Welcome to Eleven Foot Pole. I'm Greg Tannahill, I've been a gamer for a great many years, and I recently returned to playing Dungeons & Dragons after a 10 year lapse. Last time I touched it was for an extended 2nd Edition campaign; I've come back just in time for 4th edition.
In the mean time I've been playing a lot of other systems that have been really exploring what it means to be a "roleplaying game"; now that I'm back in D&D, I'm amused to find that Wizards of the Coast have jettisoned most of the roleplaying in favour of a really quite excellent story-based board game.
I don't hold 4th Edition up as an example of what to strive for in an RPG; in fact in many ways it's the anthisesis of roleplaying, although it's nevertheless still a heap of fun. But it's fascinating to look at as a design experiment.
Wizards of the Coast have the largest budgets and best resources of any publisher in the RPG field, and D&D 4th Edition should be the equivalent of a multi-million dollar blockbuster. It's fair, if not necessarily correct, to assume that no design decision in its creation was by accident, and it therefore lends itself to a level of analysis that few RPGs before it could withstand.
I really want to talk about a lot of the nitty gritty of the D&D 4th edition design process, and although I run a gaming blog at The Dust Forms Words, I'm going to go into a level of detail here that my regular readers might not be interested in.
I don't promise to update this blog regularly, or at all, but feel free to follow along with me