So it appears that yet another edition of Dungeons & Dragons has hit the shelves, or at least a preliminary starter version. If you’ve been waiting for this, then congratulations. I hope you like it. Me, I still have dog-eared, battered copies of the three core books for AD&D. Should I ever have the opportunity to play again I’ve already got the rules. I don’t feel any personal compulsion to buy another version. What I’ve got is sufficient for fun and games.
Some people like to tinker, house ruling existing games. Some continue searching for the perfect rule set, the elusive tool box that will cater to an individual preference along the realism/abstraction, narrative/gamist continuum. Good luck, I say. I’ve adjusted, fiddled, fine-tuned, etc. when I played with some frequency, though the trend was always to come back to the rules as written (as best as I could figure them out. I won’t pretend that AD&D is a model of clarity.) I suppose now I’d just be happy to play the occasional pick up game. I couldn’t justify purchasing new books, even if I felt for some reason that the ones I already own were somehow lacking.
I’ve read that some appreciate the new rules facilitating storytelling. Well, to each his own. The point is to have fun, and if that’s what you want from the game, good on ya. For my part, I want to play a game. If I want to tell a story, I write one. I don’t play for narrative satisfaction or character development. I play for the challenges. Sometimes you win, sometimes you get the hell out of there. Sometimes you get killed. That’s the game. And for that, I don’t need to buy a new edition.
But I wish the product well, and I hope that those of you who are looking for the ideal version have finally found it.