Category Archive: DnD Next

Playtest Comments

Encountering the Action

The Leaders are the only ones to determine if a significant encounter must take place, according to where they are taking the story, the Characters’ health condition, the progression of the scenario, and the available gaming time. As much as possible, combats should remain special moments, since making them too frequent can quickly render them …

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The Next Cosmology

The “Many Worlds of DnD” article by Mike Mearls came out today and unlike many responses I’ve seen I’m not particularly happy with the article. Mearls opens the meat of the article with the sentance “To begin with, we’re making some tweaks to the cosmology to reconcile the differences between various editions and worlds.” He …

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Save vs. Math

DnD has a long complicated relationship with math and what math means for how the game works. I’ll be honest and say up front that one of the things I like best about 4E is how predictable the math of the game is, and I think that is a design feature of 4E. I have …

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My thoughts on D&D Next

Having had the chance to run the first public outing of D&D Next in the UK, and having been involved in both some of the behind the scenes testing and with the public packets, I’ve had 16 months to play with the rules in various forms. I thought that with D&D Next getting its first …

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Ruminating on Next

DnDNext (5E) is something I find difficult to write about at the moment. When I read people talking about it I often get the feeling that they are treating this first stage of the public play test as a finished product and that they are wilfully ignoring anything that WotC says that indicates this is …

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The Thieves Toolkit

In light of the D&D Next playtest thief/rogue being the only class capable of lockpicking, I thought it prudent to repost this look at lockpicks and the contents of a thieves toolkit. Thieves: “Can’t you guys keep them occupied in silence for 30 seconds, while I get this blasted door open?” In some ways, the …

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Monster Block

When the Planescape Monster Manual supplement for 2E came out one of my favorite pictures was the Cat Lord. So for this discussion the Cat Lord is going to be my example. (It’s funny that I’ve looked at it for years and never noticed the shadow…) Planescape is an interesting setting; it and Dark Sun …

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Trouble Choosing a Game

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about system complexity and player agency during a game as I have struggled to find a game I think both my daughters and I can enjoy fully as a game as well as an experience together. Player Agency When people talk about pre-4E fighters one of the things that …

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Art: Epic Inspiration

Continuing with my discussion of art in DnD, this week I am taking a look at art for monsters and not just any old enemies but rather the sorts of epic threats that have been handled so poorly by DnD in the past (4E included). Epic Threats Epic threats need to be just that, epic. …

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Tension To Die For

As you likely know Mike Mearl’s brought up the dreaded save or die mechanic on the Legends & Lore column this week. This article gives the thoughts of @paulbaalham and @obsidiancrane about this matter. Save or have no fun? The classic argument against save or die is that save or die effects are not fun. …

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