Monday, April 27, 2009

D&D IS OUT OF PRINT FOR GOOD

AND I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER

*ahem*

Suppose I should quantify that, some.

When I say that D&D is OOP, what I mean to say is that the game I (We? Maybe yeah no?) grew up with, the game that brought us things like 10' poles, 10' corridors, and gelatinous cubes to clean them, is currently alive and well - it's just living under an assumed name, or rather, a slew of them. OSRIC. Labyrinth Lord. Swords & Wizardry. Basic Fantasy RPG. And let's not forget trailblazers like HackMaster and Castles & Crusades, nor a slew of other quality products being produced for free, by talented, dedicated hobbyists, all of which have done more to keep the traditions and legacies of our hobby alive than the folks who, technically speaking, hold the deed & title. (BTW, let's all be grateful that T$R never thought to copyright the ampersand back in the day, or none of this would be possible.)

Of course, there's still a game that you can pay money for that says Dungeons & Dragons on the cover, and it has (I'm told) both those things in it, so it's not technically false advertising, but it's kinda like the crappy second Darren and/or Darlene (from Bewitched or Roseanne, depending on which era of brainwash you prefer) - no matter what name they slap on it, all that's needed to put the lie to their claim is the evidence provided by your own two eyes.

Readers of RPGpundit's blog will be familiar with the concept of a shadowy, lurking subsector of the hobby, dedicated to ruining real RPGs so that their touchy-feely substitutions can flourish in the aftermath - and I don't find the notion as implausible as some. What's just as insidious is well-intentioned game designers who don't get it, screwing up the hobby's flagship game to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and depriving kids coming onto the scene of the chance to experience real, actual D&D. Luckily, D&D lives in a safe place where the Monte Cooks and Mike Mearls of the world can't hurt it, going by a double-handful of assumed names, frolicking in a sunny meadow and eating dewdrops. And killing a shit-ton of orcs.

DYA

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