Well, with Garycon behind us, I've been hearing a few things about Goodman Games new 'Old School' game and I've also started hearing a bit more on the "Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea" game. These will represent just a few more RPG entries in a sub-set of a fantasy genre that is starting to get a bit too crowded. Now, I haven't seen these first hand and I do think there is a place for a certain number of these games. At least up to a point.
A game like the whitebox edition of "Swords & Wizardry" is a perfect example. It seeks to provide the basic ruleset (a 'clone') of the original D&D set which many fans and collectors will refer to the 3LBB's. I'm happy to see these efforts to keep older rulesets and editions continually available. That said, I find the many various clones that exist for the various permutations of D&D (or talks about doing one) disappointing. Let's face it: a lot of these games are largely the same and contain a handful of changes which could be best compared to a set of houserules in some cases. This goes for the 'clones' as well as game which is 'compatible' to certain games but with a few twists.
I'm also aware that Castles & Crusades could easily be lumped in with the rest of them save that it was one of the first. When C&C hit the market, there were no 'clones' and the 'OSR' hadn't even really started yet. The only other old-school 'throw back' was probably Hackmaster but I think it stood on its own well enough for what it was.
Personally, I love a variety of games but I'll be the first to admit that I tend to stick to a particular set of rules for a certain genre and style of play. Though I adopted C&C as my primary Fantasy based RPG, I own many other FRPG's including "Pendragon", "Stormbringer", "RuneQuest", and "RoleMaster". I 'bridged' to Stormbringer and RuneQuest from my exposure to Chaosium's "Call of Cthulhu". My exploration into RoleMaster (well, properly RoleMaster Express) resulted from my fondness of "MERP" (Middle-Earth Role Playing). Likewise, the only reason why I came to C&C in the first place was because of my history and love for the various permutations of D&D.
I don't mind that all these games are coming out but it seems like some of these are just not offering much of anything new. Instead of a new game showcasing a handful of rules and options, I would like to see better support for existing rule sets that have recently come out. A fine example of this is the approach that Labyrinth Lord seems to have taken. Their "Advanced Edition Companion" is just that... a rules book supplement to the core rule book is exactly the sort of thing I would like to see more of.
Speaking of Supplements... I have finished going through TLG's "Harvesters" but I still have to find some time to put my thoughts into a written form. This will likely happen tonight or tomorrow at the latest.