This is exactly why I'm getting sick of the clones: it's like they're not even trying. Labyrinth Lord is my favorite version of D&D because it's essentially just a cleaned up version of B/X. It doesn't pretend to be anything else. Reading through Swords & Wizardry Complete...fuck. Was this game really necessary? Thanks for making me pay $20 to read your crappy house rules, I appreciate it. I'm not even sure what these guys are doing anymore. Are you trying to recreate a copy of D&D so you can play it, make it available to everyone who can't get an OOP copy? Or are you attempting to pass off yet another shoddy interpretation of D&D as a legitimate artistic endeavor? If it's the first one, we have enough good, free games that do this just fine. If it's the second one, why not innovate? If you give me a game with six stats and hit points and THAC0 and dwarves and elves and thieves, hey, guess what, it's just another fucking copy of D&D. Why not expend your effort on stupid adventures no one will ever use instead? In case you're wondering, this product is what spurned my rant. I honestly haven't read it, and it could be well written, but $5 for yet another necromancer class? Hell, I wrote one up in around 20 minutes and put it up on this very blog. Should I have charged people a dollar to read it? Yeah, I get it, you came up with a bunch of new spells and XP charts. Wow. Lemme guess: some of those spells are variations on Animate Dead, right? I'm seriously not trying to be disparaging here, but Jesus Christ, that sort of shit is what's being produced and SOLD now? I'm not about to spend five bucks on something like this. Ever. Any DM worth his salt can simply take a Magic-User, give him the Turn Undead ability and call it a day. Seriously, what value is being added to the hobby by this sort of crap?
I mentioned Stonehell Dunegon: hey, a product that is actually useful. Sometimes it's cool to have a bigass dungeon someone else worked on at your disposal. Even some of the not-so-great adventures I've seen provide good ideas to a lazy DM. But further rules-variations can suck a dick. If you want to write up some rules, make them unique and innovative or put the PDF on your blog for free. There's absolutely zero reason to pay anyone for D&D rules variants when Holmes Basic can be distilled into literally two pages.