As many of you may be aware, last week Wizards of the Coast opened up the public playtest for the new iteration of Dungeons & Dragons. This fifth edition of the treasured fantasy role-playing game, referred to by Wizards as "D&D Next", is an attempt by the designers to bring fans of the classic versions of the game, pioneered by the great Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, back to the official D&D brand.
For those who haven't already, you can download the playtest packet for free at the Wizards of the Coast website.
For those who have, what do you think? Are you a 4th Edition fan unsure of this sudden move away from a ruleset that you have barely gotten to know? Or are you an old-school grognard looking forward to a return to the basics? Let's chat about the future of Dungeons & Dragons and discuss the rules in the playtest.
And, please. Keep it civil! Remember, it's ok to not like things, but don't be a d*** about it.
I'm with you. Sometimes when a bunch of us get together and we really weren't expecting to game, the mood turns to adventure and I get pushed to run. At that point, I switch into a mode that I simply call DM's Whim. It's pure story. The players know that I'll have no problem beating them up, but they also know that unless they do an epic fail in everyones eyes... there is no way that they'll die. I don't simply run Whim in DnD, but I run it other old systems like Top Secret SI and WEG Star Wars... it all depends on the mood... and maybe the movie just watched. We did it with Marvel Superheroes Game after watching the Avengers. It had been forever since I ran it, and I know that I messed rankings up, but I knew comics and I knew enuff to get by. All that mattered was... the players were happy. In the end, that is all that matters.
I'll be waiting to hear from you guys what you think about the next edition of DnD... I'll admit that it'll be hard to let go of 2nd edition unless Wizards steps up in a big way.
I SOO agree! I remember DMing back in the day when someone would utilize an ability outside the ruleset norm - I would offer bonus XP to the character if they succeeded. As the players figured this out, they would try to push the limits of what they hoped a make-shift die role would produce for their character.
Oh, last ditch effort on a runaway monster: you want to throw your claymore at them using your rediculously high strength ... SURE! I would BS a difficulty based on distance and size of the weapon and make the die roll.
Now, it's all about "are you trained for it?". Really? You have base stats. What good are they if I can't at least TRY something beyond normal? You may epically fail it, but you will talk about it later (the side effect of having had a good time). I still have many "Remember when [name] tried to [dumb move]?" conversation.
I was part of some of the early testing of this edition. My regular group had just come out of an 18-month 4th Edition campaign and most of us, being grizzled players, were eager to get back to something closer to 1st, or at least 3.5.
I can't speak to the newer version of the playtest, but the early version was clearly a move back to earlier editions, which suits me fine. It took a bit of getting used to after so much 4th, and it's tempting to feel underpowered when an arrow to the knee can almost wipe out your fighter, and all you can really do is swing your axe, but I found that the experience as a whole was far more engaging and character-focused than 4th.
We're currently in a Pathfinder game, but when that campaign wraps up, I'll be excited to try out whatever this new edition becomes.