This weekend we have the Dungeons & Dragons Experience, where WoTC is expected to reveal some interesting information about the next edition of the game (also known as D&D Next, for now). As usual, I haven’t been able to attend, but that doesn’t mean I can’t provide some coverage! The transcript for the first seminar, titled “Charting the Course” is available at wizards.com, and I have taken some notes of the highlights.
On leveling up:
- For all editions, the game suffers important changes at a certain level
- They consider 4E highlights this high level change the best [through explicit paragon and Epic tiers and mechanics]
- They are looking at options that characters unlock at certain level. They mention castles and followers as examples.
- They are discussing how power and number of options should be affected by level.
- They want monsters to be relevant for a wider level range. The way to do this is to slow the rate at which attacks and defenses advance!
- Ideally, you should be able to drop a random orc at a high level party and have it be relevant. Building encounters by taking any iconic monsters from the manual should be easy.
- Your characters are still becoming badass heroes. At high levels, you’d be killing lots of those orcs in an encounter...
On the modular system:
- They acknowledge the variety of tastes, including contradictory positions. They intend to take all of these into account - but no specifics as to how, yet.
- A player suggests going for a freeform classless system. That doesn’t seem to be in the plans - They are commited to the class system, and consider the feeling of D&D classes very important. Wizards and Rangers are mentioned as examples.
- They want it to be simple
- Iconic class features are important
- Packages to grant certain features or qualities
- Some DMs like random generation of stuff. There will random tables for those who want them.
On switching modules:
- The goal is that switching can be done very easily, from one encounter to the next. Turning on and off stuff like minis/grid is mentioned.
- Players can add (and presumably remove) modules to adjust complexity of their characters as they level up.
- An example is provided for two fighters at the same table with very different complexity levels: a classic “hit with my sword” basic fighter, and an advanced one focusing on “combat maneuver options”.