09 July 2010

Realms of Eternal Epic

New Haven Games has announced a “remake” of second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. They’re calling it Realms of Eternal Epic. (I’m guessing the name was picked because the abbreviation they use, Ro2E, could be read as “return of 2e” or somesuch.) One of the reasons they’re calling it a “remake” instead of a “clone” is this:

...to fix some of the bad or complicated rules in the system...

Good luck getting two fans of a game to agree on what is bad. This is the reason the clones are having more success than most remakes. Make changes for legal reasons, and most people stay on-board. Make changes to make it “better”, and you lose most people. Because, while they agree some small changes could make it better, they don’t agree on the specific changes.

The bad is delicately remade with modern game theory so that only the game play improves.

This throws up another red flag for me. The vast majority of the RPG landscape was explored in the earliest years of the hobby. Find some grognards—the kind that tried every game that came out—and start talking about recent innovations, and you’ll learn about a lot of old games that trod that ground a decade or more ago. Are there still innovations to be found? Sure, but they are harder and harder to find. Is there really any “modern game theory” of any value that wasn’t known over a decade ago?

Anyway, those are just my opinions on what they’ve said so far. I wish them luck.

5 comments:

Matthew James Stanham said...

Very true, and this does remind me a bit of the C&C project. Should be interesting, though. I can at least think of one change to second edition that 99% of players would likely agree with or have no objection to, and that would be changing horseman's weapons and hand axes from size "M" to size "S". :D

Anonymous said...

Ascending AC is another one you're going to get a lot of agreement on. Also keep in mind 2E fans tend to have a different mindset than most of the 1E and earlier fans as far as new mechanics and so on goes. Remember all the option books that came out, and were popular? All the game worlds with specific new rules, such as Dark Sun? That was the 2E era. It was not guided by a single mastermind like 1E was with Gygax, so the attitude of those who played it tends to be more open to changes.

Also, look at Pathfinder from Paizo. They have billed it as the continuation of the 2E era, and while there are some real changes to the rules, it has been embraced in a big way by the 3E fans. I don't see why the same wouldn't be true for this 2E retro-remake.

Anonymous said...

Um, yeah... I meant PAthfinder was billed as the continuation of the 3E era. You knew that. :)

Joseph said...

I disagree with you Roger.

Fans of 2E can agree on changes. There is a sort of mindset toward 2E that 1E simply does not enjoy. You can't touch 1E, well, because it's 1E. But, you can still make 2E the game it should have been or at least the game we would like to play today after so many years of playing abortive attempts at role-playing.

Secondly, I think there's something else going on here that Matthew picked up on in relation to C&C. Myth & Magic doesn't seem to be a PDF only game; it seems the strategy is store-bound, which is something that "clones" have had trouble with. FLGS distro doesn't take particularly well to clones. I have a friend that owns a small store and she wouldn't touch a clone like dark dungeons or any of the others that were created on shoestrings. Sure, LL has some distribution, but that's about it. You'll probably see that, although NHG says they retained 80%, about 95% is probably retained but tweaked for legal purposes and 5% is truly reworked. That way, they fall into the same category as C&C to the FLGS and not another thrown up copy of an old system.

And remember, who is frequenting stores - the 1E crowd? Prob not.

Joseph said...

I heard this from someone before and it's quite fitting in relation to Myth & Magic: A game is only as good as the amount of people playing it and the amount of material supporting it.

Myth & Magic comes out of the gate with a ton of 2E players and a library of usable settings and adventures. Not a bad position.