If you’re active on tabletop gaming forums, you will likely have encountered at least one example of Edition Change Hostility (ECH). It’s going on right now over on the White Wolf forums for the forthcoming 3rd edition of Exalted; Warhammer 40K has just come out of ECH within the past few months; MTG Salvation, given the rotating nature of Magic: the Gathering, spends its entire time in ECH.
If you’ve experienced it, you will probably have noticed that it is not fun. So how do you make the most of a forum while it’s stirred up into a rabid frenzy of ECH?
Well, it’s actually quite simple. You’ll just need a few things.
- Reinforced umbrella: Ideal countermeasure to falling sky. Can also be used to hit people who insist on talking nonsense, although tracking them down is very hard and very, very illegal.
- Kittenwar: Despite the unnerving name, this site simply depicts two kittens and requests that you choose which is cuter. Very useful for restoring will to live.
- Collection of reaction images: Because amused contempt is so much easier to pull off when you don’t need to come up with the words yourself.
- Party hats and streamers: If excluded for too long, middles enter a crippling state of depression and have been known to lock themselves in their rooms and talk to rocks and dust bunnies. However, if you throw a party for the middles that are being excluded left, right, and centre, they will tell you important secrets of the universe.
- Something you like from the old edition: Because you will probably find yourself wondering why you follow the game at all at some stage during the argument.
- Something you like from a totally different game: Because you will probably find yourself vowing not to follow the first game at all at some later stage during the argument.
- Bucket of water: Ideal tool for surviving flame wars.
- Inflatable rubber dinghy: To make it through the rivers people are crying.
- An interesting webcomic: Trust me, archive bingeing Irregular Webcomic or Hark! A Vagrant is a good way to take the sting off.
- Another forum not engaged in ECH: After a while, it can become hard to remember that a) there are people who are not jerks, and b) there are people who are jerks but not for reasons related to ECH. Thus, if you’re discussing, say, Exalted 3e and you need a rest, go and discuss Generator Rex or Nobilis or the Muppets or something. You’ll thank me later.
- A good book: Sometimes you just need to turn off the computer and go and read something that isn’t dozens of people acting like jerks to each other. Unless your definition of “a good book” involves Ayn Rand, in which case you’ll pretty much be exchanging one fire for another.
- Youtube: Because it’s funnier to be sarcastic with videos.
- Cotton candy: If you’re anything like me, a sugar rush will make you a lot more upbeat. This is likely to be very important.
- A sense of perspective: Just kidding. No-one on Earth has a sense of perspective.
– OSM out.