#DnD #5e, or “How I stopped worrying and said, who really gives a shit, let’s play?” #DnDNext

A LOT of hype and rumor and speculation is going around about the announcement of 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons.  Wizards of the Coast presented their official statement yesterday in the Legends & Lore section of the D&D branch of their website.  The article exemplifies how they are looking forward to the future of gaming and are reaching out to the gaming community for inspiration and guidance for the evolution of “Dungeons and Dragons: Next”.

“We seek to build a foundation for the long-term health and growth of D&D, one rooted in the vital traits that make D&D unique and special. We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game.”

As far as I knew, the fundamental essence of D&D was “Here’s a decent outline of how to play this game and some rules we came up with and some monsters and stuff.  Have fun and make up your own games!”  That’s how I learned to play first edition, second edition, third and three-five.  Fourth edition threw me for a loop, but no more so than the change from first edition to third edition.  You pick up the game-play manual, you learn the basic rules, and you modify them to suit your own needs and desires.  Or maybe I’ve just been playing the wrong way for almost sixteen years.

The HUGE and absolutely obnoxious groaning that followed the release of 4th edition about how everyone HATED the new rules and how DUMB everything was and how GOD AWFUL the new class systems were, just pissed me off.  Are there really so few serious roleplayers that all of these asshats couldn’t sit down and say “You know what, I don’t really like this, let’s change it shall we?” and proceed to use the ONE THING that makes this game work: CREA-FUCKING-TIVITY.

THIS is why I’m dubious about the D&D:Next movement.  Not because it’s a new edition that will have new books and errata to spend my money on, not because it’s going to change my dear precious game, not because I’m a stubborn grognard, and not because WoTC and Hasbro have ‘Joined-Forces-To-Sodomize-D&D’ as a lot of people had adopted as their battlecry during the merger.  I’m dubious because so few people actually stood up when 4e came out and said “I didn’t like it, so I fixed it.”

SO many genres started as someone’s home game, Eberon, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Arcanis, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, hell even the storyline of World of Warcraft as we know it started as a tabletop game with a desolate high-gravity world that didn’t have elves.  The players and the DM are responsible for the game they play, not a set of crummy rules.  The book isn’t there to hold your hand and guide you to a magical land of wonder and awe.  Fuck no, that’s your job, It’s just a manual.  And for all of the rules monkeys out there who say we need to play the game as it is written, Gary Gygax himself said:

“The new D&D is too rule intensive. It’s relegated the Dungeon Master to being an entertainer rather than master of the game. It’s done away with the archetypes, focused on nothing but combat and character power, lost the group cooperative aspect, bastardized the class-based system, and resembles a comic-book superheroes game more than a fantasy RPG where a player can play any alignment desired, not just lawful good. “

The idea that WoTC now wants us to help build the new system of D&D would be great if I felt I could trust my fellow gamers to come up with something actually  worth playing instead of winging about what they don’t like.  I’m joining the fight to make D&D what it can be by putting my two cents in to try to make the game better, not just bash what I don’t like and then sit back sucking on mountain dew and eating funyons and expect someone to come along and dance for my entertainment.

Instead I will be sucking on mountain dew and eating funyons while I show the gaming world that creativity is not dead.  I’d like for you to join me.

~ by darkpatu on January 10, 2012.

One Response to “#DnD #5e, or “How I stopped worrying and said, who really gives a shit, let’s play?” #DnDNext”

  1. You, sir, are phenomenal! I’m only brand new to the D&D franchise, in terms of actually sitting down to read the books and get a group together, but it’s been so unnerving with the amount of fervent distaste people have towards 4th edition.
    It’s funny how I’ve been talking with the group I’m helping get together about how the books and rules are only guides for what we want to create. That’s always how I’ve simply thought about D&D throughout the various amounts of knowledge I’ve attained on the subject. I’ve never considered the idea that we have to stick by the books; if we want a specific feat that doesn’t exist we make one and get help with balancing it. If we have a good reason to justify a character being able to do something crazy, why not? It didn’t occur to me that people hating 4th edition really just aren’t willing to bend the new flavour of rules to suit themselves.
    It definitely brings much more comfort to me to see your post on the matter. The person I am makes it… difficult to readily get into something that has so much aggression against it, and it always bugged me how so many people could hate something for reasons I honestly couldn’t understand.

    So, thank you whole heartedly! I’m right there with you on creativity, and you’re the first person posting on this subject that has truly made sense in my mind.


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