Dungeons & Dragons Plans Comeback

 

I signed up for the early access/open beta stuff. Also of note: they're relaunching
a miniatures strategy game this year too. Uh huh. The two totally aren't related.

I think it's clear the most valuable part of that article is that it provides this link:

http://thetorchonline.com/latest/20-celebrities-who-play-dungeons-dragons/

I love how it feels like a coming out party. "Dame Judi Dench has been introduced..." lol

WTF indeed. Why is the article in the Video Games section?

Why is there a Video Games section?

Shouldn't there just be a Games section?

@lurkinggherkin: you silly boy, the only other games besides Video Games are Sports, duh.

Wow. Cue instantaneous nerd rage.

I'm excited to see how well aeon's review from the future turns out.

Also, it's fun too see how this reporter obviously knows very little about the topic, and didn't consult much with anyone actually involved in the game. If this news had come from a roleplaying source, this:

"Players Roll the Dice for Dungeons & Dragons Remake
...But there might yet be hope for Dungeons & Dragons, known as D&D. On Monday, Wizards of the Coast, the Hasbro subsidiary that owns the game, announced that a new edition is under development, the first overhaul of the rules since the contentious fourth edition was released in 2008. And Dungeons & Dragons’ designers are also planning to undertake an exceedingly rare effort for the gaming industry over the next few months: asking hundreds of thousands of fans to tell them how exactly they should reboot the franchise. "

would read more like this:

"Here We Go Again: Yet Another New Edition of D&D
...It sounds like WotC is hoping against hope that they can release a new edition of D&D and thus stay financially afloat and keep their jobs. On Monday, WotC (likely as a result of pressure from Hasbro) announced that a new edition is under development, despite the fact that the contentious 4th edition was only released 3 years ago. It's not unlikely that there are DM's out there that are still running the same campaign that they began with the launch of 4th Edition. In desperation to stay afloat and keep their fans happy (or at least happier than they were about 4th Edition), they've announced that they are planning to ask willing gaming groups to playtest the new edition."

@Lorthyne: It did serve to get me interested again (which is a shallow thing to say in regards to the zounds of great content coming out of Pathfinder and other independent publishers, but that's how it is). I've signed up for the play test.

In the Yahoo version of the article the most intereting part was the link to pictures from the D&D movie...no doubt to let people not in the know see exactly what it's all about, right? LOL.

This could be a very very good thing. They can't come right out and say "boy did we ever wreck this with 4e"; but in there own roundabout way they just did.

And it's true that almost everything Pathfinder is freakin awesome. I like the fluff alot more than the crunch of it because True20 sealed the deal for me by getting rid of XP and HP and AC...but there's somer eally great stuff happening at Paizo.

I don't RPG much at all anymore, but I'm always interested in news in that quarter, and the crowd sourcing of D&D Next is right up there. I can't complain about D&D 5E if I didn't at least attempt to make it "my" game, right? Anyways, the first game mechanic poll questions is up, with more to follow this week:

http://community.wizards.com/dndnext/blog/2012/01/18/holy_and_radiant

Can holy damage and radiant damage exist in the same game? Some believe the two damage types are mutually exclusive, because radiant damage is holy damage, just with a different name. If this remains true, the damage types do seem like they would be stepping on each other’s toes. Others think that holy damage should be separate from radiant damage because “good” and “strange/intense light” is too much ground for one damage type to cover. If the rules wanted to contain both damage types, no vestiges of the divine would remain in the radiant type, leaving each to its own sphere.

I voted for having both. I do think there's a different between "light" damage and "holy" damage.

I agree with you, Morbus, about trying to make the game yours, but this beginning bit here just seems to be pointing in the wrong direction, as always with these guys. I don't care about holy damage and radiant damage. Why don't we talk more about what's behind those terms, and further, what the game is suggesting by including them? And then all that's attached to that. There's so much thematic ground that's being ignored in favor of discussions of differing types of damage and just how hard a fighter should hit. I hate to say it, but I think D&D is broken, and always has been broken. There's just no need for a game of such a focused and pointless nature in the age of MMOs. The thematic and artistic merits have always been ignored or actively attacked in D&D, and I just don't want to have anything more to do with it, to be honest.

@Tzuriel: to be fair, things like Vancian magic HAS been informally polled on Twitter by Wizards, but I think a recent interview with Mearls might address a bit more "behind those terms":

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/01/17/what-is-the-ne...
We actually went back and played every major edition of D&D and used those experiences to help narrow down the absolute core elements of the game. If you removed those elements, it’s not D&D. Our list includes the six abilities, classes, levels, hit points, Armor Class, and a few other things. In many ways, the list creates the shared language that links the editions.

I think it's probably fair to say that if you think D&D (all of it - you didn't filter your statement by edition) is broken and always has been, you're not going to like 5E either. Which is quite OK :) Note that tomorrow's poll is probably a bit more "behind the terms" (given that the current poll is content-based; if you've no magic in your game, what the Hell do I really care about light or holy damage?):

http://community.wizards.com/dndnext/blog/2012/01/17/dd_playtest_news_fo...
Damage reduction. Resistance. Magic items. Rob dives right into these systems and then asks for your input on whether you think some form of damage reduction and resistance should be in your game.

Interesting one today:

http://community.wizards.com/dndnext/blog/2012/01/20/mechanics_supportin...
Dwarves favor axes, while elves like bows. Halflings are excellent climbers. Wizards usually disdain weapons. Gnomes hate kobolds. Bards dress flamboyantly. These are all flavorful bits that have long been tied to aspects of the game. We all know them and are familiar with them, and to some degree we expect to see them in flavor text describing these aspects of the game.

But should they also appear in game mechanics?

I voted "No" (or, rather: "Flavor stands independent of mechanics.") but, at this time, the opposite is winning.

EDIT1: Oddly, as I think about my own games in the past, I've always made flavor part of mechanics too. EDIT2: This is likely because my games were only ever "one world", so the flavor was the ONLY flavor, thus "making sense" from a mechanic aspect. But, for an engine that needs to support infinite worlds, any flavor-mechanic is an forced assumption of the GM and necessitates further "no, not like that" house rules.

"We actually went back and played every major edition of D&D and used those experiences to help narrow down the absolute core elements of the game. If you removed those elements, it’s not D&D. Our list includes the six abilities, classes, levels, hit points, Armor Class, and a few other things. In many ways, the list creates the shared language that links the editions."

See, that's what I'm getting at - this infuriates me. D&D should never be about classes, levels, abilities, and the rest of that bullshit. That's why it's broken - it's always been about the bullshit. What should be the core elements of D&D? Heroic fantasy. Everything should be extrapolated from that.

I approach a roleplaying game like I do most every other type of art. You begin with a central concept, even a very basic one - "I'm gonna paint this bowl of fruit." Then every other thing points to that central concept, to painting that bowl of fruit as well as possible. In good art, this is often about some thematic concern, such as, in very broad strokes, the nature of justice, of goodwill, identity, group thinking, etc. When making art, you're talking about that central idea, and the art as a whole builds to that concept, giving it depth, grounding it, expounding upon it. D&D is a mess because the people who make it have failed to realize this essential factor of the game, or making it as a work of art. It doesn't matter what types of damage there are, how much flavor there is, etc., when you've already missed the whole point of your game, which is emphatically not hit points and levels.

It's clear you don't like D&D. So stop trying to insist that D&D should conform to your personal tastes. It's the same as saying "metal has always been about double kicks and power chords and solos and misanthropy...it should be about <blank>".

If they remove the things you rail against it really would NOT be D&D anymore. They aren't making it for you, that's pretty obvious, don't you think? Like...you can't try to make marmalade more like raspberry jam just because you don't like marmalade. The marmalade fans don't care what you think. Your opinion on marmalade is moot because you're actually talking about jam. The marmalade fans actually DO experience the same depth of flavor and texture as you do with your jams and jellys. It's not like you have a lock on flavor and texture or anything. They just like orange peels more than you.

So let it go my man. D&D IS about the things you don't like. You just clearly don't like D&D. So don't play it. It's ALWAYS been about the things you don't like about it. It's not a mess at all...the people who make it didn't fail to realize the things you mentioned; they disregarded them because you aren't their target and they probably don't care what you think; for example...Hideo Kojima likely doesn't give a single toss for the things Splinter Cell fans say about Snake.

"See, that's what I'm getting at - this infuriates me. D&D should never be about classes, levels, abilities, and the rest of that bullshit. That's why it's broken - it's always been about the bullshit."

-Actually, I've decided to be less diplomatic than I was above. You're an idiot. Nuff said. Gamegrene is dead; it's a sad sad sad thing when something disapeears up it's own ass so far as to see comments like the one I quoted above.

"Gamegrene is dead."

Steady on, old chap! What you need is a nice hot cup of tea. You'll soon feel better.

I thought this might be of interest, and this seems the place to post it:

http://montecook.livejournal.com/251404.html

FWIW, if anyone's reading, I'm pretty impressed with the early D&D Next play test rules and design.

I'm reading.

I... uh... remember how I boxed up all my books? I... I'm back to GMing. Using Roll20.net and Pathfinder.

Ah, the lure of turn-based, refereed gaming. Who can resist its call, having already experienced its heady pleasures?

Hey, this Roll20.net is looking good. I just created my account and it looked up my wordpress avatar. Cute.

I shall investigate further.