Edition Wars

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Edition wars. Where would D&D be without them? Even when I first started playing D&D back in 1980, there were already edition wars. Members of my first gaming group would argue the merits of Basic D&D vs. Advanced D&D vs. “the little brown books” (the boxed set of Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure, and Underworld & Wilderness Adventures).

My contribution to the Edition Wars topic is a little different. I haven’t really had a chance to try out a new addition of D&D, but I’m hoping to by the end of the month. If I get a chance, I’ll write a post about it.

rpg blog carnival logoD&D isn’t the only game to go through multiple editions. If you’ve read my post on upgrading to new editions, you know I’ve got a lot of older editions of games on my selves. Instead of rehashing the “which D&D edition is better” debate, I decided to list my favorite games that have multiple editions:

  • Dungeons & Dragons. The granddaddy of all RPGs. To date, I’ve played Basic D&D, AD&D (1st ed), D&D 3.0 and D&D 3.5. I played 1st ed for so long I still remember that the saving throw chart was on pg. 79 of the DMG. That’s without looking at the books in almost 20 years (except to verify that saves were on pg. 79 😉 ). I loved that game and played the books to tatters. Even with that, I have to admit that 3.5 is my favorite edition so far. I love the skill system and feats which allow me to customize my character so I don’t have the exact same skill set as every other character of my class. I haven’t really played 2nd ed or 4th ed, so the jury’s still out on them.
  • World of Darkness. 2nd ed, hands down and straight across the board. Granted, I haven’t actually played the newest editions (I’m still reading through them) but I don’t care for what’s been done to the game’s setting. I’ll freely admit it’s probably due to old-fogeyness and I’m not above stealing material from other editions to use in my current game.
  • Ars Magica. 4th ed. I haven’t yet seen a copy of 5th ed, so I can’t really make a call on it. But I like Atlas’ take on the game better than White Wolf’s or WOTC’s. I feel that 4th ed has the most flavor of being truly medieval-based and historically inspired.
  • Traveller. Marc Miller’s Traveller (T4). I found (despite the horrible copy editing job of the book) this edition of the rules much easier to pick up and play than the original Classic Traveller. I haven’t played any of the other editions beyond these two, but T4 is definitely my favorite so far. Plus, I like the early Third Imperium setting.

Those are my preferences. But, as I mentioned above, I tend to take a little here and there from other editions of a game and shape them into my own house rules version of a game. So I’m curious — what edition of these games do you play and do you “borrow” from other editions. If you do, what do you use and how do you incorporate it into your game?

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