So Michael over at Neuroglyph Games has a post up about a petition to WotC to reconsider the path they’re taking with 5th Edition. Unsurprisingly, he takes his cues from the Open Letter to WotC that was published a couple months ago, and his message is the same: 5e is unlikely to unite the market, and the market doesn’t need to be united. We like our various rules systems at the best thing to do, for both WotC and Gamers, is to re-release the old systems, continue support for all rules sets, and release content that people will buy. He notes that there’s loads of material for old systems that never got converted to newer rules sets, and new modules could be written and statted for use with all forms of the game.
There’s a Kickstarter up right now that I think shows a great model for this sort of thing: The Bestiary of the Curiously Odd is a Bestiary book that’s going to bee 200+ pages of monster descriptions and fluff, without any stats; then they’ll publish no less than 3 smaller statbooks, for Pathfinder, OSRIC, and Traveller rules systems. They just tripled* the market for that bestiary for the cost of a couple small softcovers. WotC could do the same thing — write up one book with the adventure descriptions and NPCs, and a series of statbooks so that the adventure could be run for 1e, 2e, 3e, 4e… And with print-on-demand capabilities, you can even avoid a lot of the traditional costs that would be associated with storage, etc.
Michael’s petition is up on Change.org, and since I know a lot of my readers are non-US I want to point out the “outside the US” link on the form as well; I don’t know that it will get noticed by anyone at WotC or Hasbro, but I think it’s at least worth voicing our opinion.