My group’s playtesting D&D Next which is looking to be the follow-up to 4th Edition D&D. If you’re interested, they’re doing an open playtest that you can sign up at the link above, get to see the rules they want to show you, play and give feedback, there you go.
Anyway, we’re playing it.
Right now, they’re trying to distill D&D down to an extremely pure form, which could be played as is, or with modules added. In this context, ‘module’ means ‘optional rules’, but since it’s D&D, we have to use the same word for 5 different things I guess. From the looks of this playtest document, I think they’ve done a pretty good job at that. I suppose the hope is to win back all of the customers that stuck with an old version.
It feels a lot like the old Red Box Basic Set (The D&D I got started with). There’s some new bits added to the game, but it seems it’s trying to get the feel of early 80′s D&D. I’m hopeful that it will be able to hit other flavors.
That said, I don’t envy those trying to reconcile all of the different playstyles that D&D has supported over it’s almost 30 year history, but as someone who has liked them all, I like the idea of my ruleset to be able to support them.