Next! The D&D Playtest

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 ADD?“

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 DD 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 DD 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 QA 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 DD at all becomes a viable option, which it never was in the past, because DD 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.“

Arti­cle source:

Related posts:

  1. D&D Next Playtest: Mixed Emotions
  2. D&D Next Playtest: Round 2, Fight!

About Jan

Jan is a passionate gm. His current favorites are D&D 4 and D&D3/Pathfinder. He muses about gamestyles, adventure design and rpg theory. He is always on the hunt for ideas and advice to get better at gaming. His German blog is "De Malspoeler" ("the insane gamer" or "the insanity pretender"), where he is haunted by a gull that is interfering with his writings. In real life he is a computer scientist from south-western Germany and likes playing volleyball.
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2 Responses to Next! The D&D Playtest

  1. callin says:

    It is a playtest. You are work­ing. Your job is to help WotC make a bet­ter game…a job you are not being paid for.

  2. Jan says:

    Playtest as in PLAYtest, not work­out ;) It some­how may be a job, but it shouldn’t feel like one.

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