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  • Wizards Officially Announces D&D 5e

    Check out this article by Mike Mearls. I think we all pretty new this was coming sooner rather than later. What amazes me is that this news rose to the level of being covered by the NY Times. Impressive!

    What are your thoughts about a new edition? Love it, hate it? Personally, I'm just glad they are keeping the brand alive.
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. Dark's Avatar
      Dark -
      It all depends on how serious they are about listening to actual players or is it all smoke and mirrors like 4e was with a 'select closed' group.
    1. Umiushi's Avatar
      Umiushi -
      I'm going jump in with my two cents at the forefront, this time. It doesn't matter to me what method is used to develop it. Historically speaking, getting a wide amount of feedback increases the odds of producing better results, but what matters at the end of the day are the results themselves.

      Success is also measured differently depending on the perspective. Is it successful if it sells well? Sure it is to the makers, and certainly to those consumers who bought the product and enjoy it, that's successful. However, we're all individuals, so it almost goes without saying that the way I'm going to judge the Fifth Edition's success is based on how well the rules suit me.

      For some time now, Dragon articles have been running polls about rule mechanics, which I've been half-following. Some of the poll results seem to follow my sensibilities, others do not. If the 5th edition reflected those results, I wouldn't have very much hope for the new skill system, for instance.

      I also think it would be a mistake if the game makes an attempt to return to earlier edition mechanics again. Frankly, the great majority of people who prefer the third edition are either sticking to that or playing Pathfinder, which is the logical expansion of 3e. For those who preferred earlier editions, there are products like OSRIC and Castles and Crusades that they can turn to. Sure, WOTC might be able to attract some small number of them, but that approach strikes me as a recipe for failure. Far better to continue to differentiate the rules. At least, if they fail in that, they will have failed on the march and not on the retreat. My hope is that the fifth edition is played for what it is, not for what it might seek to emulate.

      I also hope that the rules will strike a proper balance between the DM and player's burdens. My intuition says that when a game is developed internally, it reflects the game master viewpoint, but outside feedback will tend to be dominated by players, who always outnumber GMs in population.

      Personally, I've not been very happy with games that utilize the premise, "players can be anything they want to be," from the outset. I prefer to run games with the premise, "players have the opportunity to make the most of what they've got." I'm interested in seeing where the fifth edition lands on this philosophical axis.

      From my personal perspective, I think it's a little early. I waited a year before I tried 4th edition. It's a decision I quickly came to regret, but it's hard to see myself jumping in with two feet right at the outset of this new edition, either. I guess I'll always be a late adopter.

      I also think I'll have a lingering bitterness if there's no Dungeon Master's Guide 3 or equivalent that comes out before the current edition is discontinued. In any product, whether I like it or not, I've always been of the opinion that it should not be intentionally left incomplete. There remain elements which the rules have yet to address: from strategic considerations like the running of epic-tier campaigns, to tactical considerations like fatigue rules. These are universal elements that are applicable to all dungeon masters, and I would find it unacceptable if they were merely addressed in subscriber content.
    1. fmitchell's Avatar
      fmitchell -
      To state my biases up front (for both of you who don't know them): I didn't like 4e, I've never been keen on D&D since I started gaming, and if I were to GM D&D I'd use Swords & Wizardry, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, or some other derivative of Original or Basic D&D.

      All that said, the coming 5th edition might produce something worthwhile, or it might prove a greater disaster. Collecting playtest feedback is good, but slavishly satisfying every comment might create a bigger waste of paper than ignoring it all. Designers need to listen to comments but follow a definite creative vision, even if that leaves out a vocal minority.

      Given the number of play-styles among D&D players, about the only thing that might work is a modular approach: a core game stripped down to the basics, and multiple options that add skills, feats, powers, old-style spells, and any other bits to emulate previous versions and support future variants. How that might work in detail I have no idea.
    1. yukonhorror's Avatar
      yukonhorror -
      I like the idea of adapting play-styles. I think the best approach for that would be pre-made adventures and such that fit to both styles. Most pre-made adventures are combat heavy. For those of us who may want to run a more balanced rp/combat game, but fall short when it comes to coherent plotlines and interesting campaigns, we are left with the "suggestions" in the DMG that I never felt provided a large amount of inspiration.

      If the edition is set up so a combat oriented group can be just as happy as a rp-heavy group, I think that would be best. With 4e, it always seemed combat-heavy to others (I think), so it left a bad taste in their mouth. I honestly think older edition combat was bland, so I was happy with the changes, but because RP was neglected with respect to new stuff and development, a lot of people felt jaded.

      So, in short, I think setting up the game that has both exciting combat and role-playing approaches should be their goal.

      Building upon Umi, I don't think there will be a DMG3, but I agree there should be something. At least some sort of guide for epic-tier play.

      Finally, looking at the NY times article, they hit upon something. With WoW and Elder Scrolls, the map is there, the monsters are there, the plotlines are there. With any tabletop game, that kind of stuff is a lot of labor, and when certain aspects NEVER come to fruition, it is frustrating on the GM's part. (especially if players sign up, but quit mid through).

      While many GM's find that fun, it is not my favorite thing to do. However, I am of the situation if I want to play I HAVE to run a game. While I have liked modules produced by WOTC, they aren't for everyone and they aren't great. If wizards set up their modules with a highly sandbox approach, easy and quick adjustments for levels, adaptable plot frameworks, and such, I would be super happy. I think they have tried to do this, but in my opinion, have come up super short.
    1. MortonStromgal's Avatar
      MortonStromgal -
      As someone who found things that I liked and disliked in all editions... I'm very excited!
    1. knottyprof's Avatar
      knottyprof -
      Considering I am still picking up 3.X stuff off of ebay and other places I do not know if I would be willing to throw a lot of stock in any current or future D&D editions. I picked up a couple of the 4th edition players hand books and just seemed confusing as heck since the last time I had played was 2nd edition. 3.X rules were similar enough so it didn't take that long to get up and running and at this point I am starting to invest in Pathfinder.

      So at this point I will probably say sorry WotC but I think I will go with Paizo for now.

      Honestly, the rules are so different between 3rd and 4th edition I don't see how they could possibly mesh them together, even if they tried to "modularize" it. If they come out with a product that is compatible with the older OGL d20 system I may pick up stuff that I could incorporate, but don't see myself picking up much in the foreseeable future.
    1. A Moving Target's Avatar
      A Moving Target -
      And here I am just starting to try out 4e.
    1. fmitchell's Avatar
      fmitchell -
      Quote Originally Posted by A Moving Target View Post
      And here I am just starting to try out 4e.
      (Nelson)Ha-ha!(/Nelson)

      Then again, Cubicle 7 has been trying to get approval for the "11th Doctor" edition of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, and it's possible that at the end of 2012 we might have a 12th Doctor. (Or not, but actors tend to stay in the role only 3 or 4 years, Tom Baker's 7 notwithstanding.)
    1. cplmac's Avatar
      cplmac -
      I will still continue to run my games using 2E even after this version comes out.

      All hail the Great Thaco!
    1. fmitchell's Avatar
      fmitchell -
      Quote Originally Posted by cplmac View Post
      I will still continue to run my games using 2E even after this version comes out.
      Quote Originally Posted by knottyprof View Post
      Considering I am still picking up 3.X stuff off of ebay and other places I do not know if I would be willing to throw a lot of stock in any current or future D&D editions.
      That's the big hurdle WotC must overcome: if you want to play like Version X, why not play Version X? Paizo has kept 3.5 alive, retro-clones have made earlier versions available, and players can score the original books off eBay or Noble Knight (among *cough* other sources *cough*).

      The notion a modular system and of running a 3.5 bard, 1st Ed Ranger, and 0e Cleric in the same game sounds interesting but potentially complicated and confusing. (Having seen bridges and cross-compatibility kits in software, even written a few, generally you're left with either a common subset that doesn't do anything that well or a superset that's effectively a brand new system.) Everyone agreeing on a consistent set of rules makes way more sense, and again why run an emulator when you can run the real thing?
    1. tesral's Avatar
      tesral -
      I'vew been told if you can't say anything good....


      Zero interest in any new D&D editions. I have moved on.
    1. damned's Avatar
      damned -
      ive got bxc/odnd, 1e, 2e, 3e, 3.5, 4e, pathfinder and many other games. i have never played 2e, 3e, 3.5e, 4e or pathfinder - mostly probably because i stopped gaming for a long time and im pretty time poor. these days im mostly playing c&c and mostly because it is pretty close to 1e.
      one of the biggest attractions of rpg is the incredible variety of rulesets and settings etc - it is also one of its biggest drawbacks - this multitude of choices has completely fragmented the pool of players/gm's and all these new versions just add more spice and more fragmentation.
    1. Skunkape's Avatar
      Skunkape -
      I'll look at it when they release it, but that doesn't mean I'm going to buy it. I'm more likely to run Pathfinder or Basic Role Playing for fantasy games.
    1. ironvyper's Avatar
      ironvyper -
      Personally I couldnt stand 4e so I'll definately give this a good look over in the bookstore and probably pick it up just to read it.

      I dont like the constant new rules though. Theres only so much that needs to be changed and a lot of the 4th editions changes felt like change just for the sake of change.

      What I would love to see for a 5th edition is something radically different. Digital maptools and networking aps for apple devices and phones for instance. And lots and lots of fluff.

      If they must take inspiration from a video game, and i think they must to adapt to the newer players, it should be like the elder scrolls series.

      I.E. a fairly simple intuitive rule and skill set. % system. And lots and lots of work creating a detailed fluff world and adventures rather then constantly churning out more un-necessary rules supplements.

      Magic should be more free form as well. Something like the mage game but with just slightly more framework.
    1. tesral's Avatar
      tesral -
      Digital tools are nice, but only if open and not required. Video games are video games. This is not a video game. Taking "inspiration from a video game" is not what I would like to see. D&D should remain a fairly free form art of conversation occasional leavened by rolling dice.

      If I want to play video games, I'll do that.

      Digital tools are useful. I use the heck out of my computer preparing for the game. However, making a computer or similar device required would to my thinking violate the spirit of the tabletop. Requiring a particular brand of device? Violation to a whole new level. I was never required to use a "Pentel" writing instrument for example. Why should I be required to have an iThing?

      The lack of required hardware is one of the accessible aspect of the game. D&D is a game you can carry in your head.
    1. ironvyper's Avatar
      ironvyper -
      Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
      Digital tools are nice, but only if open and not required. Video games are video games. This is not a video game. Taking "inspiration from a video game" is not what I would like to see. D&D should remain a fairly free form art of conversation occasional leavened by rolling dice.

      If I want to play video games, I'll do that.

      Digital tools are useful. I use the heck out of my computer preparing for the game. However, making a computer or similar device required would to my thinking violate the spirit of the tabletop. Requiring a particular brand of device? Violation to a whole new level. I was never required to use a "Pentel" writing instrument for example. Why should I be required to have an iThing?

      The lack of required hardware is one of the accessible aspect of the game. D&D is a game you can carry in your head.
      LOL come on. Carrying the game around in your head stopped being possible back when 2e made you carry an entire backpack full of books to any play session.

      I dont really care about branding though, apple was just an example.

      What my idea of perfect is, is something like the old neverwinter nights where you could make an adventure and play it with people online.

      So that we could all for instance be looking at our own little map screen but all be on the same map in the game.

      That way players could split up easier for tactics, the game would move faster (moving miniatures around and setting up the game board was always a huge hassle IMO), a computer could handle all the annoying math, and a DM could send private messages to players and put individual things that they see or hear on their own devices only without the passing back and forth of notes that constantly slow things down.

      Put everyone in the same room while you play and IMO you have the perfect game. Digital board and computer math. Fast setup and play, individual freedom, and RL table banter.

      Plus I would be able to put a plate of pizza and soda down without worrying about messing up papers or a board.
    1. Skunkape's Avatar
      Skunkape -
      I like to be able to carry the books as PDFs, but the only other reasons I'd want to tie a computer into the gaming table would be for sound effects and possibly mapping. While I prefer 3D terrain, it would be really nice to have a full sized town available for the PCs to run around in!

      That goes for any type of game, not just DnD!
    1. tesral's Avatar
      tesral -
      Quote Originally Posted by ironvyper View Post
      LOL come on. Carrying the game around in your head stopped being possible back when 2e made you carry an entire backpack full of books to any play session.
      Speak for yourself, but I don't need books to play. Yes the game is in my head.

      ---------- Post added at 03:02 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:00 AM ----------

      Quote Originally Posted by Skunkape View Post
      I like to be able to carry the books as PDFs, but the only other reasons I'd want to tie a computer into the gaming table would be for sound effects and possibly mapping. While I prefer 3D terrain, it would be really nice to have a full sized town available for the PCs to run around in! That goes for any type of game, not just DnD!
      The game table is about the only place I wound consider a tablet useful. I don't like the screen sticking up. I don't use a GM screen for that reason. I just don't wish to see this required to play the game.
    1. DrunkenMonk's Avatar
      DrunkenMonk -
      Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
      Speak for yourself, but I don't need books to play. Yes the game is in my head.
      I agree with this. It's very easy to keep the game in your head.
    1. PhalenAngel's Avatar
      PhalenAngel -
      As an old school gamer from the 80's I have played every version of D&D/AD&D since they arrived on scene. I've also promoted the $$ through my habit for each edition. I feel off the boat for a few years and jumped back into the torrential waters of the 4.0E genre with a rustic knowledge. Therefore, 4.0E was confusing at first and I eventually thought it went "too far" in details for actions of a PC and did focus heavily of combat. I'm all for the details....but the 4.0E wasn't to my style or DM liking. I recently picked up Pathfinder with a new group and am adapting fairly well to it. I'm not sure what 5.0 will bring to the table but I believe it should streamline back to the basics and leave the kits/feats items to "optional books" that DM/GMs should abjudicate as they see fit. I'm all for players bringing depth to their characters....but it shouldn't be in the form a check/stat in a box on the latest RPC Character sheet. I'm biased as a preferred DM and enjoy the storylines and creating the modules myself. As a player.....keep it simple (KISS) and allow a PLAYER to develop their PC w/o the need of extensive rules. Simplify play and let the judge (DM) determine the gameplay rules that aren't clearly spelled out. My vote: make 5.0 lean toward 3rd Edition rather than 4.0E. I want to run my FAERUN campaigns again and that should be the basis of the 5.0 world.....even if it must be after the cataclysm times. If WOW model is used for the world....fine by me too. Just don't complicate the game with unnecessary rules (keep the skills aspect).