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D&D General Ch-Ch-Changes


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Actually Christmas tree PCs was more a multi edition thing. 2e presented the idea of someone possibly being a Christmas Tree. 3e promoted the idea of a Christmas Tree being an ideal and gave players and DMs the tools to made them. And 4e codified it into the rules as a base part of the game. 5e just makes them not required and says it's just a style of play.

So by 7e, D&D will likely formally make and name "High Magic D&D" and have Christmas Trees be the base assumption in "High Magic D&D".
Well... actually in 4e you took a pretty decent hit by converting your items back and forth to residuum to make them into 'whatever'. Also the default items you were assumed to have at a given level were 2-5 levels ABOVE your level, and thus not subject to being reenchanted into something else. So this was really a non-issue. Anyway, item rarity did away with that, giving the GM a vote on what you could make (and the default is no, you cannot do it). Enchantment rules in 4e are there simply to let you create some weird items you just really wanted and the GM for some reason never got around to, or if there was some specific item that was going to be REALLY beneficial in a specific plan or something, so you could make it just to use that one time.
 

I don't think 'race' will be a term used in D&D in 20 years, or heck, probably in 2 years at this rate! Good riddance too, though it was an innocent choice of words when we used it back in the 1970s...

Hard to say much else. I'd imagine the game will have been 'digitalized' to a high degree, so whatever form PC abilities take, they will be heavily keyworded card-like 'things' (dare we say powers, perhaps not). Given that computers can track stuff easily that will probably bring about some significant changes in the balance between playability and certain forms of complexity, with unpredictable results.

I think the classes will be pretty much the same. Hard to say much else. More modern RPG styles and techniques may force D&D to adapt, to a degree. This might particularly be true if there's a sort of hybridization between curated GMed play and video-game like formats. I'd expect those to become a lot more sophisticated as well, with AIs being capable of running NPCs, generating content, etc.
 

I don't think 'race' will be a term used in D&D in 20 years, or heck, probably in 2 years at this rate! Good riddance too, though it was an innocent choice of words when we used it back in the 1970s...
Species, Heritage, or Lineage will probably replace it. I would prefer Species, but the others would be fine.
I think the classes will be pretty much the same. Hard to say much else. More modern RPG styles and techniques may force D&D to adapt, to a degree. This might particularly be true if there's a sort of hybridization between curated GMed play and video-game like formats. I'd expect those to become a lot more sophisticated as well, with AIs being capable of running NPCs, generating content, etc.
They're assuredly will be changes in what classes there are in the next 20 years. Probably gain a few and lose a few.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Well... actually in 4e you took a pretty decent hit by converting your items back and forth to residuum to make them into 'whatever'. Also the default items you were assumed to have at a given level were 2-5 levels ABOVE your level, and thus not subject to being reenchanted into something else. So this was really a non-issue. Anyway, item rarity did away with that, giving the GM a vote on what you could make (and the default is no, you cannot do it). Enchantment rules in 4e are there simply to let you create some weird items you just really wanted and the GM for some reason never got around to, or if there was some specific item that was going to be REALLY beneficial in a specific plan or something, so you could make it just to use that one time.

Yeah. In 4e, You could go old school and get powerful items but your DM picks.
OR
You go new school and melt down the magic to get weaker items you wanted.

And that's how I see 7e going. It will put the options up front and not have you figure it out.

There was be different levels of magic item assumptions and different levels of magic item assumptions.
In 7e, there will be no default mode. The system will have a core and the setting will get modules and variants assumed based on tags or descriptors.

After 20 more years, D&D wont be able to handle a default setting. It barely can now.
 

Khelon Testudo

Cleric of Stronmaus
You'll be able to create characters online. Not just their stats and abilities, but their likeness, too. You can then print it off as a 3d bust or a miniature figure - which for an additional fee will be articulated. Possibly automated.
 


FireLance

Legend
I don't know if I'm being cynical or facetious, but:

In 20 years' time, D&D will be rebranded as Demonstrations and Demagogues. The default setting will be Athas during the time of the Cleansing Wars. The objective of most campaigns will be to fight racial discrimination/genocide as represented by Rajaat and his Champions and the ecological damage caused by defiling magic.

The basic gameplay relies heavily on the Birthright domain management system to represent petitioning rulers to enact the necessary laws and persuading the general population to care about and support the right issues and to do the right things. Classes are revamped to focus more on the social pillar instead of the combat pillar and will have abilities like "Visit the ignorant and uncaring with explanatory pamphlets" and "Smite the corrupt lackeys distributing propaganda and lies with cunning arguments".

There will be no races and characters will pick just one trait which can be inherited or which can represent culture.
 



As far as technology, I think things like a VR headset for players might come into play for those with the money. Similar to those fake backgrounds you see on Zoom, and adding things like they do in the Pokemon game. And then, just like that glasses website that lets you try on glasses virtually, they will probably have skins for the DM to "try on." So, even at the table, you can tell everyone to look through their phones or put on their VR headset, and then have the DM, with their fake background and skin, RP the merchant.

I don't know it that will happen, but it'd be cool to see.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
As far as technology, I think things like a VR headset for players might come into play for those with the money. Similar to those fake backgrounds you see on Zoom, and adding things like they do in the Pokemon game. And then, just like that glasses website that lets you try on glasses virtually, they will probably have skins for the DM to "try on." So, even at the table, you can tell everyone to look through their phones or put on their VR headset, and then have the DM, with their fake background and skin, RP the merchant.

I don't know it that will happen, but it'd be cool to see.

Well, 20 years ago most people still had flip phones. The very first black-and-white (incredibly small) touch screens were just starting to appear. The "advanced" cell phones had a physical keypad. Current VR systems are already past that, so who knows what we'll have in 20 years?

Technology is going to change a lot of things over the next 20 years, probably in ways we can't imagine right now.
 

dave2008

Legend
20 years from now? So in 2041?

I'm pretty sure the D&D brand, will, at that point, be owned by some sort of video game company primarily (even if it's still WotC, just fully transformed into a video game company - they're already starting studios and so on), and the primary "kind" of D&D that people will be playing will be some kind of DM-less online deal with procedural generation elements and so on.
I hope not. I enjoy being the DM the most. It is not D&D without a DM for me.
 


BookTenTiger

Adventurer
In 2040 D&D will have become so mainstream that it will have worked its way into every aspect of our lives.

We will call sleeping at night a "long rest," and when the baby gets fussy it will be time for a "short rest."

Grades in school will be on a scale of 1 - 20, and yes it is possible to critically fail a class.

On forms at the doctor's office, you will have to check off your lineage, alignment, and if you play with the Lingering Wounds house rule.

Political campaigns will include rewarding experience points and randomized treasure to voters. The two major political parties will be the "Dungeon Crawl Party" vs the "Story Arc Party." Clinching the Murderhobo Vote is a must, but luckily any politically-driven violence occurs only in the Theatre of the Mind. Political scientists and pundits alike will be hotly debating on cable TV if the DM, truly, is a player.

At baby showers, gifts often include large foam polyhedral dice and "Baby's First D&D Podcast" kits.

Holiday family arguments will all be centered around Edition Wars.

New Olympic Events will include Dice Stacking, Hex Crawling, and a bunch of centaurs trying to climb ladders. Instead of saying "Let the games begin!" announcers will instead launch the events by saying "Roll initiative!"

Every TV channel, steaming service, radio station, and podcast network will have their own competing D&D live streams.

Instead of new Marvel movies, Disney will just film the cast playing their roles in an ongoing Marvel RPG.

They will reboot Friends but all the Friends just play D&D every episode.

They will reboot Cheers but instead of a bar it's a D&D game.

They will reboot the Office but the entire series is about a long-running D&D game in the Dunder Mifflin break room.

The United Nations flag will feature a 20-sided die instead of a picture of the Earth. As global leaders play out their power fantasies at the gaming table instead of in real life, as families and friends come together weekly to slay dragons and find treasure, as the global population improves in number sense, estimation, and quick math skills, as the world unites under one Mega Campaign That Never Ends, we as a species collectively level up and achieve world piece.

Then we get bored of D&D and switch to something like FATAL and it all falls to pieces.
 

"Now tell me, how many Hit Dice would you say you'd need to spend to not feel in pain anymore?"

Now that I think about it, that's not a bad way to measure pain...

On forms at the doctor's office, you will have to check off your lineage, alignment, and if you play with the Lingering Wounds house rule.
 

As far as technology, I think things like a VR headset for players might come into play for those with the money. Similar to those fake backgrounds you see on Zoom, and adding things like they do in the Pokemon game. And then, just like that glasses website that lets you try on glasses virtually, they will probably have skins for the DM to "try on." So, even at the table, you can tell everyone to look through their phones or put on their VR headset, and then have the DM, with their fake background and skin, RP the merchant.

I don't know it that will happen, but it'd be cool to see.
Right, so imagine a fairly capable VR. You can visualize anything, it can tweak the VR to make it seem like you have various amazing levels of skill at whatever, etc. This is an RPG, but it would be useless to compare its 'rules system' to anything like D&D... It might be literally built around D&D tropes, so there are beholders, mind flayers, red dragons, Demogorgon, whatever, and some version of D&D cosmology. It might even be set in some D&D IP like Faerun or DS, but play would be a lot more like LARPing than existing TT RPG play.

The main thing that will be required is a LOT of AI and support systems such that GMs can translate their ideas into visualization at a sufficiently detailed and varied level, and that things like NPCs/Monsters will play in an acceptably sophisticated manner. Some of that is in reach now, video games have generative detail and enough 'AI' to be challenging combat opponents within narrow parameters, but decent depth in social interactions and linking that together with plot elements and such is nascent at best (modern games are, in this area, totally scripted). So it is hard to say how close all that will be in 20 years. We might blow past it, or we may still be trying to figure it out.
 

MarkB

Legend
As far as technology, I think things like a VR headset for players might come into play for those with the money. Similar to those fake backgrounds you see on Zoom, and adding things like they do in the Pokemon game. And then, just like that glasses website that lets you try on glasses virtually, they will probably have skins for the DM to "try on." So, even at the table, you can tell everyone to look through their phones or put on their VR headset, and then have the DM, with their fake background and skin, RP the merchant.

I don't know it that will happen, but it'd be cool to see.
That's more along the lines of AR (Augmented Reality) glasses, which have been trialed for awhile now, and are a promising area. They overlay graphical elements on your view of the real world, and aren't nearly as bulky or cumbersome as a VR headset.

I could certainly see something like that becoming workable and popular. It wouldn't take you fully into a world, but could overlay elements of a fantasy world over your real-life environment, much as you described with the DM being overlaid with the creature he's portraying. They could also be used to project a virtual battlemap on your tabletop - more realistic than even the best 3D terrain tiles, with animated miniatures and the ability to zoom and re-orient the scene independently by each player.

I imagine them being particularly good for LARPing. People could find a suitable real-world location, then add virtual set-dressings to it in AR, and similar augmentations to their own costumes. Some NPCs could be entirely virtual, life-sized but existing only within the AR system, while others would be real people overlaid with fantastic or monstrous forms.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Right, so imagine a fairly capable VR. You can visualize anything, it can tweak the VR to make it seem like you have various amazing levels of skill at whatever, etc. This is an RPG, but it would be useless to compare its 'rules system' to anything like D&D... It might be literally built around D&D tropes, so there are beholders, mind flayers, red dragons, Demogorgon, whatever, and some version of D&D cosmology. It might even be set in some D&D IP like Faerun or DS, but play would be a lot more like LARPing than existing TT RPG play.

The main thing that will be required is a LOT of AI and support systems such that GMs can translate their ideas into visualization at a sufficiently detailed and varied level, and that things like NPCs/Monsters will play in an acceptably sophisticated manner. Some of that is in reach now, video games have generative detail and enough 'AI' to be challenging combat opponents within narrow parameters, but decent depth in social interactions and linking that together with plot elements and such is nascent at best (modern games are, in this area, totally scripted). So it is hard to say how close all that will be in 20 years. We might blow past it, or we may still be trying to figure it out.

I don't think graphics, generation of details or a VR experience will be an issue in 20 years. Whether you can have an AI DM or whether the AI will just assist the DM is a different story.

There will likely also be a desire for a PnP game, because half the fun of D&D is just socializing and getting together with friends. It will be interesting to see if there's some kind of merger between the two.

Or the handful of survivors of the alien nanotech zombie nuclear apocalypse* may just be hiding in caves and wondering what spices to add to the rat they're eating for supper.

*Where aliens study our culture and, noting the popularity of zombie movies, gift us with nanotech to make the living dead a reality during which we start nuking each other because people are idiots.
 

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