D&D (2024) Backward Compatibility

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
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 am not too sure that WoTC is out of touch with players. If anything it is us that are likely to be out of touch. WoTC has access to sales data, user surveys and now data from D&D Beyond. We also do not know what if any data sharing occurs between Roll20 and FantasyGrounds and WoTC but even with out that Wizards have access to a lot of data.


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.
This I completely agree with. Without some indication of upcoming class design it is very difficult to make a compatibility claim.
 

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I am not too sure that WoTC is out of touch with players. If anything it is us that are likely to be out of touch. WoTC has access to sales data, user surveys and now data from D&D Beyond. We also do not know what if any data sharing occurs between Roll20 and FantasyGrounds and WoTC but even with out that Wizards have access to a lot of data.
I was speaking flippantly about a complicated matter. Obviously they have lots of data. But I think, for all their data, that they get feedback from and playtest with an atypical sample-set of players. The average player is simply not going to answer a survey. I also suspect, based primarily on the new crit-rules, that they have begun to undervalue a core edition value of simplicity and accessibility in favor of a, to my mind, quixotic quest to fix the CR system this second go around, when I think most players have just made peace with a broken CR system and it really shouldn't be a priority.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I was speaking flippantly about a complicated matter. Obviously they have lots of data. But I think, for all their data, that they get feedback from and playtest with an atypical sample-set of players. The average player is simply not going to answer a survey. I also suspect, based primarily on the new crit-rules, that they have begun to undervalue a core edition value of simplicity and accessibility in favor of a, to my mind, quixotic quest to fix the CR system this second go around, when I think most players have just made peace with a broken CR system and it really shouldn't be a priority.
I have no idea either and the CR system may just be an obvious chafing point that annoys the designers as much as it does others.

However, D&DBeyond will massively improve the quality of data they have and throw in a VTT, even if it has only a small userbase it will give valuable data on party composition, the characteristics that identify active PC builds from PCs built for fun or curiosity.
If the encounter tools are on D&D Beyond and not the VTT they will also get a lot of valuable information there also. It will not match the kind of data that MMO companies get nor can they do A/B testing with quest or encounter design like and MMO but I think that the VTT could be producing valuable customer data even with a relatively low user uptake.
 

GreyLord

Legend
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.

Oh, remember when they said 5e would be easily compatible with any edition? Or at least that was the rumor?

Yeah...not so much.

If they try to keep backwards compatibility alive as much as they did with that idea/rumor with which 5e was made...

I can see it not having quite as much backwards compatibility as those who want backwards compatibility between 1D&D and Original 5e to have, and perhaps having to much resemblance to 5e than those who want 6e to have it have.
 

I think that it will be possible to play a 2014 character with 2024 rules, but it will be clunky. So clunky that once the dust has settled most tables will only allow characters made using the latest PHB, and perhaps a carefully selected subset of character options from other 5E books.

The tables that do allow mixing and matching will either be the ones super dedicated to proving that backwards compatibility works, or the ones that don't pay much attention to rules and numbers in the first place.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
> What if my dwarf likes the existing stone-cunning? or if I want mountain Dwarves to be different from Hill Dwarves.

> 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.
This right here is the issue.

You have given us a list of the things you think shouldn't change because you like them... while listing a whole bunch of things you think WotC CAN change because "nobody uses them".

But what makes your opinion on what is okay to change and what isn't okay worth more than anyone else's? You might have a list of "unplayable subclasses" that you'd be happy to see "fixed" and thus wouldn't complain about any backwards compatibility issues... but what if those don't match up with other people's? Would they then be wrong if they claimed something was no longer "backwards compatible" because it was changed from something they liked even though you thought it was a fix long overdue? Who is correct here?

If the decision-making process is that changes a person likes are "needed fixes" and changes they don't like are "breaking backwards compatibility"... then not a single one of us should ever expect backwards compatibility. Backwards compatibility is statistically impossible because there will never be a single change that will be embraced by 100% of the playerbase.
 


shadowoflameth

Adventurer
This right here is the issue.

You have given us a list of the things you think shouldn't change because you like them... while listing a whole bunch of things you think WotC CAN change because "nobody uses them".

But what makes your opinion on what is okay to change and what isn't okay worth more than anyone else's? You might have a list of "unplayable subclasses" that you'd be happy to see "fixed" and thus wouldn't complain about any backwards compatibility issues... but what if those don't match up with other people's? Would they then be wrong if they claimed something was no longer "backwards compatible" because it was changed from something they liked even though you thought it was a fix long overdue? Who is correct here?

If the decision-making process is that changes a person likes are "needed fixes" and changes they don't like are "breaking backwards compatibility"... then not a single one of us should ever expect backwards compatibility. Backwards compatibility is statistically impossible because there will never be a single change that will be embraced by 100% of the playerbase.
My definition of backward compatibility is if a change is usable in ongoing play. Not just changing things I don't like. I like the paladin smite, and if the smite is changed, then I can still use it as long as the paladin has a smite at all. That's not a backward compatibility issue. If hypothetically, I like the 4 Elements Monk and it works well in my game, I could in principal still play one using the new rules, even the same character and that wouldn't be a backward compatibility problem, not even if I don't like the re-write, and even if legacy options are not allowed in my game. I can still do so without starting a new character. The problem is that if changes, regardless of my preference make older material no longer possible to use. If the Alert feat or a race is changed, they may or may not still allow legacy options RAW but if the change makes abilities that exist in 5e now cease to exist in the game world, it fundamentally re-writes the character and funamentally changes that world. If grappling rules are changed, characters can still grapple of course, and we can use the new rules, even if I don't like them, but if existing abilities are made obsolete by the rules change then that obsolete element needs to be re-written as well. The Plasmoid is an example of this. If grappling is re-written to not use an ability check, then their racial ability published the same week as the playtest is no longer applicable and a re-write is needed on the Plasmoid's ability to affirm what it gets in regards to the new grapple rules. No change will be 100% embraced for certain, but this test includes changes that lend themselves to a whole new edition, not just a revision. BTW I don't say no one lightly. If anyone has been a 4 elements monk in play, at all, please share the experience. Ever taken Weapon Master? Please advise why you took it. Ever once cast True Strike or Find Traps in actual play? Tell the story. If the intent is to publish a whole new edition, so be it, but it's been emphatically stated that the intent is for full backward compatibility.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Is there any question at all that the following books are "supplements" for 5e and therefore should be included in the backwards compatibility statement of, " backwards compatible with the adventures and supplements?"

Xanathar's Guide to Anything
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything

Anyone questioning that those are supplements and therefore One D&D is supposed to be "backwards compatible" with both of those books?
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Is there any question at all that the following books are "supplements" for 5e and therefore should be included in the backwards compatibility statement of, " backwards compatible with the adventures and supplements?"

Xanathar's Guide to Anything
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything

Anyone questioning that those are supplements and therefore One D&D is supposed to be "backwards compatible" with both of those books?
In my view, I agree, they should be considered for backwards compatibility.

Now, existing feats are not, per say, backward compatible so; either One D&D will replace all existing feats or give some instructions concerning them. It looks like some existing feats, like bountiful Luck and similar racial feats may be incorporated as racial traits and may not exist going forward.
I would expect that the existing subclasses to work as is.

Overall, in my view, if we get a list of feats that can be added to existing backgrounds (where a feat is not already listed in the supplement), replacements for existing feats and we can use the subclasses then backward compatibility has been met.
 

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