Wizards’ keynote at Gen Con 2012

I haven’t had tine to watch the key note yet, but I thought I would show some support and post it to my blog.

The topic is “The Future of Dungeons & Dragons”, which I find pretty interesting. Hopefully I will have some positive comments after I watch the entire thing.

Gen Con Keynote Address
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Wizards announce D&D 5th edition

From Wizards.com

As you may have read in the New York Times, it’s an exciting time for Dungeons & Dragons. We are happy to announce today that we are developing the next iteration of D&D, and will be looking to the legions of D&D fans to help shape the future of the game along with us.

Our mission is to ensure that D&D enters its next 40 years as a vibrant, growing, and exciting game. By listening to the needs of the D&D community, we can meet this goal. As part of our increased efforts to engage with the player-base, we launched a series of weekly articles in early 2011, including Rule of Three and Legends & Lore, to give you a voice in our work. We’ve listened to both praise and criticism from all D&D fans, regardless of their edition of choice, and we’ll continue to do so.

That is why we are excited to share with you that starting in Spring 2012, we will be taking this process one step further and conducting ongoing open playtests with the gaming community to gather feedback on the new iteration of the game as we develop it. With your feedback and involvement, we can make D&D better than ever. We seek to build a foundation for the long-term health and growth of D&D, one rooted in the vital traits that make D&D unique and special. We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play.

D&D is more than just a set of rules for fantasy gaming. It launched an entire gaming genre and played a pivotal role in creating the entirety of the gaming industry, both analog and digital. The game has lived and thrived because it has awoken a spark of creation, visions of daring adventure, wondrous vistas, and untold horrors that pull us all together as a community of RPG fans. It is the countless players and DMs who have brought it to life over the years. The game is at its best when it is yours.

For that reason, we want your participation. The goals we have set for ourselves are by no means trivial or easy. By involving you in this process, we can build a set of D&D rules that incorporate the wants and desires of D&D gamers around the world. We want to create a flexible game, rich with options for players and DMs to embrace or reject as they see fit, a game that brings D&D fans together rather than serves as one more category to splinter us apart.

We have begun obtaining feedback from a limited Friends & Family playtest consisting of internal employees and their gaming groups and soon we will be expanding that group to consist of members from our existing body of playtesters. Then at the D&D Experience convention in late January, Wizards of the Coast will conduct a special playtest of ideas currently in development. The D&D Experience will be moving to Gen Con in 2013, so as a convention special this year, we will be offering show attendees a first-look at a draft of the new set of rules. Then beginning sometime in the spring, we will begin open playtesting. Through our web site, we will release a growing set of rules, classes, monsters and other materials for your study and feedback. We seek to reach as many people as possible, from the gamer who just started with D&D last week to the gaming group that has been together since the early-1970s. For this process to work, we want to give a voice to all D&D fans and players of all previous editions of the game.

The next year is going to be an exciting one. There is a lot of work to be done, and I’m hoping you have the time, energy, and inclination to pitch in. We sure hope you do, as we seek to make gaming history by shaping the future of D&D, together. If you would like to sign up today to be notified when the playtest is beginning and how you can participate, click here:

I think it is encouraging that Wizards still think that it makes sense to release a new edition of D&D, however, I keep remaining a little skeptic about this, because of the dwindling number of users/followers of traditional role playing games. Perhaps it is time to realize that RPGs as we knew them are dead, and the future is in computer games or online games.

Of course, I hope that I am wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time. I would be thrilled if we saw a reboot of interest in RPGs across the board so to speak, because it is a lot of fun to play and because it offers users a chance to use their minds as opposed to put it on stand by and jut have it bombarded with digital input.

It does fill with a sense of hope though. As I prepare to leave the world of Dragonlance a tiny flicker of hope presents itself. Do we dare hope that someone will breathe new life into Dragonlance? I guess it matters little anymore.

 

Update: Wired has an article on the new edition. There is a lot comments worth reading, which really surprised me.

Wizards’ community feature update

I just got an email from Wizard’s of the Coast about updates to the community:

FEATURE UPDATE – APRIL 7TH

From: Wizards

Received: Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 11:28am

Reply

Forward

Today we have a new Magic theme. Go to Profile > Theme Selection to see it.
We are also adding RSS feeds to the forums later today. You can subscribe to feeds for entire forums or individual threads. Look for the RSS icon in your browser. (We will be adding RSS to blogs – no date for that yet, but it’s on the list.)

What’s next:

  • Some Facebook and Twitter connections: Post photos and blogs to Facebook from your profile page. Automatically cross-post status updates to your Facebook and/or Twitter account.
  • Drag & Drop for your home page: Customize your home page by adding or removing modules and rearranging them on the page
  • Wiki link fix: Stay tuned for more information on this. We will be updating the Wiki parser to fix a few bugs, including a fix to how linking works. As part of this update, we will bulk update existing links to match the new structure. We will send more details before the change, to give you a chance to review and give us feedback.

Outage reminder:

Tomorrow we will have about 3 hours of down time for our sign-on system from 6:00 AM PDT until 9:00 AM PDT.

This will affect login to the Wizards Community site, D&DI, Wizards Help site, and Gatherer comments. The Wizards Community site will remain up for viewing content, but you may not be able to post.

~The Wizards Community Team

All in all it looks pretty exciting, so go sign up if you haven’t already.

Reading Dragons of a Fallen Sun

fall-sun I have never been a huge fan of 5th Age Dragonlance. After finishing Dragons of Summer Flame, I was left very disillusioned because I thought it was a huge waste to leave the world godless. I felt there was finally an opportunity to move the world forward without Raistlin and the other inn-fellows.

Fortunately, Dragons of Summer Flame prompted a friend of mine and me to rewrite Dragonlance the way we wanted to. The funny thing is, that we actually debated killing off Takhisis and Paladine.

Anyway, I pretty much left Dragonlance after reading Dawning of a New Age. I still kept in touch with what was going on in the community, but we never played in the 5th Age or bought any of the products that were released.

Years later, I am the only left of my old group, who has even the slightest interest in Dragonlance, or role playing games in general, and I see Dragons of a Fallen Sun released. Needless to say, the War of Souls trilogy brought me back to Dragonlance, and I even purchased some of the new rule books, the best ever made I might add.

See, I never even enjoyed the War of Souls. For me, it was a question of finishing up the series, so the world could move forward with the remaining gods, magic and everything else that make up the Dragonlance setting I enjoy. This is also the reason why I never reread the War of Souls trilogy, unlike every other Dragonlance series I have bought. Until now that is.

Honestly, Dragons of a Fallen Sun is still not my favorite. I don’t get that familiar Dragonlance feeling when I read it, which I got when I read Dragons of the Hourglass Mage. However, I do enjoy reading it this time around.

lost-starI guess the 5th Age was a good thing for the setting, It presented a a much needed reboot of the setting, and it produced some of the best rule books ever made. Heck, we even got a kick-ass Taladas trilogy, that was the perfect backbone for a Taladas rule book. Alas, the license was never renewed thanks to Wizards of the Coast, and in a few short months, the novel line will end. In other words, Dragonlance will officially be dead as disco.

Of course, the passionate community will ensure that Dragonlance will never truly die, and maybe one day Raistlin will find our world, and bring us there.

I for one will go on reading Dragons of a Lost Star, and maybe even get around to finishing up the rewrite  project I started during my Christmas break 1995.

Wizards launch new Community

…and there was much rejoicing.

Capture Wizards has just started a public beta test of their new community, which replaces the old horrible message boards. Taking a page out of the Facebook playbook, Wizards now allow you make more personal profile as well as adding friends. There’s also a blog engine, which I personally found pretty interesting. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be working, so I will stick with Blogger for now. To be honest I am not sure I will leave Blogger at all, since this old crappy blog engine is starting to grow on me.

I am really excited about this new community, because I feel that we really need a strong online presence, if our game is to survive. The Greyhawk people have done it for years, and the Dragonlance gang is rooted in the Dragonlance Nexus and the Dragonlance Forums. I really hope this signals a renewed interest in our game.

In the coming months I will blog a little bit more about the Wizards community and how I see the Interwebs as a catalyst for renewed interest in D&D.

By the way, I am McJuel @ Wizards so go add me as a friend.

Hourglass mage sample chapter online

wallpaper_DL252_th It has been a while since my last post, but considering how busy I am proclaiming the death of Dungeons & Dragons, Dragonlance in particular, it makes perfect sense :-).

Anyway, I was reading the Dragonlanceforums boards, when I found a link to Wizards’ home page, where they have posted the first chapter of Dragons of the Hourglass Mage.

There are also a couple of wallpapers for your PC or Mac, so I can really only add a link to this post and say: “Knock yourself out”.

Personally I really like the chapter, because it picks up right after Raistlin has discovered the truth about Fistandantilus. So basically we meet Raistlin before he becomes an über mage, and I assume we get to follow his rise to power between the time he leaves the Companions in the Blodsea of Istar till we see him as the black robed wizard in Neraka.

I almost forgot; there is also a the Illustrated Dragonlance Guide ready for your downloading pleasure. Have fun.

D&D Test Drive

testdrive This is pretty old as far as I can tell, but I thought I would post it here anyway. Our good friends from Wizards of the Coast invite to test drive D&D version 4.0. Personally I am not sure new rules will save our game, but kudos to them for keeping the rules alive.

I haven’t tried it myself, so if anybody out there has tried it, please drop me a line. Link below.

D&D Test Drive