And now, a random gmail chat rant brought to you courtesy of John C. Hay:

John: So – is there a parallel between the various editions of D&D; and the schisms in the church? I mean you’ve got 1st edition, it’s esoteric and hard to follow, but it points the way. It’s tied to some older stuff, mostly miniatures wargaming, but tries to give it more meaning.

me: i’ll just give you fair warning now. i’m probably going to blog this.

John: Analog Gamer started the metaphor on accident. I think he fails to realize how appropriate it is. 2nd edition comes along – it says ‘here – this is the truth of it. what we’ve been trying to say all along but it kinda got lost somehow, what with you Monty-Haul gamers. Behold the love of THAC0, your source of solutions. well at least in this one situation. everything else is blind luck really. 3.0 and 3.5 come along, and it’s like the Lutheran schism. Gamers nailed a list of issues to the door of 2.0 and said look is this fun? or is it Creatures and Calculus. 3.5 refines the original 3.0, but schisms off again, streamlining things. Making it more approachable to the masses. And now we have 4.0 coming. this grand fusion with the modern world – computer integration (and the recognition that laptops are part of the gaming table now), simplified, one-system-fits-all rules, and the sort of simplicity that can bring in people off the streets. I can’t decide if I should be horrified at the parallel or burned at the stake for making it.

me: would this be the postmodern edition?

John: either post-modern, or possibly Prosperity Theology. grins Maybe it’s the evangelical movement. it’s finally easy enough that you can bring anyone in to play.

me: bringing the game to the masses

John: but 2.0 is definitely Catholicism. weighty, rule heavy, cumbersome and presided over by Pope Gygax. may he rest in peace.

me: one of us is going to hell.

John: at the very least. of course even playing D&D; makes my soul forfeit. then again – look at how strictly proponents of a particular system cling to it – there are still people who only play 2nd edition … and there’s an army of 3.5 events scheduled for GenCon.

me: and, ironically, i got tired of the constant in-fighting of D&D; and switched to palladium. which got back to the essence of what D&D; was about. as part of my spiritual/D&D; journey, i spent some time with the weird west stuff. which gave me an excuse to do lucien’s module.

John: Nice. I have all his stuff for Mutants and Masterminds. But I’m a fan of Superheroes games.

me: lucien. errant prophet of the D&D; church

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