My e-mailer and postcard from The Source in Falcon Heights, MN (the best comics and games store I've ever been to) inform me that this Saturday, November 3, is International Dungeons & Dragons Day (or "Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day", according to WotC; and after all, wouldn't they know?). What with 4th Edition looming on the horizon and WotC's final big 3.5 hurrah, the Rules Compendium, I expect the tables to be packed. I'm usually wary of gaming with people I don't already know on a friendly basis - I've had enough creepy or disappointing convention gaming experiences - but man, I really would like to go play. As it is, I'll be spending part of the day helping a teacher set up an art show, and the rest of the weekend working on homework. It's a little disappointing, because there have been a lot of "last time I'll probably ever get to do this" moments in the past months as I prepare to leave Minnesota in December, and this is one of them: the last time I'll get to sit in on a big event like this where I'll have all the necessary gamebooks to jump in.
After buying every new edition of D&D since the Moldvay Basic Red Box, I'm ready to sit this next edition out. I don't have the disposable income I once did, and I certainly don't have the time I once did, but even more than these two things, if I want to do a dungeon crawl, or an epic fantasy campaign, or simply "play D&D" (which is a legitimate urge all its own, I think), I've already got more than enough books to do it to my taste. Especially since I find myself running from rules creep and massive stat blocks, diving back into the womblike security of Blue Box Expert D&D, its clones (like Basic Fantasy), or stripped-down versions of d20 like Core Elements or E6. Even True20 looks like a lot of work to me these days.
So, au revoir, D&D. I am now officially a grognard.