There has been some talk lately about whether we are seeing too much "rehashing". Part of this (at least as far as I can tell) came with the announcement by Goodman Games about their upcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG.
I think that's because we are inundated with so much more now than in 2006-2007, it's easy to forget the history of all this. The first two "true clone" efforts (as I define it here), OSRIC and Labyrinth Lord, were attempts not to rehash but to keep these two rule sets in print. This is an important thing to keep in mind, because at the time this was a completely new phenomenon. They were not created to put a new spin on anything, they were created to fill a niche that 3 and 4 years ago desperately needed to be filled. When these two rules sets were released people were still waiting to see if myself, Stuart Marshall, and to a lesser extent Matt Finch (who had by then basically left the OSRIC project) would be the canaries in the coal mine, whether we'd be sued into oblivion. When that didn't happen, we've seen a proliferation of systems with more in development.
There's nothing wrong with that. It's only natural now that people have the tools that they can take the work previously done and alter it to suit their idiosyncratic needs. This is the new way of expressing house rules. Why? Because why add your house rules to an existing system, when you can cut and paste a full rules set pretty quickly, rewriting bits here and there? You can make the rules "your own" in a sense. All of that is great. It's what open gaming is all about, and I am proud to have contributed to helping make that happen.
However, the part a lot of people haven't figured out yet (and the thing that IMHO is causing the angst) is that each time a new house rule rules set emerges no one is under any obligation to care.
I think people are feeling OSR fatigue. Their arms are getting tired from all the high-fiving, but it doesn't have to be that way. I'm not saying these efforts should be ignored, but not every effort needs to be so aggressively "supported" by the community. People don't need to feel obligated to buy everything. Open gaming has revolutionized how people approach their home games. We're going to see so many of these tweaked games from here on out that trying to keep track of them much less buy them all will be futile.
As for Dungeon Crawl Classics, I wish him all the best in the effort. I really, truly do. Just as the old-school rules are being rehashed, so have the d20 rules for a very long time. Everything from True 20 to Castles & Crusades and many in-between keep rehashing, simplifying d20, giving it a twist here or there. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Will another rehash of d20 stand out? Who knows? But Goodman Games has the same right as all of the OSR publishers who want to put their own stamp on the rules.
This is all really about the fact that for the first time in the 30+ year history of RPGs the gamers have the tools (easy POD and electronic publishing) and freely available source material (OGL, all the SRDs and open content rule sets) to express themselves. Let them! We just need to let go of the idea that we have to pay attention to all of it. We just can't. Let it take on the life of its own that it inevitably will, and create the kind of stuff you want to see. You can only create what you're passionate about.