Wizards of the Coast recently announced the release of a starter kit that gives a player everything they need to get started with 4th Edition D&D. The kit includes a basic ruleset, the first published adventure (Keep on the Shadowfell) and the free version of Character Builder, the last of which has been available for a while.
I love the approach that Wizards are taking with 4th Edition: They’re really opening the game up to people, the tools they’re creating (including the Encounter Builder and Character Builder) are helping people get into the game easier, and I don’t think that they’re alienating long-time players. If anything, they’re bringing back players who may have stopped playing in the past. Even the recent changes to their approach to D&D Minis, while disappointing to the fans of the skirmish game, are clearly geared towards making it easier for players to get hold of the miniatures they want and will use in a game.
Of course, not everything in 4th Edition is exactly as I’d like it: I prefer the range of skills available in 3rd Edition, for example. What I am praising here is how the company are rolling out and supporting 4th Edition. I’m already looking forward to Free RPG Day in June this year to see what they bring to the table, pun very much intended.
So what could Wizards do better? Personally, I’d love to see cross-platform versions of their tools, and a better interface to the compendium. I already use my laptop at the table, and having the Character Builder tool open live, and having the compendium available for reference while playing, would complete that experience.
This post is my official “Thank you” to Wizards of the Coast for getting me back into D&D and truly updating the game to a new and exciting playing experience.