Monday, February 13, 2012

D&D #5

I'm burning out on this. Already. How much longer til the projected release date?

I'll admit to being very hopeful and optimistic when I first read the news. Now I'm basically indifferent. There is something about this whole circus that rubs me the wrong way. This may be confusing, and if it is, I apologize. I'll also go ahead and apologize for any coarse language. I'm frustrated.

So, first WotC buys TSR, saving it from becoming a distant memory. Their first play is to roll out a new edition, something designed to make the game relevant in the then-modern market. That was the first degree of separation. Then, Hasbro buys WotC, and wrought their changes upon the system. A lot can be speculated about their design philosophy, but it's all speculation.

Whatever they were thinking, or why, doesn't matter at this point. What they produced only barely resembled D&D. Now, we have three disparate systems all claiming to be the same game, all claiming the same heritage and pedigree. Now, we have another edition on the horizon that is destined to unite the bloodlines, as it were.

Here is my main problem (at least for today). It seems like there are those in the OSR camp that can't wait to return to the fold. They think it's going to be a glorious day when they can play a shiny new and fully supported D&D again. They seem to think WotC is doing us all a huge favor by making all versions of D&D coexist peacefully. It is my impression that there are many who will completely abandon their dog-eared copies of 1st Edition, or their Lulu copies of Dark Dungeons for this new D&D.

I say that before we line up to sing WotC's praises for a new D&D to rule them all, that we pause to remember that it was WotC that fucked it up in the first place. There really wasn't that much wrong with AD&D when they took over. Sure it needed some clarification and reorganizing. A new edition was in order, but not a wholesale redesign. I'm no MBA, but it is my sense, especially when you look at all the people still playing the older editions, that TSR's problems were not related to an outdated game. Their problems were with their business model, not their product. There's that old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". WotC fixed the wrong thing.

I may chime in from time to time on 5E, but I am no longer going to be following the development of it very closely. I have my older editions and my clones to keep me happy. I don't need a new edition from WotC/Hasbro to legitimize the way I learned to play and have been playing for over 35 years. I'm not worried about DMing a game with classes from x number of different editions. I'm not worried about paying top dollar for a laundry list of options that I can switch on and off at will, and will only end up switching on about seven. It's silly when you think about it: Why pay out the ass for a new set of books that will "allow" me to play the way I always have when I can do that with the books I already have?

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