5.5E Is the 5E player base going to split?

Excellent point. Who is actually asking for a new edition, aside from WotC shareholders?
me

I am 80ish% sure I wont get it... but I am about 3/4 of the way to were I was when I was ready to dump 3.5. I am ready for new and updated game.

I am betting we will get 5.5 not 6e and they will change enough to make it need a new book/updates and keep enough to pay lip service to being the same... and as such I doubt 2024 is my year.

but who is calling for 6e? ME!
 

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I mean, you can say this about literally every edition. 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E, all of them had significantly less than 100% of players asking for a new edition. Especially if you looked at the people actually playing them. 3E was probably the most-demanded, because 2E was really looking incredibly old-hat by the end of the '90s. 5E was interesting because a lot of people were pretty dismissive about the idea until it was fairly close to release ("I've got Pathfinder, why would I want a WotC effort?" and so on).

To be honest, I'd like to see a new edition that goes a little further than WotC has been suggesting this one will, like fixes more things (particularly mechanically), and actually innovates a bit (particularly in the exploration pillar, which 5E has very poor support for).

Re: backwards compatibility, I think it's smart to do that, but it also means, imho, the next edition will likely have a shorter lifespan, and likely will be follow by a more significant edition change.
I wish they would make bigger changes. That way they can do what they so obviously think the new kids want and stop with the whole "the game's the same" mantra. I'm tired of being the lobster in the pot.
 

nevin

Hero
They just bought D&D beyond. My guess is the rules will be different enough to require new books and we'll see a push for subscription access to books. That will split the base I think. A player only needs a few books, if you can get them to pay 10 dollars a month that's the price of three books, no printing costs and the player can use online tools. Suck in enough people ok with the sub model and they won't care if they lose a chunk of the base.
 

They just bought D&D beyond. My guess is the rules will be different enough to require new books and we'll see a push for subscription access to books. That will split the base I think. A player only needs a few books, if you can get them to pay 10 dollars a month that's the price of three books, no printing costs and the player can use online tools. Suck in enough people ok with the sub model and they won't care if they lose a chunk of the base.
in out group text my group was just talking about wanting to use Beyond but not wanting to pay $120 for PHB xanathars Tashas and multiverse to make our characters (not to mention if DMs wanted to use monsters) but two of us came up with "I mean maybe if we have to rebuy PHB in 2024 we can do it then" at about the same time... so I would not say that is a bad idea,
 

nevin

Hero
The thing to keep in mind is that people are still buying the core books and D&D is making Wizards a lot of money as it stands right now. Unlike previous edition changes, Wizards doesn't actually need to apply the defibrilators and get the current player base to go out and rebuy all of the books they already own with a new edition. Historically that's when TSR and Wizards have gone to the new edition well - when the edition's sales have started to slump and they need to revitalize the brand.

They could, if they choose, put out a new printing of the current core books with new art, updated with errata, and no other changes instead of putting out another printing of the current books and probably pay for it on new sales and the (probably larger than you think) group of people who would buy it just for the new art. They don't actually need to make a bunch of changes to get the existing player base to buy new books at this point to keep the game going, and if they decide to go that route I'm afraid it will blow up in their faces.
I predict they'll start selling monthly sub access to D&D beyond. Then people with subs will always have the current rules. And 15 bucks a month is a 180 dollar set of books every year with no physical publishing.

. They'll still sell books a lot of people want them. But moving everyone online over time gives them better control of edition wars and higher profits.
 


I don't believe that. It's different but hardly unrecognizable.
it is as different from 1e as palladium fantasy (aka rifts if you don't know) is. There is 0 reason to think anyone would be like "Oh that's just D&D" and infinite reason to think someone would think "Oh, a new TTRPG...it wont last, it's not D&D"
 

Oofta

Legend
evolve or die.... 3e was evolution of 2e. 5e was too (I am skipping 4e to avoid fights). if you took 5e back to 1981 no one would recognize it as D&D. if this continues 7e or 8e could look as different to a 2001 player of 3e as 5e would to a 1981 1e player
I'd disagree on the bolded. Except for the edition that shall not be named, the editions felt like a progression not a different game. We can't go back in time of course, but D&D's rules for me has always been about giving life to my make-believe characters. The details are different, the resulting feel is much the same to me.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
me

I am 80ish% sure I wont get it... but I am about 3/4 of the way to were I was when I was ready to dump 3.5. I am ready for new and updated game.

I am betting we will get 5.5 not 6e and they will change enough to make it need a new book/updates and keep enough to pay lip service to being the same... and as such I doubt 2024 is my year.

but who is calling for 6e? ME!
I'm not calling for a new edition, per se, but I'm happy to buy it if and when it arrives.

Just as there are going to be players who are pushed away by change, there are also going to be customers who are pushed away by stagnation. It's like going to a fashion show in 2022 and complaining that the clothes from 2021 protected you from the elements just as well. Fashion is about selling novelty, not utility. For a luxury item like a new TTRPG edition, "change for change's sake" can be exactly the point.
 

I'd disagree on the bolded. Except for the edition that shall not be named, the editions felt like a progression not a different game.
they only feel progression if you take each step in the path... skipping 2e 2e player options (more of a leap but) 3e and 3.5 then 5e seems VERY off.
We can't go back in time of course, but D&D's rules for me has always been about giving life to my make-believe characters. The details are different, the resulting feel is much the same to me.
that is every RPG ever... so Rifts, Deadlands, and Vampire would all be recognized as D&D...
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yes. Why, I can't fathom but lots of people seem to like it. My point was that given how big that KS was I wonder if PbtA IS the Vampire of 2020s.
I'd say it is the Vampire of the Teens, but still going pretty strong. Fandom also seems to be trying to make Cortex Plus a thing, based on how many ads for the Dragon Prince game I've been seeing.
I haven't seen any actual mechanical changes that look to be solving the combat focus problem that a lot of younger story first players have discovered the system.
Mechanical differences aren't necessarily what is called for. The social influences I saw hoping mad in 2020 talking about leaving D&D for Quest RPG are back playing 5E, and happy with the changes WotC made in Tasha's and Mosnters of the Multiverse, and the change of design emphasis seen in Witchlight and Strixhaven.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm not calling for a new edition, per se, but I'm happy to buy it if and when it arrives.

Just as there are going to be players who are pushed away by change, there are also going to be customers who are pushed away by stagnation. It's like going to a fashion show in 2022 and complaining that the clothes from 2021 protected you from the elements just as well. Fashion is about selling novelty, not utility. For a luxury item like a new TTRPG edition, "change for change's sake" can be exactly the point.
But the question is, how much of thst is there, really? Particularly with the primary audience being high schoolers and College students, a solid rules base that is in place for whenever anyone turns 12 .ay be a winning strategy. Long term retention is a nice to have bonus, not central to the business model. The large amount of merchandise aimed at little kids is probably more valuable for making money through generating new customers than any sort of rules revamp would provide monetary value through retaining long term players who also happen to like radical change (which is going to be a slice of a slice of the market, by definition).
 

Reynard

Legend
they only feel progression if you take each step in the path... skipping 2e 2e player options (more of a leap but) 3e and 3.5 then 5e seems VERY off.

that is every RPG ever... so Rifts, Deadlands, and Vampire would all be recognized as D&D...
Six core stats? Check.
Core races? Check.
Core classes? Check.
Turn undead, fireball and magic missile? Check
Color codes dragons? Check.
XP, AC, Alignment? Checks.
Etc

There is a lot on top of those things, and some are a little different, but it is obviously E&D and not something adjacent.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Six core stats? Check.
Core races? Check.
Core classes? Check.
Turn undead, fireball and magic missile? Check
Color codes dragons? Check.
XP, AC, Alignment? Checks.
Etc

There is a lot on top of those things, and some are a little different, but it is obviously E&D and not something adjacent.
I was putting together a very similar post when I got ninja'ed here. But there are plenty of points of continuity that will indicate it's a flavor of D&D and not Rifts, Vampire, or Deadlands. That's pretty much a hyperbolic non-starter. Someone might confuse Pathfinder or another OGL-based clone but then the story is pretty easy to explain.
 

I'm not calling for a new edition, per se, but I'm happy to buy it if and when it arrives.

Just as there are going to be players who are pushed away by change, there are also going to be customers who are pushed away by stagnation. It's like going to a fashion show in 2022 and complaining that the clothes from 2021 protected you from the elements just as well. Fashion is about selling novelty, not utility. For a luxury item like a new TTRPG edition, "change for change's sake" can be exactly the point.
I don't treat TTRPGs as "fashion".
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
But the question is, how much of thst is there, really? Particularly with the primary audience being high schoolers and College students, a solid rules base that is in place for whenever anyone turns 12 .ay be a winning strategy. Long term retention is a nice to have bonus, not central to the business model. The large amount of merchandise aimed at little kids is probably more valuable for making money through generating new customers than any sort of rules revamp would provide monetary value through retaining long term players who also happen to like radical change (which is going to be a slice of a slice of the market, by definition).
Got me. Fortunately, it's not my problem. :)

I'm sure there's some level of change that can satisfy both the change-averse and the novelty-seeking, but that's a challenging needle to thread.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Got me. Fortunately, it's not my problem. :)

I'm sure there's some level of change that can satisfy both the change-averse and the novelty-seeking, but that's a challenging needle to thread.
Sure, but it is WotC problem: there doesn't seem to be much of a problem for them, though, as the permanent Evergreen base seems to be working.
 


Six core stats? Check.
that are not really what they look like, but they DO have the same lables... but they all just have a + with out any of the other modifiers. and they give bonus and negatives both more often... they would be recognizable but weird.
Core races? Check.

plus a ton of non core ones, and I have seen 3e fans complain that the dragon born and teifling ruine the PHB, so I am doubting that 1e had MORE forgiving progressive players... this would be a small but not 0 sticking point
Core classes? Check.
yea but no... the fighter the wizard the cleric are all there in name but don't really play at all the same saves and HD hp are all over the place... and it gets worse with the 4th core class where is the thief? as they start to look at barbarians with rage and sorcerer and warlock at all this will feel less and less D&D and more and more "someone's idea of a TTRPG, but NOT D&D"

and why so many hp... and why do all the numbers in general get so big. and on top of all that why do all the classes have the same bonus to hit?
Turn undead, fireball and magic missile? Check
again lables, but would someone looking at the turn tables and then the channel divinity see it as anything other than a name... and again Fire Ball and Magic Missile made issues from 3.5 to 5e imagine not having the intervening years... all of these are in name only.
Color codes dragons? Check.
this one I think is the best argument you have... the small number of monsters, but they still would not recognize ANY of the mechanic as coming from D&D
XP, AC, Alignment? Checks.
XP is the closest here...
AC, not anything they would recognize.
Alignment... people argued 3e gutted it and people who never played 2e claim that 5e destroyed alignment...


There is a lot on top of those things, and some are a little different, but it is obviously E&D and not something adjacent.
we can't get a consensus of MODERN 2022 players to agree on that good luck with a 1981 group that are looking at to hit charts different xp charts classes VRY diffrent
 

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