So, with the draft now complete at 62,000 words, I can come up for air. The open text document of Swords & Wizardry complete is somewhere around 30,000. So that means I've averaged right around 3,000 words a day for the past ten days. Now, I can come up for air. That's how I work. I write like a fiend in explosions of energy. White Star's first draft was written in six weeks too. I'm weird like that.
Anyway, so the question I've asked myself the whole time I've been writing The Hero's Journey is "Why bother?" There's already a plethora of fantasy RPG retro-clones out there, after all. Do I really need to add another one to the stack? What does my game bring to the table that Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC, or any of the other clones out there don't?
I wrote The Hero's Journey first and foremost for me. I wanted a copy of my house rules for Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox compiled into a single volume and cleaned up to look real pretty. Hell, I wasn't even planning on publishing it originally - but enough folks expressed interest that I decided to go the full nine on the project. In the same way +Jason Paul McCartan has made himself an indispensible partner on the White Star line, +Michael Herrmann has become critical in the presentation and look of The Hero's Journey. Seriously guys, this book is going to look slick.
I was genuinely shocked when I got inquiries from others expressing interest or even excitement at my little pet project and an interest in owning a copy for themselves. I've tried to stress over and over that a lot of material from The Hero's Journey has already appeared in things like White Box Omnibus and other White Box products I've done. To me THJ isn't a new game, it's a refinement and compilation of material already out there.
That's not to say there isn't new stuff in it. There's all kinds of new stuff. The hit die progression of player characters is different. The way races and attributes are determined is different. There are new attributes. Combat is different. Magic spells, nah - they're pretty much the same. Except being a Wizard is a lot harder (It requires an Intelligence of 15, and I provide rules for magic item creation). I added some new magic items. I wrote about what it means to run THJ vs. other OSR games and the feel THJ is aiming for.
So, I guess the answer to "Why bother?" is the same reason I'd write something like White Star: For me, because I think it's a fun game. I want a copy of it on my shelf: A cool digest I can pull out, throw in a messenger bag with a few dice, and be ready to game at a moment's notice. And I hope those who have expressed an interest in purchasing it will think so too.