Why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit about you and your history with D&D, what you're playing now, and anything else you want people to know about you?
I got started playing AD&D with a friend in high school, but we didn't get too far. It wasn't until I was 18 that a boyfriend reintroduced me to the game, again AD&D. I played a Wizard, had no clue what I was doing, but I liked how the game was like a very elaborate "Let's pretend," which appealed to my love of creating stories. I kept playing as I moved around the country. I even met my husband gaming. The family that RP's together, stays together. When we had a son, we turned him into a gamer too
I've been hanging around the community since TSR Online on AOL years ago, and then when Wizards of the Coast moved to the "big person net."
What to tell about myself? I'm a middle aged married gamer female, I mostly end up being DM, and really enjoy world building. I've had fun with all editions of D&D, though I'll admit I did best with 1st/2nd.
As an "old school" gamer, how does D&D Next measure up to your experiences with AD&D 1st and 2nd Editions?
So far, my group and I are having a lot of fun with D&D Next. It does seem to have some old school charm, but seems less clunky somehow. We are ending up using minis for most battles, but even back in the day it was grids and tokens or minis for me, we just are tactical sorts at heart.
Character creation is improved, in my opinion, and my players love the different options.
How does D&D Next compare in the tactical department? What would you add to the D&D Next combat rules to increase the tactical depth of combat?
I'll have to admit it's hard for me to compare directly because it's been years since I've been able to play (which is one of the great things about the playtest stuff being relatively simple, it was easy to get a group together to play it). As for increasing tactical depth, I feel they are on the right track at the moment with the combat maneuvers for fighters, rogues, and monks. My group also liked advantage/disadvantage. But of course these things need refinement (it's still a playtest, after all). And while I never had the problem with wizards dominating my game, I am on board with making sure that fighters have special and unique features that make them stand out from the other classes.
Speaking of spellcasters, what do you think of the renewed focus on spell damage mentioned in this week's Legends & Lore? And how do you feel about combat spells that bypass damage (so-called "Save or Die" spells)?
My hope is that casters will be carefully balanced while still allowing them to be interesting and awesome. Save or Die spells have never been my favorite, though I don't hate them as much as some people seem to, but I'd prefer they weren't completely eliminated, so having ways to get past them is fine by me (modules for completely eliminating them for those who hate them is good too.) They ought to be rare, difficult to cast or expensive in some way. But I agree that getting casters right, both arcane and divine, is pretty important for the game.
On the topic of modules, what sort of modular rules are you looking forward to most?
Well, tactical modules, of course, as well as something like the 2nd Edition kits, which were suggested by someone on the forums. Alternates to Vancian casting (My groups have never enjoyed that.) Maybe some modules with alternative exotic races, if you want to use them. I'd like psionics to be a module or something you can optionally not have, since my games have never been into psionics either (but I want those folks to have their fun too!) I like the idea of lots of alternatives that I can use or discard depending on the game I'm playing at the time and the personality of my group. More options the better.
And to wrap up, do you have any words of wisdom for your fellow playtesters? Anything you'd like the design team to focus on?For my fellow playtesters: Keep in mind that so far nothing is set in stone. Test, test, and test again; test your hearts out, and give feedback! Take surveys, post how your sessions go in the Sessions Report forums (I love reading those, especially the ones that discuss the quirks of each PC.) Don't be afraid to break the playtest, and let us know how you did it.
For the designers: I don't really want to tell them what to focus on, because I honestly don't know what they are currently chin deep in. Just keep positive, keep trying new things, communicate as much as you can with the players (the L&Ls and Wandering Monsters are great for this, IMO). Just... keep it coming, my group is having a ball!