It’s No Joke

D&D occupies a unique cultural position. It is an RPG system, several RPG settings, and the single, monolithic representation of RPGs to people who don’t know about RPGS. I do not envy the development team as they delve into what it means to call a game D&D or to distill the esential elements of D&D into something new and and pleasing to the palate.

Before the announcement of #DNDnext, I wrote something about what I hoped the next edition of D&D might look like. It was part of a longer post, but I’ve re-presented it here because I believe that it should stand on it’s own and I’ld like to expand on it in the coming months.

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.

I know that there has been a lot of discussion online regarding the new edition and some of it may make us want to claw our eyeballs out or cast firewall on our internets to excise certain forum threads from existence. My experience on Twitter has been pretty good though. I can usually fnd some decent discussion on the latest poll or blog post at Wizards.

I want to see this level of discussion on the essential elements of RPGs continue through the release of the next edition. I think the process of examining how and why the game works is important does the community a lot of good. We become better players and DMs by thinking on these things and the articles ask us good questions to consider before tinkering on our own and creating house-rules or new settings.

That shouldn’t stop just because the new edition is printed.


~ by Hunter Rose on April 1, 2012.

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