Friday, August 15, 2014

The Elephant in the Room

I put in my order for the 5th edition Players Handbook.  Should be getting it soon.  I expect that my game group will be doing something with this, either a one-shot or a campaign.  I haven't been keeping up with Dungeons and Dragons but some information bleeds through the web and I'm hopeful that its a good system that does well.  I hope that it sells good and gets people playing without becoming a rolling crap juggernaut like 2nd edition and 4th edition became.  I do not want to see a 5th ed Players Handbook 7 or Dungeon Masters Guide 3 being shilled all over the place.  Talking about it last night with some friends we hashed out the idea that instead of class splat books, maybe this version of D&D will tie it's splat in with the setting materials.  Like putting out a Greyhawk supplement where the classes operate very old school, but also an Eberon supplement where they are very feat heavy and crunchy.  It's the thought I had when hearing second hand about the layering of backgrounds.  It seemed like a interesting way to handle the inevitable rules creep, - tie it to a setting.  Maybe this time WotC can release all the setting box sets with wacky changes to races and classes to keep novelty seekers happy but leave the core books fairly stable.  Maybe this is obvious or maybe it is entirely unworkable based on the way the rules work - I don't know yet because I still haven't gotten my books.

I've had a chance to play Dungeon Crawl Classics and my kids played some 13th Age the past while.  I liked the former and they liked the latter better.  I wasn't too enamored of 13th Age - there were a lot of class 'powers' and conditions to crunch through, and I find that off-putting personally.  The kids liked having that stuff laid out for them to shop through however and I can see the appeal.  If you like 3.5 or 4th ed then 13th Age seems to be a good solution.  It's attractive and well put together anyway.

I finally managed to get my hands on the 'Traveller' 2300AD core book from Mongoose.  It's very much more my idea of a good Traveller setting than the huge and inscrutable Imperium so maybe I'll finally get a chance to do a Traveller campaign - even though it's not exactly Traveller..

I'm really much more excited that Ashen Stars has a supplement book coming out called Accretion Disk. It promises ship deck plans and alternate professions and new races.  Ashen Stars is so very good and I am still very excited writing adventures for it.  If you follow my general content blog you know I've posted a bunch about my Ashen Stars campaign over there.  That book isn't likely going to be out soon however.

As for Beacon, I am still chugging away at it.  I haven't made any changes for a while but I think it's pretty solid.  I've been doing a long recon into other games before reexamining my fantasy heartbreaker again.  Playing some 5th edition D&D will give me a chance to once more reevaluate Beacon and see how the rules stand up.  Normally I'd post my thought s on other games on that other blog, however when things come close to that d20/Beacon intersection like 5th edition does, then I'll likely post it here.
Just like playing DCC had me consider variable bonus mechanics, and 13th age brought the possibility of using an escalation mechanic for combat, 5th ed will tempt me with special class mechanics or advantage/disadvantage concepts.  I'm looking forward to it.