Thursday, January 19, 2012

Intelligence 18, Wisdom 3...a rant

So  the 3 original AD&D hardbacks (that most gamers have) are being reprinted...

Why the hype? Who really cares? 4e players? Pathinder fans? OSR? I'd say nobody SHOULD care! You can get old copies of the originals easily, and if some altruistic impulse makes you want a statue of Gary, go make one from mashed potatoes, or just donate your game book purchase funds IN TOTAL to a statue, not a mystery percentage-the whole dollar amount! How can folks bash Hasbro for mishandling of the game and the rules, and then support them with your dollars when they reprint some old stuff? WTF people!

For all your intelligence you critically lack wisdom! How many retro clones (OE through 3.5) are out there (many available FREE)and easily purchased, and well supported ALREADY?  Want the old books? Go buy THE ORIGINALS!

Still you slavishly follow the dragon into the dungeon. Swear to heaven, at least when Odysseus knew he was headed into trouble he had the sense to be lashed to the mast so he could do no harm when he heard the siren's song. Do you have this wisdom? No. Like a former love who treated you like crap and says, "baby, this time it will be different" you believe it!  FOOLS!

It's a trap!  They know how much cred the OSR has, they see the vitality, creativity and originality they lost, and now like a stranger with candy they are trying to lure you back in to the shiny van with a Wizard painted on its side.  Kick them in the junk and tell them to get bent!

Ask yourself why aren't they going after Paizo and retuning to a modified 3.5??  Pathfinder is the sales and game king right now and they can't compete there?  So they are going to go back, try to lure the OSR in and gain support from the gamers they treated like a rented mule?  Seriously folks.  The Red Box reprint was a failed attempt at this. Now the current rumors of going back to earlier editions and making one rules set to play them all is so much B.S. it makes me sick to think some folks can't see the crap through the flies.

Do whatever you like, but I see it, I don't like it, and I won't support it. 


Narmer said...

Hey, how did you know about the shiny van with the wizard on the side? That was supposed to be a secret!

Fenway5 said...

That much awesome is hard to hide!

Robert Saint John said...

I'm not sure I get the rage. If WOTC is making a mistake, surely it's their mistake to make. I don't see any harm in re-releasing AD&D. Other games from the era have gone in and out of and back in print over time. Heck, James Ward just put Metamorphosis Alpha 1E up on Lulu! And if I choose to buy them (and I probably will), I don't see myself as a sucker. I'd love for this to be a big hit for WOTC, for the players, for the FLGSs.

And if it is, it won't be because every single last OSR player ran out and bought them. There are not enough of "us" to make a success. But there are a lot of newer players that, right or wrong, won't look at older edition play unless it says D&D, and don't want to buy old books. Well, here's their chance. Now you could try to warn them of the candy and the van, but I'm not sure why you would want to.

As an aside, I've seen years of people criticizing WOTC for having created an adversarial relationship with the base. Seems to me that they are trying to build bridges and have listened to comments (including those like your own!) to look to the past. Now that they're doing so? I've seen just as much negative as positive reaction. I'm no WOTC fan, I've never played 3.x, played 4 twice and have a few books and minis. But based on their recent actions, I just can't see why anyone would wish them to fail.

Of course, it's absolutely your right to have your POV and not support it. I can see the argument about it being a waste of money. I'm just not sure why you see those of us who take interest as "fools".

And for the record, if Howard Thompson comes back from the grave and re-releases The Fantasy Trip, I'll be a fool and re-buy that too! Even after he treated me like crap with "Dragons of the Underearth" ;)

Fenway5 said...

RSJ- I appreciate your well reasoned and thought out response. To be clear, you should follow your own drummer, and should voice your opinion and should spend your money and should do whatever way you think is right to support Hasbro and their games and products. If that makes you happy and you enjoy what the do and the games they make, go for it!

I look at it differently in that I don't see the wisdom in that course of action, I disagree with it, and I don't think it makes any sense to me. I think it is foolish to continue to support a game if it does not bring you joy. I think it is foolish to support a company that is not interested in you the consumer. I think it is foolish to throw your hard earned money at a product (1e AD&D) that the parent company will not support. I think it is important to support the plethora of hard working folks who used the OGL to create the games you do want to play and are supporting those systems you like.

I see the reprint as a pure and simple cash grab to keep revenues coming in for a quarter while they wind down 4th and work on 5th, all covered with an homage to Gygax. What happens after the reprint? Static and silence. If you want a collectible, great but they aren't bringing that game back, and your money might be better spent supporting OSRIC products who ARE providing that game to you.

Now 5e may change some negative feelings some have, or mist-steps perceived by others and bring a whole new era or gaming Valhalla to the masses. Great for all those in it and enjoying it. I just won't be one of them, but I wish you well and every happiness in enjoying it. I hope we can disagree without being disagreeable. :)

Robert Saint John said...

Of course! "Fool" is a bit disagreeable, but I'll take it as calculated hyperbole.

But please note, I could care less about "supporting Hasbro". Yes, obviously such a purchase would. But it's not my goal, and I think you're conflating the two. I think it's a safe bet to guess that you don't explicitly "support" the company behind every product or service you use. Sometimes a purchase is just a purchase.

"I think it is important to support the plethora of hard working folks who used the OGL to create the games you do want to play and are supporting those systems you like."

If you could see my boxes and shelves, you would not worry about such a thing. I guess that's my other point. If I direct money towards these new AD&D books, it doesn't equate that I'm taking money out of OSR pockets. Especially when I have (and play) a boatload (seriously) of it already. If anything, that might be a good reason not to purchase AD&D yet again. But the same could be said for my purchases of the retroclones which often sit next to the original editions.

x said...

Robert seems to be under the same assumption as a lot of people out here that there is like 3 of us OSR guys.

Ok, let's use some business logic for a second. Imagine you are the head of the biggest most important brand name in the RPG world.

On one side is a company that is kicking your ass around the block like it is your pimp and on the other is 3 guys named OSR.

Which of those 2 do you perceive as a threat commercially? Which do you try to compete with for $$$?

Ok, first we get a 'Red Box', but not really, then we get an announcement of the D&D ratchet set where everyone will have lollipops and play their favorite version of the game all at the same table at the same time, then we get a left handed gesture (with an extra dose of Gary guilt just for seasoning) by releasing a ltd ed of AD&D that now makes it appear they are going to start printing all the books for all the systems (not my idea, just read other blogs on the internet).

Total F****** BS.

These are all distraction tactics to draw attention away from the OSR and give them plenty of free publicity at the same time.

To give you an idea about the size of sales in the RPG world, when the two big guys were fighting it out 1 quarter the third place winner was the Dresden Files guys. They were so proud that they had moved 5,000 units that quarter...that was for third place.

Now as I recall when the latest major Swords & Wizardry release came out they crashed the servers at PayPal on launch day. James Raggi talks numbers all the time. He seems to be doing ok. And there are more.

The problem is there is no way to track the hobby side because we don't go through the usual sales channels.

The OSR is exactly what they are afraid of. We are the unknown variable. No one expected any of this to happen. I read 200-300 OSR blogs a day. I have another 1500-2000 to draw on and have heard numbers as large as 10,000 blogs devoted to the OSR in total around the world.

D&D went from 24 million players to 1.5 million. They claim we all quit playing.

Don't think so.

The Great Khan said...

Curiously, your rant here is pretty much the same thing my wife said when I told her that WotC was reprinting 1st edition AD&D.

Kenwolf said...

wow seems to be a lot of hate from the OSR group because wizards is re-releasing an old product.Timothy Brannan who does the other side blog summed it up pretty good i think. "So basically WotC out-OSRed the OSR."

i wont be buying the books cause i'm a 2nd edition player, and i already have my nice perfect copies of 1st edition already on my book shelf. but seeing that they are reprinting an older edition doesn't make me all mad. i just wish they would reprint some of the more harder to get stuff from their library of stuff.

x said...

@Fenway5-And well done on the rant sir. I tried to come up with something but by the third line there would already be so many F-bombs I just started typing ***** ****** ***** constantly.

I believe in these economic times that WotC is taking money out of the pockets of the people who have tried to carry on the spirit of the game while WotC dumped on us and worried about making World of Dungeoncraft.

So yeah, it is a bit insulting and disrespectful to players who shouldered the load that they wouldn't even attempt by even leaving the pdf product in place.

I'm about to start with the ****** again so I will stop now.

Robert Saint John said...

@ADD Grognard - I'd respond to you, but when you start off with uninformed BS like "Robert seems to be under the same assumption as a lot of people out here that there is like 3 of us OSR guys", it's clear you don't know me, and you have no interest in a reasoned discussion. I'll be happy if our paths don't cross again. Enjoy your happy, positive world of gaming.

x said...

@Robert-And if it is, it won't be because every single last OSR player ran out and bought them. There are not enough of "us" to make a success.

And I have no intention of having polite conversation with someone ignorant of the facts.

I have been a member of the RPG community for over 30 years. I have been a player, a Game Master, a store owner and a publisher.

My background is Sales & Marketing and Stock Brokerage.

So, again, you don't know me either. I was not insulting you I was observing how I see that same post at least 10 times a week and there is no proof of how large the OSR community is. But it is big enough to get WotC's attention so that must be sizeable. I would be glad however if you have some figures to share as to the size of the old school gamers community out there who are active.

Trust me sir, when I wish to insult you you will know it. If somehow my observation seemed short and pointed it is because I'm tired of hearing the 'we are insignificant' speech.

Kenwolf said...

i think this can be a positive thing for us people that like older games. if the reprinting of these 3 books means that new people will try 1st edition and maybe start playing it over 3,4 or 5th edition it is a positive in my book. we need more people playing older editions and this is one way for that to happen.

JB said...

@ Fenway:

After digesting the news for most of the day, I've decided I'm more on your page than the proponents of the move. Yours was the firs nay-saying blog on the subject I read...thanks for that.
: )

Fenway5 said...

I realize my rant would offend some and because of it, some people no longer follow my site. That is what happens when you set out to provoke thought sometimes. I originally wrote about a paragraph in calm prose listing the issues as I saw them. It was reasoned and calm and yawn inducing...probably in line with many of my posts. :)

I decided a rant format might better provoke some thought. I hoped it might counteract and cut through the overwhelming and blinding fumes of nostalgia blogosphere was being smothered in. I do not have illusions that the post will change matters. When the books release we will see wave after wave of joyous blog posts touting the return of the old flame in a new dress.

All I can do is shake my head and wonder if the same people with that same money, spent it on Labyrinth Lord, Sword & Sorcery, Osric, Lamentations, or other OSR materials might not create a real change in the industry. That same power created Pathfinder when 4e launched, so why not an OSR game? People keep hoping WotC will somehow go back to re-creating or reprinting old stuff.

The whole post can be easily summed up as:
1. Why would you support a company who does not provide the NEW product you want?
2. Why not support companies who are giving you the NEW stuff that you claim you want?

Pastor Beau said...

I agree with JB. Fenway, your view was the first I've read that was negative on the re-releasing. Thanks for opening up the discussion!