Posted by : David Guyll August 12, 2013
almost done fills me with a combination of confusion, worry, and disappointment. This just seems less like a large company with a sizable staff working on a well-known, established brand, and more like someone tried to halfheartedly cobble something with Dungeons & Dragons in the title and gave up.
For starters the classes look woefully anemic and lazily designed (especially after 4th Edition gave us so, so many options from the start), most of the monsters are incredibly boring (and some have spells that require you to reference another source), skills are gone, equipment still
relies largely on gold, armor is terribly designed, and magic makes no
sense (and is also uninspiring and boring).
Having playtested it up until now I can say that it is not a game that interests me. We play it and manage to have fun, but none of it has anything to do with the system. The mission statement early on was that you should be able to cobble together an edition, or at least experience, from the various rules modules. If that ends up being an actual thing and the issues I mention above can be addressed, then that might enough to draw me in; it just depends on how much work I have to do on my end.
Otherwise? Count me out. I already played 3rd Edition for around eight years, and I have no interest in playing it again, even if you strip out the skills (which I think actually makes it worse). Yeah 4th Edition had problems, but some of the more major ones (like skill challenges) got better over time, and most of the rest can be addressed with a few houserules (except for the power suite). If I or my group wants to deal with less, 13th Age seems like a fine, fresh middle ground that is not afraid to let players think about what they want.
At this point both sound like better, simpler, more elegant alternatives to Next.