monte cook back at wizards

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.

And doing a project like Dungeon a Day has got to sharpen your design chops. Monte must be near, or beyond, the Gladwell number of 10,000 hours of game design.

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.

3 Responses to “monte cook back at wizards”

  1. Jack Colby says:

    I have nothing against the guy, but if they are actually working on 5th edition I’d prefer he stayed away from it. Frankly, I’d like to see what Mike Mearls does with it… hope he isn’t fired by the time 5E comes out.

    That said, re-hiring Cook almost seems like a desperate move by a company that knows they need to compete with certain other games (Pathfinder) and reclaim some lost players. It’s like getting a celebrity guest star.

    Mildly interesting news, as much as anything out of WotC is these days, at least.

  2. banu says:

    They should rehire Heinsoo instead..

  3. mbeacom says:

    It’s definitely interesting. At least as a “holy crap what will they do next” kind of thing. I have no love for 3E but 4E went the wrong way IMO. Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy the system and still run a weekly game of 4E but there is a lot I would change and if they can take some of the good things from 4E and combine them with more classical D&D elements, I’d buy that book TODAY. I say 5E can’t come soon enough. I see no downside to another edition as long as its not rushed out for no reason but to release it. If I love the new system, I’ll be thrilled to have it. If I hate it, I’ll simply keep playing the games that I love, just like in the past when I’ve preferred older editions to newer. Even 1E is still very well supported by the community and I have faith that 4E will be regardless of what happens with 5E.

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