Saturday, August 6, 2011

No D&D 5e and No Basic 4e!!

I've been checking a bunch of live blogs and twitter feeds from GenCon this morning. Finally got the low down on what WoTC is looking to over the next year. Ready for this? Free cookies with every D&D purchase! Yipee!! No, wait, I think that's only at GenCon. Too bad. I might have actually bought something ... if it was chocolate chip.

No, the big news is that there is no news from WoTC. Kind of funny really. But the lack of hype was so    apparent that I think many people were beginning to wonder. Lots of 4e junkies seem happy. Both with what was said and what wasn't. And to tell you truth so am I. See 'cause not only is there no 5e on the near horizon or a scaled back basic version of 4e. There was talk of D&D getting back into the minis again--not sure what they are planning here, but lots of their new minis are only released with board games. And that's what they've got on the horizon. More board games stuff. They are announcing lots of new MGT-like cards for D&D play to add in goodies and such to your play. Sort of like Monopoly "Get Out of Jail Free" cards. Let's you do "neat" stuff in the game. And they are releasing Ravenloft for next year's setting. Likely because they just dumped lots of buckage in the Ravenloft board game. There's no word yet on what the setting release will look like, some say it's sort of a Gamma World kind of release, others say that it can be played like GW or as a D&D setting. There was some mention of a "new way to play" that may still foreshadow an expansion of the essentials line to allow a "basic" approach to the game. Regardless of what they are saying tho' Essentials aint rules lite. It's kind of like stripped down 4e.

So why does all this make me happy? Actually because it clears the field. WoTC and the current D&D brand is getting further away from real roleplay and more to board games, CCGs, minis based games, one shots and most likely DDO. It's like they either feel RPGs are not where it's at anymore, or it's like they realized they are losing the battle and trying to expand into other areas. Feels like Lorraine Williams is at the helm again. Gamer Hater.
Which leaves the rest of the real RPG community wide open for development and expansion. Paizo, GURPS, Troll Lords, Kenzerco, Mongoose, Green Ronin, the OS crew and on and on. That makes me happy. It sort of like makes WoTC a non-entity in regards to RPGs. Yes, I realize I'm overstating it. But I'm sure you get my point. And, yes a part of me was worried that 5e would actually be a good game. It would steal numbers from the excellent stuff going on right now in the real gaming world. And at heart I'm a weak kneed pansy when it comes to checking out new games. I like reading them, trying them out. And in my current state of mind that is not a real good thing. I mean I am so desperately looking for a replacement game to hang my hat on that it would be easy to be seduced my the big commercial giant. My save vs charm magic has always been low.
And just check out the Old School Renaissance Group's booth! They have some awesome pictures at their website and from what they say business has been good! And evidently Paizo's game room was bigger than ever before and word is they are a company on the ascendant. Their showcase was their Ultimate Combat book, stacked high on tables across their booth space. Which was good, because they evidently sold like hotcakes. And Monte Cook has published a 2 part release of his Ptolus project with them, that if I'm reading right also saw release this Con. Margaret Weis dropped a bombshell in announcing she'll be producing a new Marvel RPG. With 16 books lined up for production already over the next two years sounds like she'll be busy to say the least. Might have to check that out too. Wonder if they'll have Peter Parker or Miles Morales for Spidey? Both if they encompass all Universes I suppose.

Overall sounds like a good Con this year. No big blockbusters, just lots of gamers playing lots of games, and buying lots of stuff. And no matter who you are new school or old, young or wizened, don't try to tell me you don't wish you had been there. I certainly do. With about a thousand bucks on me. Okay, I could make do with five hundred.
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