D&D 5E How Can D&D Next Win You Over?

I get that some people really like 4e over all other game systems and won't switch, but I just can't imagine that the majority of the community is that way.
I have no idea of the relative numbers, but I can see two - maybe 3 - reasons for starting to get edition-insistent with 4e.

One is obvious enough: you find it to be a better game. Sure, 3e was great, at the time, but 4e is better, you don't want to go back. For that matter, AD&D was fun for a long while, but once you had 3e, why go back? 5e doesn't need to /be/ 4e to satisfy this set, it needs to convince them it's /better/ than 4e. As they've gone from one ed to another, clearly, in the past they've found each ed better than the last, so past performance is on WotC's side with them.

Another is the same reason so many are so insistent on 3.5 or 1e or 2e - because they started with it and it defined the game for them. IMPX, there are a lot more new-to-D&D players of 4e than there were under 3e. I don't think it attracted particularly more (particularly as it had less than half the time to do it), but I get the feeling it retained a lot more of them. Suitability for casual play and new-player introduction had something to do with that, as did the relative ease of DMing. In any case, there's not a lot to be done about it, power of first impressions and all.

Finally, of course, there's just getting in the habit of pushing back against the edition war. 4e was embattled from the start, and that inspires an attitude.
 
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Ahnehnois

First Post
One is obvious enough: it's a better game. Sure, 3e was great, at the time, but 4e is better, you don't want to go back. For that matter, AD&D was fun for a long while, but once you had 3e, why go back? 5e doesn't need to /be/ 4e to satisfy this set, it needs to be /better/ than 4e. Funny thing is, past performance says it should be, but the playtest and spin coming out of WotC doesn't. But, this is the first open playtest - maybe all playtests started this rough and backwards and un-encouraging? :shrug:

Another is the same reason so many are so insistent on 3.5 or 1e or 2e - because they started with it and it defined the game for them. IMPX, there are a lot more new-to-D&D players of 4e than there were under 3e. I don't think it attracted particularly more (particularly as it had less than half the time to do it), but I get the feeling it retained a lot more of them. Suitability for casual play and new-player introduction had something to do with that, as did the relative ease of DMing.

Finally, of course, there's just getting in the habit of pushing back against the edition war. 4e was embattled from the start, and that inspires an attitude.
Besides the IMO that [MENTION=19675]Dannyalcatraz[/MENTION] noted, I don't particularly disagree with most of that. I just struggle to see these reasons as accounting for the 50-75% figure originally quoted. I don't even know that the 3-4 transition lost *that many* people, and I struggle to imagine them repeating the creative and business decisions that led to that.
 

It's different this time.

Every edition change up to this point has been about improving the game and taking it forward. 5E is the first edition change designed to take the game backwards towards how it used to be.

I think people would be more open to "new and improved" than "back to the past".
 

Obryn

Hero
I just have a hard time believing that. Most 4e players did play and enjoy other versions of the game, and yet were (to put it diplomatically) open-minded enough to accept 4e. But despite their enjoyment of other versions of the game and their open-mindedness, if 5e looks anything like the rest of D&D, the majority of them will bail?
"Bail" is such a weird word here.

I'll play any edition of D&D, but I only have time for one. I only have the energy to DM one, too. So, if I'm running a 4e game that my players and I are enjoying, why in the world would I change it to Next? To consider it, it would need to provide a lot of the (IMO) improvements I've gotten used to in my D&D.

I want Next to do two things: I want it to be as fun to run as 4e, and I want it to be something different from every edition that's come before. I don't need a new AD&D, 3e, or 4e ... I already have those. I want a qualitatively different 5e that keeps up with the innovations that have come before.

-O
 

If the only thing that differentiates a spell from a martial exploit is that one is called a spell than that's unimaginative design.
Being 'called' a spell means that a power is arcane. Swapping the arcane keyword, alone, would mean it was no longer called a spell. Find a spell that, swapping out /only/ the arcane keyword, is identical to an exploit. Post the spell and the exploit. Or a retraction.
When limited to comparisons with other 4th edition powers, are different and therefor must not be spells.
I'll take that as a retraction.

However, when compared with all other potential implementations of martial exploits versus spells, are much more alike than not.

That's pretty much the gist of it; I'm saying 4e fighters cast spells, and everyone else in the discussion is saying they're not.
You're saying that, but, above, you admit that it's not true. Your assertion then is that powers are more like powers than they are like things that are nothing like powers. Which, as Manbearcat might have pointed out, is yet another meaningless tautology.

To illustrate how meaningless, we could compare the 3.0 fighter to the 3.0 wizard using the same logic. Both are Classes and have BAB, HD, and skill point progressions, and both gain bonus feats - all as they level. Those are similarities.

Now compare them both to characters from RuneQuest. The RuneQuest characters do not have classes, gain levels, and do not have BAB, hit dice, skill points or feats. Therefor, the Fighter and Wizard are more like eachother than they are to RuneQuest characters, therefor they are the same.

See? Bogus.
 

Again, in your opinion.
While 4e is arguably a better game by a number of reasonable measures, that's not what I was getting at. What I meant in this case was that a reason to become insistent about 4e when in the past you'd changed editions readily enough could, obviously, be that you found it to be a better game. I'll re-phrase my original post to clarify that intended meaning.
 
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It's different this time.
Throughout human history, people have said things like that right before they repeated a well-known blunder of the past. ;)

Every edition change up to this point has been about improving the game and taking it forward. 5E is the first edition change designed to take the game backwards towards how it used to be.
There's been some of that. 3.0 had the 'back to the dungeon' campaign, for instance, that was reaching back to the 'dungeon crawl' style of early D&D after a decade of 2e setting-focus. 4e reversed (well, didn't directly build upon) 3e's dramatic changes (improvements, IMHO) to multi-classing. Maybe it'll turn out to be to a greater degree this time around.

I think people would be more open to "new and improved" than "back to the past".
Both can be solid marketing. It just depends on the target market. If the target market is 40-something, well-healed, and nostalgic, 'back to the past' can make you a bundle.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
What I meant in this case was that a reason to become insistent about 4e when in the past you'd changed editions readily enough could, obviously, be that you found it to be a better game.

I understand...but also feel that the split in the fanbase is because a goodly number of players feel just as strongly about 3.5Ed, and as such, have no desire to tread further down the path 4Ed tries to blaze. You could swap out the edition numbers in your paragraph and lose none of its truth value.

(Said as someone who started out in 1977, and was happy with the game's overall design trajectory until 2007...)

Don't get me wrong- there are things I do like about 4Ed, and I've stated so on these very boards- but it never offered me what I liked about my prior experiences in the game. (Indeed, it utterly emasculated my preferred method of PC design, namely multiclassing.)
 
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I understand...but also feel that the split in the fanbase is because a goodly number of players feel just as strongly about 3.5Ed
Obviously. And because they had the SRD & then Pathfinder to rally around. But the question was about why 4e players might be insistent, not about 3.5 players, nor why 4e players might go over to 5e in spite of such insistence (lack of any ongoing support is likely to encourage that, the last 4e product has been released, afterall).

One important factor we don't know about yet is how 'open source' 5e is going to be. If it comes with something like the GSL...
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
OGL or GSL matters, but I think the PR battle for the hearts & minds of the 4Edphiles will be won or lost on how they handle the digital side of things.

I am one of only 2 people I personally know or game with who play 4Ed and have bought any of the physical books. All of the rest of them are digital only.

Which means if/when 4Ed online resources are no longer supported by WotC in favor of 5Ed tools, the WotC Ninjas will have effectively gotten into those guys houses and stolen their books. Even as a proponent of 3.5Ed, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that the lower cost of operating a digital media outlet will encourage WotC/Hasbro to keep 4Ed "in print" online, even as the books slowly disappear from shelves...even if they charge a reduced rate for "4Ed only" access.

1) Goodwill of that kind is a relatively cheap buy; and,

2) if it proves to continue to be at least marginally profitable, it may encourage them to release similar online tools for the rest of their IP...not just prior editions of D&D, but other products like Gamma World, Alternity, Everway, Primal Order...maybe even some of the old boardgames.
 

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