Over at Grognardia, James shared some of thoughts about WotC coming out with a new version of the "red box." To me, the most interesting thing about this particular product is its return to the core races and classes. I find this to not only be essential, but a no brainer. This is is clearly illustrated by my six year old daughter. She recently told me that she wanted to play with me. At my direction, she drew a picture of her adventuring party:
Please note the archetypes that she has already picked up in her short life: warriors use swords, priests wear crosses and wizards have pointy hats and use wands. The only anomaly here is the paladin (which she called a 'holy warrior') and even he is an archetype. These types were not drilled into her by me being her father. I have not expressly exposed her only to the type of fantasy I like — I have freely allowed her to pursue her own interests. This passive exposure, however, was enough to solidify in her mind these classic tropes expressed by the core classes and races of 0e and 1e D&D.
Thus, a basic, introductory version of D&D is best served by playing to these archetypes for the very reason that my daughter drew the party she did — they are at the core of what anyone might consider "fantasy."
4 hours ago