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

Parmandur

Book-Friend
This is always an interesting argument.

So, since game books are huge well-springs of entertainment...sometimes literally lasting decades and generations...why do people constantly push for and buy new game books? I mean, I bought a $20 PHB back in 1984 and it's still in good shape. It's perfectly serviceable and the game still plays well enough and I can hack it to my heart's content. So why, since I've already invested in the game, and it's an eternal source of entertainment...why on Earth would I bother buying a newer, more expensive version of the mostly similar game book?
New art, new experiences, genuine improvements (Advantage/Disadvantage, proficiency bonus, etc.). But as someone who has gone back and played Editions earlier than I started with...they still work.
 

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dave2008

Legend
I'm the same. Especially now with the internet and such easy access to world-class art for free. I can find better and more evocative art than WotC would ever put in a book. So why pay them for art?
Because you support the artist who make it. It is also nice to have it all in one place. I find a lot of cool art on the web, but to be honest, a lot of the WotC is more to my taste. If I want a black dragon, I want a D&D black dragon. And a lot of the WotC art is really good and evocative too.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I agree, in play most people won't care. The real question is, who is going to throw another $200 at a set of core books that, according to many on this board, offer very little actual change in the game? I'm not sure i would do that even if I liked the changes.
If it compiles all the errata, updates the races to the new presentation, fixes some lingering math issues with certain classes, improves the advice and organization, and includes updated art, lots of folks will. Hell, if it does most of that, plenty of people will.

I mean tbh I think just a reprint with errata and special new art would sell well enough to be profitable.

If they also add in the Artificer, Tasha's optional variant class features, and fix some of the worst feats?

Most groups.
 

It is an aspect of collecting. Meaning, it doesn't make sense from a purely utilitarian point of view, but a lot of folks are also collectors.

You can see this in any number of niche areas. I'm into mechanical pencils and fountain pens. In the mechanical pencil world, the Rotring 600 is one of the most iconic pencils - sort of a "gateway drug" to becoming a mechanical pencil aficionado. Not only does it come in a variety of lead types (0.5, 0.7, 2mm, etc), but also many different colors - and some collector's want at least one of each.

As with watches, a cheap $2 mechanical pencil (or $10 quartz watch) will suffice, but that's not what it is about (from a collector's or aficionado's) perspective. There are mechanical pencils that cost hundreds of dollars, and don't even get me started with fountain pens, which also have a luxury/status component.

Not to mention that there's the factor of aesthetic pleasure (also, in kinesthetic pleasure - the feel of a well-made, cool looking writing instrument in your hand). I bought the Eberron alt cover for $50 at my FLGS not because I'm anti-Amazon (well, I kind of am - but sacrifice my morals for convenience and economics), but because I loved the cover art - to the point that I was willing to spend $20 more on the cover.
I feel that way about other stuff (old books, maps, pocketwatches, just not pictures really. I don't like having to pay for fancy art I don't really care about, but it is what it is.
 

I'm a picture is worth a thousand words guy. To be honest, I pay almost no attention to the writing that is not specifically mechanics anymore. I may skim the lore, etc., but I don't really retain much of it. I use these monsters in my world - not theirs. I don't need, nor want, to be told how I should use them.
I entered D&D as a hobby mostly through 2e lore, so I feel pretty much the opposite way.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Again, I can find better with a Google search.
new experiences,
Every session is a new experience. No matter what game you're playing. Unless the DM just runs you through an identical session every single time you play.
genuine improvements (Advantage/Disadvantage, proficiency bonus, etc.).
They're debatable. Some think they're improvements, others not so much. From 5E the only improvements I see are dis/advantage and concentration. Both can easily be ported into any edition of D&D.
But as someone who has gone back and played Editions earlier than I started with...they still work.
And they're cheaper. A lot cheaper. Again, RPGs are a well-spring of infinite entertainment, so there's no need to ever buy more books. Yet we do.
Because I like it in a nice, physical, non-digital book.
Sure. And others don't care about that.
 

dave2008

Legend
I bought the Eberron alt cover for $50 at my FLGS not because I'm anti-Amazon (well, I kind of am - but sacrifice my morals for convenience and economics), but because I loved the cover art - to the point that I was willing to spend $20 more on the cover.
That was the same for me. I have it on DnD Beyond, but I got the physical alt-cover because I really liked that cover.
 
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dave2008

Legend
I entered D&D as a hobby mostly through 2e lore, so I feel pretty much the opposite way.
To clarify, I entered through 1e/BECMI and the lore I mostly still use is based on the 1e MM, MM2, and Deities and Demigods.* So when I was new the lore did matter more to me. However, it has never had much of an impact on my games, but the art does.

*with a bit of 4e thrown in now
 

Reynard

Legend
This is always an interesting argument.

So, since game books are huge well-springs of entertainment...sometimes literally lasting decades and generations...why do people constantly push for and buy new game books? I mean, I bought a $20 PHB back in 1984 and it's still in good shape. It's perfectly serviceable and the game still plays well enough and I can hack it to my heart's content. So why, since I've already invested in the game, and it's an eternal source of entertainment...why on Earth would I bother buying a newer, more expensive version of the mostly similar game book?
FOMO is real for a lot of people. Also, just because a game is still serviceable and playable doesn't mean you DON'T want to see a new version of it. And for me personally, if I have gotten my money's worth out of one edition and enjoyed it, I feel like chances are the same will be true in the future. And with D&D I have only been wrong once, so...
 


dave2008

Legend
I feel that way about other stuff (old books, maps, pocketwatches, just not pictures really. I don't like having to pay for fancy art I don't really care about, but it is what it is.
I don't really like paying for fancy words I don't care about either, everyone is different. I could use a D&D that was just technical / mechanical language and art and be fairly happy.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Except that $60 back in 1986 was over double what it is today.

It's very weird that it's the absolute dollar amount that is some kind of limit and not the purchasing power of that dollar amount. $60 today is 4 people going to the movies. $60 back in 1986 would have paid for around 15 people to go to the movies. Have parents gotten cheaper about paying for their kids entertainment?
As has been mentioned, there are some effects of competition and economies of scale.
But chances are those parents now are carrying a lot more student loan and mortgage debt than their counterparts in 1986.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
As has been mentioned, there are some effects of competition and economies of scale.
But chances are those parents now are carrying a lot more student loan and mortgage debt than their counterparts in 1986.
Also the games aren't being bought by those parents, but the kids grown up. My parents haven't bought a video game since the Xbox 360 era, I'm sure.
 

FOMO is real for a lot of people. Also, just because a game is still serviceable and playable doesn't mean you DON'T want to see a new version of it. And for me personally, if I have gotten my money's worth out of one edition and enjoyed it, I feel like chances are the same will be true in the future. And with D&D I have only been wrong once, so...
What does FOMO mean?
 

aco175

Legend
First of all, weren't the original hardcovers 12.95 or less? Anyhow, $15 in 1978 inflates to over $60 today.
Some of the inflation should have been taken away by productivity. The 1978 computer could not do what we have today. The internet allows file sharing. The speed of printing. A lot of things should make a book cheaper than the inflated cost. Salaries, art, marketing likely offset most of this though. I would like to see the old b&w art inside the book though.
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
Some of the inflation should have been taken away by productivity. The 1978 computer could not do what we have today. The internet allows file sharing. The speed of printing. A lot of things should make a book cheaper than the inflated cost. Salaries, art, marketing likely offset most of this though. I would like to see the old b&w art inside the book though.
Actually, my understanding is that printing prices have gone up, because of material changes (different kinds of paper are used now) and labor (particularly for publishers like WotC who print in the U.S.A. with vendors who pay American wages).
 

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