Wednesday, May 30, 2012

D&D Next - direction?

First off let me say that I hate the name of the next edition of D&D.  It really makes you wonder what the next next edition of D&D will be called.  It also gives one the sense, and not in a good way, that this is probably the last "official" version of D&D.  Maybe they should just call it D&D Last.

One of the critiques of D&D Next that I have heard from many sources is its apparent lack of direction.  It is pretty obviously a stripped down version of 3e with a couple of new ideas sprinkled in.  To me, that is a direction.  D&D Last would actually be an appropriate name because it is definitely a step back down the family tree away from 4e and closer to the roots of the game.  It is closer to the last edition than the next.  But in my opinion that is a good thing.  I think a stripped down version of 3e with most of the skill system thrown out is not a bad edition of D&D.  I will reserve final judgement until I see how complexity is added.  If WOTC succeeds in giving options to the gamers that want to create really complex (mechanically) characters and still keeps the basic game this stripped down and light feeling, I personally will love it.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

D&D Next

I signed up for the playtest a while back and downloaded the docs today.  So far I have skimmed some of the play rules, looked at a couple of the pre-gen characters and spent some time looking through the bestiary.

Very brief first impressions:  I like what I have seen so far a lot.  "Old School" is a hard thing to put in a bottle but this feels a helluva lot closer to old school than 4e or even 3e ever did.  If you doubt me just look at the bestiary for a while.  I am pretty sure you could use the monsters as written with AD&D characters (or Labyrinth Lord) for that matter and have no problems.  Of course the AC is ascending, but that is a cosmetic matter in my opinion.  The monster abilities are very evocative and I got some good adventure ideas just reading through the bestiary.  I cannot tell you how glad I was to see a "save or turn instantly and permanently into stone" after DMing 4e for a few years.  I also like a lot about the character sheet.  That cleric looks fun to play.

Even after less than an hour with the playtest I have an itch to both play and DM this thing.

I will definitely be spending some more time with this soon, perhaps a more thorough review will follow.
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