I wanted to get this post written before the new D&D freebie document went live last week. I would have seemed more prescient. But having skimmed the 5e rules, my opinions are at least validated.
The surprising thing is how unsurprising the whole thing is. Not just because they spoiled it all in their playtest period, but because it’s primarily 3e with tweaks. There’s about a thousand reviews of the new product, most of which are better than I would bother offering, so go read some of those if you want it.
Here is what no one else is saying yet: D&D has become Batman.
I am honored to be an Industry Insider Guest of Honor at Gen Con in August. I proposed three panels in my application, and we’ll see if they feel any of them are worth putting my name on.
The one that I most hope will make the cut is “Religion and D&D–Where We At?”. There’s nothing new under that particular sun, but American Christianity has a long memory and a death grip on anything that has ever been considered a threat. Prohibition is still an issue in some circles. A 30-year-old scare is practically current events. (As recently as a month ago, Pat Robertson was still telling his followers to steer clear just to be on the safe side.)
Thing is, these are my brothers and sisters. And ridicule is not how you treat your brothers and sisters, even if their words and behaviors are ridiculous.
And even more than that, several OTHER of my brothers and sisters have been deeply hurt by the ridiculous ones. And those are often the people who show up to these things and want someone to give a shit.
Mike Stackpole has made real inroads on this topic, consolidating facts and data to refute fear and misinformation. Other professionals probably also have interesting, worthwhile opinions on the topic. I would love to listen to them. I’d also be fascinated to hear whether other major religions have had similar dust-ups. Is there a Muslim version of this, for instance?
Primarily though, I want to do a little field work. Find some people who have been smacked down by well-intentioned, but deeply dumbass Christian leaders, and talk to them about other ways to think about their loves. G.K. Chesterton will probably make an appearance.
Or maybe you just want to talk about Thunderstone. That’d be cool too. If you’re at Gen Con, I’d love to meet you!