Essentials? Oh, right.

I figured this was as good a post as any to rise from my grave on.

So yeah. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials, which some are calling “4.5” or “Not 4.5,” depending.

How do I feel? Well, I don’t really care.

No, really: I have enough rules with which to run my games. What I care about is fluff- Which Wizards hasn’t really gifted us with. We’ve gotten little more than hints, teases as to what the Dragonborn, Eladrin and Tieflings are really all about, and I doubt that’s going to change much. As for the rules? Well, I keep hearing that Essentials changes very little about how 4e actually works, meaning that Vanilla 4e and Essentials 4e are not only the same game, but are therefore compatible.

Which makes the argument moot: Some people are going to stick with Vanilla. Some are going to move to Essentials. Some are going to use both. All will still be playing D&D, and the fluff will probably still suck in the new books, just as it has in most of the other 4e books. Seriously, WIzards? Firing your creative staff was such a bad idea. Paizo just hired them back anyway…

What I do approve of, though, is the Essentials Dungeon Tiles releases: Yes, there’s a fair amount of reprints in the tiles. That said, they’re still extremely useful, and with none of those damn useless three-dimensional tiles that have choked the last two releases, Harrowing Halls and the new Dark Sun tie-in. Again, I question the logic of such gimmicks in a set that’s supposed to put your new face on a third product line, something we haven’t seen since the demise of TSR.

But in the vein of actually useful Dungeon Tiles, we have the current Dungeons, and the upcoming wilderness and city sets, all of which I will likely buy in the future, and will be of great use to me.

So, yeah. Essentials? Couldn’t be less interested. I doubt it’s going to change the way I run my game, one way or another.


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