5.5E I think we are on the cusp of a sea change.

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
As much as you and I may enjoy this kind of in depth lore, a lot of people simply don't care. Most people wouldn't be able to point out Columbia or Brazil on a map much less have any clue that the cultures are different. For that matter if I'm being honest while I know where the locations you listed are, I wouldn't know enough about the cultures to really distinguish them.

The point is that the nation/faction exists not that you know the lore of it

The idea is that high elves, wood elves, dark elves, deep elves, and light elves would all have their home home countries. The lore wouldn't be deep so the players and DMs could make up most of it.

A 2021 setting would look like an isekai
 

log in or register to remove this ad

The point is that the nation/faction exists not that you know the lore of it

The idea is that high elves, wood elves, dark elves, deep elves, and light elves would all have their home home countries. The lore wouldn't be deep so the players and DMs could make up most of it.

A 2021 setting would look like an isekai
isekai is a dying genre in 21 as its explosions were a late 2010's thing only the big ones are really still going.
 

Argyle King

Legend

I think backgrounds are a cool idea but one which could have been given a little more substance as a way to cover a lot of the cultural/racial/ethnic stuff that is part of a character.

Tool proficiency doesn't seem as though it was fully finished.

I think using HP as the primary way of scaling difficulty makes encounter and monster design somewhat wonky and leads to combat which is a weird combo of 3E's swinginess and 4E's grind at later levels.

Feats... new books continue to introduce more, but a character usually only gets 4-5 choices and those choices already compete with ability score increases.

"Natural Language" as used in 5E neither comes across as natural nor does it give a clear idea about how certain things are supposed to work. Yeah... rulings not rules; I get that, but a lot of rules issues could be avoided with clearer language.

Bounded accuracy sorta works, but it also sorta doesn't as the game continues to introduce more ways to get +1s which stack. Likewise, supposedly magic items are optional because of bounded accuracy, but monster design doesn't appear to support that.
 

Scribe

Hero
But I think beyond presentation there are come actual underlaying changes in what people want. Albeit most had happened by the 1990s.
This is what I mean though, and was agreeing with you. Despite my age making it easy to think 'oh its the 2000's whatever' its actually almost 2022...and most of the changes you are describing are OLD OLD at this point. Eberron Campaign Setting was 2004.

I mean again maybe its just me, but I still just 'oh 2000's sure whatever' without thinking its been TWENTY YEARS.

The art, has imo a MASSIVE impact on the amount of pushback from certain segments of the population, because the inclusiveness issue's mechanically, were mostly already handled.
 

I think backgrounds are a cool idea but one which could have been given a little more substance as a way to cover a lot of the cultural/racial/ethnic stuff that is part of a character.

Tool proficiency doesn't seem as though it was fully finished.

I think using HP as the primary way of scaling difficulty makes encounter and monster design somewhat wonky and leads to combat which is a weird combo of 3E's swinginess and 4E's grind at later levels.

Feats... new books continue to introduce more, but a character usually only gets 4-5 choices and those choices already compete with ability score increases.

"Natural Language" as used in 5E neither comes across as natural nor does it give a clear idea about how certain things are supposed to work. Yeah... rulings not rules; I get that, but a lot of rules issues could be avoided with clearer language.

Bounded accuracy sorta works, but it also sorta doesn't as the game continues to introduce more ways to get +1s which stack. Likewise, supposedly magic items are optional because of bounded accuracy, but monster design doesn't appear to support that.
These are valid points imho.

Backgrounds are slightly too simplistic/weak to achieve what they've wanted. Also as initially introduced, with the big-ass tables to roll for traits on, they were a huuuuuuuuuuuge waste of space. Like each background took up 3-4x as much space as it needed because of that. If you cut those tables and wrote in some guidance you could at least double the number of backgrounds. But I think I'd take a wholly different approach.

Tool proficiencies seriously need a careful look in DND2024, and they also need to build in the "tool and skill = Advantage" thing or something.

HP is an issue as you describe but I don't think it's going to change in DND2024, because you'd break too much backwards compatibility if you start messing with that and/or damage. I could see a lot of redone monsters having somewhat lower HP totals though.

Feats/ASIs are something they definitely could address. I feel fairly confident in saying that in DND2024, the default situation at Level 1 will be that you get a "power" (a la Ravenloft or Theros) or a Feat at level 1. I could easily see them including a generic "power"-style system for starting characters too (but they might just use Feats). I dunno if they'll go beyond that.

Natural language - couldn't agree more. It hasn't worked out. Re-write stuff for clarity, and/or use keywords. Also re-think the targets for some spells. They really need to add "object or creature" instead of just "creature" to some.

Agree re: monster design vs. bounded accuracy. If they're going to continue to claim magic items are "optional", then actually give us some real guidance on what to do if we opt against.
 


Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Definitely but I don't see any indications that any group of 5E players (whether 20-somethings or 40-somethings or whatever) particularly wants their D&D settings to be like that.

Otherwise darker settings would sell like hot cakes, wouldn't they? And in fact they don't. For your theory to work, there would have to be this unmet demand for that stuff. But the demand is absolutely met. Even beyond D&D, there are tons of "dark fantasy" RPGs, Shadow of the Demon Lord being an obvious one. Are they hideously successful? Not really. They do fine. It certainly looks like demand is met there.

So I would say that evidence suggests that the people who watch GoT and The Witcher, do not want to play out GoT or The Witcher in a TTRPG. YMMV.

EDIT - As an aside, whilst it didn't blow up the world, the Shadow and Bone show for Netflix is based on a series which roughly Witcher-dark, and which shows perhaps a take which is closer to how TTRPG doing "dark fantasy" in those kinds of settings might look. It was successful but I don't think a mind-blowing hit.

Further, I think a lot of it on TV is just about spin. Like, look at the Wheel of Time show. Firstly it's pretty great, I was shocked, the books are dull, but the show starts "Eh" and becomes "HELL YEAH!", but the show FEELS like 10x darker than the books. It isn't. It's the roughly the same events, but for some reason seeing them, hearing them, all that - wow that's a lot scarier than reading them (this is not always the case - I think it shows a limitation Jordan had as a writer but feel free to disagree). So what I would call "normal fantasy" in terms of darkness - WoT - comes across as pretty damn scary. I mean I think you could spin the FR or Eberron to be pretty "dark" if you wanted to. It's just on how you describe things and what you choose to happen.
I prefer a darker gritty grey brand of fantasy.

1. I run 5e.
2. I homebrew my campaign.

My game, and others like it, exist.
 

I prefer a darker gritty grey brand of fantasy.

1. I run 5e.
2. I homebrew my campaign.

My game, and others like it, exist.
Sure, but you have a homebrew.

So you demand is met by your own supply.

We're discussing if there's unmet demand. Would you ditch you homebrew for a 3rd-party setting? If DND2024 is even more different than expected, and a 3rd-party company comes out with a 5E-clone, let's call it "Trailblazer", and it has a dark fantasy setting, which won't be grey (might be gritty) because it's a 5E clone that leans backwards somewhat, and the demand is for alignment, which conflicts with "grey", would you ditch your homebrew and 5E for this 5E clone?

That's the question here.
 

I could see having a setting that has that sort of separatism but that also focuses on one or more highly multi-racial cities or areas.
I couldn't, really, in 2021. Not with the degree of separatism he described - specifically the comparison was made to the Mortal Empires map in Total War: Warhammer 2 - I don't know if you're familiar with it, but it features large stretches of terrain and sharp delineations of ownership, and areas are very much only owned/inhabited by one race. Even adding in multi-racial areas, if I go by that comparison, it's just a wee bit creepy honestly.

If it was just a bad comparison and that degree of separatism isn't intended, sure.
 

If we’re talking about what gets greenlit and produced by relatively large companies (rather than necessarily “what the people want”), a 2021 setting probably looks like the WOT show. Give me an isolated community of mountain people with pronounced ethnic diversity, not for any in-setting reason at all, but because just look at what decent and virtuous people we all are at this company.
 

JEB

Legend
Backgrounds are slightly too simplistic/weak to achieve what they've wanted. Also as initially introduced, with the big-ass tables to roll for traits on, they were a huuuuuuuuuuuge waste of space. Like each background took up 3-4x as much space as it needed because of that. If you cut those tables and wrote in some guidance you could at least double the number of backgrounds.
The trait tables were pretty popular with my group. Saved them the trouble of coming up with the traits completely on their own, served as a starting point for other concepts, and didn't get in the way if they had something completely different in mind.

Some folks like to have inspirational ideas, not just "make it up yourself." So I hope they keep the suggestions in the 2024 version.

Now, stronger, more impactful backgrounds? That would be nice. Maybe they can absorb the cultural traits they're removing from all the PC races...

Natural language - couldn't agree more. It hasn't worked out. Re-write stuff for clarity, and/or use keywords.
Clearer language sounds good, but strong disagree on using keywords. You should be able to use a statblock immediately with as little cross-referencing as possible. Definitely something I don't miss from earlier editions.
 

Some folks like to have inspirational ideas, not just "make it up yourself." So I hope they keep the suggestions in the 2024 version.
If they do I really hope they make them more compact, because the space they took up was pretty excessive. Also some of them were just boring, so maybe they need to take a look at them. There's no point rolling for random traits if they don't really add anything to the character and some didn't.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Is there a reason this mix of population is considered a "good" thing in play? Last time I was in rural Japan, I didn't remember seeing many Europeans, but I wasn't shocked. And the only reason I could be there was because modern jets and trains make that possible (and the reverse is true, rural France has very few Okinawans to be seen). I wouldn't have gone there, probably, if the only means of transportation had been ships and horses, not because the locals would have thrown stones at me but simply because large melting pots are usually the product of things not available to pseudo-medieval societies. Is this just because Melting Pot = Sounds like a country known for its melting pot cities that I won't name it because it would certainly be against real world politics rules = Good? I can see a concern to avoid locking a player into "hey, you're the first human we've ever seen, why are your ears not pointy?!? Should we throw rock at this strange demon-eared creature?" but I don't think GMs would be heavy-handed like that outside the "horror GM" thread...
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Sure, but you have a homebrew.

So you demand is met by your own supply.

We're discussing if there's unmet demand. Would you ditch you homebrew for a 3rd-party setting? If DND2024 is even more different than expected, and a 3rd-party company comes out with a 5E-clone, let's call it "Trailblazer", and it has a dark fantasy setting, which won't be grey (might be gritty) because it's a 5E clone that leans backwards somewhat, and the demand is for alignment, which conflicts with "grey", would you ditch your homebrew and 5E for this 5E clone?

That's the question here.
I'm ditching 5e for A5e because it fills my unmet demand for more crunch laid on the 5e base.

I would not switch my homebrew for a published Trailblazer setting because I have already invested the time into creating it.

If there had been an official "shades of grey" or "kingdom building and politics" setting or Adventure Path I would have purchased them as they would have had elements I could graft into my game.

As it is the only books I have purchased are those that are generic and not setting or adventure paths.

As the adventure paths and settings move more and more away from the "traditional" DnD style they are less and less likely for me to be able to use any part of them for my game.

I think the closest setting DnD has to emulate GoT style political intrigue is probably Planescape which is M.I.A.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Is there a reason this mix of population is considered a "good" thing in play? Last time I was in rural Japan, I didn't remember seeing many Europeans, but I wasn't shocked. And the only reason I could be there was because modern jets and trains make that possible (and the reverse is true, rural France has very few Okinawans to be seen). I wouldn't have gone there, probably, if the only means of transportation had been ships and horses, not because the locals would have thrown stones at me but simply because large melting pots are usually the product of things not available to pseudo-medieval societies. Is this just because Melting Pot = Sounds like a country known for its melting pot cities that I won't name it because it would certainly be against real world politics rules = Good?
I don't think it's necessarily to establish a "mixing pot" world, so much as it's for players to have the freedom to create a wide variety of PCs with identities they're familiar with in the real world, without those PCs being by default persecuted in the in-game society, or feeling party to in-game colonialism, or whatever.
I mean, if those issues are part of the stated nature of a particular campaign, cool. But the aim, I think, is for the default to feel broadly inclusive.

tl;dr - It's for sake of players, not the setting.

.
 


I don't think it's necessarily to establish a "mixing pot" world, so much as it's for players to have the freedom to create a wide variety of PCs with identities they're familiar with in the real world, without those PCs being by default persecuted in the in-game society, or feeling party to in-game colonialism, or whatever.
I mean, if those issues are part of the stated nature of a particular campaign, cool. But the aim, I think, is for the default to feel broadly inclusive.

tl;dr - It's for sake of players, not the setting.

.
It does impact on things though.

If my game rule setting is basically 13th century Iceland (or fantasy fascmile) then having characters of most of the world's ethnicities is a real stretch.

Not that think it's necessarily wrong to make a setting based on 13th century Iceland, but you do need to recognise that it's not inherently the most inclusive setting.

This matters because there's more to a setting than just a world. If I divide my setting into China continent and fantasy scandinvaia type continent and put them on opposite sides of the world then technically I've got some level of diversity, but if I haven't built in any ongoing interaction it's again not going to be particularly inclusive.

In order to have a wide variety of different ethicities represented you do have to have some kind of mixing pot set up. You need to have not just different ethnicities, but some kind of set-up that makes interaction plausbile.
 

guachi

Adventurer
I think the reason that "Earth culture with the serial numbers filed off" works well in a fantasy setting is because, as Oofta mentions, players don't really care about lore all that much. If a place happens to be similar to Earth in weather/architecture/people/food/clothing/etc. it makes it much easier to describe something. I can give a multi-sentence description of a building or just say "Tudor-style" and be done with it.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I couldn't, really, in 2021. Not with the degree of separatism he described - specifically the comparison was made to the Mortal Empires map in Total War: Warhammer 2 - I don't know if you're familiar with it, but it features large stretches of terrain and sharp delineations of ownership, and areas are very much only owned/inhabited by one race. Even adding in multi-racial areas, if I go by that comparison, it's just a wee bit creepy honestly.

If it was just a bad comparison and that degree of separatism isn't intended, sure.
Well, maybe not to that degree of separation, but something that's not quite so much. I'm not familiar with Warhammer, but one idea could be less based on ownership and more on "natural terrain." Elves in the woods, dwarfs on the icy mountains, orcs on the plains, tritons in the oceans, etc., but a few areas that have become multicultural, and perhaps with magically-created "artificial terrains." Like Zootopia, if you don't mind a cartoonish comparison.

Or another possible idea for such a setting is where the races had been separated by the (probably Evil) Overlords, who are now gone, or in the process of leaving or being overthrown, and only now are the races starting to meet each other en masse. I played a game like this ages ago in college, although the GM never really explored the ramifications of it.
 


Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top