Sunday, October 12, 2008

What I Want from Hasbro

I don't have a beef with 4E. It's just not what I want out of D&D. And Wizards is certainly within its rights to put out whatever game they want. But man, Hasbro could get me to part with some green if they just put out OD&D or a Basic Set as part of their 'Vintage Wood Book Edition' line. Have you seen this line? In my neck of the woods Target department stores have a bunch of 'em in the wall o' games behind the toy section. You can get Life, Monopoly, Jenga, Clue, and several other classic games in this format.


  1. Anonymous10:42 AM

    Oooooh... that would be cool! I'd buy that, too. :)

  2. I'd get the Jenga one so I can feel like I'm playing a super special quality edition of Dread.

  3. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Those look great. Although I am having a flashback where I used to keep my games in a closet and they would fall out when I opened the door. Those would do a lot more damage. The CSI opening scene.
    "What happened here?"
    "Looks like death by force blunt trama."
    Picks up the wooden box edition of Monopoly. "You have got to be kidding."
    "Yep. It's game over for him."

    Sorry watch a CSI marathon this weekend.

  4. Any edition prior to the BECMI boxed sets. Now. I want this now. If not sooner. What a great idea!

  5. If Moldvay's basic set was available in that format I'd buy it instantly

  6. I think this would be a great idea, but I'm pretty sure that WotC would never push for it, even assuming Hasbro would allow it.

  7. Worth us making the suggestion to them, though?

  8. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Oh a thousand times yes. Gawd, I'd love that.

  9. At the risk of e-beatings, meh. :)

    But then I didn't *really* start designing or DMing until 3E, so I don't have the nostalgia. Even so, I might buy it just for how cool it would look.

  10. Anonymous6:05 PM

    @ ike:

    Repeat after me: IT HAS FUCK ALL TO DO WITH NOSTALGIA. It has to do with a difference in game design philosophy.

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you weren't trying to insult 90% of the readers of this blog. So don't talk like you're better than us.

  11. Holster them hoglegs, korgoth! While I agree that RPG Ike is missing the mark when he chalks up my desire as simple nostalgia, no need to come down hard on the guy.

  12. That would be pretty great. When I confess to friends that I play D&D, they are - without exception - impressed. They all say things like, "That is so old school!" "Oh my god, that is so cool!" Here in LA, where image is everything, there's something "vintage" or "kitsch" about table-top rpgs. So yea, a wood box classic would really tap into that vibe and might have some crossover appeal.

  13. Anonymous10:13 PM

    @ Jeff

    Sorry. I'm like that that circus elephant that puts up with being spiked 1527 times... and on spike incident #1528 decides its time to stomp his captor into paste.

    It's not Ike's fault that I've heard the same dismissive charge like a billion times now on other sites. Objectively though it's still thoroughly dismissive talk and I suppose I never expected to see it here of all places.

  14. I've been calling for Hasbro/WotC to release a wood-box edition of D&D since I first saw these at Target ~4-5 years ago (I definitely remember sending an email to WotC suggesting this as a special "30th anniversary" product -- they went with that POS coffee-table book instead). Facsimile copies of the original 3 booklets, a CD/DVD including pdfs of a bunch of other stuff (Chainmail, Supplements I-IV, the Holmes and Moldvay Basic rulebooks, Cook/Marsh Expert, modules B1-5 & X1-5, dungeon geomorphs & monster/treasure assortments, etc.), a set of dice, a pad of character sheet blanks, golf pencils, and a pamphlet about the history of the game (basically a big ad for 4E -- gotta throw a bone to the current regime to get them on-board, right?). I know this would sell.

  15. *shakes head* Yikeys.

    @ Korgoth:

    I didn't realize we were talking about design philosophy--Jeff just mentioned that he'd buy an old set with a vintage look, and I even agreed after a fashion. There's nothing wrong with preferring older editions. D&D 3E has offered me the best roleplaying experiences, so it's my fave, and I agree with Jeff that 4E isn't what I'm looking for from D&D. Neither is AD&D, but it was awesome when I started playing, and it's why I still play today.

    If you've been having conversations with others dismissing your favoured edition, that's a bummer, but you've never had that convo with me.

    @ Jeff:

    Thanks for stepping in there.

    So, if it isn't nostalgia, why not just crack the AD&D or older books open and fire up a game, rather than buy them again in a vintage package?

    I've known about your blog for some time, but just recently started visiting it, so forgive me if this is clear to your regulars.

    How do you feel about 3E?

  16. Dude...I would so totally buy OD&D in that format...but like chattydm, if it were Moldvay Basic/Expert, I'd have bought it yesterday.

  17. Anonymous5:25 AM

    Would it be petition time for this?

  18. I see nothing dismissive about the word nostalgia, and am almost insulted by the assumption that it can only be used in such a way.

    But, I don't want to bring the room down. The point is we all have fun; on that I think we can agree. Unless there are some of you who hate gaming and only participate as a sort of flagellation. Weirdos. I've had fun with every edition I've played since Moldvay/cook all the way through Pathfinder. And, honestly, I would by such a set for any edition except 4e.

    And even that opinion might change once I've played it. I doubt it, but one never knows.

  19. I too would buy a version of the original three books (Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure, and Underworld & Wilderness Adventures) in a heartbeat. If it came packed with the supplements (Greyhawk, Blackmoor, etc.), it would rock even more for me.

    Part of it is nostalgia, as that version is what I started with, but part of it is something else.

    [cue RANT]

    You see, even if you add all the supplements, there were still a lot of gaps in the game. Gaps that had to be filled by a creative DM, usually one who could think on his feet during a game session. It forced me to exercise MY creativity when I ran games, and not rely on someone else's.

    Now, so much on how to do this is spoon-fed to people that it borders on ridiculous. In fact, it is this idea of filling in all the gaps that makes me dislike Forgotten Realms with a passion, especially when compared to the World of Greyhawk. Sure, the World of Greyhawk had some details filled in, but it was very much an embodiment of the "less is more" philosophy. Forgotten Realms started with a lot of detail, and it just piled on from there.

    Are the Realms a cool place? Sure. It's actually a pretty vibrant world. However, it isn't MY world and all the detail that has been provided over the years makes it very hard to make it so.

    This applies to the current D&D as well. Do I like it? Yeah. Do I run it? Yep. Two games in fact. Do I find it as exciting to play as the original version? Not even close. Everything is so codified and spelled-out in a way to make things kind of flavorless.

    I guess what I miss is the mostly blank canvas with which to paint my own pictures.

    [RANT off]

  20. Well said, Maniac.

  21. Hm, those are some good points that had never occured to me, Maniac.

    I started playing D&D about 10 years ago. The campaign was a mishmash of AD&D and 1E, and there were sometimes 9 players around the table. It was crazy fun.

    When 3E was released I was pretty frustrated, having just spent so much time and money on the previous editions, but I quickly realized that, for me, 3E was a vast improvement, allowing me to build pretty much anything I wanted within the roaming confinement of the rules. I thought it was better in every way.

    But two quick things I should note: I have never DMed an AD&D or newer game, and I've never tried to run a game in an existing setting before. It's quite possible I've just never experienced design in the older editions, and I've also not experienced the frustration you have with the established settings.

    So, do you (or anyone reading this) have problems with the core
    3E+ ruleset? Do you think that there aren't enough creative gaps to fill as a DM? And doesn't having extensive rules just encourage consistency?

    Now I'm really curious about the favoured editions of everyone on the RPG Bloggers Network.

  22. Anonymous12:46 PM

    I emailed WotC a couple of moths back suggesting that they reprint the Rules Cyclopedia, and got a polite e-mail back saying that my request would be passed on to the appropriate person, but that it was very unlikely to happen.

    But if lots of people emailed them, maybe someone at WotC will take the idea of reprints seriously. Stanger things have happened.