Category Archives: Random musings

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A new Edition is always a good Thing, isn’t it?

Everyone is talking about the new edition of D&D right now. But as usual not everyone is happy about a new edition. But isn’t a new edition a good thing? It shows that there’s still interest in the game and the company behind it is driving things actively forward. Often clunky rules are fixed and things are streamlined, in other cases new options for players and GMs are made available.  But alas it’s not always all sunshine and flowers.

More often than not, new editions come with a slew of problems. In some cases the old material becomes obsolete and you have to make the hard decision whether to stick to the old edition and stick with a system which is not supported anymore or you can embrace the new one, which usually means buying a lot of books again, just to get the updated versions of material you already have.

And the longer you wait, the more severe the problems become. In most cases old editions go out-of-print as soon as the new edition is announced. Some books quickly become pretty rare and people are paying ridiculous prices on eBay to get their hands on a copy. And if even the PDF version are removed from stores you either need to make the switch or grudingly pay vast sums just to get that one book you still needed.

Since I enjoyed the Shadowrun 3rd edition game a friend run for me recently, I decided to get a couple of 3rd Edition books for myself. But alas that’s easier said than done. I was able to track down used copy of the core rules (I decided to go with the German version this time, since that is what my friend uses), but most of the supplements are either extremely expensive or not to find anywhere. It’s even worse with the Shadowrun 20th Anniversary Edition, which is supposed by many to be the best version of Shadowrun available. I already own a PDF copy, but I also would love to have a print copy as well. Alas I had no luck tracking one down. For some people this is no big deal, especially when they picked up everything they wanted when the older edition was still widely available.

This is just an example what issues you could face if you decide to play an older edition of a game. So I can understand the concern of people who love D&D 4th Edition, or who prefer other games who were made obsolete by new editions. Of course it’s unreasonable to ask publishers to keep old editions in print indefinitely. In most cases at least being able to purchase old games as digital editions is a great help. So, what’s your stance on this subject? Please share your thoughts below!

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One Game To Rule Them All?

One question has divided players basically since the day when there was more than one roleplaying game on the market: which is the best roleplaying game? Is the new D&D better than Pathfinder? Or are they both trash compared to Fate Core? And what about that new indie game everyone is talking about? Introduce the anonymity of the internet and you get a flamewar of massive proportions. The D&D Edition War is a well known example of what can happen if gamers are looking for the best game.

But the truth is: there’s no perfect game. There’s not “one game to rule them all”. Every game has its merits and flaws. Even though you probably could run everything with GURPS, or Fate, or even D&D (with some modifications), should you do so? In my opinion it’s good to have one go-to game, you can fall back on. But it’s also not advisable to stick to one system only, even if you switch around settings.

There are several reasons to do so. First you miss a lot of what the roleplaying hobby has to offer nowadays if you always play D&D, and ignore all the possible alternatives. Heck, there might be even something out there, which is more fitting to your play style. Secondly its a lot of fun to try out new things. And sometimes even exploring games which are slightly outside of your comfort zone can be a great adventure in itself.

As you know, I have always been a collector of roleplaying games. I guess one reason why I started buying more and more RPGs was because I was one the quest to find the one game that I’m perfectly comfortable with. But over the years I realized that there’s no such thing. But I also learned that there are a lot of games I like a lot, and which are a joy to play, even though they have some flaws. And sometimes the flaws are even what makes them so compelling.

So what are your thoughts on this subject? Do you think there’s a perfect game? Or at least something which is almost perfect to you? Please share your comments below!

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Ask The Readers: Shall I Give Shadowrun 5th Edition Another Chance?

Recently I had the chance to play in a Shadowrun 3rd Edition game. We initially planned to play something else, but one of the players couldn’t make it, so we decided to play a one-shot using another system. The other two players and I quickly decided that Shadowrun could be fun.

I always loved to play the game, even though I am no fan of the rules. With the help of the GM I quickly built a pretty cool character: a Japanese-American adept who primarily fights with his two heavy pistols and wears expensive armored clothing looking like an executive’s suit. I’m not sure how viable this character will be in the long run, but for a one-shot he was fun to play.

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