Thursday, December 13, 2012

D&D Next Has Left Me Vexed - It Feels So "Vanilla"

Remember when The Grumpy Dwarf was a fairly frequent poster at The Tavern? A new D&D Next article would get posted and Grumpy was all over it like white on rice.

It hasn't been like that in a while.

Not because what I've been reading about D&D Next recently is exciting me, but it's not working me up either. It's bland.

It's like taking D&D and making it into a dry, wheat toast without butter, jam, jelly, peanut butter, dog poop, pickles, whatever - it just is.

I see very little talk about D&D Next on G+ or the gaming blogs I frequent, and although there is some self selection in what I read, those that were posting about it seem to do so much less.

It may be that the open development time has stretch too long and lost it's excitement. It may be that WotC needs some big 5e announcement to stir the waters and regain some visibility.

It may also be that many of us are getting to the point where D&D Next is old before it's even new. Which is a shame. Because as much as Grumpy picked nits and critiqued, he did it because he wanted it to be a success.

Now? The Grumpy Dwarf is mostly silent. He no longer cares.

Damn shame if you ask me.

Maybe Monte can come back for a second time and add some excitement to the process ;)


  1. I'm concerned with what you think goes on toast.

  2. They started well, but as time has gone on they'e chipped away at many of the ideas that seemed so exciting and new, and it's gone a bit bland.

    1. Agreed. I've not been seriously following the development, but from the small snippets I read about it, it now seems like "just another edition of D&D"... A rough framework from previous editions, plus a load of someone's extensive house rules chucked on top. Plus the sickening talk about "we're going to do X better this time", gah.

      I guess I don't really understand what segment of people are interested in buying such a thing.

  3. I've been playing D&D Next for months now and while having rules shift beneath you is a bit frustrating at times (that being the nature of an ongoing playtest) I really like the rules. It is my favorite version of D&D and I've played them all. I do believe any ruleset, devoid of art and shifting from beta release to beta release, will feel a bit weird. But I think WOTC is doing all the right things and the edition will be a success (this despite the many missteps of the past such as their draconion PDF / DRM actions which I predict they will do a reversal on within 12 months).

  4. Disagree with the blog post, agree with Stan. This is the first time in years that D&D has felt like D&D again. I'm getting ready in a few weeks here to start running a D&D Next campaign with my Thursday group and I'm pretty jazzed about the prospects for it.

    I don't want "exciting and new" with D&D. That's why I hated 4e. I have plenty of games for "exciting and new." I want D&D with D&D, and that's what this playtest is giving me back. I have expectations of what D&D means, and the D&D Next rules are meeting them head on.

    1. But... why does there need to be a new version if there's nothing exciting and/or new?

      I'm guessing something about it is actually exciting and/or new for you. As a bit of an outsider, I'm genuinely curious what so that I'd know more about it.

  5. Once upon a time, the developers said (or at least this is what I heard) that the core rules would essentially be what was common to all versions of d&d and then they would provide add-on rule sets that would let you emulate any edition or play style. I realize that is a gross paraphrase, but the 5e playtest seems to be moving further from that model every time they release a new update.

    I was a somewhat interested in seeing what wotc would come up with (based on their earliest goals), but from what they've released the past few months I'm very disappointed. Hopefully, things will improve but I agree with the post... interest in the project has come and gone.

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  7. I started excited as well, but in the end the feeling I get is nothing actually new, it is a lot like D&D has always been, but the rules are still nothing really innovative or new at all.

    Feels more like all D&D in a blender than D&D with new rules representing the best and top design you can see in a lot of other games.

    Feels like an old game we like with old rules we already know, just a tad different.

  8. Like Kelvin seems to be indicating, I started out interested, but every time they make an update, I get less excited by the prospect. At this point, I am hardly caring that it is happening at all.


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