D&D Next Open Playtest Has Begun!

It’s finally here. Today’s the day! Am I talking about Christmas? No. But in a way, yes. This morning I received the much-anticipated email announcing that I could at last download the playtest packet for D&D Next. Being the giant unknown in the future of my hobby, I’m extremely anxious to see my first glimpse of the rules. What I know so far is that it will consist of a few PDFs: a set of four pregen characters, an adventure (Caves of Chaos), and rules for the DM including a small set of monsters.

I don’t expect much in the way of layout or presentation, but I can’t wait to see what this early version of the game rules look like. I’ve liked most of the big promises made by the design team, but it will be interesting to see if they really can pull them off. Maybe the first playtest documents won’t be nearly enough of a complete picture to satisfy, or worse, maybe they will be and I won’t like it. But I’m hopeful and I simply have to know.

To get the packet, sign up to be part of the playtest here. Then, you’ll get an email that takes you to a security page where you click to request a packet after signing a playtest agreement. This agreement basically says you won’t sell or distribute copies of the packet on your own, and that you won’t reverse-engineer it to make your own competing product. But playtesters are free to discuss the game, and are lifted from previous confidentiality agreements for the closed playtests earlier this year.

Now I wait on the email that actually contains my playtest packet. Expect a brief silence this morning while the D&D blogging world reads up, then a bunch of blog posts around the Internet on every blogger’s thoughts, then more posts to come as people try it out and post their experiences.