Sunday, February 16, 2014

[D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop] Day Sixteen

Do you remember your first edition war? Did you win?

In the days before the Internet, I was blissfully unaware of the concept of edition wars. Certainly I understood that there might be strongly-held preferences between players of different systems, but the idea of people drawing lines in the sand over slightly different versions of the same game was alien to me.

This was not due to any sort of egalitarian equanimity on my part, however. Rather, being a youngster, I simply assumed that the latest version of something was automatically an improvement over what had preceded it.

I got online my senior year of high school, and very soon found out that there were people - in 1996 - who were still playing first edition AD&D! My mind was blown. Whatever my own reservations with 2e at the time may have been (and by that point they were legion), I still assumed that that edition was an improvement of first edition. I'd never read the 1e core books, but I'd picked up some supplements here and there and had divined enough about 1e to understand some of the major changes that had been made. Things like THAC0, specialty priests, spheres and schools of magic, better layout and organization - these were all good things, right?

(For the record, I'd still that, yes, they were.)

It was only later on that I began to understand the tonal shift that had occurred between 1e and 2e, and why a significant minority of people had felt it unnecessary or even counter-productive to shift editions. Of course, nowadays, I truck almost exclusively with "obsolete" editions of D&D - I've become precisely the person that once vexed me so. I don't know if that counts as "winning" the edition war or not, but I'm happy with where I'm at.
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