D20, Next, & the Future

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Snoring Rock
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D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Snoring Rock »

So at GenCon this year, I expected to see more excitement over D&D Next. I got one of the free buttons. I like shiny things. But the overall excitement was not there, well, not that I could perceive anyway.

I got home from GenCon, having run back to back games and maybe a little tired. I was putting my new goodies away on my book shelf and saw my lonely Pathfinder books. They sure are pretty. I thumbed through them and thought, you know, there are some cool class possibilities that fit in my Wilderlands campaign in these books.

I decided to give it a go since we are starting a new campaign anyway. So the group agreed and we played the first night of the new campaign, using Pathfinder. When I first played C&C, it was an easy transition and the rules light aspect gave my games that old-school mystic feel.

The first thing that happened at the table, was that a player felt the need to be able to dual wield, shield bash at first level and still keep his full AC. A long conversation over AC and feats ensued, which helped burned an hour of play time. It took two hours to roll characters. Once started, they had an encounter with 2 worgs and 6 orcs. The party got slaughtered over attacks of opportunity. They survived but the cleric spent the day channeling in order to maker it possible.

At the end of the night, I made a decision. My Pathfinder books are now securely out of sight. The normal fast playing 20 minute combat turned out to be 1 hour and 15 minutes of rules, looking things up and then arguing. I was no longer in control of the game and discussions over every little thing became the order of the day. Where was the mystic feel? It was gone.

Granted, not all D20 games go like this. My group did however, display every thing I dislike most about feats and skills. The meta-game mechanics went crazy. If one missed a check, the rest were min/maxing and asking for new rolls or taking 10. Wow.

Pathfinder, a great game; but sadly, no longer my game. C&C saved me. It feels so good to be back in a rules light world where the story matters more than the dice. TLG; thank you!


So, maybe it has been too long and so many gamers, like myself, have found a system they enjoy. I could not hope to name them all, but since the last edition war, the spread on systems has grown. I wonder if a lot of us look at D&D Next and yawn at this point. Maybe that accounts for the lack of excitement. But then again, who am I?

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by redwullf »

Well said. And that's from a guy who plays Pathfinder twice a week.
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by tylermo »

I'll say this...I have Castles and Crusades, so I don't have to lose sleep if Next performs poorly. I hope they do well, and I'D like to see the brand continue on. As for system crunch issues with rpg's, to each his own. However despite Pathfinder's success, I do get a few convention customers who have issues with the bogginess (so to speak). Some guys quickly bought the phb, m&t, and the Umbrage Saga box for precisely that reason. Anyway, I'M rambling at this point. Best of luck to D&D next, PF, and whoever else. As for me, I'll keep genuinely plugging C&C as THE choice for fantasy gaming.

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by mgtremaine »

it's good to revisit assumptions. It makes you realize why made a change. I remember pretty vividly all the point you made from the short time I ran 3/3.5 and why C&C really clicked when I first stumbled upon it. D&D Next, great but I'm content. [Unless I run some Tunnels & Trolls in the future ;p ]

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Arduin »

Yes. After WotC bloated then abandoned 3.x I turned to PF hoping that they would have fixed Rube Goldberg character gen system, convoluted combat, etc. Thankfully I found C&C! From what I've seen of Next's playtest materials, it's not my cup of "D&D".
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Omote »

I have C&C, and I am happy. I would like to see the Dungeons & Dragons brand continue though. However, in all honesty, I hope D&D Next fails too. I have had plenty discussions with fans of D&D Next to realize that game is not for me either. But why do I want D&D Next to outright fail? Well, I want the Dungeons & Dragons brand to go back to what it once was; adventure gaming without the bloat and messiness of their current rules. I would like to see D&D produce another Rules Cyclopedia, perhaps one with some cleaned up rules, fantastic artwork, and filled with CONTENT, not bloat. Perhaps it's time for WOTC to realize that if they continue to produce very rules heavy versions of their game, that they need to produce along side that a basic version of the game with full support. Remember when there was Basic D&D alongside 1E and 2E? Many people consider this to be some of the best days of TSR ~ lots of content, and your choice of game to play. Best yet, the content TSR produced could be used with any version of D&D that they were producing at that point. Sounded like a pretty good strategy to me.

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Lord Dynel »

I, too, will echo the some sentiment of hope for a successful D&D Next. But at the same time, I feel like Omote does. The game is supposed to be about - or it was - about adventure. Role-playing. Sure, there are some dice rolling, but I remember playing the BECMI and just about the only time dice was ever rolled was for combat and for saves. And that was it.

At first, Next did kind of look interesting - especially the talk of a very core system and the ability to add components you wanted and leave out stuff you didn't. I can do that now, of course, but D&D being built like that would be pretty darn cool, in my opinion. And C&C does that quite nicely anyway, but I digress.

I know how you feel, Rock. I've played 3.x far too long. I have 80% of the stuff for Pathfinder, or more, on my shelves but they'll probably never be used by me again (as a DM/GM). I've never GM'd it, probably never will, and played a total of 10 sessions (more or less)...but I like the Paizo guys, and Golarion is pretty cool. So I support them (not that they need my help!). I'll probably never run 3.x again, either, unless it's with a very few people who won't game the system and argue over feats and rules and crap like that. And if I ever run any 3.x again, it'll be most likely the generic classes from UA that I modified for 3.0. But again, I digress. :P
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Treebore »

I see a lot of promise in D&D NExt, especially a "basic" version. I am sure if they do stick to that model, a basic version upon which you add "modules" of complexity, I may actually love D&D Next.

As cited above, I love Pathfinder too. I own lots of it. It is top quality material. However I have no love for the complexity. So I stick with C&C. If they screw up D&D Next, I stick with C&C. So this time around I have lots to gain and nothing to lose. I already have a D&D RPG that I love, and that works pretty much perfectly for me. So if D&D Next is as good, or better, great! If not, I still have the awesomeness of C&C.
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by kreider204 »

I've only ever played B/X and 1st ed., so I don't have an informed opinion about any other edition. I enjoyed the hell out of them, but even back then, there were things about them that bugged me. When I found C&C, it was like someone had read my mind and created the version of 1st ed. that I wanted to play. So I'm quite happy using C&C with my 1st ed. materials, and don't really see the need for another edition. Having said all that, I am hearing some promising and intriguing things about D&D Next (pretty much what Treebore said), so I could see myself being willing to give it a try (in a way I'm not particularly willing for,s ay, 3rd or 4th) if anyone in my gaming group takes it up.

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by ArgoForg »

The above pretty much describes me to a "T". When I got back into role playing, with the name brand (D&D 3.5), I was astonished at what a heavier ruleset it had and how the emphasis had been put on numbers. It threw me that combat took so godawful long, and when I first started running, how much more prep work I had to do for a game than I remembered. But I liked Paizo-- they still put out a fine product!-- and when Pathfinder came out, I joined the legions in getting the PFRPG book and converting over.

But now, while I have played it and still would play it, PFRPG/D&D 3.5-- and most likely Next-- is not my game anymore. C&C is. It gives me rules-light and lets my games be story-heavy and easy to run. Just like I remember enjoying, without THAC0. I still do like Paizo... I would love to put out something with Paizo's killer art and slick feel and modern cartography and yet have the Troll's gaming sensibilities and old-school sense of discovery.
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by koralas »

ArgoForg wrote:Just like I remember enjoying, without THAC0.
Ah I remember when people thought THAC0 was revolutionary! I found it very easy, subtract the AC from the THAC0 to determine the target number, but then some got confused with subtracting a negative number... Of course this come from someone that had the 1st Ed. charts memorized...

That said, I do like ascending AC for it's simplicity, though I do miss the days of getting excited when my Fighter's AC hit -1! Having a 21 AC just doesn't have the same ring, or is that just my tinnitus drowning it out after all these years? :?

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Relaxo »

Even after playing for 8 or 10 years, there was always that one night where you're like, "YES I ROLLED A 20!" and teh DM is like, "oh sorry, on THIS roll, you wanted to roll low...

ARRGH!!!!

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Ancalagon »

I've been saying it for a while now when hanging with my gamer friends or at the local comic & game shop: C&C is my favorite in-print RPG. 8-)

WotC has screwed the pooch several times too many. I don't give a damn about D&D 5th edition.
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by NJPDX »

I picked up the 1st ed. AD&D reprints out of nostalgia and those are probably the last WoTC products I will ever purchase. 3.x and 4th ed D&D really burned me out on their products, especially with respect to their philosophy on game design and marketing. I still remember it pretty clearly - before I'd even ventured on to the internet to see what other gamers were saying - I was flipping through the 4e PHB and thinking, "Why does this feel like World of Warcraft?" and then playing it, I was practically falling asleep as combats would drag on for hours, enduring the idiocy of healing surges and in 2008 after about six months of play, I decided I was done with the hobby and my gaming group that had embraced the "participation ribbon" mentality, rampant min/maxing and soulless banality of modern D&D.

But I digress. As for 5e, part of me hopes the brand lives on, but really it's just a name now and a way for Hasbro to force the same crowd to re-purchase game materials every 5 years. If it fails it's not like people are going to suddenly throw up their hands and stop playing tabletop role-playing games altogether. If anything it might lead more people to systems like Pathfinder, C&C or any number of other systems with their roots in D&D. This might lead to fragmentation of the hobby, but really I don't see that as a negative, it could mean a more robust ecosystem of OGL content and creators.

For my own part, I came late to the party when it comes to the OSR and retroclones, but I've got a new group tentatively lined up to play C&C this fall; one old Grognard friend plus several tabletop RPG newbies I play board games with and they're really excited to try this game. Fifth edition D&D is going to have to turn out to be one helluva game to get me to do anything but glance at it and the playtest stuff I looked at a few months back didn't exactly blow my skirt up.

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Relaxo »

I'm pretty much in the same boat: I wish D&D N well, but I'm a C&C player for FRPG.
I hope it does well, In a way, because if it is better, then that can only be a good thing since D&D is the flagship recognizable brand (or is PF now? hmmmm....) you knw what I mean, when you're explaining things to the people who don't a thing about RPGs you always have to say, "this book is for {game}, you know, like Dungeons & Dragons."
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Snoring Rock »

I played Mulvay D&D and then AD&D. I never did make the jump (step) to AD&D 2nd ed. I just stuck with AD&D. Marriage, kids, etc., stopped my gaming for years. I returned in 2000 to 3.0 which at first was cool. The mechanics were al a fit and the wonky stuff in AD&D had been fixed.

The game di move much slower and I was ok with that. I did mind so much, the fixes of 3.5. Then 4e. Well, I ran with the Pathfinder pack. But Paizo (love these guys) decided to rebalance the game. That meant power-ups. Playing the game with my group last week was a nightmare to me. A calm gaming group went berserk within a few hours. It changed the entire dynamic of the game. Instead of concentrating on the story and the plot, the entire bunch was more concerned if I would let them back out of feat tress if later they did not like them. All kinds of strange character combinations appeared and then the whining started of AoO. It was all fun and games until the shield bash, super-freak, power-ranger got clobbered.

Since informing the group we are converting characters to C&C.....there has been a calm peace. At GenCon, I spent time talking and visiting everywhere I went. At the Trolls booth, the talk was about adventures the night before or getting ready to run this or that. The talk was all about story line. At the OSR booth it was all about sticking to the original story and all about keeping flavor in the campaign. Over at Paizo, it was all about the newest set of feats or classes. Not saying that is wrong at all. I just point out that the emphasis is not story, it is mechanics.

I am just amazed at what a huge difference a few small things make in the flow, story and pace of the game.

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Arduin »

Snoring Rock wrote:Since informing the group we are converting characters to C&C.....there has been a calm peace. At GenCon, I spent time talking and visiting everywhere I went. At the Trolls booth, the talk was about adventures the night before or getting ready to run this or that. The talk was all about story line. At the OSR booth it was all about sticking to the original story and all about keeping flavor in the campaign. Over at Paizo, it was all about the newest set of feats or classes. Not saying that is wrong at all. I just point out that the emphasis is not story, it is mechanics.

I am just amazed at what a huge difference a few small things make in the flow, story and pace of the game.
In a nutshell this is what I've experienced. It is the peace that comes with players not having anxiety about a "build" & extremely complex combat rules. They become immersed in the session and not the meta game.
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Julian Grimm »

Having the playtest packets, I really have liked what I have seen from D&D Next. There is a lot of possibility there and I can see some if the ideas coming into my C&C games. There are two things I am hoping for from D&DN: first is it being some form of OGL and second is continued support. The modular idea is something I can get on board with as one should be able to build a 2e style game and another a 3.X style. I can see how that should appeal to those who like different editions of D&D.

That said, I don't see myself becoming an early adopter of the game nor going all out for it. However, I know that WOTC will produce supplements for the game and that will get my attention. I actually miss the Complete series and other supplemental material from the 2e days and will be interested to see what Next will bring.
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Sir Ironside »

I don't blame them from rescinding the OGL after the 3.5 nightmare. Though I wouldn't mind 3rd party support I guess they could do what SJgames does. They grant licenses to use the GURPS system and then are there for support. Kind of kills two birds with one stone. You get your 3rd party development and though there will be much less of it, you know you won't be wasting your time and money on crap.

I'll have a wait and see attitude. I did sign on to get the packets, but to be honest I've never really looked at them and usually just delete them.

I just wish they'd stop this numbered editions. This is an opportunity to do a complete reboot. I'd just like to see the name come out as; Dungeons & Dragons.

I mean it has been a little over 30 years since just the name; Dungeons & Dragons has been used. I really don't think it is going to confuse anyone.
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by tadkil »

We played the Delve and I received Dragon Spear Castle and the current version of the play test as part of my swag from VIG. MEH.

My group set down with C&C, Dungeon Crawl Classics and D&D Next and opted for C&C based on flavor. Wil Wheaton's plug helped us too.

The delve attempted to be witty & innovative and allow players to hop between tables to assist like in the old LG, and Blackmoor battle interactives. It did not work and it was rather disappointing to an old hand like me. I've done stat blocks for battle interactives that tiered from APL 2 to 14. I've run them at cons. The guys running this con had to constantly convene to answer rules questions, did very little to inspire us at the table, and executed visiting players at the tables poorly.

The rules as run were far from inspiring. I will buy and read the final form, but I have a bad taste in my mouth from 4E and frankly do not trust Hasbro to respect the IP or the players.

My $.02.

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Julian Grimm »

Sir Ironside wrote:I don't blame them from rescinding the OGL after the 3.5 nightmare. Though I wouldn't mind 3rd party support I guess they could do what SJgames does. They grant licenses to use the GURPS system and then are there for support. Kind of kills two birds with one stone. You get your 3rd party development and though there will be much less of it, you know you won't be wasting your time and money on crap.
I just quoted the part I want to jump off of. Apologies if that is an issue.


I am of mixed feelings on the above idea. I have become a fan of open source material including open gaming and feel that if you use open source material you should share your 'code' be it computer code or a type of SRD (hence my desire to see a C&C SRD). However, you do have a point about the crap that came out of the D20 glut. Personally, I would love to see Next released under the OGL but I would rather not have to sort through the crap to find something useable.
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AD&D per se is as dead a system as Latin is a language, while the C&C game has much the same spirit and nearly the same mechanics. --Gary Gygax 8/16/06

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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by Treebore »

I was far and away very happy with most of the 3rd party support for 3E. Sure, there were some crappy material, but most was very usable.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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Re: D20, Next, & the Future

Post by pawndream »

I signed up for the D&D Next playtest, but I have never looked at any of the materials they have sent. I haven't been following it at all. Not that I am not interested in the future of D&D. I am.

It's just that I am pretty happy with C&C. It does everything I need it to, and what it doesn't do is super easy to add in.

I guess I am not really chomping at the bit for another fantasy RPG right now.

Having said that, will I purchase D&D Next when it comes out? Absolutely. It doesn't necessarily mean I will drop my current game as soon as Next hits the streets though. I'll make my judgment when it comes out.

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