Well we all knew it was coming, based on the Legends and Lore columns from 2011 (I posted on these last week…), but I’m still surprised it’s out publicly already: A New Edition of Dungeons and Dragons is on the way!
I certainly have mixed feelings about this, as I enjoy 4E a lot, and after a long hiatus from role-playing, it was 4E that re-energised me. Also of course, I’ve put a reasonable investment into the product – I’m not the type that buys every product just because its out there, but still…
Personally I’m finding it hard to imagine how a single game can cater for the wide variety of gaming viewpoints, especially given the vitriol with which some people express those viewpoints, without making the game unrecognisable for one or other camp. Still I’ll keep an open mind for now, and I’ve signed up for the playtest – at least Wizards seem to be recognising this time that it’s dangerous to tamper with ‘sacred cows’ without at least involving the community 🙂
What do I want to see from the new edition (apart from not having one …)?
My key list would include:
* Simple core gaming engine – combat and role-playing are both important
* Good DM prep tools and simple stats
* Ability to provide setting and character flavour through consistent mechanics.
Sound familiar? In my opinion 4E already provides these, but there’s one thing it certainly doesn’t that I would like to see:
* Much better 3rd party licensing!!!
I got my latest Kobold Quarterly magazine last night, and only 4 out of 14 articles are for 4E, and even then 2 of the articles tagged 4E are not system specific. I believe freelancers and 3rd party publishers are moving away from 4E work because unless you’re publishing through the ‘official’ WOTC channels, its pretty hard to publish ‘current’ 4E material when there has been no update of the GSL since Feb 2009! Please can we have an OGL version of the game back again!!
And then there is the question about what happens to the DDI Tools i.e. Character Builder and Adventure Tools, for those that want to stick with 4E?
But that’s for another column …
Life goes on 🙂