Friday, May 25, 2012

A Call to Arms

These are doll arms, not maggots. I think.
Despite the sinking feeling that I've been getting over the past month when reading Mike Mearls' columns, I'm surprised that I'm pleasantly surprised by the contents of the D&D Next Playtest Packet.

I'm torn right now. We've got a hole in our gaming schedule, and I've been prepping to run a Champions game. But Next is staring at me in the face.

Now, I'm already playing a version of D&D I like, a version that I see no need to toss away. So why am I interested in D&D Next?


Okay, this is where I'm coming from. I'd like to be able to plop down with any group of random whippersnappers playing D&D and not get violently ill and projectile vomit all over their ruleset. How does this happen? Well, the easiest way is for WOTC to put out a game that doesn't upset my stomach.

If new players are introduced to a ROLE-PLAYING GAME, rather than a miniatures based skirmish simulation system, well, that's a whole crop of people who will be that much closer to 'getting' old school type play. That makes more people who are prepped to come to my table and play a proper game of D&D.

WOTC really needs feedback to make that happen. They need feedback from grumpy old bastards who can identify the steaming piles and point them out. They need US, the Guardians of Grognosia (or something like that, since the term 'Grognardia' is already taken.)

In the end, WOTC will make whatever game they want to. Will they pour a bunch of crap on this simple ruleset and turn me off? Yeah, probably. But we have the opportunity to steer them, even if it's slightly, into the kind of game we prefer. The very fact that the adventure module in the playtest packet is the CAVES OF CHAOS points to the fact that they are at least listening a little bit.

Is all that worth three or four nights of learning some new old rules, killing orcs, and filling our some questionnaires? Right now, I'm thinking yes.

- Ark

P.S. Of course, I have a track record of being horribly wrong at important times, too. So get out your grain of salt. :)

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