Monday, January 16, 2012

To Answer Zak's Question: "What will you give us if you're wrong?"

Well, nothing actually.  I figure the OSR is blessed enough by merely having me in their midst.  :)

I will, however, do something for WOTC.  Something pretty important to me and personally meaningful.

It would be very very easy for WOTC to make me wrong, because  I mostly just care about this whole thing for two reasons, and one far more than the other. 

The first reason I care is because  next year, in about 15 months,  I will be buying my nephews their first RPG for their birthdays.  One will turn 7, the other 8.  That's the perfect age to get them into gaming.  I've been investigating systems, and talked with my brother as to the best system to get them started on.  After evaluating all the clones, and all the original editions, we settled on Mentzer as the very best game to get young kids into D&D with.  Since  it's hard (not to mention expensive) to find a mint edition somewhere, no less 2, I figured I would just print and bind the pdf's in hardcover down at Kinko's or Staples.  They will each get a DMG and a PHB out of it.  My brother and I have been looking forward to this for years actually, sitting down with my brother and his son and our sister's son and playing a real game of DnD. (Not just the 10 minute sampler things we tried with them a couple times to gauge where they were at in terms of being able to play a meaningful game.)

If WOTC actually does the impossible and puts out the "Core D&D" or whatever they choose to call it, and it's even 90% as good as Mentzer, WITHOUT skills/feats/AOE's/powers/dailies/tactical grid shit/miniatures, then I will make it the first game my 2 nephews, and later my 4 other nephews and nieces, are introduced to.   That's about the biggest compliment I can give to WOTC, and the thing which has the most meaning to me as a player and an uncle to future gamers.  I'll make this new edition the one my nephews and nieces look back at 20 years later with fondness, as they pull out the well-worn dog-eared books and say "Yeah, this was my first edition of D&D.  I played it with my father and my uncle down in the basement on the pool table."

The second reason I am interested in the core edition is because once in a while I run games at cons.  If I'm wrong, and the core is as described above, 90% like Mentzer, etc., then I will run a core game at a con.  However, if they make the game in such a way as to cause all these problems, with players coming in with an expectation that they can play their 4e fey-dragonborne-wildling with 465 feats and other special abilities at first level, next to the rest of the group who are playing core characters, then forget about it.

Anyhow, that's what I'll do if I'm wrong.  It's simple to do, as I really only care about the core game, how close it is to Mentzer, and the expectations the system sets as to its players ability to create and play whatever character they want to play.  I just care about the former far more than the latter.  And honestly, in spite of my disgust with all things WOTC since 4e, I hope I am wrong.  I'd hate to see the game go out of print, for sentimental reasons mostly.