D&D (2024) Backward Compatibility

shadowoflameth

Adventurer
With the recent playtest and the continued express commitment to backward compatibility on the 2024 rules release, by whatever name. I'm wondering if backward compatibility from One D&D back to 5E will truly work. The changes being tested seem to indicate not.

Grappling not using ability checks to grapple makes useless abilities, feats etc. that relate to those checks. (including for the Plasmoid published this past week).
Crits, you could always do the way you want but IMHO this playtest represents a less fun option, and where do I recycle my Adamantine Armor?
Backgrounds having feats. What if you already have that background but not that feat. Is your character still compatible? If backgrounds can be customized, then every background shouldn't need a feat, especially with feats having been an optional rule in 5E. what if you're the variant human with a feat that is no longer 1st level?
Why rewrite feats that players like? It raises the question, 'If I have Alert already and want to keep it, it my character still valid by the new PHB? Will legacy options be available? What about the half races? Same question. If I like my half orc character and like Relentless Endurance do I just lose it? What if my dwarf likes the existing stone-cunning? or if I want mountain Dwarves to be different from Hill Dwarves.
Does the wording on natural 20s and ones call out that some things are going to be impossible regardless of the roll. (and they should be).
I'm sure there are other things, but if backward compatibility is going to be anything other than a lie, we're going to need a lot of this very limited playtest to be revisited. i.e. Have grappling include things to do that will use an ability check, like pinning an opponent, let crit restrictions be optional or drop it. make customizable background options that don't include a feat or include an alternative benefit.
drop the level prerequisite or allow 1st level to trump the prerequisite.
drop the re-write of feats like alert or lucky and re-write ones that nobody takes, ever. I'm looking at you weaponmaster. Stop trying to fix the wrong problem and simply edit the PHB with changes that do not hurt backward compatibility. Start with options that no one uses; bad feats, useless spells, unplayable sub classes, features that players or DMs ignore now. That would boost sales of the new book(s) because fans have been hoping for those fixes in official rules for years.
 

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shadowoflameth

Adventurer
Not doing rules upgrades would be a mistake. I think you are way overestimating the problems.
I may be but if Crawford and his staff are serious about this not being a whole new edition, these kinds of issues are going to keep coming up. If they are being truthful about the intent, I hope they have an editor in charge of backward compatibility.
 

Shiroiken

Legend
I think the idea of backwards comparability means that characters could be made under the old rules and still play. Some things would have be updated, however, and some builds might not work as well (such as expertise in Athletics for a grappler). Items would use the newer version, so Adamantine Armor would obvious do something else instead.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
from the FAQ of the One D&D test pages on D&D Beyond
What does backward compatible mean?

It means that fifth edition adventures and supplements will work in One D&D. For example, if you want to run Curse of Strahd in One D&D, that book will work with the new versions of the core rulebooks. Our goal is for you to keep enjoying the content you already have and make it even better. You’ll see this in action through the playtest materials, which you will be able to provide feedback on.
My take on this (I just put up a video on YouTube on the it) is that the rules in the 2014 Player Handbook and DMG are not compatible with the corresponding 2024 books.

So feats, grappling, crits etc will not work as in the new books but that the adventures and supplement books will be compatible.
So my guess is that classes, subclasses, spells, and backgrounds will largely work with the new 2024 PHB but it may require that one does a little bit of tweaking.

So if you have a class built under the existing ruleset and were using feats you replace the feats with their new equivalents as per the new rules. The starting ASI have already been incorporated (for practical purposes) and you are good to go but the game is played under one or other rules set. You cannot play a hybrid 2014/2024 ruleset (at least not officially)
In my opinion if one was to play a 2014 race with in a 2024 table it would probably work. As long as the character has the feats and tool proficiencies from the new rules. Languages are pretty much an edge case.

Similarly if one was to create a new 2024 character but use a subclass and background from a prior book it should work as long as you addin the missing bits from the background. (ASIs, feats, tool usage)
 

I may be but if Crawford and his staff are serious about this not being a whole new edition, these kinds of issues are going to keep coming up. If they are being truthful about the intent, I hope they have an editor in charge of backward compatibility.
Depends, how you define edition.
I think after 10 years, a rules upgrade with that much compatibility as already shown is good and necessary. Of course, some things will be slightly off... but what do you expect?

10 years is 1/4 of my whole life... I think not improving something once in a while is the best way to get pushed out of the business...
 
Last edited:

D1Tremere

Adventurer
With the recent playtest and the continued express commitment to backward compatibility on the 2024 rules release, by whatever name. I'm wondering if backward compatibility from One D&D back to 5E will truly work. The changes being tested seem to indicate not.

Grappling not using ability checks to grapple makes useless abilities, feats etc. that relate to those checks. (including for the Plasmoid published this past week).
Crits, you could always do the way you want but IMHO this playtest represents a less fun option, and where do I recycle my Adamantine Armor?
Backgrounds having feats. What if you already have that background but not that feat. Is your character still compatible? If backgrounds can be customized, then every background shouldn't need a feat, especially with feats having been an optional rule in 5E. what if you're the variant human with a feat that is no longer 1st level?
Why rewrite feats that players like? It raises the question, 'If I have Alert already and want to keep it, it my character still valid by the new PHB? Will legacy options be available? What about the half races? Same question. If I like my half orc character and like Relentless Endurance do I just lose it? What if my dwarf likes the existing stone-cunning? or if I want mountain Dwarves to be different from Hill Dwarves.
Does the wording on natural 20s and ones call out that some things are going to be impossible regardless of the roll. (and they should be).
I'm sure there are other things, but if backward compatibility is going to be anything other than a lie, we're going to need a lot of this very limited playtest to be revisited. i.e. Have grappling include things to do that will use an ability check, like pinning an opponent, let crit restrictions be optional or drop it. make customizable background options that don't include a feat or include an alternative benefit.
drop the level prerequisite or allow 1st level to trump the prerequisite.
drop the re-write of feats like alert or lucky and re-write ones that nobody takes, ever. I'm looking at you weaponmaster. Stop trying to fix the wrong problem and simply edit the PHB with changes that do not hurt backward compatibility. Start with options that no one uses; bad feats, useless spells, unplayable sub classes, features that players or DMs ignore now. That would boost sales of the new book(s) because fans have been hoping for those fixes in official rules for years.
Do you really think any of this effects backwards compatibility? It seems like a minor effort to work with any of this.
 



At the moment it seems about 99% compatible once you introduce a commonsense ruling or two like that the "background features" of older backgrounds can be replaced with feats. Given how out of touch they seem to be with players, I'd rate it a coin flip whether WotC would formally endorse such commonsense compatibility fixes, but that's mostly besides the point.

I have a lot of trepidation about radical class design changes that might be introduced going forward, so I won't make an overall compatibility judgement yet, but with the materials so far you could play with a group of half playtest characters and half proper 5e characters using playtest rules or (with some sort of tweak to inspiration) standard 5e rules and it really wouldn't present any difficulties except in a few edge cases.
 

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