I was one of the fortunate few to get my grubby mitts on an advance copy of the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons. We’ll have a full review of the book in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I wanted to explore some of the aspects that jumped out at me as we flipped through.
“Dungeons & Dragons”, the new edition, has a release date, just in time for Gen Con, as well as product covers and a few surprises.
I feel like this post should start with a Star Wars crawl: “It was a time of great change in Dungeons & Dragons…”
There are a lot of people talking about the D&D Next open playtest, and one of the subjects I hear about a lot is the way Advantage/Disadvantage are currently working. The general opinion I’ve heard is that it is overpowered when compared to the +2/-2 bonus we’re used to from previous editions of D&D. My gut reaction to hearing that something is overpowered isn’t to jump into the mob and swing my nerf-bat around, it’s to look at as much data as I can and figure out if I agree or not. So that’s what I’m going to do!
For me, choosing a class has always been one of the most fun and important decisions to make while playing Dungeons & Dragons. I can still remember the feeling of pure excitement I had when I first cracked open the 3rd Edition Player’s Handbook and saw that Monk was a core class. I also remember our friends all having multiple discussions about what exactly the Sorcerer class was and how it was different from the Wizard. With the next edition of D&D now in open playtest, I felt it was a good time to discuss the varying levels of class distinction in D&D.
This year at DDXP, I got to try out running games for complete strangers. Little did I know what I had actually signed on for. Find out how six dwarves can make a grown man weep using only some ingenuity and a sackful of d12s.
I was very intrigued with Mike Mearls’ vision of creating a “D&D’s Greatest Hits”. It evokes a plethora of images about modular designs and piecemeal “build your own game” elements that inspires the writer and buding game designer in me. This gave me an idea for a series of post here at Critical Hits. I thought it would be interesting if we shared our five DMing Greatest Hits for some or all of the versions of D&D we played as dungeon masters.
A common complaint with 4th Edition has been the online tools that go with it. Now that we have a Next Edition coming, WotC gets another shot at getting their cyberducks in a row. The best part is, this time out they’re asking all of us what we want from D&D. Guess what? I want better online tools! Furthermore, I have a few suggestions. WARNING: Some programmer jargon ahead. Proceed with digital caution.
Where I talk about my opinions on the past and future of D&D, and then end up sounds like a cross between a Romantic poet and the lonely drunk at the end of the bar after a long night. Which in some cases is exactly the same thing.
The 4th Edition of D&D brought about the only long campaign I’ve ever managed to run, and I attribute a large part of that to the ways the new edition changed the role of being a Dungeon Master and the tools it provided. After D&D Next was announced the online RPG community went crazy, and I saw a number of people sharing lamentations that 4th Edition was now “old” and “going away”. I’ve finally managed to wrangle my thoughts about D&D Next, and they are overwhelming in their hope that whatever D&D Next is it allows me to continue running 4e D&D.