Sep 032014

Well now that I’ve had the chance to do a little bit of DMing and even more playing, I’d like to officially say that I like Fifth Edition. This doesn’t mean that I’ve given up any love for the OSR or Savage Worlds. I still dig those two as well. But let’s face it. Fifth Edition is the shiny new toy and the 800 pound gorilla.
Fifth Edition is like the Greatest Hits version of D&D. It takes what many think are the best parts and meshes them together in a fun workable system. It ain’t old-school. It’s a bit more complex than those games. But it’s easily tweakable and ready for house rules. Heck, you could easily import most of your OSR houserules into 5E. Plus experienced DM’s could pretty easily convert over the best of the old school adventures. But why would want to? Aren’t the old school games good enough? Yes, they are. They are still good and cool. But if everybody at the table is chanting, “FIVE, FIVE, FIVE” and I have a pile of awesome adventures, I ain’t going to let them go to waste.
What about Pathfinder? You know I liked it but would never want to run it. And the more Paizo publishes the splat books. The more I’m starting to just go, “Meh.” Heck, our little group has been playing Pathfinder since the beta. We’re used to it. But it still drags on with all the rules minutia. Fourth Edition never caught on with our group at all. It was DOA. So yeah, if I had choice between Pathfinder and 5E. Vote goes to 5E. But 5E versus retro-clone. That one is tougher. Might as well flip a coin.
Now on to some more random speculation. This is after reading through the PHB. I got’s me theory on splat books. More class archetypes. More Backgrounds. I know WOTC has mentioned that. But that path is really obvious when you read the book.
And finally. Let me rant and pray again to the might lords of WOTC (or maybe offer up a sacrifice to their lawyers). MAKE FIFTH EDTION OGL! please. Thank you.

Aug 202012

To all of you who had the good fortune to be at Gencon, welcome back. And thanks to you folks all over that kept those of us in the audience at home up to date with all the happenings.
Time for me to do another little rant about some gut feelings about DNDNext. As far as the crunchy rules bits go, I think they maybe on the right track on a lot things. WOTC’s real challenge it to fit all of their nifty little modular rules into some sort coherent system. It’s going to be interesting to say the least.
From what I got from the now infamous key note speech is that basically the D&D brand is going to be treading water for the next two years. Everybody knows a new edition is coming out. Many will wait for it. I’m sure that the bean counters at WOTC are going to need a lot of antacid.
But I still have the same ugly feeling in my guy. That sense of dread. It’s not about mechanics. It’s about lawyers and the accountants. It’s my crazy assed opinion that DNDNext is going to live or die by whatever kind of license they come up with. The GSL left a bad taste in lot of people’s mouths. And it’s my theory that the choice of licensing for 4th Edition helped Paizo more than it helped WOTC.
It’s pretty damned scary to have the fate of something as iconic as Dungeons & Dragons in the hands of bunch of beancounters who see as entry on a spreadsheet.

Jan 162012

Remember back when WOTC announced 4E and they told us we might already be playing bits and pieces of it mainly from Book of Nine Swords and Star Wars Saga Edition. So I’ll go ahead and jump on the bandwagon and play around with this idea.
Module I: Ability Scores, Race, Class, Alignment, a very basic skill system. Miniature use: Optional. You might be playing Module I if you’re playing Swords & Wizardry or Castles & Crusades.
Module II: Module I+Feats+More Defined Skill System. Combat and Task Resolution more crunchy and hard coded into the rules. Miniature Use: Highly recommended. You might be playing Module II if you’re playing Pathfinder/3.x.
Module III: Module II+Class Powers. Highly detailed combat. Miniature Use: Almost a necessity. You might be playing Module III if you’re playing 4E.
Module Iv: Module II+??. New stuff we haven’t heard about yet. Yeah there might be something and we’ll find out eventually. Who knows?
Yeah, it’s more wild speculation. But hell why not?

Jan 122012

OK, the excitement is dwindling. I’ve had a moment to catch a breath and do just a tad bit of thinking. The GSL is one of things that fired things up during the Edition Wars I (or as I’m now calling it, EWI). I’m the guys in trenches did what they could but the suits and bean counters would have nothing to do with it. So here we are again and really the rest of the world has come a long in these few short years.
Here I am throwing out a crazy ass prediction/suggestion or whatever you want to call it. First in foremost, I think we pretty have to assume that dndnext will not be under the OGL. The good news is that early indications are that it won’t be under the GSL. That means a new license maybe somewhere in between. The biggest hurdle of putting any of thire precious IP into the hands of 3rd party publishers is going to be the Hasbro suits and bean counters. From their perspective why should they let somebody else make money off their products. Enter the App Store.
WOTC (or they could outsource the project to somebody like Paizo or Drivethrurpg) sets up the virtual storefront for PDF and POD sales of 3rd Party Publishers projects. They get get a small cut of each sale. Let’s face it unless a 3PP has their own storefront their selling stuff through somebody’s and those people are taking a cut. It wouldn’t be that much different than the way Iphone or Andriod apps are developed and sold.
This idea works fine for PDF and POD sales. But for the big boy 3PP’s who can get a hard copy product done and into your FLGS. I’m sure a very small licensing fee might pop pup.
I’ll be honest, this isn’t the greatest idea and there’s a ton of things that could and probably would go wrong with it. I’d love to the return the OGL for dndnext but I also have to objective and I realize that it ain’t probably going to happen. The best we can hope for is a license that promotes the exchange of ideas, is open and can still satisfy that creepy gut in accounting.