This is old news now, but Wizards of the Coast has announced 5th Edition officially.
I met this news with mixed emotions. I’m sure I’ll always remember the morning I opened my laptop and during my daily website rotation found a popup asking me to help ‘shape the future of the game’ on the D&D site. It was pretty surreal. I felt my heart sinking and I thought to myself ‘but my campaign isn’t finished yet! And Jim hasn’t even started his! And this just isn’t fair!’ I was reading the lofty goals their setting with this edition and understanding but I was still upset. It was the complete opposite of how I felt when they announced 4th edition. I was so excited about 4 that I had to have it the day it came out. I received it as an early birthday present (the boxed set of all three books) and have, to this day, said it’s the best gift I’ve ever received. Instead of excitement and a joyous desire to be in the future I felt emptiness. I knew that soon, very soon, I’d be what I’ve hated since 4th edition came out, one of those guys clinging to his old edition, a grognard.
You may think me a grognard here, and I love 4th edition. But I’m not a grognard, I play Pathfinder, I had my time with 3.5. But 4 is where it really clicked for me, 4 is when I came into my own as a gamer and a Dungeon Master, and 4 is what all my friends like. The irony is everything I’m saying is going against what they want to do with 5. They want 5 to be a game where every player, no matter how they play or what edition they love, can come together and play and all get the enjoyment they want from it. No more grognards, no more D&D vs. Pathfinder, no more edition wars, just geeks getting together and playing D&D. That’s what they want and I’m trying to buy into it.
It’s not that 5 isn’t something to get excited about. Look at the team. Mike Mearls is a master of his craft, Robert J. Schwalb is brilliant and writes the best adventures and Monte Cook knows how to give players the ability to make their characters really stand out. They’re taking open suggestions from the player base too, trying to make the game their customers will want. They’ve set themselves up for a monumental success here.
They’ve also lined up a pretty solid failure if they can’t pull this off.
But, we still have time before 5th comes out. So I’m going to finish my campaigns, play some Gamma World, and wait and see. And if 5th does everything they say it will and does it well, I’m in.