious to me at the time.
D20 Call of Cthulhu is an even bigger step down from Chaosium Call of Cthulhu.
d20 Call of Cthulhu was one of the best of the d20 glut of games that came out. When it came to introducing new players to the game, I think d20 CoC was better than the classic version of the game.
 

MGibster

Legend
I think the first new edition that really disappointed me was L5R 2nd edition. But it's been so many years, I can't remember exactly why I disliked it. I think they changed the basic roll & keep mechanics and I thought it was a bad decision. (Also, I can't remember why I hated Circuit City so much, but they're out of business now so I feel victorious.)
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
This is disappointing to hear. I just recently discovered "Silverway" and was excited, as Everway is one of my all-time favorites.

Not to threadjack, but do you own the books? It seems like the page count has enormously increased...I assume that means a ton more lore? Setting stuff? Etc. Is there a lot of new stuff, or did they just incorporate Spherewalker's Handbook into the main books?

I don't own the books yet, though they're on my "to buy" list. The previews don't reveal much more expanded content in the terms of mechanics, though. As you note, however, the expanded page count surely must account for something. Maybe the Spherwalker's Handbook? I already own that (it's not as rare as once thought) and the original core box is available for around $65-ish in a mint, sealed, condition. Hence my statement that the new edition is seemingly perfunctory.
 
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Thomas Shey

Legend
I personally didn’t like the way Mutants & Masterminds went after 2Ed, but it wasn’t so annoying that I hated it. I simply didn’t buy any of it.

But when HERO (my favorite system) released something called the “Fuzion” edition? It was produced in partnership with R. Talsorian Games.

I felt betrayed. I was wondering why it existed and if I’d ever purchase another product. Fortunately, it was short lived, at least, as a “Champions” product line. I think there were a pair of supplements, and that was it. I can’t remember what I bought in the line, and I’m not sure I still own it. As I understand it, there’s a few games out there that use the Fuzion system.

The irony is, Fuzion was a pretty good system viewed in and of itself; for some purposes I found it in some ways superior to Hero. But the way it was pushed was bad and the modified super-powers system they used as a plug-in was one of the weakest they had for all its extent.
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
Open question: which edition of Shadowrun is playable?

2nd, 3rd, and 5th are pretty playable. Of those, though, 2nd and 3rd suffer from not being very complete in the core rulebook and having key components of the system spread out across multiple supplements. 2nd had great lore, though. 3rd had very little lore and, instead, focused on rules in its supplements. 5th is very much complete in the core book (I'd go so far as to say that supplements are optional), but the organization of that book is pretty awful.

[Edit: I don't know about 4th, but I've heard that it's bad and that most people switched over to the Anniversary edition when it came out. Sixth World was bad upon its initial release, but the new Seattle Edition core rulebook incorporates all of the errata and looks pretty good.]
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
d20 Call of Cthulhu was one of the best of the d20 glut of games that came out. When it came to introducing new players to the game, I think d20 CoC was better than the classic version of the game.

I honestly think it's a better pure genre horror game than Chaosium's CoC (CoC has tried to do non-Cthulhu horror several times over the years and it's just not very good at it) and provides a better pulp Cthulhu experience than the official Pulp Cthulhu.
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
its layout being hard to navigate
The layout of the core rulebook especially is really bad. I saw something compare it to the layout in a fashion magazine and I see it now. It's really, really bad. Good for casually reading through, terrible for using at the table. I've found the latest releases by Renegade Studios to be a considerable improvement.
 

Back in the day I ran a long campaign in SR 1e. It was fun but the system is clunky. Workable, but clunky.
I played 1 session of 2e and a power gaming buddy of mine broke the system in that session so I don't want to use it.
I haven't played or even read any of the other editions.

But I do love the setting.

Open question: which edition of Shadowrun is playable?


I think 5th edition is maybe the most playable, though if you're worried about OP characters you still have to limit some options and interactions, and remind everyone that it's a pretty chaotic system that occasionally needs to be reined in (plus there are some obvious and nonobvious errors not always covered by errata).

But the rules are also spread across a whole bunch of books, so there's that issue. And it's one of the crunchiest systems ever made. No getting around the complexity.

Also Forbidden Arcana is widely considered to have broken stuff in it. It's worked well for the game I'm running, but I'm not really worrying about balance, since the campaign I'm running is pretty light on combat.
 

because that's the version of the lore that my group is familiar with and wants to use (we've been using the 6e rules, so far, but they're honestly such a mess that we voted unanimously to switch to a different system if we could come up with one that works with the current lore.)

That makes sense. I did a deep dive on 5e and 6e a couple years ago when I was deciding which one to run, and I felt like you could very easily use 5e for everything in 6e (whereas doing the opposite wasn't true, since 6e still doesn't have a lot of the character options that are in 5e, and that I think most people expect from a SR game). There's a lot of space stuff in 6e, but fingers crossed you aren't doing much of that, and there are rules for zero-g, space hazards, etc. in one of 5e's many--too many!--books.
 

Scottius

Explorer
Our GM was very upset with the TSR, as I recall.

WOTC owns the IP now. I wonder if they will eventually do something with it. Maybe it's too close to D&D and they want to avoid competing with themselves.

I was reading the rules for Arena of Death, the intro mini-game for Dragonquest, not long ago. Fun game. I want to try it out in 2022.

I know DQ still has a loyal fanbase online. I wonder if a retroclone version of the rules system would be possible. It would be nice to have a way for the rules to be available to new players.

2nd, 3rd, and 5th are pretty playable. Of those, though, 2nd and 3rd suffer from not being very complete in the core rulebook and having key components of the system spread out across multiple supplements. 2nd had great lore, though. 3rd had very little lore and, instead, focused on rules in its supplements. 5th is very much complete in the core book (I'd go so far as to say that supplements are optional), but the organization of that book is pretty awful.

[Edit: I don't know about 4th, but I've heard that it's bad and that most people switched over to the Anniversary edition when it came out. Sixth World was bad upon its initial release, but the new Seattle Edition core rulebook incorporates all of the errata and looks pretty good.]

2nd Edition is my favorite for design/style/lore. I found 4th edition to have the most playable rules. I do think having a core rulebook exist in two formats , the original mono color and the superior 20th Anniversary edition, probably hurt the edition in the long run. I don't love the wireless integration in 4th edition and later versions but there is the 2050 book for 4e out there.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
2nd Edition is my favorite for design/style/lore. I found 4th edition to have the most playable rules. I do think having a core rulebook exist in two formats , the original mono color and the superior 20th Anniversary edition, probably hurt the edition in the long run. I don't love the wireless integration in 4th edition and later versions but there is the 2050 book for 4e out there.
From what I recall Shadowrun 20th immediately and totally replaced the previous version of 4e for everyone I knew. Didn't they also re-organize the whole thing too, in addition to incorporating errata and just being a much more handsome book?
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
From what I recall Shadowrun 20th immediately and totally replaced the previous version of 4e for everyone I knew. Didn't they also re-organize the whole thing too, in addition to incorporating errata and just being a much more handsome book?

Certainly when I decided I really needed to decide if 4e or 5e was better, none of the reviews I saw seemed to suggest there was any good reason to not do the 20A version.
 

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