Wizards of the Coasts announces new edition of 'Dungeons and Dragons'
The company behind the role-playing game’s new version will be reaching out to its player base for suggestions.
January 9th, 2012
10:59 AM ET

Wizards of the Coasts announces new edition of 'Dungeons and Dragons'

Soon, diehard players of the iconic “Dungeons and Dragons” role-playing game will be getting a new way to slash orcs and slay dragons.

Mike Mearls, lead designer for D&D at parent company Wizards of the Coast, announced Monday that it is developing a new version of Dungeons and Dragons.

While the details are still to be developed, Mearls said the latest iteration will aim to incorporate the best of its predecessors, along with the varying play styles and different approaches of the players who have loved them.

As such, Mearls said the company will be reaching out to its player base for suggestions.

“We could guess at those play styles, or use our own, but gathering a broad range of input makes sense to us,” he said. “We want to cast as wide a net as possible. We can only deliver on that promise if we give the varied audience of D&D players a chance to kick the tires and let us know if we’re on target.”

A long-running tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. - better know in the hobby world as TSR or TSR hobbies.

In 1997, Wizards of the Coast, creator of the popular “Magic: The Gathering” card game, bought TSR and has been publishing D&D ever since.

Over the years, there have been several different editions of the game. Wizards of the Coast currently produces materials only for whichever is the most current version, while third-party companies are allowed to publish materials for players still enjoying the older versions.

Fans differ on which updates over the years should be considered new versions. But most acknowledge six versions, with what’s referred to as 4th Edition being the most current.

This announcement, or “official acknowledgment,” of a new edition of the game is something that Wizards of the Coast has been laying the groundwork for for roughly a year.

Hints have appeared in the “Legend and Lore” column in the online magazine devoted to the game, “Dragon.” Speculation hit a fever pitch when former Wizards employee Monte Cook, one of the lead designers for D&D’s third edition, was rehired.

Mearls confirmed Monday that Cook is the new version’s lead designer.

“Monte Cook is one of the smartest, most creative game designers I know,” said Owen K.C. Stephens, a professional game designer who worked for Wizards of the Coast for 14 months. “Any chance to read his thoughts about game design in general, and what makes D&D popular and/or successful, is always good.”

Mearls said, after acknowledging the past year’s speculation, that Wizards of the Coast knows the announcement won’t be a shocker for many diehard D&D fans.

"We’re not trying to completely surprise or shock people with a change to the game,” he said. “In some ways, this is a natural time period to start looking at the next edition of the game.”

He said the update is, in part, geared toward reinvigorating the classic franchise at a time when many gamers are going online for their epic quests.

"I think there are also fears out there that tabletop RPGs are going away, that there are these external forces that are going to eventually squeeze the hobby into a continual twilight," Mearls said. "I think the hobby needs a jolt, something positive and exciting, to kick-start it into its next 40 years.”

One question on the minds of most D&D players is what the new edition is going to be called. D&D has had an edition number associated with it since the release of “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition” in 1989. Will this be called 5th Edition? “Most people will think of this as the fifth edition of D&D. In many ways, though, we want this to be a version of the game that embraces the entirety of D&D’s history," he said, "One that all D&D fans can turn to and use.

“I think that the actual naming of the game will come down to how the play-tests go and how people react to it. I’d love to just call it Dungeons & Dragons and leave the edition numbering behind.”

“Dungeons and Dragons - that brand is far stronger than worrying about version numbers or cute marketing terms like ‘30th anniversary edition,' ” said Mike Shea, who runs the D&D blog SlyFlourish.com and has written two books about the game. “However, for those already part of the community, they will likely want to call it ‘fifth edition’ just to separate it.

“Not heavily promoting a version name also gives them the option to market version-agnostic products like the Dungeon Tiles, Map Packs, miniatures and flavor-focused setting source books.”

In Monday’s announcement, Wizards of the Coast invited the D&D fan base to help shape the future of the game. But will content really be shaped by players outside the company?

“We are 100% committed to giving players and DMs (dungeon masters, who run the games) ample time to play-test and provide us with their feedback,” Mearls said.

Players will get their first chance to play-test the proposed changes this month at the Dungeons & Dragons Experience convention – running January 26-29 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Convention attendees will have early access to the initial draft of the design concepts they’ve been working on. In the spring, Wizards of the Coast will begin an open play-test of the game, available to anyone who wants to sign up at  wizards/dndnext. In early December, I got a chance to play-test this new edition, and I can tell you that it was fun to play.

Mearls said the company has been doing internal play-testing for a few months. Most of the time, employees have been testing mechanics of the game to make sure it plays at the table the way they think it should.

Shea said he appreciated the thought that the “Dragon” column showed the new version’s creators are giving it.

“I like how both Cook and Mike Mearls went back and dissected the original concepts behind D&D and hunted down the core elements of the game,” he said. “I like how they both have discussed designing D&D as a modular game with a core set of rules that can be expanded to add levels of complexity as a gaming group desires.”

Cook is working with Robert Schwalb and Bruce Cordell, two names that are well-known in D&D for their work on fourth-edition products.

As with anything that is as deeply ingrained into the geek culture and community, the announcement of a new version of D&D will probably be met with a level of reaction that, to quote “Ghostbusters,” could reach “dogs and cats living together” levels of hysteria.

“It will be a re-creation of the scene from the movie ‘Airplane II,’ when the passengers were told the vessel was out of coffee,” Stephens said. “[That will be] followed by increasingly intense online debates about which edition of D&D is better, and what the chances are that the fifth edition will be the next best thing since sliced bread, or the end of Western civilization.”

“[Gamers] are a passionate bunch who are extremely vocal and ready to give our most blunt opinions about things at the drop of a hat,” said Jerry LeNeave, who runs the D&D blog DreadGazebo.net and is content director for D&D wiki Obsidian Portal, a free service for tracking all of your tabletop RPGs online.

“The thing about those opinions is we often double back to take a second look at things after we have cooled off. So if a new edition were to be launched, I think the community would need some time to regain its composure before forming truly fair opinions.”

Stephens said he’s hoping for strong support for players who want to develop abilities and skills outside of combat in the new edition.

Shea wants the combat part of the game – obviously a big part for any player – to run faster. He’d also like to see the game be consistently challenging for players (and their characters) at all levels.

Ultimately, it seems as though the kind of game that fans want the new D&D to be is up to them.

soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Montague

    I'll give you input from a more high-tech perspective, as the rule sets have fleshed out in PC gaming. DDO, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate: EXCELLENT character creation with endless challenge and possibility, always fresh, by virtue of the characters. Adventures are important, true, but if you don't like your characters...who then cares about the game? Neverwinter (4.0): ABYSSMAL character creation, like someone handed you a premade bought on eBay. Way, way too dumbed down, an insult, really.

    My 2c anyway. The ability to multi-class is essential for variety and critical thinking. Remove that and you're left with WoW for tabletop. (That's not a compliment.)

    May 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
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    May 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  3. new casinos

    Decided. I think you made your position, and I couldn't agree more with you.

    October 5, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  4. DestructoMotor

    Yeah, it's not like these books and rules are there just to give us a FRAMEWORK to make a game. Who ever said we have to apply all the rules they give us in the books? Customize your experience and throw out or keep certain game rules. Really stupid loophole crap like the Bag of Rats trick could only work because the DM is too dumb or not hardassed enough to simply say "I don't care what the book says, I'm not going to allow that." It's not because of some flaw in some version of the rules, it's a flaw in the DM. Who says you have to apply every rule in the set? How many DM's ignore material spell component requirements to keep the game a little simpler? The DM makes the scenario and also can bend or break or make rules if he wishes. Besides, all the other editions are free in pdf format and I already bought the 3.5 collection. You can buy 4th Edition: The Quest for More Money if you like.

    August 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Jamohn

    I enjoy playing minature games, which 4.0 seems to be tailored after, so I enjoyed 4.0. I prefered aspects of 3.5 (skill points) however I liked that in 4.0 a spell caster (cleric, wizard or sorcerer) doesn't run out of spells. At the least they have thier basic At-Will spells that they can cast over and over again.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
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    June 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
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    April 9, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  8. Karma

    5e would be Pathfinder with the D&D name.

    April 1, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  9. Schmuz

    Pathfinder. 🙂

    February 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  10. Jess P

    I don't really care, if I will wait to see if it is any good. If not then I will go back to GMing whatever games my players want. As a dm it is my job to keep the game balanced, administrate rules, and build an open world. My players are the ones who develop the world, and make it fun.

    January 31, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  11. Mukluk

    Played basic and AD&DD and chafed severely under inane restrictions of class and alignment. ICE's Rolemaster was our groups saving grace and has been since 1984.

    Still playing the original rules, still having a blast.

    January 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  12. GURPS_GM

    As a GURPS player and GM, I don't care. D&D is the public face of the hobby to non-geeks, it's been featured in TV & films going back to the '80s. For gamers, everyone I know has there favorite RPG. I know one D&D GM who prefers the earliest version with his tweaks. He's nearly 70 or past it, I'm not sure.
    Success of this edition will depend not only on the number of players, but the number of purchases.

    January 14, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  13. Katherine

    I've played every version since AD&D and I have to say that 4th ed. was the best for me. For those who keep saying "there are no non-combat rules", such rules aren't required. Non-combat is the "role-play" part of the game (note... there is an 'e', not a second 'l' in the word role...). You don't need rules for those aspects of the game. Prior to 4th edition, anything over level 10 became so imbalanced that every character was completely specialized with no options. Fighters did melee. Period. Rogues were scouts and thieves. Period. Clerics were first aid kits. Period. Wizards were one or two shot cannons. Period. 4th Edition is the first time I have had a group get into the upper teen levels and find the game engaging and fun. The fact that there are rumors of their taking the game back into THAC0 territory means I, for one, may not be picking up any new materials for the game once 5th ed comes out. Sad, but I guess after 34 years everything really does come to an end.

    January 14, 2012 at 4:55 am |
  14. kthonic

    Basic was too simple.
    AD&D 1E was too imbalanced.
    AD&D 2E had too many optional rules without really adding much customization.
    Skills and Powers was built to be abused resulting in stupid and broken characters.
    3E was poorly edited.
    3.5E was too generic.
    4E was too focused on video-game style combat.
    Will 5E be a simple, generic, poorly edited, imbalanced system with too many optional rules, easily broken, with too much focus on combat?
    My experience was that with any group of people who focused on building interesting personalities for their character and were open to playing at least marginally cooperative, adventurous character concepts any edition the DM was familiar with worked fine.

    January 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Crewcabang

      it seems like your not even a player crying about flaws in each addition 3.5 was not "generic" it was one of the best versions of the game and if you play dnd and actually enjoy it dont bash on every from of the game

      April 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  15. kthonic

    Basic was too simple.
    AD&D 1E was too imbalanced.
    AD&D 2E had too many optional rules without really adding much customization.
    Skills and Powers was built to be abused resulting in stupid and broken characters.
    3E was poorly edited.
    3.5E was too generic.
    4E was too focused on video-game style combat.
    Will 5E be a simple, generic poorly

    January 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  16. Wolfcut

    I doubt that WotC will make any headway with a new edition. They will have to do something really spectacular and awesome to get people who play Pathfinder or OSR retro clones to switch, particularly since the OGL allows these companies to continue support for their system of choice.

    Make 5e simpler and back-to-basics? A retro-clone does that and there are many of them that emulate every old edition–OD&D, 1e, 2e, or BECMI. Troll lords has a stripped down 3.0 that has a lot of 1e influence called Castles and Crusades. It gets active support.

    Make 5e a game with options, feats, and customization? Pathfinder does that. So does True 20 and Fantasy Craft. Or there are gamers who use the SRD when they don't want to spend money on anything.

    So when 4e came out and fans abandoned it for one of these games, WotC is going to have to 1. Create a system that will bring back these lost fans and 2. Create a system that will not alienate their existing 4e fan base and fracture that.

    Good luck with that.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • spcfredy

      I agree Wolfcut. I prefer Pathfinder myself. I did not like 4.0 and its lack of versatility. Wizards lost a lot of players with 4.0 and with 5.0 they may lose the 4.0 players. As for me it will have to be awfully good to switch from pathfinder. I am not sure if they will suceed.

      June 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  17. Manballs

    4e is for puzzies. 3.0 is for the da playas.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  18. Gojira

    Here we go again...

    I've been a D&D player for over 33 years & all the members of my gaming group are of similar experience. The first adventure I ever played in was Tomb of Horrors & i was one of the only two to survive. Talk about a baptism of fire! I've seem game versions come & go. 1E (or AD&D if you prefer) grew from fairly basic beginnings and I always felt that 2E was a logical development of it...at first. On the positive side, 1E material was almost 100% compatible with 2E. Things started to go wrong with the Skills & Powers line of books which basically shifted the game balance in the PC's favour far too much. 3.0E was a significant overhaul for the game and did a lot to address the game balance issues. Conversion of 1E & 2E material was possible & helped by a conversion guide booklet. The system was not perfect however, which resulted in 3.5E a couple of years later. A lot of the changes really were just new terminology for the same concepts. Again, Previous version products were easily converted. When the time came for 4E, for some reason, it was decided to rebuild the game system from scratch. Those of us who were old hands at the game saw a lot of sacred cows sacrificed in the name of convenience. All character classes now had to use the same build mechanic. The classic "Vancian" magic system was gone. You no longer got to defend your character with a saving throw. For a lot of us, this was a version too far. The sweeping changes were too much and the unique flavour of the game, which had been retained through all previous versions, was lost. In short, 4E was not D&D. It was a pallid pretender to the throne. Thankfully, enough people within both the gaming industry and the gaming community felt the same and so Pathfinder was born. This was faithful to the old D&D style. It tweaked the 3.5E rules set. I'm not going to say it's perfect. I feel 20 character levels is too little. I can't convert my 3.5E Thri-kreen Fighter yet (14 attacks per round so far!). But despite this, I'm happy to have a good solid rules set which still feels like D&D. The news of D&D 5E really leaves me cold to be honest. It does make me think that Hasbro realise that they dropped the ball with 4E. The question is, will 5E draw Pathfinder players back to the D&D fold. I'm betting it won't.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  19. Gorgetheimpaler

    Wizars should give me a million dollars for 5e becuz I have ideas that will make them millions.

    1. Get rid of classes, levels, hp, and AC. Stupid, stupid, stupid. my group doesn't need it and nobody uses it.
    2. Get rid of gnomes but keep elves. Elves are hawt.
    3. Quit making pathfinder. Nobody plays that lame game anyways. It blows and sux. Wizars will save money.
    4. Go to level 50.
    5. Bring back the assassin. Assassins are killas. My assassin reached 93rd level.
    6. Borrow from WoW, but don't make it like WoW. If Wizars does that, they will have 11 million playas.

    January 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Kakupacal

      What a tardstick.

      January 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • DocMcGillicuddy

      Wizards doesn't make Pathfinder...

      January 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  20. Blue

    Pazo's Pathfinder listened to the players, and built a roleplaying sytem on what they wanted. D&D didn't. This is just Wizars of the Coast playing catch-up after a small company left them in the dust. Go Pazo!

    January 11, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • Jimvo

      Except Paizo just added houserules to a garbage rules set that was 3E/3.5E.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Bob

      In pathfinder you also had a lot of the creators from 2nd and 3rd edition contribute to it.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:49 am |
  21. Kyle

    There appears to be a massive amount of hate for 4E here, especially from people that never played it.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Cabelos

      I never played 4e, and never will (have a lot of 3 and 3.5 stuff), for two primary reasons: 1) I didn't want to spend any more money on books and 2) I heard enough negative feedback from friends and Internet postings that only solified my decision not to leap into 4e. I am not sorry about that decision. Whether or not you played 4e, the evidence is overwhelming, the edition wasn't well received. Interesting enough, all this media buzz is having another affect: the more gamers talk about 4e, the more the name "Pathfinder" comes up, which may generate more interest in its product line for guys like me that have always heard about it and needed that extra little push to go out and try it. I hate being bogged down by rules, but gosh darn it, I miss new 3.5 rules content from WotC, et al.

      January 11, 2012 at 8:19 am |
      • Kyle

        I respect you decision to play what you want. Show me the hard sales evidence that 4E failed. Most people point to amazon sales rankings. Yes the latter half of the year PF outsold D&D, but this was after WotC changed their entire focus onto essentials, and had very limited releases of product(two hardcovers in the past year).

        That said, go to a local game shop and play a session of encounters. It's primarily an encounter based session, but 4E offers more than that. You can listen to others opinions(especially friends)but keep in mind much of what has been said about the system is blatantly false.

        January 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • David in Jax, FL

      I bought 4e, read it cover-to-cover, and decided it was pure crap. 4e was WOTCs attempt to satisfy teen and 20 something WoWers who need immediate gratifcation and who don't want to spend time developing a character. As several other posters noted, Paizo's Pathfinder listened to true tabletop gamers and produced a second-to-none product.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:43 am |
      • Kyle

        4E plays a lot better than it reads, but you didn't even give it a chance. If you can't develop a character, that is your fault not the systems.

        January 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
      • Jamohn

        I enjoyed 4.0. Then again, I like minature games but miss the roleplaying so I felt 4.0 was a good mix. To each their own. You can always go back to a different variant of D&D or any of the other many RPG's out there.

        June 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
      • spcfredy

        I agree 4.0 is for 20 somethings who do not like complexity and long term character development. 3.5 and Pathfinder have a lot more tactical thinking and preparation to be effective. What I have found is that pathfinder characters are actually more effectivei if played intelligently. 4.0 is too simplistic.

        June 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
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      August 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
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      August 5, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  22. Heretic

    I'm kinda on the fence here. On the one hand, you have 4th Ed, which was generally received like the boot to the head that it was: painful, somewhat traumatizing, and repeated exposers may have caused brain damage. But, if they are sprinting to put a new spin on D&D on the shelves, then at least 4th editions existence will also be brief.... like a boot to the head. So, hooray that 4th edition is being put to sleep, and boo that they seem to still be trying to target everyone with this game, instead of just the nerds.

    January 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  23. Palladium is King

    D&D? Pathfinder? Palladium Books megaverse is king for story telling. Comabt can be a little bulky, but with some good in-house rules cleans up smooth.

    January 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Bob

      Pallaium is to close to Gurps.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:51 am |
  24. macphile

    I could swear 4th edition didn't come out that long ago...

    January 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Steve

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      January 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Cleriston

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      March 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
      • Niraj

        Pleased with quality and dgensiout of 5 starsI decided to buy this toy for my twin boys first birthday. Even though it is recommended for ages 2 and up, they are already enjoying it. They do not play for it for a long time (5 10 min max). But every time they are in the room where the toy is they go around it and play with all sides, especially they like the bids on top, wheels on the side, and groves for small plastic handles. So far quality seems very good. I like that it is wooden (getting tired of the shiny, all-looking-alike plastic toys made in China). I'm only wondering if paints used on Cube are non-toxic. I did not check it with the manufacture and now am not certain.

        September 12, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  25. Crayriver

    I've played since Advanced D&D launched and have played each version since. I have about a $80,000 collection of rule books and minatures. I've also traveled around the world quite a bit and always visit a gaming shop in every country I travel to. Hands down Pathfinder is the new platinum standard. (Like that? A D&D joke!) 4th Ed. has not been well received; often felt to be an MMO on paper. And, this is likelly true – a tactic used to attract a younger player base.
    I also personally believe Pathfinder to be the supperlative edition of the game. If you haven't tried it then I highly recommend it. The adventure paths are fantastic. I tried 4th Ed. with my player group and we were disappointed at the lack of variablity in character options. The many different powers did not give characters a much needed differentiation.
    Still, I will certainly give a fair examination of the new edition. I'd like to see more done to expand the indirect combat and non-combat aspects of the game. This would help with truly great story creation – the heart of any great game.

    January 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  26. Kal23

    Okay, I'm probably going to get slammed here because I started playing D&D with 4e and haven't tried any of the others. . .BUT listening to the other players at my table, it did improve on the other editions. Now I'm not saying it's perfect, the phrase "if this was (insert edition number her)" Is commonly said by one of our players. So I'm egar to see what this new edition has to offer before slating it.
    As for everybody who is saying it is a money grab, alot of you it seems haven't played 4e. I feel it has run out of steam. There's not alot left to be printed. So it has reached the end of it's lifespan. And yes perhaps it was a short accelerated one.
    The other thing is D&D isn't made to be played by yourself. Seriously consider what is the smallest effective party you can have. In 4e I know it's about 4. So 4 plus a DM makes five people. That means if you guys are co-operating like a good party should WotC are selling one book to 5 people. So if the book costs 25-35 your spending on average 5 each, every couple of months.
    Give it a chance people. Might suprise you.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • spelling Nazi

      You, sir, hit the trifecta of annoying spelling errors:

      "...alot of you..."
      That should be "a lot". "A lot" are two words, not one.

      "...the end of it's lifespan..."
      That should be "its lifespan". "It's" is a contraction of "it is" while "its" is possessive.

      "...your spending on average..."
      That should be "you're spending". "You're" is a contraction of "you are" while "your" is possessive.

      January 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
      • wjmknight

        And you sir, are an obsessive-compulsive dick. Did I spell everything correctly?

        January 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • macphile

      "And you sir, are an obsessive-compulsive dick. Did I spell everything correctly?"

      That could really use a comma after "you."

      January 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Mark C

      The "others at your table" are noobs and/or imbeciles.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Sari in Vegas

      I can answer to your question, at least in regards to 2e, 3e, and 3.5e. Depending on the exact class etc. of the players, one can run any of those editions with 3 people: one running, two playing.

      February 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  27. doughnuts

    Go old-school, gamers! Your d12s are getting dusty!

    January 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • MythicParty

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      January 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
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      March 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  28. Cam519

    I would like another Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale/Neverwinter Nights. non-mmo, multiplayer if you feel like it type like the previous games. Its been 5 years since NWN2, i think theyre due.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Cabelos

      Here here

      January 11, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • slyran

      Completely agree. I just restarted playing those games a month ago and quckly found a bug which won't allow you to finish Durlag's Tower. The fix isn't supported anymore as far as I can find. But they probalby won't come out with new ones due to there's more profit in console games or online multi player games. Oh well, stuck in the past.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  29. Robilar

    Dungeons and Dragons is a product that is a real head scratcher for Hasbro.

    Dungeons and Dragons just doesn't fit the Hasbro sales model, a product that uses pencil paper and imagination was always a tough model for a business model. The fact that the brand name is so widely recognized in popular culture only makes the product more frustrating for Hasbro. The logic that "Rome wasn't built in a day" just didn't fit the Hasbro toy model of mass printed fire and forget games and toys, and the Holy Grail status of Dungeons and Dragons inside WOTC just didn't neatly fit a balance sheet, and as Pokemon sales trailed off they started looking at the whole WOTC product portfolio.
    As a practical example I can remember in 2001 when the Psionic Handbooks came out and all 50,0000 copies of the first printing sold out at the distribution level. Anthony Valtera who was a Business Manager for the D&D brand was thrilled, only to have a Hasbro executive ask why in the world we even made a product that only had a run of 50,000 copies. Now this was early in the Hasbro/WOTC merger, but it gave an idea of the disconnect on the product line. Hasbro couldn't get a handle on how such a big name brand could generate such little revenue and demand such a large development team.

    I can't even begin to describe the level of tension between WOTC and Hasbro in late 2000 and early 2001 when Hasbro sold the electonic rights to D&D (Peter Adkinson resigned) which was seen as undermining WOTC's ability to revive the brand. Of course there was Peter at Gen Con running demos at Gen Con 2001 for Dungeons and Dragons out of sheer love of the game. That sort of put it all in persepective, those grew up with D&D would love it forever. I guess the point is that while most of gamers might not like the churning of editions, it's just business.

    It's been nearly a decade since I was at WOTC, and I had nothing to do with the gaming development, however I can say that the development team always asked first, is this good for our players, not will this increase sales. It's a tough act to balance passion and profits!

    January 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  30. Dale

    Glad I started putting my money into WOW instead-I v'e played D& D since 1978, but this is the end-I am not buying another ED...time to go back to Azeroth....

    January 10, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  31. Derek

    It seems like 4th ed. only recently came out & now WotC is already considering a 5th ed? Sales must be slow so WotC has to come out w/ new editions to make gamers buy new books. After all, you can play any version of D&D w/ just 3 books: DM Guide, Players Handbook & Monster Manual. All other books after that are optional. I tried 3.5 but not played 4th ed. although I have the free stuff from WotC's website on 4th ed. I doubt I'll buy any 5th ed. books.

    January 10, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Dusto

      Nope, they just like to keep pushing more and more new product on people. Just like Magic the Gathering. Years ago a new expansion would only come out a couple of times a year. Then they moved to a new set every 3 months like clockwork. There are so many collectors out there and people who have to have everything. WotC just keeps feeding the addiction.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • Ally

        That's why I stopped playing MTG. I just couldn't keep up anymore.

        January 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Trigghita

      Wonderful Toy and very much worth the money!out of 5 starsThis is one of the best toy in market these days. We just bohugt this yesterday and my daughter is loving it already. It has so much to do on it and will keep her busy for a while I am sure. Talking about the quality, I think we've got much improved version of it as it seems very solid and no stickers infact its all painted now so it looks very high quality. A must have for every kid!!!

      September 15, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  32. loaba

    This is nothing less than WoTC admitting defeat. 4th Edition has been a complete failure and Paizo's Pathfinder RPG has eclipsed it in total sales. Who will buy a new version of D&D? Disgruntled 4e players? I expect they'll not want to abandon hundreds of dollars worth of books. Pathfinder players are unlikely to jump ship either, so who does that leave?

    Did Hasbro/WoTC just kill Dungeons & Dragons forever?

    January 10, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • JLS639

      "Paizo's Pathfinder RPG has eclipsed it in total sales"

      This is an apples and oranges comparison. Most players know get the 4e rules through D&D insider subscriptions. The way it is set up now, you can pay a small subscription and get all material from all sourcebooks and official publications (and WotC gets steady income). I know people who play both games. At a 4e table I see 3-4 laptops out with everything online and few rulebooks. At a pathfinder table everyone has 2 or more rulebooks. It is important to note that total sales figures are not available and those "sales figures" are the impressions from a non-random sample of distributors and retailers in the hobby trade.

      January 10, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  33. Mike

    D&D originally was about a small set of rules, and big imaginations. The problem was that game experience was a strict function of DM skills; a weak DM meant a weak game.
    They addressed the problem by throwing lots of rule-details into the game, which made bad-DMs less-bad in practice, but also screwed up good DMs who had lively campaigns wrecked by rules-lawyers.
    The best games are distinguished by frugality, leveraging a minimized set of rule-primitives to drive a polynomial expansion of potential scenarios. If they wanted to really make a great D&D reboot, they would make the new ruleset fit within the same 3-volume set of the original D&D Basic Set 1st Edition, minus one page.

    January 10, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • James

      Well said.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Rabby

      You have nailed the issue for me. I started with a great DM who used the open ended environment of the original D&D to provide a fantastic game playing experience. After AD&D i he general games soon degenerated into groups of geeks arguing over what was printed in expensive books. Our groups of players rejected the new rules and only used a few books as source books for a couple of new ideas. We never accepted the limits imposed by later versions and likely never will.
      I wish that they would reprint the original books as a series. I would give copies to my children so that they could enjoy the origins of the game. You know, when it had meaning.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • MK045

      A lot of DMs are good at telling a story, but don't feel comfortable "just winging it" with rules-related questions. They want to be able to have something to fall back on. On the flip side, a lot of DMs have no problem with game mechanics, but need some structure to storytelling and roleplaying. If we operate under the assumption that WotC is not designing a game for you and four 4-7 gaming buddies, they have to address both successfully. A small company like Paizo can go for one niche or the other, while Wizards cannot.

      I've not played Pathfinder, but I did play 3.5 with a binder full of house rules. I've also played a lot of 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st. Each has good and bad points, fits into a different place for different gamer/group styles. 4th is a little too MMORPG for my taste (though I play a lot of WoW, so maybe that's just overload for me), but it's a solid game; too much reused art from 3.x sources. Trying to please everybody is the surest way to please nobody. I just want 5th (or whatever they call it) to be a solid game that keeps this style of game alive for future generations – even if it is six people with iPads or Android tablets around an LCD "table".

      January 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • spcfredy


      June 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  34. SoulCatcher

    "Shea wants the combat part of the game – obviously a big part for any player – to run faster. He’d also like to see the game be consistently challenging for players (and their characters) at all levels."

    Most players I've played with just strive to obtain an artifact like the Sword of Kos and the Invulnerable coat of Arnd. We like the Loot!

    A well formed party should be able to handle most anything with ease. I hate games where a single die roll kills us all.

    January 10, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Madelin

      Sticker problem feuodixt of 5 starsAfter reading many reviews about the stickers falling off and looking at other cubes, I decided this toy was worth it even without the stickers. I was surprised when it arrived to see that the manufacturer corrected this problem. There are no stickers on the gears, but instead the pattern is painted on. My son loves this toy and overall it was a GREAT buy.EDIT: We have owned this toy for nearly a year since my review and it is still a hit and has held up. My son is a very rough player and has abused the cube beyond belief but it still looks like new.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
      • Marcia

        The next time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt dinpapoist me as a lot as this one. I mean, I do know it was my choice to read, however I truly thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you might fix should you werent too busy in search of attention.

        November 16, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • Kyle

      Hi there, I find that your case is rather spiacel as it talks about an assorted range of interesting information. Anyway, was overcurious whether you would like to interchange links with my web space, as I am searching to build web links to further extend and reach better audience for my web site. I don't really mind you locating my links at the homepage, just getting this web links on this particular link is great and enough. Anyway, would you be kind enough contact me at my web space if you are keen in exchanging links with me, I would really appreciate that. Best wishes from me and hope to hear from you very soon!

      November 14, 2012 at 2:41 am |
  35. Shadojack

    Powers above, spirits about, and demons below, do not allow this travisty to happen.

    I stopped playing D&D with 3rd edition, and that was only for the Ravenloft setting. I won't be wasting any additional funds. I think 30 + years of gaming is enough to prove my love of the game. At least the game as it was.

    January 10, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  36. Conroy-VA

    I'm just waiting for them to decide to write a story on BESM 3E. Combine two of the biggest geek/nerd genres in all the world (and being one I know...here's my membership card)

    Table Top RPGs and Anime. w0000000000000000t!

    January 10, 2012 at 7:21 am |
  37. PaulNYC

    One gets a little tired of the cynical built-in obsolescence of things like D&D just to perpetuate the consumption of more and more product. I understand the business sense of it but pen & pencil gamers are either forced to adapt to the new (i.e. Spend money) or continue using a discontinued version of the game with no support other than fan-created content (assuming WotC would allow that).

    January 10, 2012 at 6:22 am |
    • CtEd

      Play first or 2nd Addition. The books are still out there. Hell I have extra mint copies of every ADD and ADD 2ns edition book in my closet. I bought two when they came out just in case. Plus a A good DM will taylor the rules to make the game fun. I took a look at 4th ed and all the video game / combat focused changes and said no thanks. There is no real depth to that experience.

      Hell Rolemaster is a great system as well (or Gurps) and you can still set it in the forgotten realms or greyhawk and use any ADD source material though a great DM will create a unique world.

      January 10, 2012 at 9:34 am |
      • Aaron the Ogre

        I started play when I was in middle school in the late 70s. I loved basic, but hated second edition and 2eS&P. 2e is broken and most of my friends knew this, so when 3e and 3.5e came out, we jumped on it. 3e brought back the fun Basic had with a little more sophistication. A few years ago, my son started playing 4e. I went and played with his group a few times and found the game to be boring and way to restrictive and well, broken in pretty much the same way 2e was: those two versions restricted the player way too much. Basic had very few rules, so the DM had to generate house rules and 3e was pretty much anything goes with only a few house rules.

        I'm just thinking, if you like 2e then you'll like 4e. Both are broken.

        January 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  38. SCDad

    I'm boycotting until WOTC brings back Heroscape

    January 10, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • Jason Youngdale

      Hell I still have alot of stuff for that game and ran a Heroscape battle at a con last month....

      January 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  39. Draken

    Dun. This is the last straw for me and mine. 3 years is not an editions lifespan. WHO CARES IF IT'S WELL WRITTEN, IT'S NOT WHAT THEIR CUSTOMERS REALLY WANT, JUST LOOK TO THEIR FORUMS FOR PROOF. I have personally spent a crap ton of money on WotC products and had alot gifted to me. But now for some reason, WotC thinks that their customers are begging for a new edition, typical WotC side winding. I will not be giving WotC anymore of my hard earned money, and I strongly urge that the rest of those reading this to follow suit. With companies like this left unchecked it's no wonder that the economy sucks, and these are just the little guys. $6.50 for hamburger or peanut butter and we still have to find $ 40< for some new unwanted and unneeded edition of D&D. PURE BS.

    January 10, 2012 at 5:05 am |
  40. Bill

    The first edition, and TSR as a corporate entity, ceased to exist because the new management began excreting rulebooks at a frightening pace. The new management (After they squeezed out Gygax) didn't understand the game or the market. This will not end well for the game.

    January 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  41. Jason Youngdale

    I love all this nerd rage! LOL THACO sucks the old red box rulez!!
    Go with GURPS it has always rocked and D20 got its idea from it

    January 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • GURPS_GM

      I agree with Jason. GURPS is a way better engine in my opinion.

      January 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Muti

      Wicked is so fantastic, I saw it on sradtuay and I'm still buzzing from it, it was just so amazing. especially Rachel Tucker, her voice is unbelievable. We went to see Lee mainly (he sort of stole our pen again. he did that at Arthur Saville's Crime too but at least he brought it back both times) but even if he wasn't in it the show it would still be the one to see.

      July 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  42. Davian

    Patherfinder rpg (also called 3.75) is awesome and is a well written replacement for D&D 4th edition which in my humble opionion was Wizards/Hasbro trying to turn D&D into a pen and paper version of a Video Game. 4th edition is a HORRIBLE game and one that most D&D players all feared would happen when a major corporation got ahold of TSR. Monte Cook jumped ship from Wizards to Paizo (spun off of TSR as the dungeon/dragon magazine Company.) and used the OGL 3.0 License to make a Better more streamlined game system. If this 5th version of D&D is anything like Pathfinder then it will be good, but why play a second best system when Pathfinder is there and is Fantastic! If it is not better or the same as Pathfinder then i for one will not pay even MORE money to Hasbro for something I already own. I have been an avid player for 32 years now and spent Thousands of dollars on D&D products to be hand the piece of that was 4th edition and Hasbro's attempt to rake in more money after purchasing Wizards/TSR hoping for more instant income on a "NEW" edition. I Have followed my heart and my belief as a true PnP gamer to Paizo entertainment who still holds the torch for us who are pnp gamers and not the lowest common demonantor gamers that Hasbro has catered to. Hasbro/Wizards/Tsr you have ALOT of convincing to do for one gamer and his group of players. Pelor Bless all true believers and continue the fight against all minions of Iuz!!!

    January 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • SoulCatcher

      Yep, Pathfinder is it, unless Monte can top it. I think it needs to be made simpler.

      January 10, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • loaba

      If the D&D nameplate dies, does it take the entire genre with it? Does Pathfinder (an excellent system to be sure) then become the pen & paper swan song? Even Paizo is developing an online version of the game.

      January 10, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • sterling145

      I fully agree with you. My group switched to Pathfinder once we reallized how bad 4th ed is. I will not be switching back.

      January 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • spcfredy

      I Love Pathfinder. The only way for wizards to recapture pathfinder players if for them to acquire Paizo and publish D&D Pathfinder.

      June 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
      • Asim

        Bryce's Momout of 5 starsThis is a great learning toy for young cleidrhn. My Son loves to play with the beads on the roller coaster and the gears. I love the alphabet with pictures on the spinning blocks. My Son is only one and we are starting to work on all these fun learning activities. We hope to have many years of fun and learning with this item.

        October 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  43. nwn

    just play neverwinter nights...

    January 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • SoulCatcher


      January 10, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  44. MattC

    You know what'd be nice? If they'd go back to the 2nd Edition system of add-on books. You know, when they were completely unnecessary but still cheap enough that if you wanted it you could tolerate dropping $15 bucks on a book. This $25-35 a book for what, honestly, boils down to 3 pages of usable info is just greed. (If you know anything about Star Wars Saga Edition, see Galaxy of Intrigue or Galaxy at War). I paid 15 bucks for Unearthed Arcana and loved the cover off of that book, but if it cost $30 dollars I would never have fallen in love with Cavaliers.

    January 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • MattC

      I need to amend this. By "2nd Edition", I meant when it switched from "D&D" to "AD&D". My bad.

      January 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
      • Jeff

        I'm pretty sure a gamer knows what you meant. I did, so I am sure everyone else did too.

        January 10, 2012 at 9:03 am |
      • Martina

        Great design, poor wosaoknrhipmut of 5 starsI love the design of this toy and so does my son. BUT, I sent the first one back because one of the crews was stripped and kept turning. I sure didn't want it to fall out one one and my son finding it. It had some paint marks on the inside and piece of wood on the inside was broken. Then, I got a replacement one that has one screw stripped once again and the 4 screws to screw the top were missing altogether and of course more paint on the inside. Made in China with lots of paint which also makes me nervous. Their quality control sucks, I can't believe that two out of two products are both defective. I feel bad for Amazon paying for shipping back and forth to send me new and will keep the second one, but will NOT purchase any more products from Anatex. This toy cost around $100 and for this kind of money, I expect quality. And this product is not quality.

        August 3, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  45. Chris

    God Saves!! Everyone else roll 1D6.

    January 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Osyana

      Love this!

      January 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • James

      That made me laugh.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Mark C

      Uh, the expression is Jesus saves. Dimwit. And saves are with a D20.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
      • Brendan

        God made his save and the others are rolling for effect, probably damage.

        January 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
      • bobbydrake75

        You're also wrong! The phase is "Jesus saves the rest of you take full damage!" 🙂

        January 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  46. Parker

    Translation of it all:

    Wizards: We are announcing dev on 5.0 today.
    Fans: So you are admitting 4.0 was a colossal failure that destroyed the game and fractured gamers into a thousand pieces?
    Wizards: In a word: yes. 4.0 was a huge mistake, and lots of folks said so at the time, and we said go soak your head, and buy what we tell you to buy. You are gonna play it, and you are gonna like it. But in the end, all the detractors were exactly right. We broke the game, gutted it and ripped out it’s soul. We would have put its soul in a Magic Jar, but 4.0 rules stripped that spell out because it’s a story device, and not useful in combat. We are now sorry, so please come back to us, because after all we still have the name “dungeons & dragons”. We are the brand.
    Fans: Uh Huh.
    Wizards: You see because we broke the game so badly, and have dismal sales figures, we have been forced to lay off most of our developers, so we are asking you the fans, to actually do all the work of developing the new rules.
    Fans: Uh Huh. Pathfinder already did that.
    Wizards: But wait. Pathfinder is really Version 3.75. You could help us build Version 5. That’s a full 1.25 versions better!
    Fans: There is a little saying that conveys a lot of wisdom: Don’t fix what ain’t broke.
    Wizards: But Hasbro, a public company owns us. We have to keep tinkering to feed the profit machine.
    Fans: Did you ever stop to think how pissed off your eight customers who did buy all your 4th edition garbage will feel when they find out you stuck them with an admittedly dead edition that is abandoned after less then 3 years, when all other editions averaged over 10?
    Wizards: Eight sheep? They will line up again to be shorn.
    Fans: Check out pathfinder @ paizo

    January 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Beolveig

      LMAO...you took the words right out of my mouth. Those were the exact thoughts I had upon reading WoTC's announcement for the first time.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  47. KellyinCA

    You've GOT to be f***ing kidding me – they just put out the Fourth Edition. Hopefully these money-grubbing w**res won't go charging $100 for the PHB, DMG and MM. This -THIS- is what's been killing D&D since 3E came out: it's become less about actual play and the imaginations of the players than about how big one's book collection is. It's become impossible to follow the constant updates between the new books and the magazines and supposedly you need a law degree to play at tournaments. GIve it the f*** up, Hasbro – if you're lucky, you'll sell the three main books then watch as the next two or three get shunted to the $5 remainder bins within six months.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  48. I Am Jack's D&D New Edition Comment

    This is excellent news – that is, if TSR, er Wizards of the Coast, er HASBRO is attempting to alienate every single player who buys their RPG products. 3E was a welcome change... a breath of fresh air in a stagnating FRPG environment. However, the grumblings of the loyal D&D patrons began pretty quickly when 3.5 came out so soon after 3E – requiring everyone to purchase all the books again and stirring up the cries of "cash grab". 3.5 was chugging along pretty well and was nowhere near wearing out its welcome when WoTC decided to completely revamp the entire D&D system and release the poorly-received and critically-savaged 4E. And now... this. It's no surprise that so many of my geek brethren have migrated to playing the excellent and enjoyable Pathfinder RPG. So long, D&D 4E and now D&D 5E or whatever you want to call it – we've found a better place to call home.

    January 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  49. Parker

    Translation of it all:

    Wizards: We are announcing dev on 5.0 today.
    Fans: So you are admitting 4.0 was a colossal failure that destroyed the game and fractured gamers into a thousand pieces?
    Wizards: In a word: yes. 4.0 was a huge mistake, and lots of folks said so at the time, and we said go soak your head, and buy what we tell you to buy. You are gonna play it, and you are gonna like it. But in the end, all the detractors were exactly right. We broke the game, gutted it and ripped out it’s soul. We would have put its soul in a Magic Jar, but 4.0 rules stripped that spell out because it’s a story device, and not useful in combat. We are now sorry, so please come back to us, because after all we still have the name “dungeons & dragons”. We are the brand.
    Fans: Uh Huh.
    Wizards: You see because we broke the game so badly, and have dismal sales figures, we have been forced to lay off most of our developers, so we are asking you the fans, to actually do all the work of developing the new rules.
    Fans: Uh Huh. Pathfinder already did that.
    Wizards: But wait. Pathfinder is really Version 3.75. You could help us build Version 5. That’s a full 1.25 versions better!
    Fans: There is a little saying that conveys a lot of wisdom: Don’t fix what ain’t broke.
    Wizards: But Hasbro, a public company owns us. We have to keep tinkering to feed the profit machine.
    Fans: Did you ever stop to think how pissed off your eight customers who did buy all your 4th edition garbage will feel when they find out you stuck them with an admittedly dead edition that is abandoned after less then 3 years, when all other editions averaged over 10?
    Wizards: Eight sheep? They will line up again to be shorn.
    Fans: http://www.paizo.com

    January 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  50. oldschool

    Bring back the Demons, Devils, Assassins, and Cthulhu Mythos! AD&D 1st edition but with better game mechanics. BTW 4th edition is an abomination.

    January 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • jdarbyd3

      You should check out Pathfinder, oldschool. Not only does it have demons, devils and assassins, but also the creators are all HUGE Cthulhu fans and have laced pretty much every Adventure Path and supplement they have released with the Old Ones and their ilk. I, probably like you, started playing D in the late '70s and enjoyed the flavor more than the rules. With Pathfinder you get both! Try it out!

      January 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
      • oldschool

        Thanks, I plan to. I have some concerns that there are too many spells, feats, etc which could detract from role playing but the game can't be put in a glass case and admired if it's to survive. I do like the idea of expanding the rules to include skills outside of combat.

        January 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bob

      Cthulhu Mythos was published by TSR illegally, thats why they had to take it out. Chaosium and Arkham house had the legal rights to it. Thats why the in Deites and Demigods and Legends & Lore from that time period on excluded them.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:01 am |
  51. Jon

    Never thought I'd see the day where something like this was on the front page of CNN...

    January 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Matt

      I'll echo that.

      I will be curious if they can combine the role playing/adventure elements that dominate 1st and 2nd editions with the character development/combat aspects that dominate 3-4th editions.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
      • Conroy-VA

        You know, if you have a really good GM/DM, that already happens. You can make the rules as nice, fluffy, streamline or detail as you want, but it is the person leading the game that makes it truly fun or not fun.

        That said, I have never played in a 4E game, though I've eyed the material. Everyone is right, I'd rather bust out my NWN and hop on a private server with a few friends as I would play 4E. Pathfinder is, indeed, a far superior product. And WotC figured out fairly quickly the releasing of Monte Cook was a terrible move.

        I will reserve judgement on this until I have a chance to see more of the actual material, but I don't see anything making me drop Pathfinder at this point.

        January 10, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  52. Bill

    Bah! only the fantasy supplement of TSR's "Chainmail" game (from which D&D evolved) is the TRUE religion... 😉

    January 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Texcalibur

      The "faith" is much older then that. It goes all the way back to H.G. Wells and beyond.

      January 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
      • Allen

        ljmeyers17 on November 7, 2011 @IMissBritneyAlexI Well it ended may 5th and pleope are still posting their comments, wasn't trying to be offensive, just helpful

        March 5, 2012 at 3:23 am |
    • AGuest9

      I have a copy of Chainmail, as well as Don't Give Up The Ship. TSR RPG Classics. As a kid, I remember the three-book boxed set at the local Walden. Wish I'd spent my allowance on it back then.

      January 10, 2012 at 7:20 am |
  53. Rhymeskeema

    Nothing will ever top the Gygax/Moldvay era D&D. Back then, if you didn't know how to roll for an event, you made it up. People want rules for picking their noses now.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • sternicusmath

      Great point. The group I am part of currently plays a hybrid of 2, 3, and 3.5 (I like to call it 2.83). 3 and 3.5 have some good ideas but each new version seems to lean more towards trying to quantify everything instead of letting the DM make a decision. We can actually have a discussion about an issue and arrrive at a mutual consensus out-of-game, regardless of how it affects our characters in-game.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  54. RPG Fan...

    its about that time of decade again, just when i start to get all the books to play 4E they come out with a new edition...
    oh, well that means the resale bookstores will have all of them cheap...

    January 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  55. MK045

    I was very worried, until I saw they are bringing Cook back. He's very good, though not everything he's done was flawless. But there's a level of trust there; need SKR back as well. The one thing that struck me the most was the line, "...a core set of rules that can be expanded to add levels of complexity as a gaming group desires." We always have a binder full of house rules (in any edition), so modular complexity is a huge win for us. ASL with swords...

    January 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • SoulCatcher

      For some reason all my characters fear his modules. Why does the cleric always have to die first?

      January 10, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  56. lt_murgen

    I've played all editions, foing on nearly 30 years now.

    I like 3.5 the best. It ironed out a few major kinks in 2nd edition. Of course, there are still issues.

    I tried 4th edition. It has its good points- like skill challenges- but it focused too much on map-based combat and not enough ROLE playing.

    OF course, since Pathfinder is now outselling D&D 4ed on a monthyl basis, it seems many people didn't like 4ed either. Maybe that's why they are making changes again.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • KA

      Wizards is making a new edition to take your money. That's it.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  57. UncleJohn

    This has already been done by Steve Jackson – GURPS – the Generic Universal Role Playing System. Handles everything from amoeba wars to swords and axes to time travelers, all in one set of rules.

    I was skeptical, coming from years of D&D, until I realized one key difference b/w GURPS and D&D (2nd I think) – in GURPS, entire evenings go by without anyone pulling out a manual to interpret the sages.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Bill

      Ah yes, "rules lawyers" if you think D&D is full of them, try Star Fleet Battles, huge rule book far to big to memorize, hours of fun for future jurists, based on Star Trek....

      January 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
      • UncleJohn

        "There's a reason nobody role plays lawyers and accountants."

        January 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Marc Miller, of Traveller fame – (and the Game Designers Workshop.) GURPS works for that, too.

      January 10, 2012 at 7:28 am |
      • Dina

        Well you cannot have staff going arnoud willy nilly spouting off.The main interest and concern for me is that staff use blogging, wiki's etc for educational purposes not for personal ranting. also for internal constructive debates this is one good argument for keeping wiki's and blogs behind close doors within blackboard or similiar

        August 2, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Kholijah

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        November 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  58. William Rossell

    I go all the way back to Chainmail. The game has changed enormously from the beginning....some good, some not so good as far as all the changes. The real challenge is still creating that world where the players get lost for a few (lol 12-15) hours of fantasy. What i have found over my 33 years of playing, it that simple still works best. Most good DM's adjusted the original rules to their world, and to their style of game play. Arguing over speed of a weapon, or encumbrance, or anything else that detracted from the fun of the game made little sense to me. It was, has, and always will be about the players finding a challenging world to explore, and enjoying the company of the other players.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  59. Slappy

    Monte Cook and Mike Mearls could market dead squirrel pancakes and I would buy them.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Conroy-VA

      As opposed to live squirrel pancakes with a side of hash browns? (Well, someone had to post a smart reply)

      January 10, 2012 at 7:18 am |
  60. Robert

    Computers have their place, but they aren't everything. A computer makes a TERRIBLE DM, there are only a very limited range of responses. A computer doesn't allow for anywhere near the range of creative solutions to problems. Computers are not going to replace table top role playing games. Sometimes people want to actually be social.

    Each time there is a new version of D&D, there are always the partisans for the old system, insisting that the new version is terrible. Here we have one person saying we should go back to version 2, another insisting we should go back to 3.5. When the new version comes out, I'm sure that there will be those who insist that 4.0 was an untouchable classic. One thing I do like in version 4 is that healing is more distributed, it doesn't all have to be on the cleric's shoulders. This allows the cleric to be more than just a healing battery. I've seen many people who have complained about older versions where the cleric had good spells, but could never use them, because he needed to cast healing spells so often.

    Enjoy whatever version you enjoy.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm |


      January 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Charles

      Very well put 🙂 I must say, It's nice that everyone online isn't a troll >_>

      January 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • Conroy-VA

        Yeah. Halflings seem to be pretty popular too....

        (Dear goodness, a Fantasy RPG joke! Noooooooooooooooooo!)

        January 10, 2012 at 7:18 am |
      • RAGE against the Machine!

        You need to move out of your mother's basement...ASAP!
        Just don't call 9-1-1 if you see a giant fireball hovering in the sky. That's called the Sun. Its supposed to be there.

        January 10, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  61. Fawn

    Honestly Fred you have no idea what you are talking about... Personally I feel they need to do away with 4.0, and expand upon 3.5. Look at Pathfinder for some inspiration. Though I must say, just calling it "5th Edition" is a dumb idea.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Bruce Cordell

      I was going to originally name it 5th Edition, but then I took an arrow to the knee.

      January 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • this guy

      They definitely need to just forget that 4th edition ever happened. It seemed to me like an attempt at D&D for dummies.

      January 10, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  62. truth

    Simple, bring back 2nd edition rules which were the best of the bunch!

    Sprinkle in some 3.5 and get rid of the MMO centric 4.0 rules and you MAY actually have something worth playing again.

    January 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • The Engineer

      The 2nd Edition is the only one that really works.
      I've tried them all and always go back to THACO.

      January 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
      • katanawa55

        That's why you go with Pathfinder instead of 4e. if you cant get 2nd edition then go back to 3.5 or pathfinder which is 3.5 with a couple of changes but it's still fun lol

        January 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
      • Old School DnD'er

        I would agree. My DND group and I have played every edition of DND and we always go back to the second edition rule set. Just something about it feels right. For me, it always feels like I have accomplished something... that it was a struggle with questing for. LOL but then again, this nerd is happy playing any edition (well, except 3.0, but did anyone really love that?)

        January 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • The Engineer

      Bought the 4th ed stuff and it works well under 1 leg to keep the table level.
      Also got extra copies of all the 2nd books in case I wear mine out.

      January 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  63. Fred

    Yes, it needs something that will allow it to last 40 years... how about a computer RPG? That might be your safest bet. Even seen a kid under 15 play a board game anymore – when they've got a PC, an Xbox, and Playstation?

    Computers are the future. Embrace it..

    January 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • AD&D 2E

      They did make one of the best versions of the game for PC: the Baldur's Gate Series back in the late 90's:
      Baldur's Gate
      BG Expansion – Tales of the Sword Coast
      BG2 – Shadow's of Amn
      BG2 Expansion – Throne of Bhaal

      Not to be confused with the pathetically horrible Dark Alliance series for the console systems.

      January 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Ally

      They do have an MMORPG out. Dungeons and Dragons Online. I've been playing it for about 4 years now.

      January 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Charles

      Not from a guy named Fred.

      January 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Mark C

      Computer RPG's are no more a substitute for pen and pencil ones than online sex is for real sex.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:00 am |
    • Mark C

      Online RPG's are no more a substitute for real RPG's than online s3x is a substitute for real s3x. (And yes, let me say it before someone else does: D&D players don't get any online or off).

      January 10, 2012 at 5:02 am |
      • Jamohn

        Mark, not all D&D players live in their mothers basement and dream of a real girl. Some, like myself, have internal drive to go to college, get a degree and be a vital contributor to the society we live in.

        June 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm |


    January 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • @ Nerd Rage

      Epic! You're rage managed to break the internets coding! I applaude you!

      January 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • mother

        You said "epic." Go kill yourself.

        January 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • RAGE against the Machine!

        You repeated "epic," so how does that make you any better? Jump off a bridge and save us your hypocracy!

        January 10, 2012 at 8:57 am |
      • spelling Nazi

        It's "hypocrisy", not "hypocracy".

        January 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
      • macphile


        And a "hypocracy" would be a form of government.

        January 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
      • Mark C

        And "hippocracy" would be government by hippos.

        January 10, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  65. Alphastream

    I can say only that I've played it, and that I agree with what was written above. Fun!

    January 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm |