Posted by : David Guyll January 14, 2013

Last week Mearls touched briefly on two goals for D&D Next: create an edition that embraces enduring/core elements of the game, and allow the rules to shift from simple to complex as desired. This week he elaborates on the latter, starting with the basic rules.

You roll stats, pick a race, and pick a class. Classes will reflect iconic archetypes, so clerics will use blunt weapons and turn undead, fighters get all the weapons and armor, rogues will deal with traps, etc.He mentions allowing a class to add a skill die when making checks that pertain to your main stat (Strength for fighters, Intelligence for wizards, etc), and baking a default specialty into your class features.

This is probably about the least complicated I would want a game to get. We are playing Dungeon World more frequently now, and my main complaint is a lack of choice: you pick a class, then pick a race, and then pick from a short list of gear (which, as I mentioned before, there is not a lot of). All classes start with the same moves, with the occasional bit of customization--such as the fighter's signature weapon and ranger's animal companion--though clerics and wizards get some added complexity by virtue of spells, but as with gear there is not much there, either.

So easy to build, learn, and play, but through repeated use you will eventually be going through the motions again. This is what I hope D&D Next's promise of scaling complexity alleviates, as I would love to be able to have additional character options--skills, perks/feats/talents, weapons, and armor--without having to result to houserules. I guess next week we will see how this process works?

I am glad that he thinks that Martial Damage Dice and Martial Damage Bonus is too fiddly. In play it felt weird that one attack would get a huge bonus to damage while the rest did not. I mentioned in feedback (or it might have been a blog post) that I would prefer fighters just rolling multiple damage dice for each attack, so it is also nice to see them moving in this direction (because as it stands, using a two-hander basically translates into an extra point of damage).

I am also a fan of concentration, as it adds some tension when a spellcaster on either side of the screen is trying to keep something going and you have to keep baddies off her back. I am interested to see how "focus", or whatever it ends up being called, plays into it.

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