D&D Reincarnated

Geek Culture

At the risk of sounding like a dork, I owe everything I have to Dungeons & Dragons.

If it hadn’t been for D&D, I never would have met my friends. If I never had met them they couldn’t possibly have introduced me to my wife. Obviously, no wife means no kids. I don’t know about you, but no family and no friends sounds lonely and miserable. So thanks, D&D.

Timewarp back to that magical summer of 1982, I had saved up $12 in allowance and bought the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook. It was the biggest purchase of my life to that point, and I was immensely thrilled. Of course I lavished the book with utmost care, which to a 12-year-old boy means doodling all over it, adding stickers, and defacing the R-rated succubus illustrations.

It’s odd, 25 years later I’m still excited all over again about the prospect of a new Player’s Handbook. This time it’s the 4th Edition volume, announced at this year’s GenCon game convention. The first full edition since 2000, the 4th Edition promises to provide faster and more enjoyable game play, with the goal to save people from being bogged down by awkward rule searches in the midst of battle. Along with the requisite new skills and feats and more clearly defined character roles, the new rules will support play through 30th Level, dividing PCs into three categories: Heroic (1st-10th level). Paragon (11th-20th) and Epic (21st-30th). D&D’s publisher Wizards of the Coast is also developing online roleplaying resources to help connect groupless gamers as well as to help gamers out with character creation and storage utilities.

But don’t rush to the stores just yet, the 4th Edition rulebooks won’t be available until May 2008 (Player’s Handbook), June ’08 (Monster Manual) and July ’08 (Dungeon Master’s Guide) — however, you can still preorder the 4th Edition Player’s Handbook.

It might just change your life.

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