I'm just gonna go off here a bit. Just a short tidbit of brain spew, sort of an offspring of the post I wrote yesterday regarding what I consider the "flavors" of D&D (including Castles & Crusades, my preferred flavor, and the upcoming 5th edition of D&D). Please let me know if you agree or disagree.
Here goes, according to my brain:
OSRIC is D&D.
Labyrinth Lord is D&D.
Swords & Wizardry is D&D.
Lamentations of the Flame Princess is D&D.
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG is D&D.
[Insert title of D&D-inspired rule set] is D&D.
Are you seeing a theme here? A common thread?
Bottom line: for me, I don't care what you call it, it's all D&D. Like Shakespeare wrote, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
I don't care that there are small, medium, or large differences between the clones and the rules they emulate. I don't care how crazy the "house rules" found in rule sets like Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, and their ilk may be.
It's no accident that images of the original D&D Red Box grace the front of the three-ring binders I use for my GM's screen during my Castles & Crusades games. C&C is in many ways the successor of D&D. It's is a successor from a mechanics standpoint, as well as the spiritual successor. So when I'm using those rules, if someone asks me what I'm playing, I usually say "A version of D&D" or just "Dungeons and Dragons." If they ask for more detail, I'll get down to the nitty gritty, but otherwise, I see no difference between C&C and the system that gave birth to it/inspired it.
The same goes for all the clones and clones of clones out there. That's the main reason the Edition Wars make no sense to me.
Back to Castles & Crusades: It may have a different name, have some different terms scattered throughout (i.e. Castle Keeper instead of Dungeon Master), and differ in mechanics in some ways. But in the end, it captures the feel of both 1E and 3.X D&D, paying homage to both iterations. Yet, at the same time, it has aspects that make it its own creature, especially the mechanics of the SIEGE Engine.
I know this is all my opinion, and I'm not some sort of missionary that seeks to show others the "true way." This is just MY path to D&D nirvana. Yours no doubt differs.
I am curious to see what 5E will be. Heck, I may even get into the playtesting if I am able. But I already have my version of D&D that I enjoy above all others. And it's called Castles & Crusades.
Does anyone else out there feel the same? I'm sure I am not breaking any new ground here. Does anyone disagree? I know I've probably written the same sentiments on this blog before, but sometimes we need to be reminded of things. Lemme know your thoughts. Or am I just shouting into the void here?
*EDIT: I should mention that I also consider Pathfinder to be D&D by another name (wait, is that a stupid statement?). I would even venture to say the unthinkable: 4E is even D&D to me, though a vastly altered version. I can hear the outrage at that statement! I don't say 4E is D&D because it has the brand name and is currently in print (for a little while longer, at least). I say it because it bears at least some resemblance to the editions of the past. Though I would never play 4E, it still gets grudging acknowledgement from me. Heresy, I know...