Fourthcore, Community, & Wrath

I posted this to Google+ before I posted it here. Apologies if you are seeing this twice!

As a booster of Fourthcore, my thoughts on Sersa V’s Eulogy are long overdue and quite possibly irrelevant.

See, as far as I can tell, the concepts behind Fourthcore are as old as D&D itself—perhaps as old as role-playing! Calling these ideals ‘Fourthcore’ was a very catchy bit of marketing on Sersa’s part but it’s misleading. The gamist philosophy behind the brand could manifest in any genre or RPG product, or any edition of D&D, if properly presented. It is a style of play that had once fallen out of favor for a while and has now found a new audience.

Like all good projects, Sersa’s vision for his style of role-playing has evolved and now he is taking it out of the context of 4th edition D&D so he can have more freedom in practicing his particular craft. I have no doubt that his new product, Wrath, will perform exactly as he intends. If Wrath is still in the sword & sorcery genre, I’m equally certain that D&D players will find plenty of inspiration in it to keep Fourthcore alive in their game.

So what can I add?

Well, following in that spirit of inventiveness, individualism, and entrepreneurship, I am pleased to fake-announce that I have been approached by Wizards of the Coast to consult on the next iteration of D&D. I’m calling it iD&D because it’s all about how I play the game and not about how you play it.

With iD&D, ‘Rule 0’ and ‘The Rule of Cool’ take the center stage. Properly implemented, no two groups will play D&D exactly the same way, though they share a core of common mechanics for resolving checks and combat. Decades of experimentation and the combined experience of every DM ever to provide feedback online will be made available to encourage and evangelize creativity at the table. Everyone running iD&D will be expected to make the game their own and to share their innovations with the collective, where others can pick and choose what works for them.

I believe that all the best improvements to D&D have started at a hobbyist’s table. We all have our opinions as to what D&D should be, could be, and what we want to see brought to the game. By fostering a dynamic, creative environment where players and DMs offer up their best for the benefit of all, we can widen the breadth of the role-playing experience to encompass all play-styles and to create resources for each and every one of us to explore those choices.

The next iteration of D&D, iD&D, is a product of the new digital culture. It is social, collaborative, and tailored to our preferences. The core mechanics will support and celebrate those qualities.

Community is what made D&D great. I believe that community will continue to support D&D for many years to come, if you just give them a chance to do it their way—like Sersa V did.

Sersa, thanks for sharing your vision with us. It was a lot of fun to play and run! I’m looking forward to SND 02 & 03. Rest assured that I will play/run the hell out of them when I can. Then I’ll go back to playing the game my way and it will still be D&D and it will still be good. In fact, my game may actually be better for having stretched and challenged myself by delving into Fourthcore during it’s brief reign. If anything good comes of that, I’ll be sure to share it too. 😀

You can read more about Fourthcore and Sersa’s previous work as his blog, Save Versus Death. I also offer thanks to all the other people who helped with the design of Fourcore products, especially Dread Gazeebo!

Since writing this post, I’ve had a nice long chat with Sersa about Wrath and I think that it will defy your already high expectations. He’s seriously focused on delivering a lean, fast-paced game that embodies everything that he brought into 4th Edition through Fourthcore and I believe that he has the chops to do it. I’ld tell you more about it, but that portion of my brain leaked out of my ears when he blew my mind!


~ by Hunter Rose on July 7, 2011.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s