Friday, February 10, 2012

Unifying the Editions

Monte Cook has a new article are on Unifying the Editions.

Of interest to me is this comment.

That's something that we're working on right now. But some of the answers are obvious. Six ability scores ranging from 3 to 18. Fighters, clerics, wizards, and rogues. (Or, if you prefer, fighting-men, clerics, magic-users, and thieves.) Character levels. Experience points. Rolling a d20 to attack. Magic missiles. Fireballs. Hold person. And so on.

In effect, what you end up with is a fully playable game with its own style. Think of it this way: It would be wrong to say that there is no inherent D&D style that carries across the nearly forty-year lifespan of the game. What you really end up with, in this approach, is a game that ends up looking—not coincidentally—like original D&D. Not entirely, of course, and not precisely, but close. It's a game that captures the feel of OD&D.
  Of course this not exactly new news as the authors of the various retro-clones like OSRIC, Swords & Wizardry, or Labyrinth Lord can tell you. But it heartening to see that the core version of D&D Next may wind up something that looks like one of the OSR retro-clones. That would mean an expanded audience for everybody in the OSR as it would be way easier to leap into playing a older edition from those rules than it would be if all you experienced was D&D 4th edition.

And even if D&D Next didn't wind up looking like a OSR retro clone, the attention to old style D&D gaming will prove beneficial to the OSR in the long run.

I will report any details as soon as it is allowed.


7 comments:

David Macauley said...

The glimmer of hope just shone a bit brighter.

Trey said...

It all definitely sounds interesting.

Grendelwulf said...

It will be terrible.
It will never work.
Greyhawk will never be the new default setting.

There. I am always wrong, so this should help.

Woo-hoo! Um, I mean grumble grumble grumble...

Dim said...

"That would mean an expanded audience for everybody in the OSR as it would be way easier to leap into playing a older edition from those rules than it would be if all you experienced was D&D 4th edition."

Last time I checked the OSR was about a *way* of playing role-playing games, the way it was in the olden days and perhaps taking it in some direction other then the one that led to the status quo.

Why does D&DN have to be a gateway to older editions if it has the spirit of those same rule-sets? It looks to me from that statement like it's some taboo to play a game that's currently in print and that would be... I wouldn't agree with that.

LucidDion said...

As Dim said, it will be a two way gateway. Many who play retro clones might pass through the gateway to D&D Next.

Rob Conley said...

@Dim, I agree that there nothing taboo about playing the latest RPGs.

But the reality is that the point of some OSR communities is to play a particular older edition not something "like" it. D&D Next is looking to be a good thing for these groups for the reason given in my post.

Tetsubo said...

I have a friend that once commented to me that the Rolling Stones had become a Rolling Stones cover band. I see this move in a similar light. It just seems like a pale, sad reflection of something that was once great. I hope that the players of the next edition of D&D are happy.

I have Pathfinder.