A New Edition Of D&D? Meh.

I don’t like saying “meh.” I don’t even like the concept of “meh.” And yet, the news (Forbes, New York Times) that WotC is officially working on a new edition of D&D pretty much makes me go “meh” even though I don’t want to. I’m so far removed from anything resembling “official” D&D – I haven’t played a “current” edition of D&D since a brief and ill-fated 3rd edition campaign in 2001-2002, and prior to that it would have been some 1st edition AD&D stuff in ’84 or so – that this really doesn’t mean all that much to me. Except that the signal-to-noise ratio online just got worse as a whole new group of people fire up their outrage and angst engines to complain that their edition has been slighted.

Meh aside, I’ll pay attention to what develops. I might even try to weigh in on the process if anyone in my gaming group expresses an interest in poking at the playtest stuff when it becomes available (which is pretty unlikely, since we’re all happily playing BRP, BoL, Labyrinth Lord/Mutant Future, Mini Six, Advanced Fighting Fantasy, or what-have-you). And I do wish this venture well – at least if it succeeds it might shut up the “RPGs are dooooomed!” crowd some.

Oh, and I do like where Jeff Rients is taking this. Seems like something that a more motivated (and optimistic) individual than I might even try to set up an online petition for…

p.s. Does anyone else find it amazing that both Forbes and the New York Times are covering this? That just seems unfathomable to my inner twelve-year-old geek.

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10 thoughts on “A New Edition Of D&D? Meh.

  1. NUNYA



    1. the venomous pao Post author

      I couldn’t agree more, good sir. Well, unless they figure out a way to make the purchase of poorly-painted collectible miniatures of the members of the various authors of the game’s best tie-in fiction mandatory. Then we’d be golden!

  2. G-Man

    Me, I’m kind of interested to see how they’re going to try and pull this out. It looks like they’re going to rely heavily on consumer feedback . . . I’m not totally sure this will yield anything different than the ‘kewl powerz’ approach to D&D, though.

    I don’t understand why this sort of thing generates so much angst. The OSR has already demonstrated that if gamers don’t like something, they can invent their own stuff–and share it through the internet.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Oh, I’ve got an academic interest in this, to be sure. I just don’t feel particularly excited or angsty about it since it’s unlikely to ever impact my own gaming. I do think that the “consumer feedback” bit is being played up more than it will likely matter, but I don’t feel that’s due to nefarious, mustache-twirling, evil dudes at Hasbro. It’s just a thing.

      Angst comes naturally to our geeky brethren, G-Man. It is the water in which most of them swim. It is the very lifeblood that flows in their veins. 🙂

      I do recant a statement I made earlier in the day, though. I’m officially delighting in a bit of schadenfreude at the expense of the “4e is the ultimate d&d! Stop being nostalgic, old grognard, and accept the future!” crowd about now. I’m petty. I can’t help it.

      1. G-Man

        This one didactic GM I used to game with (who will remain nameless) was all over D&D 4e when it first came out, probably because he harbors deep fears of missing any bandwagon. I noticed in the past year or so his ardor for the ‘latest’ incarnation had cooled, though. So yeah, I think a little schadenfreude is in order!

        1. the venomous pao Post author

          Oy. Bandwagoners. I know the type. Or, to steal a line from a great song that has nothing to do with this stuff whatsoever… “I seen ’em come and I seen ’em go, crowds assemble, they hang out a while, then they melt away like an early snow.”

          Schadenfreude is the best!

  3. Goblinkin

    Look, as a newly converted 4th edition player, at least it proves the game is still kicking.
    I’ve only recently come to 4th (and purely because it was the only game i could find) and it’s starting to warm on me.
    I’ve always played Old School versions, or a variety of clones apart from one foray into 3rd (i stupidly purchased all three core rule books but used them maybe half a dozen times).
    But I do think 4th edition managed bring a lot of new blood to the table – I’m now playing with a group where none of them had played anything else. Their introductions all came via 4th and while it’s not instilled them with the gold lust, 10 foot pole using, henchman hiring tendancies I developed many years ago gaming with my father on the kitchen counter – at least it got them involved.
    I’ve been musing for awhile now about running an old school style game of 4th for this group – bascially present them with a sandbox setting: a dungeon, a town, some wilderness and let them loose – but I worry it would be too much of a shock to the poor dears

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      New blood at the table is good, for sure. And I do wish them the best with this. It’s just ridiculously unlikely to impact me in anything but the most tangential ways. Still, I remain academically interested.

      I say you totally sandbox ’em, Gobbo. Blow their minds but good!

      Oh, and heretic that I may be I actually kinda liked 3e when it first came out. When it was just the core books I thought it did a good job of still being D&D while allowing for some nice bits that I liked about other games, like better character customization and some useful skill rules. But then the bloat set in and, well, ugh.

  4. bat

    I signed up for the playtest. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt here because the designers are aware of the OSR and after having Paizo handed them their collective backsides on a platter when Pathfinder outsold 4e, I think that they realize that this is now, for them, an adapt or die situation, not for us. If they want our participation (and money) they need to listen to us, not tell us how it is going to be.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      I hope you’re right, amigo. It would certainly be a wonderful accomplishment if they can put out a new D&D that pleases everyone from the old guard to the new blood (that’s also fun to play, natch). Fingers crossed!

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