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5E Musings on the likelihood of future products


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Lem23

Adventurer
Yes, PS and DS are beloved by us Gen Xers, but they are really beloved.
Gen X here, as are most of my group, but I know I'm not the only one who finds both a bit meh. They might be beloved by you and your group, but that's by no means indicative of that level of fandom in everyone.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Gen X here, as are most of my group, but I know I'm not the only one who finds both a bit meh. They might be beloved by you and your group, but that's by no means indicative of that level of fandom in everyone.
No, but WotC surveys showing then as popular are more indicative. And younger generations are not unaware of this stuff: as a Millennial, I know Planescape: Torment and Dark Sun was published in 2009.
 

Lem23

Adventurer
We play tested the mystic. And the same problems kept cropping up. It was stronger than everyone else, it did everyone else’s stuff, often better.
Yeah. It reminded me of a playtest for Earthdawn 2, a decade or two ago (so I think the NDA time sensitive delay has safely passed now); the designers of that version (LRG) wanted a new character class that was a mix of Thief, one of the magic-using classes, and alos had some talents from one of the more fighty classes. The problem being that it got all the good talents from the other classes, often before they did, and was boosted in a couple of places. It took some persuading from the entire playtest team to get them to realise that as written is was basically the Thief class, but with superior thief skills, plus magic, and better in combat.
 

This could happen! Amonkhet MtG. :p:D

I love all the art I've seen from that but I'll be shocked if it happens before 5E is done.

Furthermore, the reason they don't have a "growing fan-base" could be because there is no new material.
I think it's pretty possible to say this isn't just "could" be but in fact "is" and not be unreasonable in this belief, given there seems to be a strong correlation between how recently a setting has had official material published for it, and the amount of online following it has

Plus, I'm not sure DS doesn't have a growing fan base, in terms of people who like the concept, even if they haven't actually played it.

Kara-Tur doesn't have to be a PR disaster. I'm not sure how D&D is doing in Japan, South Korea, and China, but if there is a market, it could be designed there as the first "international D&D book."
This operates under the misapprehension that there's a thirst for a generic "Asian" sourcebook in the RPG scenes of Japan, Korea, and China. I know nothing about the scene in China, and little about Korea, but in Japan, there pretty much definitely is not any thirst whatsoever for that. People who are playing Western RPGs (as opposed to Japanese-designed RPGs, of which there are a number) are playing them in part because they are Western - they are not "the only option". Very few people, if anyone, in Japan, wishes for an "Asian" D&D.

Also being "international" was a thing in like, 1990. It is not a thing in 2020. It is so last century, darling.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Gen X here, as are most of my group, but I know I'm not the only one who finds both a bit meh. They might be beloved by you and your group, but that's by no means indicative of that level of fandom in everyone.
But the problem is the notion of “everyone.” There is no pleasing everyone — no rules system, edition, splat, story arc, or setting. I don’t poo-poo anecdotal evidence, but it has to be viewed as broadly as possible, and with the backing of polling.

WotC’s focus is producing books that will sell, while maintaining the integrity of the game and its traditions. Part of this is keeping alive legacy settings to various degrees, from stray homage mentions to full treatments. There’s a lot of gray area in-between, but somewhere is a line where an old (or new) setting or idea merits publication. Given the data, anecdotes, and a subjective assessment of viability of today’s context, I think both Dark Sun and Planescape are safely across that line.

Planescape is more obvious. I mean, we’re going to see planar treatment eventually, right? Why not—at the very least—include a chapter or section on Sigil? If people like it, they can do more. If not, well, it is just a chapter or two in one book.
 
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We play tested the mystic. And the same problems kept cropping up. It was stronger than everyone else, it did everyone else’s stuff, often better.
That's not really true though, unless you ran with a 5MWD. It's not even arguable. The facts are the facts, the math is the math. If you did run with a 5MWD, then yes, it was a huge problem, but so are several classes. Also, to claim it was "stronger than everyone else" at all levels is just outright false. It's certainly not stronger than any other full caster.

Every criticism I've seen of the Mystic ends up one of two waves - vague handwaving and "well it didn't work for us!", which is potentially true of every class, so is meaningless, or 5MWD-based maths, like "OMG they can do X damage for Y rounds!", which always relies on them blowing every bit of power they have, and still ends up with them doing worse damage over a 6-8 encounter work day than most classes. And they have zero utility if they do that.

The real problem was really simple - the Mystic was on par with the full casters, not on-par with the non-full casters. And if you trialed a new full caster, people would reject it. If you imagine a 5E that launched without a Wizard say, and added it as a class in UA, it would definitely, certainly have attracted massive criticism and been labeled grossly overpowered.
 


Mercurius

Legend
I would also add that if I were WotC, I’d iron out some of the 90sisms of Planescape - not necessarily make if more generic, but less tied to 90s culture.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I do think we will see a 50th Anniversary set of the core books - and it will not contain a single rule revision that's not part of standard errata.

Limited edition with fancy covers, absolutely. Maybe some new art. I could see a glossary and a real index but wouldn't bet on it. But there would be such a fan uproar and pushback at a revised set of rules - regardless of lightly or heavily revised - that it is so close to 0% as to be indistinguishable. If you count shouting down the marketing guy who suggests it in a meeting, it might actually be a negative chance to happen.

Unless they turn the crank and have a whole new edition for 50th. But that is again not a revision, it's a new edition.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I would also add that if I were WotC, I’d iron out some of the 90sisms of Planescape - not necessarily make if more generic, but less tied to 90s culture.
If nothing else, The Good Place showed that philosophy can be made interesting to a broader pop culture audience.
 


Amonkhet has already been done as a free PDF from WoTC. It was a downloadable file of about 40 pages. Here it is. If I do not have to right to share this Freebee. Plz, ask a moderator to remove it.
 

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Parmandur

Legend
@Ruin Explorer

yea because me and the several groups who tested it are delusional. It’s great on paper but not in play. We were far from alone.
Mathematically, it probably was pretty OK. But WotC is testing for feeling more than math, and if the vibe isn't working for people it doesn't matter if everything works out on the spreadsheet.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Mathematically, it probably was pretty OK. But WotC is testing for feeling more than math, and if the vibe isn't working for people it doesn't matter if everything works out on the spreadsheet.
This makes me think that the best approach to psionics--as with the planes and epic stuff, as I said earlier--is to offer it as a toolbox, with a variety of options. All they have to do is make sure the math is OK, then individual groups can decide whether they allow the Mystic, Psion, psionic talents, etc.
 

Amonkhet has already been done as a free PDF from WoTC. It was a downloadable file of about 40 pages.

For sure, but I could see a more, shall we say, full treatment.
Without going and digging around for it, I am almost sure I read or heard an interview with Wyatt where he said the Magic settings he had done as free pdfs were not likely to get the hardcover book treatment, or they would be at the end of the list behind all the other settings, or something like that.

On a side note, if they ever do a hardcover adventure for Ravnica, I hope it is based on this:

 

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