It’s that time again! The folks at Wizard’s of the Coast have created a brand new playtest packet for our enjoyment. Downloading this one is actually not a hopelessly painful ordeal, so you can get it here. You don’t have to fear, as it won’t consume all your bandwidth and unleash the fury of your ISP’s data monitoring services to attempt it.
You need to make a new account, by the way – don’t use your DDI or Wizbook account as it won’t work for this purpose. This playtest is rather ambitious as it includes character creation elements and reworked creatures. You have rules for the “four big decisions” D&D Next wants to condense character creation into: Race, Class, Theme, Specialty. Each of these has a separate PDF. Equipment has its own PDF, as well as a reworked Beastiary, How To Play, GM Packet, and so on.
I think all those could’ve been combined into one, with bookmarks, but who am I to question the distribution method.
Some big changes in this one! Combat maneuvers fueled by Fighter Expertise! Everyone has really low HP! (Wizards with 6 HP are back, baby!) Damage is slightly reduced! All kinds of new themes and specialties, including the Healer, which allows you to spend money to make healing kits and anti-toxin! It’s all kinds of exciting stuff for people to playtest.
Is the world’s first and greatest roleplaying game back and better than ever?
As I have done in the past, I’ll give my detailed, initial thoughts on the new packet, with all the gravity, intellect and seriousness that I am known for in engaging discussion about this critical juncture in D&D’s life.