In an interesting move that’s almost a political statement, the Reaper minis kickstarter that’s going crazy ($2.5M, 13,590 backers) is giving away a Swords & Wizardry PDF with the big set of rewards now.
The weird thing about that is that the Swords & Wizardry PDF is already available for free. So this is less a giveaway and more a promotion. And it’s likely to be a successful promotion; I don’t know how many people have downloaded Swords & Wizardry ever but I think another 13,500 is a very significant percentage of that number.
I think it’s interesting that a minis company would push something like that basically for no real business benefit (they are selling Pathfinder branded minis, so some giveaway there wouldn’t have been as much of a surprise – or heck, it’s 3e/4e that have pushed miniature use in general a lot more than earlier D&D did, but the financial give-back from any OSR promotion is likely to be in the “maybe it’ll buy a latte” range). I know some of it’s just personal interest, here in central/north Texas there’s a lot of OSR going on, but one can’t help but reflect during the D&D Next playtest what the implications of a lot of new blood getting their hands on the old rules might mean. Positive things I hope; Next is starting to bloat during playtest from Basic to 4e very quickly, perhaps people will get a taste of a more stripped down ruleset and realize they don’t need all those layers of rules for fun.
My verdict – ballsy, interesting, good on you guys!
I think that a lot of the people who are contributing to the kickstarter have experience with OSR, but a lot of them it will be brand new. Some people would have never played it if they weren’t encouraged by Reapers. I’m in Austin, where there are a lot of people who are into retro gaming. I also grew up in Denton, where the reaper factory is, and I can tell you that there’s an audience there for old schoolers too.
Oh sure, I’m in Austin too and those North Texas folks are crazy about the OSR. Hill Country Cantons, North Texas RPG Con, etc.
Uh, hmm, maybe they’re just running out of stuff. The 3 million dollar reward is… Some guy’s novel in PDF? Really? Bah! At least the S&W was an addon to a real minis reward, that’s just kinda lame.
Yea, I was really underwhelmed with the 3 million dollar award. I was figuring that amount to be a big milestone award and it was the least exciting award since it started.
They aren’t giving away a free PDF. They are giving away the -complete- rule set which is a $10 PDF.
I couldn’t find anything like that on Lulu – link?
Also Swords & Wizardy is based on 0e which originally used the Chainmail rules for combat. Those who have never seen the Chainmail book can see the image here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chainmail_3rd_edition.jpg. If you don’t want to look the image reads “Chainmail rules for medieval miniatures”. 0e was very miniature based.