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In the course of my regular duties (ensuring that Mr. Sharp’s home is properly run, counting the silverware, the purchasing and releasing of hounds to repel missionaries) I am required to read Mr. Cook’s blog. Normally I take great pleasure in doing so, but today I am somewhat subdued. Our preferred edition of Dungeons and Dragons was 3/3.5, and although we have chosen to go with Paizo’s Pathfinder in these uncertain times, we still maintain a certain remembrance of things past, as it were. Given that the world is currently experiencing something of an ‘Old School Renaissance’, I am sure that there are many players who could care less that Mr. Cook has departed WOTC, and of course those who prefer the 4th Edition (we do not, but to each their own) or simply dislike Mr. Cook’s work. I would note, however, that insofar as there was a ‘Silver Age’ of Roleplaying (never again, we fear, will there be a Golden Age such as we enjoyed in the early 80’s, alas), Mr. Cook was a big part of it, for good or ill (we think good). Despite our choice of Paizo, we here at the Emporium wish nothing but the best for WOTC, as we feel that the failures of the D&D brand diminish us all, due to the product identification and market share commanded by this entity. Any contractions in the RP marketplace directly oppose Mr. Sharp’s desire to expand the RP options available for everyone, to share his love of the hobby. Naturally, Mr. Sharp has no desire to see the market flooded with poor product, nor does he believe in supporting bad products or poorly run companies. Nevertheless, WOTC, and before them TSR, were standard bearers of the industry, rarely challenged. Perhaps a new standard bearer will come forth, perhaps not. But I certainly feel that given Mr. Cook’s individual success in an uncertain market, his name recognition, and his design experience, his choice to leave WOTC does not bode well for any future editions, which were laboring under a pretty heavy load of expectation and disappointment to begin with. I yet hold out hope that 5th edition will be successful, but I do not feel optimistic at this time. May I be proven wrong.

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