Tuesday, July 24, 2007

D&D 4th Edition (yawn)

It occurred to me that I'm probably the only gamer who hasn't mentioned the inevitable D&D 4th edition in their blog. Just like most of the other blog entries, I know nothing about what's really going on, only rampant rumor and speculation.

Today, WOTC announced their D&D product line-up for Q1 of 2008 and D&D in it's current form is there, although it seems conspicuously absent of supplements. No Complete books or clever accessories, just some Eberron stuff, some tiles, an adventure, some miniatures. I've never seen modern D&D releases so sparse. The second half of 2007 looks like a lot of end-of-life D&D products. It's reminiscent of the late products for 2nd edition AD&D. They still look interesting, but nothing innovative or stunning.

Because it's required by law that I speculate on such things, let me predict that we'll have a Gama Trade Show announcement in April 2008, with an August 2009 Gencon release of D&D 4. Some of my contacts in game distribution swear that WOTC will make the announcement to the game trade first. Then again, communication hasn't been their strong suit lately. Maybe they'll announce it at a book fair.

To summarize my opinion on D&D 4:
  • Inevitable.
  • Dreaded.
  • As a store owner, I think it will be good for business in the short term. However, I'll support D&D 3.5 until the books are unavailable. It might kill the game in the long-term. If it somehow grabs kids, like in the old days, then it has my blessing to do whatever it wants. Make it Fate based. Use Gummi bears as miniatures and eat your dead. I don't care.
  • As a store owner, I think the lack of information is hurting 3.5 sales.
  • As a player I don't need or want it. Then again, I said that about 3.0.
  • As a player I hope they gore some holy cows: Vancian casting, tight classes, alignment. I hate the legacy spell system. In other words, I play D&D, but I don't really like D&D.
  • As a player I hope it's less tactical and miniature focused, but I hear that won't happen.

1 comment:

  1. The tactical system is currently the biggest liability of the Wizards' RPG line. In otherwise positive reviews of the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG, there will usually be a negative comment about tying it to miniatures. Unfortunately, Hasbro makes more money from miniatures than from RPGs, so they will continue to push for synergy between the two by forcing tactical play in their RPGs.