Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dungeons & Dragons News

Dorktower sums it up nicely.

-Players Roll the Dice for Dungeons & Dragons Remake
(New York Times, in January)

Some good critical commentary about the announcement that I stumbled upon.

-5th Edition D&D Is in Development — Should We Care?
(Wired blog - Geekdad)

The links in that article lead to an insightful run-down of why confidence in the official D&D is at an all time low, especially how Hasbro overreached and alienated the gamers.

-Past . . . Present . . . and Future. (the Escapist)

And here is how I accidentally found out a new edition is being developed at all.

-Call for diversity in D&D rulebooks (BoingBoing)


Don Jason said...

P.S. I really want a pony called "THACO".

Mr. Alex said...

> I really want a pony called "THACO".

I was just going to post the same thing.

"Why, who among us can forget the legendary tale of Sai-Ving Trow and his loyal stead, Thaco!"

Pete said...

That's cool that Monte Cook is back working on canonical D&D. The articles are right about 3rd edition being awesome.

If I were in charge, Erol Otus would be doing all of the illustrations.

One of the big improvements in 3rd edition, I thought, was the new rules related to the battle grid. I thought that the table-sized vinyl mat that we used later on helped to add a new layer of strategy and suspense to the battles. I'm sure it's possible to take it too far. It sounds like 4th edition did.

Don Jason said...

"I'm sure it's possible to take it too far. It sounds like 4th edition did."

My experience playing 4th Edition confirms this. The glorious beginning of our adventures was a big battle against a band of goblins on the road; which ended in a total party kill (5 characters). We decided to replay the battle since we all were unfamiliar with our new characters and their abilities. In the end on that second try the only thing that was played differently was the wizard (which I was playing) stepped one square to the right instead of to the left at the beginning of the battle and we were able to control the situation and win the battle.

Throughout the campaign we had these kinds of strict tactical combat situations. Any time someone tried to get creative with their tactics and stepped outside of their proscribed role of striker, blocker, support, etc. we had casualties. I blew through three characters in one short dungeoneering series. (I memorably lost the wizard by daring to attempt to out flank some hobgoblins and got an arrow through the neck for my trouble in the first round.)

Every character has a dozen powers with heroic sounding names, but in the end all of them are a variant of: do 1d8 damage + slightly hinder enemy for a round. The battle grid becomes the only thing you pay attention to.

Eventually my wife and I got bored with "Battle Chess with a World of Warcraft task bar" and went back to concentrate on original 3rd Edition with ridiculously complicated story arcs of intrigue and a smattering of classic "town & dungeon" 1st Edition modules.

Pete said...

Yeah, the town & dungeon format is great because it encapsulates two very different styles of play that the group can switch between at will. It also defines an area within which the players have free range.