Friday, June 1, 2012

The Old School Renaissance has won

Because of the D&D Next playtesting.

In a nutshell people are finding that a D&D Next playtest campaign works best when you manage it in the same manner as a classic D&D campaign. Starting with last year's D&D Experience, classic style gaming has been reintroduced into a far larger audience than myself or any of the OSR publishers could have done.

Already my long tail sales of Majestic Wilderlands and Blackmarsh have shown an uptick over the past six months. Before I was getting maybe 4 or so, now I am getting 10 or more sales a month.

The AD&D reprints are just the icing on the cake. Not only the gamers will get their hand on the original books but also there are dozens of products readily available for those books.

Now I am realistic about this. Victory doesn't mean that OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, or Swords & Wizardry, or any other retro-clone is going to compete head to head with Pathfinder or D&D Next. The impact of this is that the classic editions of D&D will have enough gamers behind it to keep it a living game with a vibrant community supporting it for a long time. Which to me is the point of all this to begin with.

And if it turns out that D&D Next continues to be compatible with classic edition D&D, well that just makes it easier. And to keep D&D Next compatible is the main reason I am involved. Not just because I like older editions, because that means all the stuff I wrote will be usable as is for D&D Next gamers. And for you OSR gamers reading this this means your writings too.

The point of the original retro-clones was to get people publishing and playing classic editions of D&D. To preserve them for the next generation of gamers. That goal has been achieved and we are in the midst of a new golden age of classic D&D.

7 comments:

Mike Hensley said...

I agree. I took a detailed look at the adventure in the playtest docs and it is almost identical to the original B2. That means that we'll be able to freely use all those old modules with the new game or use new modules with our old games. That's win-win baby!

Hedgehobbit said...

I wish I shared your optimism. What I expect is that with hit point inflation, that adventures for 5e might have a similar format to old D&D modules, but the monsters in them will vary wildly in power from equivalent monsters in pre-3e games. Not to mention NPC encounters.

Mike Hensley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Hensley said...

I'm pretty sure that you could pull out any old module that just uses the monsters that we have now and use it as written. I might just do that for our next session. I'm not that fond of B2 anyway.

Hedgehobbit said...

I remember that in 3e, low level monsters (orcs, kobolds) were pretty close to their AD&D counterparts. It was the mid to upper level monsters like giants and dragons that got a huge boost. If you tried to run something like G1 using the 3e rules with the same monsters, the party would get crushed. Likewise, if you tried to play some of the 3e adventures in AD&D, it would be too easy.

That is what I'm worried about.

micahblackburn said...

Personally I think it'll be easy enough to just swap out equivalent 5E monsters. You run Against the Giants? Use 5E giants in place of the giants in the module, but the number of giants doesn't seem to need to change (at least not currently...higher level play may be different).

Anathemata said...

Hey! Long time reader, first time writer.

I think you are correct, and that D&D Next could be a potential gateway to the OSR and everything it represents. I just hope that the designers don't continue to find 4e-style mechanics to be necessary for the system. I also still worry that WotC might not ever want to 'get on board' with the OSR and recognize the awesome potential of connecting with an eager and creative fanbase. But, hopes up and cards on the table, I'm ready to give this thing a shot.