Monday, January 16, 2012

Modular D&D? Tell me more Mr. Cook.

Monte Cook has posted a little bit about the latest incarnation of D&D on WotC's site.

It seems, so far, that they are going to take a modular approach to the game system.  As a game designer and former computer programmer I find this a very interesting take and I am looking forward to more.

Extrapolating on this I can see the following set up:
D&D5 Basic - A basic box with all the rules you need to play. Basic classes, races and magic.
D&D5 Expert/Advanced - an addition to these rules that take the game into all sorts of directions. Added races, classes, prestige classes and the like.  Think of all the cool things from D&D Expert and the AD&D 1st ed DMG.
D&D5 Tactics - a miniature focused set of rules for players/DMs that want more definition in their combats.  Sure it makes the combats take longer, but that is the trade off.

Then splats similar to the current Heroes of the Feywild or Heroes of Shadow that expand certain "campaign free" areas of the world.

While reading the "lists of demands" in the 5e boards left feeling nothing but despair for the next edition, the official word from the actual designers is leaving me with more optimism.


Rhonin84 said...

I will wait and see what price points we are looking at here. I like the idea of a basic boxed set and I like the idea of an advanced set...

I won't like this if we end up having to pay 39.99 per set though...

scottsz said...

Hopefully, they'll keep it to $20 and a smaller physical size than the Essentials red box (I'm thinking the SJG Munchkin size for the box might be ideal).

The idea of separating the miniatures/tactical from the core RPG is a good one, in my opinion. If nothing else, it might be a distinct 'channel' of D&D that can give harbor to the devoted 4th Edition players.

Rhonin84 said...

Scottsz, I would like to think that would be a good cost but I won't bet the farm on that one. I HOPE it is not digest sized, in fact if they do that again, I will NOT buy it.

The digest sized books get killed in my bags and they don't fit well on my shelf either.

Nick said...

My guess is that "modular" means they're going to go the route they've been going, where they sell you a couple of classes per book and you're going to end up buying a big stack of $40 books.

I hope I'm wrong, though.

scottsz said...

@Rhonin/N.Wright: I'm thinking booklets, not books. I don't know that another wave of hardbound books is on the way, but printing/binding costs may have changed in the last few years.

If this is really an attempt to bring older sensibilities back - even if it's just marketing - then they have to know that price point can be a killer.

I think, in terms of overhead, this is going to be as lean as possible.