Thursday, November 29, 2012

Overreaction Thursday

So, what's new with D&D? Not much! It's been about a month since the latest playtest package - which is seeing almost zero action at our house in favor of "real" games. The lack of interest in it made me realize that this is the first holiday season in a long time where there is not a current version of D&D for sale - think about it ... we're done with 4th edition releases but there's not a new edition on the shelves yet nor do we have a release date for the next version.

In 2007 4E had been announced at Gen Con but there was still some 3E stuff out as late as October and there was at least an announced release date.

Prior to that there was a pretty solid run from 2000-2006 with 3E stuff. Even the 1995-1999 tail end of 2E had interesting stuff like the player's option books, Alternity, the 98 Greyhawk revival, the core rules CDROM, and the Dragon Archive. I think you have to go back to 1988 for a similar gap though  I'm not sure as the Dragon insert was in the Feb 1989 issue, so we may have still been unaware in the holiday season of '88. Prior to that new stuff was pretty consistent going back to the 70's and at that point you're getting into "before me" time.

So it's a little weird this year. I suppose I can still pick up some 4E stuff for the Apprentices - we are still playing it after all - but I'm not going to go nuts with it.

  • What about Pathfinder? Sure, the "NPC Codex" - fine for DM's, not much use for players. We're not doing much with Pathfinder right now anyway.
  • Fantasy Hero? GURPS? Runequest? - either not interested or no news so nope.
  • Savage Worlds? Might look at that new Deluxe rulebook I mentioned a few posts back. The price is certainly right.
  • ICONS? - Still no Team-Up
  • Marvel - They have the basic books and there's not much else besides the Civil War event books. Not sure they need a copy, especially if I'm going to be running it for them.
  • Champions? We have plenty of 4th & 5th edition and I'm not looking to buy into 6th edition right now so nope.
  • Mutants and Masterminds? They have core books for 2E & 3E so there's not much else they need as players.
  • Star Wars? There's not anything but the beta of that FFG set. Not paying for a beta, and not terribly interested anyway. 
  • Star Trek? Who has the license for this now? Where is it? Even Traveller Prime Directive was pushed into 2013 so no go there either.
  • Deathwatch - hmmmm, maybe. I got them Rogue Trader last year and I don;t think either of them has bothered to read the book yet.
So it's kind of thin right now for RPG gift type stuff as far as things we play or might play soon. Maybe the 4E Essentials Rules Compendium and the Savage Worlds book, the Pathfinder core or Deathwatch if I find a deal or run out of other ideas. Fortunately 40K and the Xbox are always good for this kind of thing.

Other stuff:
  • They're releasing a hardcover compilation of the Slavelords (A-series) adventures and the S-series adventures. OK, I suppose, but don't we all have this already? Those of us who care anyway? This seems to me like a clear effort to separate veteran gamers from their money to keep the machine running while Next is in development. Nothing wrong with that and they have just as much right to the money as people on ebay but I'm not really interested in buying them yet again.
  • There was some general stuff about class design here and an earlier article about "expertise dice" here that didn't really punch a button for me one way or another. It's hard for me to describe the general feeling of apathy I have with Next. I just really don't care that much about it - I don't hate it, I just don't see anything that really excites me about it and that's a weird place to be for me.
  • I liked Ed Greenwood's article on trade and such as much as anything else I saw in the last few weeks.
  • For old schoolers who might have missed it Greyhawk Grognard had a post defending level drains that made some interesting points. I still don't like losing levels - and I didn't back when it was new - but he does provide another point of view.


The Grey Elf said...

I'll be buying the 2E re-releases as well as the Slavelords and S-Series hardcovers, and the Unearthed Arcana re-release.

Yes, I already have all of them. So why buy them again?

Simple: to support the effort of re-releasing older editions. To help add my voice to the throng that is telling WotC this is worthwhile. Indeed, it was worthwhile enough that the Slavelords hardcover will have a BRAND SPANKING NEW A0 ADVENTURE IN IT. Official support for older editions? It may seem token, but it's something.

Blacksteel said...

I can understand that. I would like to see support beyond just reprints of old rulebooks and maybe this is a start. I will point out that we got L3 in the 1999 anniversary boxed set in a somewhat similar situation and then nothing else came of it. Hopefully this does not go that way, different regime and all.

For true long-term support of past editions I think PDF's (or some electronic book format) are the way to go. This would allow them to make all of the existing material available, add new material, make some $$$, and keep it all "in print" at a minimal cost. I don't know what it's going to take to get there, but I would really like to see it.

Adam Dickstein said...

S-Series you say? Hardcover you say? Hmmm...methinks Barking Alien may have to eat crow and purchase this from those wretched Warlocks of The Cost.

Blacksteel said...

Wait, THIS gets your attention? I am curious about it now.