Monday, January 9, 2012

I guess I better say something about this...

New York Times- Players Roll the Dice for Dungeons & Dragons Remake

So it looks like Wizards of the Coast is going to try for a 5th edition of (Advanced) Dungeons & Dragons, with the difference this time being that they will be soliciting input from the gaming community on how to make the new edition more inclusive for all players.

I am of two minds of this. I stopped playing D&D after 2nd Edition, but not because I had any problems with 3rd Edition. I had "moved on" from fantasy role-playing for the cyberpunk world of Shadowrun, so there was no reason for me to look into what Wizards of the Coast did to D&D. If it weren't for DDO, I wouldn't have any idea how anything post-2nd edition worked. When I got back into playing D&D years later, it was either 2nd edition, Kenzer & Company's HackMaster "4th Edition" or John Higgins' Engines & Empires. It was a rule set I was familiar with that I could get back into easily. Frankly, I don't like having to re-learn how to play a game I should already know how to play. It's part of the reason I stopped playing Shadowrun after 4th edition of that game came out.

On the other hand, D&D is THE game when it comes to RPGs. You can mention games like GURPS, Shadowrun, Gamma World, etc. to non-gamers and they would have no idea what you are talking about. But as soon as you say "Dungeons & Dragons" they have an idea what you are talking about. Keeping the brand alive is going to help the hobby a lot more than "edition warriors" think. Because to outsiders Dungeons & Dragons IS the hobby. It's the gateway to all the other games out there. And if Wizards is truly serious about soliciting fan advice to make the game better and more inclusive, the better it is for all of us.

So I will remain optimistic about D&D5e, though cautiously so. Ultimately, I want to see more people getting into the hobby than being driven away by the arguing between grognards and munchkins. Like it or not, D&D is still our best bet for keeping tabletop gaming alive.

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