Monday, October 5, 2009

No More Edition Wars!

Gamers are angry people. I should know. I'm one of 'em.

Fantasy Flight Games is pissing off older Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay fans left and right with its new revamped, $100, board-game-like Third Edition of the game. Then again, kids and FFG fan-types seem to love it.

Of course, no one has actually seen or played it.

While I'm not going to get the game and I'm not going to play it (for a few good reasons, the first being that FFG will only include enough components for three players + GM, and you'll have to pay extra to fill things out for your group), I'm not going to join the chorus of pissed-off old grognards who are slamming it. I just don't want to be that guy.

I love WFRP, 2nd Edition (hell, I loved 1st Edition). I will continue to play it, despite the presence of the new game. The bottom line is I've just invested too much. I'm also leery of FFG's self-proclaimed "paradigm shift in RPG design," which seems to mean "put everything on cards, use custom dice you can only buy from us and if you want the other 86 Warhammer careers we didn't include in this game, you can feel free to pay us for them, 10 at a time, over the next four years."

But see? There, I'm doing what I said I wasn't going to do.

FFG makes big shiny expensive board games. That's what they do. No one should have been surprised by the direction they took Warhammer in.

What REALLY scares me is what they'll do with WH40K RPG products like Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader. The latter isn't even out yet, and folks are already wondering when the next edition will be.

RPG companies are in business to make money. That's it. While it's possible FFG will alienate guys like me with the new edition, I think it's more likely they'll find a whole new generation of video-game-reared fans (with disposable incomes, apparently). And that's just how things go. There are legions of people - and not all of them kids - who will buy ANYTHING with a Warhammer, or for that matter FFG, logo.

What bugs me even more than FFG's disregard for WFRP tradition (only 14 careers? no percentile dice? no halflings? Oh wait, they'll have more careers and races in upcoming supplements) is the whining of guys like me who are clearly in their late 20s to early 40s and need to NOT GIVE A SHIT if some children have redesigned their favorite game. No one is stopping us from playing Warhammer 2e, and that's what I'll keep doing. I'm even a little bit excited, because I registered the name almost a year and a half ago and I've never done anything with it. Now that 2e is on the way out (really, Warhammer as we have always known it since 1986 is what's on the way out), I think I will try to put some of the adventures I've written up there. It's more fun to keep a dying thing alive, rather than to jump on the latest bandwagon.

No edition wars for me, please! I never thought I'd say this, but we gamers need to grow up a little bit.

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