D&D 5E How Can D&D Next Win You Over?

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First Post
It could cease to exist.


It's not to everyone's taste, but 4e is far and away the best at what it does, and is actually a unique entry into the market. Let 4e "be D&D" for a decade. Reprint old systems occasionally, maybe, but the community doesn't really need 5e. I've seen NOTHING from the 5e playtest that made me want to use it over anything else I have on my shelf RIGHT NOW.

If I want fast, easy-to-play rules that don't totally sacrifice tactics? Savage Worlds nails it. If I want "classic" D&D? I've got hundreds of megabytes of OSR retroclones on PDF, print-on-demand, and my Rules Cyclopedia. If I want a more modern take on "classic" D&D, I've got Pathfinder (with excellent GM material from Paizo) and Fantasy Craft (which frankly blows every other d20 system out of the water). If I want "gritty" fantasy, I've got Runequest / Legend.

But if 5e is going to have ANY chance of winning me over, it needs to be FAR AND AWAY the most deeply supported version of D&D EVER. It needs to be OGL. It needs to allow third-party publishers to create supplements, modules, and settings. It needs if not innovative at least COMPETENT digital support. It needs to be available on PDF so I can use it with my Android tablet. There needs to be so much cool stuff available for it that I can't HELP but want to buy it. Every time I walk into my FLGS, if I'm not tempted to walk out with $100+ of D&D Next stuff, then it's a failure in my book. I've probably spent $700-800 on RPG stuff the last 24 months. Other than a $20 set of dungeon tiles, not a cent of that has been on WotC stuff.

I forget who said it in another thread, but it's absolutely the truth--I don't need D&D Next, but it definitely needs me.

I like that last line. And I think that may be what WotC are going for. They want to go after the three major splits, as I see them: Grognards (I despise that term, but it is convenient here), 3.x/Pathfinder, 4e.

My personal opinion, at this point in time, is that they simply cannot do this unless they actually support three different versions of the game, two of which are already receiving a great deal of support from the OGL industry and 4e will obviously receive that same support from its fans and companies. Of course, reprinting could go a long way (1e core books and 3.5 reprints already released or announced), especially if they stick with editionless support, like the recent Menzo setting.

In order to win me over, 5e needs to be significantly better at providing me with a D&D experience than my current edition of choice (3e). As for what that actually means, it is both ill-defined and necessarily subjective - I'll know it when I see it.

In particular, I'm not particularly interested in 'modularity'. If I have to make significant changes from the Core, whether these are house rules or are the "official house rules" that modules represent, the game will quickly reach a point where it's just not worth my effort. I know that's a very demanding requirement, but there it is: the Core needs to nearly match my requirements in order to win me over.

Hey, nothing wrong with being selfish! We all want what we want and that is subjective. We all have fun in different ways. If I am to be completely honest, I made this thread to see if I was even close to being the target audience for 5e. I'm not completely convinced that I am! Sometimes I feel lost in the shuffle because the edition warring seems to pit 3.x vs. 4e most often. And, frankly, I am quite happy with C&C and not really looking for another system. That's why I selfishly listed I want a published commitment from WotC to stick with 5e for at least a decade.

If conversion to 5e was painless and simple, and I knew it was going to be supported for at least ten years, I could maybe justify the switch. That's still a big maybe. I'm knocking on the door of forty years old. Sticking with a system feels more important to me now than having the latest greatest toys to play with. My campaign and world are more important than the system in which they run.

I have really enjoyed reading everyone else's ideas and choices. We are a diverse bunch! I admit where some see weakness, I see strengths and vice versa. I loved the comment about D&D needing to be able to support Airbenders and Jedi more than traditional fantasy elements. To me, a good core game mechanic can support any genre. If it's balanced well, I think it can support them at the same game and table! I hear Savage Worlds is really good at this. It would be great to have a Jedi, Wuxia Monk, Grim Fighting Man, Billy the Kid and a Caveman as a party.

In the end, I hope we somehow all get what we want. I suppose I am just being a Pollyanna, but I hate that the greatest, most famous roleplaying game system in the world can't support some folks. Impossible dream? Maybe, but screw it, that's how I feel.


I honestly don't think a new rules set is going to be what brings people back to D&D and WotC, and it certainly won't bring me back in. It will definitely help for WotC to put out a barebones game system that can accommodate the vast array of material already out there, but primarily they need to be looking at ways to bring the gamers back into the fold.

So, what will?

There needs to be a new renaissance of sorts that brings all these amazing products coming out under one roof.

I'll re-post something I put up on Google+.

WotC needs to harness the exact power that's killing them: individual creativity.

D&D has always been about that, with homebrew worlds, campaigns, adventures, monsters, etc. It's just, people didn't really have a way to publish to the masses.

With the OGL and so many different creations out there that take advantage of it and the ease of internet publishing, now WotC isn't just competing with Paizo or whatever, but all of the amazing creative minds out there. Just take a look at all of the amazing, talented work coming out right now. Why would I buy the next generic WotC adventure when I can buy Hammers of the Gods?

So, what can WotC do? They can "publish" it all.

Create D&D Next as a hub for all that content. Create a barebones, lean and clean system that can be hacked to pieces and then provide a sort of "App Store" for D&D Mods / Hacks / Adventures / Settings / etc. And, use an App Store-like system for ratings, reviews, featured content, etc.

There are some hurdles of course. They'll need guidelines on PDF design and logos and all that. But, people were fine using the OGL - why not this system? And, instead of leaving the OGL out there for someone to make money off of the game without WotC getting a cut, WotC can actually profit by taking a small fee for each transaction in exchange for the server space and distribution (like Apple does with the app store).

People are creating it anyways, so why not give them the tools to get it to the largest audience? Imagine if the next Into the Odd or Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque or Lamentations of the Flame Princess or Adventurer Conqueror King were simply modules for D&D Next? Now, those creators might not actually go that route, but there are certainly people out there that might take advantage.​

In truth, right now there are so many different variations of the game that making yet another variation with dozens of splatbook modules just isn't going to cut it. People are going to other sources for their D&D stuff.

So, what will bring me onboard with D&D Next?

It won't be whether D&D Next has healing surges or not... Or, Vancian casting... Or, whatever.

What will likely bring me into the fold is if WotC created an umbrella of inclusion for all types of gameplay and ideas and settings and modules and rules variations that is easily accessible by everyone and allows people to get their ideas out there. That won't be through rules, it'll be through something bigger than that.

There should be no D&D "Insider", because every single D&D player of one sort or another, from OD&Ders to 4Eers should be included and allowed to share ideas and concepts. Then, let each DM or player pick and choose what they like for their various styles. But, there's a central nexus where we all meet and exchange these ideas.

And, that's the future of D&D to me.


Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
D&D Next can win me over very quickly and very easily, actually. All I ask is for more DIY stuff, and less of the pre-packaged stuff.

For example, I want rules for creating my own monsters, and maybe a hundred examples. I do not want two, three, four textbooks full of random yet ready-to-use monsters.

I want rules for creating my own PC races, and a half-dozen examples. I do not want twenty or thirty different races to sort through.

I want rules for creating my own character classes, and maybe a half-dozen examples. I do not want thirty flavors of Fighter, Wizard, and Fighter-Wizard all mashed together.

I want rules and guidelines for creating my own campaigns, and a single (generic) default setting. I do not want book after book of campaign settings to crowd my shelf.

And so on. I want more "Here's How," and less "Use This." With the right tools, I can make the game into anything that I or my players could ever want. Gimme those tools.


I realize this makes me part of a very, very, (very) small minority in this part of the realm. Most people will want to be able to just open a book, grab the stats for a zombie, and go with it...and they will want it to be the same zombie stats that their friend used in his game last weekend. That's fine. McDonald's has the best-selling hamburger for the same reason.

And I also realize that my idea will not work at all from a sales point of view; Hasbro wants (needs?) to sell textbook after textbook full of monsters, races, classes, and everything else. It is not in their best interest to give us the tools we need to build for ourselves the things they hope to later sell us.

Ah well. That's my dream, anyway. It won't happen, at least not for a long while. So I'll buy the book and I'll play it for a couple of weeks, and then decide if it's the game for me. And if it isn't, well, it won't be the first time.
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Lord Zardoz

At the moment, I think that I am more likely to join a game as a PC than a DM for 5th Edition. There are too many things about the ruleset that I am paranoid about (I have not tried the playtest).

I would need the following things present at least in a Rules Module form if not in the core.

Robust Combat / Class Balance: I cannot guarantee every player shows up to every game. I do not want to put together an encounter that goes from trivial to TPK based on one player being at the table, and I do NEVER want to feel like I need to balance a combat based around the power set of a single character. This has the following consequences:

- I do not want to have 1st level fighters with absurdly min-maxed damage output from a single attack.
- I do not want to have spell casters that are either 'terrible untrained archers' at low levels after one encounter but can solo most encounters later due to using spell combos (the old fly + fireball + improved invis combo).
- I do not want 'Scry-Buff-Die' tactics to be a problem at any level of play
- I do not want a magic item christmas tree player.
- I do not want a fighter class where the only difference between 1st and 30th level are bigger +X to hit and damage numbers.
- I do not want a cleric is is a glorified combat medic
- I do not want a cleric that is the perfect synthesis of caster and melee combatant.
- I do not want 'save or suck' spells or effects that put players OR monsters entirely out of a fight.
- I do not want players looking for hordes of overlapping buffs via spells and magic items.

On the more positive note:
- I do want fighters to have a way to occasionally make area attacks (even if they are 'close burst').
- I want monsters and encounters that can be easily scaled up or down based on number of players at the table.
- I want Minions, or something mechanically identical
- I want all classes to be able to be useful outside of combat
- I want monster creation to not be tied to PC creation (ie, 4th edition monsters), but I want the option of creating a NPC / villain using PC abilities (ie, 3rd Edition monsters).
- I want spells / rituals that encourage creative / goofy problem solving.
- I want to create the threat of defeat in every balanced combat I put out (ie, no cake walks, if I am going to have players roll initiative, it had better carry the implied threat of impending peril).
- I want low level monsters to stay viable at higher levels.
- I want published adventures intended for 6th level characters to have combat encounters balanced for 6th level characters. This means I do not want to see any 10th level monsters showing up when my players are still 6th level.

As an aside, one thing I liked about 4th edition design is that all classes could benefit from new powers and abilities that were published later. Previous editions had spell casters benefit disproportionately from power creep. With 4th edition, all classes would benefit at about the same pace. Power creep sucks, but I would rather not have future products turn a balanced character into one I have to plan my adventures and encounters around.

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First Post
I realize this makes me part of a very, very, (very) small minority in this part of the realm. Most people will want to be able to just open a book, grab the stats for a zombie, and go with it...and they will want it to be the same zombie stats that their friend used in his game last weekend.

Actually, being in the minority actually makes this:

And I also realize that my idea will not work at all from a sales point of view; Hasbro wants (needs?) to sell textbook after textbook full of monsters, races, classes, and everything else. It is not in their best interest to give us the tools we need to build for ourselves the things they hope to later sell us.

More feasible in my mind. I love to know how things work. I also love easy to use, plug-n-play type stuff. The small amount of custom stuff I did would in no way affect how much stuff I buy, because I am quite content doing a few different things for flavor but I am very busy and gaming time is mostly for read-throughs and then actually gaming.

Great ideas!


First Post
Good Adventures.

Really, I did not leave 4e behind because I thought it was beyond redemption (although some of my players did think exactly that) but because the published adventure were like pieces of s**t compared to paizos APs. So going PF was simply much easier if I wanted to have good adventure material (and a system that appealed to all of my players).


I think one of the best ways to win people over is to make it super-easy for people to run older D&D adventures with D&DN. I've playtested D&DN with some BECMI modules. They run well, but it takes a little work to figure out the details. It's the sort of thing that the fan base is perfectly capable of, but WotC would benefit if there was a single place to share and comment on conversions.

I would suggest:
1) Publishing conversion guides for various editions of D&D. Most of the time, you will just substitute monsters, but each edition's style of game has some quirks. For example, BECMI modules tend to have literal save-or-die poison traps and a gobs of treasure (probably there to provide xp).

2) Providing a web-based location for fans to post non-IP-violating conversions of existing adventures (organized in a sensible way), and allowing other fans to comment on the conversions they like. (WotC participating in commenting on or suggesting edits to conversions would be a place, but is hardly necessary.)

3) Providing a mechanism to buy PDFs of old adventures. This will allow new folks to make use of old adventures, build goodwill with old folks by providing support to earlier editions and encourage the use of D&DN with different styles of gameplay.

Personally, I think D&DN will have succeeded when it is relatively easy to run a Pathfinder AP using D&DN. That will show that it's possible to use D&DN to run a 3.x/PF style game, and that there is enough demand for the (hopefully faster and less finicky) D&DN rules system that folks want to use the great Paizo adventures with the D&DN rules.


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