The part of D&D Esstentials I was looking forward too is the new Dungeon Tile sets. I missed the initial run so I don't have all the basic and I viewed the three sets coming up as an excellent opportunity to finally get them.
I bought the first and it didn't disappoint. The most impressive feature is that the box itself is a dungeon tile. It breaks down into a two inch high platform 9 squares by 12 AND a 1 inch high platform (the cover) 9 squares by 12. The sides are printed with pillars/columns to add to the effect.
Inside there are ten sheets of dungeon tiles. The basics and a few from preexisting sets like the Hall of the Fire Giants. They have the same solid heavy feel as the rest of the dungeon tile series.
Overall this is a good deal at $20 and with the three upcoming sets you pretty much have all the basics covered.
To me the Old School Renaissance is not about playing a particular set of rules in a particular way, the dungeon crawl. It is about going back to the roots of our hobby and seeing what we could do differently. What avenues were not explored because of the commercial and personal interests of the game designers of the time.
What are RPGs?
A game where the players play individual characters interacting with a setting with their actions adjudicated by a human referee.
Rules are an aide to help the referee adjudicate actions and to help the players interact with the setting.
Dice are used to inject uncertainty which make a tabletop RPG campaign more interesting than "Let's Pretend".
The only thing a player needs to do to roleplay a character is to act if he or she was really there in the setting in that situation.