D&D 5E How Can D&D Next Win You Over?

Falling Icicle

Adventurer
So, what about you? What vain ambitions do you desire out of D&D Next? What promises does WotC have to deliver on? Can you be won over, and how?

I'd say that in order to win me over 5e has to be better than any of the editions that came before it. After all, if it's not, I see no reason to not just keep playing what I've been playing. That's stating the obvious, I know, but it really is as simple as that.

When I first heard about 5e, it sounded to me like they were aiming to make another retro-clone or 3.75 edition (or perhaps more accurately, a 2.75 edition with 3e mechanics and 2e feel and DM "empowerment"). I worried that the new edition was going to lack any real innovation or improvements over the older editions of the game. I've been pleasently surprised by how much they have innovated so far, with things like bounded accuracy, ability-score saving throws, skills being tied to background instead of class, and so forth.

While I could make a wish list pages long of things I'd love to see (or not see) in the new edition, the truth is, I'm never going to get everything I want. It's silly to expect as much (and I'll be honest, even if I did get everything I want, it may not turn out to be as much fun as I expect!).

Vancain casting, for example, is one sacred cow I'd like to see made into hamburger. But I know that isn't going to happen. I've come to accept that. Besides, I've had fun playing casters in the past despite it, and I'm sure I can have fun playing a vanican caster in the future, especially if they have at-will spells and rituals to make up for some of its biggest shortcomings. I think it's safe to say with 99.99% certainty that there will be a sorcerer in the new edition, so there's always that.

So as much as I might argue for or against certain things during the playtest, I'm trying not to draw too many lines in the sand. I could write entire essays about all of the rules I didn't like going back to 2e, and yet I had alot of fun playing the game then and since.
 

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In order to win me over:

1) Release the entire D&D back catalogue on pdf, at Drivethru or wherever. Make them IPad compatible.
2) Release a single core D&D branded book, or box set, that is complete and playable 'out-of-the-box', requiring no supplements, but is recognizably D&D.
3) Create a basic ruleset that celebrates the key distinction of D&D being the first RPG ever made - and not reliant upon miniatures and wargaming tropes in order to be able to play.
4) A decent range of Classes and Races without bloating the number to include weak non-archetypal concepts that simply pander to power game tendencies.
5) Nice art - that feels reminiscent of classic fantasy literature and not Final Fantasy XXVII.
 

Well, I'd take it if it was a 4E cleaned up. But that's kinda boring for a new edition and certainly not the plan for this one.

Ease of DMing

  • Easy monster creation rules
  • Easy encounter building guidelines
  • Frameworks for handling non-combat challenges
  • Frameworks for handling creation of cities, organiziations and generally a campaign world
  • Easy handling of NPCs during gameplay (easy to read stat-block, clearly formulated options)

Rich Gameplay Options

  • Rich Character Build Options (Classes, feats, skills, themes, backgrounds whatever)
  • Balanced Gameplay (all classes equally viable to play, mostly independent of DM's encounter design, with room for everyone to get some spotlight, simple and complex builds should both be viable)
  • Rich In-Game Options - I don't want to have how and dventure or combat plays out decided on my character sheet alone, I want to have the in-game situation affect what of my options are good ones and allow me to use them for different results.
Combat Features

  • Grid- and miniatures without losing tactical depth
  • Ways to have a short, simple combat and long, complex combats that explore the tactical depth of the game and are challenging and exciting.
Flavor

  • References to real world mythologies with an aim to make it work as a whole, not just "everything and the kitchen sink"
  • Monsters with interesting flavor that also can be mechanically reflected (without losing the option to re-flavor things)


A lot of these things 4E already has for me (without claiming it's perfect), and some aspects I really would like to see for a 4E "+".



One area of special interest to me is the "non-combat" area. I want better mechanical frameworks and guidelines there. Next may actually deliver something there in form of modules, but I remain skeptical whether such elements will really work if they are not built into core.
 

Balesir

Adventurer
DDN would interest me if it presented a system coherent within itself. I don't have any specific requirements regarding style or such like; what I want is a system that supports its chosen style or styles without internal contradiction or tension. The stuff about the "15 minute adventuring day" is an example of what I mean by "tension" - what the system is saying is "good play" is at odds with how the system and style will work well. I don't want to have to keep manhandling the game to ameliorate or otherwise work around such glitches in the base system. Other than that I'm actually open to see whatever interesting stuff the designers can put together. :)
 


Raith5

Adventurer
I think they'd have to do a new total 180 on the direction they've taken 5E so far in order to really sell me on the game...

I want a game that takes the core of 4E, and works to improve its many flaws to create a better game from 4E's solid foundation. For example, the entire power system could be thoroughly revised and improved, various subsystems like Paragon Paths and such would need to be completely replaced, magic items could be improved by reducing magic item dependency to the limit, and so on. The total removal of "per day" abilities and mechanics would be a great thing, as well.

I don't want to see the continued use of the mechanical and mathematical foundation from pre-3E days, because it simply doesn't work. I can tolerate a lot of different things I dislike from older editions, but the game seriously needs to have the math right before I'll consider it. A large amount of transparency with the mechanics and a lack of reliance on DM fiat are important, too.

Most of all, I just want to see something new. Something never done before with D&D. Something that was never seen in 3E or 4E and something that can't be provided by the countless competing alternatives to D&D. I want a version of D&D that will let me play as a werewolf from level 1, as a knight who rides a dragon into battle (using the RAW!), or as a mighty warrior of myth who can defeat a thousand armed soldiers in a single battle. I want a game that brings more fun classes like the Warden, Shaman, or Warlord to the forefront or brings in mechanics as fun and flavorful as the styles of the Book of the Nine Swords. I want to see something exciting.

I agree 100% with this post, both in terms of wanting to see the mechanics of 4th revived but also being critical of how these mechanics were put into place with 4th ed. I like my mechanics front and centre but this could be done in other ways than the way 4th did it.

But I especially agree with wanting to see something new. I know the history of D&D is interesting and I like nostalgia like most folk, I just dont want to see DDN beholden to this past.
 

Derren

Hero
5E must completely ignore everything from 4E and improve the 3E design to allow more varied gamestyles.
Going classless would also be nice but thats not going to happen.
 

Shadeydm

First Post
I want flexibility and to play the game I want. I want to be able to make the game fit the adventure I want to run, not change the adventure I want to run to accommodate the quirks of the system.

For example, I changed how I wrote adventures for 4th Edition. I stopped doing investigative modules or overland travel adventures because of how potent the PCs were if they fought just one creature in a day.
I had to frequently stop and wonder "how am I going to add 3-5 treasure parcels to this adventure?" or "how can I add monsters to this fight for the appropriate amount of xp?"

As a second example, my forthcoming game (starting in two weeks) is a Pathfinder game. The PCs use NPC classes only and the basic stat array (13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8). Because the game is set in Ravenloft and I want them to be afraid: I don't want them to think like heroes or assume they have the advantage and charge into combat.
I'm further customizing the game with Armour as DR rules and wound/vitality from Ultimate Combat as well as a modification of the Defence system from Unearthed Arcana and d20 Modern.

While I expect 5e to come out of the gate with a very simple version of the rules, and expansions that let you tweak the game into something closer to 3e and 4e, I hope they'll have even more customization after.
Where I can play something like my Ravenloft game. Or just as easily play a 1e mod just updating the monster statblocks and DCs and not rebuilding every encounter. Or let me play Rise of the Runelords just doing the same.

That's how they can win me over.

That about sums it up for me. I don't want many of the default playstyle assumption of 4E (or even 3E for that matter) forced onto my game. I want to be able to pick and choose some of those elements when they suit the story I'm trying to tell or the campaign I want to run. So far I think things are heading in the right direction but its still too early to say for sure.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
Much as I disagree with this:
4e had a solution to the power disparity between casters and non-casters
4e combat math worked all the way from level one up into epic.
4e had monsters that worked within the action economy, whether the party was fighting one creature or a horde.
I completely agree with this.
In order to win me over, Next would have to meaningfully address all of the problems with 3e and earlier that were addressed by 4e.

...

Now, just because 4e had solutions to 3e's problems, doesn't mean they had the best solutions. I'd be fine if DDN solved these problems in entirely different ways than 4e. I don't necessarily want to see AEDU return, for example.

But I have the sense that the DDN designers don't care about those issues at all. It seems like, because 4e wasn't a success, they decided that all of the problems that 4e was trying to fix aren't really problems after all. Unless the design of DDN can convince me otherwise, I'm skipping it.
Unless 5e fixes the problems of 3e and is meaningfully better, there's no reason to buy it when 3e is still free. Also, I find it refreshing to see a 4e voice that cares about the outcomes but isn't married to the mechanics.
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
Needs to have an open license agreement. Doesn't have to be the OGL, if that's not exactly the direction they want to go, but it has to be pretty darn open. Also it has to allow for the game to be supported and published even after a new edition comes out.

If they can't/won't offer this, then I'm fine playing other games instead.

Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with what I've seen so far.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
All they need to do, for me, is produce a game that is fun to play.

I set no requirements of how it functions specifically as compared to 3e, or 4e. I don't have requirements based on licensing, or the number of books, or whether minis are involved, or whether one form of magic is present or not.

I want to pick up the game, and judge it on its own merits. I don't want o set arbitrary "It must to X," because that kind of requirement can blind me to the fact that the game may also do W, Y, and Z, and actually be fun even if the thing I thought I needed wasn't there.

There are more ways to make a good game than are imagined in my philosophy - my preconceptions are not the only way to my having fun.
 



Mercule

Adventurer
All they need to do, for me, is produce a game that is fun to play.
That pretty much covers it, for me. The catch is what I consider fun.

The times I've had the most fun gaming in my life have been in systems where the GM is allowed a significant amount of flexibility in dealing with situations, but there is sufficient framework for the players to be able to make reasonable decisions. For the most part, that means that AD&D provided me the most fun. That isn't to say it didn't have flaws. I very intentionally stopped playing AD&D, in the mid 1990s, because it had flaws that were not fun.

Still, a return to the "just enough rules" feel that AD&D had (to me) would be welcome, so long as they provide fixes for at least some of the weaknesses. The two biggest keys are having a skill system and having some way to differentiate two characters of the same class in small (classes are important) but meaningful ways. It sounds like the skill system will be substantively different from either 3e or 4e, but still present. Feats are, of course, the character tweak mechanism of choice. Those inclusions have me hopeful, even if we don't have all the details.

Note that I'm not saying that I just want AD&D with skills and feats. I am saying that there are elements of flexibility and GM empowerment that I'd love to see included in 5e, though.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
That pretty much covers it, for me. The catch is what I consider fun.

Of course. But, part of my point is that I am willing to just play it and decide if it is fun, rather than pre-judge it based on a set of attributes.

Whether they've won me over will be decided by empirical means, not theoretical ones. Like my Mom taught me, long ago, concerning dinners - you need to try a bit of it first before you decide you don't like it.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Of course. But, part of my point is that I am willing to just play it and decide if it is fun, rather than pre-judge it based on a set of attributes.

Whether they've won me over will be decided by empirical means, not theoretical ones. Like my Mom taught me, long ago, concerning dinners - you need to try a bit of it first before you decide you don't like it.
Darn Internet. I was actually agreeing with you, then continuing on to answer the implied question of "and what do you think would be fun?"

The play test has definitely shown me enough that I'm planning on trying the final release.
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
All they need to do, for me, is produce a game that is fun to play.

I set no requirements of how it functions specifically as compared to 3e, or 4e. I don't have requirements based on licensing, or the number of books, or whether minis are involved, or whether one form of magic is present or not.

Sure, and if the OP is asking what it would take to make fifth edition a fun game that I will play now and then, then I can agree with you. However, I took the 0P to mean something more like "what would it take to make DND your game again?", which is exactly what Mike Mearls said he would like fifth edition to accomplish. That's a much higher bar to reach.

Thus, more stringent standards on my part.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
All they need to do, for me, is produce a game that is fun to play.

That may get me to BUY it- it did for 4Ed- but that isn't quite enough for it to become "D&D" to me...which is how I interpret "win you over."

As things stand right now, 4Ed is a game I enjoy playing, but it lacks a certain something that helps me feel like I'm actually playing "D&D" and not some other good FRPG.
 

Harlock

First Post
All they need to do, for me, is produce a game that is fun to play.

I set no requirements of how it functions specifically as compared to 3e, or 4e. I don't have requirements based on licensing, or the number of books, or whether minis are involved, or whether one form of magic is present or not.

I want to pick up the game, and judge it on its own merits. I don't want o set arbitrary "It must to X," because that kind of requirement can blind me to the fact that the game may also do W, Y, and Z, and actually be fun even if the thing I thought I needed wasn't there.

There are more ways to make a good game than are imagined in my philosophy - my preconceptions are not the only way to my having fun.

Yes. I mean to stick with D&D Next. I expect everyone here to give it a try, whether or not they purchase the books first. I'll buy it and try it just to see how it plays and if it offers more than my current edition of choice, great! And don't think if it isn't on my or anyone else list we may not stick with it. Obviously a game can offer me something I didn't even know I wanted and make the things I wanted look not so important. Just consider this a wish list thread, I suppose.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Win me over? If I could pick up any module with a letter/number designation on it and run it with conversions on the fly for any of the material within.

That means, I can use the game with B2, X1, S2, U1-U3, etc.

Honestly though, I couldn't even do that in 3E. But the more I can get use out of my BECMI, 1E, 2E, and 3E materials with 5E, the happier I would be. The less conversion required, the closer to "perfect" it would be.

And just to note, I'm not against it working with 4E stuff, it's just not on my priority list.
 

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