I mentioned the moment I picked up the 4E Red Box and thought it was Dungeons & Dragons. My crushing disappointment was only matched by the level of my enthusiasm prior to finding out what was inside the box. Immediately following that event I was Detective David Mills.
This may sound strange, coming from R&D—but it’s easy to mistake what Wizards of the Coast publishes as the core essence of D&D – Mike Mearls
Thanks for the tip, Mike. I’ll remember that when 5E comes out.
Having started with AD&D 2E, the girls immediately recognized the charade that was 4E when we participated in Encounters. It was entertaining.
When the girls are older and want to play RPGs with friends, I’ve set them up for failure. They are stuck seeking out players for a dead game, because that’s what we play, a dead system.
Barring illegal methods or hunting online to purchase used copies, they won’t be able to grab AD&D 2E to play with their friends.
Sue: These books are over 20 years old? They look brand new.
DM: Kay, go wash your hands before we start.
What about the Reprints?
At this point, even if WotC released the real Red Box, I would not put money in WotC’s coffers.
WotC can try and market to my kids, but it’s clear they don’t understand how. Besides, I’m the one with the income.
The girls have no idea about the NEXT edition even with access to the internets. They saw an entire wall of 4E books every Saturday at Encounters and expressed no interest (Sue found a cool comic at least).
I am not “some hero protecting the helpless girls” from WotC, like TSR was shielded from me. They clearly don’t care.
Again, I’d attribute that to WotC’s weird marketing which doesn’t understand how to navigate this bizarre future world that lacks rocket packs and flying cars and food pills.
Back in the OS
When I first discovered the OSR, what I found was a similar mindset. We don’t all play the same games and we don’t all agree, but there is a shared understanding.
I thought the OSR’s focus on retro-clones was strange. As much as I would love to experience the original Red Box with the girls, it just wasn’t going to happen.
I still have all my AD&D 2E stuff, so I really didn’t care. I didn’t need a retro-clone.
Now, after playing with the girls for over a year, I see the point. While Daniel Proctor is quick to discredit himself from the true authors of the original product, because of him The Delvers are not stuck using a dead system; we can experience the original Red and Blue Box together.
The Delvers switched over to Labyrinth Lord. We are currently using the free no art version with the books forthcoming. I will post our playtest separately, but this was not a drastic change from what I recalled about B/X.
It’s weird to see the girls excited about this. My memory consists of a Red and Blue Box hidden in my closet and their memory of this event is an artless PDF I downloaded for free.
“and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”