Poor Thaumaturge. The rules all run together in that big bushy head of his. I’m beginning to empathize.

I wrote this one a few months ago, but now that the Pathfinder Playtest is a thing I feel like it’s more relevant than ever. If you’ve played tabletop role-playing games for five or more years, you’ve probably dealt with edition change. There you are chucking dice and slaying monsters, happy as a clam, when all of a sudden your world is turned upside down. Your favorite game is no longer receiving official support, and you’ve got to decide whether to stick with that groaning bookshelf of suddenly outdated material or give it all up in favor of the next thing.

I’ve got buddies that dealt with this mess between 3.5 and 4th edition D&D. Others had to deal with the changes to the World of Darkness. I’ve got one friend who remains particularly upset about the move from 2nd to 3rd edition Exalted (spoilers: he writes Laurel’s other comic). Regardless of your opinions of any one game system, the fact remains that all versions of all of these games are primarily social hobbies. You’re gaming with other human beings, and chances are that some of them are your friends. That means you might wind up gaming with a group who (gasp!) are on the other side of the edition wars.

Like the Handbook says, I think it’s best to cultivate patience with the other side. Don’t roll your eyes and groan every time the old-timer references how it used to be way back when. Don’t storm off in a huff because your longtime flanking partner is happy about the demise of your favorite sacred cow. We’ll continue rolling dice and bashing characters together no matter what rules engine is purring underneath the hood. The story continues. It always will.

So what do you say? Have you ever had to go through a traumatic edition change? Are you going through one now? Or do you find it oddly easy to move between systems and editions? Tell us your tale down in the comments!


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Twice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.