Two different game publishers (RedBrick and Silver Gryphon) are both contemplating some manner of revising/republishing DragonQuest. I got word from RedBrick directly, and Silver Gryphon was involved in discussion on RPG.net. Both were kicking the idea around right before the holidays, but I haven’t heard anything more since the beginning of the new year.
Some of my earlier comments:
One of the great elements of DQ was that it was so modular, and it was possible to graft on new rules, and to change rules, adopt house rules, or even ignore sections (the College of Illusions simply didn’t exist in my campaigns) without breaking the whole system. Keeping that character for the new game would serve both old school purists, who want their game to be the way they remember it, as well as newer players.
I think this is a key element. Having the rules set up in such a modular fashion allows different customizations for different campaigns. If a lot of people are going to be interested in this because they are old school DQ grognards, they’re going to want to be able to use it to play their kind of DQ
I also agree that the new game needs to be more than merely a re-wording of the Second Edition version. New materials should be added, existing mechanics revised, and other reworkings should be done to bring some vitality to the game. If you stay close enough to the existing game to be cross compatible, then there’s 30 years of playtesting that can be tapped into and drawn upon for this. It would be exciting to make use of that resource.
I really was drawn to DQ at first, in part, because it was very setting neutral, and could be used with any kind of campaign setting. That said, I think that providing a campaign setting for the game could be an important part of the package.
While DQ worked as a setting-free game before, I think it suffered, in part, because no one knew how to play it. Without adventures or settings for it, it gathered new players slowly. To be useful in the current market, I would think that a campaign setting and a series of adventures would be an important part of the mix.