The makers of Dungeons & Dragons say they’re about to begin the development of 5th-edition rules, according to news reports. I spent a fair portion of my youth immersed in the 1st-edition rules and, in the last couple of years, have played 4th-edition rules with a father-kid group. There are plenty of differences. One of them is a big improvement: Dice-rolling rules are easier to understand, because high rolls are always good. This wasn’t true earlier, leading to occasional confusion. It’s also harder to kill first-level characters: Your typical first-level magic-user can absorb a blow from a kobold with a box cutter. I think that’s an improvement as well. But apparently there are plenty of complaints about how 4e has tried too hard to appeal to video gamers through the extensive use of miniatures and maps, especially for combat. We’ll see where the gamemasters go with 5e. Meantime, here are a couple of my articles on the game: “I Was a Teenage Half Orc” from NRO and a more general article in the WSJ, from when the game shifted to 4e.