Friday, January 23, 2009


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

1 comment:

Jipster said...

Hey Greg.

My game group (currently consisting of 3 couples) just started in with 4E a few months ago, starting with the KotS module that you've already written so much about. Been reading through your blog here - You are dead on with a lot of your comments here.

Good critical thinking and deconstruction of what WotC did and didn't do in their design decisions. More than any prior edition, they had a clear vision of what they were looking to produce. Not saying it's good or bad, but it certainly followed this vision.