I've been a gamer for a fairly long time. I blame my father for first introducing me to Dungeons and Dragons at the tender age of 8. He then followed it up with Tunnels and Trolls, Call of Cthulhu, and seriously TONS of old Hammer horror movies and sci-fi serials. Then my older brother took me under his arm and elevated me up to AD&D (1st and 2nd edition) as well as RuneQuest, the Palladium games, GURPS, and dozens of board games. That was over 20 years ago.
Now I go to the local book/game store and all I see are "OGL Compatible", "Retro-clone", and "Based on one of the greatest RPGs of all time!"
I say burn 'em.
Is there still a shred of original thought left out there? Can't these seemingly bright and creative people give me something other than a re-hash of the same rules I've been using for more than a decade? I don't know. I keep thinking people are simply trying to milk the starving, desicated cash cow for as long as they can. I could be wrong.
I feel a sense of nostalgia when I see some of these "retro-clones". I enjoy seeing concepts I grew up on and a style of simplicity that has been vacant from much of the mainstream for a very long time. A little part of me in the back of my skull is joyful that these things are being copied and preserved for future gamers.
And there it ends.
D&D is D&D. I don't want to play a game that is D&D by a different name. I don't care if it uses an updated version of older edtion rules. I don't care how snazzy the cover and interior art is. I don't care if the developed campaign world is imaginative and superbly written. They are still just taking the same rules and mechanics that were developed as Dungeons and Dragons and putting a little polish, a little color, and a little spin on them.
I guess I would not be as upset if people weren't making as many products or trying to make as much money from them. A little preservist group here or there giving free house rules updates or trying to keep older editions in print or putting out new modules is fine. I cannot agree with this apparent micro-economy based around pumping out book after book using work of Dungeons&Dragons to their advantage.
Now before you start yelling, I am well aware that many of these people who are writing these books are former D&D authors. I would never try tell these people they cannot use their own intellectual property. If a certain person who recently left the D&DNext design team wanted to go back to writing and publishing books based on the 3rd ed. rules, let him. As far as I'm concerned, it's his system so he can do as he pleases. It's the others that concern me.
I'm just over it all. If you want to put out a game, you had better take the time and effort to create your own world and game system. Me? I'm gonna play D&D.