An open faced letter to Wizards of the Coast regarding the next iteration of Dungeons & Dragons which will be worse, or better than some, if not all of the others

Dear Wizards of the Coast,

All of my other blogger friends have written open letters to you in regards to your forthcoming edition. I have been looked at snidely for the last time! I too have prepared my open letter to you. And like an open face turkey sandwich, I shall not skimp on the gravy! Please note that all uses of the word “we” should be taken as the Royal “We”.

I’ve never actually played 4th edition, but I do own the new Red Box, which currently sits unopened on my gaming shelf. I consider it 4th edition-lite, and actually do plan on playing it. This weekend.

As a blogger though, not having actual experience with anything has never stopped me from writing about it loudly and on as broad a forum as I can. This is the edition wars and I must have my part in them! Forward the charge! Damn the Tieflings, full speed ahead!

First, I’m extremely excited that you’re taking your fan base into the fold, by allowing them to comment on the next edition of D&D (from this point on, I shall call it Neo-D&D). Like many of the forums I visit, and Usenet before this, I’m sure that your openness and willingness to read what we, your fans, write,  in concise sentences such as this one, shall lead to a flurry of helpful ideas and criticism! I cannot wait for the virtual dialectic that shall result from this!

Second, I need to call your attention to everyone else on the internet who is writing their own open letters. This is what I like to think of as a precursor to the coming flood of people clamoring to influence your products. Heed them well! In fact, starting with this open letter and applying the principle to every other open letter you read from this point on, I insist that you read them in Clint Eastwood’s voice. I don’t care which era of Clint, pick one. Also, you should wear elf ears, or if unavailable, Spock ears which are just elf ear rip-offs anyway.

That’s how serious we are.

Third, Neo-D&D is our game. Yes, it’s your product, and yes, you pay developers to write content, and people to edit, artsy folks to make art, people to bind books, and warehouse them, and ship them, but it’s our game dammit! When we play this game, we own it. And we own it because we bought it. We buy these things to own them! Which means we want all the rules to reflect, with equal weight, all the things we all suggest they reflect! In order to form a more perfect union and all that jazz. We demand equality because in the end, Wizards of the Coast and Hasboro are true democracies ruled by the internet.

Fourth, and finally, the future is here! We’re all online all the time. Didn’t you read freaking Ender’s Game? Those desks, they’re real! And Apple built them. We’d like to be able to game from them, while balancing them awkwardly on our knees. We want to be able to check the football score, or Reddit, or porn while playing games at the same time. Please, please, pretty please with a beholder on top, make your books come out as PDFs too!

Now I’ll bet I know what you’re thinking.  Have I made three points, or four?

See? Like a six gun, but bloggers only get 4 points. Clint Eastwood. No? Anyhoo, this open letter has reached its logical end, which means you should go out and hunt down the other open letters to Wizards of the Coast and brutally read them.

5 thoughts on “An open faced letter to Wizards of the Coast regarding the next iteration of Dungeons & Dragons which will be worse, or better than some, if not all of the others

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  1. Ben…that’s brilliant! I wish more open [faced] letters were like your’s. Great way to express a point and have some fun at the same time.

    I know many people who buy the physical books but then happen to have digital editions of the books. They take the digital editions with them to games and keep the physical at home. Wizards really needs to embrace this. Don’t they know traditional publishing is dying?

    In fact, it’d be nice for all mainstream game publishers to embrace the digital format when releasing rulebooks, addendums, etc.


  2. Thanks Jonathan!

    I honestly do embrace digital texts and as a lover of new gadgets and technology, think it’s quite silly that a modern publishing house (of anything) can’t or won’t move in that direction.

    Having said that though, sometimes these things are way more distraction from the game than helpful aid. 🙂


    1. When I first brought my iPad to a D&D session to look up material, take notes, and use Dicenomicon I was surprised by the hesitation that the DM had in allowing me to use it. The other players seemed confused by my actions.

      Looking back at it I can see how they could be concerned that it would distract from the game. Instead, it turned out to be a valuable tool. Having all the notes on there was so helpful. And, not needing to bring physical dice with me that clutter the playing area provided more room for others to put their materials.

      Physical rulebooks take up a lot of space and may not always be in one’s car. When going to a game while on the road it can help to look up the rules on an eReader, tablet, or smartphone.


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