Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 – A Fireside Chat with Wizards of the Coast (Dungeons and Dragons)

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 – A Fireside Chat with Wizards of the Coast (Dungeons and Dragons)


Presenting for Wizards of the Coast at Silicon Valley Comic Con was Nathan Steward. He had a lot to present to the attendees about Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. Mostly it was on the impact of 5th Edition and what it meant to Wizards of the Coast to have a success like D&D.


Nathan Steward joined Wizards of the Coast about 4 years ago. This was around the launch time of D&D 5th Edition. He felt he came into the company at a great time. There were a number of shifts from 4th Edition to 5th Edition and much else.


There is one thing that Wizards of the Coast keeps in mind about Dungeons and Dragons. That the game started back in 1974 in Lake Geneva. Originally the game was just limited to where Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson could drive. Still, it was from those humble begins that the game began to grew. The game grew into its own subculture over time. In the 1980's, it had its own Saturday Morning cartoon. It was also features in at least 2 episode of the TV series “Community” (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Advanced Dungeon & Dragons). There have been many more things that have taken inspiration from Dungeons and Dragons and giving a nod to it.


One thing he was very clear about was the core experience that Dungeons and Dragons offers. That is that you are sitting around a table with friends solving puzzles and working together to triumph together. This is something that helps many people. This core experience has helped many people who had a lot of trouble gained the needed social skills or just have a much harder time interacting with people personally. By taking on the other persona of your character, it helps relieve some of those strains. He told us of many parents who had written Wizards of the Coast (WoTC) about their autistic children who started to communicate more because of the game.


Another thing that was made clear was the differences and similarities between D&D 5e and all the previous various. One thing that WoTC was aiming for was trying to building the system to have the rules more under hood or in the backseat. It has a lot of the best features of previous editions but cleans them up and tries to simply things some more. They want the focus to be on the story. If the DM and players want to have lots of rules, they can. If the players want a more engaging game with less rules bogging things down, that is also an option. It is meant to be a flexible system that provides a lot of information. More importantly, they do not want to overwhelm the players with the sheer variety of options. Done, largely, are the days of building something complex for complexity itself.


More than anything, Dungeons & Dragons is about story telling. Those managing the brand try to keep that in mind with each iteration and addition they make to the franchise. They want to be sure to build a framework that people can use to create engaging stories. Many of the people working on the game do play it so they have as much invested as the players do. There were no real limits they put on this. They wanted people to tell the story they wanted to through a variety of mediums. This could be through the many games that have been released. It could be around the table with friends or over the internet through a variety of different clients.


The biggest take away from this panel was Dungeons and Dragons is about the community experience. There have been many friendships formed over the years through this game. You should be able to start a campaign with a friend and a few people. These can last a long time and so much happens in them. Couples are made, friendship blooms but best of all, everyone gets to enjoy a story together.

Comments (0)

New comments are currently disabled.

Subscribe to me on YouTubeFollow us on Twitter!
Join our Steam group!