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Edition Wars and Microlite74 — 5 Comments

  1. If I could do just one thing about how the rpg hobby/business is run today, that is to remove the computer software habit of numbered editions with fractions. It makes that "newer is better" thinking so natural. I hate it.

  2. Andreas: I guess I'm guilty of that, but I've been doing it since the late 1970s — long before it became popular for computer software or even movies. I honestly can't think of another good way to do it. I certainty would not want to have rename the game for every edition. Not only would that be confusing, but I suspect people would hate the names I came up with. At least going by my experience with NPC names. 🙂

  3. Well, one could say MicroLite 74 (2014 edition), but would that be helpful to the people trying to pick one? I think it would have the same feel than a 1.x, 2.x numbering scheme.

  4. Chaosium found this out when they tried to rewrite Stormbringer, had a revolt, and rereleased the 1st edition again. The reason was pretty simple: Stormbringer was the 1970s version of Elric, and Elric was Moorcock's modern Elric, which had been rewritten to fit ideas he'd hash overt the 40 years since. As these are quite different visions of the setting and character there was no way to please everyone, and the best option was to make both available.
    The analogy breaks down, since Chaosium no longer had the rights to Elric at all, but the point that editions are variations and not improvements! Very few games gain unilateraladoption of the new edition, Mongoose RuneQuest second edition being the only example I can think of, and that's because the first edition was basically unplayable.