I'm an old hat gamer.
I played the game when Gygax was king, Planescape was fledgling and fun and Dark Sun was actually a grim setting.
I'm here because I signed up to assess the playtest of the new edition and when I downloaded it I wasn't as disapointed as I thought I'd be.
Did I mention I'm kind of a pessimist when it comes to D&D as a franchise? That's true. You can count on me being critical. I'm old. That happens.
What I've seen so far is impressive, but not so impressive that I've made ready to sell my bookshelves to Hasbro (whom I thank profusely for allowing me to post this blog in spite of the acidity of my words).
The new ruleset seems to be at least as good as 3rd edition D&D, which to my mind was a logical next step to the reverse-new-math-infested-but-flavorful-as-heck 2nd edition.
I sort of see D&D Next... Wait, that's a name? Couldn't we just call it D&D without any additional numerical or logic-numbing adjectival clauses, especially considering the gamer-unifying philosophy that is supposedly behind its creation? (You guys do own the title, correct?)
Ahem... I sort of see D&D Next as the logical conclusion of an edition that threw away as many Dungeons and Dragons and ampersands as it included stupefyingly simple and equally stupefyingly not fun player abilities and DM-paralyzing rules.
It was a fine game... For some.
But the types of people that played D&D before that edition will likely be drawn to this new one because of its flavor-induced design - a design in which, so far at least, DMs should find both appealing to work with and fun to play...
DMs being, as far as I've known in my time playing the game since its earliest iterations, a nerdy and knit-picking brand of people that have more time and senses of quality literature and scrupulous detail (if not pretty girlfriends and pots of gold) than most.
Anyway, let's just say that I'm happy there's a new, oldish edition of the game I loved to play even though I do wish that Wizards of the Coast would just make material for all its editions - both to allow players to choose what they want from the game and to allow those of us with old, moldy tomes to eek some more use out of the books we have already purchased from said company, but I guess there will always be third parties in the industry to take my dollars as well. Hasbro can't have all the money, now can they?
Here's cheers to all who are taking part in the play test! May we all have ink on our fingers and stories to laugh about!