So at long last, WotC is really listening to their D&D fan base--I don't mean the "4e uber alles" fanbase, I mean the vast fanbase that was alienated by 4e and way outnumbers the 4e fanboys base.
Now that I've undoubtedly (and deliberately) ruffled some feathers with that little D&DINO reference, on to the real news:
THEY ARE REPRINTING OD&D.
And now of course begins the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the $150 price tag. To those people who are whining about how it's overpriced, I have a couple basic things to say to you:
1. Don't buy it. Nobody said you have to.
2. It's not targeted at you
3. Guess what? It's objectively and demonstrably not overpriced. I'll elaborate:
Consider that I could sell my 5th print plus all supplements tomorrow for probably around $500 ($300 on the low end) and it doesn't include a really nice actual wooden presentation box, plus a $15 set of premium dice. Also consider that to get all of the monsters and content therein--including all the character classes, psionics rules, deities and demigods, planar rules, etc.--you'd need SEVERAL books from 3.x or 4e (that OD&D took less words to present the same amount of stuff is really moot).
Let's examine what you'd actually need from 3rd edition (because I'm not as familiar with 4th):
1. PHB - $35
2. DMG - $35
3. Monster Manual - $35
4. Deities and Demigods - $30
5. Psionics Handbook - $35
6. Manual of the Planes - $30
7. 1 Adventure module - $10
8. Slipcase - these average $20
9. Custom dice from Q-Workshop: $15
10. GM Screens: $10 (this is effectively what the reference sheets are)
GRAND TOTAL: $255
To be fair, we could remove Manual
of the Planes from that list as planar info in OD&D is sketchy at
best. So even still, we're at $225.
If you want to be TOTALLY accurate, knock 5 cents off from each of those rounded prices above. Subtracting $0.45 from $225 is $224.55.
All that considered, $149.95 looks like a pretty good price to me. I'm in.
The only thing that sucks about this--and I hope WotC re-thinks this before the November release--is that the box includes neither the original Chainmail rules or Swords & Spells, which while not officially numbered as such is generally considered to be "Supplement V." One or both of these should be included in the set. If the choice is between one or the other I'd go for Chainmail, as the OD&D books repeatedly reference it. But in a perfect world they'd reprint both.
I also wonder what they plan to do about the Conan and Melnibonean mythoi in Gods, Demi-Gods, and Heroes. My assumption is that they'll just omit them and we'll get an abridged version of Supplement IV, but it would be interesting to see them hammer out the rights to include these in some manner.
So between the 1E reprints (including Unearthed Arcana, which admittedly was a bit overpriced), the hardcover AD&D A-series upcoming, the forthcoming hardcover S-series, the forthcoming 2E reprints, and this, WotC's been hitting it out of the park lately. Keep it up, WotC! Next up, how about a reprint of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, followed by the Moldvay/Cook B/X rules?