Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Monte Cook Abandons Type V D&D
Wizards of the Coast brought in Monte Cook, as renowned a designer as we have in the pen-and-paper RPG industry, to steer Type V D&D in a different direction, one that by all indications, would appeal to those of us who have played the game since its earlier years and would prefer an approach that took role-playing back to its roots.
I've enjoyed Cook's work in the past and had high hopes for this latest iteration of my favorite game. Maybe we didn't agree philosophically on every point, as I believe he was headed closer to 3.5 than 1E, but that's irrelevant now. Due to differences of opinion with WotC (he can't go into detail because he's under NDA) Cook has decided to stop working on the new D&D.
I purchased nearly every 4th Edition D&D product to support the company that carried the standard for my primary hobby. I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on books I rarely ever opened, Dungeon Tiles I never used, and campaign settings I would never run. The only books that saw regular use were the Essentials Monster Book and their awkwardly-named player's handbooks. I ran a 4th Edition campaign for two years, despite how drastically the experience differed (and not in good ways) from the game I played 20 years ago. It was fun, but fun in a way that didn't quite feel like the D&D that I fell in love with as a teenager.
I believe that I'm the exact audience WotC is looking for: a long-time D&D enthusiast with a substantial disposable income who advocates the game and frequently introduces new players to the hobby.
If I were a decision maker at WotC, I'd be very concerned about the effect of Monte's departure will have on hype and investment in this new game. I'm ready to write off Type V D&D completely and will instead focus on playing my retro-clone-driven game. I have all the content I would ever need for my campaign and if I ever feel like something's missing, part of the fun is coming up with original content that I can implement in my game and share with other DMs.
Ultimately, I feel like this is good news for me. Now I can focus all of my attention on my Labyrinth Lord game, which does everything I need. My bookshelves are already full anyways.