Demonstrating D&D Next
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 November 2012, 4:54 am
I love watching the Penny Arcade guys play D&D with Chris Perkins, Scott Kurtz, and Wil Wheaton. I mean, these people would be funny even if they just played Monopoly, but a roleplaying game gives them so much more space to shine. The earlier podcasts and videos of them playing served as a great demonstration of 4th edition D&D. They managed to show both the strength of that rules system, as well as showing that the rules weren't all there is to a game, giving plenty of freedom for roleplaying.

In comparison, they PAX 2012 game was less impressive. Still fun to watch their antics, but as a showcase of the new rules the game was very weak. At one point Chris Perkins even said "make a whatever roll", and that was a bit how the rules system felt to me. There were some nostalgia moments like Jim Darkmagic casting a Rope Trick spell, but they might as well have played D&D 3.5 and there would have been barely a difference. D&D Next as a rules system failed to stand out in any significant way, it was all just very generic.

What was very visible, and a big disadvantage in my opinion, is how the spell-casters had so much more options than the other players. Binwin, the fighter, had options to hit hard or to hit harder, which is certainly better than having no options at all, but not quite the same quality as being able to summon extra-dimensional spaces or shooting lightning bolts. I'd hate it if certain characters in my group had a monopoly on all the cool moves. Aeofel made up for a lack of options by roleplaying, but not every player is a professional actor like Wil Wheaton.

So overall the video was fun, but it sure didn't have that "I must go out and get that D&D Next system" feeling.
Tobold's Blog

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