Inside the EchochamberPosted: June 15, 2011
Over on his blog, Mythmere announced that he added another version of ‘Swords & Wizardry’ to his Lulu shop which differs from the current version in only one way: This 4th edition S&W has the same font on the cover as previous editions… of course, 4th edition versions without the ‘retro’ font are also still availible.
He said that he did this in response to the emails he got from a number of people who all said they liked the older font better than the new one. That’s one of the advantages of print on demand like ‘Lulu.’ It probably wasn’t too hard for Mythmere to put the old font on the new book and now everyone can get exactly the font they want on the cover of their book.
One of the interesting things I once heard from a marketing executive was the idea that happy customers seldom communicate their happiness… and thus the unhappy customers can come to dominate the thinking of many organizational strategists. Sometimes, as in the case of Mythmere’s font options, it’s relatively easy to offer multiple solutions that will make everyone happy. Maybe it’s the sites I visit or the people I talk to, but I’ve been a bit surprised at the level of ‘negativity’ directed at the products being produced by the OSR in general (and the DCC RPG in particular lately). My hope is that the producers will not just listen to the negative criticism; hopefully they will also remain true to whatever idea drove them to create whatever it is that they are making in the first place rather than changing everything up in hopes of making some grouchy pants somewhere happy.
As one example, I’ve heard a lot of people bitching that Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord are ‘too much like old D&D.’ “We already have circa 1982 D&D,” these naysayers whine. “It’s just the same old game with a new cover and a few superficial changes. We can play the Moldvay version original… we don’t need a facsimile.” I guess that’s true… but even if Mythmere (or anyone else) never make a dime off of Swords & Wizardry, what if the process of putting it together was gratifying for him? What if that book gets people to pick up the dice and play? We probably don’t really need any RPGs… at least not the same way we need food, water and oxygen. I’ve had about enough of ‘uber-grognards’ carrying on like the existance of the ‘retro clones’ are somehow ‘bad’ for people who like playing games or ‘dillute’ the community. Prove that point or shut it.
It has also reached my ears that people are really bugged about the screwy dice in the new DCC RPG. What a silly arguement. Other people are bitching about the ‘tone’ of the book (too confrontational, assumes the reader has already played D&D, too elitist, too nihilist, etc.). I, for one, am glad to read an RPG book that reads like it was written by a person with some passion rather than a technical writer. They don’t like the ‘wizard patrons’ and moan about the ‘race as class’ thing. Others complain about the art (“too retro” or “not different enough” or “more cowbell”).
I, for one, hope that the writers of the DCC keep the screwy dice, the retro art and the tone. If Goodman follows all the advice he has been getting, I probably won’t be interested anymore. I like the game, funnel and all.