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D&D 5E Living Rules System?

shadow

First Post
I see that Mike Mearls is already talking about D&D as a "living rules system".

"The process will begin with playtest surveys much like the ones we did for the core game, to allow us to see if the game has issues and if so where."

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Although in an article earlier this year on the Wizards website, Mike Mearls assured people that there wouldn't be a new PHB every year, I would rather not see any major updates even if they are available as a free pdf download. This is largely a resistance to the idea that the books that I spent $50 each on are suddenly 'out of date'. Even though no one forces you to use the updated rules, many gamers that I know can be extremely insistent on playing 'the most current version of the game'. (I still remember the amount of crap I received from players when I announced that I would be sticking with 3.0 and not switching to 3.5.) Also, it seems like the number of minor revisions and rule updates never end; when a problem is 'fixed' in one area some people will complain about something else, then when that problem is 'fixed' others will complain about yet another area. I would rather play a system that isn't completely balanced than have to regularly make a number of adjustments to the rules.

Your thoughts on the idea of a 'living rules system'?
 

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Wrathamon

Adventurer
They said this system is for you to make your own. If you dont want to add stuff to the game. Dont.

They are being upfront about it. That is pretty refreshing if you ask me.

You just have to get players that understand that or be more flexible with adding new rules when you feel it's necessary.

Mearl's mentions that they think that you should use the core + one add on and that's it. That's how they are looking at the game.

Any update is optional

edit
btw I was a 3.5 pusher ... I felt 3.0 was the paid beta and 3.5 was the actually final release.

I've gotten older and wiser and feel that if you were happy with 3.0 then pick the stuff from 3.5 that you want or stick with the older system and make no changes.

It's up to you, the only thing it impacts really is public play or friends that you play with that always want something new and shiny.
 
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I would have to see the full quote in context to decide, but I think they did enough playtesting already that all issues will be negligible. It isn't as if this game is broken and requires a lot of errata like some Fantasy Flight games that I've bought, but there are a couple things here or there that could benefit from slight tweaks. If that's all there is, I'll make note of them, see if my players want to use them, and continue on. But I sincerely doubt there will be anything on the scale of a 3.5 or Essentials in this edition.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Mike Mearls assured people that there wouldn't be a new PHB every year, I would rather not see any major updates even if they are available as a free pdf download. This is largely a resistance to the idea that the books that I spent $50 each on are suddenly 'out of date'.

Now that I think about it, this sort of points at a different approach than the one used on 3.0. (Sorry, I didn't pay any attention to 4.0 so I can't include references to the Essentials/pocket guides.) With 3.5, the team picked out a suite of problem areas and fixed them up relatively quickly, and printed the book to patch the wound. This resulted in needing new books in relatively short order - the dreaded "buy new books if you want to keep playing" problem.

My guess for 5e is that they'll use the Basic Rules avenue to provide updates, or the "modularity" aspect to make updates optional, and wait on the new PH. They'll print another PH in time, but it will take longer than 3.5, and hopefully take the guise of "optional rules" so that books released AFTER the new PH don't require ownership of the book.
 

Boarstorm

First Post
They've said in the past that the fixes will be less "Here's the fixed Ranger" and more "Here's an optional Ranger for those who want it."

/shrug

Take that for what it's worth.
 

Evenglare

Adventurer
They've said in the past that the fixes will be less "Here's the fixed Ranger" and more "Here's an optional Ranger for those who want it."

/shrug

Take that for what it's worth.

That sounds like prime opportunity for power creep. It happened in 4e, where some builds eventually made others obsolete. At the end no one even wanted the players handbook because everything in there was so worthless or retconned to a point where it literally became another book with the amounts of eratta.
 

Plaguescarred

First Post
I really like the idea of a Living Rules where the system evolve and the ruleset is polished. And being surved about it means our opinions will be sollicitated and we will participate to it which is good news!
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I don't know, but so far for me the consequence has been that I am not yet buying any books before I know whether there will be a 2015 version of them.

For example, among the latest news, one of my most-wanted rules module is not in the DMG as previously supposed. The reason is that it's not ready, it needs more testing. When ready it will be available for free in Basic.

While the reason is VERY good (better late than bad), and you can't complain about a free lunch, really I don't know... there aren't many other things in the DMG that I really want to have (I'll make up my own magic items, and I can still use the playtest version of the Exploration rules module), so maybe if I wait long enough there will be a new 350-pages version of the DMG with those rules plus something more. The fact that they've already extended one of the books (MM) from 320 to 350 pages really made me think this could be a possibility for the PHB and DMG too.

If they really don't want to publish updated versions of the PHB/DMG/MM they should boldly state so, but IMHO they won't because they can't promise that...
 

bleezy

First Post
I don't see any cons to the living rules idea. I DM with a small group of close friends so I find it very easy to say "let's just stick to the PHB" if I need to.

But like any game we need some house rules, errata and clarifications. So it is nice to be able to go online and find those things on a case by case basis.
 

mcbobbo

Explorer
Since they have also stated that they hope to get at least a decade of mileage out of this edition, I'd assume that reprints are inevitable.
 

Nebulous

Legend
They've said in the past that the fixes will be less "Here's the fixed Ranger" and more "Here's an optional Ranger for those who want it."

/shrug

Take that for what it's worth.

I think the living rules system is a good idea. In a few years it might be nice to have a revamped core book with community voted updates.
 

ranger69

Explorer
My recall may be faulty but I seem to think that a living rules system was discussed at the start of play-testing.
I think that fixes for classes will come in the form of new subclasses, new subraces for races.

I do not think that the rules will undergo a huge revision, but rather have clarifications.

I think that there will be optional modular rules, such as for psionics, but possibly in players books for AP's.
 

Wolfskin

First Post
I'll welcome sporadic online updates to some of the core content, as long as most of the published books do not need extensive errata. Hell, I'd even buy a revised PHB in three or four years if that makes edition last up to almost a decade.

That is probably just wishful thinking, though.
 

shadow

First Post
Boarstorm said:
They've said in the past that the fixes will be less "Here's the fixed Ranger" and more "Here's an optional Ranger for those who want it.

I don't mind so much if variant classes were printed in a book like the 3.5 Unearthed Arcana so long as they are clearly a different take on the core classes (e.g. an urban druid, a non-spellcasting ranger, a paladin of slaughter, etc.). However, if they are just 'rebalanced' versions of the PHB classes, you can bet that before long everyone will demand that the 'variant' classes become the new core, effectively invalidating your copy of the PHB.

I am a little cynical, but it has been my experience that when a new version of the rules comes out the majority of players demand to have an immediate switch to the new version, even in the middle of an ongoing campaign. When 3.5 came out suddenly I had people complaining how 'broken and unbalanced' 3.0 was (even though we had been playing it for sometime without complaint). When Pathfinder came out, people suddenly had reason to talk about how broken and unbalanced 3.5 was. I don't have much experience with 4e, but I assume that the same thing happened to a lot of players when the essentials came out.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
Savage Worlds comes out with a new edition every 3 years or so and the players love it. Why?

1. It's 99% compatible with existing material because the changes are very minor (often just rewordings and clarifications)
2. The designers keep very close contact with the player base so the changes are things they know a lot of people want (things people often do as house rules or often mess up, for example)
3. The new edition only costs $10
 

Rod Staffwand

aka Ermlaspur Flormbator
I think it's a great idea. Yearly broad-reaching surveys can do a lot to give specific information to the developers in how D&D is being played, where the weak points are, what needs clarification, and potential avenues of expansion.

Hopefully, the form of any updates or extensions will be better integrated than dry lists of errata and not as costly as new core books.

I'd much rather get a 5.1 in a year, 5.2 in two years and so on; then require a radical revision up to 5.5 or 6E in 5 years. Slow, incremental tweaks and improvements are far easy to analyze and implement then massive system-wide changes.
 

Wrathamon

Adventurer
I don't have much experience with 4e, but I assume that the same thing happened to a lot of players when the essentials came out.

my experience with this was no it didn't. The classes in essentials weren't new classes but new builds or sub classes for the same class, so you can play the original PHB fighter or an essential fighter in the same game. So it basically was what you said you would be okay with. New take on the same class that doesn't invalidate the old one. Essentials didnt really replace anything (as far as content went) but was additions to. The things that changed were rule updates but those had pretty much already been part of the errata.

I don't think they would do what they did in 3e to 3.5 and I think they would do something akin to essentials in spirit. Adding new stuff to the game that doesn't invalidate the old.
 

Authweight

First Post
It's weird to me that so many responses come down to, "I don't want it because all my players get into it and then I have to fight them about sticking with the old rules."

If your players are really into rules updates, that indicates to me that rules updates are probably a good thing. You as a DM may not see the issues, but if your players are/have been excited for it, then maybe you should reconsider your stance. Isn't the point to put on a fun game for the players?
 

Warunsun

First Post
3. The new edition only costs $10
And generally in the past they have provided minor rules changes from the new edition concerning older printings for free on the web. You may not get a newer race or whatnot but you would be able to see some of the focused minor changes. :)
 


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