Well, it’s been a while. This has truly been the winter of my discontent, to misquote the Bard. Still, OD&DITIES is here at last, and hopefully has been worth the wait. A good mix of adventures and campaign ideas in this issue, with some excellent features by James Mishler, Geoff Gander, and Jesse Walker, as well as our regular Getting Started feature, now looking at the basics of setting up a campaign. It has recently struck me that it is about eighteen months since the first issue of OD&DITIES. A great deal has happened since its release. A new edition of D&D has arrived, and the teething troubles seem to be over. (Although ‘3E sucks!‘ threads are still common in various forums.) The explosion of material that has come out recently has been good for all of us – it has raised interest in the hobby. A Dungeons & Dragons movie, a dream that has been around since the early 80’s, was released – and quickly turned into a nightmare. (Try reading the book of the movie!) What will the next year bring, I wonder? Some predictions :
Edition will continue to predominate.
However, sales will begin to fall for two reasons. The first is that they have just greatly increased the cost of the main rulebooks. The second is that they seem to be making the same mistakes as they have always done, but releasing two much supplementary rules material – all those class rulebooks, and many more to follow.
The OGL will continue to flourish, but in a more limited way. A few good publishers will survive; the rest will sink. Regrettably, this will mean far fewer ‘generic fantasy’ products – still, conversion is quite possible. 3E is here to stay – we must live with it. However, I would suggest that now is the time to start pushing OD&D, all the way. Take opportunities to introduce it to new players. This is important – although I have no figures, I suspect the age demographic is rising rapidly. Run games at conventions, expand gaming groups, buy your kid brother a copy of the Basic and Expert Sets for Christmas, and so on. There are still points in our favour:
Buying the Basic and Expert Sets at least is cheaper, far cheaper, than buying the 3E books. (Sounds mercenary, but works!)
The rules are easier to learn.
There is a lot of material out there for OD&D players. Direct them to this ‘zine for ‘Getting Started’, or to other sites on the net. On a different note – keep the articles coming! We accept rules articles, articles on Mystara, or the City State, or any other world that was written for OD&D. In addition, articles on running or playing in a fantasy setting would be welcome. Short stories are welcome (look at part two of ‘The Isle’, for example.) Also, send in letters. I’m afraid my computer problems meant all the letters I received were lost, so no letters page this issue. This will not happen again, so keep on writing! Happy Gaming! Richard Tongue