I’ve followed the D&D development from Purple Basic D&D/1E AD&D thru D&D 3.25 (we’re playing 3.0 with some of the 3.5 ideas that we like and that don’t upheave our long-standing campaign thrown in for good measure). Though I’m still smarting from the 3.5 release…I mean, was that really necessary?, I’m still hoping that the promise of the 4.0 edition (still d20, but different) pans out. Here’s the news of the month for table top gamers:
Wizards of the Coast announced at Gen Con Indy Aug. 16 that the much-rumored fourth edition of the seminal role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons will be released in May 2008. However, several D&D support products
scheduled for earlier release, including January’s Classes and Races book and the April adventure Keep on the Shadowfell, will be 4th Edition previews.
The transition to D&D 4th Edition begins in April with a new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures starter set and the Dungeons of Dread booster expansion. Older D&D minis will need updated stat cards to be used with the new editon rules. Wizards plans to release converted cards for figures in Unhallowed, Night Below, and Desert of Desolation via the company’s website, as well as updated cards for select “all-star” figures from previous D&D Minis expansions.
For the role-playing game, the 4th Edition Player’s Handbook is scheduled for May release, followed by the Monster Manual in June and the Dungeon Master’s Guide in July, with additional volumes to follow. D&D 4th Edition will continue to use the d20 game system — according to Wizards of the Coasts designers, the 4th Edition rules will be an “evolution of the system, not a revolution.” 4th Edition play is designed to be faster and easier for the Dungeon Master to adjudicate. Each character class will have a specific, defined role within an adventuring party, and the designers’ goal was to give each class interesting options for gameplay at every level. Character races have undergone a similar overhaul, with at least two new player races included in the Player’s Handbook, and the core rules now go up to level 30 for characters; with the levels divided into three tiers: heroic for levels 1-10, paragon for 11-20, and epic for 21-30. One goal was to avoid having a single “sweet spot” — a specific range in levels where everyone wants to play. In D&D 3.5, this tends to be levels 7-13. For Dungeon Masters, the new edition includes new ways to build encounters by giving every monster in an encounter a role to play, and addresses or removes “game-stopping” rules like grappling in combat….(cont)…
A new edition, that seems about right assuming we don’t consider the 3.5 (we get a new edition about once/decade)……YMMV