D&D 5E Is 5E "big enough" for a Basic/Advanced split?


log in or register to remove this ad

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I’ve often wondered why someone hasn’t made an Expert set or an Essentials Expert set.
Based on some survey questions from QotC over the years, I think they've thought about it. I qouldnbe surprised if Target sought a third box set, based on how I see the current two move at my local Targets. Maybe something like a combo of the Expert Set, with the FR Grey Box from 1E would be cool.
 

GreyLord

Legend
I’ve often wondered why someone hasn’t made an Expert set or an Essentials Expert set.

Well, the Essentials set really does set up a good enough start and introduction that one needs to get the Players Handbook.

I think you'd be stretching to add on more than what's already there without cutting into PHB sales.

If they were to bring in another box the maximum level I'd think would be plausible (or that I'd probably support without straight up saying they should just rely on the PHB sales) is 10th level and perhaps one new class (Monk? or maybe Ranger or Warlock or Sorcerer?).

Overall, I think the Essentials Kit does what it was intended already without the need for more.
 


Reynard

Legend
Yeah, that's just not a good publishing strategy: that was TSR shooting themselves in the foot.
Not really. Both lines were very successful until Willaims decided to run the company into the ground with her vanity Buck Rogers game (as well as getting absolutely destroyed in the Card Wars). TSR published a lot of games over the years, some successful and some not, but was undeniably a successful game company for a long time. There's a reason why people still play B/X and BECMI, and it isn't because it/they was some shallow, lesser version of AD&D.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Not really. Both lines were very successful until Willaims decided to run the company into the ground with her vanity Buck Rogers game (as well as getting absolutely destroyed in the Card Wars). TSR published a lot of games over the years, some successful and some not, but was undeniably a successful game company for a long time. There's a reason why people still play B/X and BECMI, and it isn't because it/they was some shallow, lesser version of AD&D.
D&D was successful in spite of the Basic/Advanced silliness, not because of it.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Do you have a source for that? Nothing I have ever read on the subject has suggested BECMI vs AD&D was key to the downfall of TSR. The most often cited issues were the ones I mentioned: Williams and CCGs (with a side of AD&D 2E setting and supplement bloat).
I didn't say that it was key to anything, but that it limited D&D's potential y dividing and confusing the audience is clear from the fact that nobody wants to repeat the error, which WotC says is because the "Basic/Advanced" split was found to confuse and turn people off when they tested it.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
A bit of a wild round table, but IIRC Mearls went into the history of how they planned to try "Basic/Advanced" for 5E before discovering it was a terrible idea after agreeing with Matt Coleville that B/X could have been an Evergreen forever product if TSR didn't drop the ball:

 



billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
A bit of a wild round table, but IIRC Mearls went into the history of how they planned to try "Basic/Advanced" for 5E before discovering it was a terrible idea after agreeing with Matt Coleville that B/X could have been an Evergreen forever product if TSR didn't drop the ball:

Any chance of you picking out a time mark where that discussion occurs? I really don't want to have to dredge through a couple hours of roundtable discussion.
 



Yora

Legend
From what I recall, the BECMI product line was mostly adventure modules, plus the Mystara setting.
WotC isn't in the business of either type of product, so there's really not much room for any products beyond a compact package of the basic game rules.

Also, even with all the complaints about the DMG's organization, the 5th edition rulebooks are not nearly as esoteric and confusing as those of 1st edition. There is not really that much need for an alternative rules set that is less taxing on prospective players' sanity.
 


Yora

Legend
Yes, but that was a whole lot of content, that was still a big constant output for both product lines. 5th edition has much less content to begin with, and splitting it would reduce it even further for each line.

Also, AD&D did have its fair share of splatbooks, though I think they never were anywhere near as popular as in 3rd edition.
 


Reynard

Legend
I think if they were to try such a split, the best bet would be to do it along setting lines. Dungeons and Dragons: Eberron* Adventures (just as an example), for example, could be its own (self contained) rule book running a streamlined version of the rules focused on the core principles of that setting while being compatible with the main line. Note that I am NOT saying they would or should, just that if they did settings might be a way to avoid the market confusion aspect.

In the end, i think the folks that suggest even 5E isn't big enough to support 2 true game lines are probably right. There just probably isn't a benefit to doing so and a number of downsides. I am curious, however, if we will see any actual; new RPGs during the WotC era (a new Gamma World or whatever). I believe there was some rumor that they were working on a tabletop version of whatever sci-fi video game they are developing, but that could have been a fever dream.
 


Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top