Thursday, January 20, 2011

Send in the Clones. Where Are the Clones? There's Too Many Damn Clones!

While we watch the possible implosion of WotC and the tattering of the Dungeons & Dragons Brand as we know it, we are treated to yet another Dungeons & Dragons clone. Brave Halfling will be developing its own 0e clone, not to be confused with Swords & Wizardry (a 0e clone) nor the Swords & Wizardry White Box Edition (0e clone of just the original White Box). Delving Deeper steps out of the shadows, and into the shadow of the D&D Clone World (it has the right initials tho)

Do we really need another D&D clone, let alone another 0e clone? Damned if I know. Hell, I'm getting to the point where I really don't care. WotC is doing an admirable job in destroying their own market, and the OSR has so many flavors that we may need to recruit the Highlander to see if there "can be only one clone." Maybe a "Last Clone Standing" competition is in order.

Imitation is often referred to as the greatest compliment, but there comes a point where it gets a bit ridiculous. This isn't a new take on something old... this is a newer take on a recent take of something old. Where is the value here? Don't get me wrong, Brave Halfling puts out good stuff. In support of clones. Making their own clone to piss on another clone? Why?

Oh, and the title of this post draws upon an old Paranoia module. That was a game that knew had to use "clones" ;)


  1. I would like to think I brought a little extra to the table, rather than simply clone. Maybe they plan on doing so as well?

  2. Errant doesn't try to emulate a certain edition of D&D. It takes the core ideas and runs in new directions.

    If I already have a 0e emulator, do i really need another?

    If someone wanted to get into roleplaying via an OSR clone, the numbers are going to be intimidating and confusing.

    Not that the OSR is built upon growing the hobby, its built upon retaining and returning the grognards ;)

  3. I understand the reasoning behind BHPs decision but; I am also troubled by this. One reason is just what you said, there are too many clones out there.

    Whatever comes I wish BHP well and will be interested in what they have to offer.

  4. There aren't too many. An adventure publisher having a baseline they are in control of isn't a bad thing for the publisher. For the hobby, it'll either work or not work, if it doesn't work BHP stops publishing.

  5. @Tenkar:
    'OSR has so many flavors that we may need to recruit the Highlander to see if there "can be only one clone." Maybe a "Last Clone Standing" competition is in order.':
    For all intents and purposes, there are currently only two:(for D&D) Labyrinth Lord and Swords and Wizardry.(OSRIC, as always, doesn't count. Get a better name! ;-)) More choice will not impact anything; a customer these days can read online reviews, look over PDFs, engage with players on forums, and talk to gamer friends about the game they'd like to play!

    'Making their own clone to piss on another clone? Why?':
    I've seen no evidence of this. People are making clones for fun, and not for profit. If people like'em, they stick around; if not, they go.

  6. eh, the "piss" comment may have been a bit strong, but DD is a direct result of the pissin' match that was going on earlier this week.

    In the end, I know I'll wind up grabbing a copy, both in PDF and in print. But that's because I'm ass deep in following, reading and bitching about the OSR. I don't think 57 Flavors of Heinz Catchup... oops, I mean the OSR is beneficial in the long run. More choices will not bring in new blood. Or maybe it will. If I had the answer to that, I'd be in the business, not blogging about it. ;)

  7. As an adventure publisher I've found myself in conversations about how to reach more people. I am not surprised that another adventuring publishing company arrived at the conclusion to produce a core set of rules. After all there is good precedent for this as demonstrated by WoTC. WoTC considers the Core Books to be the money makers and allows everyone else to take the risks when it comes to splat books and adventures.

    I'd rather hope that maybe this company will execute the next innovation in our field. I wish them every success. Success is only possible when chance is whittled away through exertion.

    It's not that I agree nor disagree with yet another set of rules. As a GM it is quality content that drives me. So if this decision leads to better content it is a good thing. Ultimately, GM's will find the best adventures that are available regardless of the system they support.

  8. I think WotC is buggering up it's Core Books market at the moment ;)

  9. @Tenkar:
    'More choices will not bring in new blood.':
    The variant D&D rules sets(if they wereexpensive, complex, ludicrously time-consuming, or obtuse, it'd be different!) don't impact this. The only sure way to garner new players is to share the love of the game with potential players.

    '57 flavors':
    Remember how the markets of potato chips, ice cream, and video games collapsed under their own weight?! ;-)

    Besides, John Adams produces Quality Stuff™!

  10. Well, as one that has all the Brave Halfing stuff in PDF, and bought 2 of the White Box sets (one to give away at my old group's gathering), and the White Box book, I would have to say his stuff is a step above Quality Stuff™.

    I'm not knocking the quality, just questioning the need, but then again, this is a game, and since we don't really need ANY games, need should probably be removed from the argument... just sayin ;)


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