Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why is there no Land of the Lost RPG?

For those of you who may not know, Land of the Lost was a bizarre science fiction show that aired in the early 1970s. It was part of Sid & Marty Krofft's kids lineup of TV shows. The Land of the Lost featured a dad with his  2 kids who go rafting and are swept through a time-space portal during a massive earthquake. Rick Marshal and his two kids Will and Holly awaken in some jungle still in their raft to an angry T-Rex screaming above them. The three of them quickly find shelter in a cave where they set up their new home. They eventually learn they are in some lost world, time-space fracture, alien planet. It's never entirely clear, but they are not on earth. There is more than one moon in the sky.



They eventually encounter Sleestaks—a bipedal reptile species that is often hostile towards them. There are crazy crystals that react in a variety of different ways when touched to one another. Finally they meet Enik, an intelligent friendly Sleestak who calls himself an Altrusian. He explains that the Sleestaks are his species from the future.



The short cheesy production dug itself deep into many kid fans—myself included—minds back in the 70s. Despite the low production value and bad stop motion dinosaurs the show had a very intelligent premise. The fractured time-space lost location seemingly culled from many planets and times still fascinates me to this day. When  feature film was announced I got very excited. I hoped they would take the very thing that was smart about the show and make a cool intelligent science fiction film for the present. Enter Will Ferrell and what we wound up with was a diarrhea of a film with butt hole humor. Anyway...no big deal. Hollywoods loss. They want to produce dogshit, that is their prerogative.

Will Ferrell Land of the Lost poop film


My wish is for a line of Heroclix or RPG miniatures so that a D20 RPG could be played out. Maybe I'll make them myself. I already spent a lot of my down time last winter creating custom Blade Runner minis. I posted about them here on this blog and again on this one.

The minis for a Land of the Lost RPG needed would be as follows:

Rick Marshal
Holly Marshall
Will
Uncle Jack
Mrs. Marshall

Cha-Ka
Sa
Ta

Enik
Sleestak Leader (5-10 variant poses)
Sleestak Drone Commander

The Zarn
Malak
Beauregard Jackson
Sharon
Col. Post
Capt. Van de Mire
Mr. Blandings
Monster
Lone Wolf (1 episode, 1976)
Medusa
Captain Elmo Diggs
S'Latch

A large selection of dinosaurs would be needed for any such game but good dinosaurs already exist. Dinosaurs produce by the company Schleich are top quality and could easily be used for any D20 game. Some of the big dinos may be too large for fast gameplay but a system for dino reaffixes could easily be worked out. Some of the smaller dinos might spot and chase humans more easily than larger dinos where humans could easily hide from them or run under their legs.

existing map with existing Schleich dinos

Existing Schleich human minis. 



Given the huge amount of excellent maps that already exist I dot not think I'd bother to make any maps with a grid on it. I did already make a land of the Lost map a long time ago. Feel free to download and use this map if you ever want to contribute to this project.

Land of the Lost Map I made a few years ago

Other items from the show like Matrix Table, Pylons, Crystals, barriers, and portals could all be easily made with cardboard.

Matric Table. A mini LED one would be awesome!


The minis are the one detail that would help make RPG miniature gameplay that much more exciting. Sure RPGs can easily be played with no minis or just cardboard minis. It is fun to have minis for what you are playing and a nice min helps to cement a character into a players mind.

Anyone with any suggestions please comment. If I knew how to use 3D programs and had access to a 3D printer i bet this could help to facilitate something useable that could then be hand painted.

Update: here is the Wikipedia link to info about the interesting world of Land of the Lost.

Here are a few articles I found with a little digging: Role-playing in the Land of the Lost

And here is another one, which is just a entry and posts in a char room. Still it's something: The Land of the Lost as a RPG setting: Anyone done this?




Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy 40th Birthday Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons is having a birthday! Today the classic game turns 40. It's influence on everything from video games, films, TV, fantasy, computers, and our popular culture is without question. D&D has spawned countless imitators, and today an entire RPG and gaming industry is now thriving all over the world.

With many of us 80s kids now introducing our own kids to D&D, it has begun to lure them away from TV screens, getting pencils and paper into their hands outside of school, and has exposed them to imagination not spawned just from pixels.



Wizards of the Coast is about to release D&D Next, the 5th variation of the rules since the first AD&D rules came out. D&D Next promises to get back to the games roots and away from the video-game influenced 4th edition that polarized and further fractured the loyal but often opinionated fan-base. Already I'm seeing a a pushback to gamers playing 3.5 in preparation for what hopefully will be a system that will allow for much customization and faster combat. Simplicity too is something I am hoping for. Something a 6 year old can easily grasp and play, but with a dynamic enough rules system in place so hard core gamer adults will feel satisfied. Going by the D&D Next play-test I was involved in, I'm sure most everyone will be happy.

Happy Birthday D&D.



The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is 
that they don't need any rules. — Gary Gygax 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We Hit 7000 Page Views Recently!

As far as web traffic goes it's not earth shattering but it's a big deal to me. 7000+ page hits. 

Thanks everyone. 

—A


The Mini Dungeon Master

Google+ generated this. I made a few choices like song & filter from their selections. Playing D&D with kids is the best way to play the game. Their imagination is limitless. 




The Future of D&D Insider...

Earlier today I received an email from D&D Insider customer service to inform me my subscription will renew soon.

I scanned the email quickly and saw that starting in March, D&D Insider will no longer be updated for 4th edition game content.

That's fine by me. I get that.

 If D&D Next is built the way it's been purported to be, then it should function on some level with 4e anyway. It is true from all I know about D&D Next that 4e will be the most orphaned of any existing edition so far once the new ruleset officially arrives. Still, the way we play here at home with 4e, it's quite simple to stick to adventure content and adjust monsters, npc, etc. on the fly and have a very enjoyable game. (Why many find this so complicated is still a mystery to me.) We rarely use any of the aspects from 4e that tend to slow it down—specifically all those powers, dailies, and such. I suspect it was those games-grinding-to-a-halt rules that were the catalyst for Next anyway. People, especially young new gamers, want easier rules so they can, you know, learn and play the game without a master's degree in accounting.

So the email stated specifically:

 As we look to the future launch of D&D Next, we are shifting our focus to the development and support of the new rules set, which will impact the Dungeons & Dragons Insider subscription service:

• DDI will remain available to those who still wish to access all the great 4th Edition Magazines and Tools as part of the DDI subscription.
• Starting in March of 2014, the DDI tool set (Character Builder, Adventure Tools and Compendium), will no longer be updated with new 4th Edition game content.

• Existing issues of Dungeon magazine and Dragon magazine will continue to be offered for viewing.

Seems legit. Still, I'm confused as to exactly if D&D Insider will have new content, tools, or magazines going forward for D&D Next, or not. The email is not that specific. It does say they are shifting their focus to the development and support of the new rules set. That gives me hope. It does not say specifically that D&D Insider will have new and exciting content on the horizon for D&D Next.

I hope this email is not some convoluted way of getting me to keep my current 4e content-based subscription for another year, only to have some new D&D Next subscription-based service surface on or around March. That would suck in a HUGE way. I also suspect this would piss off a lot of us.

I'll give Wizards the benefit of the doubt here. I did email them and ask specifically if D&D Insider will be updated and switching over or adding the D&D Next rules set. Or will it remain only as a service for 4e? Or will it be useful for both?

Their email is written in such a nebulous way that either instance could be inferred.

Again, I'll give Wizards the benefit of the doubt. For now.

Once I get a reply to my email I'll post the answer.

—A

Monday, January 13, 2014

Wizardsneverweararmor.com URL Now Active

Hi all. I have now ponied up some actual $$ and splurged for the new year.



Wizardsneverweararmor.blogspot.com can now also be gotten to by using the URL wizardsneverweararmor.com

It's not exactly earth shattering but it's a small step in the right direction.

I may make a card.

Baby steps.

Thank you all for continuing to visit and read my wacky posts.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Regular Show: But I have A Receipt

The Regular Show: But I have A Receipt 

For your entertainment pleasure.




A great episode of The Regular Show. Very funny. Also has a lot of truth to it.

Look for this episode on iTunes if the link provided above does not work. Volume 2, Episode 6.

Enjoy!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Welcome to the Redesign!

Redesigning a blog on blogspot is hardly cause for a party but it's still worth a mention. This site is getting hits and I'm working steadily on it so I figured it was time to take a look at the original template I chose and make some changes. First off the white text on the dark gray background is gone. It may have looked cool but it is hard on the eyes and pretty nontraditional, especially for a site as text heavy as this one. Were it just or mostly photos it may have worked better.

Also gone is the old header and background. For the old header I had custom text coming up and it constantly was fighting with the template text when it loaded. This drove me crazy and I do not know HTML enough to fix it. I spent the better part of the morning working on a new header I'm very happy with. It is just a graphic, no HTM text, so there is no conflict when it loads now. :)

I started with the same text/font from the old header and traced it on my ipad with an app called Tracing Paper. It allowed me to zoom in and trace it very large but still has a pencil/marker feel to it. I exported this to my photos then over to photoshop to work some magic on it. I added a D20 and rotated one and then added some loose leaf paper I found on Google Images. I spent the majority of my time getting the header just right.

Then I went over to donjon to generate a map for the background. For all you gamers out there that do not know about donjon, well I suggest you go there as soon as you are done here. It is a gamers generation paradise. Maps for a bunch of different RPG systems can be generated as well as names, adventures, and even worlds. It's a fantastic resource for any gamer. Kids with limited resources, especially should use it often.
map generated @ donjon

At this point I messed with blogspot for a while and fiddled and futzed to get things, hopefully, just right. It's far from a perfect layout and navigation but for free hosting from Google it's actually a huge cut above other hosting services I've seen. Only Dreamweaver, I think, offerers more customizability. Tumblr is the only other service I think stands alongside Blogspot but since I'm all in with Google I like this better. 

For anyone who may miss it, here is the old header. It was using a map that someone else did (?) and I took it off Google Images. I knew this blog could not grow with borrowed art atop the page. Now I can sleep at night knowing I've designed the header myself . 

I hope everyone enjoys the new look. Enjoy. 

—Adam

Addition: Wizardsneverweararmor now has a real URL and can be reached via wizardsneverweararmor.com as well as wizardsneverweararmor.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony

Think you are open minded? Think again.
No one ever notices how deeply ingrained social conventions and cultural stereotypes are until a bunch of teenage boys and grown men decide to start watching My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, a show that was, by all accounts, marketed specifically and originally for little girls. Anyone as old as I am, who remembers 80s TV, retained the fact that toys and TV shows bearing the My Little Pony name are nothing new. Everything gets regurgitated, especially by us adults who grew up, became creative, and gravitated into positions to bring new life into these old properties we once loved.
So back in 2010, the new 4th generation of the My Little Pony animated show premiered. According to Wikipedia the show was intended for girls ages 2-11. Then something else happened. Fan appreciation spread quickly, especially appreciation by those who were not the 2-11 year old girls the show was intended for. It is suggested on Wikipedia and elsewhere on the web that a negative article by Amid Amidi, and the reaction to this negativity, may have been the catalyst that started it all. I can easily see this being the case. Over the years I have been witness to so much negativity, haters, negative reviews, and more—especially for pop culture entertainment, where such horrid anger seems so out of place. I myself often wondered what on earth was wrong with people that they would let entertainment, something meant to be escapist fun, get them into such an angry uproar. WTF? Why are so many people so angry, and often about such benign things as entertainment?
So did a group of people sick to death of rampant negativity—specifically My Little Pony negativity—react to and embrace My Little Pony above and beyond the norm? Perhaps at first, but that’s not enough to gain the true momentum the group now has.
I first learned of the “bronies” and the My Little Pony adult fans a few years back and just chuckled. Contemporary culture in the United States has become so fractured now that very few cultural niches, no matter how seemingly outer limits, cause me to raise no more than an eyebrow. Also there is so much media created today that even if you are extremely media hungry, as I often am, there is no way to consume it all.  Finding time to watch My Little Pony and figure out what exactly was the deal with the Brony phenomenon was not something that was even remotely on my radar. Not until the other night. I was flicking through Netflix and I stumbled on the Brony documentary. Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. I had to see what the deal was. As I started watching the film that lays bare this new culture I became fascinated. I had still not seen a single episode of the TV show. The show obviously has had a massive impact on people way outside what older traditional social conventions seem to suggest should be the show's target demographic, little girls.
Maybe its appeal was because it's ironic to be into something that was clearly not intended for an older, often male audience? People today hate being told what to do so maybe this was some sort of anti-corporate movement meant to confuse market research? I considered those possibilities. Irony is often a huge part of any teen's language. Maybe that was the impetus behind the phenomenon? Still irony can only sustain feigned interest for so long. Bronies clearly are not stoking the My Little Pony fire with irony as its only fuel. True devoted interest and love for the show and culture was obvious just from watching the documentary. I became extremely curious to see at least one episode before the night was up. I continued watching the documentary, glued to my TV, fascinated at the all-inclusive nature of the My Little Pony fans and groups.
All groups are exclusionary to some degree though, even groups that claim they are all inclusive. My Little Pony, no matter how filled with rainbows and friendship and magic will never attract, or appeal to, certain people or personality types. This is the unintended exclusion. Very closed minded people that are deep rooted in traditional gender conventions and stereotypes are likely to never be seen anywhere near a My Little Pony convention. They'd likely not even be taking a cursory glance. I suspect the Brony culture had a sort of emergence, not just via a collective love for the show, but a love for being truly open minded in a way that is so against conservative baby boomer norms that there is no way someone who is very negative might be into My Little Pony. The My Little Pony crowd is not in any danger of attracting negative closed minded people. The show's look and feel and little girl origin is so far away from the orbit of certain people. I am not suggesting this is something that happened consciously within the My Little Pony fan base, but rather as a sort of bottom up inception. I doubt there are going to be any bigoted racists haters found at My Little Pony groups.
Now taste and subjective opinions do count for something. I wanted to see the show firsthand and find out if it could hook me with the pilot episode. I even got my boys to sit and watch with me, explaining to them that they keep an open mind, despite the fact that it was obviously a show originally made for little girls. We watched the pilot episode. It opened with a myth that reminded me a bit of the split from The Dark Crystal and a dark prophecy. The show was very colorful and well animated with gorgeous backgrounds. I saw its roots in anime, Powerpuff Girls, and my son even mentioned a similarity to Dragon Tails. Did the show hook us/me? No. To be fair, one ½ of the 2 part pilot is not enough to truly judge my overall taste. Even favorite shows of mine often took a few episodes or seasons to get up and running. Later on my own I did give it a few more episodes to make sure I was not selling it short. Even though the show and story may not be my exact taste I did not hate the show. I can surely see the appeal and understand passion for pop culture TV shows. Recently I’ve been watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my youngest son. Aside from just being fun for him, I am very happy that something I'm nostalgic about from my own childhood is something we both now have an appreciation for.
As far as social conventions go, well it’s about time men crossed the line to the pink girl aisle. When my youngest son was about 2 he wanted a pink kitchen set for his room. We suggested a brown kitchen set, not to bang gender conventions into his head, but to save ourselves a trip back to return the thing after I spent all those hours assembling it. We knew he might change his mind after realizing what we already knew—socially pink is typically for girls. Even though we’d never care, make fun, or say it was wrong, we can't control the whole world. He would not take any kitchen set other than pink and we bought it for him. He enjoyed it till he outgrew wanting to play with kitchen toys altogether. The fact that it was pink never entered his mind as being off limits. Now that he is older, has been around other kids at school, he definitely thinks otherwise.
I often hear parents with girls being a bit upset over the continuing Disney
princess/barbie/pink/cutesy rainbow of magic that has permeated girl/kid culture for a long while now. Stereotypes can suck, especially when the cultural conventions forced upon us are so strong we can't easily fight them off. You just don't dress a boy in a bright pink jacket and send him off to school. He might get teased. He might get picked on. Girls might have it a little easier but I do see the universal magnetic forces that usher conformity upon us all running almost as strongly through girls social conventions as they do through boys social conventions. My own son was told by kids at school that the navy pea coat I bought him was a women's coat. This is mostly because 11 year old kids have only been around about 4,000 days and they don't know any better. And they never saw Jack Nicholson wearing one in The Last Detail. And women have also adopted many traditionally male clothing articles over time. Anyone ever see Annie Hall?
The Last Detail
Slowly things might be changing for men. Barriers are being broken down as those with open minds have more influence. Many parents with kids of both sexes are bucking the trends they were raised with. Brony culture, I feel, is more than just the love of a TV show originally intended for girls. It is the rebuilding, or tossing out, of older traditional social conventions. It’s a group for people who are tired of being expected to dress a certain way, act a certain way, like only certain things, and group with others in some specific predetermined fashion. The stories in the show, the friendship mythology it has, and the look and feel of the show itself is spilling out into fans day to day lives. The show is fun and happy, but alone it was not so different from many other kids shows I’ve seen. Personally I like Adventure Time much more. The one aspect about My Little Pony that stood out to me was the communal friendship mythology it has at its core. This all inclusive communal friendship, I believe,  is at the core of the Brony culture too.
I’ve seen at my local gaming store that My Little Pony now has card games. This is just like Pokémon, Magic The Gathering, and other physical games where you need to group together in real life with others to play. This is a social thing. No matter what gadget technology throws our way to keep us connected when we are apart, people will still want to gather, have fun, and collectively share appreciation for something they all have in common. Bronies gathering at Bronycon or Brony conventions have become common because isolated appreciation of something by itself is not enough. Even connecting on the internet is not enough. Communal gathering is where it’s all at and what we as a species all desire.
Now there are many who think Bronies are creepy. The documentary itself even talked about this. Why is it OK for girls or women to shun Barbie and princess culture and adopt boy centric things but if boys or men adopt something intended for girls it’s creepy? Girls can play in the mud. Girls can play with G I Joe. Girls can play Dungeons and Dragons. Girls can become marines. But if a boy watches My Little Pony he’s odd. This is simply hypocritical and just not the case.
If you think you boys and men out there are open minded, head over to Netflix and sit down with your sons, your wife, your BFF, or your brother, open up a beer (21 and over please) and watch My Little Pony. I am not guaranteeing you will like the show, but If you can't even bring yourself to watch, or if it seems utterly too crazy to even give it a shot, ask yourself why that is?


Thursday, January 2, 2014

D&D Next & The Next Generation of Kid Gamers

A homemade character of mine from the 80s.
More of a spy than a D&D character. 
Aside from playing AD&D (entirely incorrectly) as a kid in the 1980s, my first true D&D games with real adult gamers was at my local gaming store, Flights of Fantasy about 2 years ago.  As I stated when I began this blog, I got back into D&D because I have two boys and I wanted to play something with them that went beyond just sitting on the floor with action figures. Action figure play is still a big deal with my six-year old son, but pen and paper RPGs are now a part of the family language here, too.

Learning the basics for D&D 4 was not easy. I still, and will never, know every single stat, power, concept, etc. Getting into the extreme nitty gritty of the detail of every single rule is just not how I roll—pun intended. My brain does not even want to function that way. I find that strictly adhering to RPG rules, especially here at home with my kids, to be a mind-numbing experience. Games here tend to never last longer than an hour at most. Sometimes we continue an adventure over the course of a few days. Life here is busy, kids have a short attention span, and let's face it, a PS3, GameBoy 3DS, and the lure of video games is very enticing. Also, I never force my loves on my kids. The kids took to D&D mostly because it's a great game, not just because I said it was great.

My kids are 6 and 12. When we started playing, my oldest was only 10. Old enough to grasp it all, young enough to get bored quickly. When we played at the local gaming store with the big boys and adults, rules were argued sometimes, and that was fine. We had great DMs and when a DM knows a lot, even a young kid can be helped along. Combat though, in D&D 4th edition, often took a very long time. My son played games on his cell phone or worked on homework once his usually brief turn ended as he waited for the six players & other DM monsters to all take turns before the game came back to him. He had fun and wanted to be there, but that was not a game. Not for a kid, anyway. Sure, us adults stayed in the game and payed attention to what was happening, offering advice to our party members even though it was not our turn. For kids though, the menuita of the rules and the massive lulls during combat game easily pushed out the role playing and fun.

I can't speak for all adult players, but as a simple matter of personal experience, I have observed that the majority of adults I've played with tend to enjoy all the rules. This is perfectly fine with me. A full adult game needs to be pretty rules-heavy in order to keep everything organized so that games don't descend into playing-on-the-floor-with-action-figures chaos. Still, there is no reason combat needs to take so long, and get even longer yet, with large parties. I think with D&D 4, many people, even hard core gamers, were in agreement with that.

Here at home we like fast games, lots of story, quick combat, not so many technical rules, and easy resolutions. The kids love minis and maps too. Typical game play here is heavy on story and exploration. When monsters are encountered, an initiative is rolled, turns are taken, and AC and weapons bonuses are mostly all we use. We sometimes do skill checks. Games run smoothly and we all enjoy ourselves. I often wished the minis for monsters had AC and HP printed right on the bottom. Or even 4 sets of AC and HP depending on party size—kind of a S M L and XL size stat guide.

D&D Next will hopefully have simple rules at its core. Already there is an Advantage/Disadvantage system that has me hopeful. I have playtested D&D Next for a full session at Flights of Fantasy. Now while the details were still in flux and kinks were being worked out, for the most part, the game moved much faster. Gone was all the extraneous junk that slowed down D&D 4. All those card-like abilities and powers that slowed the game and made it feel more like an SAT prep test than the high adventure it should be were mostly absent.

All the grumbling online about rules tend to come from those unable to treat rules more loosely. The very name of this blog, "Wizards Never Wear Armor" comes from one such robotic player we encountered about two years ago who barked that exact statement at my then 10 year old son. We did not stay with that group for very long. And if we want armor on a wizard here at home—rules be damned—we will put armor on one. Combat in D&D Next moves faster. I'm hoping from what I read and played that when the books finally come out D&D Next will be truly, the one system to rule them all. For me I hope the rules are put together like an onion. Small and simple in the core, and increasingly larger and more complex as it goes out. I do not mind complex rules at all, but kids and the Next generation needs something simple to grasp, so the hook of RPG is in them before they get bored. Bogging down a 6, 8, 10, or 12-year old kid with thousands of rules and instances right up front will surely sink RPGs going forward and religate the entire industry to artsy fringe people and stinky older men. Why so many gamers are absent from basic hygiene is a mystery to me. Wizards, I suspect, wants a broader base of new gamers who brush their teeth and comb their hair.

I do see hints of what I am referring to in game rules text all the time. The rules aren't in charge—Creating house rules are just fine—Get the core mechanic down and start playing—Use a store bought adventure, or just make up your own. If you are new to RPGs I do recommend reading basic rules of whatever game you chose to play. At the very least get the core mechanic down. D&D 4 core mechanic is so simple.

Here is a link to download the D&D 4th edition core mechanic rules. Wizards wants you to have them. Here is a link to their Learn to Play page.

The rules for D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder are better, if for no other reason than because combat goes faster. D&D 4 is very unique and if you were thinking of buying a new set of books I'd wait for D&D Next to come along first. D&D 4, I suspect, will be the most different from all other D&D editions once Next comes out. If you can't wait there is enough available online on Wizards site to get you up and running.

Because of the lag between D&D 4 and D&D Next, Wizards has reprinted the core rules books for AD&D, D&D 2nd Edition, and D&D 3.5. I suspect this is so when the core rules come out, whatever previous edition you loved most can be easily bent to suit the new basic rules. Obviously I'm speculating. Hoping. Here are links to Amazon.com for the D&D 3.5 Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guid, and the Monster Manual. I'd grab these fast before they go out of print. Books from D&D 4 are everywhere. These are likely to be less common as time goes on and 3.5 is my favorite edition so far. If you are wacky like me you might also want to grab the reprint of The Premium Original Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Roleplaying Game Box Set. This was the game that Gygax started it all with. A moment of silence.

I also recommend that you start playing something, anything, within minutes after sitting down with friends. Even if your first games are sloppy, so what. Pass around the rules, get moving, and for God's sake, have fun! I often read as I go, even with board games, which often tend to be stricter with rules and heavy with bits. I'll get to bits in another blog. I HATE BITS!

Role playing, for me, is about being creative. As a writer and artist it's a great way to relax while still keeping creative. While many people love purely tactical games that stimulate the brain in one way, I love more story-based games that stimulate imaginative adventure and lean more towards creative writing.

Official playtesting for D&D Next has ended. Whispers and rumors of a summer 2014 release have been growing. I found an official non date-specific release announcement here. Will I get rid of all my D&D 4 books when this happens? Hell no! Hopefully the new system will be made in such a way that all or most older D&D books will still have some relevance. Surely at the very least all the 4e modules and adventures could be very useful.

Even today when I play a store bought module with my kids I need to adjust the numbers of monsters as well as their AC & HP so that a small party of two will not be overcome and killed in one round. Hopefully D&D Next will have an official mechanic in place for using or converting older adventures to the new system.

The first new module, Murder in Baldur's Gate was already open-ended enough that Wizards printed 3rd, 4th, and Next compatibility on the back of it. I like this a lot.

This is an exciting time to be playing D&D. It may be the dead of winter where I live right now, but I'm already looking forward to the summer & D&D Next.

Here are a few decent articles for further reading:

Combat Speed in D&D Next

After A Year Playtesting A New Dungeons & Dragons, What's Next?

The Many faces of Dungeons and Dragons

Are These The Best Dungeons And Dragons Adventures?