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D&D General Ch-Ch-Changes


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MGibster

Legend
I will echo some of the sentiments. I believe alignment, if mentioned, will be an option part of the DMG. Over they years, we've seen alignment take a less prominent role in D&D and I expect it won't be long before it's a vestigial organ. I cut my teeth using alignments but I don't even use them at all these days.
 


TiwazTyrsfist

Adventurer
In 20 years, the default setting will be Eberron. All settings will have to incorporate Warforged, Shifters, Changelings, and Kalashtar.
All settings will use the system that will be created for Dragonmarks for various types of inherent magic powers.
Settings without a magical Mass-Transit system will be considered 'Quaint' and 'Outdated'.

Now if you'll excuse me, i have a LARGE amount of Blackmail, Intimidation, and Bribery to perpetrate in order to achieve this.

Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Smokebomb
 

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.
Yeah, you're right. No one could have guessed 20 years ago that we'd all be connected online through social media platforms that we can access on touch-screen phones. Technology will change a lot in the next two decades, and I'm sure it will impact how we play the game in a significant way (but the old pen and paper will never die).
 


(I know you're kidding, but I felt the need to respond to this seriously.)
In 20 years, the default setting will be Eberron.
I could live with that.
All settings will have to incorporate Warforged, Shifters, Changelings, and Kalashtar.
Shifters and Changelings are easy. Kalashtar are to an extent, but Warforged don't work in most worlds. I could see a constructed race being added to many other D&D worlds (like a Golemkin or Modron race), but not Warforged.
All settings will use the system that will be created for Dragonmarks for various types of inherent magic powers.
I could also get on board with that. I wouldn't transfer Dragonmarks to other worlds, but the could have a "Race Template" for playing planetouched options that work similarly to how Dragonmarked Races work in 5e (where you choose it as your subrace, get some spells, an additional spell list, and other minor buffs to replace some racial features).
Settings without a magical Mass-Transit system will be considered 'Quaint' and 'Outdated'.
I also could get on board with (that to an extent). My homebrew world uses "Ley Lines" (they function as the Unearthly Paths from TCoE) for travelling long distances.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
A lot of people are bringing up VR & AR gameplay... You can see some of this starting with the current early levels of VTT development, but I don't think it will go as far as some are saying. The tech has been around a long time for some of that. Take d&d surface demo that predates ancient internet tools like obsidian portal. The hardware caught up to the ~10,000$ surface table since then, but the amount of work that creating such a thing takes or running a campaign that still feels like a tttrpg game of d&d is likely to be fairly extreme. The same goes for the hololens nfl thing if an AR headset became more standard because it hoots straight into "I'm not sure if overhead on the gm will be worth the payoff" type reasons over a lesser good enough version that allows. Sure we might stumble into the development of an AGI & not collapse economically but you never know if aliens will attack too.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Yeah, you're right. No one could have guessed 20 years ago that we'd all be connected online through social media platforms that we can access on touch-screen phones. Technology will change a lot in the next two decades, and I'm sure it will impact how we play the game in a significant way (but the old pen and paper will never die).


While I agree that pen and paper will never die, I do believe they say the same thing about disco. 🕺
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
A lot of people are bringing up VR & AR gameplay... You can see some of this starting with the current early levels of VTT development, but I don't think it will go as far as some are saying. The tech has been around a long time for some of that. Take d&d surface demo that predates ancient internet tools like obsidian portal. The hardware caught up to the ~10,000$ surface table since then, but the amount of work that creating such a thing takes or running a campaign that still feels like a tttrpg game of d&d is likely to be fairly extreme. The same goes for the hololens nfl thing if an AR headset became more standard because it hoots straight into "I'm not sure if overhead on the gm will be worth the payoff" type reasons over a lesser good enough version that allows. Sure we might stumble into the development of an AGI & not collapse economically but you never know if aliens will attack too.

While I agree that a computer DM may or may not happen in the foreseeable future, I think procedurally generated scenes, even worlds, could take a lot of the burden off the DM.

Or not. We could be playing rock, rusty scissors, "what's paper?" in 20 years.
 

Quartz

Adventurer
what aspect of D&D, 20 years from now, will still be the same?

Advantage / disadvantage. It's such a good mechanic. It might have mutated a bit (just as the stats themselves have mutated).

Back in 3.5 it was less of an issue because crafting that many slots or powerful items was just not possible for a pc

That's not actually correct if you had a spellcaster that took the crafting feats and was happy to stay a level or two behind the rest of the party. Of course, you had to have a GM that allowed you to spend time crafting.
 


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.
I'm not so sure about the PnP part. I mean, sure, there will be 'grognards' of course... A lot of the younger folks are not going to have nostalgia for that, nor habits of using PnP. Obviously if people are FtF, then maybe they don't need VR/AR, but in 20 years that still may be the most typical way to interact even in the same physical location (AR at least, and the tech is largely the same). I could see a 'hybrid approach' where you can have dice, battle mats, minis, etc. AND an AR system that is smart enough to recognize a physical dice roll and link it into the system, or understand where you moved your character if you pick up the mini.

However, I think the purely virtual stuff will come first, there's a LOT wider demand for it than just RPGs, which frankly won't ever attract the investment needed. So an AR/VR approach WILL exist in 20 years, and I think the vast majority of players will be happy with that.
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.
lol, I almost said pretty much the same thing, but I'm thinking I won't go all dark today! :)
 

Disco is a dance fad. Pen and paper is the original style of playing D&D. More people will do it digital, but I know that I will forever use pen and paper.
Meh, ask any software engineer when the last time was they looked at a printed listing of code. Things DIE, they really really do. Sure, if you look hard enough, you can still find a printer in any office, and some old dude that insists on handing around printouts that everyone else promptly drops in the trash, after asking for the document to be emailed (or if you are cutting edge dropped on your slack channel). That is about where PnP gaming will be in 20 years, IMHO. Basically dead.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Meh, ask any software engineer when the last time was they looked at a printed listing of code. Things DIE, they really really do. Sure, if you look hard enough, you can still find a printer in any office, and some old dude that insists on handing around printouts that everyone else promptly drops in the trash, after asking for the document to be emailed (or if you are cutting edge dropped on your slack channel). That is about where PnP gaming will be in 20 years, IMHO. Basically dead.

Let's do a thought experiment. Assume that
  • VR glasses exist, are cheap and ubiquitous.
  • We have the technology to seamlessly read facial expressions.
  • We also have perfect voice mapping so the person talking can sound like anyone or anything they want.
  • So basically you can go "into" the world and interact with avatars of your fellow players.
  • AI software can aid a DM in building the scenes, filling in details so that when you're in VR it looks "real" whether it's a dungeon or a busy street. The AI also probably helps some with monsters and so on.
So when the PCs meet in the tavern for breakfast to discuss the day, you're looking at Sue's character, and while her character uses her expressions it sounds like an old human male (or whatever her character is).

That would be pretty cool. But ... and here's the problem ... how do you have your PC take actions? Why are you just not playing an advanced MMO? How do you integrate in rules that look like D&D? Right now, turns can take a few minutes because Joe wants to strategize a bit with Kim and Terri debates whether to try to heal Tom or cast a more powerful spell to try to end the fight. Would it still be turn based? Real time with pause? Do you have to adjust things because combat could be done much, much more quickly?

I would love a VR MMO (especially one with a real DM and not scripted responses) but it's simply a different experience. Part of why D&D is popular now is because of the social interaction. It's an excuse to gather together in a group, swap stories and have some laughs. You don't always want combat to be constant action, people want to enjoy each other's company maybe throw popcorn at Bob when he tells yet another horrible pun.

People are tribal, there's something about gathering around the fire (or game table, which is hopefully not on fire) telling stories.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I'm currently learning Unity, and with all the prefabs you can acquire/buy, I really think in 20 years there's going to be enough plug'n'play material that going VR/AR will be slightly less arduous than setting up a VTT. There will be some people still using books, pencils and paper, but the I'm betting the "new kids" will be doing it digitally (and smartphones/tablets will be dinosaurs like the phone bricks of the 80's/90's).

Well, unless 2021 really turns out to be the Boss encounter it's shaping up to be.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
While I agree that a computer DM may or may not happen in the foreseeable future, I think procedurally generated scenes, even worlds, could take a lot of the burden off the DM.

Or not. We could be playing rock, rusty scissors, "what's paper?" in 20 years.
we have procedurally generated stuff now I just ued flowscape to generate this 5,120x5,120 pixel bit of terrain & occasionally import flowscape generated stuff into arkenforge but flowscape is very difficult to use if you want much more than a random bit of terrain & can get pretty extreme on system usage
1610486863692.png
I rarely do it though because it's a lot of work & usually easier to just load an existing map close enough to my current needs
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Let's get spicy

Stays the Same
D&D will remain class based
All the current classes in 5e will be in the PHB 20 years from now.
All the current "races" in 5e will be in the PHB 20 years from now
D&D will be heavily into class based subsystems like spells and maneuvers.

Gone
A tech level designed as default
A magic level designed as default
Attempting to balance things to other things

Changes
At least 2 classes will be normalized and added to the PHB (or core design assumption)
At least 2 races will be normalized and added to the PHB (or core design assumption)
The Half races might be devolved into their parent "races" as subraces to fit.
At least one new nonspellcasting class will join D&D as a "core designed" class
One or two new official settings will be created from the ground up with these classes and races in mind.

Core designed mean that WOTC or D&D's owner at the time will write them in books with the same emphasis as other core classes and races.
I have my guesses on which ones.

If current trends continue, D&D will focus on selling character options to players and variant rules to DMs. In order to not worry about balance, these will be sold as packages and everything within a package will be balanced against each other but not neccesariliy to those outside.
 

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