Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Week, Another Softball L&L Article

Am I the only one that finds this type of softball article a joke?

Ooooh, look! Cook and WotC are riding in on their white horse to preserve D&D's past!


What a slap in the face. It's this type of article that, I'd argue, continues to drive people away as much as bring them back. I'm not looking for an olive branch.

The grassroots who play, write, create, DM, and publish Gygax's D&D are the people intent on preserving the past. Anything else is tokenism.

Sorry folks, this sort of thing just entrenches me further.


  1. You said it. Creating a 4E version of an old monster isn't "preserving the past," when the game you are converting to bears no relationship to the original game. As far as WotC wanting to preserve D&D's heritage: Ship. Sailed.

  2. There is certainly a part of me that would like to see some kind of -- "healing" seems too emotive -- reconciliation between old & new, but in all honesty I think we're past that. Evolving the game and moving forward for a new generation is a great thing -- not MY thing, but good for the hobby overall. At this point my real complaint is having the "authorized" PDFs of all the older versions pulled. I'm sure Piazo was a wake-up call, however, the OSR groundswell should demonstrate to WotC that wishing cannot put the jinn back in the bottle. Just set Gygax, Arneson, et. al. free for the sake of posterity, if nothing else.

    The whole article sounds like someone very unhappy that all their childhood friends didn't follow them into adulthood. Kind of pathetic. Certainly not the kind of whiney milksop I want heading up R&D for the next version of my game of choice. The past was gone once 2e, 3e, 3.5e, & 4e were published and buried each of their predecessors.

    Why pontificate on 5e while wondering what sort of crappy monsters you can unbury and throw into your next product?

    What kind of craptacular marketing is that? "Ooooo, look! 'D&D 5th edition: now with even more Xvarts & Hybsils!' What, no Lamia?!" [No, I did not make those up...'Fiend Folio', 'Monster Manual II', & 'Monster Manual' respectively...and yes, I had to look them up too.]

    Evolution is supposed to reward success (the strongest AND the sneakiest), not pick favorites based on wistful memories.

    Stop thinking in terms of discrete destinations and start seeing the entire continuum: if I had been born 10 years later I would be playing 4e and probably never even have known the term 'grognard'. Instead, I have cherished memories of battles fought with friends who have all now moved on AND I get to explore completely new dimensions to a hobby I am rediscovering. The creativity unleashed in just the last 5-6 years easily surpasses anything we have ever seen before. In my youth you would eagerly save up allowance in the hopes of buying that new game teased in Dragon magazine -- only 14 months and counting! Now, the designer is just as likely to post preliminary drafts and ask for playtesters and editors -- Microlite74 just went through several drafts for version 3.0 and I am happy to have helped with editing chores.

    Dying to bring your favorite monster into a game that doesn't already have it? Write the stats yourself AND PLAYTEST THEM! OSR isn't about what set of rules you limit yourself to, its about rolling up your sleeves and rolling up your own damn monsters -- your damn SYSTEM if you have to!

    Today I have more freedom to explore the most minute detail of any genre. I have rediscovered my love of Robert E. Howard's many original works -- and thanks to games like 'Barbarians of Lemuria' I don't have to try shoehorning some of the greatest characters of sword & sorcery into a predefined box. A lot of the mystery has been revealed over the years, but unlike a magician's secrets, you're better for having learned how a game designer thinks about creating whole universes of the mind.

    Time to let the next generation decide where they'll take things. If my local games stores are any indication they've voted with their wallets and Pathfinder is already 'D&D 5e'.


  3. Methinks they overestimate their own powers a tad too much when claiming that leaving a monster out of the latest version makes it as if it had "never existed." There is a point that designers should not re-invent the wheel, problem is that the wheel was invented several times even within the 1e canon, and there's really nothing sacred about monsters nobody used like boobries or umplebys.