D&D 5th Edition A Modest Proposal to Unify the Fanbase without D&D Next - Page 5




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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fifth Element View Post
    You should get that looked at.
    I'm not covered for it, sadly.

    I'd very much like to see something in-between the complexity of 1/2e and 3/4. That could deal with the frustrations I have with both of them.
    Hmm... If I had to put those 3 eds of D&D on a complexity scale, it'd probably go (from most to least) 3.5, late 2e, 1e, 3.0, 4e+Essentials, early 2e, early 4e, Basic D&D. 3e and late 2e got very bloated, 1e was rendered very complex by it's plethora of odd sub-systems, while 2e initially consolidated a lot of that into a more unified package, and 3.0 and 4e, similarly, started out consolidated and streamlined compared to what preceded (and followed) them, and Basic
    D&D, of course, was a limited and simplified starter set.

    That is, I don't see a complexity divide between classic (1e/2e/0D&D/BECMI) and modern D&D (3e/4e), rather, editions seem to start off relatively simple (compared to the prior ed), and then grow and bloat into complex messes.


    I think that, maybe, when people talk about AD&D being 'simple,' they really mean 'familiar' - because the very familiar /seems/ simple compared to learning something new.

 

  • #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    I can't begin to count how many times irate 3.5 fans were told basically that. Didn't stop them from defecting to Pathfinder and waging the edition war to (successfully) kill 4e.

    Anyway, it's spot-on topic. Ongoing support for 4e would keep him as a customer. Ongoing support for 3.5 would have kept its fans as customers - and maybe even kept them from killing off 4e (maybe).

    For the most part (with the possible exception of the 3.5/4e edition war), rejection of a new ed isn't about denying it to those who might like it, but about keeping support for what the hold-out likes. This is a good proposal to take that into account - and a better idea than creating a frankenstein edition pieced together from the corpses of classic versions of D&D.
    So you think it is 3E fans who waged a war to successfully kill 4E?

    If anyone is to blame for the death of 4E then it is the designers who made the game that split the fanbase. No matter how irate the 3E fanbase was no matter how vocal if 4E sold like hot cakes then I doubt that WOTC would be investing in a new edition.

    It seems to me that what they are trying to do is look at what worked and what didn't and see if this time they can make a game that the majority will like.

    For a lot of people the changes to 4E were to extreme so it seems they are going back to the drawing board and the games roots to try and make an edition that still plays like DnD but fixes a lot of the issues that fans have had over the years.
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  • #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elf Witch View Post
    So you think it is 3E fans who waged a war to successfully kill 4E?
    Well, the edition war happened and 4e is dead, so the correlation is certainly there.

    I think the OGL and Pathfinder probably had more to do with it than the relentless, if disorganized, campaign of hatred and dis-information that characterized the edition war. But, I'm sure both contributed to 4e's "failure," and colored the 'lesson' WotC learned from it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    Well, the edition war happened and 4e is dead, so the correlation is certainly there.

    I think the OGL and Pathfinder probably had more to do with it than the relentless, if disorganized, campaign of hatred and dis-information that characterized the edition war. But, I'm sure both contributed to 4e's "failure," and colored the 'lesson' WotC learned from it.
    There was an edition war when 3E came out a lot of people were very vocal about it and didn't make the switch and stuck with the older editions and the retroclones do you think they killed 3E?

    Even if Pathfinder had not come out I don't think people would have said well darn I guess I am going to have play that edition I don't like. They would do what I have done which is play with my 3.5 books or what my friend does play with his 2E books minuses skills and powers.

    The forums only represent a small portion of gamers, of my group I am the only who goes to them. So I doubt the fact that for a lot of people who didn't change or didn't stick with had anything do with the hate and the misinformation. For some I think it had to do with timing. 4E came out right at the start of the great recession and lot of people have lost jobs and have known people who have and many people stopped spending money on luxuries.


    I think it is rather interesting to put the blame on people for not liking an edition and not buying it. I don't care how much I love DnD I am not going to spend money on books I will never use.

    As for a correlation they don't work like that. That is just fuzzy logic just because 2+2=4 and 2x2=4 does not mean 3+3 and 3x3 will equal the same number.
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  • #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    Hmm... If I had to put those 3 eds of D&D on a complexity scale, it'd probably go (from most to least) 3.5, late 2e, 1e, 3.0, 4e+Essentials, early 2e, early 4e, Basic D&D.
    I am including bloat (at least the potential for bloat) in what I mean by complexity, and obviously I'm addressing the editions based at least partly on my experiences. Complexity of characters is at the forefront of my mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    I think that, maybe, when people talk about AD&D being 'simple,' they really mean 'familiar' - because the very familiar /seems/ simple compared to learning something new.
    That can't be it. I'm most familiar with the 3.X system, because that's the edition I actually wrote stuff for, and so had to get into the details more. And yet I find it a complex version of the game.

  • #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fifth Element View Post
    I am including bloat (at least the potential for bloat) in what I mean by complexity.
    OK. Based on that, it'd be tough to call between 2e and 3e, both had long runs and tons of supplements.

    Complexity of characters is at the forefront of my mind.
    Ah. Well, characters certainly became more detailed from 1e to 2e to 3e. 3e's modular approach to multiclassing simplified classes, some, because, for instance, they all went on the same experience chart, but a given 'build' could be extraordinarily complex. 4e removed a lot of complexity by using an underlying structure for all classes, Essentials added some back in. I've run each edition, and tend to think of the system as a whole when I consider complexity. Creating monsters in 3.x, for instance - you had a system and CR as a guide, but it was quite an undertaking - in 4e it's simple, in AD&D it's purely by feel, there's nothing to help you with the task (simple? complex? - hard to say, but definitely not /easy/).


    I'm most familiar with the 3.X system, because that's the edition I actually wrote stuff for, and so had to get into the details more. And yet I find it a complex version of the game.
    Yeah, it's not an explanation for everyone. I was /very/ familiar with 1e - thanks to the absorbent quality of adolescent brains, I'm probably going to go to my grave remembering 1e rules better than any other - but I still recognize it's complexity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fifth Element View Post
    You should get that looked at. I'd very much like to see something in-between the complexity of 1/2e and 3/4. That could deal with the frustrations I have with both of them.
    All editions of D&D are bad, they are just bad for different reasons. So far, 5th Edition seems to avoid pretty much all the complaints I have with the older ones.
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  • #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    I can't begin to count how many times irate 3.5 fans were told basically that. Didn't stop them from defecting to Pathfinder and waging the edition war to (successfully) kill 4e.
    I think you do the edition war far too much credit. 4e has lasted longer than 3.5 did - and a lot longer than 3.0 did. They just need more if they are ever to make that $50 million/year target.

    And we'll know an edition's failed if there isn't a subsequent one.

    Now I might want a 4.5 (bits of 4e clunk badly) but there is enough support for 4e out there that literally the only books I want for 4e are a Birthright setting (including domain management and mass combat) and a Spelljammer setting. Oh, and more monster vaults. I literally can't think of anythng else I really want for 4e.

    Edit: Come to think of it I'd also like a proper treatment of Sigil/Planescape in more depth than they gave in the DMG 2. But only if they retcon the timeline so that the Faction War never happened (for those of you who don't know, the Faction War makes the Spellplague look like a case of benign neglect of a setting).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    Actually, between retro-clones and Pathfinder, all editions of D&D /except/ 4e, will be supported in perpetuity, anyway, so it's pretty close.
    And I'm sure there will be a D20 retroclone of 4e using OGL-released material and reverse engineering. Same way the other retroclones work. It just needs something to coalesce the fanbase on. (On rpg.net I mostly jokingly suggested Paizo should make one to force WotC onto the back foot with 5e - and it would be a jackpot for any other game company).
    Last edited by Neonchameleon; Wednesday, 18th July, 2012 at 12:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    Now I might want a 4.5 (bits of 4e clunk badly) but there is enough support for 4e out there that literally the only books I want for 4e are a Birthright setting (including domain management and mass combat) and a Spelljammer setting. Oh, and more monster vaults. I literally can't think of anythng else I really want for 4e.
    4e Birthright would be awesome - it was a peerless idea but not well supported by the 2e rules at all.

    Include social interaction and exploration rules on a par with 4e's combat rules and I'm in clover
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  • #50
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    There's no chance of a petition of this sort stopping WotC from working on 5e, no matter how many signatures it gets. The time for that was about two years ago.

    In any event, I couldn't support it. I want 5e. And in time I'll want 6e, and 7e, and... Simply put, none of the existing editions leaves me completely satisfied, and there's virtually no chance of 5e achieving that either. So, keep trying new things, and hopefully we'll get there some day.

    As for supporting all the old editions...

    In principle, that is indeed something I would like to see. After all, why would I want them to not support other people? That's just mean.

    Unfortunately, though, that only works if you have sufficient resources to support multiple editions and you don't care how many units of each you sell. But neither of these is true.

    Each time WotC devotes resources to edition X, that means less support for edition Y. The reduced release schedule of the past couple of years hasn't been because they've just been sitting around - 4e support has suffered because of the work being done on 5e. Now, split that 5+ ways to support all the editions, and you'll be lucky to get one book for any given edition in the year.

    Meanwhile, whether we like it or not, WotC have expectations over how D&D will perform. And that means that every book must justify its existence, or it doesn't get published. If they try to sell to a fractured market, then every book will sell fewer units than it otherwise would. And so, instead of one book doing well enough, you have 5 books which each individually fail. (And that applies even if the total sales of all together are higher, even much higher, than for the one.)

    Now, that said, there are a few things they probably can do:

    - Edition neutral products. Traditionally, these have actually sold quite poorly, but they may be able to get some of them to fly, especially setting-specific products such as "Menzoberranzan".

    - Multi-edition products. Again, attempts by publishers to dual-stat products have usually failed, because it increases the cost to include the material, and every customer will then be paying for something they know they don't want. However, if they create something reasonably crunch-lite, it might be worth providing multiple sets of stats.

    - Online conversion guides, available through DDI. Especially for 4e support (where the DDI customer base already exists) this may well be a worthwhile option.

    - Opportunistic support. Maybe they do an article here and there in the e-mags (again, this is best for 4e, but that might change if DDI takeup amongst other edition fans increases). Or their "Free RPG" adventure could be 1st Edition, just for the nostalgia. Or something.

    - Reprints. To be honest, I don't expect a lot of these, since most things are available via eBay for good prices, and very few items outside the core will be able to justify the costs even of doing the reprint. Still, they might manage a "Rules Cyclopedia", a new printing of the old "Red Box", or perhaps compilations of the classic modules (or even "Dragonlance").

    - PDFs/PoD. I don't expect a great deal here, since the old PDF files weren't really very good in most cases, but anything that they do reprint should then be suitable for sale in PDF form, or on a PoD basis.

    - Third-party support. I'm inclined to think that WotC would do well to formally open up the old-edition rules via the OGL. After all, the retroclones already exist, and already make third-party support possible, so it's not like WotC would actually be losing anything, but they'd get the goodwill of acknowledging "hey, we can't support this as fully as we like - you go ahead." And while we're at it, allowing support of 4e would be no bad thing, too.

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