Friday, January 20, 2012

A Few Friday Thoughts

-I would be remiss if I did not notice Wizards of the Coast’s gesture in doing a limited-edition run of the original 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons core books. I think this is a very good idea, and is obviously a conciliatory gesture for a number of retro gamers who likely felt ignored or marginalized with the past edition. If WotC wants to keep the goodwill going, the two biggest things I’d like to see is a return to selling previous-edition pdfs, and embracing the OGL once again in whatever form their new edition takes. For now, good for them, and good for us.

-If I were a publisher even remotely linked to the Old School Renaissance, I would be sure I was getting my A-game ready for this release. This is going to be as high-profile a look as many of these endeavors are going to get, and it's a great chance to introduce younger gamers to an entirely different subset of the hobby.

-I have to be honest, though: I like my games I have right now, especially with fantasy. Using Castles & Crusades as a Rosetta Stone and bringing in OGL and other published items from sources ranging from blogs to Hackmaster 4e to Paizo is something that works for me. That’s an awfully big inducement for me to not dig into 5e too deeply, unless it’s got some nifty elements I can port into what I have now. I know C&C isn’t perfect, but it’s perfect for me, if that makes sense.

-Speaking of C&C and Troll Lord Games, I really like the subscription/fundable-style of product offering Troll Lord is doing now, first with Classic Monsters and now with Winter Runes. I like getting a good deal on a book, free shipping, and the anticipation of seeing something come together. I’m sure the Trolls like knowing what the demand is for a product, as well. I wish more companies would follow suit.


Yong Kyosunim said...

C&C is probably my favorite retro. I play Pathfinder, but I really like C&C's layout and I have several of their books.

Zachary Houghton said...

Very cool--I think both Pathfinder and C&C are great "middle ground" or "meeting place" games--Pathfinder because it fills that d20 need, and C&C because of its compatibility with everything from Labyrinth Lord to AD&D 2e to Pathfinder.

Johnn Four said...

Hey Zach,

"Using Castles & Crusades as a Rosetta Stone"

Can you explain how you do this? how can I use C&C (I have not read the rules) to bring Hackmaster and 4E together?

Sounds awesome.

Zachary Houghton said...

Hi Johnn,

I don't have much experience using D&D 4e with C&C (I was referring to Hackmaster 4e), so I won't speak to that. But C&C is a very loose framework, sort of a stripped-down d20 game with a central mechanic for most resolution (the SIEGE engine). It's very easy to bolt both d20/OGL mechanics on, as well as port in anything from Pathfinder or the 1st Edition DMG. It's the sort of system is built to not break under just about any level of tweaking you want to do. So while it starts off as a basic game with a few updates that manages to have that "classic" D&D feel, players of D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder, for example, will find enough here to be comfortable in my experience.

Because it rests in the middle of games ranging from Rules Cyclopedia D&D to Pathfinder, and because it's so simple to learn, it makes it ideal for importing other elements. I really need to do another post talking about some of my add-ons for the game.

Honestly, C&C got a bad rap when it started, and the first printing was pretty brutal. But the Trolls have learned, and now in the 4th printing, C&C is a much better, cleaner game.

Johnn Four said...

Cool, thanks. I'm curious because I received an email just this morning of a C&C PDF bundle sale at RPGNow:

I also have a shelf of Hackmaster books gathering dust. Seems like an interesting combo.

Zachary Houghton said...

I think the Hackmaster GMG is one of the most enjoyable books ever written for gaming. It's very easy to use the two together with minimal fuss, happily.

That's a cool bundle! TLG usually runs some good sales over the year--if you pay attention to their Twitter feed or homepage, you'll occasionally catch really good pdf sales, or a Player's Handbook for $10 or the like.

Scott said...

I don't play much D&D anymore, but I still have the first edition AD&D rulebooks as my only versions.
It will be interesting to see what Wizards of the Coast does with the 5th edition.

The Quintessential Dungeon Master

Fábio said...

Great job and awesome post.
I like D&d so much and I am writer for a blog of adventures in portuguese.

Look and comment

Jennifer said...

this is awesome

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