Next! The D&D Playtest

23. Oktober 2012 at 08:45

Do you still know how it was in May? When the first playtest package was announced? All the excitement what the new edition will be like. That time has long passed now. Today I feel more like I’m designing half of a game in my free time. A game that does not excite my any more at all. “At least in Germany it’s 80ies revival time, so why not play a system that is just as boring as AD&D?“

First when it was announced, I thought the module concept was a cool idea. Now during testing it proves to be the major cause for boredom. I’m not a bit an OSR guy. I love tactical combat and rules with depth. The most fun version of D&D Next will be with all those shiny tactical modules, they promised us, that are nowhere to be seen yet. Sure, they will need some time and working basic rules, but that doesn’t make playtesting now any more fun. “Those rules would serve well as a tranquilizer, nothing less.“

If you want to take part in all the playtest activities, you not only have to play several sessions a month to fully test play at different levels. There is also a series on the D&D homepage about the monsters. Description and votings how the monsters look like, what they do in their leisure time, and such things. Quite long articles. Sure enough there is also Mike Mearls’ column and the Q&A posts. “Maybe the Wotzies do offer you a contract if you take part in everything?“

The excitement of the new edition is long gone, but that was to be expected. The current rules will be the basis for the tactical module. So if I don’t want to be stuck later with rules I don’t like, I need to take part now. It all also comes together with the big disappointment when I first saw the playtest. There is almost no innovation in those rules. Apart from the Advantage rule there’s nothing really new. It’s old school in that aspect, too.

I was happy with 4e, but I saw problems and thus was okay with a new edition and a major rewrite of the rules. But I wanted something new that was in some way better or more advanced. Until today I didn’t get it. And I start to become exhausted from playtesting. I’m not sure whether I still want to be part of it. Even playing no D&D at all becomes a viable option, which it never was in the past, because D&D feels more like work than a relaxing game sometimes. But for now I’ll stick to playing some more sessions. Hopefully things will change soon or I might really get off. “Good luck. I wouldn’t bet anything on it. The tactical stuff will surely take months to become part of the test.“

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