Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Killing Joke

No, not the DC Graphic Novel - but rather a comment the way WizBro are treating Gary and Daves legacy. They are talking about a 5th Edition of D&D now, its been getting further and further away from what D&D should be to me. Less and less of a Role Playing Experience, more and more of a single model tabletop tactical wargame. What they are doing has been slowly but surely killing off the brand name.

A guy on Google+ made an interesting remark about RPG's in one of my Friends comment threads - "All This Must Evolve" - It kinda made me smile at the time, so lets look at that comment.

In Nature, if something 'works' it changes very little. Sharks and crocodiles are optimally suited for their environment - so they haven't really changed for a VERY long time.

Evolution and change isn't always necessary really, especially when it comes to games and gaming.

2nd Edition AD&D didn't really change much from 1st Edition AD&D - it added and expanded, in fact I (as a DM) merely added certain elements and  functionality from 2nd Ed to my 1st Ed Games - if it's not "broken" why fix it right.

Unfortunately, changing things in a major (and often flawed) way - is a "disease" that has penetrated the RPG industry, it's a sad truth. Not everyone has the common sense that a Publisher like Troll Lords has - in only changing things that don't work well.

The truth of the matter is, that the MAIN reason for changes in rules IS NOT JUST to "make things better" - its to actually ensure that people feel compelled to buy the newest edition!

Whilst its logical to ensure the survival of a business, its NOT always a good thing in my opinion (or in a lot of other peoples for that matter) why not bring out new and exciting products that add to the gaming experience, rather than watering down and re-hashing ideas all the damn time!

Check out this guys feelings on the possibility on there being a 5th Edition!

Change isn't always the right way to go, just "ask" the environment how it "feels" about the changes Mankind has made, all in the name of "progress" too!

I still enjoy 1st Edition AD&D, I prefer the look and the "feel" of it. OD&D through 1st Edition AD&D was a labour of love, its obvious - 4th Edition is quite simply soulless "product", and a lackluster product at that.


  1. While I can understand your position on the older edition being better suited towards you, I cannot agree that the game as a whole is soulless or even less of a great RPG experience. While I am relatively new to D&D in the grand scheme of things (started with early 3.5), I have had a chance to play 2nd Edition, 3.0, 3.5 and 4th Edition.

    For me, the game rules have come to allow for more choice and better abstraction to make storytelling easier. The move towards better class balance, point buy stat systems, and more frequent choice points in character creation are things I really enjoy.

    I'm not a fan of the old-school mentality where the early levels of the game are so fraught with peril that character death is a common occurrence. I like a setting where all the player characters are truly heroic, and as the game has evolved, it has gained much of that.

    I'm a little disappointed that there is a jump towards a 5th Edition so soon, but if they continue to refine their skill challenge system, clean up some of their class mechanics, and keep a lot of their working 4th Edition stuff int act, I'll be very happy with it.

    Just a voice from the other side who likes the newer direction of D&D.

  2. I totally agree. D&D is now not the same thing it was at all, and it's changed for no good reason.

    I wrote something kind of similar a little while ago, check it out here if you feel inclined.

  3. "a single model tabletop tactical wargame"

    Wasn't that what it was when it started?

  4. @ James S - 110% agree with you, it's OK for those who've never really experienced "the real thing" I suppose. They are the "Games Workshop" of the RPG world, and I don't say that lightly - as I used to work for the Evil Empire myself - and for the most part, its run by a right bunch of "toe rags".

  5. @ Von - yes it is, so why take such a HUGE step backwards . . . . . .