#RPGaDay2015: Day 3

rpg-a-day-2015Another day, another entry into #RPGaDay2015. Today’s topic is Favorite New RPG of the Past 12 Months, which is a tricky one. Tricky for a couple of reasons: One, some of the best games released during the past 12 months have been new versions of older games, so the question remains whether or not they qualify as “New”; and Two, I haven’t actually gotten to play an RPG in the past 12 months — in fact, due to the combination of no local playing group, my medical dramas of 2014, and a slew of late projects which have been taking all of my time, I haven’t had a chance to play RPGs in a couple of years now. Depressing, innit?

Let’s take a look at Dave’s video entry for the day, with special guest Paco Garcia of GMS Magazine:

My own response to this topic came down to a new edition of an old game. There were a number of cool games released this year, but looking ahead on the topic list, I see some days where the topic would fit those games, and so I’ll save them for later. Plus, this was undoubtedly the biggest release of the year, and the one that I had the greatest enjoyment reading: the new 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. I had worked professionally producing 3rd Edition compatible material for years, and the proliferation of feats and bonuses and stats and exceptions made my head ache. The 4th edition was, in my opinion, a drastic swing away from the core of the game in an ill-advised attempt to emulate console & PC games. onsvh9apbgixtgjpik0k5th Edition hearkens back to the simplicity of early 2nd edition (before the “Complete X” Kit books), while keeping some elements of 3rd and 4th, producing a game that undeniably feels like D&D. And within this new-yet-familiar game, Mike Mearls and the design team manage to include some new rules systems that are so good, I lament the fact that they weren’t always a part of the game from the beginning. The Advantage system does away with the bean-counting of bonuses and penalties, and the Inspiration mechanic is a seamless inclusion of role-playing rewards into the nuts-and-bolts of the system. My only regrets so far with D&D 5th Edition: I have not had a chance to play, and there is currently no third-party publishing license for support, despite assurances that one would appear “after the core books were released.” I still have my fingers crossed.

So that’s mine — what about yours?

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