Friday, February 10, 2012

Overreaction Friday

Look, there's more news about D&D Next so it must be time for Overreaction Friday! Let's get going:

Item 1:

"On the other hand, the Forgotten Realms setting
is a place where thousands of stories and adventures
can play out. True, the Realms has seen its share of
world-shaking events, and there are linchpin characters
the likes of Drizzt Do’Urden and Elminster,
but for whatever reason, none of that impinges on my
ability as a DM to conjure up new adventure ideas set
in the Realms. Furthermore, FR players rarely feel
as though their characters live in the shadows of legends.
The Realms always seems to make room for the
next great story, the next great hero, no matter how
many articles and novels and game supplements we

Mmm-hmmm. Good luck convincing the enraged FR fans after the mess that was "hey we jumped the timeline ahead 80 years and changed up the map and the races and threw in a worldwide disaster called the Spellplague". I'm OK with it personally - I think a clean break and a fresh start was a fine move - but I suspect my opinion is the minority. A lot of the comments on the article seem to support this. The good thing is that the Realms look to be the default setting for Next so it should get a lot of attention. Thank goodness, we might not have enough data on the Faerun just yet.

Item 2:

"It would be wrong to say that there is no inherent D&D style that carries across the nearly forty-year lifespan of the game. What you really end up with, in this approach, is a game that ends up looking—not coincidentally—like original D&D. Not entirely, of course, and not precisely, but close. It's a game that captures the feel of OD&D."

I'm a pretty big Monte Cook fan but who cares about this? I'm going to guess that 90% of current D&D players have never played OD&D and aren't interested in doing so. D&D has not been a simple game since at least 1999 (and many would pick a date prior to that) so going for that style of play doesn't seem like a great idea to me. When the majority of your current fans (and Pathfinder players) like a crunchy rules system, wouldn't you target them first? I suppose if enouh of the "modules" for the modular approach are available at launch then this might still work, but upon reading this it seems like a radical change from the 3E/Patchfinder take on things, as much so as 4E was, just in a different direction. How much business are they thinking they will get from lapsed players from the 80's and the OSR? No one was pining for OD&D in the 80's or 90's - I'm not sure anyone really is now.

Again, I'll say I'm interested in how this grand unified theory of D&D turns out, but the goal of pleasing fans of every edition seems extremely difficult to me. It should be interesting. In the meantime I'll keep running and playing various editions and when the new one emerges maybe we will add it to the rotation.

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