D&D 5E how 5E could work for players of all editions

I kicked this idea around on rpg.net but wanted to discuss further here in its own thread. 5E could appeal to 1E, 2E, 3E, and 4e players, in my opinion if the the focus of the base game rules is broadened.

Narrow focus started in 3.5. More complexity and more defining of the game took some of the work out of the DM's hands and put it into the game designers. If you liked the game designers work you were into the game but it you didn't it was much more difficult to pull the complex bits out.

For example, many posters who don't like 3E say that the casters are broken. And that feature is hardwired into the system in their minds: 3E equals quadratic wizards and linear fighters.

Many posters who don't like 4E say it plays like a boardgame. Measurement in squares (which started in 3.5), pushes, pulls, shifts, mini-teleports, marking, bloodied, and other rules that require tracking much of which is done visually with a map, minis, and extra bits (colored bases, skulls for bloodied, condition cards, power cards, magic item cards, etc.).

If, however, the vast sea of spells open to wizards was optional and the base wizard had less spells to choose from and the fighter had more options the game might appeal to more players. 4E started out giving almost equal rules to fighters and wizards but over time even 4E started to give a lot of rule space to the wizard. Tone that back and give equal rule space to wizards and fighters. Broadened scope and for those DMs who want quadratic wizards bring them back as an option (high magic setting).

For combat, simply include the basics. Initiative, movement, hitting, damage, and healing. Lots more options can be added later (high combat setting). Again, anyone can figure out how to pick up a d20 and roll over AC and do some dice of damage (either with sword, bow, or spell). Its all the extras that some DMs don't want that don't need to be baked right into the system.

If Wizards includes high magic and high combat as the first supplements, I think they could capture the needs of most D&D players. Anyone who likes rules from 2E and earlier would just need the base books. Anyone who likes 3E could get high magic. Anyone who likes 4E could get high combat.

If I go from my base book into a 5E high combat game I'd have to learn one more rulebook to play. Not too bad. Heck, Wizards might even be able to squeeze high magic and high combat into the basic rulebook (120 pages of basic rules, 100 pages of high magic, and 100 pages of high combat). Then if you had the PH you could play in any campaign whether inspired by 1E, 2E, 3E, or 4E. Have one book and you are good to go.
 

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MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I like yut idea, or at least the core of your idea, however the "plays like a board game" complain means less "wizards aren't powerfull" and more "Characters end up being so generic that only name and gender change between character sheets", so make it a "High customization" module and we are on the same channel. (I wouldn't mind an additional supplement named "Expanded Spellbook" released at the same time that the core, just to jave lots and lots of spells though)
 

underfoot007ct

First Post
I kicked this idea around on rpg.net but wanted to discuss further here in its own thread. 5E could appeal to 1E, 2E, 3E, and 4e players, in my opinion if the the focus of the base game rules is broadened.

Narrow focus started in 3.5. More complexity and more defining of the game took some of the work out of the DM's hands and put it into the game designers. If you liked the game designers work you were into the game but it you didn't it was much more difficult to pull the complex bits out.

For example, many posters who don't like 3E say that the casters are broken. And that feature is hardwired into the system in their minds: 3E equals quadratic wizards and linear fighters.

Many posters who don't like 4E say it plays like a boardgame. Measurement in squares (which started in 3.5), pushes, pulls, shifts, mini-teleports, marking, bloodied, and other rules that require tracking much of which is done visually with a map, minis, and extra bits (colored bases, skulls for bloodied, condition cards, power cards, magic item cards, etc.).

If, however, the vast sea of spells open to wizards was optional and the base wizard had less spells to choose from and the fighter had more options the game might appeal to more players. 4E started out giving almost equal rules to fighters and wizards but over time even 4E started to give a lot of rule space to the wizard. Tone that back and give equal rule space to wizards and fighters. Broadened scope and for those DMs who want quadratic wizards bring them back as an option (high magic setting).

For combat, simply include the basics. Initiative, movement, hitting, damage, and healing. Lots more options can be added later (high combat setting). Again, anyone can figure out how to pick up a d20 and roll over AC and do some dice of damage (either with sword, bow, or spell). Its all the extras that some DMs don't want that don't need to be baked right into the system.

If Wizards includes high magic and high combat as the first supplements, I think they could capture the needs of most D&D players. Anyone who likes rules from 2E and earlier would just need the base books. Anyone who likes 3E could get high magic. Anyone who likes 4E could get high combat.

If I go from my base book into a 5E high combat game I'd have to learn one more rulebook to play. Not too bad. Heck, Wizards might even be able to squeeze high magic and high combat into the basic rulebook (120 pages of basic rules, 100 pages of high magic, and 100 pages of high combat). Then if you had the PH you could play in any campaign whether inspired by 1E, 2E, 3E, or 4E. Have one book and you are good to go.

If you are suggestion that we have Two PHBs as core at launch, I say no. I'm sure they can fit everything into a single 300 page PHB.

Measuring movement in squares was 4E innovation, 3E still used feet, ie the Five foot step.
 

Kynn

Adventurer
Measuring movement in squares was 4E innovation, 3E still used feet, ie the Five foot step.

Actually, didn't 3e measure things in five-foot units?

Like, if you're 35 feet away from your enemy, you can run up to be 15 feet away, or be 5 feet away, but moving to something like 12 feet or 8 feet just wasn't defined.

You couldn't take a three-foot step or a six-foot step in 3e, could you?
 

Tequila Sunrise

Adventurer
Actually, didn't 3e measure things in five-foot units?

Like, if you're 35 feet away from your enemy, you can run up to be 15 feet away, or be 5 feet away, but moving to something like 12 feet or 8 feet just wasn't defined.

You couldn't take a three-foot step or a six-foot step in 3e, could you?
Right, and later 3e MMs began listing speeds in squares. (With equivalent feet in parenthesis.)

As to the OP, I'm sure 5e will work for players of every edition. Well, all except the most snobby. And I'm sure being able to play 1e or 2e or 3e or 4e style will be a bonus for a certain breed of DM. But honestly, most of us know which style we like and if we end up playing a different style, it's usually because someone else is DMing.

Personally I have no use for a PHB that tries to cram several styles into its pages, because I'm only going to DM one of those styles. And I already have an edition for that. Just working isn't enough for me, and I suspect isn't enough for many others. We'd rather have a refinement of our favored style, or something totally new.
 

underfoot007ct

First Post
Right, and later 3e MMs began listing speeds in squares. (With equivalent feet in parenthesis.)

As to the OP, I'm sure 5e will work for players of every edition. Well, all except the most snobby. And I'm sure being able to play 1e or 2e or 3e or 4e style will be a bonus for a certain breed of DM. But honestly, most of us know which style we like and if we end up playing a different style, it's usually because someone else is DMing.

Personally I have no use for a PHB that tries to cram several styles into its pages, because I'm only going to DM one of those styles. And I already have an edition for that. Just working isn't enough for me, and I suspect isn't enough for many others. We'd rather have a refinement of our favored style, or something totally new.

What DM wouldn't want to play his preferred style of play. What certain breed of DM are you ?

5E-Next may just "work" but it may be awesome, time will tell. As for something new, that was exactly what 4E was. So what something new are you asking for?
 

ren1999

First Post
Learning Pathfinder

I'm fully read up on Pathfinder now and I think that I understand why Wizards of the Coast simplified 4E.

What 5th Edition needs is a core rule book that contains just the basic rules.

Then in an advanced player's book some of the more complicated Pathfinder rules can be applied.

Even after reading carefully the Pathfinder's Beginner's box material, I still found that I needed to look up many spells to determine how they work. Many didn't even mention how to calculate the DC or said there was no save yet a reflex save was mentioned at the end.

4E is too simple and Pathfinder is too complex. We need something in the middle.

I purposed earlier, doing away with Fortitude, Reflex and Will and just using the Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence modifiers +10. That really goes a long way to cut down all the repetitive stuff I'm seeing.
 

Tequila Sunrise

Adventurer
What DM wouldn't want to play his preferred style of play. What certain breed of DM are you ?
What I mean is that most DMs have a single preferred style, and so having an edition that caters to many styles is no advantage. I'm sure there's a certain breed of DM who like to run an old skool dungeon crawl one week, then an AD&D political intrigue module the next week, then a 3e hexcrawl the next week, and then finish the month with a 4e 30th level showdown with Asmodeus.

But that's not most of us. Just working for many styles isn't enough, because most of us have better options. In fact, I'd consider this many-styles-in-one-PHB to be a waste of space and money. I've got much more of my favored style crammed into a previous PHB.
 

What I mean is that most DMs have a single preferred style, and so having an edition that caters to many styles is no advantage. I'm sure there's a certain breed of DM who like to run an old skool dungeon crawl one week, then an AD&D political intrigue module the next week, then a 3e hexcrawl the next week, and then finish the month with a 4e 30th level showdown with Asmodeus.

But that's not most of us. Just working for many styles isn't enough, because most of us have better options. In fact, I'd consider this many-styles-in-one-PHB to be a waste of space and money. I've got much more of my favored style crammed into a previous PHB.
I exactly believe the opposite is true:

With a game that can be used for many styles, DMs may be more open to try different things. If you believe in D&D 4e is only good for combat, you use it only that way... and in my experience 3rd edition and 4th edition work about as well in each game style, with different drawbacks. (Like 3rd edition universal problem solvers, both in and outside combat.)
 

underfoot007ct

First Post
What I mean is that most DMs have a single preferred style, and so having an edition that caters to many styles is no advantage. I'm sure there's a certain breed of DM who like to run an old skool dungeon crawl one week, then an AD&D political intrigue module the next week, then a 3e hexcrawl the next week, and then finish the month with a 4e 30th level showdown with Asmodeus.

But that's not most of us. Just working for many styles isn't enough, because most of us have better options. In fact, I'd consider this many-styles-in-one-PHB to be a waste of space and money. I've got much more of my favored style crammed into a previous PHB.

I am not sure who "most" of us are? If you have better play options why are you posting here. I'm not trying to be rude, but if you have a favored system already, which you seem to have. Why post here, if it is doubtful that 5E might be that system.
 

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