Dungeons & Dragons has been a badge of geek cred ever since its introduction in 1974 to dining room tables around the world. Now owners Wizards of the Coast have announced the upcoming fifth edition ... and they need your help to create it.
According to the New York Times, Wizards of the Coast is crowdsourcing the upcoming fifth edition of D&D because, as Greg Tito, games editor for the Escapist, said, "if handled correctly, [this] could be exactly what's needed to make players feel invested in D&D again."
Per the article:
The rule changes are part of several efforts to keep the brand relevant. Wizards of the Coast already publishes a steady stream of products set in the D&D universe: fantasy novels (by authors like R. A. Salvatore), comic books and board games. To combat the perception that the game requires hours of planning, the company organizes weekly drop-in sessions called D&D Encounters, run in game shops nationwide; they're billed as an easy way "to fit your game in after school or work."
D&D reigned supreme in the homes of gamers until the mid-1990s, and thanks to the game, many can honestly say they've sat in rooms with several of their closest friends, some dice and a few bottles of heavily caffeinated soda and pretended they were a chaotic neutral level 6 magic user with evil tendencies. But over the years, D&D's fan base has been diluted, thanks to competing games, like GURPS, and later, videogames like Zelda and massively multiplayer online role-playing games, like World of Warcraft. And now D&D wants to win back "hearts and minds."
As it happens, the split in D&D's fan base is due in no small part to the fourth edition, released in 2008, which many hardcore fans (and even Hitler) genuinely disliked. Players complained that the fourth edition limited their ability to create full-fledged characters, as opposed to tactical positions, and de-emphasized storytelling in favor of combat; they also bemoaned that the game had become too much like World of Warcraft.
But now, with input from gamers like you, there's a chance to rectify this.
D&D isn't as visually thrilling as certain videogames, but its genuine appeal remains its ability to stimulate the imagination. And then there's this:
Certainly committed players will remind you that tabletop role-playing games still outperform computer games in one key arena: improvisation. Video games have limits. Some dungeon doors can't be opened because a programmer didn't code them to open. Dungeons & Dragons remains a game where anything can happen.
If you have the time and the dice, you can sign up to help Wizard here.