D&D 5E Innovation Vs Tradition

Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Do you think the changes in D&DN will be severe enough to provoke a backlash or apathy a'la 2008 all over again?
I won't take seriously complaints that state the new version of the game lacks "the spirit" or whatever of older versions of the game, because a few different versions of D&D are being played and, to me, there's no one true system anymore.

Unless they make a game that is manifestly, undeniably not fun, I don't think there will be a backlash.

What I think could happen is that WotC makes a decent game, but one that doesn't quite grab people enough so that they put away their Pathfinder/3.5E/4E books for an extended period of time, so people drift back to what they know and are comfortable with.

In short: backlash, no; drift, maybe.
 

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Raith5

Adventurer
It all depends upon how/if modularity works.

If it works then innovation and tradition will be able to work at the same table or at least in the same line of adventures and rules supplements.

Personally I value innovation way over tradition. After all if I want to play traditional D&D I still have the books from the last 30 years. The only way I am going to spend money is if I see new ideas that enable me and my friends to have new experiences. I am sure there way be modules in DDN that bring new things in - the only question is if the game lasts that long enough to see them.
 

delericho

Legend
I'm not seeing any great evidence of a backlash. My bigger fear, though, is that 5e will be met by a collective "meh" - that it'll be okay, but nothing more than okay. Indeed, it might prove to be everyone's second-favourite version of the game. But then, why would anyone play their second favourite version, when they can play their favourite instead?
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
Do you think the changes in D&DN will be severe enough to provoke a backlash or apathy a'la 2008 all over again?
To some degree, but a smaller one. This version builds upon the earlier editions in a much larger degree.

I didn't quite see the "problem" with 4e at launch either though, but there are some things I really miss in it from earlier editions. It's more "gamist" than the earlier editions. The magic in earlier editions was usually "logical", while certain 4e powers like "Come and get it" breaks immersion for many, especially when it gets mentioned.

I think people like to whine when something new appears, and it really needs to be far superior to actually get credit for being "better". I don't know yet if 5e lies in the "far superior" category yet. I think the adventure support will be really important to showcase the new system.
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
I'm not seeing any great evidence of a backlash. My bigger fear, though, is that 5e will be met by a collective "meh" - that it'll be okay, but nothing more than okay. Indeed, it might prove to be everyone's second-favourite version of the game. But then, why would anyone play their second favourite version, when they can play their favourite instead?

Good point, people are currently playing all the different editions, which is quite logical. The "improvements" between editions have really changed the flavour of the game. As a vegetable analogy: first edition was a potato and second edition was a carrot. The carrot is much sweeter and it's enjoyable to eat raw, but it isn't better, it's just different.
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
It all depends upon how/if modularity works.

If it works then innovation and tradition will be able to work at the same table or at least in the same line of adventures and rules supplements.

Personally I value innovation way over tradition. After all if I want to play traditional D&D I still have the books from the last 30 years. The only way I am going to spend money is if I see new ideas that enable me and my friends to have new experiences. I am sure there way be modules in DDN that bring new things in - the only question is if the game lasts that long enough to see them.

I really hope the modularity works. I have a couple of friends who can't and won't optimize their characters. If there are some default options that are very powerful, so they don't have to optimize, but at the same time I can optimize a character to suit my specific wants, it would be great. :)
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
For the population at large (the population beyond the messageboard folks who have many strong, if not occasionally intolerant, opinions) I think it's all going to come down to one important thing:

Book layout and presentation.

What's the biggest complaints usually from folks here every time a new playtest packet comes out? It's always "the game is moving away from what I want and like". But the thing is... the packets never make ANY indication which moves are actually meant for the game, which moves are meant just for feedback purposes, which moves are testing standard and advanced rules that aren't a part of how the base game will play, etc. etc. So with every packet, players take the packet ON THE WHOLE and come to conclusions whether or not the game is for them. Without actually knowing how the game is going to eventually be laid out.

So when the time comes that the game is actually published... for all we know, the first chapters in the books will present us with a BECMI game, and then chapters later on will move it towards 2E, 3E, or 4E versions. Or maybe the first couple chapters give us that 2.5 that people are talking about, with sidebars and chapters to strip down the game to BECMI or upscale to 3 or 4E. Or maybe the base game will start with the complexity of a 3E/4E hybrid, and then later on show us how to strip it down to a much less complex game (or rely on a Basic or Beginner's Set to present the simple version.)

But we won't know any of this stuff... and which rules fall into which categories and which chapters said rules will be presented in... until the book is published. So for now... all we can do is look at all the stuff they have shown us at this point, and guesstimate that there are things in there that are in the ballpark for what we might find interesting and fun to play. And then we wait. And hope the layout of the final presentation flows so nicely that mixing and matching what we want seems simple enough that we don't get pissed off when we read it.
 

jrowland

First Post
Book layout and presentation.

I think you've hit it on the head. I think if you were to mash all the playtests together, throwing out all obvious contradiction and all very unpopular things (>50% unpopular eg), you might approach what the PHB/DMG will contain. How its layed out, presented, etc is key to its success. There are a couple of considerations:

Initially its the Diehard D&D enthusiasts that will drive sales. People on these boards. We create the buzz. Lose us, lose sales, you make a new printing.

To win the acclaim of the diehards, modularity and its presentation, the ability to Grok, and the amount of options that allow a critical number of us to create the D&D experience we want is the first goal.

Second goal is new blood. New players need to enter and digest enough to get them going without a bewildering array of choices that ultimately paralyze them. WotC can do this a number of ways, but I think the DMG/PHB should be ultimately an experienced players book, with only "ease into it" approach, that is early chapters get you playing with basic rules, middle chapters get into standard game, and final chapters get into modularity. They should release a "box set" or some similar "basic only" ruleset as well. It can be released after DMG/PHB, but should follow fairly soon.

Third, Adventure support. Right out of the gate we need to be hit with a A-List Adventure Path similar to Paizo's wonderful products. Thats tough to do when the ruleset hasn't been finalized, but once the game is locked down and they are down to layout, typesetting, art, etc they need to hit the AP hard. Personally, I'd release the first AP as a free PDF download, to be followed by a compiled print run if it was received well. Adventure support, highlighting the new game, and what can be done with it would be a big draw.

For many of us, the D&D experience is defined by these AP's. A good home campaign is simply an unpublished AP. These multi-level goals/challenges (campaigns) are what defines the game in many ways. 1E in many ways is defined by Temple of ELemental Evil, Scourge of the Slavelords, Against the Giants, and Vault of the Drow (single or compiled adventures). Many 3E games are defined by the APs in Dragon (pre-pathfinder Paizo) such as Age of Worms or Cauldron (or whatever the AP was called).
 


S

Sunseeker

Guest
4E of course changed both and we know how that ended up.

I hate subtle edition warring like this. How DID 4e end up? I've seen RPGs cash and burn over the years, and while 4e may not have been popular with the gogs I don't think you can by any extent call it a failure.

And to be frank you don't know how 4e turned out because you never tried it.

Frankly your post reeks of "I spend lots of money on D&D, everyone else can toss off as long as I get what I want." And it is THAT attitude that is killing D&D on the whole.
 

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