First off, Happy Towel Day to you all! May 25th is official Towel Day to commemorate the death of Douglass Adams. And today is extra special because 5+25+12 = 42.
Then the other news of the day, or past few days, is the release of the basics and hints about the direction 5th ed D&D will go. I've read a lot of different opinions already, ranging from "this is pretty neat" to "eh, this sucks". I must admit that when 4E was announced, I was angry because I had just spent another chunk of money on some books which were supposed to make DMing 3.5 easier. Then as the rumors of 4E's rules became reality, I was disgusted. I'm not a video gamer nor a console gamer nor an online MMO player. None of those interest me in the slightest. So, I started looking for something else and my eyes returned to my old 1E books on the shelf. I discovered Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC, Dragonsfoot forum, Knights & Knaves Alehouse, and other old school blogs, forums and resources. My gaming group decided to go Pathfinder at the same time I discovered the North Texas RPG con. I was done with heavy rulesets. I was going to go back to my roots.
Well, now that we've reached this stage in 5E development, I have to ask the question: Why? I understand the answer from WotC's perspective. They need to make money and they believe this is their best avenue. Fine. I get that. But I don't understand the feeling that's showing up in many of the gaming blogs.
"It's easy to roll up a character like 1E."
"The new skills are cool!"
"It's themes and packages instead of feats, so interesting."
Really? Okay. But what's wrong with the game you're playing now that you feel that you need a change? What is wrong with your game that house-rules don't fix it? Why do you need another set of rules? I just don't understand the need. I've played everything from 0e to 3.5e, from Swords & Wizardry to Pathfinder, from Tunnels & Trolls to Warhammer FRPG. And in all that time, I've found two rulesets I really like. If I want a light-hearted, beer & pretzels D&D like game, I pull out Searchers of the Unknown. If I want to run a D&D campaign, I'll use either Swords & Wizardry or 1e (or OSRIC which is the same thing). I don't see what's wrong with these rulesets that require me to "upgrade".
"But I want to play a thief/rogue!" Guess what? You're already a thief/rogue because only thieves break into tombs and steal.
"But I want to play a monster!" Why? Can you really think so differently that you can view people as food?
"But I want to play a barbarian/ranger/druid/bard!" Fine. Most of that's just roleplaying. If you mean you want special bonuses because you're 'different', how does your job make you different from the guy next to you on the bus? Again, just roleplay it. That's why they're called ROLE PLAYING GAMES.
Okay....sorry for the rant. But I'm just tired of the ridiculous hoopla over essentially nothing. As everyone with more than 4 brain cells has said already, if WotC really wants to make some money then they should just release the older stuff again. Do it as pdf's or print or both. Doesn't matter the format so much as the availability. But then, that would make sense.