This blog entry is going to explore it just a little. I love D&D art, so I thought it would be fun to rank the covers of the Player's Handbook by edition.
But first I want to jump on a few things I've been reading online. Specifically, the comment sections on sites that run articles on the new edition. I am not an "edition war" guy. I love 4th edition, but I certainly understand why people wouldn't like it. I really don't like the rules for 3/3.5, but I don't feel the need to dive in on discussions and scream about how much I hate feat trees and how long it takes to make NPC stats.
Here's some of the general comments I've been reading:
You can't play it until November when the DMG comes out
First of all, we have the playtest packets right now. We can fill in the blanks until those books come out. Second, I would guess this will be like the 3.0 release, where important DMG/MM information is printed in a back section of the book. Or, most probable of all, you'll have that information already in the starter set.
Comments like this boggle my mind. You're a DM. Make it up. You're not stupid, you can work it out for a few months.
D&D Next is just as "video gamey" as 4e
|THIS is video game-y|
The price is too high
I guess this is somewhat subjective. It depends on how much you are going to actually use the stuff. Most people are players. All they need is the PH, which is $50 ($40 on amazon). You will use that book for years. People buy video games for $50 every month. I guess if you don't play much, then maybe it's not worth it. If you're on the fence about the whole thing, you could grab the starter set for $20. That will take you to level 5, from what I understand.
How many years until 6th edition?
That is a great question. They blew through 4e alarmingly fast. I would guess that it depends on how this edition does. There seems to be an awful lot of mistrust and contempt for the newer editions. People really swear by their preferred edition and seem to kind of fear the new stuff. I refuse to be tied to rules. I like to stay current and in touch with what is going on now, while integrating the cool stuff from old products into my game.
Releasing an adventure before the MM or DMG is "idiotic"
|You can't go in here til November!!|
This also is an out-of-touch sentiment. Wizards has released a bunch of adventures without the official rules, like the incredibly great Dead in Thay. The monster stats are in the back.
Wizards will have a hard time "stealing" Pathfinder players
What a bold statement! 5th edition rules are like Pathfinder/3.5, but without all of the annoying BS. It runs much faster and doesn't get bogged down with constant breaks for rules references. At least, not in my experience. I converted the Pathfinder Skull & Shackles path to D&D Next. It was a piece of cake and worked great.
There is room for two companies. Competition sometimes breeds better products. Marvel has Spider-man, DC has Batman. That works out great for all of us. When one sucks, maybe the other won't. They drive each other to be better. Does anyone really want D&D to die? That would be terrible.
OK, enough of that. The cover art for the new edition player's handbook is out! Let us rank the covers of each edition once and for all. To the winner goes all of the yellow starbursts I refused to eat Friday night.
This is obviously completely subjective. And I am not including basic D&D. In the case of editions with .5's, I just picked the one I thought was best. Which means you won't see the AD&D 2.5 books with their hideous black borders. I hated those books. The interior art was god awful, too.
5. 2nd Edition Player's Handbook
4. 3rd Edition Player's Handbook
Also, books with paintings of heroes are more fun to look at. They fire up your imagination. This thing is kind of dull.
3. 5th Edition Player's Handbook
I love... LOVE... that they used King Snurre. It reasurres me that they are not throwing their old designs and concepts in the garbage.
I also really don't like that red line on the bottom left with the Dungeons & Dragons text on it. I think they wanted it there because the "D&D" at the top might confuse newer people. This begs the question: Why not just write out "Dungeons and Dragons" at the top? The red blurch down there cuts right into the art and is distracting. I'd have gone with a full "Dungeons & Dragons" at the top, and the "D&D" at the bottom center, underneath the little blurb.
2. 4th Edition Player's Handbook
1. 1st Edition Player's Handbook
To me, this is the best cover because it fires up your imagination. In this game, you can do whatever you want - but you need to decide carefully. Should those guys be taking those gems? Should their allies be so non-chalant about it? And which way should they go on the map from here?
On top of that, the statue is so ominous and memorable. It burns right into your brain. It's so weird, colorful and evil. You've never seen anything like it. It becomes associated with this weird thing you do that other people may not understand.
Tomorrow I'll rank the DMG covers, and tell you how it went when I ran level one of the parody Castle Greyhawk on Friday. Jet-propelled stalagmites were launched, and uni-ducks stood tall, noble and true.