Thursday, March 25, 2010
Edition Loyalty, Edition War
Over in the world of "contemporary" D&D, there was a recent flap when Clark Peterson (of Necromancer Games fame), announced that he was "swearing off 4E"... "Because Pathfinder is D&D". On the various message boards, this declaration was met for the most part with level-headed responses of "cool", or "glad you found a system you like". Scattered amongst those were less level-headed responses, ranging from petulant "what happened to our 4E cheerleader" to near-cultish chants of "welcome to the Fold"(Gooble Gobble). Lines were drawn in the sand, threads were locked, and so on.
And Clark's annoucement was extremely gentle compared to the majority of such postings.
Which got me thinking: When did gaming start requiring a declaration of loyalty?
Along with: Who wins when you make your declaration?
Don't get me wrong, I'm as guilty as anyone for engaging in the odd edition skirmish, even if primarily from the standpoint of devil's advocate. But its getting increasingly hard for me to imagine choosing one game/edition, and one game/edition only, as the One True Game. I currently run Swords & Wizardry, along with lots of stuff from OSRIC, along with lots of my own houserules. To further muddy the waters, I often use 4E-style "minions", I've recently added the option of using classes from Labyrinth Lord's Advanced Edition Characters, and I'm thinking of throwing some Pathfinder feats into the mix. Also, in the last three years alone, I've played in 3.5 and 4E campaigns, as well as a session of OD&D, 2 sessions of Microlite20 and a brief online session of HARP.
So where do I fit in? What's my place in the culture of "Brand Loyalty"? Am I some shifty double-agent, not to be trusted? Am I a gaming Switzerland, stolidly Nuetral, to my peers' undying chagrin? Am I a spineless slacker, too weak-willed to stand up and take a side?
Is it possible that, some day, I might get up on my soapbox and declare to any who'll listen, "I just can't stand Swords & Wizardry anymore; from now on, I'm only running Gamma World!"?
Well sure, anything's possible.
But for right now, at least, I can't see the point in doing so.