D&D 5E D&D Head Talks Future Plans (Sort Of)

WotC has launched a new design blog. The first edition is written by D&D head Ray Winninger, and he talks a little about future plans.

dnd_header_blog04.jpg


"Later in the year, Chris will return with our big summer adventure, James Wyatt will deliver a substantially improved version of a concept that I initiated myself, and Amanda Hamon will close us out with a project that was jointly conceived by herself and several other studio members. As usual, Jeremy Crawford is working with all of our leads, overseeing mechanical content and rules development.

In addition to these five major products, look for a couple of additional surprises we’ll unveil in the months ahead."

You can read the full blog here:


He also mentions that a D&D book takes 12-14 months to make, and half the projects developed don't make it to market. Winninger describes the structure of WotC's 'D&D Studio':

"The D&D Studio itself is organized into four departments: Game Design, Art, Production, and Product Management, each led by a department head. Game Design is responsible for the developing game mechanics and stories. Art establishes the “look and feel” of Dungeons & Dragons by creating visual concepts, directing our freelance illustrators, and creating innovative graphic designs. The Production department manages our project schedules, interfaces with manufacturing experts, and generally handles administrative matters for the studio. The Product Management department interfaces with sales, marketing, and market research. They also own our long-term product roadmap and look after the D&D business."

The studio has five Product Leads: Jeremy Crawford, Amanda Hamon, Chris Perkins, Wes Schneider, and James Wyatt.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Parmandur

Book-Friend
@Parmandur

Evidently you don't care about immersion nor book-keeping.
I have no feelings on the matter, just saying what I could see them doing. The point of Short Rests is to create a middle space between once a day shoot and lose it powers and things that can be done all day without qualms. If WotC finds the Proficiency die mechanic works for people better than negotiating and gaming Short Rests, then it would seem reasonable to streamline the game that way.
 


ccs

41st lv DM
I could rant forever on their terrible failure of incorporating psionics into D&D side-by-side with magic. It's not a difficult thing to do, it's been in every single editon, if people can't accept it now, they never will so just force it to happen. Who's really going to quit the game because they chose to put a Psionic class as core? Sure some will ignore it out of spite and tell their players don't even bother, but eventually it's going to be accepted over time and soon everyone's using it. No player should accept a DM saying no to Psionics just because of misguided feelings of Psionics from previous editions.
1) I've never thought Psionics - whatever their mechanics are - particularly fit the type of D&D games I aim to run.
2) I've yet to read a psionics rules set that I like. This doesn't encourage me to be proficient in them. If I'm not proficient with the option I won't be able do a fair job of DMing for a psionic character. If you're playing such a character, this will diminish your fun. And most importantly, mine. You know what happens when the DM isn't having fun? Nothing good.
3) So: No psionics when I DM. They don't exist in my world. Or in my version of the FR or whatever. And your character isn't going to be the 1st.

Just make it easy on yourself & save your totally awesome Psion concept for some other game where you'll be able to properly enjoy it. Because my game isn't it.
 


Shair-afiyun

Villager
All I want to see is the short rest system tweaked or replaced. It seems fine on paper, but it was really meant for 4th edition when the rest period was 5 mins and being recharged for combat after combat was encouraged.

Edit: On some thinking, the happy middle ground for rests would be

Short rests now run off a rest point system.
To take a short rest also means to spend 1 rest point.
Short Rests now take 15 minutes, down from an hour.
Rest Points are restored after a long rest.
Players start with 2 rest points spend on short rests.
Later levels provide additional rest points. (Maximum somewhere around 4 or 5 rest points)

As that would mean adventures can still have fairly decent pacing instead of the party just taking a 1-hour break.
Party can potentially go for more rests in later levels.
DM can plan encounters ahead around how many rest points players the players should realistically have.
 
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Shair-afiyun

Villager
What screwed up 4th edition was the focus on balance at all costs and standardization without good reason, and they are falling right back into the same trap.
Technically the downfall of 4th edition was less about the balance and standardization and more the fact that 4th edition is radically different compared to prior and subsequent editions.

That 4th edition was really good at being a wargame with miniatures and grinding through dungeons.
However outside of this aspect is where 4th edition was less than satisfactory, as is it wasn't really a roleplayer's game.
And since Pathfinder 1e was basically offered as a cleaned-up 3.75e, people flocked to it and this cost wizards money in sales.
That is why 4th edition lasted for all of 6 years instead of longer, but still has a satisfactory trove worth of books and options to play with.
 

Panzeh

Explorer
Technically the downfall of 4th edition was less about the balance and standardization and more the fact that 4th edition is radically different compared to prior and subsequent editions.

That 4th edition was really good at being a wargame with miniatures and grinding through dungeons.
However outside of this aspect is where 4th edition was less than satisfactory, as is it wasn't really a roleplayer's game.
And since Pathfinder 1e was basically offered as a cleaned-up 3.75e, people flocked to it and this cost wizards money in sales.
That is why 4th edition lasted for all of 6 years instead of longer, but still has a satisfactory trove worth of books and options to play with.
Yeah, 4e picked a lane- it was about dungeon tactics and really drilling down to that experience. Unfortunately, people don't really like it when d&d picks a lane. It's a strength in a lot of other systems not to have to try to be everything to everyone, but D&D's market is definitely how it's perceived as a game that can handle just about any kind of fantasy.
 


Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Darksun has several pillars and one of them is what isn't in the setting to help make it feel different.
Sure their is a lot of unique and alien things to explore but your players handbook and all the other books you bought don't play as nicely as say an Eberron.

There are no dieties, 1/2orcs, gnomes. tieflings, dragonborn, etc. and because of this it is very exclusive to previous content and not inclusive of everything.

Also, it has some very harsh themes with slavery and oppression that I'm not sure wotc wants to go down at the moment.

I dont think it has to do with psionics.

While I see no evidence that a Dark Sun book is forthcoming, I will say that the Theros book they published last year pretty much says "most of the PHB races do not exist in this setting." The only races supported in the setting are human, centaur, leonin, minotaur, satyr, and triton. If you play something other than that, you're basically a strange visitor from another world or plane - which would be the case for excluded races in Dark Sun.

As for slavery and oppression, it figures prominently in Out of the Abyss (2015). I can see where they might not be dying to deal with it again now, but it's not like 5E hasn't touched that theme.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Yeah, 4e picked a lane- it was about dungeon tactics and really drilling down to that experience. Unfortunately, people don't really like it when d&d picks a lane. It's a strength in a lot of other systems not to have to try to be everything to everyone, but D&D's market is definitely how it's perceived as a game that can handle just about any kind of fantasy.
4E was about moving to computer based games. It was designed to transition D&D to the digital era. That is why it had much more of a 'choose A, B, C, or D to do' feel. 5E was a reversion back towards live play as someone realized they'd never really 'out video game' the video game companies.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That 4th edition was really good at being a wargame with miniatures and grinding through dungeons.
However outside of this aspect is where 4th edition was less than satisfactory, as is it wasn't really a roleplayer's game.
This will never stop being an absurd claim.

4e works best when most encounters are not combat, and combat is saved for climactic set-piece battles. between skill challenges, player facing skills, rituals, not to mention later additions like martial practices, skill powers, etc, the game has a ton of out of combat toys to play with that are very engaging and satisfying.

I certainly wouldn’t use it to “grind dungeons”. 🦌 lord that would be terrible. Exploration is really fun in 4e, but fight after fight is a thing the system has to go out of its way to reward in order to get players to want to do it, whereas big fights with a lot of moving parts are a blast!

Also nearly everyone I know who liked or loved 4e is either indifferent to or actively dislikes actual war games. I can’t stand them, I find them completely dull experiences. Maybe if war games tended to be team-based, I could see it? 4e is much more team oriented than most editions of D&D, so comparing it to a highly competitive game with no roleplay dynamics is just laughable, to me.

And speaking of roleplaying, well, experiences vary, I guess. I’ll leave it at that.
 




Parmandur

Book-Friend
This will never stop being an absurd claim.

4e works best when most encounters are not combat, and combat is saved for climactic set-piece battles. between skill challenges, player facing skills, rituals, not to mention later additions like martial practices, skill powers, etc, the game has a ton of out of combat toys to play with that are very engaging and satisfying.

I certainly wouldn’t use it to “grind dungeons”. 🦌 lord that would be terrible. Exploration is really fun in 4e, but fight after fight is a thing the system has to go out of its way to reward in order to get players to want to do it, whereas big fights with a lot of moving parts are a blast!

Also nearly everyone I know who liked or loved 4e is either indifferent to or actively dislikes actual war games. I can’t stand them, I find them completely dull experiences. Maybe if war games tended to be team-based, I could see it? 4e is much more team oriented than most editions of D&D, so comparing it to a highly competitive game with no roleplay dynamics is just laughable, to me.

And speaking of roleplaying, well, experiences vary, I guess. I’ll leave it at that.
4E's "downfall" had nothing to do with the game itself, but with WotC failure to critically engage with and quantify the desires of their audience. That's why 5E took off, they did that work for years before putting togethera product. 4E the designers made the game that they wanted, for their playstyle, and assumed that was what everyone would respond to. That can work for Indie developers, but not for D&D.

That, and releasing the game too early and relying on errata to patch things...but that's not the game, either, but WotC managing their workflow improperly.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
I mean, it's somewhat bizarre to gripe about the potential removal of a 4E-ism by complaining about what was wrong wit

4E's "downfall" had nothing to do with the game itself, but with WotC failure to critically engage with and quantify the desires of their audience. That's why 5E took off, they did that work for years before putting togethera product. 4E the designers made the game that they wanted, for their playstyle, and assumed that was what everyone would respond to. That can work for Indie developers, but not for D&D.

That, and releasing the game too early and relying on errata to patch things...but that's not the game, either, but WotC managing their workflow improperly.

One really under-appreciated aspect of 5E is layout and design, as well as its slow release schedule. I've always seen D&D books for 4E in barnes and Nobles before, but never knew which one to actually get (there were so many). 5E really established "These are the CORE book," that I see in a bunch of places. Plus, picking it up and flipping through it, they're a lot more intuitive, and the art just grabs you a lot more.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
One really under-appreciated aspect of 5E is layout and design, as well as its slow release schedule. I've always seen D&D books for 4E in barnes and Nobles before, but never knew which one to actually get (there were so many). 5E really established "These are the CORE book," that I see in a bunch of places. Plus, picking it up and flipping through it, they're a lot more intuitive, and the art just grabs you a lot more.
The 4E books gave off a bit of a College textbook vibe. I perused the large collection at Half-Price Books in early 5E days, to see if I could crib any for 5E material on the cheap, and...it was a bit if a slog to read them for flavor or inspiration.
 

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