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Worlds of Design: To Move or Not to a New Edition?

When the RPG ruleset you use is replaced by a new edition, what do you do?


  • Total voters
    273
Many tabletop RPGs besides D&D have multiple editions. How many people stick with older editions rather than move to the new one?

newedition.jpg

Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

Flipping & Turning Through New Rules​

I was reading an issue of Flipping & Turning (an online magazine for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, free through DriveThruRPG). A contributor to that magazine mentioned that years ago he thought no one played AD&D (First Edition, 1E) anymore, not once the Second Edition (2E) was released, but discovered many years later that Old Schoolers often play 1E.

My own experience is that I moved to AD&D from the original booklets, ignored 2E, played 3E along with 1E, played but did not game master 4E, and appreciate many virtues in 5E but don’t play it, still playing 1E.

New Editions, Other Games​

Thinking about other kinds of tabletop games, I suspect everyone moves to each new edition (there have been many) of Magic: the Gathering, because of “organized play” tournaments and the annual replacement of cards with new ones.

When an expansion for a board game is published, most people play with the expansion(s) if they can. New editions of board games are uncommon. I cite my own Britannia. In the UK people played the original H.P. Gibsons (1986) edition, in the USA gamers played the slightly different and later Avalon Hill (AH) edition (1987). When I revised the game to fix some errors introduced by publishers, in 2006, it replaced the AH edition at the World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) tournament, though a few people still prefer the AH edition. The 2020 reissue of the game does not change the rules, but uses plastic pieces (and new board artwork). Many long-time players don’t like the idea of plastic figures, and I think we’ll see a mix of sets when WBC next meets. But because the rules haven’t changed, though the interface has, it’s not comparable to a new edition of an RPG where the rules do change.

The Pros & Cons of a New Edition​

If you stick with the old you don’t have to worry about official updates to the rules. Updates can vary in quality and reception; some provide new ways for players to get something in a way that seems "easier" to players, which can cause friction at the table when those players want to use the new rules, and the game master doesn't. This may not be a problem for strong personalities, but can be a problem for a GM who isn’t clearly the leader of the group. That GM will be constantly bombarded with requests to use new rules. Forty years ago I advised GMs to avoid letting players gain unearned advantages through new rules (I banned all additions to my 3E game); but that only applies to RPGs as games, not as storytelling mechanisms.

A new edition can fix problems, but can introduce new ones. I’m not sure where the advantage lies. Another consequence of staying with the old is that new players who have bought the new edition may prefer to play what they’ve bought.

By the time a new edition is released, there’s so much material available for the older edition (often free or quite cheap) that there may not be an obvious need to switch. Those sticking with older RPG editions may be more likely to make up their own material, and thus depend less on updates. Gamers sometimes accuse publishers of releasing a new edition simply to make more money rather than actually improve the game, but a company’s motivation can certainly be both (See The Dilemma of the Simple RPG).

Finally, there is the belief that new is always better, predicated on the notion that a new edition is always an improvement on the older one. That’s certainly how publishers position their new editions, but it’s not true for every player. It wasn’t true for me with D&D, but with an historian’s perspective I also see that new often isn’t better, it’s just new.

Your Turn: How many people stick with older editions of RPGs? After all, many tabletop role-playing games have multiple editions, not just D&D. So we have a poll!
 
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Lewis Pulsipher

Lewis Pulsipher

Dragon, White Dwarf, Fiend Folio

Orius

Adventurer
It depends on how much a new edition changes and how much players might have invested in a previous edition. Very radical changes can disrupt an existing campaign. More casual players with just a small number of books might be able to easily shift to a new edition, but players who've invested a good amount of money into an extensive library may not wish to change rulesets, especially if there's a lot of dubious changes involved.

Slight tangent: I will never for the life of me understand the refusal to move from 1e to 2e. During it's run, 2e was an over-done, bloated mess but with the benefit of hindsight, it's a well done revision of the core AD&D mechanics. It fixes the initiative system from whatever they was in 1e, makes bards a playable class, adds some consistency to class design, gives options to priests and wizards for specialists, and adds the better parts of UA without the broken parts. That's not so say it didn't have it own quirks, but if you carefully curate the 2e splats, it's a far better and refined system than 1e.

Then again, we're discussing why someone would leave a 40 year old system for a 30 year old one; my guess is tradition and nostalgia play a much bigger role in system choice than innovation or refinement does.

2E and B/X are better rules systems than 1E.

1E has a better vibe/feel than 2,R and better adventures. More adult vibe I suppose as B/X and 2E were sanitized for younger players.

Curated 2E houseruled holds up reasonably well and it turns out some if the restrictions were good.

In 21 years still waiting on that Dwarf wizard. The 2 Dwarf lovers I've encountered since then tend to be fighter/cleric types.

Yeah, I never really got the resistance either, particularly since the compatibility is so high that any specific element preferred from 1e fits in with 2e reasonably well (ranger, I'm looking at you).
I also suspect it's not just tradition and nostalgia. There were some elements that seemed to take 2e as an insult to Gygax and took a great deal of affront at it.
There's a number of reasons for the whole 1e stance, and it varies from player to player. Some people didn't like some of the directions 1e took later in its lifespan, usually due to material from any of the later hardbacks: UA, OA, MotP, the Survival Guides. Some of them thought 2e was doubling down on that stuff and didn't like it. There was a move towards a more narrative gaming flavor that started roughly with the Dragonlance modules, and some players didn't like that. There were the responses towards the whole Satanic panic which turned off players. Some people thought Gary got stabbed in the back, and refused to support TSR after that ( though some of them don't like UA either, which was mostly Gary). Some people felt 2e didn't fix enough, others thought it changed too much. Too many lame adventures at the time, especially including Castle Greyhawk. The few changes that did occur either eliminated classes people liked or changed them in ways the players didn't like. And you have people who were playing 1e from the start and found fixes to problems they had with the system, and didn't really feel a need to move forward.

I guess if you'd already been invested in 1e, then there may have been less reason to switch. For someone like me, who started with 2e, the differences aren't really a big deal at all.
 

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Slight tangent: I will never for the life of me understand the refusal to move from 1e to 2e. During it's run, 2e was an over-done, bloated mess but with the benefit of hindsight, it's a well done revision of the core AD&D mechanics. It fixes the initiative system from whatever they was in 1e, makes bards a playable class, adds some consistency to class design, gives options to priests and wizards for specialists, and adds the better parts of UA without the broken parts. That's not so say it didn't have it own quirks, but if you carefully curate the 2e splats, it's a far better and refined system than 1e.
I honestly think the 1E initiative system is better in some ways, though it's confusing and can use a few house rules.

The Bard revision was great, the specialist Wizards are a cool concept (though a whole additional spell slot per level is BIG; and I rarely remember seeing generalist mages played), and the overall cleanup and clarification of the mechanics was nice. In several places they really got too conservative, though. Speciality Priests had cool flavor but were almost always weak compared to a Cleric and kind of a poor choice. Forbidding elves and half elves from casting in armor was a pretty brutal change. And switching to 3d6 for ability scores as the default while retaining 1E style ability score bonus charts rather than the B/X or BECMI ones made no sense at all. Look at the character generation example- how uninspiring was that to kids hoping to play heroes like in the fiction?

But in retrospect, IMO, if you already understood 1E, 2E didn't really change enough to merit a whole new edition. The mandate to make it as reverse-compatible as possible limited the scope of change too much. And the xp system was fundamentally broken. They made gold for xp an optional rule without giving adequate guidance on how to replace it. In practice, from what I saw, most DMs relied heavily on monster xp, which slowed advancement greatly and changed the focus of play in a bad way, more toward hack and slash. I think the intent was to move more toward quest awards, but little guidance or direction was given on how to award those, how much to give, how fast advancement should be, etc.

2E was really stuck in a hard spot trying to retain the loyalty of the older 1E players but also service the players being drawn in by Dragonlance and other fantasy fiction, who wanted to play like the heroes of a fantasy novel. And IMO the 2E DMG really dropped the ball trying to be all things to all people and failed to really teach the game to new DMs. While I started with BECMI and 1E, I was around 14 when 2E came out and that was the first edition I could really wrap my head around the rules and try to run. ...but the 2E DMG was full of "you could do it this way, or you could do it that way" vagueness that made me despair of figuring out one functional way to make it work. The good DMs I played with (my first serious, multi-month and multi-year campaigns were in 2E) were ones with strong authorial visions and design sensibilities, willing to come up with their own ways of awarding XP, for example.
 
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In answer to the OP, historically I move to the new edition.

As a kid I initially got BECMI, and my younger brother and I had fun playing around with it but didn't really fully grok it. I rapidly added 1E AD&D books as soon as I discovered them, but again found them confusing.

2E was much cleaner, and while I still couldn't really wrap my head around running a game, I played quite a bit of it, for years. I then dropped out for a while, playing a few other TTPRGs, doing some LARP and some wargaming.

3E I started because some of my wargaming buddies wanted to, and we played the hell out of it. When 3.5 came out we welcomed almost all of the changes. When 4E came out we were all sick of the bloat and slowness of mid- and high-level 3.x play (having had at least three campaigns go up to the high teens), and welcomed the fresh new approach. As my main group were also miniatures wargamers, the combat rules lending themselves to detailed set-piece battles also greatly appealed to us.

When 5E came out we continued with 4E for quite a while, and finished another campaign or two, as our DMs still had concepts they wanted to play with in that rules framework.

Nowadays I play with 5E a good bit, but during 4E I started reading OSR blogs and forums and coming to understand better those original editions that I never properly grokked as a kid. Now I play all kinds of editions*, and appreciate each for its own virtues. And I've got enough player and DM experience under my belt to be comfortable house ruling rough edges. Probably the only edition I wouldn't play again is 3.x at higher levels. Though part of me is quite interested in trying it out with the E6 houserules....

(*as I write this I'm actively playing in a 1975-style OD&D game, a B/X /OSE open table West Marches group, and a 5E game, and DMing a 5 Torches Deep / B/X mashup)
 

Esbee

Dungeon Master at large.
For me, it's been more of a back and forth... nothing so straightforward as moving to something 'new' and leaving the older behind. If anything, these days I'm more inclined to go retro...

I started with BECMI as a kid, had the 1e books but never quite played them, and as a teen moved away from D&D for a bit to play Palladium games, TMNT, Robotech, RIFTS etc... as well as AD&D 2e which I dove headlong into. A few years later I retired from all non D&D games and it was AD&D 2e Player's Options for which I ran 18 year campaign - but I did dabble in 3e in that time only to realize that I hate, Hate, HATE(!!!) 3e.

Subsequently I rediscovered 1e and realized that the system was magnificent, if somewhat disjointed in presentation. It has since become my absolute system of choice and I have retired my 2e stuff... although I did get a few 5e books and have been dabbling in that. I like much of what 5e does, but also dislike quite a lot of what 5e espouses... so it gets a conditional pass as I hammer out the house rules I like to cater it to my tastes and then judge it appropriately. :p
 
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I think it depends very much on the game and what the new edition is offering.

If the game is largely the same, but with what seem to be improved and expanded rules, particularly ones that are less clunky or eliminating major bugbears, I'm almost certain to move on to it. This was how an awful lot of 1990s new editions were. For example, Shadowrun 2E and 3E and WoD 2E (though Revised was more complicated, much to my surprise).

If there is a major change to the setting or tone of the game, but the rules are improved/expanded, it depends entirely on what that change is. Revised WoD for example, went a bit too far here, I've discussed it extensively in other threads, so won't re-iterate it her, but the tone and some setting stuff changed a fair bit, and the rules weren't "revised and expanded" as much they were changed to favour certain game-styles (though some mechanical issues were eliminated along the way). So we got VtM Revised, but then didn't buy the other Revised WoD games.

If the changes are so big it's basically a new game, I assess it largely as such, but obviously with an eye to how it's going to be supported - something like D&D, you can count on a lot of support you couldn't count on with an equally-large-change fantasy heartbreaker.

With D&D we changed with each edition, but never quite instantly except 3E to 4E. I started with 2E (just as it came out, pretty much), and we'd actually got quite back into it when 3E hit, and we did not immediately change over to 3E, because whilst it seemed cool, we couldn't quite re-create the main characters of the party. So about a year later we did, and I really didn't enjoy DMing it, though kept trying for years. Eventually we just largely gave up on it until near 4E, when we tried 3.5E with a ton of books my brother had (Book of 9 Swords etc.), and had a good time. When 4E hit, we changed to that immediately, and we stuck with for a long time, but were getting somewhat annoyed with how bogged-down it became when Dungeon World arrived in 2013, and we swapped to that. When 5E came, we immediately got the books, but we didn't actually run a campaign (just a couple of adventures) for a very long time, from my perspective. I think we first ran it properly in what, 2016? 2017? So there was quite a gap where we mostly played DW. One thing which was big was DDB - until that was in a decent state we just didn't want to mess with a relatively rules-heavy RPG like D&D, where there's a ton to track (from our perspective), after having been spoiled by 4E lol.

With SR we went from 1E to 2E to 3E instantly, but weren't super-impressed with 3E. 4E seemed like trash and we avoided it like the plague. 5E we tried, regretted trying. 6E is not even under consideration.

Another factor is "are we actually playing the game or likely to?" - a lot of good games got probably-good second or third editions that we never played. Earthdawn and Feng Shui for example. I didn't even get into Savage Worlds until SWADE, and I'm glad for it. So unless we want to play a game we're unlikely to keep up with the editions.
 


imagineGod

Legend
I think it depends very much on the game and what the new edition is offering.

If the game is largely the same, but with what seem to be improved and expanded rules, particularly ones that are less clunky or eliminating major bugbears, I'm almost certain to move on to it. This was how an awful lot of 1990s new editions were. For example, Shadowrun 2E and 3E and WoD 2E (though Revised was more complicated, much to my surprise).

If there is a major change to the setting or tone of the game, but the rules are improved/expanded, it depends entirely on what that change is. Revised WoD for example, went a bit too far here, I've discussed it extensively in other threads, so won't re-iterate it her, but the tone and some setting stuff changed a fair bit, and the rules weren't "revised and expanded" as much they were changed to favour certain game-styles (though some mechanical issues were eliminated along the way). So we got VtM Revised, but then didn't buy the other Revised WoD games.

If the changes are so big it's basically a new game, I assess it largely as such, but obviously with an eye to how it's going to be supported - something like D&D, you can count on a lot of support you couldn't count on with an equally-large-change fantasy heartbreaker.

With D&D we changed with each edition, but never quite instantly except 3E to 4E. I started with 2E (just as it came out, pretty much), and we'd actually got quite back into it when 3E hit, and we did not immediately change over to 3E, because whilst it seemed cool, we couldn't quite re-create the main characters of the party. So about a year later we did, and I really didn't enjoy DMing it, though kept trying for years. Eventually we just largely gave up on it until near 4E, when we tried 3.5E with a ton of books my brother had (Book of 9 Swords etc.), and had a good time. When 4E hit, we changed to that immediately, and we stuck with for a long time, but were getting somewhat annoyed with how bogged-down it became when Dungeon World arrived in 2013, and we swapped to that. When 5E came, we immediately got the books, but we didn't actually run a campaign (just a couple of adventures) for a very long time, from my perspective. I think we first ran it properly in what, 2016? 2017? So there was quite a gap where we mostly played DW. One thing which was big was DDB - until that was in a decent state we just didn't want to mess with a relatively rules-heavy RPG like D&D, where there's a ton to track (from our perspective), after having been spoiled by 4E lol.

With SR we went from 1E to 2E to 3E instantly, but weren't super-impressed with 3E. 4E seemed like trash and we avoided it like the plague. 5E we tried, regretted trying. 6E is not even under consideration.

Another factor is "are we actually playing the game or likely to?" - a lot of good games got probably-good second or third editions that we never played. Earthdawn and Feng Shui for example. I didn't even get into Savage Worlds until SWADE, and I'm glad for it. So unless we want to play a game we're unlikely to keep up with the editions.
Savage Worlds while a fun system, is damn annoying in how game worlds never end cleanly but just get scattered across editions.

Deadlands Reloaded started with the 1.5e then continued into 2e Savage Worlds Deluxe, even changing printed book sizes.

The RIFTS Kickstarter switched that game world books into the latest SWADE edition of Savage Worlds creating a mess of some core RIFTS books still using the previous edition and some the latest.
 


I only play new if I can still use the old.

I moved to 3E from 2E because it was better mechanically, but 1e/2e still has so much material I can use in 3e.

However, WotC don't write books like they used to (well, when it was TSR that is) and so it's becoming harder and harder to move to a new edition. I moved from 3e to Pathfinder 1e and actually mix the two, because Pathfinder did what all TTRPGs should do; backwards compatibility. I was still able to port easily, or mix, or use as is, any of the 3e material with Pathfinder. And look how great it did by doing that!

Alas, Paizo went to the Darkside and abandoned PF1e for their crap PF2e that isn't as popular at all and isn't even Pathfinder, just some new 5e-wanna-be-with-extra-complexity kind of game with the Pathfinder in name only.

5e is too heavily watered down. Not the right D&D, it's a D&D flavored zero-calorie refreshment that loses its novelty quickly before realizing we should have the original Coke again...maybe with the original coke in it too LOL But it appeals to the masses which is what this game is all about now: Money.

I miss when Money wasn't a thing with D&D. When it was just the game made by real gamers and not suits.

I'll forever stick to my 3.5e/PF system. Nothing better really.
 

evildmguy

Explorer
This is a complex question to me. A lot of answers have parts of mine but I am going to put them together.

Up until 5E DND, I moved to the latest. The big move for me was 1E/2E to 3E. Yes, mechanically, very different and I liked it better. It was the tone that I liked better. 1E/2E was about challenging the players while 3E was about challenging the characters. That's an important difference to someone who DMed the lone wolves who were "just playing their characters" or the players who had all stats memorized and knew how to attack any given monster, even if the character shouldn't know any of that. Now, 3E/PF could get complex to make a fully statted NPC or improved monster but I was fine with that.

What I like about more recent games is the advice they give. Modern design is generally better. I can't imagine playing a 1E/2E game without skills. While I grew tired of 4E, it did have some good ideas. (I personally think Paizo, after not liking 4E, basically built their own version of 4E. That's neither good nor bad, just my thought on PF2. I haven't moved to it and keep playing PF1 as my fantasy system.) 4E made monsters more manageable by only have the action stats, not everything. If a monster needed a skill it had it, if not, it didn't.

What I don't prefer about 5E is that it seems to be back to challenging the players and a lot of DM fiat, which I don't prefer. 3E/4E/PF seems to give a more consistent feel between tables, which I like. I had some bad DMs under 1E/2E and 3E helped train them better, I think. 5E is back to a mixed back, changing from table to table.

So that's DND. In other games, I prefer Alternity 1.0, although 2.0 fizzled for reasons. It's probably still my favorite system but I do think it needs to be simplified. However, I have yet to see a damage system as good as this one.

Then other games vary. I like the ideas of V5 because they finally made rules to show that a vampire is a monster. I also liked Requiem over Masquerade. I don't play it often but like the later versions. I backed the new "lite" version of Exalted because I LOVE the world and ideas but the mechanics never worked for me.

Mage and Hunter are fun games when they aren't so overshadowed by the bad guys. They are but not as much as previous versions. I only say that about Mage because my players like spell lists, not coming up with the spells as they go.

I like the simplicity of some of the skills of Shadowrun 6E and would use that as a base but pull a lot from 4E/20/5E. Love the world itself and the lore.

I have most versions of the SW game but most recently, I got the 30th anniversary and really like the simplicity of the original game. I would use that before the FFG one. I would use ideas from all of them, though. I suppose my second would be Saga Edition, then d20. I would be tinkering in all of them.

Really, as I type this, what I realize is that I have always had a style of wanting to tell a shared story and want the mechanics to match that in whatever genre I'm playing. I'm also the type that thinks that more complicated is better than less only because it's easier to remove than to add. I do get the latest version of games I like to see if I like it more than the latest but I'm sure even if I don't play it, I will use something from it in my games.

Good post and responses! Thanks!

edg
 

I started with 5E, so I haven't had to do this yet. However, I assume that if we are in the middle of a campaign and want to start including elements of the new edition, we will where it makes sense. After that, though, we'll probably just use the new edition.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
It all depends on what it does better than and worse than the current edition. If I like what it does well more than I dislike what it does poorly, I'll jump. If I think the previous edition does more of what I like the way I like it, I'll stick with it. Jumping to a new edition simply because it's the new shiny doesn't make sense to me.
 

pming

Legend
Hiya!

Try it most of the time. Then put it on the shelf, or start playing it over the old...but often just steal ideas from one edition to use for whatever mish-mash we are using at the time. I can only think of two games...and one of them not 100%... where I have jumped to the newer edition: SUPERS! (but it's only had 'two' versions, so not hard), and Call of Cthulhu...where we all believe that the d20 version was actually some sort of SAN reducing cosmic horror trick that the Old Ones managed to sneak into our world; so, all "real" versions of Call of Cthulhu we have dutifully upgraded to every time...except for The Edition That Shall Not Be Named Again In This Thread!

For D&D, no 2e, no 3e, no 4e; mostly 1e/Hackmaster 4th, BECMI/BX, and now 5th. And yeah, I consider Hackmaster 4th Edition to be "AD&D version 2.75" (mostly 1e, some 2e, some Basic, and some Skills & Powers Players Option).

Also, on last little thing that I don't know if it's just me and where I live, or if this is a universal thing... any person who immediately thinks "It's new! So it's BETTER!" has always, without fail, turned out to be an idiot. Just me, or is this more common?

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Slight tangent: I will never for the life of me understand the refusal to move from 1e to 2e. During it's run, 2e was an over-done, bloated mess but with the benefit of hindsight, it's a well done revision of the core AD&D mechanics. It fixes the initiative system from whatever they was in 1e, makes bards a playable class, adds some consistency to class design, gives options to priests and wizards for specialists, and adds the better parts of UA without the broken parts. That's not so say it didn't have it own quirks, but if you carefully curate the 2e splats, it's a far better and refined system than 1e.

Then again, we're discussing why someone would leave a 40 year old system for a 30 year old one; my guess is tradition and nostalgia play a much bigger role in system choice than innovation or refinement does.
Yeah, I never really got the resistance either, particularly since the compatibility is so high that any specific element preferred from 1e fits in with 2e reasonably well (ranger, I'm looking at you).

I also suspect it's not just tradition and nostalgia. There were some elements that seemed to take 2e as an insult to Gygax and took a great deal of affront at it.
As someone who had those conversations in real time back in the day, it came down to comfort and money. We already had the AD&D books in hand. We already house ruled AD&D to work the way we wanted it to. We only ever had to look up weird edge cases and the exact wording of a spell to see if it could be used in some bizarre way. And because 2E was so close to AD&D, we didn't see any reason, mechanically, to jump.

Some of the new rules were exactly how we were already playing it and some of the new rules we didn't like. So we'd have to start from scratch and relearn a new system that was really close to what we were already playing and work up a new set of house rules to make that new system play the way we wanted it to...i.e. make it play how we were already playing with the books we already had. We'd have to deal with sorting through which rules were actually in the book vs which rules we were remembering from our house rules. Rebuy all the main books and deal with the bizarre loose-leaf MM.

There was literally no reason to switch. Though using those tasty, tasty settings would have been amazing. For the new rules we did like from 2E, we just house ruled them into our AD&D game. The group I'm talking about started playing in 1978 with a mix of the Holmes Basic set and the Monster Manual. When AD&D dropped the PHB and DMG, they still collected the various Basic boxes, but they played AD&D from '78-'79 on. By the time 2E came out, they'd already been playing AD&D for a decade and house ruled things to work the way they wanted to. I joined them in 1984. I'd already been playing AD&D for five years by the time 2E came out. None of us saw any reason to switch. We already had the books. We already house ruled the game to work how we liked. Why spend more money on a slightly different version of the game we were already playing and had already collected multiple copies of all the books.

Bottom line: it would be more work and more money to switch than to stay. So we stayed.
 
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Hussar

Legend
Out with the old, in with the new. I might drag my feet switching - I missed most of 3e and joined at the tail end just before 3.5 came out, took a year or so to start playing 4e, although we switched to 5e right away.

Then again, I have no problems with the idea that my books become obsolete. It happens. I got the enjoyment I wanted from the books I bought. It's not like I go back and reread books all the time anyway. Too many new things and new ideas to stay fixated on the old.

Yes, I have the attention span of a gerbil on speed. Why do you ask?
 

Out with the old, in with the new. I might drag my feet switching - I missed most of 3e and joined at the tail end just before 3.5 came out, took a year or so to start playing 4e, although we switched to 5e right away.

Then again, I have no problems with the idea that my books become obsolete. It happens. I got the enjoyment I wanted from the books I bought. It's not like I go back and reread books all the time anyway. Too many new things and new ideas to stay fixated on the old.

Yes, I have the attention span of a gerbil on speed. Why do you ask?
Plus, you can still use the old books to fill in the gaps on your new campaigns. I bought 2E, 3E, and 4E materials for my 5E game.
 

MGibster

Legend
I typically adopt the new edition of the game. In 1989-1990 I started purchasing AD&D 2nd edition because those were the books that were most available and I actually had a little bit of purchasing power as a teen. I switched to D&D 3.0 in 2000 because I thought it was a better system but I skipped 3.5 because I didn't feel they made enough improvements to warrant purchasing the core books again. I did not care one bit for 4.0 so I didn't make the plunge.

The only game I can recall having regret over purchasing the new edition was Legend of the Five Rings 2nd edition. And, honestly, it's been so long that I can't remember specifically what I found disappointing but I just stuck with 1st edition.

I remember switching to WEG's 2nd edition of Star Wars even though I had plenty of 1st edition books and had no big problems with the rules. I don't consider WotC's d20 Star Wars to be a different edition of the game. It's a totally different game even if it's based off the same source material.

There's a good chance I'll buy 6th edition D&D and I'd rather it was released sooner than later. I would like all the books to reflect the changes they've made to ability score increases, race/lingeage, or whatever.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Sometimes stay, sometimes move, sometimes play both, sometimes move & then move back, sometimes play mostly one version & occasionally some other.
Depends upon the edition and, to an extent, the group.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I sold my GURPS 3e books, and thought I would shift to 4e. But then our group died, and I now have all those 3e sourcbooks and 4e rule books. Boo.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Slight tangent: I will never for the life of me understand the refusal to move from 1e to 2e. During it's run, 2e was an over-done, bloated mess but with the benefit of hindsight, it's a well done revision of the core AD&D mechanics. It fixes the initiative system from whatever they was in 1e, makes bards a playable class, adds some consistency to class design, gives options to priests and wizards for specialists, and adds the better parts of UA without the broken parts. That's not so say it didn't have it own quirks, but if you carefully curate the 2e splats, it's a far better and refined system than 1e.
Well, one of the things I've always liked about 1e is it's arcane clunkiness. I liked it as a kid, I liked it as a teen, I liked it once 2e had arrived, & I still like it.... I largely lose that in 2e+. :(
Wether a new edition is technically better isn't enough. I also have to like it.
I also dislike the art & layout in most of 2e to varying degrees. And I HATE the the Monstrous Compendium binder style pages. And let's not discuss the abomination that's the Player Option series.

This is not to say I haven't & won't play 2e. I have. And I'm sure someday I might again depending upon the group. And I have a fair bit of it on my shelves.
2e for me is one of those editions that I largely moved to & then moved back from. All I played D&D wise between '95/96 - mid-'06 was 1e.
My choices of edition as the DM (in order of age) are: 1e, PF1 & 5e.
 
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