Monday, July 23, 2012
To AD&D or not AD&D?
These were released last Tuesday. I haven't acquired them yet, and I'm not entirely sure I will. When I finished my Pathfinder campaign earlier this spring, I was left feeling dissatisfied. I don't think it was because I put together a bad game, or that it didn't turn out the way I wanted. Rather, the amount of work necessary to bring my ideas to fruition was far too overwhelming. Immediately after the campaign ended, I began looking at other systems.
This is when I learned that Wizards of the Coast was reprinting the first edition books. I've never played first edition, or any of the numerous OSR games, for that matter but I knew I wanted a simpler game. It just so happens that Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG showed up on my radar at exactly the same time. If you have read my blog with any consistency these last few months, you know that this has become the preferred system in my gaming groups.
So why am I hesitant about these reprints?
First, If I'm going to purchase a new game system, it needs to do one of two things: make it easier to craft the stories I want to tell or offer a completely different experience. I'm not sure AD&D does either of these things.I suppose I would need to see the rules before I make this claim, but I've been playing some version of this game for twelve years now.
The other reason is the barrier to entry; these books are expensive! Both the Player's Handbook and the Monsterr Manual are barely over 100 pages and clock in at $35 each. The Dungeon Master's Guide is more substantial, but it's also $10 more. I know these are supposed to be collector's editions, but it's my understanding that the only differences between these and the originals is the cover art and the gold-lined, gilded page edges.
It's too hard to resist the temptation to compare them to other games on the market. The Pathfinder core book, which is 500+ full color pages is only a hair more expensive than the DMG. DCC RPG, which includes an entire game system, is only $40. The Burning Wheel core book is over 600 pages and only costs $25. I could go on.
However, despite all of the practical reasons I have to convince myself to pass on these reprints, I am genuinely curious about the game's roots. Not $120 curious, but it just so happens that you can find copies of the originals in decent enough shape for about half that price.