5E on the horizon?

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When was the last time there was a good 5E speculation thread? A few weeks ago? A month. Long overdue! Anyhow, I missed all the fun here - by the time I noticed the thread it had already devolved into the inevitable debates about semantics, interpersonal communication, and rules minutia. I also just noticed that Bill Slaviscek is "leaving" (fired?) WotC. So let's see...

- 4E didn't do as well as planned for, with the D&D community more fractured than ever before, which paved the way for...
- Pathfinder, the first serious contender for the throne, at least since Vampire in its hey-day.
- 4.5, aka Essentials, not doing as well as hoped, or at least not bringing in the droves of new fans and long lines of lapsed players.
- Mike Mearls starts writing a bunch of pieces about the core/essence of D&D.
- D&D head honcho Bill Slaviscek announces he's leaving.

= 5E on the horizon!!!

Could it be anything else? It may still be a year or two out - say, GenCon 2012 or Spring, 2013 - but I would think that it is certainly not too far off.

I just got an image of a massive construction site beyond the horizon that is just out of visual range. Every once in awhile the head dude pops his head and starts talking about architectural abstractions, asking questions like "What do you like in a building? What are the core qualities you want in a living space? What is the essence of good living?" And so forth.

I mean, let's look at it another way. If 5E was not on the horizon, don't you think that Mearls' articles would be a bit odd? Slaviscek's departure unexpected? D&D in general in trouble?

As a secondary question, if 5E is on the horizon, does it represent a move of desperation - or at least a last ditch effort - from WotC to return D&D to greatness? If it isn't a wild success, could it be that we see a massive reduction in the scale of production? Of course we're already seeing that now - with less physical products and more emphasis on DDI, but perhaps 5E would be one more attempt to enlarge the scale of production back to 2008-10 or even 2000-07.

Just some ruminations. What do you think?

p.s. EN Mods - maybe its time for a 5th Edition thread prefix? ;)

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First Post
I heard they're going to announce 5e at Gen Con this year.

And that WotC, White Wolf, and Games Workshop are going to merge into one super gaming company. All current employees in each will be let go, and in house operations will shift somewhere overseas, maybe China or India.

This company will cut all tabletop RPGs and Wargames and focus only on video games and that 5e will just be a video game for the next iteration of Xbox. Any miniatures produced will simply be 54mm collector's items made of resin that cost $50 a piece, can only be ordered online, and you have to paint yourself.

How's that for "doom and gloom" for ya?


Edit: or did I just give some corporate mook a great idea... :eek:


That there will be a 5E someday is obvious. And 6E, 7E, 8E, until the company goes out of business or transforms so radically as to be unrecognizable. New editions are how WotC rejuvenates the product line. As to specifics... well, I agree that much of what we are seeing now (like Mearls's articles) will feed into 5E down the road. And I am quite certain that a 5E project is under way at WotC. 4E was in the pipeline years before it was announced, after all.

This doesn't mean a 5E announcement is right around the corner, though. Wizards faces a formidable challenge: Enticing Pathfinder players back into the fold, without driving off 4E players who have embraced the new way. The worst-case scenario is that they split the 4E fanbase without making inroads into Pathfinder, in which case they'd have been better off to stick with 4E. And the likelihood of that is higher if they do it too soon.

My guess would be we see 5E announced in 2013 or 2014. They need to give people on both sides of the divide time to start hankering for something new. And they also need time to figure out how to square the 4E/Pathfinder circle (pun most definitely intended). Expect to see a lot more "experimental" material in the next few years as they try to find the right balance.
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First Post
We've seen the same claims before - I don't see any real indications that 5E is 'imminent'. Pretty much none of the suggested evidence is, well, remotely plausible in the actual context of the situation.

I think, sure, they are gathering ideas, both for future editions and for the direction of this one, which they do seem to be somewhat playing about with these days.

My expected timeline is that the first basic concept-brewing on 5E will start in a year or so, and serious development a year after that. We'll see an announcement, thus in 2-3 years, and 5E will be along in 2014 or 2015, which is about what I was expecting from the start.

Melba Toast

First Post
Dude... I am so out of the loop on 4E. Did they ever even manage to get their digital initiative off the ground (i.e. virtual gametable)?


Gosh, I'd like to be the mook who gets to design 5e. I have some really great ideas, actually. Big changes, but I think they'd be acceptable.

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