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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

D&D Next Playtest is Coming to a Close - Is It Actually Done?



Got this in my email this morning:
A few days ago, the D&D team announced that the next playtest packet will be the last in the public playtest. That’s why it’s more important than ever that you provide feedback. Today’s survey focuses on content that was updated in the August 2nd playtest packet, such as feats and classes.
So, if the public beta is done, does this mean the rules are ready to be finalized?

My group tapped out of the playtest in late spring of 2012 and I really haven't followed the updates all that much recently.

I know the initial vision of all things for all editions is pretty much out the window, but for those of you that have kept up with the beta, do you think we have a winner or another loss of market share?

17 comments:

  1. I haven't examined the last playtest packet in any detail, which I probably should since I hear it makes some pretty big changes from the one preceding it. Based on the latest-less-one packet, however, I was very much liking what I saw. I'd probably play it myself.

    I am coming more and more to the conclusion, however, that its success will hinge on whether they go with another open license, like they did with 3.x, or with a more restrictive license like they did with 4E. One of the (many) reasons Pathfinder is cleaning their clock is that there are a lot of companies putting stuff out for the game, and most of the old 3.x material is still usable. That third party support helps grow the base in ways a proprietary system just can't match.

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  2. I admit I've liked it so far but I haven't had a chance to look at the latest playtest packet yet.

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  3. There are certainly some good ideas in there. I am a bit concerned with the next packet being the last, as the most recent packet made some pretty drastic changes (such as completely removing skills).
    That said, the game certainly seems to be moving in a more simplified direction.

    Forth edition may have been a great game to some, but it is so different from what came before, that the few 4e artifacts that remain really stand out. They need to stop trying to please everyone and just pick a side.

    As much as I would hope that they would move back to earlier editions, I think the smarter business move would have been to embrace the 4e changes, leverage and please their existing customer base by releasing an incremental rules update instead of throwing everything out and trying to start over.

    People who prefer the older edition games already have them after all.

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    1. I think I read that skills were left out of the latest packet because they're being overhauled and weren't ready in time. There are certain 4e artifacts that I'm hoping aren't gone for good but haven't shown up yet (or were ditched).

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    2. That is kinda a shame, I liked the use of the Expertise dice with broad categories instead of having specific skills.

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  4. Given that your "group tapped out" -- as have others -- I don't think the future is "bright." Of course, I'm interpreting "tapped out" as "lost interest."

    If the play-test groups aren't interested, why would the community-at-large be anymore interested? Following D&D Next, just for the sake of "following," seems a waste of time and money.

    I'm sure many groups are still "gung-ho" -- not to mention individuals -- but many aren't, else, why "tap out?"

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  5. My understanding is that the rules are NOT finalized. Rather, after the next play-test package they will continue work by themselves. They had to reach this stage in the process at some point. As someone else pointed out elsewhere, ending the play-test now will allow them to finish it themselves in time to start the set-up/lay-out in time for next years big Gen-Con.

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    1. I was going to reply here, Callin, but I ended up making it a whole post: http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com/2013/08/d-next-playtest-and-production.html

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  6. I play-tested the new rules at Gen Con, and they are far different than those initial play-test rules.

    I liked it, quite a bit. We played the low complexity version, and it was fast and smooth, and ran really well.

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  7. I think its pretty fun. Not my fave but I wouldn't turn down a game, if you know what I mean. There are supposed to be a lot of changes in the next packet. I think a lot of the core concepts are done but there is a lot we haven't seen.

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  8. It is a very interesting blend of the editions. They had a mini-campaign and rule-set (as it stands now) available for purchase at Gen Con, and the monster section had more than a few creature illustrations right out of the 1E Monster Manual.

    It is fairly easily backwards-compatible with the other editions as well. Meaning that the materials (modules, settings, monster manuals, etc.) will be easy to use for a 1E, Osric (or other re-write/clone), 2E, or 3x game.

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  9. Haven't had the chance yet myself what with the blog and lack of interent interest in running a game. However, I will say that I found the next to last version very interesting and very playable. It was far easier to slip into the game knowing Basic D&D and 3.5 than 4th edition or Essentials was.

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  10. I didn't really like the last packet when I read it. But when we played it, my players agreed that they pretty much liked it. So it's hard to say. I feel like it's just not quite right - I liked the 2-3 versions ago system quite a bit more than the current one.

    That being said, the core rules have basically been stable, and they are a reasonable, familiar and usable set. Anything built on that Chassis will be usable, and I'll likely buy it.

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  11. It isn't ready yet, they just moved it back to in house testing, which seems pretty strange to me.

    I'm suffering from playtest burnout, so atm all I can say is that it's imo better than 3.x, but worse than any other edition.

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    1. Other players in my group like it, and will propably get it next year, but I just don't see what's so great about it.

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  12. Saves don't increase in Next, so magic, poisons, etc. are most "broken" in this edition. It's really annoying to be a high level fighter and your chances to resist low level spells are 0-15%.

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  13. My group dropped out after the first or second package but have now started converting our main campaign. Coming from 4e at least I am still a bit worried about how they will represent some of those classes and there are some concerns about how Psions, warlocks and similar will be handled as well as the use of feats. Otherwise I think it makes sense for them to do more directed playtesting to make sure that nothing is too broken and that the mechanics create the correct feel.

    I would certainly recommend testing the latest package (expected to include the bard, multiclassing and a new skill system).

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