D&D Next Playtest Preparation

Well, I've downloaded the playtest packet now, and taken the time to do some skimming and reading. I've skimmed most and read a few sections intently. The good news is that I'm really impressed with the system and the amount of material they gave us with this packet. I'm looking forward to seeing future packets, and I can't wait to give this game a spin.

The semi-bad news is that I'm still a little irritated with the fact that they included pregens instead of basic character creation guidelines. I say semi-bad because from the looks of these character sheets, I don't think it will be too difficult to reverse engineer some rudimentary character generation options for my players. This is made so easy because the character options seem to be so modular, and because the character sheets so clearly identify what bonus came from what element that it should be pretty easy to mix and match.

At this point, I can have my players follow this process:

  • Roll 4d6, drop lowest, and assign ability scores as you please
  • Pick a race: human, hill dwarf, mountain dwarf, high elf, lightfoot halfling
  • Pick a class: cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard
  • Pick a background: knight, soldier, priest, commoner, sage
  • Pick a theme: guardian, slayer, healer, lurker, magic-user
  • Pick a starting equipment package from one of the pregen character sheets
  • Add bonuses and stuff together from the various choices made above...
And there you have it... instant variability in characters. Just opening these options up allows us to make a fighter/mage type character (fighter class, magic-user theme), or perhaps the cleric of a deity less reputable than Pelor or Moradin (cleric class, lurker theme). Not all of the combinations make sense, as a wizard probably wouldn't get much benefit from the slayer theme, but neither did all feat choices for characters in 3rd or 4th edition D&D. I mean, in 3rd edition a fighter could have taken Combat Casting at first level even though it provided him no benefit, but the option was there.

Anyway, now all I need to do is figure out how to get a game night scheduled!
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