If you follow Turbulent Thoughts at all, you likely read Wyatt Salazar's recent review of Alluria Publishing's Remarkable Races series. In short, he gleefully puts the smack down on the whole product line; and that's being nice about it. I found his post hilarious... in particular this part:
"Then we have the god damn battletoads, and this is basically where I draw the line ... This is just surreal. Oh god that battletoad has a steel eyepatch. I’m getting the motherfuck out of here."This was particularly funny to me because about 20 years ago (or more) I actually played a frog character for a campaign that lasted about a year or so. Yes... a frog. I was a bullywug, actually. A bullywug cleric, if I'm remembering correctly. Alluria Publishing calls them "Mogogols" (probably for copyright reasons), but they are basically bullywugs for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.
OK, minutiae... the offbeat obvious minutiae... you can call them bullywugs, mogogols, or battletoads, or whatever. It's all the same thing. Another example might be the Flump. I don't think WotC is planning on updating the Flumph for 4E, but that doesn't mean I need to release a 4E version of the creature either.
In fact, much of 4E is all the same thing we've all seen before, only updated for the new rules. This isn't rocket science; its expected in fact. New rules means everything must be brought to the current edition. What is interesting to me is that a portion of the indy press is looking for opportunities to publish material in the gaps of Wizards of the Coast's current or projected production releases. In this example, Alluria has published Remarkable Races and you might think they really were remarkable, save for the fact that all these races have been conceived before in one form or another. The difference now is that WotC has not made (or is expected to make) any official re-release of these creatures for 4th Edition, so the indy PDF publishing market is full of them.
I'll leave it to you to decide if I'm right, but it all just seems so obviously derivative. So I'll ask again: When is something truly new and novel going to come along and really blow the socks of the fan base?