Looks like Wizards has rehired Monte Cook, giving him an R&D job. I think this is a great move: 3e was an amazing achievement, and Monte is a thoughtful game designer who is going to challenge the 4e developers. It’s hard to follow a great product like 3e (or 1e for that matter) without either rebelling and rejecting a lot of good stuff, or slavishly imitating even non-essential details. Since Monte is a 3e insider, he should have a pretty good perspective on what 4e can learn from 3e, and what 3e did wrong.
Monte, Skip Williams, and Jonathan Tweet are all on my D&D dream team. I admit, I sometimes conflate the three designers into one frankenstein Monte Skiptweet: which is the one who flipped coins to determine NPC gender in a module he was writing? Which is the one who wrote a criticism of the 3.5 edition? Which is the one with the beard?
I was inspired by the news of Monte’s hiring to catch up on his blog, and found this post:
I want to make special mention of one purchase, and that was the book, Cheers, Gary. This is a book whose proceeds go to the Gygax Memorial fund, and I think that’s an awesome cause.
I spent a lot of time working the Gen Con booth, but I did occasionally step away. One time I took 20 minutes to wander the exhibition hall, and when I got back, my boothmate Jason said, “You just missed Monte Cook. He just came by and bought a book.” So I missed my chance to autograph a book for him, and to get his autograph.