I was on the fence for a long time about the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve glanced at some of the play test things, read a few articles here and there, but by and large I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the buzz. I’ve been content to play other games, older editions, or play what amounts to “Dungeons and Dragons” with retro-clone rules. I honestly didn’t care that there was a new version of Dungeons and Dragons on the horizon, and I had no plans to drop $150 on a new trilogy of rulebooks.
Then I started to read more about the new rules, and how the design philosophy hearkened back to a simpler time (or at least a simpler set of core rules and design principles). Then I saw how there would be a free PDF version of the rules available. Then I saw some of the new artwork and really liked it.
All of that stuff was nice. Really nice. But none of it tipped the scales.
None of the guys in my current group had ever played Dungeons and Dragons, or any tabletop RPGs for that matter, before we started playing our current Dungeons and Dragons game. And, since playing was my idea and I was the only one with any rules, I’m the Dungeon Master in our group. We’ve played enough that everyone has the hang of things, but when there is a question about something in the rules people still tend to just ask me rather than looking up the answer themselves. No one has asked to borrow the rules, and no one has expressed an interest in owning a copy of the rules. I’d say this is because we started playing with an out of print version of the game and transitioned to using a retro-clone, which I explained was basically a new set of rules based on a set of Dungeons and Dragons rules that had been out of print for even longer than the ones we had started playing with. We’re having a great time using those rules by the way, so forgive me if I seem like I’m complaining.
Anyway, back to the new rules. I’ve mentioned them, and a few of my players have seemed interested in them. I think these new players are interested in these new rules because, well, they’re new. They are happening now – which I think is more appealing to a new gamer with a new interest in the hobby than going out and buying some old, out of print stuff, or some new stuff based on even older out of print stuff.
Then I saw that it cost $12.65 to pre-order the starter set on Amazon. Then I mentioned that to one of the new role-players that I am friends with. I told him that the box includes pre-generated characters, a rulebook, an adventure book, and some dice. He said that he would totally buy one at that price and when I suggested that maybe he could even run the adventure from the starter box he was on board.
So that’s what tipped the scales. One of my new players decided that if I purchased the new rules then he would too, and that he would try his hand at being the Dungeon Master. So I ordered us both a Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set, and I just saw today that they are scheduled for delivery sometime between July 18 – 22. Now I’m excited about the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and I can’t wait to go on my first adventure.