Dungeons & Dragons 5e gets release dates

It has been a little while since I’ve posted here about Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast has announced release dates for D&D “Next.”

Dungeons & Dragons miniatures
D&D5e minis

WotC is dropping edition numbering from the titles of the latest core books, although I think that many experienced role-players will continue informally referring to this iteration as “D&D5e.” We’ve already seen much of the rules during the lengthy playtest period, but let’s hope the kinks have been worked out.

I’m not sure what I think about the cover art. It reminds me of later AD&D2e through D&D3.x/D20, with representational art rather than fake leather. I do have fond memories of the illustrations in past editions, but these look a bit exaggerated in terms of action — D&D should be a tabletop RPG with action scenes, not combat game with occasional role-playing.

Even with discounts through Amazon.com and other retailers, the high price point is daunting but not surprising. Also, shouldn’t we support our local game shops? What do you think about D&D “Next?”

For now, our D20/FATE house rules are working fine for both adventuring parties in my long-running “Vanished Lands” fantasy campaign setting, so I’m in no hurry to pick up D&D5e. Still, I am curious about whether it can bridge the gaps among fans of other editions (not to mention Pathfinder) and whether it can encourage more than a temporary uptick in interest in our hobby.

There are more than enough other indie systems, genres, and scenario proposals to keep our groups busy!

Boston-area role-playing games, late spring 2014: