Revised And Essentials
Before I had one page devoted to D&D, and now I have two:
Games > D&D Revised
Games > D&D Essentials
I wrote a lot, I think it’s only fair.
I think every major rules edition of Dungeons & Dragons has had a weird, mid-stream rules modification or update — certainly the two editions I’ve played have. Third Edition had Revised, and Fourth Edition had Essentials. These to me, appear to have more meaning than mere numbered editions.
See, with Revised Edition, Wizards of the Coast had only retained the Dungeons & Dragons product line for a few years, and there were a lot of changes that needed to be made to continue updating and advancing the system. “Revised” was a pragmatic approach to this basic need, it was the same Third Edition, with updates.
Enough people were ticked off by having to buy new core rulebooks to start forming a rift in readership, but not nearly as much as the transition to Fourth Edition. Three years between edition updates could be forgiven, but a second within five years…
With D&D Essentials, Wizards of the Coast was trying to avoid splitting their reader base even further by insisting on the bizarre nomenclature. It’s really too bad it failed so hard, since there were some genuine improvements made to the system.
Still, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…”
Now the main reason for my splitting up the pages has to do with overall length. The combined D&D page I used originally was twelve hundred-something words, which left me little room to add anything without it becoming a circus. Also, there was an important stylistic change — not just in my mastering but also roleplaying style.
I started playing differently. It was a subtle change at first.
The important things were that I started creating far more complex and detailed characters — who were much more flexible at the same time. Elric Darme heralded the beginning of the changes, and both Allandra and The Manticore have been successively more complex — emotionally, morally, and spiritually at least.
I spent a great deal more time running Third Edition games than playing, but I’ve almost spent as much time playing Fourth Edition as I’ve spent game mastering. It’s brought on some interesting changes in priority, as well as perspective.