Can it Happen?
I know I am a bit late to the conversation having only found out about DnD Next a couple days ago. Since then I have read as much as i can in regards to what this next phase of DnD will offer. While I think that for once the developers are thinking in the right direction and I agree the edition wars need to end, I have to wonder if it can happen.
One of the articles i read stated that one of the design goals is to allow a 1st ed fan to sit down next to a 4th ed fan and play the game they want to play their way while the DM (a 3rd ed fan) runs the game his way. While this is indeed a very noble goal and i do believe you can create a modular system that will enable this kind of play, my question is how will the players react to it?
While i don't know exactly how they are going to go about it, i can still imagine how the system would look in a general sense. Basically you have a "core" system, one that gives you the basic rules to both play and run the game. You have charachters, you have monsters, and you have loot. Yet each player and the DM are using different options to play the game. This all sounds good until you actually start rolling dice.
The 1st ed fan who likes things simple, doesn't want to have to think about what kind of attack he uses etc simply roles his d20 and declares a hit or a miss. On a hit he roles a damage die and the DM dutifully records this. The 4th ed fan declares that he is going to attack but use his super burst ability and roles not only a d20 but has to spend a few seconds adding various modifiers and pnealties before he can declare a hit or a miss.
I could be a bit off but that sounds like what they are trying to accomplish. It sounds great until the 1st ed fan gets tired of how long the 4th ed fan is taking to complete his combat action. I know that other people can see this happening without really trying. Now instead of people bickering over the positives and negatives of the various editions, we now have people bickering over what options should and shouldn't be allowed.
Ideally, everyone would act like an adult and be willing to practice some give and take. If that happens than i think this idea actually has a lot of merit. I hope that is how a majority of us approach this new phase. I hope that for once, instead of complaining about everything or praising the new stuff as the best thing ever, we can have a game that all of us can play our way while allowing other people to play their way. I really do.