That's where I find myself, folks, in light of Wizards of the Coast's latest move: the announcement that they will be reprinting the 1E AD&D books that St. Gary laid down all those years ago. Wow. I really feel like this is surreal. Let's talk about this, shall we?
What is WotC up to? That's my gut reaction. Sorry to be cynical. But seriously. Are they really finally taking a page from the OSR, admitting that old editions have their place in the gaming world and not just some fringe movement? Are they giving props to the OSR, actually listening to long-time fans of the game's many incarnations from the last few decades? Do they want to play nice and live in harmony with fans of all editions of D&D? Is this an extension of the squishy 5E feelings that they're pushing?
Or is all this some ploy to steal the OSR's thunder? Because as expected, the news of 1E's reprinting (albeit a limited release, supposedly) has some OSR diehards crying foul. Why? Because, the diehards say, this will make OSRIC obsolete. Uh, I personally am not so sure about that. I can see how some might consider WotC re-releasing OOP edition as a move to quash the OSR. Every group has conspiracy theorists, right? I'm not so sure it would mean the end of all the retroclones, though. Ironically, some might find the clones to be more user-friendly, having given the old rules better organization, etc.
For me, these days, if I wanted to play in the 1E style, I would just keep playing Castles & Crusades. For me, C&C takes the spirit of 1E and blends it seamlessly with the best of the 3E mechanics (I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record, with the C&C love I constantly spout). I'm not sure I would even want to go back to the old 1E rules as originally written, as heretical as that may sound to some. But, let's keep in mind that Gary gave the C&C guys his blessings back in the day, so...there you go.
Is WotC just jumping on the bandwagon? That would be something of a victory for the OSR, eh? The movement has become something that WotC can no longer ignore, eh? I wonder what all the "This Is A Dying Hobby" doomsayers are thinking right now.
I've been so busy today that I haven't had time to do any reading on the 1E situation, so I don't know if WotC has released a longer statement as to why they are reprinting Gary's masterpiece. But between this and their "kumbaya" 5E love-fest ("it will bring all D&D lover's together!"), I'm really feeling a bit like I'm dreaming. I really don't know what to think at the moment. It seems to good to be true. Or at least to good to be kosher.
So I just wanted to vent. I sit here between hope, wonder, and ambivalence about all of these recent developments, and frankly I just don't know what to think. And I know I'm not alone. Thanks for listening to me babble. I'd love it if someone would babble back, to let me know what you're all thinking out there.
Interesting times we live in, eh?
UPDATE: Since I can't seem to post a comment to my own blog at the moment, I'll respond to all the people who stopped by through this update.
Chris Creel: Glad you got a laugh outta that! And I agree that there's a good likelyhood that 5E will take some inspiration from C&C (this opinion is no surprise given my *ahem* boner for C&C ;-).
Greyhawk Knight: Thanks for the insight, specifically the reminder that this is a limited print run. And those who don't want to plunk down the cash on the Hasbro of the Coast altar can also take up the OSRIC cause.
Martin: Hey there! Good to hear from you! How are things? Agreed on the hype factor on the part of WotC, the canny bastards! And you worked with WotC before, right (no judgement there, of course)? Who better than you to know their tactics? Yeah, this 1E reprint thing smacks of another olive branch that is designed to test the OSR interest in "official" D&D.
To Gwydion and all: thanks for the reminders of the real purpose behind the clones.
James and Tenkar: thats for stopping by and for helping to put things into perspective!