Friday, October 8, 2010

Target: OSR

I’ve posted previously about the return of the D&D red box (or, the cover at least). In that post, I mentioned that folks in the OSR may be, at least partially, the targets of the new WotC  D&D Essentials Starter Set. Since then, I’ve wondered if perhaps I was wrong and that maybe children were the primary intended audience.

However, I recently saw the advertisement for this product (posted above). I now have no doubt that we, or at the every least, our children are WotC’s targets for this product. Just watch the video. The backdrop for the ad is a pseudo-80s heavy metal song  and, as many long time roleplayers well know, gamers and metalheads often shared the table in the 80s. Likewise, the entirety of the video is made up of old school art & imagery, superimposed with things like graph paper (a far cry from the technology pushing ads we’ve seen in recent years from WotC). Finally, take a close look at the final shot: the new red box with the back of module B2 (Keep on the Borderlands) behind it. Strange, given you can’t play Keep on the Borderlands using 4E (although, I am curious as to what the hermit’s “Daily Power” would have been…/sarcasm off).

This version is apparently a marketing tool based upon the submission of a contest winner (which is even more overtly old school).

Thanks to 3d6-in-Order for posting the ad.  


  1. Wow. They are really big into recycling their previous material for this latest advertising push. I like to the commercial until I saw the original. Now I see that even it is a rip off. Good post I'm going to go read my AD&D Ravenloft module.

  2. Ghost,

    Yeah, to be honest, it seems like the really creative folks aren’t with WotC anymore. They have some talented designers (I can recognize that even though I don't necessarily like what they design) but creativity doesn’t seem to be their strong point these days.

  3. Thanks for the honest comments about BECMI. Hope you don't mind I coat-tailed a bit at

  4. Dylan,

    You’re certainly welcome! And no, I don’t mind you coat-tailing at all. The more chatter on the subject, the better!