Our latest Patreon Poll has come to a close, and the people have handed down a harsh verdict. The question? “It’s time for permadeath! Who’s getting forever removed from the comic?” And let met tall ya folks, it wasn’t even close.

Ever since we me him, Thaumaturge has been confusing his mechanics. Whether it’s mixing editions or implementing bizarre house rules, the bushy-headed weirdo has never quite understood the way the world works. But you know what? That mess is forgivable. When you play for long enough in enough different systems, it all begins to run together a bit. So if I’m honest with myself, I can’t hate him for that. Weird rules and honest confusions are more endearing than enraging. For me, his real crime is his rotten attitude.

Thaumaturge is guilty of one-true-wayism, and I’d be happy to watch that mess burn at the stake. Thaumaturge is the kind of guy that spits in a fury when he meets a new and unfamiliar game mechanic. He bemoans the way it used to be, screams about how his favorite systems did it better, and lets everyone around him know loud and clear that they’re idiots for disagreeing.

Of course we all have our preferred editions, systems, and ways of playing. That’s why game design can split off in so many new and interesting directions. We get rulesets that emphasize player agency, specific emotions, accessibility, or depth. That doesn’t mean you’ve got to raise your fists and shout down the parts of the internet that play differently than you.

There is no one right way to game, and that’s because of a very simple truth. Whenever we launch into the story of, “I play XYZ games because reasons,” we’re talking about what we prefer, not what is objectively best. It’s about finding the right game for the right person, not about finding the right game period. That’s why, when it comes time to compare systems, I always try to speak in terms of “this edition delivers on these design goals,” not “this other edition is trash because it doesn’t do all the things I want.” It’s not trying to do those things. It doesn’t have to. And you aren’t a dadburn shabbaroon for liking it anyway.

Question of the day then! Have you ever met an edition warrior out in the wild? Did you manage to have a productive conversation, or was it all monkey screeching and hot fire? Let’s hear you tales of screaming at strangers online down in the comments!


ARE YOU AN IMPATIENT GAMER? If so, you should check out the “Henchman” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. For just one buck a month, you can get each and every Handbook of Heroes comic a day earlier than the rest of your party members. That’s bragging rights right there!