Sunday, November 17, 2013

In Retrospect: Eric Noah's Unofficial D&D 3rd Edition News

If you haven't seen it already, EnWorld's put up a link last week to the old Eric Noah's Unofficial D&D Third Edition News Archive. I've been checking it out. It's brought back a lot of memories from that time--can you believe its been over 13 years since D&D 3e came out?

I remember when I first stumbled upon that site, I was like: "Yeah, right, like anybody from WotC was going to tell some random guy on Internet what 3e is going be like."

Well, it turns out WotC wasn't giving much information to Eric Noah, if you read those early posts, WotC was already blabbing about 3e elsewhere. Eric Noah was just smart enough to create a website to compile all of that information and suddenly a new online community of gamers was born.

I visited that site quite a bit. Like so many, I was nervous where D&D was headed. None of what Eric's posted really assuaged my fears. I didn't like the sound of "Attack of Opportunity." The idea of "Whirlwind Attack" brought to mind Xena spinning in circle with a couple swords doing that "aiyaiyai!" battlecry.

Then, of course, just as news of 3e started circulating, Hasbro stepped in and bought WotC, and then we learned that GenCon would Milwaukee.  Talk about interesting times.

Dragon Magazine, of course, gave updates--but Eric Noah's site related all kinds of interesting tidbits, like experience point charts, what a character sheet might look like, and even what Gary Gygax thinks about the upcoming edition (later on, however, his true opinion would be known). Here I first learned about "Adventure Paths," how WotC would focus on creating rulebooks instead of lots of adventures, and, of course, the Open Gaming License.

I'm not going to post a bunch of links, because just on page in the archive you can find month's worth of interesting tidbits.

Apparently, the reason Eric Noah handed over the reins to Morrus as because of time: he wanted his life back.  (Scroll down to August 18, 2001). Even so, Eric still hung around on En World for awhile. For years, the general policy for the message boards was not to say anything that might "upset Eric's grandmother."

I'm glad that EnWorld brought back these archives, apparently they went away after the website got hacked almost a year ago. Eric Noah's Unofficial D&D 3rd Edition News lasted for only two years, but it played an important roll in the big D&D revival brought on by 3e in those days.


  1. Saw your site linked in your ENW sig (in the "Worst Boxed Text" thread of all places :) ) - thanks for the kind words. - Eric Noah


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