Thursday, February 23, 2012

AD&D is in the air

[edit: The cover on the page I linked to, when I posted this, looked different than it does now. It was using the Trampier demon idol, changed around a bit. Thanks to Greylond for bringing it too my attention.]

I just browsed issue #183 of Knight of the Dinner Table, since I just came home from the local comic shop. In it was an ad for the upcoming "advanced" Hackmaster PHB. Guess how the cover looks like? I have no idea if it's a mock-up or the real deal, but let me say it sure is there to invoke nostalgia.

So, this makes me think of Hackmaster, WotC and AD&D. There's no secret that WotC wants to have the old gamers back. Whether they will succeed, nobody knows. But, reprinting AD&D sure is a good way to flirt with nostalgia. I do wonder why they did such a moronic thing as to limit the sales, though. If they really wanted all old gamers back, they would have sold as many as they could, right? Well, maybe not if they want anyone to by 5th ed. aybe they think that those guys have gotten their fix, and the rest have to buy 5th ed...

Poor us.


I'm thinking that Hackmaster, since it's also using the same AD&D nostalgia thing, might be a better choice for the rest of us. I have read Hackmaster Basic (but have not made a review, since I really couldn't make a review without lot of whining, and that's boring) and in some respects I can see that game as a successor to AD&D. It's filled with fiddly bits, and could work decently as a generic fantasy system in a way that, SRD and all those OGL games withstanding, 3rd ed never was. There are even parts there that are obnoxious and makes no sense, just like 1st ed.

So, is this a love letter to Kenzer and their Hackmaster line? No, not really. I have never played AD&D and many parts of it I find outright bizarre, and like I said I never managed to write a Hackmaster review that was very positive.

But, AD&D is in the air. Right now you see that Trampier cover every way you turn. I'm thinking that someone are right in line with the current. I wish them luck.


  1. It looks as if WotC has changed it's mind about selling the books in the US only. Today on my blog I posted about the news that they will be sold through Australian gaming stores too. Surely that means the rest of the world will be able to get them too.

  2. It would be interesting, from a WTF standpoint, if it was US and Australia only... ;)

    Thanks for the heads up!

  3. "If they really wanted all old gamers back, they would have sold as many as they could, right? "

    The thing here is that they have no idea how these will sell. A large part (no all, but a large part) of the audience for this are the "old school grognards", and they tend to have their game, if not the very books being resold. The safest bet is to do a limited run and see how it sells, perhaps if it sells out right away they'll do another run, but if it doesn't do well they will then know the market for this stuff.

  4. Yeah, maybe. I kind of would suggest them just doing a limited print run then. It has been done that way before. Who knows how marketing droids think, though?

  5. The HackMaster PHB cover looks like this;

  6. Ah, so it was a mock up after all.

    For those who didn't get to see how it looked when I posted, it was 'shopped variant of the Trampier demon idol.

    I guess it makes sense to change that. That must have been skirting the line, copyright wise.


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