So, the news broke the other day about the people at Wizards of the Coast beginning work on a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons. I greeted this news with mixed feelings.
I’m in a D&D group right now, Will Orr (the artist on Hunter Black) and I alternate DMing duties in a game set in the Eberron campaign world. The only thing is, we play D&D 3.5, and the game is on its 4th Edition. We bought the 4th Edition books, some of them, anyway…but after a few times playing, I decided that I didn’t really like it.
It IS easier to run, that much is true. But I found that, in their efforts to make the game more palatable to the Worlds of Warcraft crowd, they had dumbed the game down. It had lost a great deal of customization. The best way for me to describe is this: if I made a thief/rogue character in 3rd Edition (or even 2nd Edition), there were ways for me to create a pickpocket, a con artist, a thief-acrobat, a burglar, etc. Indeed, both editions had a VARIETY of ways for me to make such tweaks. That seems to be gone in 4th Edition. Anyway, the point of this blog isn’t to bash 4.0…we still had DOZENS of 3.5 books and supplements at our disposal, and so we’ve run two separate 3.5 games since 4.0 debuted. (I should have considered trying Pathfinder, but at the end of the day, I liked 3.5 and Eberron so much that I didn’t want to bother.) Suffice it to say that for WotC to be working on a 5th Edition so soon (4.0 came out in 2008), 4th Edition has to have been a bit of a flop.
Wizards of the Coast is reaching out to gamers to be involved in the development of 5th Edition, at least as beta-testers. All of the members of my D&D group, and a few people who I used to play with but don’t have compatible schedules with, have signed up to be involved. We want to have our say.
I LOVE D&D. I’ve been playing since I was in the second grade, and there’s something that I still love about getting new hardbound books with new rules and new monsters and new spells. I was kind of heartbroken when it turned out that I didn’t enjoy 4th Edition. I’m very happy that they’re going back to the drawing board.
Here’s a secret, one of my ultimate goals with both Hunter Black and Planet Pantheon is to license them to be adapted into campaign settings for Dungeons & Dragons. I get giddy at the thought. So keep reading, and tell your friends about us! Help us become popular enough to make this a reality someday!