Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hope for the future

As a D&D blogger, this is my obligatory "ZOMGZ 5E" post.

I am tentatively very excited about the fifth edition.

Or, more accurately, I want to be tentatively excited.

I belong to what I believe is the smallest faction of D&D players, those that jumped aboard in the late 90's with the last reprint of the 2E books. At the time, the older versions of the game were understood to be fundamentally broken and when the third edition arrived, it was seen as out of touch, dumbed down, and generally terrible in all respects.

Apparently, I and my group at the time were the only people on the planet who felt that way.

There are hordes of players who are tremendous fans of both OD&D and the D20 system. While no one in my current group (myself included) have ever played OD&D, we don't have a negative opinion of it, and many of the players in my current group see D20 as their preferred system.

I remain, a loyal devotee to the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition rules. I am a simulation gamer. I have the most fun when the rules of the game I am playing are an interpretation of a reality that is other than my own. The way I play AD&D, the rules line up with that philosophy of play very well. To me, this style of play is what makes table top RPG's worth my time.
If I wanted a style of play where my chief concern is making the best "build" and maximizing my character's strengths and minimizing my character's weaknesses, I'd go play WoW.

I think WotC expressed the opposite opinion when making 3E, and very certainly in 4E.

I hope that they won't do the same with 5E, though I expect they will. I've found almost no like-minded players who haven't already abandoned D&D for some other system that was made with simulation gamers in mind, and the adherents of 2nd Edition are too few, methinks, to have much of a voice in the upcoming playtests. I don't know what kind of game 5E will be, probably some bastardized version of OD&D and D20, those two groups of players being the most numerous and most vocal.

I expect that long after the 5E release, I'll still be pawing through used book stores and searching for long forgotten 2E books while the rest of the gaming world is enjoying D&D20.

Still, I must applaud WotC for their approach on the new edition. They have set the lofty goal of uniting all D&D players from all editions under one banner. I wish them luck.

1 comment:

  1. My worry is that a very loud minority will drown out the majority. Since they're bringing back several 3e designers, and people who dismissed 4e from the get-go, I fear most of its merits will be ignored. For example, 4e went the route of saying "you don't need rules to say how to roleplay", and also offered GMs tips on rewarding xp for non-combat encounters and some adventures had entire sections where you didn't need to swing a sword once to get through, and taking the combat route was several times harder, if not suicidal.