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Monte Cook leaves WOTC/5e Public Playtest to start May 24th

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Monte Cook has left WOTC. Posted on his Livejournal today (April 25th):

Last week I decided that I would leave my contract position with Wizards of the Coast. I am no longer working on Dungeons & Dragons, although I may provide occasional consultation in the future. My decision is one based on differences of opinion with the company. However, I want to take this time to stress that my differences were not with my fellow designers, Rob Schwalb and Bruce Cordell. I enjoyed every moment of working with them over the past year. I have faith that they'll create a fun game. I'm rooting for them.

Mike Mearls gives gives a sentence or two to this news here while announcing the public 5e playtest will start on May 24th.

I'll be honest, the news that Monte Cook has left WOTC and the 5e design team changes my opinion of 5e from "skeptical but interested" to "extremely skeptical." While I have a number of issues with Monte's Cook's D&D 3.x design work, he was pretty much out of the 4e design loop which I consider very important for my interest in 5e. Given I consider 4e the worst edition of D&D ever published for the way I like to play (and have played since 1975), having one of the lead 5e designers be someone so out of the 4e design loop that many "4vengers" loathed him was a good thing in my book.

Khayman said...
April 25, 2012 at 11:16 PM  

I'm with you on that. My admittedly marginal interest in 5e has now decreased even further. I wonder what precipitated the departure.

Chad Rose said...
April 26, 2012 at 12:28 AM  

My interst in 5e is literally exploding! 3.5e is re-released through B&N, and Monte Cook leaves WotC while the public playtest is announced for May 24th...

How can your interest wane?!? Hell, I mean, I don't care if I don't like the game the same as anyone else (I have my fallbacks too) but to say your interest is waning is like saying that asteroid headed for Earth probably won't hit us so I'm going to go buy some TP and a "Hungry Man" microwave meal for dinner tonight.

Hamel™ said...
April 26, 2012 at 5:17 AM  


IMHO he's always been a kinda overrated game designer: his work on 3E has always obscured what Tweet and Williams did too, we shouldn't forget about it.

I will miss his funny L&L articles, anyway.

Randall said...
April 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM  

@Chad: My interest in 5e has been waning the more I read about it. The hype WOTC is putting out surrounding the game is really worrying. For example, I can't imagine any way a player with a 1e-like character and a 4e-like character could happily co-exist at my table. With Monte leaving, i figure the chances of getting a 5e I wold be interested in playing have dropped so my interest drops.

Khayman said...
April 27, 2012 at 2:57 AM  

Regardless of one's feelings about Cook, it's not usually a good sign when one of the lead designers pulls out in the middle of a project. Who knows, maybe its all for the best. It's just that it smells like blood in the water.

Chris Nason - Freeware Front said...
May 6, 2012 at 5:48 PM  

Insiders speculate that Cook left not because of the 5E design but rather a conflict with Wizards/Hasbro.

I'd still rather play M74 Extended. Maybe I can get Cook to turn Arcana Evolved into an M74 setting? Maybe? ;)

migo said...
May 7, 2012 at 2:20 AM  

Have to say I feel the other way about it. I didn't like Arcana Unearthed/Arcana Evolved, MCWoD never did anything for me, so seeing that he's left makes me more enthusiastic about 5e. And really, the people who liked Monte's stuff are all playing PF anyway.

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