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

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
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.
Right, I largely agree with that. But there's a reason I specifically differentiated one's "particular campaign" from the "default" of D&D, which is nothing like 13th century Iceland.
 

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It doesn't feel like they are shying away from offending some portion of the fan base (NOTE: I am NOT one of those offended people; I am just saying they seem to know some rules and lore changes will rankle some and they seem fine with that).

This may have been said in the 338+ posts on this thread, but even so, it bears repeating.

Any changes that are made, whether mechanical or in lore, that make the game more representative and inclusive and accepting, without feeling like pandering, that also pushes the close-minded, racist, sexist, hate-filled people away from the the game can only be a good thing. The more of those people that Hasbro/WotC offends, the better, because I don't think anyone here wants any of that connected to our games.

We already know that some OSR games are having that problem. While a lot of OSR stuff is perfectly fine and it is just players wanting that old school feel and old school mechanics that don't include the old problematic bits and lore, there are some where the R in OSR may as well stand for racist.
 

Right, I largely agree with that. But there's a reason I specifically differentiated one's "particular campaign" from the "default" of D&D, which is nothing like 13th century Iceland.
Yeah but...

The default setting for 5e seems to be the Sword Coast. It's a real stretch from there to have a PC from Kara-Tur. It's a fantasy setting and PCs are exceptional so sure I'd allow it, but with the setting as is, they're mostly going to be filling in the outsider role; it's a stretch for them to be meeting other NPCs from that region.

If the focus of your game is in the northern part (the savage frontier) then it's basically going to be similar for PCs from Chult or Calimshan*. Sure there'd probably be some npcs from those regions in Waterdeep, but in the rest of the North?

Part of the issue here is the bigger you make your setting the more you can include, but bigger settings are actually less useful. For the purposes of role-playing, a smaller well developed region is more useful. However, if you want to do that, and be as inclusive as possible for as many different real world ethicities as possible, then you reall need to put some thought into it.

The Parasantium setting for Pathfinder, is a good example of a regional setting that does this well. Basically it's kind of fantasy Byzantinum but with regions brought closer together so that it has a much larger mix of different cultures than it's historical counterpart.

*And these ethnic counterpart cultures have their own issues anyway being mostly constructed from pulp stereotypes.
 

Okay they aren't going to whole sale ditch class, race, background, feats from the 5.5e PHB, it's most likely going to be refinements out what they have learned and worked well so far. They will look to the stuff they have done that is popular.

We have a general idea of what races races will be like, I think Lineages rules will be saved for the DMG. They will want to offer more then the regular 5e PHB, so expect some additional races, like Goblins, Aasimar, Genasi, and Orcs could be in. We will need to wait for MP: MotM to get a better idea for how subraces will be handled.

Classes will have Tasha style alternate class features, those were extremely popular. I also think the Artificer and maybe the Psion could make it in. Really, really outside chance of something like Blood Hunter or Warlord making it in.

There maybe some spells from outside the 5e PHB that get in, and boring unpopular spells will get cut. I expect more conjugation spells like Summon Celestial, Summon Dragon, and Summon Aberration then the previous conjure spells. Even Planar Ally is not well designed.

More suggestions inspired by Strixhaven on the social and exploration pillars, but not at the expense of combat.

The Patron system could make it in.

There could even be a more generic piety and faction systems in the PHB if they can find the room for it. Piety system could be based around Domains instead of individual Gods, replacing Domains as the Cleric subclass with something broader and more interesting.

I think Background kind of suck right now, the feature is just too hard to use in published adventures for example, BUT the space sacrificed by races maybe give backgrounds room to do more.

I could see a Gifts system added, like Supernatural Gifts from Theros.

The biggest change I see is references to Magic the Gathering settings in the core books.

By 2024 I think the merging of the multiverses will be official, way to late to bury it anymore.

Look to MP: MotM to know what the 5.5e MM will look like, it's basically the template, the MM will be that, but much bigger.

The 5.5e DMG will be more focused on social and exploration pillar advise and mechanics, if there even is a 5.5e DMG.

I also think these books will reference 5e books.

Multiverse will be a much bigger focus with less FR as default, which ironically will be good for FR as they will be able to release a 5.5e Campaign Setting Book for FR without fear it will derail their yearly adventures.

And I expect at least one kind of surprise UA I don't see coming.

So more refinements, not a sea change.
 

Yora

Legend
Any changes that are made, whether mechanical or in lore, that make the game more representative and inclusive and accepting, without feeling like pandering,
Let's see how they do at squaring the circle.

They have to retain all the D&D archetypes, and they are also WotC, who have a long history of just not understanding what the issue is in the first place.

I don't see that ever happening.
 

teitan

Legend
I think we are about to see a new market split. If the changes aren't enough to justify the new purchase, people won't buy in immediately. It will be a slow purchase because of compatibility. IF there are too many changes it will split because if the changes don't benefit the game or harm the backwards compatibility element, if they really try to advertise that, people won't buy in. They brilliantly marketed 3.5 enough to make it seem like it was really an upgrade to 3e, they were able to talk about the gaps in 3e and what they were doing to "patch" them while giving lip service to compatibility that really wasn't there. They are kind of in a weird space with this because its a different market and D&D is no longer really a part of the RPG market, being it's own thing with how it outclasses every other game. New fans might just gobble it up but they might also be very slow to pick it up. I don't really intend to as I am fine with 5e as is and if the changes are as small as they say, ehhh, maybe one day if my group insists.
 

Just feel the need to point out that Trailblazer already exists.
That's pretty funny. I guess the had the same reaction to the options in the thesaurus as me.
If the changes aren't enough to justify the new purchase, people won't buy in immediately. It will be a slow purchase because of compatibility.
From everything WotC is saying right now, this is what they expect. It would also make a lot of sense.

WotC have 50m players right now. The vast majority have never gone through an edition-shift before, because they're new to the game and started with 5E. So you can't expect them to just shrug and go "new edition" and immediately move on. WotC likely does not want to risk losing too many of them to a sharp shift.

If anything they're going to fail to/avoid making changes that they know would long-term benefit the playability of 5E because they'd potentially reduce backwards-compatibility and split the community more. Moving away from the 6-8 encounter day to really any lower number would likely make D&D play better for most groups, so would "benefit the game" in a rules sense, but it would make you need to revise the game across the board.

But they don't really have to worry about that right now, because as you say, there's no serious competition to D&D. So if they fail to fix some flaws, most of the audience (being new to RPGs) isn't really going to feel it (even though they would likely notice the improvement if it was fixed), so they can focus on just changing things that they can change whilst mostly maintaining backwards-compatibility.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
That's pretty funny. I guess the had the same reaction to the options in the thesaurus as me.

From everything WotC is saying right now, this is what they expect. It would also make a lot of sense.

WotC have 50m players right now. The vast majority have never gone through an edition-shift before, because they're new to the game and started with 5E. So you can't expect them to just shrug and go "new edition" and immediately move on. WotC likely does not want to risk losing too many of them to a sharp shift.

Of those 50m players, apparently, only 1-5m or so actually bought a PHB. It would be strange to expect players who didn't buy anything suddenly rush forward to buy something, especially something that isn't totally different from what they are used to playing without spending anything. [It might explain why RPG book prices are depressed: 80-98% of the hobby gets it for free...)
 

Of those 50m players, apparently, only 1-5m or so actually bought a PHB. It would be strange to expect players who didn't buy anything suddenly rush forward to buy something, especially something that isn't totally different from what they are used to playing without spending anything. [It might explain why RPG book prices are depressed: 80-98% of the hobby gets it for free...)
What's the source on that curiously imprecise figure?

I mean, unless it's a very good source, and includes digital sales, I would put approximately zero stock in it myself.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I think we are about to see a new market split. If the changes aren't enough to justify the new purchase, people won't buy in immediately. It will be a slow purchase because of compatibility. IF there are too many changes it will split because if the changes don't benefit the game or harm the backwards compatibility element, if they really try to advertise that, people won't buy in.
yup, and I don't know how to avoid it... in 2e they reprinted the books with new shinny covers and some errata and rewording and even that sparked some issue (not as noticeable with WAY less internet.
They brilliantly marketed 3.5 enough to make it seem like it was really an upgrade to 3e, they were able to talk about the gaps in 3e and what they were doing to "patch" them while giving lip service to compatibility that really wasn't there. They are kind of in a weird space with this because its a different market and D&D is no longer really a part of the RPG market, being it's own thing with how it outclasses every other game. New fans might just gobble it up but they might also be very slow to pick it up. I don't really intend to as I am fine with 5e as is and if the changes are as small as they say, ehhh, maybe one day if my group insists.
I would love (but I doubt it would happen) if every class was rebuilt form the ground up useing Artificer and Warlock as the basic chasies but with more 4e stuff built in... I doubt it will jump so far but I would love it.
 

I think we are about to see a new market split. If the changes aren't enough to justify the new purchase, people won't buy in immediately. It will be a slow purchase because of compatibility. IF there are too many changes it will split because if the changes don't benefit the game or harm the backwards compatibility element, if they really try to advertise that, people won't buy in. They brilliantly marketed 3.5 enough to make it seem like it was really an upgrade to 3e, they were able to talk about the gaps in 3e and what they were doing to "patch" them while giving lip service to compatibility that really wasn't there. They are kind of in a weird space with this because its a different market and D&D is no longer really a part of the RPG market, being it's own thing with how it outclasses every other game. New fans might just gobble it up but they might also be very slow to pick it up. I don't really intend to as I am fine with 5e as is and if the changes are as small as they say, ehhh, maybe one day if my group insists.
No matter what changes they make, and what reason they're making them, they are still reissuing the core books again and hoping people will re-buy the rules. That's not an easy sell, so marketing will be important. They have to convince folks that it's worth spending another $150 again. I'm sure, for example, that they'll throw money at CR to get them on board.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
What's the source on that curiously imprecise figure?

I mean, unless it's a very good source, and includes digital sales, I would put approximately zero stock in it myself.

It was discussed on this board, based on the 800,000 sales of the 5e PHB up to 2017, and various other sources. It was in the latest thread about the record year of 2020 for WotC. The imprecision is mine, I don't remember how the final number got around 5m, not the original thread, because this figure might have included previous editions's PHBs.
 

S'mon

Legend
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.

I think the main demand is for generic/vanilla fantasy which is darker than the current WoTC direction, but pretty much in line with earlier WoTC campaign adventures. Less shades-of-grey than The Witcher but pretty much same ballpark.

OTOH if Strixhaven is an outlier then maybe there's nothing to be concerned about. I don't think most of the recent Sensitivity Reader stuff is a big deal for most people. IME even when the game was saying "It's OK to kill these guys, they're Always Chaotic Evil", most players would be very reluctant to attack on sight, and are inclined to seek assurance their PC actions are morally justified.
 

Yora

Legend
No matter what changes they make, and what reason they're making them, they are still reissuing the core books again and hoping people will re-buy the rules. That's not an easy sell, so marketing will be important. They have to convince folks that it's worth spending another $150 again. I'm sure, for example, that they'll throw money at CR to get them on board.
I really don't know where they would be going with a new major rules overhaul. 3rd, 4th, and 5th edition all addressed underlying mechanical aspects that many people were not really happy about.
What about 5th edition would need fixing, other than character option bloat?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Mechanically, I want 5e to fix the six abilities.

Make sure there is no overlap between one ability and an other. It should be unambiguous about when to use one ability and when to use an other.

Make sure each ability is equally useful and powerful, compared to each other. So investing in any ability is a reasonably beneficial choice.

If the solution is to reduce the number of abilities to four, or to increase them to eight, then allow these variant rules to be convenient and easy to implement during gameplay.
 

HammerMan

Legend
What about 5th edition would need fixing, other than character option bloat?
Uneven options between martial and caster
uneven ability spread among subclasses for the same class
race features all over the place
(all of the above can fall under balance)

Races getting an overhaul (see linages)
More options built into the classes themselves outside of subclass
Major spell changes (mostly I am thinking summoning spells look very different 7 years later)
Alignment and RP suggestions.
 

Mechanically, I want 5e to fix the six abilities.

Make sure there is no overlap between one ability and an other. It should be unambiguous about when to use one ability and when to use an other.

Make sure each ability is equally useful and powerful, compared to each other. So investing in any ability is a reasonably beneficial choice.

If the solution is to reduce the number of abilities to four, or to increase them to eight, then allow these variant rules to be convenient and easy to implement during gameplay.
Unfortunately, I feel very strongly that any significant change to what the ability scores do would be a bridge too far for WotC to consider, even with a 6e.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
(World of Warcraft has been considering dropping the central, well, war, and allowing cross-faction stuff for years, it's so built-in that it's hard to do though).
Eh, it's a perennial rumor among the fanbase, but I don't believe anyone connected with the developers has ever officially stated that they were thinking about it. And after quieting down the central war for a while, they reignited it HARD in 2018 with the next-to-latest expansion, to the point where players have been at each others' throats in a not-fun way ever since.
 

Oofta

Legend
I really don't know where they would be going with a new major rules overhaul. 3rd, 4th, and 5th edition all addressed underlying mechanical aspects that many people were not really happy about.
What about 5th edition would need fixing, other than character option bloat?
Ask 5 different people on this forum and you will probably get 5 different answers, many of them conflicting.

Personally? A few spells could use tweaking and clarification. There's a bit of wording here and there, like half orcs living in slums that should probably go. I think the MM should go back to the percentage qualifier and clarify that the entries don't necessarily represent the entire population (it's there but buried now). I think dex is overpowered in this edition, but honestly I'm not sure how to fix it. I assume there will be some variation of flexible racial builds ala Tasha's, I hope they keep a default just for flavor.

No game is perfect but I'm not sure how much they can change without really pissing people off and causing a backlash.
 

If they were ambitious, they would add elements to make the game modular, since people want to adapt it for every style of rpg anyway. The "DMs workshop" section of the dmg could be expanded into a full book that provides optional rules for each pillar of play and also advice on slimming the game down into something more rules lite and deadly. They could also provide optional rules for adapting the game to different genres.
 

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