I've had very, very little time looking at the D&D Next public playtest materials I downloaded yesterday. What with all the downloading problems WotC had most of the day, helping my sister move out of her dorm and my dad borrowing my computer to burn DVDs of his fishing trip, I didn't even get to download it until late last night, and then I spent today helping my sister and her friends move out of their dorms some more.
Not that I'm complaining – really. Contrary to what I've heard other truck-owners say, one of my favorite things about owning a truck is being able to help other people move stuff; probably something about feeling needed.
Anyway, this isn't a truck blog; it's an RPG blog.
I've had a chance to very, very briefly scan the materials and see that stat blocks are longer than most non-Advanced forms of D&D, but not by much. I haven't taken the time to suss out what they all mean and how that will impact anything, but I'm a fan of short stat blocks any day, so that's nice.
That's all overshadowed, however, by this simple fact: Yesterday WotC allowed me to download Module B2 – The Caves of Chaos. For free.
See, you need to remember that I'm a grognardling. I've been looking forward to BUYING the DMG next month. I still haven't ever handled any core books from before Type III D&D, let alone the kind of D&D I like to play, that the retroclones introduced me to. I've read over and over the nostalgic reminiscing of my fellow OSR bloggers who cut their teeth on B2, and resigned myself to probably never getting my hands on it; really, if I was going to buy TSR-era D&D stuff, I'd probably buy rules sets before modules, so I chalked it up as something I'd probably never encounter, let alone get to run.
(By the way, WotC, I still would very much appreciate you making the PDFs of OD&D and other older versions available again, preferably for free; we in the OSR haven't given up on that.)
So, yeah. As soon as I can wrangle a group together, I'll be running the Caves of Chaos. It's very exciting, and even a little shocking, that I'll be now sharing in something at least very close to the experiences I've only read about until now.
For this little gesture, WotC, thank you. May we continue to show good faith to each other.