Since the release of the D&D Basic Rules another war is waged in the RPG community. This time it’s not about editions but about the people who helped Wizards of the Coast to create D&D 5th Edition.
D&D 5th Edition is definitely the first edition of D&D that was ever openly and publically playtested, WotC listened for the first time to gamers out there, and asked people from the gaming community for advice. That’s a huge thing! And from what I’ve seen so far the 5th Edition is the most inclusive edition ever. The times of chainmail bikinis are gone, as are the times when character archetypes are just white males. D&D has gone a long way since 1974. That’s something we all should celebrate.
But alas most of this is moved into the background, because WotC and especially two of their advisors, Zak Smith and the RPGPundit, are constantly being attacked. There are claims that they are bad people and a toxic influence. I have to admit I am not always eye to eye with both of them. But I am also sure that most of the things they have been accued of are totally unfounded. I will not repeat all the arguments pro and contra here, because it would definitely be beyond the scope of this post, and I propose you do your own research and not just trust what I am writing.
What I propose is that people should check out the new D&D and let WotC know what they like or don’t like. If you see some changes that you welcome, let them know. If you think some aspect of the game offends you, please share your thoughts with them. But don’t dismiss it out of hand, just because someone on the internet said, that two advisors are bad people.
I’d also like to see the people who are waging this war use their energy to try to constructively change this. So you don’t like how something is displayed in some roleplaying game? Write your own or endorse people who do it – in your opinion – right. Talk about the games you enjoy. Share your enthusiasm with other people. This is way better and more productive than trying to make things you don’t like disappear.
Last but not least: we are living in a mostly secular, free, and open society (I guess most of the readers of my blog do at least). A huge part of this freedom is being able to voice our opinions. And this also means that people are free to say or write things that we are offended by. But in an open society this is something we have to tolerate, especially on the internet where different worldviews, religions, cultures, etc. clash regularly. So keep discussing the things that are important to you, but always try to be positive, tolerant and friendly. Ad hominem attacks are always the wrong way to voice one’s opinion!
Ah, one other thing: With this blog my co-authors and I have always tried to focus on the positive sides of gaming. We try to share our enthusiasm for the hobby and talk about the games we love. Sure, we sometimes pointed out things we didn’t like but we always tried to stay friendly and constructive. Please keep this in mind when you’re posting comments below. As always every comment is appreciated but please keep things civil. Thanks in advance!