The Reprints

As I type this, the OSR blogosphere is afire with discussion of the news that Wizards of the Coast will be reprinting the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide. And for good reason. This is HUGE! When you consider the blasé attitude Wizards has always displayed toward classic editions of D&D, and now suddenly they aren't announcing something as simple as reissuing PDF copies of the 1st Edition core books, but they're going balls-out and committing to  full-blown reprints of the books. Complete with updated covers, no less. 

I think the astonishing thing is that this news came right on the heels of the announcement that Wizards has officially begun developing 5th Edition D&D. Lots of big news coming out of their camp in just a handful of days! It is obvious that Wizards is trying to get back on the top of the heap, and make D&D the best selling roleplaying game again (assuming that all the talk of Pathfinder being the current top seller is actually true). 

Obviously, announcing these reprints is a peace offering from Wizards to the old-school D&D community to try and make up for past missteps. I also suspect that this is something of a test as well, to try and gauge just how interested the old timers, as well as those that might not have been around back in the day, are in buying classic products from their back catalog. 

Despite my admission that I am less than moved by the announcement of 5th Edition, I am excited as hell about the 1st Edition reprints. Having proceeds going to the Gygax Memorial Fund has helped stoke this enthusiasm in a major way. I also feel in many ways that this is a win for the Old School Renaissance, and of course that makes me happy. It is obvious to me that someone is starting to listen to the rumblings from our little underground, and are beginning to take this movement seriously. It will be interesting to see if this will lead to other reprints, and perhaps have some bearing on the design of 5th Edition as well.


Unknown said...

Personally, I'm stoked for the reprints too. I lost my originals years ago and have re-built a collection of unhealthy books to replace them.

Still ready to game with them - no doubt!

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of folks saying they don't need these as they still have their old ones. Or complaining it may have new covers, etc. I would like them to realize what you said... it may be a TEST to see how old school rules fly. In that light, they are looking for SALES to determine the game's direction, at least somewhat. If you don't need these, buy them for a child in your family, etc. as a gift. These need to sell out to send WotC a message.

Tim G. said...

I agree. I think it is a peace offering to, and a gauge of the buying power of the OSR. This reprinting makes me even more optimistic about 5E. When the first announcement was made I stumbled across a collection of articles by the 5E team leader. Maybe I've drunk the cool-aide, but it sounds like he gets it. When he described what he felt the core of D&D was, it sounded like the game I played in the 80s. Fingers crossed.