First, the New York Times announced it. Then, Wizard of the Coast confirmed it: the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons is in development. I’ll get to my personal feelings in a moment. First, for this blog and the Doctor Strangeroll project, all it means is a little bit more built-in longevity. I expect 5E to be available by the time I run a group through three Classic adventures using Basic D&D, AD&D, Pathfinder, and D&D 4E. If it’s not actually out yet, then I’d wager playtest rules will be available at the very least (and yes, I signed up for playtest info). If they’re not, well, we’ll just revisit these adventures when 5E IS available.
Now, I’ve never made any secret of the fact that D&D 4E wasn’t my favorite edition, and I don’t hold high hopes that D&D 5E will reclaim the Favorite RPG Crown of my heart. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to prefer more rules-light systems. Honestly, I don’t see D&D moving in that direction. I’ll bet most people who play D&D and love it enough to actively participate in a playtest prefer systems with a lot of “crunch.” Those who don’t have probably already moved on to other systems and Hasbro/WotC will have a hard time getting them to switch back.
There are myriad website that are going over the various announcements line-by-line and interpreting them for you. I’m not going to do that because I’m not a news analyst. If the new game is good and fits my needs, I’ll probably play it. If it’s too complex, or I otherwise just don’t like it as much as an older edition, I won’t. It’s that simple.