So here we are again, Wizards of the Coast are preparing Dungeons and Dragons fans with their latest edition of the legendary role playing game! I was always intrigued by Dungeon and Dragons but never enough to get motivated to play more than a session or two. I say motivation, as each game is a social event really. Friends (Heroes/ Player Characters) usually join at the hosts (Dungeon Master or DM) house for an evening of telling each other what goes on in an imaginary world! Basically! To some this may sound boring and not very entertaining at all; however I soon found this was more far from the truth than I had imagined…
It all began when my TV broke! I decided that while it was being fixed it wasn’t worth my Call of Duty Kill/Death ratio trying to play on the tiny ‘toob’ TV; this led to boardgames, card games and RPGs! After a small horde of games bought from Forbidden Planet I ended up with D&D. At first sight the volume of rules looked daunting and I never imagined my friends taking to it, again I was wrong. In fact the one person that moaned the most about the ‘Geek Game’ was the one person that took it the most seriously.
D&D was created for gaming groups to create imaginary worlds where Knights seek Damsels in distress and Thieves search for ancient treasures….So what is NEXT? D&D Next is as it says; it’s the ‘next’ version of D&D, but what is it all about?
Well Apparently it’s about going old skool! The “NEXT” edition of Dungeons and Dragons takes what it has learned over the past few decades and places it into the future of D&D. From what we’ve seen we can tell you this; overall D&D: Next is a healthy update to previous editions that essentially flopped and left a chasm in the D&D franchise. The game rules seem more slip streamed allowing for off the cuff adventuring or well thought out tales. It seems a little like Wizards of the Coast have responded to the ‘sandbox’ adventuring thirst that has emerged, well…since Skyrim!
Having been the Dungeon Master on a couple of play tests now, I do have a few likes and a few grumbles, but more likes!
Firstly the introduction of the Advantage and Disadvantage rule, allowing discretion and circumstances to enhance or blow your chances. Given either advantage or disadvantage the player rolls two dice and takes either the highest or lowest roll of the two, this to me feels; a) Like a good idea overall, and b) Rather ‘fighting fantasy’… In general it takes a little bit of getting used to but we played emphasis on it being something both players and DM called for, which made for some fun times!
Secondly, Character Creation!..Creating the heroes seemed to take less time than my past efforts to get into the game, some ending right at this point! A few roles here and there, a few selections and done! A far cry from the past of calculating skill points!
My one major grumble is that it’s still not greatly approachable for those that have never played an RPG, at least not at this stage. I would hope that Wizards take heed and put in some short tutorials in for both inexperienced Players and Dungeon Masters as not everyone has “beardy” friends or local gaming groups. That said, D&D next does have a kind of paint by numbers adventuring taste to it and this is what is needed!