There’s been some talk lately about the infamous “GRID” in rpg’s. It’s come up in conversations about DnDNext, and whether or not people prefer to play with it or would rather go the “theatre of the mind route”. I also heard Will Wheaton on the latest Jennisodes podcast refer to 4e as basically a “board game” and he stated that he had played Dragon Age gridless. So I think grids are a little bit of a topic lately.
It’s no secret that the WOTC playtests for DNDNext are being played with a theatre of the mind assumption, leaving the option open to play with minis and a grid if you want. This is the assumption made in Dragon Age, and it works well for us. But I’ve found something pretty interesting is going on at my table, and I wonder how many other folks experience the same thing. I think that my group *likes* the idea of a game not needing minis (the main reason for dropping 4e was the length of encounters due to the tactical combat), but in practice prefers the minis and grid (even if just as a reference).
When we played 2e many moons ago, we played with a grid, and while positioning and movement wern’t really all that important to us, it helped us visualize the scene. We do the same with DA, terrain and movment aren’t to strict at my table, and the minis serve as a reference. So I’m finding that when I try to run a gridless combat, most people would prefer to see minis at the table. This is surprising to me, because for as much as we may have wanted to drop the 4e baggage, some things just work better. It’s an interesting thought. In fact, I think the only game we may play without really needing any minis is the Star Wars d6 game.
So yeah, grids. I find my recent experience interesting. Where do you stand, and why?
I’m not going to talk much about DndNext (use your imaginations), but I will say this. I’m seeing some 4e fans feeling burnt by the talk coming out of official columns, public playtests and nda-breaking writers regarding the game. All I can say is relax. First, you are experiencing what 3e fans felt when 4e was announced 5 years ago. Now it’s y(our) turn. Such are the breaks. Also, the game is nowhere near finished. it’s unfair to judge a game based on snippets of information and marketing speak.
I personally have stuff to say about the game, and when the time comes, I will, trust me. But for now, I urge you to wait for the public playtest, where you’ll have your chance to help shape the game. Everything else right now is noise.
On a last note, I know I’ve been slacking here on the blogging front, but life’s kicking my ass. :)
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