John-Michael Gariepy

Archive for the tag “Open Gaming Licence”

Dungeons and Dragons: Fifth Edition

WotC announced they are working on the fifth edition of their game.  But what does that mean?

There’s been a split among D&D characters, and, as any good player will tell you “You don’t split the party”.

This is the message Wizards of the Coast has put out for us fellow adventurers.  Since 4th edition, there’s been grumbles from the core players.  Then, after a few months, dissent lead to desertion.  Dungeons and Dragons fourth edition, with all it’s good points and bad was plagued over the past three years by a decision made in 2000 to have Third Edition be printed under an Open Gaming Licence.  This allowed any company to make additional products for Dungeons and Dragons Third Edition using Wizards terminology without the threat of legal action looming over them.  It strengthened the game, and the brand.  Dungeons and Dragons was already the leader in Role Playing Games, but the OGL solidified Third Edition, turning it into an RPG Juggernaut.

And when Fourth Edition came out, it was hit head on by that Juggernaut, and is grinding under the gears of it.  As of this writing, Paizo, the makers of the Pathfinder line of 3rd Edition D&D products is making more money from publishing 3rd edition products than Wizards is making off of 4th edition products.  And that’s one company.  If you count Goodman Games, and all the other publishers of Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition products, 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons is getting squeezed out of its own game.

That is why the announcement for 5th edition from Wizards sounds like a plea instead of a celebration. The good news is, that Wizards is very serious in it’s desire to get feedback from players.  Instead of looking at surveys and godbooks, then building a game based upon a design group’s philosophy, they are soliciting responses from everyone.  The makers of Dungeons and Dragons want to keep making Dungeons and Dragons, and we should support them when they ask for our help.  The future of our game is at stake, and, to a lesser extent, so isn’t table top roleplaying.  Feel free to drop on over and give the makers of D&D a piece of your mind.  [You know… after you get done reading my article.  :D]

I don’t get it.  What’s wrong with 4th edition that we couldn’t patch it up and wait another 3 years to make 5th edition?

I suppose you’re new to the game, Huh?

It’s cool.  I’m going to admit something that few people who play the game would.  I like 4th edition.  I think it empowers the Dungeon Master, and streamlines the game.  Oh, I’ve got problems with it.  I could write a book about the failings of 4th edition.  No.  Honestly, I could write an entire book about how4th edition failed to live up to people’s expectations for what a Dungeons and Dragons experience should contain.  I could write most of it off the top of my head.  The holes in the game are so large, that you can’t compare it to swiss cheese anymore.  More like Swiss air with bits of cheese.  Here’s a quick run down of some changes that we may see because so many people will complain about them:
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