Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not an Edition Warrior, but I have chosen a side...

... and it dates pre-2e.

You play what you want, great. Doesn't mean I'm going to go all kumbayah with 2e/3e/4e. I have no interest in them, no real use for them and they don't influence what I do with my game. If that makes me an "Edition Snob" - well, I'm fucking guilty as charged - kinda like "If it's wrong to be in love, I don't want to be right!"

Really? Why is there this sudden kumbayah all over the place? Why isn't it OK to just love what you love, play what you play and get the fuck on with it? Why do we have to shove banners and warm fuzzy phrases all over the place and pretend like we are all supposed to embrace something that we really just have no interest in, don't care about and won't give a second thought to past this post?

*sigh* I really am getting curmudgeonly, aren't I? Ah well...

My Lawn.  Get the fuck off it.

(Edited to add)
I'm reminded of a phrase from the Hagakure:

"It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same for anything that is called a Way. Therefore, it is inconsistent to hear something of the Way of Confucius or the Way of the Buddha, and say that this is the Way of the Samurai. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all says and be more and more in accord with his own."

This is not inconsistent with how I feel about the way I play D&D.


Gaming Ronin said...

Its not about forcing every one to like what some one else likes. Its every one getting tired of those that go to other peoples blogs and message boards to troll games they don't like.

James Maliszewski said...

*sigh* I really am getting curmudgeonly, aren't I?

Welcome to the club :)

Anonymous said...

*sigh* I really am getting curmudgeonly, aren't I? Ah well...

You are not alone sir, you are not alone...

- Neil.

5stonegames said...

Three curmudgeons here today I think.

I rather like 2e best of all editions though I'll play Pathfinder (and write a lot for it) and anything else if it looks interesting, even 4e ;)

That being said some of this "edition kumbaya" stuff is about trying to create a unified group of "gamers" from what people think is a shrinking pool.

Its silly since gaming has not been truly diversified after I dunno 1981 or so.

Some of it is also commercial in a way, WOTC wants to preserve the brand value of D&D, its place as front runner (threatened more by Pathfinder than our little niche) and the idea of D&D as primary market leader and or default play (i.e can't decide on anything else we'll play D&D)

Again silly, some shift was inevitable with new games on the market, US demographic transition, the popularity of other forms of entertainment and the dead economy (people can't afford an upgrade) but thats life.

Talysman said...

I'll go even farther: if someone asks me "would you like to play ?" or "What do you think of ?" I will quite probably tell them things they don't want to hear. I may even make snarky comments about in various publicly-accessible places. But I won't bust down your door to rant about how terrible is, or do the internet equivalent and interrupt a thread about or leave comments on a blog devoted to trashing the game in front of those who love it.

Because seriously: why is it any of my business?

Talysman said...

Oops, I guess I should have escaped those angle-brackets. Blogger thought all those <FAVORITE GAME X> references were HTML tags.

Aaron E. Steele said...

Go you!

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

I'm reminded of a phrase from the Hagakure:

"It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same for anything that is called a Way. Therefore, it is inconsistent to hear something of the Way of Confucius or the Way of the Buddha, and say that this is the Way of the Samurai. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all says and be more and more in accord with his own."

This is not inconsistent with how I feel about the way I play D&D.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@James: "Welcome to the club :)" Wasn't long in coming, hmm? Two years? Reconnected with the clones and now I'm back smack in AD&D/Holmes Basic. OD&D has become my gateway to spread from, but I'm discovering a disinterest in most anything that goes beyond 1e. I'm even finding myself disinterested in the clones as they are evolving, aside from OSRIC which remains true. It's not that the clones are bad, but that they've already served as my gateway back and I've no need for further reinterpretation.

Derek Daniels said...

Lol, of COURSE you're curmudgeonly, that's why you and 1st ed are such a good match! I believe that the best campaigns come not just when the system is one that the GM likes, but when the feel of the system matches the GM's temperament.

If I wanted to play in a 2nd ed game again, I'd want my friend Steve to run it. If it were 3rd ed, I'D probably be running it. If it were 4th... Well, I probably wouldn't get into another 4th ed game because I just didn't like the feel of it. But if I did, I'd want someone running who's style matched that system.

But my question is this: Where are you getting the sense that you're being pressured to put up banners, use mushy phrases or sing folk songs? (I prefer "Blowin' in the Wind" and "If I had a Hammer" to "Kumbaya" myself, but that's neither here nor there...) You didn't say where that feeling's coming from, so I'm guessing it's from other D&D blogs and such that I wish I had time to read? In any case, I wouldn't sweat it. It's the internet, why feel pressure to write anything other than what you really think?

James Maliszewski said...

Some of it is also commercial in a way, WOTC wants to preserve the brand value of D&D, its place as front runner (threatened more by Pathfinder than our little niche) and the idea of D&D as primary market leader and or default play (i.e can't decide on anything else we'll play D&D)

I'll admit that's a big part of why I have no interest in participating in these "it's all D&D to me" hugfests. Plus, I don't believe that anyway, so I just do my own thing in the company of others who feel similarly.

Spiralbound said...

I'm not so interested in convincing everyone to agree that all games are equally lovable and all that jazz, I would just appreciate it if I could read a discussion on roleplaying without some yahoo either trying to trashtalk another game or preach to me about how his favorite is the One True Game. I have my preferences and there are games I don't like, but I'm not going to force my preferences down others' throats and I'm tired of other people trying to do this to me. As I said on another blog recently, let's just play the game! :-)

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Spiral - I have to admit, I cannot think of one blog comment in the past couple of years that has told me I'm doing it wrong with OD&D/AD&D. However, I've seen a lot of claims that this happens. I've also seen claims that people talking about their own preferences constitutes said edition wars. I will admit I do not hang out on RPG.net or ENWorld or Dragonsfoot - K&K would come close to probably being a forum of "edition specificity" but then you join K&K for AD&D/Gygax. It's like going to the jazz club - you're gonna get jazz.

So I don't get it. I think we have our preferences, what works for us and there's nothing wrong with saying "I don't like 2e and later, I like 1e. Here's why. Done. Have a great game."

At the same time, these claims of Edition Wars just really confuse me and the further "need" to kumbayah D&D into a mutual reach-around really puzzles the fuck outta me.

It feels forced. It feels like there's this need because when you have discussions of making D&D into a GM-less board game, when you've been hanging onto watching the latest/greatest from WotC's maw... this has gotta feel like a black hole just formed.

Me... I don't care. I play OD&D and 1e. My M1 Garand, let me show you it.

Dyson Logos said...

I picked my side years ago - I'm a B/X fan through and through. But I can't stand the bullshit edition wars. I get fed up with the bad-mouthing, the bullshit, and worst of all, the idiots in the real world who actually pull out this crap in person at gaming stores. I've seen people getting grief for their game choices in stores, sometimes by guys I game with no less. The edition warriors who insist on telling people how crappy their games are? They are actually trying to ruin someone else's fun. THAT is crap.

Joe said...

Tolerance is for those without conviction.

Anonymous said...

@ChicagoWiz: To your most recent comment, I don't recall seeing hate for older editions anywhere, either (though it wouldn't surprise me if it's out there - there's a lot of hate on the Internet). There's a fair amount of hate for 4th Edition, and quite possibly for 3.X as well (I'm not as familiar with 3.X). I've seen it in real life - the coordinator of Pathfinder games at my local convention actually takes shots (only semi-jokingly) at how awful 4th Edition is during the recognition ceremony for game masters at the end of the Con.

The "kumbaya" stuff, as others have said, usually seems to be about people saying, "You don't all have to love the same version of the game, but please don't actively hate any versions, either. Other people probably like those versions, and bashing the game they love makes them feel lousy."

I think that's a reasonable sentiment, but others may disagree.

Gaming Ronin said...

Again I don't think its about taking a side or a favorite. Just about supporting gaming in all its flavored and not being an ***hole to other gamers just because you don't like to play the game that they do.

Not that you are. So I find it weird for you to get defensive about the idea of supporting gaming as a community not just your little kiddie pool.

Nope said...

quit throwin fits old man.

no shit you can enjoy what you like.

Unknown said...

Is this about that "I'm with [Brand Name], any product?" graphic someone posted on Twitter? Or were there a bunch of blog posts I missed?

Timothy S. Brannan said...

And I don't think anyone wants it any other way really.

I have seen your games at Games Plus and I know you run a great a great game and that is cool.

You know I write for about a dozen or so different systems.

I am not advocating a hug-fest. I am just not going to bitch about games I don't like. Of course I am tired of people complaining about games they have never actually played.

Personally I am not a fan of Rifts or Champions. Why? Not that they are bad games, I just have found other games that suit me better.

I guess that is just a long winded way of saying I am not going to complain about games I don't play. Unless of course it is to complain I don't get the chance to play them

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Tim - since you're the last commenter, and your blog post was the last one I saw yesterday in a string of what I called the "kumbayah" posts, Imma pick on you a little. Not in a personal way, but in a "I'll use you as an example way."

The funny thing is that my disclaimer above is probably longer than my response to you - I simply don't get the need for the banner you put up from Weem (which does count as a kumbayah *g*) at it's core level. Why is it a bad thing to say "No, I don't support/play D&D *any edition* because D&D xyz holds zero interest in me." And yet to hear this yet another anti-edition-war (which in my head is more about anti-public-D&D-preference) episode, the only true way is to have no preference because we must love them all.

Is this because there's some nebulous edition war going on? Where? Tim, I've not seen anyone at Games Plus berate anyone else for the game they're playing. On your blog or mine, I've never seen anyone say "1e SUCKS! YOU LOSER!" ad hominem. If someone says "Man, I really hate how 1e is all about the killing and looting, I want my Maricus Suesicus to be a champion of good in an epic story of Law!" how is that edition warring? Why isn't it OK to say "I can be with this, I can't be with that"?

Identification is a really funny thing to most everyone, and for me as someone with AS, it's even more weird because it ultimately serves no function, but yet I use it as much as anyone and I'm not sure why. So while I identify as a member of the old school community (not the OSR, as has been discussed ad nauseum, although mentioning it here will no doubt earn another blog-stalking from he-who-can't-let-it-go) I don't *feel* it as a thing that drives me. And yet I write about it, I obviously participate in it and I obviously PREFER it over others and don't see why that preference constitutes edition wars. In many ways, my identification revolves around my preference and what I do... and yet I don't see this war over it? Am I just not in the cool places?

Unfortunately, this confusion is all wrapped in a huge tarball in my head with my continuing disinterest in the clones. Not because they are bad, but because after playing for the past few years, I've grown less and less about the clones as an identification and back to my preference for the D&D of pre-1990. Is there some clone vs. original war going on? I don't see it.

So I am stuck between wondering why it's bad to say one has a preference and where this all is coming from... AND stuck between wondering why the clones just suddenly don't seem to be as interesting as they used to be.

So there's your look inside the maelstrom of my head. :)

Badmike said...

There's a line between accepting everything, loving what you love and hating everything else but keeping it to yourself, and outright hostility. I need to do a blogpost about my local gaming store...they openly and blatantly make fun of any version of D&D published before the year 2000, to the point of harassing customers that come in the store and making them leave if they are looking for clones or earlier versions of the game. They won't allow "dead" games to be played at the store. They have openly ridiculed our convention (NTRPG con) because it caters to old school gamers. They seem pretty happy with D&D 3.5, 4th edition, Pathfinder, etc and really don't care who they insult because the demographic that supports their store isn't the one buying older versions of the game.

Point being, I really don't care if they like, don't like, detest or are totally indifferent to the games I like to play. However, I really don't like being openly ridiculed for playing what i like and have chosen to shop elsewhere the last few years since the pre-2000 D&D hatred has become particularly venomous. Why can't they just keep their mouths shut? And hey, I'd feel the same way about a OD&D prostelyisizer (a game I don't like at all) or a fanatical Holmes edition Basic supporter (a game I played for a few months 30 years ago and would never play again over B/X D&D).

So I guess I'm of the "play what you want, but don't crap all over my game" school, and everything is cool. Don't make me listen to you proclaim your love for 4E and I won't beat you down about the rules set I use unless asked.

Dan said...

Care to explain what you mean exactly by 'Kumbayah'?

Your use of a condescending word in a derogatory manner seems like an attempt to attack something utterly benign. What if you replace 'kumbayah' with 'good manners'? That makes your post seem a little silly.

If you don't mean good manner then please tell us what you do mean.

Personally I haven't seen any of... whatever it is. But I welcome any break in the constant sniping. I've seen critics in other fields burn out of vitriol and decide that they simply won't write about bad experiences and save the column space for things they enjoyed. Both readers and writers can tire of negativity.

I also appreciate the ability in anyone to see and understand another position's point of view, to find common ground and the nuggets of good suggestions, without necessarily compromising one's own position.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@BadMike - that's the first horror story of that type I've ever heard of. I have to say, I'm extremely surprised they stay in business. All of the stores around Chicago are extremely supportive and neutral in what they advocate, aside from trying to keep themselves in business by selling to their best-paying audiences. I've happily played old school games in all of the major stores that I'm able to get to around here without any sort of harassment.

@Dan - since you've passed your own judgement, who am I to argue with you? Thanks for stopping by.

Badmike said...

Yeh it sucks, they are pretty much of the school "If we can't make money from it, we don't care", and to them anything OOP is a loser. Sad thing is I've known the owner for a long time, and he and the other employees weren't always like this. But this is the same guy that has been open 20 years and still doesn't have a website or bother promoting his store. He's in a large urban area (DFW) with very little competition and along with games sells comics, DVDs and other goodies. He does fawningly dote on his 3.5, Pathfinder and 4E customers, that seems to have been working for him the last decade or so. But as I said I really could care less about his game preference if he didn't make it his personal mission to insult games that don't make him money.

Dyson Logos said...

What launched me on my own rant against edition wars was because of actions along the lines of what you haven't seen before.

I have watched people tell other people that the games they play suck. I got into a pretty good argument over how such behaviour is bad for gaming in general (ie: this player was trying to tell another player that his fun is bad) as well as just plain rude.

Hell, when I dared to mention to one person at the FLGS that I was playing in a 3e campaign that weekend, I got the "that's not ROLEplaying, that's ROLLplaying" bullshit.

And of course, when I'm done posting about how I get fed up with people who actually try to ruin other people's fun with edition war crap, I get shit like this posted in response:


Seriously? A manifesto to tell people that they suck because they DARE to have the temerity to point out how incredibly crappy 4e and the Forge games are?

You are a traitor to the OSR and good gaming. No shit you aren’t OSR – you just produce regurgitated crap and sneak in promotions for crappy storytelling games and wow-wanna-be RPGs between your professed love for the dungeons.

Go back to making geomorphs – yet another thing the OSR doesn’t need because we make our own maps, thank you very much."


"hasbro, the forge and white wolf are waging a war to destroy all that is awesome about D&D, and you are cheering on people for turning their backs on it and ignoring the war instead of engaging the enemy.

If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem."

Lead Addict said...

Wow Dyson, I am floored, just floored.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@BadMike - That's just sad. Really sad. I guess I'm fortunate to not have these kinds of experiences.

@Dyson - I'd have a hard time taking someone calling me a traitor to the "OSR" seriously. Then again, I've had hate blogs written about me by people who can't let things go, so I guess I understand there's a rabid element out there that just lives in their own heads.

Lead Addict said...

Never forget the Blog Commandments by Raggi. You taught me that Michael.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

@ChicagoWiz: That's cool. I am often used as a bad example.

I think the deal I have is I do get the emails of people telling that my support of Game X is stupid because Game X sucks, all the while ignoring all the support I gave to Game Y and Game Z.

I mean I currently have a Fantasy Heartbreaker from 1989, the newest 4e Shadowfell book, and my Holmes Basic all sitting on my desk and each one gives me a sense of wicked glee.

I think of myself more of an RPG evangelist, only without the hair. I'd rather people enjoy the games than complain about their differences. There are too many cool things to play and so little time.

Alexis Smolensk said...

It is hard not to laugh and laugh and laugh. This non-subject has been going on for years now, and the total movement forward on the resolution has been exactly zero.

Does it really surprise people on the internet that people on the internet are insult-prone idiots? Or that fanboys at a convention are? Or that people without any fundamental belief system have to latch on to whatever flag makes them part of a community?

Chicago, I don't disagree with you ... but then I am thinking that what's really getting to you is the accusation that if you are not standing under OUR flag, you are standing under THEIR flag, etc., etc.

Well, so what? Let the stupid flag-wavers believe whatever they want to believe. Yes, certainly, I find it all glurge too. Holy shit, how can anyone take this seriously? People who can't get their glurge together enough to leave this alone certainly won't be making policy in anyone's future. They're just doe-eyed witnesses.

Well, kick the Witnesses off the porch and go back to talking about what you like.

DMWieg said...

Thanks for the new desktop background, Wiz. :)

Cross Planes said...

I don't think anyone should be pressured to embrace all editions. But I am tired of "Unless you play D&D Edition X, your an idiot."

Enjoy your game!

Unknown said...

For me it can all be summed up by Zak S at Playing DnD with Pornstar's Vegan Wrap posts => http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/2011/01/totally-reposting-this.html

There is one guy in my gaming club that is absolutely and totally of the opinion that story games are best and games like 4e are a more widely accepted but poorer substitute. And that OSR games are worthless and useless. If a post on our forums goes up thats vaguely OSR guess who posts...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I couldn't agree more.

I'm pretty sure you have seen it, but did you get to check out the thread over at Dragonsfoot about this? If not, I suggest you read it because OP makes a lot of great points.

Linky: http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=49915