May 25, 2012

5E Friday

- ENWorld had an excellent interview with Mike Mearls about 5E. Since it fell outside of the WotC site it may have been missed, but if you are at all interested in 5E (or just curious) you can check it out here. Some tidbits...

"For more complex interrupts, like those that require die rolls or decisions, I’d prefer the interrupt to take away part of your next turn...In essence, you’re taking your action ahead of time rather than getting two actions during a round."
Interesting idea and one I think will work well.

"When we looked at race, class, theme, and background, we decided to make background 100% focused on exploration and interaction...The key is that classes provide you with all the baseline combat abilities you need, so if you take a class and a background you’re covered in the three pillars."
Interesting concept. Seems like they are really trying to get away from the combat-centric feel of 4E. Not that I minded the feel of 4E, but I know a lot of other people were lost without the blatant non-combat abilities. 

"...I’d love it if you could play the game without them (themes)..."
Good. I was a little worried the the concept of themes were going to become too prevalent. I'm not sure we need mini-classes which is what themes were shaping up to become.

"We decided to remove the henchmen rule from the game for the time being, primarily because we felt it wasn’t something that we could assume all groups would need in the core. I anticipate it will be a rules module..."
A little disappointed in this. I think it will be harder to include it in the rules without causing imbalance down the road. This means it will likely be unbalancing or ineffectual. 

-Another excellent interview with Mike Mearls can be found at Kobold Quarterly. It was run by Wolfgang Baur, one of the luminaries in the D&D/RPG community. This interview was done with the NDA lifted so Mike was a bit more forthcoming with specifics. And there a lot of interesting things here.

"With D&D Next, the sense of D&D traditions does roll off the page..." Wolfgang Baur
While I am not stuck on the "must feel like 1E or older D&D" it is nice to hear such things from someone not part of WotC.

"...we feel that innovation should start at the edge of the system and work its way to the middle as people accept organic approach like that is better for the game."
Again something I like to hear. Forcing new mechanics for the sake of having new mechanics is detrimental. 

"Can you level up in a theme?" Wolfgang
"Yes, as you level up you gain more theme benefits." Mike
Themes again seem to come across as mini-classes. As I already mentioned I am hesitant with this avenue, but maybe it will be cool.

"...given in to the idea that RPGs are this niche thing that few people want to play. That’s crazy. Tons and tons of people want to play RPGs. It’s time we let them!"
Seems like they are trying to make D&D mainstream. The early comments in this section mentioned keeping the rules easy to pick up and play with; read the rules and play in 15 minutes. Make it accessible to everyone, even the non-rpg gamers.

"I found it easy to convert my regular Midgard game to the D&D Next playtest rules..."
Good to know. 

-The NDA on the previous batch of playtesters has been lifted for some of them. Here at Gaming Tonic he lets us know what the system was like pre this current iteration. The one that came out yesterday is likely significantly different than the one Gaming Tonic was playtesting. It will be interesting to see how things have changed.

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