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[D&D] Newer players - what would keep you from trying an older game?

IvanMike

Registered User
Validated User
Well, let's try to keep this from turning into an edition flame war..........(crosses fingers)

Here's the deal. I am running a campaign using a mix of 1e and "basic" (B/X BECMI) type rules with a lot of the more complicated rules cut out. Looking for enough players has resulted in me talking to a good number of younger gamers who have played 3e and up, with a few who have tried a bit of 2e "splat bloat" type D&D, but mostly no experience pre 3e at all.

This is actually fine by me, I like playing with people who are new to the game, and the group includes brand new players and some gamers who have never played 1e or basic. (new gamers can be a lot more fun than jaded older ones sometimes).

The biggest hurdle I've been running into is people who like the campaign premise, but are reluctant to play in the older game system even though they have never tried it or even looked at it. I have a list of their objections and my responses, but I'd rather hear from some of you first.

So, my question is to any of you who haven't tried the older versions, what would keep you from joining a campaign just because it was in an older format?

AND,............what would make you more likely to give it a try?
 

Hung Lo

Feeling Stabbity
Speaking as an experienced gamer, I'd say that the DM and players make a game fun or not - the system should only serve as a vehicle for the DM and players to tell great stories together (or at least hang out and have fun).

So if I were you, I would concentrate on telling new players what's awesome and different about your game - not the system, but the content.

Why will they have more fun with you than with some other group? What sort of gaming experience does the player want? What sort of heroes do they want to play? (then you can talk about how your system can accomodate them)

EDIT: I could see that some players are heavily invested in a particular system, so they'd avoid trying something new.

"I can't create a vampire artificer/warlock with 30 cyborg trolls at 1st level in your game? No way!"
 
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IvanMike

Registered User
Validated User
hung - you're preaching to the choir on that one. Been there, done that, yet about 90% get hung up on the version.
 

Acastus

Registered User
Validated User
Not being 4e.

Seriously. Not liking to play spellcasters because they become useless or boring after a few spells, not liking to play non-spellcasters because they're always useless or boring.
 

Blindsniper

Retired User
Well I am not the right audience for this having played all editions, all though I will say I don't recall many, if any mechanics of basic as it has been like 20 years. My problem with going back to an old system is just that, it's old and new and better stuff built on what those old games did right and wrong are available. Avoiding the edition war I have zero problem with people playing old editions, obviously there groups using old systems and having fun and that is goal one so they systems work for them. I guess the issue is that no matter how good 1 person thinks a system is that kind of choice will always be majority rule. I know I can't think of much that would make me play in a non 4E D&D game, except maybe trying a system I have never tried before and is not an old version clone. Believe me I understand what the OP's frustration is as my current group will try super hero style RPG's out once in a while and I love HERO system but can't get enough of them to try it so we end up playing other systems, funny thing is they don't last cause the other systems we try we don't like. This also goes both ways, why don't you want to run your game idea in a system all these young gamers play?
 

Asmodai

Warrior Kobold
RPGnet Member
Validated User
So, my question is to any of you who haven't tried the older versions, what would keep you from joining a campaign just because it was in an older format?

AND,............what would make you more likely to give it a try?
Not really that new a gamer, but...

As for not trying, the unavailability and expense of obtaining a copy of the rules. Depending on the group and players, exact wording can be very important, so even retro-clones aren't a perfect substitute.

Players that have a complete 3.X library have invested thousands into their chosen game. I can understand wanting to make use of that investment.

Some players like the relative degree of character customization offfered by newer editions.

Personally, I would have no problem playing any edition of D&D as a one-shot or a short campaign. For a longer game though, I'd probably want to stick with 3.0 or later, just because I really like having the extra options to define and customize my character.
 

Atom Man

Man of Many Atoms
Validated User
Can't answer this for D&D but I sure could for many other games where I'd be considered a "new player."

THe first question I'd have is this. If the old version was so good, why is there a new version at all? Is it just a matter of being shinier and prettier? Cleaning up typos? Filling in some rules gaps?

Or did they substantially change the game? If so, why? Was it because the old game completely sucked? Or because of marketing issues? Or what?

If they changed the game, then what direction did they take and why? What was gained and what was lost? Is there a consensus that the game has improved in every aspect? Or is there an argument to be made that something was lost along the way? And maybe something worth re-visiting?

If it's a game that had some success, that didn't suck, and that was abandoned because the owners wanted to take some parts in a different direction at the expense of other parts that weren't seen as quite as important , then it might be worth a look-see.
 

Grabmill

Retired User
As having played only 3E and 4E, I'm probably about the right audience.
Newer is not always better, but once you're using a new version of something, it's hard to go back (try going back to Office 2003 whe you're used to the 2007 or 2010 versions). I wouldn't mind (and I actually am) trying other systems (WhiteWolf for example), but not older versions of the same brand.

Furthermore, there are also players that simply don't want to play other things than they're used to, for different reasons. As someone posted here already, it might be that they invested quite some money into rulebooks of that edition, or they simply don't want to spend time learning the new stuff (although I don't have the impression that your players are like this).
 

IvanMike

Registered User
Validated User
Not being 4e.

Seriously. Not liking to play spellcasters because they become useless or boring after a few spells, not liking to play non-spellcasters because they're always useless or boring.
just out of curiosity - is this based on you playing or reading older D&D versions, or something else?

As for not trying, the unavailability and expense of obtaining a copy of the rules. Depending on the group and players, exact wording can be very important, so even retro-clones aren't a perfect substitute.
I can see that. To be fair, as the rule set I'm using is a mix, a cheat sheet with my alterations would be needed by anyone playing regardless if they had a copy of RC, Dark Dungeons, OSRIC, or 1e. Likewise, I've gutted a ton of rules in the first place. It's amazing to me that gamers become different than "normal" people in that they need to know all the rules in order to play. I just did a game for RPG newbies and within 10 minutes some of them were playing better than gamers who have been around for 5 years (outside of some funny moments like treating evey stuck door as needing a battleaxe rather than a shoulder). They were listening at doors and searching without ever being told these were options with a mechanic.

This also goes both ways, why don't you want to run your game idea in a system all these young gamers play?
Good question. there is a huge difference between playing and being a DM. I play in a pathfinder game now. Having given newer editions a fair try as a player and looking them over I decided that I personally like the older versions better - and to be honest I had to merge aspects of basic and 1e together to get a version I felt was perfect for me.

As a player (especially in an older version of D&D) you really don't have to know a heck of a lot of the mechanics. Even later on you can get away with knowing the general ideas, but not specifics. As a DM you need to be comfortable with the mechanics of the system. After giving it consideration I found there were enough things i didn't like about 3e and up to use them as a DM, (and to be fair the splat bloat of 2e fell into that category as well).
 

Dr_Nick

Retired User
For me, it would be the pain of learning the ins and outs of a new system. If it was a system I was going to play often (as in more than one campaign/session/whatever) then I might be willing to invest the time. If it's just the one campaign, I would really need to be convinced to expend the time and effort.
 
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