As I keep digesting the news that Wizards of the Coast is already working on a follow up edition to 4e , my mind is wondering how and what they can do to accomplish the goal of bringing back fans of all previous editions under this one game. It’s a lofty goal, and I’m skeptical that it can be done, but I’m also willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because I believe that the team they have in place (Mearls, Cook, Cordell, Schwalb) is about as good a D&D dream team as you can get right now.
One of the big issues that seems to bother lots of older edition players is the fact that WOTC refuses to sell the pdf’s of the older material. I’m not sure why they do that. Piracy? Perhaps, but before I don’t make a single dollar, I’ll try to at least make one. It doesn’t cost them anything to have that material up and available for purchase, if one guy pays it’s one dollar more than if you had the files under lock and key in a vault. At this point, who cares? It’s not like all those files aren’t out there being pirated daily anyway. If one guy pays your for it, take it and smile. But if WOTC has their rational for removing these products from the market, then so be it. At the end of the day it’s their prerogative.
One of the things I think would be interesting for them to do when the new edition launches is to make some of the older edition material relevant again via cheaply priced documents that update the stats of old adventures up to the new edition format. So for example, if I have a copies of “Expedition to the Barrier Peaks” and the original “Ravenloft” modules that I’d like to run with the new ruleset, I could go to their online store and say for $1.99 or $2.99 I could purchase a document with the stats for either module updated to the current edition. I’m not talking about selling me the whole module now, I mean literally a four or five page document with party level information, npc’s, monsters, and traps that I just need to plug into the story and play.
I think it’s fairly easy to do, could possibly make many people open up boxes in their garage to find something to run with their shiny new rules, and could lead the way in opening the door a bit to selling full-fledged pdf’s of the entire almost 40 years history of D&D.
What do you think?
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