It was pointed out to me a few days ago that I apparently missed one of the upcoming reprints. Unearthed Arcana is scheduled to come out February 19, 2013.
I’m particularly excited about this release, not necessarily for the material itself but for what it says about WotC’s view regarding these reprints. First edition was an obvious first choice for material to reprint. Following that up with 2e and 3.5 makes sense, as there is a tie-in between 5e and earlier editions. Reprinting the “A” series and “S” series modules was a pleasant surprise but in retrospect I should have seen them coming as well. You can’t very well push the core books from previous editions without offering some modules to use with them (I expect news of some 2e and 3.5 modules soon as well).
But Unearthed Arcana isn’t a book that is necessary in order to play AD&D. If WotC is looking at a minimalist release schedule, just to go through the motions of looking like they are supporting the OSR, then there is no reason to reprint this book. The fact that they are implies that WotC really are embracing the idea of reprinting a substantial number of out of print books. That idea excites me!
Conjecture aside, Unearthed Arcana really is an interesting book. It surprised me when I went to grab it off the shelf and it wasn’t there. After some thought, I came to the realization that I’ve never actually owned a copy. I’ve read other people’s copies and have a PDF but apparently never got around to buying a hard copy of my own. In part, this is probably because the material really wasn’t new to me when it came out. Most of it had already appeared in Dragon magazine in bits and pieces, so I just didn’t see the need at the time. But it is definitely something I’d like to have now.
Here is a bit of the forward from the book:
As the original volumes of the game system (Monster Manual, Players Handbook, and Dungeon Masters Guide) have altered from their first editions, so the game has changed in form and substance. This new material grew from my own campaign, articles published in Dragon Magazine, and input from many Dungeon Masters and players also. The book has a single purpose: Unearthed Arcana brings new dimensions to the AD&D game system. The compiled material which lies herein offers fresh new approaches to play without materially affecting any ongoing campaign adversely. This work does not alter former “laws of the multiverse,” but it does open insights and vistas beyond those previously understood and seen. . . .
Every Dungeon Master who has created a campaign milieu out of whole cloth, so to speak, can certainly understand that the more one learns, the more one comes to understand how little he knows. So too the multiverse of this game system. The farther afield one goes in exploration and discovery, the greater the realization of how vast is the realm of unknown knowledge which awaits discovery, as it were. However, such as with our actual world, the expanses of the game multiverse will always have frontiers and unexplored territories. This fact, indeed, is what makes the AD&D game system so wonderful and appealing.
– Gary Gygax
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Page Count: 128