D&D Next & Quantum RPG
I’m sure you’ve heard the expected announcement that the next edition of Dungeons & Dragons is coming. We all knew this, in our hearts, and there is a lot of room for success or failure here. Wizards of the Coast are going to be doing something interesting with it though. They’ll be running open playtests and asking for public input. I encourage you to sign up to get involved. You have some control, this time, over what the next edition of D&D will be like.
I think that people who like D&D3.5 are playing Pathfinder and people who like D&D 4e are playing it. D&D 5e or D&D Next or whatever, seems like it will try to be everything to everyone and make a system that appeals to both those groups as well as the really Old School players of 1st Edition and the like. It’s a tall order and if they can pull it off it could be amazing. But the big risk here is alienating the 4e players by discontinuing support for their favourite edition, not interesting the Pathfinder players enough because they’re already happy with what they’ve got, and not bringing the OSR people back into the fold either. If that happens, then WotC may potentially lose more players and fans than they’ll gain. I hope this is not the case.
I hope that the modular system they’re planning can be something great like Savage Worlds or Burning Wheel. Basic core rules that everyone shares, with added granularity and optional modules if desired. I hope they focus on roleplaying, not hundreds of pages of rules. I’ll be giving feedback and I know a lot of people will want a lot of different things. For me, I want a classless system (with optional class templates) that is as simple to run for a single player as it is for five or six. I want a game that focuses on story and rules that get out of the way so you can roleplay and have a fun time. I want simple but cinematic combats and easy to adjudicate rules for combat.
I want a lot of other things too, and some other systems already provide these. Savage Worlds is my go-to system at the moment. In its current state, Pathfinder is too rules heavy for my liking with too many options and side-cases, while 4e is too streamlined and restricting in many ways. I like both systems well enough but they’re not the primary system for me. 5e could be the one. Who knows? I’ll be providing my feedback and wishes and we’ll see what happens. Best of luck to the community. I hope the developers listen and I hope that we get a D&D that feels like D&D and makes a lot of people happy.
On a final related note, look out for the open playtest for the Quantum RPG in coming months and check out the Infinite X forums for updates on the project. Quantum RPG is a new science-fantasy roleplaying game by Joshua Frost of Paizo fame. He has already presented lots of interesting ideas about where the system will be going. He is also committed to a product representing males and females equally, which got my interest after seeing too many scantily clad women on RPG products, including Paizo’s.
Quantum RPG sounds like its going in a different direction with some familiar roots. D&D 5e sounds like it’s trying to cater to its players and build the game they want. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the development of both and I will definitely be playtesting both systems. Interesting times lay ahead for the roleplaying community.