D&D 5E 5E without WotC [+]

It doesn't seem particularly hard to me, though I don't have to worry about player buy-in. We play with our homebrew version of core 5e and will continue to do so going forward. I have not needed WotC since the core books were released. Now I treat them as any other 5e publisher. If they make something I like I pick it up and incorporate parts into our game.

So I guess my answer would be: stick with what you have and add bits from other publishers that you like.
Out of curiosity, do you play in-person or on a VTT?

In-person it gets extremely easy to just use whatever you like because you just roll dice and go. Want a character option? Just find a spot on a sheet and write it down. There isn't a spot? Make a custom character sheet to create a spot. Thinking back to different TTRPG I played in the 90s, we tended to just mash together whatever and frequently ended up with custom character sheets that supported our play style.

I think for VTT play, you either have to be willing to spend a bunch of money, spend a lot of time manually creating things, or lower your expectations for what the VTT is going to handle. I've only ever used Foundry and Roll20 and IME, Foundry has more room for customization but the learning curve to doing that customization can be steep. If you're using a mashup of different 5e products, it might just be best to go with the simplest VTT possible and just have something to display a map and tokens with.
 

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dave2008

Legend
Out of curiosity, do you play in-person or on a VTT?

In-person it gets extremely easy to just use whatever you like because you just roll dice and go. Want a character option? Just find a spot on a sheet and write it down. There isn't a spot? Make a custom character sheet to create a spot. Thinking back to different TTRPG I played in the 90s, we tended to just mash together whatever and frequently ended up with custom character sheets that supported our play style.

I think for VTT play, you either have to be willing to spend a bunch of money, spend a lot of time manually creating things, or lower your expectations for what the VTT is going to handle. I've only ever used Foundry and Roll20 and IME, Foundry has more room for customization but the learning curve to doing that customization can be steep. If you're using a mashup of different 5e products, it might just be best to go with the simplest VTT possible and just have something to display a map and tokens with.
In person, clarified that in a later post. I don't really know about the trials and tribulations of VTT. We probably couldn't do it as our base 5e as some simple but fundamental differences to core 5e (with regard to hit points, rest, and healing) that I don't think I would or possibly even could modify in a VTT.
 


In person, clarified that in a later post. I don't really know about the trials and tribulations of VTT. We probably couldn't do it as our base 5e as some simple but fundamental differences to core 5e (with regard to hit points, rest, and healing) that I don't think I would or possibly even could modify in a VTT.
Just saw that now, you responded while I was slowly typing my response. My dog decided I needed to pay attention to her mid-post. Priorities! lol

Yeah, VTTs are tough to work with if you have a ton of customization going on. I couldn’t imagine trying to use Foundry with a bunch of different flavors of 5e involved.

Question for people who have used LevelUp: just how much extra crunch is it? Because I think that might help answer OP’s question. If it’s too much extra crunch, maybe sticking with WotC 2014 5e is best for now and reassess when Tales of the Valiant releases if that would suit your table better than 2014 5e?
 

Reynard

Legend
Just saw that now, you responded while I was slowly typing my response. My dog decided I needed to pay attention to her mid-post. Priorities! lol

Yeah, VTTs are tough to work with if you have a ton of customization going on. I couldn’t imagine trying to use Foundry with a bunch of different flavors of 5e involved.

Question for people who have used LevelUp: just how much extra crunch is it? Because I think that might help answer OP’s question. If it’s too much extra crunch, maybe sticking with WotC 2014 5e is best for now and reassess when Tales of the Valiant releases if that would suit your table better than 2014 5e?
I own the LevelUp books but have not had a chance to use them (other than using LevelUp monsters in place of 5E monsters). On reading it isn't so much that the game itself is that much more crunchy, but by cerating different subclasses and by having more options in character generation and advancement, LevelUp creates a complexity and learning curve that some players in my pool I know will not like.
 

I'm not sure I quite follow you here, but just for clarity on my side, I am NOT buying anything from WotC in the foreseeable future, including anything for 2024.
That is a spartan way to play dnd 5e.
But there is quite enough material on the Web to avoid buying any material from Wotc.
Wotc provide new idea, controversy, some interesting rules, but it is still possible to play in a close bubble for years. Some friend on mine play 4ed until last year without any help from Wotc.

With the state of the game, nobody need Wotc, but for the overall future of the gaming world we need a business that make DnD evolve.
 

Oofta

Legend
You don't have to give a dime to WOTC if you don't want. The core rules are free, there are plenty of 3PP that provide all the extra classes and monsters you could ever use if you don't want to do homebrew.

The issue, of course, will be finding players that want to go along with this idea. A lot of people don't have a problem with WOTC, but there are also people that have been playing a homebrew version of D&D based on products purchased decades ago. Same way that I'm not interest in settings books because I make my own, once you have the basic systems in place you don't have to buy anything ever again from anyone if you don't want.
 

Reynard

Legend
Related but not really a rules issue: I have a potential player and good friend excited about Planescape. What are the 3rd party planar sources that could allow me to accommodate him without actually playing Planescape?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
What do you think?
Mike and everyone else who’s said similar things are 100% correct. We don’t need WotC to enjoy or play D&D. Doesn’t matter which edition. That’s the beauty of RPGs as a hobby, right? You buy the core book(s) and you never need anything else. Trick is, you don’t even need the core book(s). As Gary himself said years ago.

All it takes is a little elbow grease and some imagination to design your own stuff, reskin what’s already there, and run any RPG forever without a single (extra) dollar spent.

In the age of VTTs there’a trap in relying on the VTT to do all the math and programming the thing to roll the right dice with the right modifiers with a click of a button. Don’t fall into that trap and it won’t matter how unique, home brewed, or customized your game is. If that’s something you think you have to have, then you’ve chosen your own cage.
 

Aldarc

Legend
There will be 5e clones and 5e-based heartbreakers aplenty. I think that there are many talented designers who could make much better materials and a tighter game with the OGL/CC materials than what we have. But the issue is that many of those talented designers are designing for the masses who are or choose to play WotC's curated version of D&D.

I am definitely curious how ENWorld posters' 5e-based "heartbreaker" game would look like. Maybe for another thread.
 

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