The Agony & The Ecstasy of D&D Next

Following the “Retraction” episode of This Greyhawk Life, I feel I must explain myself. As you may have heard on the episode, I now admit that my account of visiting the Wizards of the Coast offices in Seattle and playing D&D Next has had elements that were not entirely truthful.

You see, as a Dungeon Master, I often incorporate elements of the dramatic into my storytelling, even while using some of the trappings of journalism. I embellished in the pursuit of the sharing a story that I felt was important. I am sorry for misleading my audience when I claimed this to be the entire truth.

Thus, in the interest of clearing the air, I would like to clarify the following points:

  • I claimed to have interviewed a former worker of Wizards of the Coast who said that he and his coworkers were paid entirely in copper pieces, which do not add up nearly enough to a living wage in Seattle. The truth is that they are paid entirely in coffee.
  • My story about the giant mutant chickens being used as playtesters for the Gamma World game was slightly exaggerated. The mutant chickens were merely human-sized.
  • My translator says she has no recollection about my meeting with a dice tester required to make sure d4s gave “the full experience” by being forced to walk across them barefoot.
  • When I wrote that an iPad would be required to play D&D Next, I actually meant that the New iPad purchased using our Amazon affiliate code would be required to play D&D Next.
  • My claim that there were entire rooms, running 16 hour shifts, devoted to playtesting every possible class from Archer to Runepriest was false. No one has every played a Runepriest.
  • When I described the D&D Next modular system as being able to “effortlessly combine all aspects of every RPG you’ve ever loved in a seamless way that produces an RPG superior to anything you could ever do with your life in a million years and will make you wish that you could spend your entire life within the fully realized fantasy world that you create using the multitude of advanced tools guaranteed to produce the greatest story ever told,” I was engaging in a slight bit of hyperbole.
  • When I said that you could get access to the D&D open playtest early by purchasing a copy of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying... well, wouldn’t hurt to try, would it?

So as you can see, my dramatic retelling of my trip was all in the purpose of serving a greater story, one that I felt was not being told properly in the greater media. I apologize to anyone I mislead in previous posts, in my speaking tour, or my various podcast experiences. Clearly, we will redouble our efforts to tell nothing but the truth, especially on April 1st of all days.

About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, their three dogs, and two cats.


  1. Alhazred says:

    LOL, good one Dave. Those chickens were GARGANTUAN, I know!

    The Giant Chicken Anti-Defamation League demands a re-retraction. Comply or be pecked!

  2. AlphaAnt says:

    “No one has every played a Runepriest.”

    Too true, too true…

  3. Josh Hall says:

    I’m somehow about to get a new player in my D&D campaign and I’m having to desperately fight down the urge to shove some wacky race/class combo at him just to see something truly wonky in play.

  4. Good stuff. The Runepriest line made me literally laugh out loud.

  5. I love you for this.

  6. Ax_kidson says:

    I know this article was all in jest
    But I love my runepriest

    So haters hate
    And designers … Would appreciate a feat to increase my aura
    Just saying

  7. I had an epic-level Minotaur Runepriest in my campaign, so clearly it was just a joke. And this probably isn’t the place to request the designers add something to Dragon magazine 🙂


  1. […] speaking out on this either, be sure to find more snippets of info over at Critical Hits where Dave Chalker is spilling some beans too. Until next time, whenever that may […]

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