D&D 5E If it fails, this is one reason why...


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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
They have a "customization" module for 3e fans, and a "tactical combat" module for 4e fans, and a "downtime" module for fans of high level AD&D domain-bulding stuff, and a "storygame" module for fans of Dungeon World and Torchbearer and FATE. Then they have a host of core rules which are really optional, like feats (replaced with ability increases) and skills (replaced with just ability checks) and even proficiencies. So, if you remove some or all those elements, you get pretty close to 1e and 2e and even Basic/Expert D&D.

I think that's all they mean by it at this point. And they can release, and have been releasing, conversion notes for old AD&D modules that work quite well with the core as it is. They may well do this with 3e and 4e adventures as well, once the optional modules come out.

I think in the end, you will get adventures that can work with any of these systems, with a "version" for each. Here is an example:

WatchTower of the Necromancer is a module for D&D characters level 4-7.
You can purchase the paper-cover book for 5e core, which assumes use of feats and skills, but no other optional modules.

With your purchase, you get a code that lets you download a PDF of alternate versions. Those alternate versions include:

1) Tactical Combat version, with more detailed set-piece maps and monsters with more tactical options;
2) Customization version, which assumes characters are more powerful in certain aspects and adjusts the monsters and encounters to suit such higher level of specialization;
3) Storygame version, which provides suggested content on player narrative control;
4) An "old school" version, which assumes the characters have no feats or skills, and adjusts some things like DCs accordingly.

So now you can have 5 tables at a convention, all playing the same adventure, but none of them using quite the same set of rules. One table "feels" more like 4e, the next like 3e, the next like 1e/2e, the next like Basic/Expert, and finally one that is the core 5e game. These are all tailored for fans of various editions, without being those actual editions.

That is my guess as to how this is going to work. We shall see.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I'm starting to lean back towards that.

Ugh. No thanks. Spells themselves are one save... but spells that come out of rods, staves, and wands are another save. But if any of those spells are petrification or polymorph, then they're even another save. Why exactly? What is the sense there? And why is a lightning bolt that a wizard throws at you different than if a blue dragon breathes it on you that you have a different save? Makes little to no sense.

I believe the change of saving throws from the random groups in 1/2E to ones based upon what they actually did and which ability score affected them was the second-most positive change in the creation of 3E (right behind the flipping of AC.) I would NEVER want to go back to 1/2E saves.
 

Jan van Leyden

Adventurer
So now you can have 5 tables at a convention, all playing the same adventure, but none of them using quite the same set of rules. One table "feels" more like 4e, the next like 3e, the next like 1e/2e, the next like Basic/Expert, and finally one that is the core 5e game. These are all tailored for fans of various editions, without being those actual editions.

That is my guess as to how this is going to work. We shall see.

You realize how much effort your model means for each single adventure, don't you? And you don't even mention possible combinations (story-based plus deeply tactical combat). While I could see a storygame add-on as PDF to outline areas for player control, and maybe even a scaled-down version for bare bones games, this still means a lot of work on WotC's side. Will it be worth the effort? I can't believe it.
 

Tortoise

First Post
Ugh. No thanks. Spells themselves are one save... but spells that come out of rods, staves, and wands are another save. But if any of those spells are petrification or polymorph, then they're even another save. Why exactly? What is the sense there? And why is a lightning bolt that a wizard throws at you different than if a blue dragon breathes it on you that you have a different save? Makes little to no sense.

I believe the change of saving throws from the random groups in 1/2E to ones based upon what they actually did and which ability score affected them was the second-most positive change in the creation of 3E (right behind the flipping of AC.) I would NEVER want to go back to 1/2E saves.

While I won't claim that any save system is superior to others, I prefer the B/X - 1e/2e save catergories for the following reason: versatility of other uses.

In my most recent old style campaign we found other uses for the categories including eliminating the Identify spell and converting it to a ritual all wizard types could perform. They would save vs magic to identify items and because of the changing save as they leveled up, became more proficient at it as they grew in talent and power. Other things could take advantage of the tables in the same way.
 


wedgeski

Adventurer
That is my guess as to how this is going to work. We shall see.
I really can't see that level of complexity being at all viable, especially if we want a half-decent rate of adventure output. More likely, adventure formats will assume the most complex style of game, and give sidebars on how to throttle everything back for less inclusive tables or different table styles.
 

fjw70

Adventurer
You realize how much effort your model means for each single adventure, don't you? And you don't even mention possible combinations (story-based plus deeply tactical combat). While I could see a storygame add-on as PDF to outline areas for player control, and maybe even a scaled-down version for bare bones games, this still means a lot of work on WotC's side. Will it be worth the effort? I can't believe it.

It sounds like a lot less work than creating 4 or 5 separate modules. If it is worth it or not is a WotC call but if you can get OSR, 3.5/PF, and 4e people buying the same modules then maybe it is worth it. I guess we will see.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
You realize how much effort your model means for each single adventure, don't you?

Yes. I do. Do you? The conversions are very simple, given the parameters of 5e. They already issued conversions for many 1e adventures, and it was very simple. Others are converting 3e adventures, and finding it very simple to do as well.

And you don't even mention possible combinations (story-based plus deeply tactical combat).

They will give you the various versions, and DMs can pick and choose what they want to use. Combinations is not one of the goals of Next. They never claimed "I am going to give you a tactical wargame version of 1e", and that is not the topic we're discussing, and it seems like a strawman.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I really can't see that level of complexity being at all viable, especially if we want a half-decent rate of adventure output. More likely, adventure formats will assume the most complex style of game, and give sidebars on how to throttle everything back for less inclusive tables or different table styles.

It's not hard to do, and people are doing it right now, and pretty much universally reporting it's simple to do. I think that's one of the beauties of the 5e design, it's very simple and also mailable, with only a few tweaks here and there.
 

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