Different games, different reasons
While the Edition Wars between 4E and 3.5 have died down a fair bit on the Interwebs, there’s still a fair amount of Edition Bickering. It’s likely to stay that way, at least until Wizards of the Coast releases 5th Edition.
It does need to be said, however, that I am sick to death of people dismissing 4E as something trivial. A lot of gamers have enough of a time defending their hobby to non-gaming friends and relatives, convincing fellow gamers that what we are doing is worth doing is a battle that we do not want or need.
I prefer to think of different editions of roleplaying games as little different to the different varieties of roleplaying games there are. Comparing them reveals strengths and weaknesses, but it’s like comparing different varieties of fruit; you get nowhere in saying that one is “better” than the other as it comes down to personal preferences.
However, some games are suited better to particular preferences of play style as well as different uses.
I’d like to compare different editions of D&D, but as I have only really played 4th Edition I can’t say. Instead I’ll look at a game that can be used for more than one purpose: Paranoia.
Straight and Scary
Most people know Paranoia for the pure unadulterated mayhem that it encourages. GM against player, player against player… However, there is a variation on the rules where you play Paranoia Straight. Play it in the real, true to life, Orwellian and Kafkaesque minefield. Plots take longer to develop, people join secret societies during the game and slowly build rivalries with their fellow players.
In other words, it’s like a regular roleplaying game, just with lax rules and the Paranoia setting.
I have considered what it would be like to play a Straight Paranoia game, but in all honesty I hardly see the point of it. I got Paranoia for the mayhem and the PvP, the straight Paranoia game I can get from any number of systems.
That is not to say that I think playing Paranoia in the Classic style is the only way of playing it. That’s just my preference.
You’ll hear more from this, as I’m going to be playing a variety of games at the convention in a few weeks. What’s this? A convention? Well, more on that later.