D&D 4th Edition Public D&D Playtests To Begin On May 24th

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  1. #1
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    Public D&D Playtests To Begin On May 24th

    In the wake of Monte Cook's departure from the D&D Next design team, Mike Mearls has posted a short announcement regarding the public playtests of the next edition of D&D. May 24th (yes, that counts as "Spring" for those counting).
    I am surprised, and frankly saddened, by Montes decision to leave the D&D Next design team. Id like to thank him for his contribution, and we all wish him well. As we close the first phase of the D&D Next project, Im excited to share with you all what phase 2 has in store.

    It is my pleasure to announce that our public playtest for the D&D Next project will commence on May 24th. The playtest is the single most important part of the D&D Next process. D&D is a game that has spanned 38 years of gaming, spawned countless campaigns, and launched an entire gaming genre.

    Personally, I cant count how many friends Ive made through D&D, or how many hours Ive spent playing the game, building worlds, or just talking about it with friends. Yet while D&D is an intensely personal game, taken as a whole it cannot afford to become something beholden to one teams vision. D&D is a tool for creativity. The game must embrace the entirety of its past, and the entirety of its fandom, in order to create a compelling future. No one voice can rise above the others, unless it is the voice of D&D fans as a whole.

    The public playtest is your chance to shape the future of D&D, your opportunity to share with us your creative vision for the game. If there are creative differences between the designers and gamers, then surely the needs and vision of D&D gamers will win out. D&D Next is your game.

    In the coming weeks, the Legends & Lore column will provide insight into the materials in the playtest and our plans to roll out content. The curtain is about to go up on our stage debut. On a personal level, and I think I speak for the entire D&D Next team Bruce Cordell, Rob Schwalb, Jeremy Crawford, Rodney Thompson, Miranda Horner, and Tom LaPille when I say that we are all excited to hear what you think about our progress. We had a great response at D&D Experience, the UK D&D Tweetup, and PAX East, but those were dress rehearsals. You can never be sure of where you stand until you have a full, live audience in front of you. Maybe youll cheer, or maybe youll engage in heated and passionate debate. In either case, were absolutely dedicated to making D&D Next a modular game, one rooted in the traditions of tabletop RPG play while poised to blaze a trail toward a vibrant, exciting future. In the end it is you, the audience, who will determine the future of D&D. The game is too big, and too important, to stand for anything less than that.

    --Mike Mearls


  • #2
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    So, in a month, then? Okay, I can dig that. Here's hoping they turn out something good, and that it doesn't flounder from here on out without Monte helping out on things. Time to mark my calender...

  • #3
    I'm surprised they put a date on it this far out. It seems to me that they needed to do something to reassure the public that the sky isn't falling due to Monte's departure, and so they announced the start of the public playtest.

    Otherwise, I suspect they might have kept the exact date private for a while longer; it clearly wasn't their intention, I suspect, to make the announcement today.

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    Wise move, if you ask me. So May is giving me Avengers, Diablo 3, and the Next playtest? Huh... May rules.

  • #5
    I, for one, cannot wait to move beyond wild speculation to active feedback on the material that actually exists.

    In a month the D&D community will have an opportunity to show its mettle in a way it has never had before. May we rise to the occasion with civility and thoughtfulness, most especially when our favorite design ideas appear to lose hit points.

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    PR in motion. Monte announces he is leaving, WotC announces Open Playtest date.
    Well played. The discussion will be split between the oh noes of Monte leaving and the excitement of getting hands on the proto-rule set. There is also a short window left of speculation on rules. Interesting times.

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    Cool, a special birthday present for me from WotC.

    And here I was getting ready to start a game on May 12th. Maybe I should wait two weeks...

  • #8
    [Speculation]Maybe Monte Cook did leave for creative reasons, perhaps because something was in the playtest document (or was left out) that he considered unacceptable. Let's hope this does reflect a stand on principle; we've had too few of those.[/Speculation]
    "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"

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    First Monte:

    I greatly respect Monte, he introduced me to many principles of gaming and game design, but at this point, I don't think there's anything Monte could or would do, that can't be taken up someone else on the design team.

    Don't forget, the first time he left wotc, he left on his own violition and it didn't pertain to design. I'll leave it at that. I respect that he doesn't want drama and feel it's unnecesarry at this point.

    I'm surprised public playtesting will be up so soon, after all. Time to finish up my homebrew to a playable degree, I guess

  • #10
    Quote Originally Posted by grimslade View Post
    PR in motion. Monte announces he is leaving, WotC announces Open Playtest date.
    Well played. The discussion will be split between the oh noes of Monte leaving and the excitement of getting hands on the proto-rule set. There is also a short window left of speculation on rules. Interesting times.
    Those were my thoughts exactly. A "brief note" from mearls saying he was sorry to see monte go, and then he launches into an obviously highly-prepared and important announcement regarding playtesting.

    Whether mearls had two months to come up with this response, or whether he had two minutes, I can't think of a better move on his part.

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