The ruleset has always been trivial when compared to the influence the playstyle the team brings to the table has on gameplay. A bunch of tabletop war-gamers could railroad 1st ed just as well as a bunch of roleplayers could chatter happily in 4th ed.
I made this comment on an article over at GeekoSystem about getting into the dnd playtest. Its not that I don’t respect the debate, or even that the ruleset affects the players – I just feel that getting hung up on the mechanic resolutions is a detractor to why I roleplay. I ply rpgs for entertainment, and that entertainment is based around acting in character; the mechanics are secondary.
Some player are the opposite, and more power to them. I hope they love every game they play too. Perhaps players who don’t really care so much are not the target audience for the new edition? Those players would play almost any system, so a switch to dnd 1st edition, plus 4e options, minus counters and powercards, plus whatever else is irrelevant to them.
The trick is that I think the dnd market is so segregated into sub-streams that it is almost impossible to get any book now published with a dnd heading which will sell to 30% of the potential market.
So what is the solution? Sell settings and experiences, not rulesets.
This then starts the second holy war, which is which setting. Sheesh – stick to the ones which used to sell well and develop good deep modules and campaign material. Even better if the Living Realms or combined story type aspects can be added too.
Essentially give the community material that they can absorb and use and they’ll keep buying products. Many gaming groups can consume every pre-generated module created for a system, so why not ramp up the production to match.
- [Geek Native] The DnD Next playtest collections (geeknative.com)
- [Cross Planes] D&D: The Big Secret and Bigger Problem (crossplanes.blogspot.com)
- I Play DnD Next from Greyhawk Grognard (greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com)
- Upcoming DnDNext playtest (geekken.blogspot.com)
- DnDNext: Is this REALLY how you should design a game? (doucheydm.com)
- Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons (rathergamey.blogspot.com)