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D&D 5E Do you think we'll see revised core books in 2024? (And why I think we will)

Do you think we'll see revised core rulebooks in 2024? And if so, which option?


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Is that your take? I see recent D&D books actually discuss bad-wrong-fun. There is a whole callout in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft telling people to stop playing games a certain way and to stop being inspired by genre tropes.
This has been pointed out multiple times to be a major distortion of WotC saying "hey, you know those racist, sexist and ableist tropes of the past? Maybe stop doing those."

They are not saying your style of play is wrong, no matter how many times you assert otherwise. They are saying that some of the material TSR's Ravenloft drew from is based on hatred and maybe, just maybe, there's enough hatred in the world already that you don't need to have "play racism" at your table.

If this idea really upsets you that much, it's more of a you thing than a them thing.
 

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I heard the phrase mainly as "the slacker generation".

The X-ers are both highly idealistic and highly skeptical about using "success" to determine a persons worth.

The generations before the X-ers worked so hard to make sure their kids lives would be better than their own lives. But by the time of the X-ers, that ambition became economically unrealistic. The X-ers experienced the death of the "American Dream" (except for a tiny economic elite). But the X-ers didnt really care about that stuff anyway, so it was no big deal.
Before the Millennials came along, Time Magazine, etc., was always full of articles talking about how Gen X were terrible for refusing to believe in the rat race.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I voted 5.1-5.2, not because I don't think there will be a lot of changes, but because I think most of those changes will be expansion, rather than revision. Everything from 5.0 will still be in the 2024 edition, along with lots of new options pulled from Xanthers and Tashas along with some bits from other published bits (Wildmount?). I could also see them presenting the Tasha race/lineage rules as the default, with the old rules as an option.
In other words, anyone who has all of the books now will have no NEED to purchase 5.1 for anything new, but may elect to do so anyhow to have those pieces in one reference. 5.1 will be about how new players are introduced to the game to come more in line with where 5e is evolving without requiring purchase of multiple books to get those rules.
Yeah, honestly I’d say this is more likely than my own prediction upthread.

My prediction was more “at most we will see this”, whereas what you propose is much closer to what we will almost certainly actually see in 2024, if they even “revise” the game at all.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I heard the phrase mainly as "the slacker generation".

The X-ers are both highly idealistic and highly skeptical about using "success" to determine a persons worth.

The generations before the X-ers worked so hard to make sure their kids lives would be better than their own lives. But by the time of the X-ers, that ambition became economically unrealistic. The X-ers experienced the death of the "American Dream" (except for a tiny economic elite). But the X-ers didnt really care about that stuff anyway, so it was no big deal.
And then millennials got chastised for not pursuing the American Dream so ubiquitously that we started questioning the value of the concept in the first place, and huge swaths concluded that it was basically a pyramid scheme. And also that our collective parents had taken all the good loot and then spent their retirement complaining that we weren’t out there getting more loot...
 

Is that your take? I see recent D&D books actually discuss bad-wrong-fun. There is a whole callout in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft telling people to stop playing games a certain way and to stop being inspired by genre tropes.
From the reviews I read it seems there are pages and pages of tips of how to run horror in different styles and with different tropes (gothic, cosmic, body, etc). There are also notes about what a session 0 could include to make sure everyone's on the same page. There's just one sidebar of advice that amounts to "this is a social activity please don't be a dick."

A few things that would require a substantial (5.5) revision:
1) separating race from culture both for PC 'races' and for monstrous humanoids. This would be going beyond the floating ability score modifiers in Tasha's and really rewriting the implied setting (in a way that would invalidate the lore sections of the MM and Volo's, for example)
2) significantly changing the long rest/short rest mechanic and the 6-8 encounters assumption, which would involve rewriting the classes and changing the entire CR system
3) rewriting the DMG so that both the content and the layout is useful

I doubt WOTC will do any of those things. (2) is the most likely though they would have to make some decisions on how complex and powerful they want PHB classes to be, and different groups of fans want very different things in that regard. I'm not sure they are capable of either (1) or (3) without a lot of help from freelance writers (whom they will inevitably underpay and treat with disrespect).
 


And then millennials got chastised for not pursuing the American Dream so ubiquitously that we started questioning the value of the concept in the first place, and huge swaths concluded that it was basically a pyramid scheme. And also that our collective parents had taken all the good loot and then spent their retirement complaining that we weren’t out there getting more loot...

I wonder how/if playstyles map on to the cultural assumptions of a particular era. One of the most apt things I've read about this is this (classic?) blog post, d&d is anti-medieval. The author writes

"But it is very difficult to write a document with no cultural assumptions at all. Gygax consciously excluded the trappings of a medieval society, and filled that vacuum with “real life” American details. Gygax wrote D&D in a country where, 100 years before, frontier land was considered free for the taking. (19th century propaganda depicted the land’s original Native American inhabitants as inimical savages, like orcs). At the same period, the success of America’s industrialist “robber barons” taught the country that birth and family weren’t the keys to American power; the American keys were self-reliance, ability, and the ruthless accumulation of money."
The fantasy was: earn (steal) gold, level up, build a home (on stolen land). Along the way There Will Be Blood. In 5e, there is no real use for gold, or at least, 5e players don't think of home ownership as a goal for their characters. Instead they want...magic items? special powers? friends? to save a world that is always on the precipice of collapse?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
This is a reasonable heuristic, but it does kind of emphasize the arbitrariness of generations.
I think the idea is, a generation is defined by their highschool experience. But that itself is kinda slippery. Might as well just go by decades, and just keep track of significant events during each decade.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I heard the phrase mainly as "the slacker generation".

The X-ers are both highly idealistic and highly skeptical about using "success" to determine a persons worth.

The generations before the X-ers worked so hard to make sure their kids lives would be better than their own lives. But by the time of the X-ers, that ambition became economically unrealistic. The X-ers experienced the death of the "American Dream" (except for a tiny economic elite). But the X-ers didnt really care about that stuff anyway, so it was no big deal.

Yep. And to add to this, Xers witnessed the idealism of the Boomers become commercialized ("selling out") in the 70s and 80s, and not adequately address the structural issues that existed.
1) separating race from culture both for PC 'races' and for monstrous humanoids. This would be going beyond the floating ability score modifiers in Tasha's and really rewriting the implied setting (in a way that would invalidate the lore sections of the MM and Volo's, for example)
This is a very good idea and would go a long way towards clearing up some of the confusion and conflict going on. Re-skinning "race" as "heritage" just shifts the goal-lines a bit and doesn't get at a central confusion: the differentiation between race (as a people, species or sub-scecies) and a specific culture, which is a confusion that goes back centuries and is a core factor in some of the problems we face today.

A race is a species or sub-species, subject to biology and, to some degree, history. A culture is a tradition built up over time, formed around ideological elements and subject to a wide number of factors. A race could have certain tendencies, but they are mostly/entirely based on biology, history and environment. A race "expresses itself" through those factors in the form of culture, but is not tied to any specific iteration of culture.

One is hardware, the other software (I don't love tech analogies as I think they reduce anything having to do with "soul" or "spirit," but I think the analogy works well enough in this case).

Or to put it more bluntly, an orc baby would be very different if raised within (the culture of) Lothlorien than in (the culture of) Mordor. They may still have certain "orcish" traits--say, greater strength and a (biologically-based) desire to eat meat, but their culture and attitudes would be very different.

WotC is edging in this direction but probably not going far enough, so we're going to keep on having these discussions about race vs. culture, which are largely based on the conflation of the two.

In other words, it would allow for people to use "traditional" D&D tropes like evil/brutish orcs by specifying it as their culture, but also separates the specific culture from the race, thereby defusing any racist connotations.
 

Rikka66

Adventurer
5e players don't think of home ownership as a goal for their characters. Instead they want...magic items? special powers? friends? to save a world that is always on the precipice of collapse?

I would say in general that owning a castle just never ended up being the the kind of appealing endgame goal for most players as it was for the early wargamers. It's a concept that's role has continuously diminished over decades.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
I think the idea is, a generation is defined by their highschool experience. But that itself is kinda slippery. Might as well just go by decades, and just keep track of significant events during each decade.
I’d say a generation is defined more by their formative experiences, which can include high school but isn’t limited to it. For example, one of the biggest factors in millennials vs. Gen Z is their relationship with the internet.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Yes, but they won't be 6e.

They MIGHT be an informal 5.5e, though, in the sense of consolidating rule changes and revisions and clarifications from the last ten years.

In sort of the same way BECMI was to B/X and RC was to BECMI, and Player's Option was to 2e and Essentials to 4e.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I’d say a generation is defined more by their formative experiences, which can include high school but isn’t limited to it. For example, one of the biggest factors in millennials vs. Gen Z is their relationship with the internet.
OK, Boomer. JK. You're right - the internet (and social media) is a huge factor, but there are others. I kind of see it like a soup and one of the main ingredients is the internet, but the "broth" is the historical context as a whole. It is so complex, really. But, as you imply, we shouldn't downplay the significance of the internet, as the "Age of Information" and "Fourth Industrial Revolution." And the influence has both "positive" and "negative" effects, I would say.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Yep. And to add to this, Xers witnessed the idealism of the Boomers become commercialized ("selling out") in the 70s and 80s, and not adequately address the structural issues that existed.

This is a very good idea and would go a long way towards clearing up some of the confusion and conflict going on. Re-skinning "race" as "heritage" just shifts the goal-lines a bit and doesn't get at a central confusion: the differentiation between race (as a people, species or sub-scecies) and a specific culture, which is a confusion that goes back centuries and is a core factor in some of the problems we face today.

A race is a species or sub-species, subject to biology and, to some degree, history. A culture is a tradition built up over time, formed around ideological elements and subject to a wide number of factors. A race could have certain tendencies, but they are mostly/entirely based on biology, history and environment. A race "expresses itself" through those factors in the form of culture, but is not tied to any specific iteration of culture.

One is hardware, the other software (I don't love tech analogies as I think they reduce anything having to do with "soul" or "spirit," but I think the analogy works well enough in this case).

Or to put it more bluntly, an orc baby would be very different if raised within (the culture of) Lothlorien than in (the culture of) Mordor. They may still have certain "orcish" traits--say, greater strength and a (biologically-based) desire to eat meat, but their culture and attitudes would be very different.

WotC is edging in this direction but probably not going far enough, so we're going to keep on having these discussions about race vs. culture, which are largely based on the conflation of the two.

In other words, it would allow for people to use "traditional" D&D tropes like evil/brutish orcs by specifying it as their culture, but also separates the specific culture from the race, thereby defusing any racist connotations.
A complication in D&D is magic. For example, a culture can decide they all need to live underwater, and use magic to shapeshift gills. Species is a byproduct of culture. In D&D, there are many "races" that originate from cultural magic, such as Tiefling, Warforged, and Shadar-Kai.
 


Mercurius

Legend
A complication in D&D is magic. For example, a culture can decide they all need to live underwater, and use magic to shapeshift gills. Species is a byproduct of culture. In D&D, there are many "races" that originate from cultural magic, such as Tiefling, Warforged, and Shadar-Kai.
Yes, true, although in D&D, magic is natural - and thus part of life and biology. And there's no reason that some races can't be more or less tied to a specific culture, especially in the context of myriad game worlds. A culture might be very xenophobic and want to keep itself "pure," and perhaps disallow members to leave without severe penalty. I mean, we have this in our world in certain countries and cults. Another culture could be more cosmopolitan, allowing its members freedom of choice. And everything in-between.

So I wouldn't say that "species is a byproduct of culture" but that the two influence and form each-other. But the key point is that one is not tied to the other, in a similar manner that who you are is not your vocation; it is something you "inhabit" and identify with to certain degree, but is changeable, while your species is not (yet, at least!).
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
Yes, true, although in D&D, magic is natural - and thus part of life and biology. And there's no reason that some races can't be more or less tied to a specific culture, especially in the context of myriad game worlds. A culture might be very xenophobic and want to keep itself "pure," and perhaps disallow members to leave without severe penalty. I mean, we have this in our world in certain countries and cults. Another culture could be more cosmopolitan, allowing its members freedom of choice. And everything in-between.

So I wouldn't say that "species is a byproduct of culture" but that the two influence and form each-other. But the key point is that one is not tied to the other, in a similar manner that who you are is not your vocation; it is something you "inhabit" and identify with to certain degree, but is changeable, while your species is not (yet, at least!).
But magic makes species changeable. There is little difference between deciding that everybody needs to learn to read and deciding that everybody needs to have wings.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I wonder how/if playstyles map on to the cultural assumptions of a particular era. One of the most apt things I've read about this is this (classic?) blog post, d&d is anti-medieval. The author writes


The fantasy was: earn (steal) gold, level up, build a home (on stolen land). Along the way There Will Be Blood. In 5e, there is no real use for gold, or at least, 5e players don't think of home ownership as a goal for their characters. Instead they want...magic items? special powers? friends? to save a world that is always on the precipice of collapse?
Very interesting points. I was just discussing with my wife that 5e doesn’t actually include “getting loot” as anything other than a presented play expectation that no one really questions. There are literally no mechanics that require or even really even strongly incentivize the pursuit of coin.

You can run 5e without ever including a magic item, or giving out more gold than the characters would earn as skilled/expert laborers, and...nothing else about the game changes.

I definitely think this both informs and is informed by the gaming/storytelling assumptions and priorities of millennial and genZ gamers. I know I haven’t seen any characters in 5e that were motivated by loot.
 

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