So I'm back. Well I lurk once in a while, but I thought I'd stick around to see the hub-bub surround the announcement of the next edition of D&D, which I'll call Ne.
I stopped playing your D&D (Official 4e) about 1.5 years ago. It started with the release of Essentials and the move from a client based Character Builder to a Web-based one. I was not happy about the changes, I killed my subscription (which I surprisingly got refunded for) and stopped playing 4e. I started looking for new games, I picked up a few "Story Games" and I found that tons of people were still playing Older Editions. That piqued my interest the most and decided to start at the root, Original Edition D&D. I picked up a copy of Swords & Wizardry because it was the easiest to find, and it is quite frankly well written. The changes it makes to the Original Game are minor, but innovations that I liked about d20/3x. Ascending AC being the big stand-out. So I started playing it, and realized that I still LOVED D&D THE MOST-EST! It really got to the heart about the things I loved about playing this silly Fantasy Adventure Game. It wasn't the intriging story lines, it wasn't the intensity of tactical combat. It was about playing a bunch of adventurers and dealing with whatever came their way. Whether it was saving a village from a horde of Snow Elves or figuring out what is down that newly uncovered tomb that reaked of the un-dead. I was having more fun playing D&D than I had since I returned to the game when 3.0 was released. I was a Grognard, I liked my combat quick, dirty, deadly and without minis. I liked magic powerful, but limited. I liked clerics who can fight, and thieves that got to treasure first so they can pocket the ring before the party sees it.
For the past year & a half Old School D&D was my game of choiced. A few months later I switched over to Dungeon Crawl Classics BETA as my core rules, but guess what? I had full use of my S&W books, I dug up my Advanced D&D (1e) books, and have been using them all in my game. Picking and choosing whatever I liked best. I was entitled to it, because I was the DM and it was my campaign, and not too many others invested as much time pouring through as many books as I have. I bought everything that Lamentations of the Flame Princess released (Carcosa is mind-melting) and several Swords & Wizardry books as well. I downloaded a bunch of 1e adventurers, OSRIC to be specific, that I used as written in my "D&D" game. Same with a bunch of Classic D&D adventures, Labyrinth Lord to be specific, and have ran a few of those adventures as well. These books all sit nearby for quick reference if I need them. I also dug up my D&D and AD&D adventures as well as inspiration for use in my game, but more than inspiration, I could use the materials AS WRITTEN. I didn't have to convert anything because they were all compatible.
To get to the point, I had use for my old books, and new things written for those old games and they all work very well with my current game. I couldn't do that with 4e. I could almost do that with 3e, but even 3e characters we're a bit over-powered and the emphasis on skills, feats and DC changed the focus.
So this brings us to Next Edition. WotC has kind of back-pedaled a bit. They're no longer saying the Ne will appeal to the Old and New, they're now saying that the Old can play with the New. I'm not so sure about that. I don't see the point. But I guess I have to wait to see. If it's too much trouble to use my original copy of Tomb of Horrors with it, I'll be disappointed.
I'm assuming, and already telling everyone, that whatever comes from Ne will just add to my already comprehensive D&D Tool-box. I hope there is some new innovation to steal from it. But if they do it right, it could possibly replace my core rules. No matter what, the game I play, my D&D, will always be a hodge podge frankenstein version of rules that will be unmistakably D&D.
The Reverend Dak