Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Only Comment on 5th Edition (for a while, at least)

Yeah, I ran the D&D 5th edition playtest for my group, pretty much the week it came out.

Yeah, it felt like D&D.  Caves of Chaos and all, classic races and classes.  Much closer to the real deal than 4th edition could ever be, and maybe even an improvement on 3rd.

But in the end, it still feels very close to 3rd.  It's basically a rehash.  It's still a d20 System game, a WotC imitation of TSR's genuine article.

I was knee-jerk excited by the announcement of 5th edition; mainly because it felt like vindication.  "Hah! When 4th edition came out, I told you all -- I told you all -- that someday soon, WotC would throw 4e under a bus, call it badwrongfun, and try to sell you 'D&D Classic'.  I told you that 4e would be WotC's 'Coke II', and I was right!  HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!"

But after actually running the playtest, it became clear that I don't really have a dog in this particular fight. I don't think there's anything that 5th edition could do better than I can for myself by taking the Basic Set or the Rules Cyclopedia and just tweaking to taste.

I'm a real grognard now.  Ain't that just a kick in the pants.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Subtle Take on Alignment

I'm once again between campaigns for the moment.  Or rather, between reffing campaigns -- in the interim, I'm thoroughly enjoying the chance to play in an Engines & Empires game, with my brother refereeing for our group.  Oddly, this is the first time I've actually got to sit on the player's side of the screen for a game of E&E.  It's tremendous fun, and I'm glad that my instincts as a game designer have more or less been borne out in practice.

Anyway... between running campaigns at the moment.  I have ideas for the game I want to run next (a small-scale sandbox: an island with a mega-dungeon at the center, and a good-ol'-fashioned depose-the-evil-tyrant plot to drive things along), but as I was coming up with the details for this new game, two things occurred to me along the way.