On June 15th, we conducted an interview over Skype with Mike Mearls, head of Research & Design of D&D at Wizards of the Coast. Also during that day, Mike was participating in an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit, so some of the answers make reference to that. This interview has been transcribed, paraphrased, and edited by us from the call. We chose to mainly focus on the process of playtesting and design for D&D Next for this interview.
With the open playtest of the new iteration of D&D coming tomorrow, I wanted to offer some of my advice on playtesting and giving feedback.
One of the distinctions that I missed in my last article is that openness doesn’t necessarily have to be inviting. It just leave the door open. Doing something in public combines openness with a call to the public to look at what you’re doing.
In the context of a new edition, there are any number of ways that an edition after 4th edition could go, while still building on the foundation of the game.
In which Chatty posts something that’s less than 500 words about what his dream game design project would be like. Hop right in and discuss!
Piledriver. You’ve all played it, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident, but you play it more than you expect.
It is not terribly hard to write a typical dungeon-delve adventure with 3 encounters, a skill challenge, and the PCs rushing in at the last moment to stop the ritual before the evil creature of great power is unleashed. Many DMs and players are happy with that. Thank goodness! However, not every DM or player is happy with the standard fare.
In which Chatty comes full circle and ends up being a freelance designer of the games that brought him up into the hobby in the first place.
Whether you’re talking RPG design or other creative works, anything presented to the public is going to garner reaction. Criticism can be devastating, but there are ways to deal with it.
Leverage: the Roleplaying Game does so many things right. It’s quick, collaborative, easy to prep, iconic, and tethered to a great back-and-forth mechanic and play style. But still, every plan has room for improvement.