I been outed several times by several individuals as being part of the D&D Next Playtest so it is a bit of an open secret. I can't comment about the mechanics of the rules. It is hard to find anything concrete to say because of the NDA. Hence the lack of blog posts.
But now the pot stirred up again with the resignation of Monte Cook and the Mike Mearls announcement that the D&D Next public playtest will commence on May 24th.
Of the two the latter I think is more important as finally people will be have something concrete to talk about. While I appreciate the passion that went into the various Wizards columns, they are so vague that people are reading whatever they want to see in them. With the a public playtest the conversations can be based on something concrete.
As for Monte Cook resigning I wish him the best of luck. I don't have any insider information to share.
So while I can't comment about the mechanics, I do have some observations to share about my experience with the playtest.
1) The initial playtest was a complete game. It definitely not the
complete D&D Next rules. It covered basically what the older
edition basic set covered.
2) They have elements from nearly edition but D&D Next its own thing.
3) There is one new element that I really like and I think that will be the element that defines D&D Next.
4) The playtesters have only seen the core of the game so far.
5) I had no problem running the D&D Next playtest the same way I run my Swords & Wizardry/ Majestic Wilderlands campaigns.
6) Everybody will find something to complain about in the rules. It won't be what they are complaining about now.
And the most important observation, it was a lot of fun to play!
So hopefully the open playtest will allow us to speak more freely. At which point I should have some things to share.
Issue #2 of The UnderCroft available
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