If you had to let people know about the newest incarnation of your favorite tabletop pen & paper RPG was on the way, where would you announce it? A website forum? The local hobby shop?
How about the New York Times.
That's right, Wizards of the Coast decided today to let the world officially know that Dungeons & Dragons version 5.0 is in the works via a post in the Video Games section of The New York Times. Not only that, they went the step beyond to announce that they want Players and Dungeon Masters alike to have their say in how the newest ruleset revision plays out. By hosting open playtesting sessions through out the coming year, they will compile what feedback they get and take it into consideration and the compile the new set of published core rulebooks.
The most recent incarnation of the game, D&D 4.0, had a lot of rule streamlining that may have oversimplified the system a bit too much, and its introduction of cards to represent all the player skills and abilities caused comparisons to trading card games like Magic: The Gathering and the combat systems of MMOs like World of Warcraft. Prior to that, D&D 3.0 and 3.5 aimed to unify most roles to the 20 sided die, putting an end to the loved-or-hated THAC0 system (To Hit Armor Class 0) that was at the core of original D&D through to D&D 2nd Edition.
As a long time player and advocate of D&D (I wrote my senior thesis on its supposed link to Satanism) I am delighted to hear that WoTC is taking feedback from the players. I've been playing D&D since Advanced D&D, though the friends I learned to play with preferred to use a "house rules" mix of Advanced and 2nd Edition rules.
Have thoughts on what you want to see in the upcoming D&D 5? Any awesome moments you wish to share from your gaming days? Feel free to post them in the comments below.