From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Release dates for the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons have been announced, with the starter set due in the middle of July 2014. The aren’t calling it 5th edition, or D&D Next, just Dungeons & Dragons. I get the impression this is part of a whole back to basics approach that Wizards of the Coast are taking with the game. I’m not an avid roleplayer, but I have observed Dungeons & Dragons wilt in the face of challenges from Pathfinder especially, but also Dark Heresy and Star Wars roleplaying. I think this new edition will involve going back to the roots of the game, and trying to emphasise what made so many people want to stay home and play D&D back in its heyday.
The first release is the starter set, which looks like the basic rules, and sections to get a Dungeon Master and a group of players up and running. The more familiar Dungeon Master’s Guide, Player’s Guide, and Monster Manual will release in the months following the starter set. I have tended to think of those three books as the ‘starter’ pack in the past, but clearly Wizards of the Coast wants player to enter the game in a different way this time. No doubt the Starter will be written in a way more appealing to new or returning players and won’t take so much for granted. The following titles will be for more experienced players.
Organised play also looks to be getting a boost, with the imminent launch of the D&D Adventurers League, which aims to provide a consistent organised play experience for everyone, regardless of location. No doubt this has been modelled on the highly successful organised play system for Magic: the Gathering, which covers everyone from casual players through to tournament diehards, with formats suitable for all.
Will Dungeons & Dragons regain the place it once held, or are the new games simply too strong now? We’ll see.