A couple of days ago I ordered the Third Edition books - not the 3.5 books that I've always played with kids, but the actual, honest to God 3.0 books. When I first started playing Dungeons and Dragons the game had already switched over to 3.5 and the 3.0 books were long since gone from the store shelves. As a result I've never actually seen the edition as it was originally released.
Oh, I've heard lots of complaints both online and off about how the relaunch was nothing more than a power grab; that the original books were deeply flawed; that Wizards of the Coast had actually been staging orgies on top of the 3.0 books in order to bring a dark, elder being into this world who brought forth the relaunch. Yet I've never seen them. I've never read a good analysis of what went into the relaunch or why it was done. I've never seen anyone devote themselves to the game like you see to Holmes Basic or Original D&D.
Like so many things that I do on this blog the idea of actually researching the whole thing has a certain appeal to it that I have a hard time shaking. And they're so cheap right now that it was hard for me to not pick them up. Today I received the first of the core books: the Monster Manual. I'm kind of excited to see what changed between the two versions. And since no one but me actually has any interest in this edition here's some links so you can buy the books! (Sorry but the $1.47 Player's handbook doesn't have a cool link so you'll have to look it up on your own!)