Tuesday, 27 November 2007

WFRP, 11 years between editions, maybe not

Mike over at hackslash.net examines a simple averaging of time between game system editions, and has some interesting comments starting, so jump over and check it out.

The simple observation of averages, calculated to answer all of the lamenting of D&D fans over WotC plans for a “4e,” acknowledges a skewing in three core systems due to very lengthy periods between editions, none more lengthly than WFRP. I want to add some additional notes to the 11 years between editions. Because “neglected” is heavy word to hang on WFRP in this sampling.

Most would argue that WFRP was never neglected, at least by the player base of the 1st edition. While I did not start playing again until the Black Industries revival in the 2nd edition, I did still have my 1st edition copy. I, in fact, had pulled it out of storage, interested in playing again even before learning that a 2nd edition was on the cusp of release.

My renewed interest was founded in a respect for the original system that had a solid core rule set that stood the test of time for many players. Even the 2nd edition design notes attest to this, yet even I acknowledge that the 2nd edition makes vast, welcome, and important improvements to the 1st edition. But 11 years doesn’t tell another story:

There was another publisher of WFRP between 1986 and 2005: Hogshead. They maintained the award winning system for 7 years (1995-2002). Hogshead published a revised edition1 of the core rulebook, one might say a “v1.5” edition.

This historical note changes Mike’s calculations to an average of 7.33 years between WFRP releases. It doesn't change the fact the WFRP has the longest average between releases, but I might argue this doesn’t speak ill of the system (a system I would also argue is more playable than any D&D edition, other than v1.0).

That’s my 2 coppers. ~o)

meta-footnote-1=Apocrypha Now was more of a rules supplement than an outright edition like D&D 3.5, i.e., entirely rebound core rule books incorporating changes. Hogshead, as many fans will defend, found that WFRP had a solid rules foundation that needed very little maintenance, but for the welcome overhaul in the 2nd edition by Green Ronin and Black Industries in 2005, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warhammer_Fantasy_Roleplay
Posted by caffeinated at 9:26 PM in d10
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