With the completion of the DnD Next playtest, the release of The Godborn, and the final of Murder at Baldur’s Gate, we are at least 1/3 of the way into The Sundering. The Sundering is the multi-author plan Wizards of the Coast has to reinvigorate the Forgotten Realms. Let’s go point by point and let’s see what I think.
DnD Next-I “like” DnD Next, but I don’t know if I “like like” DnD Next. Since DnD and I went on kind of a break, other games have filled the void that DnD had in my life. I’m not exclusive, but I do play Pathfinder, Arcanis, and Shadowrun. Will DnD be able to pull itself back to the main focus of my life or will these other games stay there? How many other people will be like me and just play the other games they found when DnD went away?
DnD Next isn’t really new DnD like 4e was, it’s almost like a strange combination of 4e, Pathfinder, and older DnD editions. It’s not bad, but it’s not as innovative as I think it could have been. But then again, innovation got them in the trouble they are currently in. I was part of the rare breed who loved 4e for what it was, so I feel slightly betrayed that all the books I bought and novels I read are being changed. I have selves of DnD 4e books that are little more than paperweights now. I’m not leaving this relationship, but I feel like DnD and I have grown apart. The adventures-The Sundering adventures are interesting. I really enjoyed running Murder at Baldur’s Gate, but I know it wasn’t what my players wanted. My players didn’t get the chance to really be heroes as every option that they could follow with the city would pretty much lead to its doom. I hope the next events give them the chance to be heroes not just adventurers or pawns in a bigger game. I’m having fun, but I don’t know if my players are. I know my wife more the once said she almost doesn’t want to play since no matter what she does she helps someone evil. WotC, please give my players a chance to win and win big here! It doesn’t have to be an epic, destroy Shar win, but harken back to the old days of encounters where the players get to be heroes and kill some bad guys. And while we’re on the subject of bad guys, please give me better ideas on how many bad guys to throw at my PCs at any time. I can wing it with the best of them, but I want some consistency with other groups out there!
Also, limit player options helps a DM with the game, please. When you give the PCs three options, they will take all three. I know it’s awesome to give three ways the story could go, but giving my players that many options limits how much time I can dedicate to anyone. I felt I had to speed race through my games so everybody would get a tiny bit of main focus.
All said and done, I’m intrigued. Murder at Baldur’s gate was fun. Not sure where it goes next, but it will be fun. What I’m really interested in is what’s going to happen next and how WotC pulls it off. If DnD Next launches at GenCon 2014, then I wonder when Forgotten Realms books will launch. It’s impossible to launch them next year AND have a full year of player input into the setting. Print times will not allow this! Does someone have timestop out there?
The Novels-The Companions and The Godborn are on store shelves now. I liked both of them. Read my reviews here and here. However, when I look at them together, I don’t like the whole. The novels are not rebooting the Forgotten Realms, but they are rebooting the Forgotten Realms. It feels like all the changes from the spell plague and the weave dying won’t matter. And, that kind of pisses me off. I loved that Forgotten Realms, and I feel like I’m being told that that was a mistake and should never have happened. To me, WotC is almost ashamed of 4e and its changes. As someone who loved their stuff, it almost feels that by extension WotC is ashamed of me and my devotions to those things. I felt the changes that happened were good ones. It shook things up and created design space for new threats. Now, it’s back to the prespellplague status quo. Good gods vs bad gods with pawns in between. It’s not bad, but it’s not what I want. Maybe I’m just one guy screaming into the wind.
In the end, I’m not amazed. I plan to keep buying stuff, but its more out of waiting to see what happens next then really being a true believer in the Sundering. I have a ton of Forgotten Realms good will, and right now that is what’s keeping me buying. I wondering if that will die off or will it get refreshed with the next adventure path and novels?