5th Edition D&D is on the way

So the 5th Edition of D&D was announced this week to not much of a surprise to most folks. Well I would think not anyways. It seem’s to me we all knew it was coming sooner or later. It seem’s overall that the editions keep coming out with greater frequency and in doing so causing it’s own controversy. WotC is proclaiming that this new 5th edition will right wrongs previously done and unify the player base who have been divided via the other editions. Those are some heavy promises which I don’t think should be promised at this point. I just don’t think that WotC get to make these types of claims anymore.

EN World has plenty of tidbits which seem to be rolling in slowly but surely. The information is quite vague though with often just a random quip from a writer. It is an exciting time mind you as like many others love the possibility of something new and shiny. I know I will be following all the news even though I have reservations and I think that is something that a lot of D&D players should be doing.

I said before that D&D if anything has taught us that it is not the set of rules that make the game, it’s the players. Even with a horribly constructed game engine, something great can be produced and D&D despite it’s various editions and occasional flaws has never even been remotely a frustration to play.

I am happy with the idea of WotC wanting the community to playtest as it gets developed. I think that is a great idea to get a good feedback from everyone involved. It’s a different way to go about things for WotC and it might be that method in making an edition that bridges the gap for everyone.

Once all is said and done and 5th edition is released people will still have their preference but I hope that something really amazing is created and I get that wow feeling back that I feel has been somewhat missing. Either way it will be a wild ride till then so stay tuned and we’ll post what we can.

Wizards of the Coast Cancel D&D Miniatures

“We have made the decision to depart from prepainted plastic miniatures sets. Lords of Madness stands as the final release under that model. We will continue to release special collector’s sets (such as the Beholder Collector’s Set we released last fall), as well as make use of plastic figures in other product offerings. Check out the Wrath of Ashardalon board game next month for the latest example of this. Moving forward, we will continue to explore more options for players to represent characters and monsters on the tabletop, including Monster Vault and other D&D products that feature monster and character tokens.”

via Wizards of the Coast

Also from the same link: They’re making a new D&D movie? Hopefully it doesn’t suck!

The Return of the Red Box

Why did nobody tell me? Actually, it’s nobody’s fault but mine… and perhaps I was simply too distracted with running a Chronica Feudalis game to pay much mind to what was going on in the world of D&D, but this is just too awesome to not report, even if it’s old news for most! What am I blabbering on about? The return of the introductory “Red Box” D&D set. Not the actual return, mind you, but an introductory set for D&D 4e styled to look just like said box. While some may call it blasphemy, I think it’s very cool and smart marketing. This is the box that myself and many others got started with, and those with kids will feel fond memories seeing the updated box, thereby buying it to introduce their children to the game as they were in the past.

Check it out on Wizards’ site here.

Of Dice and Men

We’ve talked about it before when we went to PAX East earlier this year, but the production of Of Dice and Men that we saw did another show at PAX Prime this year. Jerry Holkins, best known as Tycho from Penny Arcade, detailed the experience of taking his mother to see the show:

The high point of the show for my Mom was watching “Of Dice and Men” the first night. Playing host to dramatic theatre is not, strictly speaking, in the PAX charter. We talked about moving parts on Wednesday, but if you want to talk about some moving-ass parts, a stage performance constitutes an authentic whirligig. It takes some fucking balls to put on a show anywhere, let alone in a converted convention room. Something special must have happened in there, though, because people wanted to talk about it for the remainder of the show.

My mother has never entirely understood roleplaying. I don’t intend to belabor the point, but when I was a young man it was the position of our church that Dungeons & Dragons held within it the clustered seeds of apostasy. She was so bewildered by what she had seen during Of Dice and Men that she made it a point to attend our D&D Live panel, where her son and his friends played this mysterious game on stage. The devil did show up, true, and we did go to hell, just as the clergy had suggested we might. Except in the actual version of events, as has happened so many times, we stood against the King of Lies at the very gates of his damned realm and emerged triumphant.

My mother came up to me after the panel was over, saying, “I’m sorry, Jerry. I’m sorry.” She wiped the corner of her left eye with her thumb. “They told me it was something else.”

via Penny Arcade

The Downside of Awesome

ChattyDM at Critical Hits has an article all about having too many things that might be considered “awesome” in an encounter, and what GMs can do to avoid falling into that trap. It immediately reminds me of that line from The Incredibles: “When everyone’s super, no one will be.”

From the article:

I’ve recently discovered a pattern common to the gaming sessions that leave me somewhat unsatisfied.  I realized that it’s partly because encounters reach a state of complexity such that players become confused about the best way to navigate through them.  The goals becomes fuzzy or the options are either too numerous or too complex mechanically to be used in full.

It’s not just the players though, I too become lost in options and end up dropping or forgetting powers, tricks and other things that looked awesome on paper while writing such encounters.

Read the rest over at Critical Hits

The Gateway Pub

Dungeon Mastering has a very evocative article over at their site all about adding flavour to your classic bar/inn/pub meeting.

The tavern is bustling as usual, the patrons are drunken and rather outspoken, the bards are out singing and collecting a fee while women are wenching to the tunes of dwarves who are drinking and everything’s quiet merry as the barkeep approaches you, and you simply turn to ask one question…

Read the rest at Dungeon Mastering

Robot Chicken writers play some D&D

Much like the Penny Arcade/PvP Podcasts earlier, Wizards of the Coast are in the midst of posting a series of videos from a session where the writers from the TV series Robot Chicken are playing some D&D. Predictably, hilarity ensues, and it’s remarkably more interesting than one would normally expect from watching a group of people play D&D.

You can see the others, up to episode 4, over on Wizards’ site or on this YouTube channel that they’ve been posted to.

The Daily Wizard

Well we have not done this in awhile. Almost forgot how but news was rather quiet as of late so now that things are picking up, here we go.

1. The D&D Experience which is occurring January 28th – 31st is gearing up to be quite the show. It’s all D&D obviously and should involve everything you want to know about what is going on. To boot it will have full media coverage like Facebook, Twitter and through their community group. So for more info and a list of attendees click here.

2. Rather old news but check out this spotlight on DM’s. It consists of interviews with 4 DM’s covering tips and tricks on running games.

3. Love Dungeon art? Well I always love me some fantasy art. So here is the art gallery for Dungeon 174

4. Wizards celebrates the Drow in conjunction with the release of The Underdark. Very cool stuff and I think the drow are generally overlooked.

5. A new Confessions of a Full Time Wizard is available. Always an enjoyable read