Role Playing Games grow and change, it’s called source books, new editions, errata and so on. But what happens when something changes in a game and it loses its feel, its being, its soul, its spirit and essence. Now before I go off ranting about the bad and things I hate. New editions bring about new storylines, new concepts, new rules, and so on. Source books bring about all that and more such as new equipment and such. Errata is usually saved for rules Clarifications.
These games get a place in your heart. If you are lucky you get to play them for years and grow with the game. Some games have set storyline endings such as the White Wolf Storyteller system which played a winning hand in my book with a massive amount of books with a rich storyline we’re talking over 250 books from beginning to end. And the world ended until 5th edition came out and they changed the ending but I’ll get to that later. Other games don’t have written endings they continue forever as the clocks tick by such as Dungeons and Dragons with thousands of Modules, Adventure books, Rule Books, Boxed Sets and so on. Dungeons and Dragons has added and dropped rules. These games usually have more editions and rules changes. And other games instead of having an ending timeline or continuation, their Intellectual property gets shuffled around and things in the world change both in the real world and game world.
Now I will say this, It is not up to me to tell you what you like. If you like a big rules change or little tweak that is cool, if you hate an entire edition, keep playing the old one, if you want to update your homebrew world to a new edition or your character their might be books that help you convert them Hell this is the age of the internet you may find people writing up
conversion charts. These writings are my own opinion. I offer a piece of advice: keep your old stuff you never know when you wanna dig it out and show it some love.
When games go rules lite: This is a mixed bag. Some games have a better feel rules lite and some don’t. Some games try to balance their rules and end up screwing up and others make a new and awesome game it just depends on what you like. Did you know that Shadowrun 5th Edition tried to balance characters for the first time (in previous editions they were always balancing magic and metal) so they put limits on the number of dice you could roll with inherent limits (Example Mentle = [(logicX2)+ Intuition+Wilpower]/3 (round up) that means in shadowrun terms you could only use 8 dice if you maxed your stats (can not have 6 across the board and i can’t remember if you can have a 6 and two 5’s in attributes because of other limits.). But Shadowrun was always about large piles of D6’s. Deadlands is a Game based in the weird west. The original 1st edition used Cards and poker chips which slowed down the game until you knew what you were doing, but I thought it made it fun and original.
When games go back to crunchy: Games can go back to crunchy, player feedback can say the lite changes were not fun, or the company notices the drop in sales because of the change in rules and goes back, or the intellectual property is returned to the original writer and he takes his rules back and redoes them. Shadowrun 6th Edition dropped the limits but changed Armor and edge for (in my opinion) the worst. Pages and pages of errata were sent out and the book itself was written in a “you had to be there” way as in the book had barely there examples that only if you played previous editions you knew what was going on. Armor was used to calculate edge and had nothing to do with damage reduction or soaking damage like previous editions. Vampire the Masquerade 5th Edition rewrote the ending and said it never happened and went crunchy by adding new rules and effects from powers. It was something I didn’t really like. Other games add Source books that add a new set of rules, some overwriting the previous rules in the main rule book. Now I have found Most sourcebooks are dedicated to classes and equipment mainly.
In the end if a game has lost that feeling, don’t give up, go back, and look for conversions they may be out there so you can continue to use the new stuff. Good luck and have fun!