It’s just been announced that the public playtest of D&D Next (whatever it ends up finally being called, that seems to be the going nomenclature), is starting on May 24, the day before my birthday. So we’ll have an open playtest version of the rules to kick around for a while. I’ve been cautiously optimistic about the next version, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve come up with, and whether the details can live up to the broad strokes they’ve been talking about.
I was a bit taken aback, though, by the simultaneous announcement that Monte Cook has left the D&D Next design team. As he says on his website:
Last week I decided that I would leave my contract position with Wizards
of the Coast. I am no longer working on Dungeons & Dragons,
although I may provide occasional consultation in the future. My
decision is one based on differences of opinion with the company.
However, I want to take this time to stress that my differences were not
with my fellow designers, Rob Schwalb and Bruce Cordell.
I’m not really sure what to make of that. He had no issues with the design of the game, but with something that the corporate folks were doing with it. What could that be? Marketing strategy? Terms of an SRD-like license? What could they possibly have done that would force him out like that? I’m sure we’ll find out eventually, but it does open up a bit of a crack in the pretty solidly optimistic edifice they’ve managed to craft thusfar.
I remain cautiously optimistic, but my level of caution just went up a notch or two.