I have decided that I am done with D&D. Well not done done, but done. Specifically I'm done dealing with the D&D Next playtest. I've determined that at this point I can't keep up to date on the D&D Next play test and stay positive. Given that I don't want to give up on being positive, D&D Next playtest will have to go. There are a few reasons for this. The first doesn't have anything to do with optimism or positivity. It has to do with the fact that I don't have the time to run playtest games. I'm running a weekly 3.5 game and a bi-monthly 4e game. I'm having too much fun with both of those to suspend either of them to run a playtest session. I don't currently have the headspace to prep another game, even if it is a one shot. Without being able to run or play in a playtest game I don't feel involved in the playtest process.
The other major reason has to do with today's poster. D&D has a lot of design baggage. There are entire swaths of mechanics that only make sense in the context of their original design culture. This can have a polarizing effect. Those who are currently part of that culture feel that these mechanics are important to their fun and react with hostility to their removal. Those who are not currently part of that culture feel that these mechanics get in the way of their fun and react with hostility to their inclusion. My personal opinion is that the more the designers jettison this design baggage the better. The trouble being this goes against D&D next's stated design goals. At this point the designers and I have fundamental differences about what D&D should be and it appears that no amount of playtesting is going to change that.
Going forward I won't be paying any more attention to the D&D Next play test. I'm looking to decrease the number of D&D games I run and branch out into other systems. Specifically into the prep light arenas of gaming. I know I've had plenty of fun playing in Savage Worlds and PDQ.
Art from GIS for "emotional baggage"