Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who wins? Mearls or Gygax?

Okay, that title may start people beating each other senseless with clubs - but let me 'splain.  Yesterday, I detailed my group's experience with the D&D Next Playtest.  To sum up, while I had issues with some of the fiddly bits, the players liked it so much they wanted to continue through the Caves of Chaos in future sessions.

My initial thought was, well, Mike Mearls pulled it off and developed a decent game.  But then I got to thinking.  The adventure we were actually playing was Keep on the Borderlands - that's Gary Gygax's baby.  All the WOTC team did was to stitch together a ruleset where you could play through the Cave of Chaos properly - something that Gygax and Arneson and Holmes and Moldvay and Cook and Mentzer already did years ago - in four (or more?) different versions.

Of course, you could say it was the DM and the players - but let's keep us out of it for now.

So there probably is no real answer here, but it's fun to think about.  Mearls or Gygax?  Is it the ruleset or the adventure? Both or neither?

Anyway, I'll let ya'll duke it out, if you are so inclined. :)

- Ark


  1. I'll start.

    In this case, the Wizards win the fight.

    Specifically, WotC's intellectual property Keep on the Borderlands. Mearls and Gygax both lose.

  2. I thought there were no winners in D&D, just survivors...and loot.

  3. This is like the philosophers who argue about whether plato or aristotle is right about number of teeth in a horse's mouth - while thier horses are tied up outside. Go try another module, like maybe Isle of Dread.

  4. I think it's a worthwhile point to make. At the very least you could say that the new rules didn't get in the way of a classic module over a single playing session.

    Blog of Holding posted a series of tweets 2 days ago reporting that a 5e 2nd level party took on a white dragon and essentially was killed in a single exhale. I haven't read of any other dragon sightings in the multitude of playtest reports, but I think it's an encouraging sign for 5e if taking on every monster that does a flyby overhead could earn you a well-deserved TPK.

  5. If a new edition of D&D lets you play old edition modules enjoyably, everybody wins.

    1. Okay Peter D, I like that one. I'll go with your answer. :)

      - Ark

  6. Screw you I work for Mel Brooks!(Gets ready to punch.....) Not in the face!