The D20 Experience: Editions And Whats Next For D&D

The D20 Experience is a column I run on this site where I talk about the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons, both aspects of the game and how they apply to my adventures playing in a regular D&D group. If you are curious as to what D&D is about, I suggest you take a look at this previous article. If you've been around D&D long enough, you've probably heard people talk about "editions" and which edition is their favorite to play. Some people get really heated about which version of the game is the best one. If you want to get a bit of insight into this, and are curious about what this "beta" edition of D&D that is going around, stay tuned for a short story on editions and the thought process I went through when I decided to take a spin in the DM chair.

I had this big post planned out and written up about the various editions of D&D and why people get so fierce about one edition over the other. Well, Evernote decided to erase it before it sync'd back to my account and I lost that post. I was not looking forward to rewriting it, so instead I'm going to summarize it here. For any extra information, I'll point you over to this wikipedia page. There have been 4 editions of Dungeons and Dragons; two by the original company TSR, Inc. and two by Wizards of the Coast when they bought the rights to D&D when TSR went bankrupt. Fourth Edition is the current edition of the game, but many players did not like the changes to the game have stayed with the very popular "3.5 Edition".

There is a 5th edition of the game that is currently being worked on called "D&DNext". Wizards of the Coast has been "beta" testing the game by releasing versions to players for free and encouraging their feedback. They have been incorporating the best aspects of all the other editions and rolling into one improved edition. According to what I've seen, this edition will come out sometime in 2014.

Being a giant D&D nerd, I have been really interested in D&DNext. I have access to all the beta materials, read through all the materials, and have been listening to the official D&D podcast talk about it. Everything that they have been talking about has me really excited to try out the new rules. In our group, our DM has mentioned that if any of us wanted to take the wheel on the adventures for a little bit we were more than welcome to. Given all of this, I started thinking about creating my own D&D story, using it to experiment with the D&DNext rules (and not touch our current campaign).

I've been a DM before, several times in fact. However, usually when I had been running games, I could not get people together often enough to have a regular running campaign. So the adventures that I created were one-time stories, maybe with a possibility of extending into another session if I got the same group of people together. With the regular schedule that my D&D group keeps fairly well, I wanted to experiment with building a "world" and creating an extended story that would last several sessions.

With this in mind, I went about delving into the D&DNext materials to get as knowledgable about the rules as I could. Yet, the more and more I read/heard about the game, the more I began questioning my decision. You see, I would have to teach everyone at the group these new rules, which would make the first couple of sessions rocky to say the least. On top of that, every couple of months they send out revisions of the rules to address concerns/ideas that players had submitted. So, every little bit, I'd have to teach everyone the rules AGAIN. That's when I realized that for now, D&DNext would work best for one off dungeon crawlers instead of a long ongoing story.

So what did I do? That's a story for next time :)