“Wars over man. Wormer dropped the big one”……that’s right, Wizards has announced the next iteration of Dungeons and Dragon and their claiming that it will be the edition to end all editions. No more warring or flaming needed. It is said to comprise the best of all editions, with modular madness allowing you to create almost any play style/edition you could dream of, including the elusive snuffleupagus edition, rumoured to be the one “true” D&D but which always seemed too have just finished when you sat down at the table. Talk about shooting for the moon.
I am a little ambivalent about this announcement. On the one hand I want Dungeons and Dragons to be massively successful, so successful that it becomes required curriculum in schools, so successful that is attributed to bringing about world peace. So I hope this next edition of the game is way super awesome. I do worry that when you try and sell it as the answer to all things that you are somewhat inviting disappointment. I am also pretty sure that I will enjoy playing the game just as I have with every other edition of the game with the exception of 2nd edition (these were my Runequest and Champions years).
What sours my excitement about the announcement is that 4 to 5 years for the life of an edition seems somewhat thin to me. Maybe I would feel differently if I started playing when 4th edition first dropped instead of 2 years into the cycle, but now I can better empathize with how some cats felt that were heavily invested in 3.x when they announced 4th edition. As a consumer I just feel fatigued. I look at the metric ton of books I have for this edition (I am still waiting on some items I have ordered) and the thought of starting over next year is a little unsettling. I am going to be smart about it this time and buy less stuff, and only stuff that I think I will use. At least that is the plan but I have talked before about my tendency to impulsively throw money at things, so will see. I also feel that Wizards were just hitting their stride with 4th edition, and were putting out their best books this past year.
What would I like to see in the next iteration of the D&D? Whatever it looks like I hope they keep the ease with which 4th edition made being a Dungeon Master. I also want them to strive for fewer errata, perhaps the big open play test will help with this. One of my biggest disappointments with 4th edition was the required update to monster stats and damage that left me feeling like I couldn’t use a lot of the products I bought without extra work, and you know how I frown on that.