D&D 5E Is DnD next chasing a pipedream?

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
No significant amount of people are clamoring for Pathfinder 2.0 and Paizo still finds 1.0 quite successful so there won't be a 2.0 as long as these two issues remain the same.

I think there are enough versions of D&D out there now that any itch can be scratched. More editions of D&D will only dilute the fan-base even more.
 

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Gundark

Explorer
Actually, I'm not convinced. I suspect a Pathfinder "second edition" will actually be a lot more like PF 1.1 than 2.0. There may well be another raft of minor tweaks to the system, and very likely a reorganisation of material (so that some of the "big eleven" core classes get demoted in favour of some of the new classes that have been developed since), but I would be very surprised to see wholesale changes to the underlying rules - it'll be much more a "3.85e" than a "4e" or "5e".

The major reason for this is simple: with the OGL out there and most of the rules already available for free, the scope for making big changes to the rules is actually quite small - whatever they do is likely to be controversial and split the market. But if all they do is a massive errata drop, coupled with a re-org to bring all the most-used items under a single set of covers, they should be able to get a lot of people to re-buy the books (if only to replace core rulebooks that are several years old, and well used, by then).

And bear in mind that if the core of Paizo's business is subscriptions, and especially subscriptions to the Adventure Path product, that frees them to not have to worry (too much) about the content of a new edition - to have it be successful enough they don't need to find new subscribers, they just need to make sure they don't cause their existing subscribers to cancel.

(That said, there does exist the possibility that someone will come up with a new and revolutionary mechanic, one good enough to render the existing SRD/OGL material obselete. In which case, PF 2.0 would look rather different. But I don't see that as very likely - it really would need to be spectacular to cause everyone to shift; anything less would just split the market.)

I can concede that PF 2.0 might be more of a 1.5 , or that they will soft sell it or attempt to sneak it under the radar (an "advanced" rules module that everything after the fact uses)

I will also concede that their subscription model buffers them from the need to put out a new edition. But I only think this prolongs it and doesn't protect them 100% from it.

Paizo is a business, they are in it for the money(no negativity implied). They've said that the majority of their income comes from subscriptions. The analogy that I think of is say they make (I have no idea what Paizo earns in a month so I am making up numbers) 80 bucks a month from their subscriptions and 20 bucks a month from selling PF books. So they are making 100 bucks a month. Eventually they are going to run out of PF book ideas, or they pump out silliness that people don't buy (New Core Classes book 8!!!). Are they going to go back to making only 80 bucks a month? I don't think so.

I also question how long a subscription model can sustain. This is speculation so take it for what it's worth. I'm guessing they are putting out APs faster than people are playing them. Yeah there are the groups that can keep up, but I am thinking that is the exception and not the rule. If I am still chewing away at Curse of the Crimson throne and they are 3 APs ahead of me I begin to question how many more of these am I going to buy? If my gaming is covered for the next 5 years do I keep buying APs? How long before APs seem to be more of the same? I stopped buying them because there was an underlying structure that repeated itself over and over from on AP to the next. I'm not sure if subscriptions can carry long term. They will need to look at other streams of revenue, hence a new edition (however that looks). I know that some buy them to read. I wonder how many of the subscribers fit into that group

I won't attach a time frame, but I think it will come
 
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delericho

Legend
Nothing you say is wrong. I'm just concerned that the SRD may actually make it effectively impossible to do a new edition - change the game significantly and you split the market (and fail); don't change the game, and there's no reason for people to buy in.

It's a tricky one. I'm starting to think that the OGL (and the SRD that goes with it) may have made D&D effectively immortal... at the price of making it impossible for people to actually make a business out of it (at least, beyond one edition cycle).
 

Libramarian

Adventurer
I do believe that Next will fail without solid adventure support.

One of the biggest problems with 4E was that two of its first three adventures - Keep on the Shadowfell and the eternally execrable Pyramid of Shadows - seemed to have been specifically designed to drive people to Pathfinder.

In all of Mike Mearls' columns I have yet to see him really communicating that WotC gets the need for adventure support. The simple fact is that no matter how many people claim they generate all their own content, adventures are the lifeblood for a new edition because they actually show how the game plays. If you screw them up - as WotC did with 4E - you will lose customers.

And it really bothers me, too, that Mike Mearls' name is on Pyramid of Shadows....

His name is ALSO on Keep on the Shadowfell. :uhoh:

I agree with you about the importance of adventures but I don't have any confidence in any of the current members of the design team to write them. Maybe if Monte Cook was still there.
 


Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
His name is ALSO on Keep on the Shadowfell. :uhoh:

I agree with you about the importance of adventures but I don't have any confidence in any of the current members of the design team to write them. Maybe if Monte Cook was still there.

Oh yeah, I forgot about his other disaster. And Keep on the Shadowfell was a disaster.

For me the real loss from the team was Rich Baker. Even Chris Perkins calls him the best adventure writer he knows.
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
Oh yeah, I forgot about his other disaster. And Keep on the Shadowfell was a disaster.

For me the real loss from the team was Rich Baker. Even Chris Perkins calls him the best adventure writer he knows.

According to his blog, Rich Baker still does adventures for WotC. I don't see any reason why they couldn't call on him to write an inaugural 5e adventure, if that's what they wanted.

Personally, I suspect that Wizards has left off trying to beat Paizo at their own game, and is instead focusing their fluff/advertising dollars on turning out a variety of great campaign settings.
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
According to his blog, Rich Baker still does adventures for WotC. I don't see any reason why they couldn't call on him to write an inaugural 5e adventure, if that's what they wanted. (snip)

Thanks for posting that. I lost track of his blog some time ago. I'm really happy to see he'll be back in the saddle with WotC on a freelance basis - they would be mad not to use him - but even happier to see the long list of things he is working on. Great to see him doing well.
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
Thanks for posting that. I lost track of his blog some time ago. I'm really happy to see he'll be back in the saddle with WotC on a freelance basis - they would be mad not to use him - but even happier to see the long list of things he is working on. Great to see him doing well.

You betcha. I'm really hoping he stays plugged in to this hobby--it would suck to lose him after all these years.

If you're interested, he did an interview at rogue warden awhile back that you might have missed, where he makes some candid remarks about birthright (my favorite setting!) and what happened to his career at WotC.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Personally, I suspect that Wizards has left off trying to beat Paizo at their own game, and is instead focusing their fluff/advertising dollars on turning out a variety of great campaign settings.

I don't think WotC was ever even actually PLAYING that game. ;)

They don't put emphasis on adventures. Never really have. They'll do a few just to have them on the shelves next to the other books, but from all they've ever said, they've never seen it as a true money-maker. If they're paying a writer a certain number of cents per word... they seem to get more bang for the buck by having those words appear in larger, hardcover, informative splat and campaign books that appeal to DM and players alike... than they do in paper modules that they're lucky if only the DM ever buys.

The real reason why Paizo can put so much emphasis on their Adventure Paths (as has been noted above by delericho) is because of their subscription system. Subscriptions are like Perpetual Kickstarters. You always know how much money you have to spend and have the money already in your pocket before you actually have to begin working on the project. That makes it much easier to determine how much you can pay a writer, how much time you can give him to write it, how much you can spend on art and cartography assets, and then still retain a healthy profit with the remainder. When you are writing an adventure module in a vacuum... you do so just under the hope that people will find it interesting enough to buy it. But we all know we pass by dozens upon dozens of module and adventure write-ups all the time and never give them a second glance because their premise didn't do anything for us. I would NEVER want to rely on the hit-and-miss-adventure-creating-in-a-vacuum as a legitimate business plan unless I had some stability like Paizo has or WotC had with Dungeon Magazine as part of DDI.
 

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