Early last week, Wizards of the Coast officially announced they were working on the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Like many, the news got me very excited, though I don’t play as much as I did in 2E and 3E days, I still love the game.
Seems like the Internet had been filled with rumors of a new edition ever since the Essentials line was announced. I tried to ignore most of that. Though when Monte Cook returned to WOTC a few months ago, I began to think they truly were beginning to work on something. Even with my suspicions, I didn’t expect a public announcement to occur until closer to GenCon.
WOTC hasn’t announced a release date yet for the new edition, heck, they haven’t even announced a name. I suspect it will wind up simply being “Dungeons and Dragons” in an attempt to unify the community, but fans and gamers will still most likely add a descriptor of some type, whether the call it 5th Edition, or continue using the currently popular D&D Next.
Of course, it will take more than a name to unify the community, it will take a
good great game. I’m not even sure a great game would do it, the differences from 1E up to 4E are fairly great, and there are people who still enjoy playing every edition of the game. I’ve read they want people to create characters of varying degrees of difficulty and style and still play at the same table. I find this idea intriguing and scary at the same time. But….if they can pull it off, it could be magical.
As for the release date, I was initially thinking summer of 2014, but I’m not sure the buzz around a new edition can hold out that long, so I think 2013 a more likely time-frame. I might be wrong on this though, with their announced intention of having open play-testing perhaps the schedule will stretch out longer than I’m imagining.
When that release date does arrive, I’ll open those books, or electronic files, like a 10 year old tearing into his Christmas presents. Until then, I’ll be scouring the Internet, looking in the closets, basement, and attic trying to figure out if the new edition consists of some really cool new toys, or just a bunch of socks and underwear.