log in or register to remove this ad

 

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?


  • Total voters
    130
Status
Not open for further replies.

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don't think 2E is as similar to 1E as folks like to think. The entire aesthetic changes, the kinds of worlds and modules published were very different, and it shed a lot of fiddly Gygaxian rules. It is true that you can run 1E material easily with 2E but that isn't the same as saying 2E wasn't markedly different.
My understanding is that some people just brought 1E characters to 2E games with no changes. Most of what you are citing is game line and anesthetics, not the rules of the game.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


I prefer an approach of tackling some of the more racist tropes head-on. I think it can be done; though it might require changing some assumptions about what D&D worlds look like and hence how D&D typically plays.

That's actually what I mean. You can run a keep on the borderlands-esque scenario, but you don't have to just assume that the players are there to clear the area of the Bad Guys. Rather you have factions, different claims to land, recent and distant histories, and you dump 1st level characters into the middle of all that. The game would change a bit, because the players would have to debate who, if anyone, is in the 'right' and what, if anything, they can do about it. Zedeck Siew's Lorn Song of the Bachelor is a good example of how some authors are trying to take elements of classic play but take more seriously the ethics of the default situation (but in a way that is gameable).
 

Are you saying that all D&D worlds are "lazy worldbuilding," or just certain ones? Or just the default assumptions?

Part of what I mean is the implicit setting as laid out in the monster manual, which has all the well-know problems in the way they categorize humanoid groups ("savage," "feral," "bloodlust," etc). But patient zero for this kind of things is the Forgotten-f-ing-realms. There's not shortage of lore across several editions, along with an extensive novel series, and yet it continually defaults to one-dimensional, mono-chromatic fantasy tropes. Even the layout of the world is a lazy recreation of earth. As Gus L writes,

"Forgotten Realms was the worst thing to happen to D&D, a terrible setting that reeks of bathos and takes itself far too seriously. It plunders everything cliched and overused from Tolkien but abandons all the strange sadness and the mythological references. It fills the land with huge civilized bastions of good/order like Waterdeep and exhaustively defines their systems of governance, but allows these nations to be plagued by trifling enemies like goblin tribes. Forgotten Realms embraces a pedantic faux-medievalism, but then uses a contemporary positivist understanding to explain magic that allows for cutesy magical technology to gloss over the inconvenient aspects of the pre-modern. Most offensively, most objectionably, Forgotten Realms is a dense, full, world - so steeped in cliched lore and laid out so extensively in dull gazetteers that there is no room for a GM's creativity without excising some of the existing setting and map."
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
That's actually what I mean. You can run a keep on the borderlands-esque scenario, but you don't have to just assume that the players are there to clear the area of the Bad Guys. Rather you have factions, different claims to land, recent and distant histories, and you dump 1st level characters into the middle of all that. The game would change a bit, because the players would have to debate who, if anyone, is in the 'right' and what, if anything, they can do about it. Zedeck Siew's Lorn Song of the Bachelor is a good example of how some authors are trying to take elements of classic play but take more seriously the ethics of the default situation (but in a way that is gameable).

All of that is fine if that's what your group enjoys. There's nothing stopping you from doing any of that with any edition of D&D.

However, for a lot of people D&D is all about escapism and entertainment. For the most part I don't want deep philosophical debates or dilemmas. The real world is messy, I play games to escape from the real world for a little bit. I think that's a big appeal of the game and a big part of why it's so popular.
 

All of that is fine if that's what your group enjoys. There's nothing stopping you from doing any of that with any edition of D&D.

However, for a lot of people D&D is all about escapism and entertainment. For the most part I don't want deep philosophical debates or dilemmas. The real world is messy, I play games to escape from the real world for a little bit. I think that's a big appeal of the game and a big part of why it's so popular.
To be clear, I don't expect WOTC to do any of this. This is why I think there will be a 5.1 edition rather than a 5.5 or 6e. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if for that edition they rewrite the PHB but not the MM, so as to not contradict existing lore.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
At this point, you seem to be willfully ignoring what I mean by "orcs raised by elves." Again, I did not suggest that they say that in the books. I used that an example of how race and culture are different, and that WotC should clarify that no race is inherently evil as a biological species, but cultures can be.
If you don’t disagree that it’s a bad idea to present the idea that orcs would be not evil if raised by non-orcs, why are you arguing with me?
 

Mercurius

Legend
That's actually what I mean. You can run a keep on the borderlands-esque scenario, but you don't have to just assume that the players are there to clear the area of the Bad Guys. Rather you have factions, different claims to land, recent and distant histories, and you dump 1st level characters into the middle of all that. The game would change a bit, because the players would have to debate who, if anyone, is in the 'right' and what, if anything, they can do about it. Zedeck Siew's Lorn Song of the Bachelor is a good example of how some authors are trying to take elements of classic play but take more seriously the ethics of the default situation (but in a way that is gameable).

"Don't have to" is the operative phrase. Meaning, why either/or rather than both/and?

WotC's approach of "one and done" settings fits this perfectly. Each setting can have its own underlying assumptions and tropes, all riffing off the core D&D mythos.

Meaning, I don't think it is a good solution to change the core assumption from one set of thematic assumptions to another, even a "nicer" one. Rather, open it up so that any and all thematic assumptions are possible - which is already the case, but WotC could make it more explicit.
Part of what I mean is the implicit setting as laid out in the monster manual, which has all the well-know problems in the way they categorize humanoid groups ("savage," "feral," "bloodlust," etc). But patient zero for this kind of things is the Forgotten-f-ing-realms. There's not shortage of lore across several editions, along with an extensive novel series, and yet it continually defaults to one-dimensional, mono-chromatic fantasy tropes. Even the layout of the world is a lazy recreation of earth. As Gus L writes,
Well, the Forgotten Realms isn't Harn, Tekumel or Talislanta. But it is playable -- I think that's the point. What it lacks for in artistry and realism, it gains by being a kitchen sink that works perfectly fine with "standard" D&D.

Again, I think the best path forward is both/and rather than either/or. There's no reason that D&D can't be a platform to embrace a wide range of play styles, be it endlessly killing things and taking their stuff or a quest to turn the land into a paradise or...anything you want.

I think WotC's main task, in this regard--or what I think there main task should be, is to provide options and examples of a diverse worlds and play-styles. In that regard, there's a place for the Forgotten Realms, regardless of how it fails to stand up to the Medieval realism of Harn or the thematic texture of Dark Sun or the psychedic creativity of Talislanta.
If you don’t disagree that it’s a bad idea to present the idea that orcs would be not evil if raised by non-orcs, why are you arguing with me?
I'd like to think that we're discussing, not arguing ;). But that particular line of discussion came about from Maimuria's suggestion about differentiation race and culture and my contention that a lot of confusion arises from conflating the two, and that differentiating them would go a long way to not throw the baby out with the bathwater, as far as races are concerned.
 

Mercurius

Legend
7%! Alright.

This is something where the crowd often gets it wrong, so, so far, so good.

The timing is just too perfetct. And they are telegraphing. More than just a 5.2.

It won't be like 4e. But there would be enough to call it a new edition.
Haha. Or it might be wishful thinking, on your part. Hey, didn't we go back and forth about a hypothetical "5E" way back in 2010-11, iirc?

But I agree with you, at least with the "more than 5.2" part. I voted 5.3 to 5.5 and have said that I think 5.3 is more likely, but that may be conservative. But I'd be very surprised if we saw more than 5.5 (or the shift from 3E to 3.5E). That would be foolish, given the popularity of the game. But for reasons already stated--the cash cow that are core rulebooks, 10 years of working over the game to find its strengths and weaknesses, and shifting socio-cultural attitudes--makes a revised edition a no-brainer (at least in my brain!).

But "enough to call it a new edition?" That really only makes sense if A) you considered 3.5 a new edition over 3, and B) they can find someway to make it easily backwards compatible...which brings us back to the 5.3-5.5 range.

I think where most agree is that whatever the changes are, it won't be called anything other than "D&D" and the books will, at most, say something like "50th anniversary" and/or "5E revised edition." They won't call it 5.5 or 6E, imo.
 

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.
Interesting point, particularly since one of the criticisms I often see levied against 5e from gamers raised on 3e and 4e is "There's nothing to do with gold!"

In the abstract, I do prefer to have magic items and other power-ups disconnected from the mundane economy. In practice, doing so would probably also require reducing the amount of expected loot, or at least provide a bunch of things to spend it on. There's also the issue that reducing the amount of magic items available generally hurts martial characters more than it does casters (because martials rely on items to do anything special), so you probably want to keep a fair influx of items into your game, but that then asks the question "If all these items are around, where do they come from, and why isn't there a market for them?"
 

pemerton

Legend
part of the problem is an act of association that is taken as absolute and intrinsic to the phenomena itself (namely, orcs), which can be at least partially be addressed by WotC, the publishers of orcs and other such "problematic" ideas, saying "No, these are fantasy creatures and not meant to represent anything from the real world."

<snip>

I think it is the wrong direction to crystalize the association that orcs are stand-ins for indigenous or people of color in our world.

<snip>

WotC should clarify that no race is inherently evil as a biological species, but cultures can be.
I think it is very difficult, if not impossible, to construct a presentation of an inherently evil culture/people by drawing upon the tropes that were readily available to 19th and early 20th century writers - who were steeped in a certain way of presenting the non-European peoples that Europe was in the process of conquering/colonising - and then simply try and stipulate that no association is intended. The work itself manifests a certain conception of what it is to be "savage", a "brute", and "inherently evil"; and it's hardly a subtle conception.

I'm sure that not all of those sci-fi films and TV shows in which the majority of people of the ship crew or "the Federation" or the far-flung worlds of the galaxy are white are trying to present a conception of a white supremacist utopia. That doesn't mean that they can't be called to account for presenting a certain conception of what it is to a human of the future.

If the author/creator didn't intend the connotations of the work - if it didn't occur to him/her that presenting all humans as white; or presenting people whose cultures are predominantly non-urban and who are hostile to frontier colonisers as "inherently evil"; was a perpetuation of racist tropes - well that's the author's or creator's problem for not thinking stuff through. It doesn't mean they suddenly get to disown the meanings of their work.

And really I think these points are pretty basic. Why are we still debating them?
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
I think it is very difficult, if not impossible, to construct a presentation of an inherently evil culture/people by drawing upon the tropes that were readily available to 19th and early 20th century writers - who were steeped in a certain way of presenting the non-European peoples that Europe was in the process of conquering/colonising - and then simply try and stipulate that no association is intended. The work itself manifests a certain conception of what it is to be "savage", a "brute", and "inherently evil"; and it's hardly a subtle conception.

I'm sure that not all of those sci-fi films and TV shows in which the majority of people of the ship crew or "the Federation" or the far-flung worlds of the galaxy are white are trying to present a conception of a white supremacist utopia. That doesn't mean that they can't be called to account for presenting a certain conception of what it is to a human of the future.

If the author/creator didn't intend the connotations of the work - if it didn't occur to him/her that presenting all humans as white; or presenting people whose cultures are predominantly non-urban and who are hostile to frontier colonisers as "inherently evil"; was a perpetuation of racist tropes - well that's the author's or creator's problem for not thinking stuff through. It doesn't mean they
I think it is very difficult, if not impossible, to construct a presentation of an inherently evil culture/people by drawing upon the tropes that were readily available to 19th and early 20th century writers - who were steeped in a certain way of presenting the non-European peoples that Europe was in the process of conquering/colonising - and then simply try and stipulate that no association is intended. The work itself manifests a certain conception of what it is to be "savage", a "brute", and "inherently evil"; and it's hardly a subtle conception.

I'm sure that not all of those sci-fi films and TV shows in which the majority of people of the ship crew or "the Federation" or the far-flung worlds of the galaxy are white are trying to present a conception of a white supremacist utopia. That doesn't mean that they can't be called to account for presenting a certain conception of what it is to a human of the future.

If the author/creator didn't intend the connotations of the work - if it didn't occur to him/her that presenting all humans as white; or presenting people whose cultures are predominantly non-urban and who are hostile to frontier colonisers as "inherently evil"; was a perpetuation of racist tropes - well that's the author's or creator's problem for not thinking stuff through. It doesn't mean they suddenly get to disown the meanings of their work.

And really I think these points are pretty basic. Why are we still debating them?

of course I completely 100% agree with you. This is completely not debatable. And anyone who would try to debate this should be banned and removed from the board.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Interesting point, particularly since one of the criticisms I often see levied against 5e from gamers raised on 3e and 4e is "There's nothing to do with gold!"
Yeah it’s an odd dynamic. The DMG has all this advice for loot and treasure, but there is no...actual need for any of it beyond “folks like having magic items and getting coin.”
In the abstract, I do prefer to have magic items and other power-ups disconnected from the mundane economy. In practice, doing so would probably also require reducing the amount of expected loot, or at least provide a bunch of things to spend it on. There's also the issue that reducing the amount of magic items available generally hurts martial characters more than it does casters (because martials rely on items to do anything special), so you probably want to keep a fair influx of items into your game, but that then asks the question "If all these items are around, where do they come from, and why isn't there a market for them?"
Yeah I generally either have a world where more or less uncommon and common items are part of the economy, and rare and higher items are treated like fine art, OR I have very few magic items and PCs might have 1-3 items that are very personal and/or tie strongly in to the world.
 

Yeah it’s an odd dynamic. The DMG has all this advice for loot and treasure, but there is no...actual need for any of it beyond “folks like having magic items and getting coin.”
Well, for many magic items the benefit is giving new abilities. And that's not a benefit to be sneezed at in a system where martial characters in particular generally only get abilities that make them Hit Hard. I do find items with actual on-use abilities to be more interesting than those with just numerical upgrades. I do remember the 3.5e Magic Item Compendium which added a whole lot of low-level items that could be activated to do Cool Things, and it would be great to see more things like that for 5e. Things like "3 times per day, Dash as a bonus action" or "2 times per day, misty step" or "1/day as a reaction, negate all damage from one source."
Yeah I generally either have a world where more or less uncommon and common items are part of the economy, and rare and higher items are treated like fine art, OR I have very few magic items and PCs might have 1-3 items that are very personal and/or tie strongly in to the world.
I was considering the fine art angle, but it runs into one problem: art (particularly the high-end art that goes for millions of dollars) is more-or-less useless. Well, that's harsh – art fills a lot of very important functions in society, but they're not useful in the same way that a pair of winged boots are. So aristocrats aren't likely to hoard powerful items as tax shelters the way fine art is in the real world. If you acquire a magic item, you do so because you intend to use it, or at least place it in a position where it would potentially be used. Really powerful things might be kept in reserve, but that's very different from the way art is handled.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I think it is very difficult, if not impossible, to construct a presentation of an inherently evil culture/people by drawing upon the tropes that were readily available to 19th and early 20th century writers - who were steeped in a certain way of presenting the non-European peoples that Europe was in the process of conquering/colonising - and then simply try and stipulate that no association is intended. The work itself manifests a certain conception of what it is to be "savage", a "brute", and "inherently evil"; and it's hardly a subtle conception.
You're making a leap here, which I think is common and part of what has generated "Orcgate." You are saying that the creators of D&D drew upon the tropes of racism. This isn't really or necessarily correct, as far as I understand it. Rather, the 19th-20th century writers and the creators and designers of D&D drew from the same archetype, that of the "brutish, evil twisted person." It is a mythic archetype, and goes hundreds, even thousands, of years before the 19th century.

Meaning, an orc is a modern fantasy version of a mythic archetype. It isn't that the creators of D&D said, "the orc is a stand-in for the non-white other," it is that those earlier racist writers said "non-white people are orcs."

This is a subtle, but crucial difference that I think is at the heart of "Orcgate."

I'm sure that not all of those sci-fi films and TV shows in which the majority of people of the ship crew or "the Federation" or the far-flung worlds of the galaxy are white are trying to present a conception of a white supremacist utopia. That doesn't mean that they can't be called to account for presenting a certain conception of what it is to a human of the future.

If the author/creator didn't intend the connotations of the work - if it didn't occur to him/her that presenting all humans as white; or presenting people whose cultures are predominantly non-urban and who are hostile to frontier colonisers as "inherently evil"; was a perpetuation of racist tropes - well that's the author's or creator's problem for not thinking stuff through. It doesn't mean they suddenly get to disown the meanings of their work.
You will not find any disagreement from me that more diverse representation in TV and film is a good thing, although it also depends upon the premise and context of the show. If it is a story based on Northern European mythology like Lord of the Rings, it makes sense to remain true to the artist's vision. That's what Peter Jackson pretty much said, that he wasn't interested in injecting his own political view into the LotR films but trying to re-create Tolkien's own vision. So rather than "diversify LotR," I would suggest leaving it as an expression from a specific cultural milieu and author and instead create new expressions that draw from other cultures. What about an African epic? Or a Mesoamerican one? Etc. There is a world of mythology out there.

So yes, a Federation should be very diverse - it is derived from a future global culture, one that has largely moved beyond issues like racism and xenophobia, at least within humanity. But mythic proto-Europe, ala Middle-earth? It makes sense that all or most of the actors are from European descent.

As for "connotations," see my comment above. A D&D orc is drawn from a mythic archetype, which racist writers also drew from in their depiction of non-white people. That does not connect the orc to the racist depiction, it just means that they are both expressions of the same mythic archetype. The "connotation" is making an erroneous "lateral" leap, rather than recognizing the actual causal relation. An orc is an expression of a mythic archetype, not a racial stereotype.
And really I think these points are pretty basic. Why are we still debating them?

Because these basic points are coming from a specific hermeneutic angle and disregarding any other. It is an interpretation of the phenomena, not the phenomena itself. Whether or not this perspective is useful and has validity (I think it does, to a point) doesn't diminish the benefit of considering other perspectives. In truth, without considering other hermeneutics, we run the risk of a kind of mono-perspectival dogmatism, as if there is "one true way" to interpret everything.

So the points you make, and others have made, are pretty basic...from within a specific interpretative framework. By why not expand it and consider other perspectives? No hermeneutic is absolute, but I would suggest that we take a more dialectic approach, rather than the endless head-butting of one mono-perspective vs. the other.
 

pemerton

Legend
You're making a leap here, which I think is common and part of what has generated "Orcgate." You are saying that the creators of D&D drew upon the tropes of racism. This isn't really or necessarily correct, as far as I understand it. Rather, the 19th-20th century writers and the creators and designers of D&D drew from the same archetype, that of the "brutish, evil twisted person." It is a mythic archetype, and goes hundreds, even thousands, of years before the 19th century.
On these boards, @Doug McCrae has done the exegetical work. I'm not going to try to repeat it, and am not going to provide all the links.

But here are some links.

(And it's not as if Doug McCrae was the first to notice this. In 1987 I read a book which noted that, when Tolkien needed visual elements for his evil people, he deployed stereotyped images of Asian and Turkic peoples.)
 


pemerton

Legend
If it is a story based on Northern European mythology like Lord of the Rings, it makes sense to remain true to the artist's vision

<snip>

But mythic proto-Europe, ala Middle-earth? It makes sense that all or most of the actors are from European descent.
Huh? Perhaps the numerically largest group of performers in Jackson's LotR films are of Maori descent. They play the inherently evil people.

In skin tone and eye shape, if not genealogy, this more-or-less fits JRRT's stories which feature many non-European persons and peoples.
 

Mercurius

Legend
On these boards, @Doug McCrae has done the exegetical work. I'm not going to try to repeat it, and am not going to provide all the links.

But here are some links.

(And it's not as if Doug McCrae was the first to notice this. In 1987 I read a book which noted that, when Tolkien needed visual elements for his evil people, he deployed stereotyped images of Asian and Turkic peoples.)
You don't need to repeat it because not only it is it the main show these days, at least here and in similar contexts, but I understand it and even see it as partially valid, just rather narrow and monological. And yes, I remember McCrae's "exegesis." What I find baffling and troublesome is how advocates of this perspective, by and large, don't really consider others, as if it is either/or. Multi-perspectivism is, unfortunately, rather rare these days. But alas, that's just how it goes, I guess.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Not really. Europe has literally never been all white, and a “mythic” Europe that the author imagined as being a secret ancient history of Britain has no legitimate need to be all white.
Note that I wrote of European descent. You switched that to "white." And I even said most of, which you switched to "all."
Huh? Perhaps the numerically largest group of performers in Jackson's LotR films are of Maori descent. They play the inherently evil people.

In skin tone and eye shape, if not genealogy, this more-or-less fits JRRT's stories which feature many non-European persons and peoples.
Presumably that's because he wanted to give jobs to the people living in New Zealand!

Most, if not all, of the actors playing major roles were European, which makes sense considering that the venue of Middle-earth is basically "Mythic Europe." One could argue, though, that the people of Gondor should have been played by southern Europeans (Mediterranean).
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top