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I sit here in the Savant tavern in Clerkberg penning this letter to you, the  down and disheartened in hopes thou whilst be comforted by my words.

Just this eve I was in discussion with the sagely Hemmish of Drone ( one of  the instructors of the grey collage and a old friend ) about the cause and  effects of the new 3rd edition. This should not seem to be a threat I said, the D&D world has been expanding and evolving since the day it was created. Just look back into the history of the game. When I first started, there was only pamphlets that were extremely hard to come by and they only gave the very basics. The first D&D basic set was released and everyone rejoiced, with the basic book and chits ( remember those ) we launched into a new reality.

Then came the time of the 1st edition of AD&D ( and the first signs of Greyhawk ), it was nothing short of miraculous. More races, classes, alignment, magic, monsters and even a new world to play in. Our new reality expanded in ways we never looked for or could imagine. With this new system the battles raged between the forces of good and evil, law and chaos. Many a late night ( but more often than not, whole weekends ) brought the delighted screams or the wails of torment to many lips, and minds were fired across the land. It even seemed that we spoke another language around the clueless, talk of hit points and making saves invaded into daily speech. It was truly a wondrous time.

As we became older many questions were raised. How did the magic work, there was the problems of the way some of the rules were laid out, and of the many inconsistencies that we had discovered over the years. So in answer to our many questions, we were blessed with the 2nd edition of the game. At this time it became more mature and sophisticated, it allowed for more flexibility, optional rules and a whole slew of new modules, worlds and monsters in the game. Although this pulled in new player all the time, the original players were getting older and were looking for something more than barfights, jerky storylines, hack and slash, and the need to own every magic item in the DMG. With the later editions of the optional rules ( combat and tactics, spells and magic, skills and powers and all of the resource books for the different classes ) a dungeon master could modify his campaign to suit everyone and create the game that we always knew it could be. These new rules and options made the game run smoother then ever and allowed for a better cut of character ( a second level character didn't need a +4 Vorpal blade, a girdle of fire giant strength and +5 plate mail to survive ).

Now 10 years after the revamping of second edition, a third edition has loomed opon the horizon, threatening to change everything that we have held dear about the game for the last 20 years. I have looked opon these books of foul evil and have found not the hidden plot to destroy our fair game, but just another incarnation of what we have known and loved all this time. This new edition is in some ways simpler to play ( especially with the d20 system ) and is aimed to get the new generation of gamers interested. It is going to be harder to attract new followers in this age of computer. When many of us learned to play, the computer RPG was all but unheard of ( unless you want to count ZORK and PLANETFALL ). It is harder to fire the imaginations of today's jaded youth, if they want excitement all they have to do is press a button. No longer do they have to gather friends around, work out characters, figure out the rules and use their imaginations. Now all they have to do is sit zombielike in front of a TV or computer monitor and let the game give them hints, and besides if you die in D&D you can' t go back to your last saved game and start over. The new edition is aimed at the attitudes and wilder imagination of today's youth hoping to breath new life into an old game. In recent editions of dragon magazine Gary Gygax has stated in his article in Up on a soapbox, that the crowds at conventions seems to made up of people 35 and older, there is no new blood coming in. I'm sorry but I have to be a realist here, if there is no new gamers, then sales drop, if sales drop, there is no reason to continue the game. This my friends is simple business, and even our old friends at TSR who have been putting out the adventures that we know and love need to get paid.

I have found ideas that I had already implemented into my worlds and others that I will use in the future. I find that like other books that have been published over the years, I will pick and choose what I want and need, after all, I am master of my domain, not TSR. One thing that does bother me is the fact that this is all that they will support from now on. In my opinion they should have created this as a optional rulebook that was favored, and published everything with both sets of stats ( 2nd and 3rd edition ). If it would have been done in this way I believe that the old guard would still be happy ( especially since Greyhawk is the world of choice in the new publications ) and the new guard would have a broad spectrum of rules to choose from.

The night bartender walks past the room in which I sit and sniffs aloud whilst he sweeps ( the closest a common man will ever get to telling a mage he would like to close and go home ). So it is with a weary hand and heart I close this letter to you my friends. I will finish the last dregs of my Ulek elixir and drag myself back to my apartments at the Star of Celene. I hope that this has enlightened you and shown that you shouldn't let someone or something get in the way of your true happiness. And if they do.......just blow their heads off.

Mage Waylorn Enlenfel of Oakvein ( Celene )

otherwise known as Waylorn of the wastes.

Translated by Scott Bryant

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