Arguing over editions, or ‘Edition Wars’, is something that I have never understood. It is a topic that some would lump in with politics and religion as something that you don’t talk about with friends… if you want to stay friends. For my group discussing editions has never been an issue. For the most part, we’ve always adopted the new edition of a game and progressed forward with the hobby. Sometimes we liked it, sometimes we didn’t, but it never was something that we really dwelled on. It got me to think, what do other gaming groups play? I decided to go to RPG.net and take a poll on the question: “Does your gaming group play new or classic RPGs?”
To give a little structure to my incredibly scientific poll, I defined a ‘new RPG’ as the latest version of a particular game, such as D&D 5e, Star Wars (Fantasy Flight Games), Shadowrun 5th Edition, etc. I defined a ‘classic RPG’ as games that are older versions of games or games that are no longer in print, such as AD&D 2nd Edition, Star Wars (d6), Shadowrun 1st Edition, etc.
There were five answers to the poll:
– NEW – Only new RPGs
– MORE NEW – Mostly new RPGs, some classic RPGs
– 50/50 – Equal mix of new RPGs and classic RPGs
– MORE CLASSIC – Mostly classic RPGs, some new RPGs
– CLASSIC – Only classic RPGs
I honestly had no idea on what to expect. Part of me hoped that gamers understood that for the hobby to grow we have to constantly embrace new editions and games. Part of me wanted to know that there were gamers out there that still played older games that I loved. Part of me wanted it to be some magical mix of both that would neatly tie everything in a bow for me with regards to how some people play games in our hobby.
Here were the results after 170 voters (not a bad number RPG.net!):
– 29 (17.06%) NEW – Only new RPGs
– 50 (29.41%) MORE NEW – Mostly new RPGs, some classic RPGs
– 54 (31.76%) 50/50 – Equal mix of new RPGs and classic RPGs
– 34 (20.00%) MORE CLASSIC – Mostly classic RPGs, some new RPGs
– 03 (01.76%) CLASSIC – Only classic RPGs
These results, lit up on the gaming monitor I have, really showed me one thing. The idea of the the cynical, old, angry gamer hiding in a basement with his friends that only plays AD&D 2nd Edition and refuses to play anything else seems to be a myth. Over 98% of these groups at least TRY new RPGs, even if that isn’t what they primarily play. And the overwhelming majority play newer RPGs much of the time, if not most of the time.
I would say my group falls into the ‘NEW – Only new RPGs’ category. We love classic RPGs as well, but we have one huge problem, which is lack of play time. We only play about fifty times a year, we love to play longer campaigns, and we love to try new games. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for nostalgic play time.
So what do you have to say about this poll? Do these results surprise you at all? Tell us, does your gaming group play new or classic RPGs?