The feeling of descending into the dark entrance to a dungeon. Seeing a dragon swoop down from the sky toward your party. Surviving through countless adventures to become a paragon of sword or spell (or both). All of this, and so much more, delivers a sense of wonder to many D&D players.
But for some, the wonder may be over. I feel for those people.
Look, I'm not superhuman when it comes to my emotions. There are many days when I don't feel the wonder. It's buried under the stresses of daily adult life. Sometimes you have to work to find a place of peace, and let yourself be open to wonder.
And when it finds you again, there's nothing quite like it.
I've read a lot of doubt, scorn, and pre-judgment directed toward D&D Next/5E. It really is baffling to me how so many people have been making judgments on a game they haven't even seen/read/played. Even if you do a word-by-word analysis of every piece of writing that Mike Mearls has released up to now, does that really give anyone a full idea of what this new edition is actually like?
I'm sorry, but nothing can replace having the rules (even playtest rules) actually in your hands. I'll reserve judgment until then. Right now I'm waiting for an email to come my way and get my copy of the playtest rules. And I'm maintaining my open mind, my positive hopes, and my cautious optimism.
I just don't get why so many people seem so negative about the hobby, or any product being released for it. I guess I'm not a true grognard!
I guess I'm in the minority in our corner of the blogosphere. I dunno, I feel so excited, so lucky, to be involved with the hobby again. I've been back for a couple years and I'm so jazzed because I get to play again, I get to explore a bunch of new products that come out all the time (both OSR and otherwise). I've helped proofread a recently-released RPG. And now I'm going to be involved with two playtests coming up (D&D Next and a game being developed by a creator in the OSR firmament).
All told, this is another part of the wonder for me. This is stuff I dreamed about as a kid, especially when it comes to the proofreading and playtesting. It taps into my younger self's desire to actually "work" for a game company. I won't get paid for what I do, but I will be able to say I helped out with the growth of the hobby. And that sounds great to me. I feel really lucky to have an active gaming life right now, and I'm wondering if a lot of others are taking things for granted.
Let's face it: with a hobby that often seems under threat of disappearing due to lack of interest (or so the doomsayers announce every now and then), why would any of us seek to quickly disparage any game company or their products? Why not strive to be positive? If the hobby is in danger of becoming extinct, then shouldn't any roleplaying be considered good roleplaying? I don't think we have the luxury of being so negative or closed-minded about new releases like D&D Next.
Do I blindly believe in the purity of Wizards of the Coast's goals/motivations for D&D Next? No. But am I going to dismiss it sight-unseen? No. And nor, in my opinion, should anyone who considers themselves a gamer. I very willing to bet that a lot of the nay-sayers will be signing up for the 5E playtest.
Those are my thoughts at the moment. What do you think?