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Dungeon Crawl Classics
The old-school RPG movement is growing, with more alternatives to the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons popping up than you can shake a magic wand at.

Word is emerging in the grognard community that Goodman Games, the force behind Level Up magazine and the Dungeon Crawl Classics line of nostalgic adventure scenarios compatible with D&D, is now developing its own Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, which will cleave to the more traditional style of TSR’s original release.

A playtester posting on the OgreCave forums described the experience as a “streamlined, deadly, 1st Edition D&D throwback with some D&D 3.5e influences.”

Huzzah to this thriving cottage industry built around the “edition wars,” as they’re often referenced online. It’s pure, harnessed nerd rage. And it is good.

When Wizards of the Coast, which bought TSR and the rights to its iconic RPG in 1997, launched the game’s 4th Edition in 2008, many fans turned like zombies exposed to the radiant force of a cleric’s holy symbol. They resented having a new version of their beloved, expensive rulebooks thrust upon them only 8 years after the 2000 release of 3rd Edition — and just five years after the controversial V3.5, no less. Paizo, the publisher of the official D&D magazines Dragon and Dungeon until they were brought back in-house by Wizards, capitalized on the anti-WotC sentiment and created the Pathfinder RPG from D&D 3.5’s open-source framework, gaining an instant pool of customers who didn’t want to switch to all-new rules.

While the newer versions of the game don’t offend me, personally, in the least, it’s great news that hobby gaming is alive and expanding. Just like an adventuring party that meets a grisly end at the bottom of a horrid tomb, it’s all about the fun — so everybody wins.

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Jayson Peters

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