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June 2nd, 2012

I took part in my first playtest session for the latest iteration of the D&D Next rules, which have been refined from the earlier "Friends & Family" playtest which I also played a few sessions of.  My character was a female dwarf fighter named Valgard Stonyfist, and the game was DM'ed very capably by Robin Stacey (@greywulf).

This is his write up. Oh, and it was me that picked up the cursed chalice, failed the save, and now has a glowing backpack!

I enjoyed the game, but this was down to the other people I was playing with and the ten foot pole jokes. The D&D Next system has not yet clicked with me. This could be because of the limited options available to my character – #dndnext fighters can hit things very hard and that's about it – or the fact we are playing B2, an old skool dungeon crawl filled with nameless NPCs and monsters, with pregen characters. Sophisticated, story-centric 21st century roleplaying it is not.

I think I need to try out some of the more complex character classes and also run it myself, perhaps using a different adventure to see if it that helps. I felt the same way about 4e too when I first played that so there is every chance these initial impressions will change. I'm also keen to try out 13th Age by way of comparison and see what that D&D variant plays like.

In the meantime, I'm running kb98 through Halls of Undermountain tomorrow using 4e, our first one-on-one game since 2009 when we finished The Banewarrens. Looking forward to it.


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