Similar to the “Friday Night Magic” concept, Dungeons & Dragons has its own night dedicated to it. Every Wednesday, you can count on “D&D Encounters” at your local participating hobby/game store. I’ve always been sort of interested in participating, because I like to play, and also because I’m a killer (just meaning I’m good at it, not “I’m out to kill your character”) game master. I’d provide lots of fun and challenges, and yadda yadda, moving right along…

So, I pull up the Character Builder again, as I tend to do periodically, and I notice the faces on the “premade characters” have changed once again — I think they change in accordance with the D&D Encounters season — and I see this message. I usually ignore notes and information that has nothing to do with whatever I happen to be looking up, but something about the notice grabs my attention.

D&D Encounters is using Essentials-only material. lolwut?

Will someone please explain to me why you can’t play the classes presented in any of the first three Player’s Handbooks? I thought D&D Encounters was supposed to be … I mean, seriously, what is this? I haven’t really taken the proper length of time to rant about it, but the Essentials classes are crappy. It’s like if you order the same thing all the time at a restaurant, and they suddenly cut way down on the portion size.

I’m sure Wizards of the Coast has its reasons, but Essentials was supposed to be “100% compatible with the classic character classes.” What is this bull about not being able to play the “Classic” classes in the weekly games? Boy, am I ever glad I don’t waste my money on their new products, these guys have seriously lost it. You know, maybe they’re losing money and it’s the only way to keep D&D profitable.

Maybe it’s a way to make D&D more affordable? Maybe it’s a way to make the game easier, and bring it to more people. That’s right, limit the options of individual players … make the regular events cater to the lowest common denominator … of course we can use whatever rules we want in our home games. No, this is bull.

It’s just that they fractured their fan base again, stopped providing support for their previous products — barely two years old at the time, making it faster than the 3.0-to-3.5 changeover. Yeah, we all saw it coming when they first announced the Essentials line. I don’t know. They have no integrity whatsoever and I shouldn’t be surprised. There won’t be another “full” class again, just more of their “half-the-flavor-and-half-the-calories Essentials classes.

Yeah, I’m kinda pissed. I was looking forward to a martial controller class.