So the release schedule and the prices are out for the next iteration of the grandaddy of RPG's: Dungeons & Dragons. Starting of in mid-July is the Starter Set for $20. Supposedly this starter set won't be as useless as the one that came out about mid-way through the great 4th Edition experiment. At any rate, $20 to try out the system is pretty reasonable. That said...$50 for each of the core books is a tad steep, at least at first without any considerations. Those considerations are how much fun am I going to get out of those books? Going out to the movies (plus popcorn and something to drink) can easily run $50 +. Going out to a ballgame? Even General Admission seats can cost a family of 4 anywhere from $40 - 50 or more without even factoring in the cost of refreshments. Video games are $60 on average new, and some of them only have about 5-6 hours of fun wrapped into them (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, I'm looking squarely at you...). So $150, staggered over several months doesn't seem so bad. Why then am I balking at plunking down my hard-earned cash on a pre-order?
I've got a lot invested into my hack of Swords & Wizardry. I've put a LOT of hours into making it into something that I've wanted ever since first cracking open the D&D Basic Boxed Set (the one that had Keep on the Borderlands with it). Why would I want to give that up? Who says I really have to? Well, for one, I only have so much time in a day to devote to anything that's not work, family-time, and sleep. Even though I'm far and away more impressed with D&D 5E/Next than I ever was with 4th, I still think it's likely going to be more than I care to mess with. Monsters for instance still have way too many stats. I vastly prefer the streamlined and slim statblocks for S&W.
I'm not writing off the new shiny D&D yet by any means. A lot of things could have changed from the last playtest packet to the finished version, so I'll definitely pick up the Starter Set. If it seems like something that I will enjoy (being able to make use of the mountain of material already at my disposal would go a long way to swaying my opinion), I'll check out the PHB and the Monster Manual at least. That said, I really like what I have with S&W, so D&D is going to have to really impress me to pull me away.