Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Backstreet's Back...Alright!

Another long hiatus and this time a lot of life changing events to go with it.

So what's new? Well...

Back in March I lost my job after 12 years. A co-worker (someone I thought was a "friend") took a picture of me resting on my lunch hour and sent it directly to HR who promptly, and without inquiry, terminated me without asking questions which was perfectly alright because California is an "at will" state. Meaning they can fire you at anytime for any reason and get away with it. This forced my wife and I to have to move out of our home because the mortgage payment was way too high for one salary and unemployment (which I had to fight with HR and a judge to get because I was fired). 

However, we have definitely made the best of a very bad situation and are getting back on track again. We were able to cash out most of my 401k and put a substantial down payment down on another house that is 1000x better than the one we were in and it's in a fantastic neighborhood. This brought our mortgage payment down to a more than reasonable amount that allows us to survive on just one salary if need be. And now I have a new job that I am starting on Monday that has a lot of good potential for growth and advancement which I am VERY excited about. So now that that stress is behind us, I feel like I can get back to normal and do something fun other than search for jobs and worry about the bills. And here I am...

So lets get right to something interesting. Is Wizards of the Coast working on 5th Edition already?

I stumbled on an article that may imply that something "big" is going on over at WOTC and with such mixed reviews from 4th edition, could it be the latest iteration? Will they continue with the current rule set or go back to a more traditional RPG format? If they do go back to traditional style rules, would they feel it was an admission of a failed experiment or just an attempt to recapture the share of the marketplace they are losing to other companies such as Paizo?

I haven't look at any sales number so I don't know if you can call 4th Edition a success or not compared to earlier editions, all I can say is that personally I didn't care for what they did and I stopped purchasing their products. Now Paizo gets my money and I'm sure a large number of others as well. I can't tell if the 4th Edition detractors are the majority of gamers or just a vocal minority. I would hate to see any company change just to please a small, yet very vocal, group of people at the expense of a solid business plan but at the same time, I feel weird talking about being a "D&D" player when I don't like their current product. 

To me "D&D" has become synonymous with RPGing. Sorta like how cotton swabs are usually called Q-Tips because that's what most everyone is most familiar with and everyone knows what you're talking about when you tell them you have a Q-Tip stuck in your ear. It's generally easier and quicker to refer to yourself as a D&Der or D&D player than an RPGer. If you tell someone you play D&D they automatically know what you're talking about, just before they laugh at you and try to stick your head in a toilet. If you say you play RPGs, it takes a lot more explanation and eventually you just say something like "You know, D&D" to explain it. And then they laugh at you and try to stick your head in a toilet.

So while I would like to go back to Dungeons & Dragons as a product line because I miss what it used to be, I don't like what it turned in to with 4th Edition so I am torn on what I hope a possible 5th Edition might be.

Of course, I might actually play this version...

Any thoughts?


  1. Welcome back! Glad life is going better and sorry to hear about that rough patch life put you through. BTW, Greivous Injury is no more, it went wonkety and I ended up setting up a new blog: @padres. Looking forward to your postings again.

  2. Well thanks Padre! Sorry to hear about Grievous Injury taking a dive, but now @Padre has a brand new follower!

    by the way, I love the fact that you're a minister and still love RPGs and Clapton.

  3. Okay, first up: damn you for posting that picture.

    Second: That's a right harrowing story--so glad to see you made it through and came out the better for it. Welcome back!

    I'd definitely consider going back to "proper" D&D if 5th edition caught my interest. Fact is, I'm not a 4e OR 3.5e player simply because I'm not interested in the mechanical emphasis that's been placed on D&D in the last 10 years. But calling a clone "D&D" is usually just easier.

    Of course, ever since AD&D came out D&D's suffered from a bit of an identity crisis--I mean, everyone played AD&D (or some variant), but it was till just "D&D" in the mainstream vernacular.

  4. True, I think all RPG's and even all version of Dungeons & Dragons have been homogenized nicely into the quaint title of D&D and that is sort of a shame that, unless you're into gaming, you don't get the sense of how expansive the "art form" really is.

  5. ...that is sort of a shame that, unless you're into gaming, you don't get the sense of how expansive the "art form" really is.

    Yes, absolutely! I always wince a bit on the inside when I have to resort to saying "I play D&D" since I know it both conjures up a very specific image that isn't at all like the kind of games I actually play most of the time andmarginalizes a very broad and expansive hobby. It would be like, if you were into playing board games, you had to tell non-board gamers that you "play Monopoly." One of the people in my current group is getting into RPGs after years of interest and as I've been sharing games from my collection and talking about ideas for future campaigns she's expressed amazement at how many different games there are and how much they vary both mechanically and in terms of subject matter. I think if the general public were more aware of the vast variety of RPGs out there, it would help the image of the hobby a bit.

  6. @ Frothy: Glad to have you back on the blog-o-sphere, man! Checked out your Avengers post, but missed this one till today. I'm glad you've gotten the shake-up under control. Best wishes, truly!
    : )

  7. Thanks JB, glad things are normal again so I can come back here and have some fun


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