Sunday, September 5, 2010

Return of the Red Box

So I went in to my FLGS to pick up a sparkly set of pink polyhedral dice for my wife, who, you will remember, recently agreed to try out some rules light rpgs.

As I thumbed through the Pathfinder adventure paths (I’ve heard some great things about Kingmaker and wanted to see what the hype was about) I spotted something out of the corner of my eye that almost made me drop the Pathfinder books. There, on top of the WotC section of books was Frank Mentzer’s “red box” basic set for sale.

I’ve already written about my love for Mentzer’s edition of D&D so I won’t repeat that here. Needless to say, if they were released today, I’d buy them all again in a heartbeat; my copies have worn exceedingly thin over the years. Of course, as I approached the box I noticed it wasn’t what I was expecting. First of all, it was published by WotC. Second of all, it was 4th edition D&D. Apparently, it was their new “starter set” aimed at bringing in new players (and dare I say, lapsed gamers who remember owning the set this one was manufactured to resemble).

Still, I considered buying it. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of 4e but, to be honest, I really wanted the box. It looked a fair bit sturdier than the ones I had as a kid and, while I still have the books, the boxes were crushed from one too many moves a long time ago. But this one box could house all of my BECMI books (it’s a nice size, for those who haven’t seen it). I deliberated but ultimately couldn’t justify spending the money for a box (since I’d probably just end up chucking the 4e contents inside). In addition, I swore off any WotC products once 4e was released (persnal choice, not a judgment on 4e fans).

As I drove home I couldn’t help but think about the box. It seems that someone in the know has taken notice of the OSR and decided we’re worth marketing to. Yay for us.


  1. IF WotC would just make the old games available in pdf format again they'd have sales to us. IF they would allow the old works to be available for print on demand places like lulu I'd buy several editions of D&D today. This is just, "Hey join our never ending product chain. Remember how much fun you had with this box?" I have to admit though that the box is practically magnetic. I was recently at the FLGS (they are not actually friendly though) I had to use all my will power not to pick it and drool.

  2. I failed my save vs. the box, and purchased it a week ago.

    Will post my thoughts in the next couple of days. If you simply need a box for your old D&D stuff, and dont mind paying (gulp) $20 for an empty box, this is for you.

    As an introductory implementation of 4E that is playable (and re-playable), out of the box, not that great.