Tuesday, 8 May 2012

D&D Next White Box

One of my favourite games is Swords & Wizardry and while I've only played it once in a group situation, the session was one of my most memorable. There's something about the pure simplicity of the rules that make it so freeing and conductive to creativity. 


I never played OD&D so S&W is the closest approximation that I'm familiar with. The thing I really love about S&W is the White Box, which emulates the original D&D booklet set before anything was added. It's the pure, distilled essence of fantasy gaming that was eventually built on. Rules were added along the way in supplements and adventures, allowing players to take or ditch what they wanted.

From the sounds of D&D Next, we're getting a modular system that could be more akin to the OD&D way of thinking. Classes can be your standard sword and board fighter or an evasive assassin, depending on how complex you like it. However, I hope they make classes more defined. In the latest edition there has been insane class bloat that has blurred boundaries between classes making some seem a bit 'bleh'.

If you look at the S&W White Box, you get very distinctive differences between classes. Dwarves are better at finding traps underground, the fighter gets multiple attacks, halflings are almost invisible, and so on. Sure, there were much fewer classes back when the game was young, but each was distinct and I think they need to try and bring back distinction in D&D Next.

Oh, and a sweet white box with a pencil and dice would be bloody great.