Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jeremy Crawford. The Future of DndNext?

I have been following the community and following all the progress of DnDNext.  Ican tell you honestly I was extremely wary, thinking to myself: "How are they going to combine all the forms of D&D together in something that will consolidate all the editions to bring the community together?"

It almost seems like an insurmountable task.  What will they include, what will they exclude?  I like certain things that I know will be excluded, yet they will go on an create this new game.

Don't get me wrong, I love this game.  It has been part of my life for over 25 years.  I have played Ad&d and up.  It helped me survive my childhood with some form of sanity.  Still, I am wary of 5th edition! Why? I think there are many factors that contributed to this. The biggest one in my opinion was the lack of tranparency when  4th edition came out.

All this changed when I viewed The Future of D&D Panel at PAX East - 2012.  I say we vote Jeremy Crawford to be the spokesman for Wizards of the Coast.
"Some players have become so empowered that DM's feel like they have become disempowered" is only one of the great lines I heard come of Jeremy's mouth.

Correct me if I am wrong, but do you get that funny feeling inside when he speaks.  It seems to all make sense.  Here are some of my reasons why he and not anyone else at this place, become the spokesperson for the next iteration of D&D.

He is EXTREMELY well spoken.

Can this man speak, or can this man speak? I started watching the video, and wondered to myself: "Who is this waste of space next to Mike Mearls? He is not speaking and looks like a lump.  Mike Mearls was talking non-stop."  This was getting annoying, and I was about to shut off the video and then Jeremy spoke.  His voice is soothing and the words out of his mouth, were not simple syllabic words.  They were extremely profound and well delivered words that glued me to the screen.

"My biggest hope is that we succeed simultaneously at delivering a game that has very classic D&D feel such that people who played D&D back in the '70s will recognize the aesthetic of it, but people who just started playing last year would also feel that this is Dungeons and Dragons."

He is EXTREMELY transparent

Transparency is probably one of the most important things designers should be doing in order to promote a product.  How many times have we bought something and then returned it because it did not live up to the advertisement?  Seeing and hearing Jeremy speak at the one the panel is the first time I have been somewhat reassured by someone at WotC, that this project will have a great chance of success. Even though 4th edition was a success in my eyes, WotC did not live up to their promises on things such as the Virtual Table(as it was originally presented in it's 3d form) and other things.

When Jeremy spoke, he was up front and honest (if not honest, he rolled a high Bluff check).  He stated numerous times, that he only wants the game to be fun and for all people to be able to participate and enjoy it.  He states that it has been tough, but he hopes with the playtesting that WotC could make a product that is worthy of play from all the fans out there, from every edition.

" of the things that has been very much on our minds is controlling the rate in which we add the mechanics to the game, so I think it is safe to say that you will see us being much more conservative about the appearance of new classes, and other major game elements. It is important to us that each piece feels like it has a home in this very classic game, and that it is fully fleshed out and that it is supported."

He is up front to the public that you will not get a crapload of information just to have information, but will be information that is pertinent to the game and not just to fill holes.  He makes no promises, but does give us ideas.

He is EXTREMELY passionate about the game

Here is an example of Jeremy's speaking of the changes that have already taken place with the playtesting and his passion for the game: "...frankly Mike nor I could get up here and speak to you with any pride whatsoever if this was a marketing stunt, I mean we love this game too much, we have too much respect for you as the players of this game, for this to be a smokescreen."  There was great applause from the crowd at this point, which shows his great charisma.

He seems to be very excited about DnDNext.  You can heat it at 25:10 of the video when he is taking about the method of inclusion of skill challenges in the new iteration.  He seems happy to speak about it, like it was worth speaking about.  He says it with such passion, that it makes me want to get the rule right now and playtest at every convention.  Check it out!

A great example of his passion is when he talks about the Wizard class, starting at 36:36 of the video.  Listen to what he says.  He seems so into it.  It is great that he still has such passion for a game that is deemed splintered and unwhole.

Throughout the whole seminar, Jeremy is carefully choosing his words, never saying anything negative about his colleagues, never saying "I" and always includes WotC as a whole group effort in the making of this new edition.  He also is genuinely interested in including US in the conversation. Not to take anything away from Mike Mearls, except he is caught many a time saying "I" and that ruins the moment for me.

Final Comment

Take a look at the following video and tell me that I am lying.

What do you think?  Jeremy Crawford for WotC spokesperson?  I like what he says and how he says it?  What do you all think?