Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On the AD&D Reprints

I've decided not to try to pick up the AD&D reprints that WotC is going to be publishing this Spring.  There are several reasons for this:
  • I've already got the PHB and DMG, plus back when I was working in public schools in Japan I printed out the MM and MMII and have them in clear-sleeve binders.  I might have picked up just the new MM, but for the following reasons.
  • WotC are only offering the reprints through hobby stores in North America.  I'm in East Asia.  If I could have gotten one online, shipped to me, I might have bought.  Having to ask a friend to pick one up for me, sending them the money, then asking them to ship it to me is just too much of a hassle.  And if I asked my mom, who sends us semi-regular care packages anyway and could just toss it in with whatever else she's sending, she'd likely get confused and I'd end up with some 4E book.
  • There are second-hand vendors on Amazon and other places that will ship internationally.  Plus, the price for an original MM in decent condition is in the $13 to $20 range.  Add in about $10 shipping, and I'll be coming out ahead this way cost-wise.
  • I don't really play AD&D.  I run Classic D&D, but with some select bits and bobs from AD&D.  So it's not like I need extra copies to use around the table.

So, while I'm not a big fan of WotC, I've decided not to give them my money for these items, even though they are of some interest to me.  Sorry, WotC.  See if you can Wow! me with 5E (looking less and less likely the more I read of it).  Then maybe you'll get a bit more of this old schooler's cash.


  1. The idea behind the reprints is the profits go to the Gygax statue fund.

  2. and i am sure they won't turn a healthy profit. :P

  3. Yeah, a portion of the profits...send $10 directly and I bet you're sending more than WotC...

  4. It is ironic that you as an Old Schooler are somewhat discouraged by the recent developments concerning the Fifth Edition, because I as a Fourther am feeling that the new edition looks too Old School for me.

  5. Chgowiz - first off, good to "see" you again. Been a while. I support the idea of WotC reprinting the old books. I support the idea of a portion of the profits going to the Gygax statue. The price is not the biggest factor in me not waiting around for the reprints. It's more the hassle of them only being available through a channel I can't easily access, and the fact that I don't really need them.

    And as ADD Grognard says (and has been saying on his blog), the Gygax statue might be better off if I just donated $10 directly to it.

    Josh - I'm actually hoping they do turn a healthy profit on this deal. It will hopefully get newer players interested in AD&D, and also hopefully encourage WotC to open up more of the backlog of games. If they were to come out with a Moldvay/Cook reprint in a single box or even just the Mentzer Basic set, I'd be sure to buy it, as it's something I'd actually use. Even if it meant going through the hassle of the N.American hobby store channel.

    Tallifer - I'm still hoping 5E will be a good game. I'm just not that optimistic as I was when they first announced it. I don't know if you read Tenkar's Tavern, but he's done a good job recently of pointing out some of the flaws and challenges that Mearls, Cook, and all are facing with trying to please the OSR crowd, the 3E/Pathfinder crowd, the 4E crowd, and newbies all in the same game.

  6. I feel the same way. It is so easy to find used copies of the originals online via Amazon or another vendor that I just feel there's no point. Those older books were made to last, and it makes me feel connected to those older times to hold the originals in my hands and page through them.

    As to the Gygax statue fund...honestly I think GG would probably tell us all not to bother with some "fancy reprint" and to stick with the older copies, statue or no. I'd be willing to just donate directly to the fund, instead.

  7. Lord Gwydion, I checked out Tenkar's Tavern and have strated to read through his posts on the Fourth Edition. Unfortunately he obviously has such little of the Fourth Edition, that he keeps bringing up problems which are caused by imaginary characteristics of a game which he has never (or hardly ever)played. On the other hand, he does provide much insight into the Old School point of view on issues such as randomness, disparity of classes and free-form combat. Thanks for the suggested reading. (I also find it interesting that Tenkar does not refer much at all to the Third Edition in his dissection of the Fifth Edition.)