D&D 5E Reality Check: What 5E Will NOT Be

Ichneumon

First Post
When sitting down to create a character for a 5e game, you'll use the 5e PHB.
Not a sourcebook from any other edition. Not the 4e PHB, not Pathfinder, not Skills and Powers. Especially not Skills and Powers.

Level drain is not coming back, and if it is, I might just drain them of revenue.

A 5e DM will never check whether one player's roll hit DC 25 while consulting the combat matrix for another player.

Some alignments might be coming back, but alignment tongues won't be.

Potion miscibility might make a return, but random streetwalkers won't.

I would be really chuffed if proper lycanthropy made a return. I'll be somewhat unchuffed if the Wolf-In-Sheep's-Clothing does.

5e is unlikely to reintroduce the caller as a primary group feature.

Finally, 5e will not be reintroducing percentile strength or different ability limits for males and females.
 

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Chainsaw Mage

First Post
When sitting down to create a character for a 5e game, you'll use the 5e PHB.
Not a sourcebook from any other edition. Not the 4e PHB, not Pathfinder, not Skills and Powers. Especially not Skills and Powers.

Level drain is not coming back, and if it is, I might just drain them of revenue.

A 5e DM will never check whether one player's roll hit DC 25 while consulting the combat matrix for another player.

Some alignments might be coming back, but alignment tongues won't be.

Potion miscibility might make a return, but random streetwalkers won't.

I would be really chuffed if proper lycanthropy made a return. I'll be somewhat unchuffed if the Wolf-In-Sheep's-Clothing does.

5e is unlikely to reintroduce the caller as a primary group feature.

Finally, 5e will not be reintroducing percentile strength or different ability limits for males and females.


Lol . . . I understand each of the references here. I think that makes me officially old school. :)
 

nedjer

Adventurer
@nedjer , well said. I guess I must have XPed you too recently, so have some virtual kudos.

I was more excited about watching paint dry than 5e while expected a land-grab aimed first and foremost at taking Pathfinder on in the 3.xxx arena. Now the core appears to be more along the lines of the systems I prefer, e.g. Traveler, Treasure, C&C I've been sufficiently intrigued to blog on the topic repeatedly. This could be put down to Old School flag-waving or a sorry win-mentality.

However, I'd like to think it's because of the flexibility that comes out of such designs. In part, because it could allow/ enable 4e fans and 3e fans to get what they're looking for while gel-ing with the lighter core, i.e. things can maybe get meshed together rather than be glued or rammed together.

Also, for kids and teenagers a chunk of the appeal always lay in the magic - suddenly having the powers and persona of Samantha in Bewitched or Mel Gibson's Wallace gibbering a lot of inaccurate stuff about Freedom! The mechanical emphasis and the learning curve that has gone with recent editions isn't badwrongfun, but it ain't ever going to grab younger players and shake them through.

It could all still go pear-shaped, but at least there's some kind of fruit on the tree :cool:
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
If 5E doesn't bring back resurrection percentage chances then the game has just failed its check to resurrect my interest in D&D. ;)
 

kitsune9

Adventurer
However, I think you've hit on the snapping point for the spin-off Edition War. Without Comeliness it's obviously not D&D and I need to never read the game, never play the game, slag it off to my mates and send the designers hate mail - seems reasonable :)

They get hate mail from me too for dropping Comeliness. Gotta have a stat to pick up the ladies ;)
 

Number48

First Post
Note that they "hope" to make it compatible with other editions. I take that to mean they have no clue about that yet. I expect quite a bit of "re-imagining" your character into a 5E character, but perhaps a bit less to grab an older module. I don't care, I don't use modules so nanananaphoophoo.

New magic item: Potion of Beer, adds +2 cumulative Comeliness to everybody else.
 


bouncyhead

Explorer
  • 5E will NOT be a remake of your favorite version of D&D with glossy new books and illustrations.
  • 5E will NOT be primarily illustrated by Erol Otus and Jeff Dee.
  • 5E will NOT resuscitate outdated and unwieldy game mechanics like combat tables and THAC0 and Resurrection Survival
  • 5E will NOT, for all that's holy, bring back Comeliness
  • 5E will NOT, hopefully, make shardmind battleminds a viable character option

5E will NOT be brought to you by Xerox In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
5E will NOT go better with Coke.
5E will NOT fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
5E will be no re-run brothers.
 

Crazy Jerome

First Post
5E will not achieve unity by only including the stuff you like, but somehow magically making other people like it too. No, not even with a wish spell. :p
 

Agamon

Adventurer
I would also add that 5th Edition will not be compatible with any other editions.

Lots of people seem to have expected this, but with the misleading choice of words of pretty much everything Monte Cook says, it's not such a suprise.
Still won't happen.

Not sure what you mean by this. Using a 1e PC in DDN? No, of course not. Using a 1e adventure in DDN? I think that was the idea behind Caves of Chaos being the playtest adventure.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Dammit, I want an Elmore cover >pouts<

Seriously, I think it would be fun if pictures from all the various versions were to be interspersed through the books, or at least homages to some of the old art ( such as "A Paladin in Hell", Emirikol the Chaotic and the adventurer trapped in the water-filling room with a skeleton...)
 

Jeffrey

First Post
Sheesh. That's enough for me.

5E WILL NOT: make you happy. Nor you. Nor you, over there hiding in the corner, clutching your pre-painted plastic rare-to-very-rare Dragonborn miniature. Nope, not going to happen. Sorry.

5E WILL NOT: wash your car, cook your dinner, rub your feet or be your girlfriend/boyfriend, no matter how much you beg.

5E WILL NOT: cause any other game or subset of games to wilt and completely vanish from the hobby.

5E WILL NOT: prevent bombastic, self-important postings about what 5E is and is not from people who know nothing more than anyone else, unless they are actively breaking the NDA.

5E WILL NOT: commit any real-world atrocities, steal anyone's money, carve any years from your life expectancy, cluster-bomb any kittens or puppies or cause you any amount of harm in the least.

Not. In. The. Least.

Time for a deep breath, people. As soon as I hit enter I am taking mine, probably a good long one lasting for a few months at least. There are too many important things going on in life to spend time worrying and kvetching over a silly game.

When I read things like the OP, I honestly sometimes wonder if we, as gamers, earn the reputation and deserve the cliches that are so often used to portray us.

See ya later in the spring.
 

nedjer

Adventurer
Sheesh. That's enough for me.

5E WILL NOT: make you happy. Nor you. Nor you, over there hiding in the corner, clutching your pre-painted plastic rare-to-very-rare Dragonborn miniature. Nope, not going to happen. Sorry.

5E WILL NOT: wash your car, cook your dinner, rub your feet or be your girlfriend/boyfriend, no matter how much you beg.

5E WILL NOT: cause any other game or subset of games to wilt and completely vanish from the hobby.

5E WILL NOT: prevent bombastic, self-important postings about what 5E is and is not from people who know nothing more than anyone else, unless they are actively breaking the NDA.

5E WILL NOT: commit any real-world atrocities, steal anyone's money, carve any years from your life expectancy, cluster-bomb any kittens or puppies or cause you any amount of harm in the least.

Not. In. The. Least.

Time for a deep breath, people. As soon as I hit enter I am taking mine, probably a good long one lasting for a few months at least. There are too many important things going on in life to spend time worrying and kvetching over a silly game.

When I read things like the OP, I honestly sometimes wonder if we, as gamers, earn the reputation and deserve the cliches that are so often used to portray us.

See ya later in the spring.

In the OP's case you're maybe getting bombastic mixed-up with enthusiastic. Personally, I believe 5e could:

Make players happy by being fun to play
Save lots of time preparing scenarios - leaving more time for foot-rubs (big win)
Grow the hobby as whole and invite kids back in
Use tried and tested ways to make the game more accessible (we don't seem to be a million miles away from a Traveler-like core)
. . .

I see a certain irony in relating self-importance to firm preferences for player choice, optional rules, playing as a team, non-adversarial GMing and . . . but must admit that I'm sitting here in an Admiral's uniform - and my Fbook language is permanently set to Pirate ;)
 



Mercurius

Legend
When I read things like the OP, I honestly sometimes wonder if we, as gamers, earn the reputation and deserve the cliches that are so often used to portray us.

Huh? Bad day, maybe?

As nedjer pointed out, you're reading waaaaayyy too much "bombasticism" in my original post, in what sounds likes an unholy combination of making a straw man and projection. I'm excited about 5E as a game, no more or less. This is not to say that some gamers don't put an inordinately large amount of their self worth and happiness on RPGs, but I ain't that kitten.

Here's the tricky part - (...all at the same table)

No doubt. But this is less of a problem if we're flexible about what "in the style of" means. Rather than repeat myself, I wrote about that here.
 


Mark CMG

Creative Mountain Games
And just what kind of table, hmm? Can I play at a card table? A sideboard? A buffet? A Chippendale English tea table? Inquiring minds need to know.


Or maybe a To Hit table? :D


No doubt. But this is less of a problem if we're flexible about what "in the style of" means. Rather than repeat myself, I wrote about that here.


I think one of the problems that will surface is that in this day and age there are many great rulesets geared toward giving a particular play experience without the need to settle for something that only meets expectations to a limited degree. The idea of compromise sounds good on paper but if there are, let's just say, five million RPGers and five playstyles with one million that enjoy each playstyle, and dozens of RPGs written to accomodate each playstyle very well, there's going to have to be some rather strong incentives to entice enough folks to lower their bar for 5E to be a success by WotC standards. Certainly, I can imagine there are some groups with all five playstyles represented and no local means to each gather a group for their own style, but will that be enough? Time will tell.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I think one of the problems that will surface is that in this day and age there are many great rulesets geared toward giving a particular play experience without the need to settle for something that only meets expectations to a limited degree. The idea of compromise sounds good on paper but if there are, let's just say, five million RPGers and five playstyles with one million that enjoy each playstyle, and dozens of RPGs written to accomodate each playstyle very well, there's going to have to be some rather strong incentives to entice enough folks to lower their bar for 5E to be a success by WotC standards. Certainly, I can imagine there are some groups with all five playstyles represented and no local means to each gather a group for their own style, but will that be enough? Time will tell.

This is only only a problem if WotC is trying to please EVERYONE - which is simply not possible. I don't think they are. I think they're trying to please as many as reasonably possible while really pleasing those that they do please.

To put it another way, they are (and should be) less than happy with the "satisfaction rate" of D&D players with 4E. I have no numbers to back to this up, but I would guess that the percentage of active D&D players that are playing the official/current version of the game is at an all-time low, and that it isn't even close. A good chunk of this has to do with the greater number of options--retro-clones and Pathfinder, in particular--but a lot of it has to do with how specific 4E is stylistically.

What WotC is (or should be) trying to do is broaden that satisfaction rate considerably, at least back to early 3E levels. Now the real hard part is finding a way that they can do this but not further fracture the community by, for example, destroying the OSR market or taking a huge bite out of Paizo. The trick would be to find a way to make people want to buy 5E not instead of Pathfinder, but as well as Pathfinder.

Taking myself as an example, I would love to play 5E as my core game and not only pick from whatever official modules they offer, but take things from other iterations of the game, from Pathfinder to 4E to 3.5 to AD&D, BECMI, etc. This is why I think they're trying to create a simple and robust enough core to be compatible--if only loosely--with everything else, not because they're trying to make the perfect game for everyone. That won't work. What can work is creating a game that can form the basis for a wide variety of play styles and be a toolbox for all D&D players, even those that don't use 5E as their base. A tall order, but one that is possible.
 

Mark CMG

Creative Mountain Games
This is only only a problem if WotC is trying to please EVERYONE


Well, that's not true. Obviously, they are trying to draw the largest number of fans they can manage to draw and they have set up some target numbers for goals. They probably have some minimum number they have to reach by a certain point in the edition cycle before scaling back or pulling the plug. They review these goals each quarter to determine if they are on target.

Forget about satisfaction rates. The real question is not if they can beat 4E numbers of core book sales (they have to do this) but whether they can hit the numbers they had hoped they would hit with 4E. They also better have their DDI counterpart in place and ready to go with the launch of the books or they'll have the same problems they had as before. Forget about the original pitch goals that RyanD told us about so long ago. I'd imagine they be happy drawing 250K to DDI and consider that a successful start, but only a start.
 

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