D&D 5E So 5th edition is coming soon


Take your 3.5 books and some Tipex. Tipex out the "3.".

This is the only thing that will make some people happy.

Not really, that would be a step *backwards* not *forward*. I'm not a 3.x grognard, in fact, I'm a 4e fan. I havent touched 3.X since 4e come out.

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Greg K

For starters, I would want
1. Dragonborn and Tieflings as PC races removed from the PHB and brought back in a supplement.
2. Warlocks also removed from PHB and brought back in a supplement
3. Less broad skills
4. skill points back for PCs and the removal of the +1/2 level bonus
5. Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies made optional (and introduced in a supplement) or removed
6. Hit Points:
a. Hit Points made less abstract and a condition track for hit point loss ; or
b. hit points removed for a M&M/True20 Toughness Save
7. Martial Powers handled more like Malhavoc's Book of Iron Might by Mike Mearls. This would cut back on power bloat or at least give a system for building attack maneuvers. It would allow the players to describe what they are trying to do with their attack and the DM would look up a small chart of modifiers based on the condition inflicted or alternate ability score used as an attack modifier to determine the attack penalty and then apply appropriate drawbacks (target gets AoA, target gets a save, attacker falls prone, etc.) that reduce the penalty.
8. Drawing from Savage Worlds, combine several conditions into a single one like Savage World's Shaken.
9. An option for the disease track to model long term injury
10. Action Points to work like M&M Hero Points/True 20 Conviction
11. Healing: more distinction between magical and non-magical healing
12. a pantheon of original deities if the are not going to use Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms as the default. If they are going to use Greyhawk, use the pantheon created by Gygax and leave out the Suel deities.
13. Rituals that work like the TV shows Buffy and Supernatural and the comic book, Hellblazer


First Post
Just wrote this on the WotC forum.

The board game and Gamma World have been attempts to see how different concepts play out. I am sure 5E is in development in some form. The thing about edition splits before they are due is that they tend to fracture the community. 3E came out at the perfect time and I don't see how its success will be replicated.


First Post
So... what are your suggestions? What whould you like to see? What would you like NOT to see?

For me to purchase any new version of D&D again, designers would have to go back to AD&D First Edition and use it as the baseline for a new edition. They would have to create a new D&D based on the same influences that inspired Gary Gygax to create the game he originally created. I'd want Basic and Advanced version of the game.

Understand that I know this won't happen, but you asked. I do realize that this might happen from some other game designer - someone that doesn't own the rights to D&D; say for example Goodman Games or Kenzer and Co.

Not really, that would be a step *backwards* not *forward*. I'm not a 3.x grognard, in fact, I'm a 4e fan. I havent touched 3.X since 4e come out.
Same for me, but tried trailblazer and I couldn´t get my head around it anymore... moving backwards just does not work. It is just the same as trying ADnD 2nd edition in 3.5 era. It just doesnot work.

*And I grew up as player with ADnD and as a DM with 3.5...


First Post
According to "Wizard's Present: Races and Classes", 4E took around three years to create from conception to release date (mid-2005 -> June 2008).

According to the July 21, 2010 WotC D&D podcast, 4E Essentials took around one year from conception to release date (September 2009 -> September 2010).

Like it or not, Essentials wasn't a new edition, but rather an add-on to the current edition. It was designed to work fully with the current edition, meaning that it was a lot easier, and quicker, to design than a full blown new edition.

That being said, I do think its likely that if they have not actually started on 5th ed. yet, that they are at the very least getting ready to. I'm sure that a lot of what they are doing right now is trying to gather opinions and feedback on essentials as well as 4ed "Original" and using that feedback to determine where to go from here.

Getting back on point to the OP though, I do like the idea of more general powers. I see no reason why a Fighter should be able to Cleave but a Barbarian cannot. Perhaps there are Barbarian specific powers (or maneuvers or whatever you want to call them) that are preferable to Cleave, but I certainly think certain powers could be rolled into a general pool. In fact, I think this would be a good way to redefine the power sources. I think that the whole "power source" concept of 4ed is more or less failure as for the most part it doesn't mean anything. Sure there are a few feats, PPs and ED's that are power source specific, but for the most part, there's no real reason for them in 4ed. With the new edition, each power source could have its stable of standard powers/attacks/whatevers that any character with access to that source can use or pick from. Each class then would also have its own class-specific powers as well. Commander's Strike seems perfect for a warlord, but not so much for a rogue for example.

While I would love to see a reduction in bloat, I just don't think it will really happen (other than that at first there will obviously be fewer options). The fact of the matter is that WotC (and Hasbro) are in the business of making money, and one of the best ways to accomplish that is to keep coming out with new products -- be it DDi updates, new hardcovers, softcovers, whatever. DDi (in theory anyway) becomes a lot less valuable if it only brings you the VTT (which a lot of groups don't need) and the other e-Tools as opposed to bringing you Dragon and Dungeon articles that will invariably include new feats, powers, etc.

I personally would like to see a codification of the old craft/profession type skills from 3.x. I think 4ed kind of did a disservice by eliminating them completely with the saying "if you want to be a blacksmith, then you are". However, I think the better way to approach these would be to create a separate pool of skills points/trainings for these in addition to the more standard skills that we have. In 3.x a lot of players were hesitant to invest too much in something like Perform or Profession because realisitically, it was unlikely that these skills would come into play more than a few times per campaign. Skills like Perception, Insight, Stealth, Arcana, etc. though are almost sure to be regular features in most campaigns. As a result most players would concentrate on those because they get a bigger return on investment.

Other than that, I think those are my main wishes. I think 4ed did a lot right. I like the broader array of choices for all characters. I like that the classes are much better balanced now. I like that the standard combat for the standard group includes 5 monsters or more rather than 1.

There are minor tweaks needed to combat of course, but those are fairly minor. I do like conditions, but I agree that perhaps we could combine a few and make it easier to remember and identify them. Solos still need work (primarily with dealing with status affects), and minions could use some added beef (not a lot, but a little). I don't even really mind hour long combats so long as the combats remain interesting throughout. The new monster damage has gone a long way toward addressing this, so even this issue is better than it use to be.


First Post
I personally would like to see a codification of the old craft/profession type skills from 3.x. I think 4ed kind of did a disservice by eliminating them completely with the saying "if you want to be a blacksmith, then you are". However, I think the better way to approach these would be to create a separate pool of skills points/trainings for these in addition to the more standard skills that we have. In 3.x a lot of players were hesitant to invest too much in something like Perform or Profession because realisitically, it was unlikely that these skills would come into play more than a few times per campaign. Skills like Perception, Insight, Stealth, Arcana, etc. though are almost sure to be regular features in most campaigns. As a result most players would concentrate on those because they get a bigger return on investment.

I've been toying with an idea like this for my 4E campaign - basically, give each PC the choice of a Profession or Craft skill from 3.5. We did use that a lot for role play flavor in my 3.5 campaign that ran from 2007 to 2010... we had one guy that put a ton of ranks in Cooking, and by the end of the campaign, he was cooking meals worthy of kings (and, by the time the party was level 15-18, they were often in the company of kings...) But, it was a good role-playing opportunity, as he would go down to meet the king's personal chef, chat him up & get some info from him.


I rather hope 5e is not currently in the works. Just after 4e hit, The Rouse commented that he felt 8 years was about right for an edition cycle, and I generally agree with that. Also, if they're doing a new edition, it must surely be in an attempt to reclaim the 'lost' players (to PF, 3.5e, or the OSR), but to do that in large numbers will require a significantly different game, meaning the DDI will pretty much have to be thrown out and started again.

Now, all that said, as a thought experiment...

First, some philosophical positions:

- The game must not require miniatures. In fact, it must not 'require' them even in the same way 3e/4e/PF 'requires' them. (That is, you can play without, but...) However, if the game can be set up so that it benefits from the use of minis, all the better.

- The game must not require any electronic component. Again, it must not 'require' one in the same way that 4e-with-all-the-supplements 'requires' the CB to keep it straight. (Again, you can play without, but...) If the game can be set up so that it benefits from the use of the DDI, all the better.

- The game must not require (or 'require') any collectable component. Again, if it can be constructed so that it benefits from one...

- The bulk of the money is in the electronic form. Therefore, the main purpose of physical products is to get people playing, then (hopefully) transition them to DDI subscribers.

- That said, some products are vital to the existence of the game, and therefore must be done even if they lose money. This may include all physical products; it certainly includes adventures.

- It's easy to release products to add complexity to the game; it's nigh-impossible to release a product that removes it. Therefore, your entry point needs to be the simplest possible expression of the game.

- If you can't do something well, it's better not to bother doing it at all. Even the most ardent DDI-booster really has to admit that all is not right there at the moment, and that is just wrong.

Physical Products


The major change I would make would be to kill off the "3-book" sacred cow. The game should operate out of one Core Rulebook, that actually would be very similar to the Essentials "Rules Compendium" in format - smaller size, paperback, and no more than about 250 pages.

Said book should contain rules for 4 races (human, elf, dwarf, halfling), 4 classes (fighter, wizard, cleric, rogue), the Heroic tier, a basic set of magic items, a basic set of monsters, and guidelines for the DM running games in that tier.

On Day One I would release two products. The first of these would be the "Basic Set" - the assumed starting point for all new players in the game. This would be quite similar to "Wrath of Ashardalon" in terms of price point and content - it would contain a quick-start guide, pregenerated characters, dungeon tiles, minis, dice, a pencil, an adventure book... The two key additions from WoA would be the addition of the Core Rulebook, and an expansion CD.

(The expansion CD would contain further adventures, a stripped-down Character Builder tool, sample issues of eDragon and eDungeon, and a link to the WotC website (with a nice handy "subscribe to DDI" link...))

The other product would be the Core Rulebook, sold separately. This would be aimed at experienced players, who probably don't want all the bells-and-whistles.

Shortly after Day One, I would release most of the other components of the BS as separate purchases, but this would definitely be later to avoid confusion.

Also, note: it would be the same Core Rulebook in the Basic Set as everyone else uses.

Over the next year, I would release a "second circle" of books, expanding the game out to provide all the classic races and classes, more monsters, more powers, and the full level range. I would probably do this with five additional books: an "Advanced Player's Handbook", an "Advanced Dungeon Master's Guide", a two-volume "Bestiary", a "Grimoire" (or similar... or maybe not), and a "Tome of Treasures".

These would be designed assuming that they are used along with the Core Rulebook, and that they're used as a set - the APH can safely refer to the Grimoire, for example.

This would be the 'complete' game for the more hardcore gamers.

Finally, for the truly hardcore, I would probably do a "third circle" of books, being the splatbooks classes and races, and the like. That said, if the splatbooks just look like "* Power" for 4e (that is, little more than just a set of powers), then these are better released in card format.

At the same time, I would support the Basic Set with an Expansion Set a year later. This would assume only the use of the BS, and would include more of the same - more pregens, more adventures, more tiles, more minis. Basically, just provide more for the more casual gamer.


The 4e model of three books is probably about right, to be honest. I would let the Forgotten Realms lie fallow for a good number of years (possible reboot with 6e?). Unfortunately, that does leave a hole - neither Eberron nor Dark Sun is really vanilla enough to be the 'featured' setting of the edition.

I'd probably just stick with the 4e PoL implied setting as far as possible. Maybe do a couple of mostly-generic area supplements...


Again, I think the volume and format of 4e adventures is actually about right. A couple of things I'd change, though...

Firstly, the Delve Format would mostly be gone. This allows the writer to pack more adventure into a smaller space, and probably allows a bit more freedom in adventure design.

Secondly, the adventures would be strictly standalone - there would be no equivalent of the HPE1-3 Adventure Path in print.

One other product I would do would be an annual "Dungeon Delves" product - a book containing about a dozen or so short zero-prep adventures (done in the Delve Format), intended for play in a single evening. This would be aimed at the harried DM who needs something to run in a hurry.

And that's it for physical product...

Electronic Support

While it should not be required, the aim should be that the DDI should be so good as to be considered a "must have" accessory for the game.

I would introduce a three-tier pricing structure for the DDI. (Note: the following talks about 'players' and 'DMs' getting access to different things. That's just for ease of reading; in fact, all subscribers at a given tier would get all the appropriate things listed.)

At the Bronze tier, players would get access to the Character Builder and the Compendium. DMs would get access to the Monster Builder. (All these tools are familiar to us!)

At the Silver tier, players would get access to eDragon. DMs would get access to eDungeon, and the Adventure Builder and Campaign Builder tools. (See below...) And all subscribers would get access to the Virtual Tabletop.

At the Gold tier, DMs would get access to The Vault.

Some explanation about the various things:

eDragon would be a monthly magazine, much as you might expect. I would move the format a lot closer to the late-Paizo printed product, right down to a fixed monthly release date for all material.

eDungeon would likewise be a monthly magazine, and would likewise have the fixed monthly release date. The ideal format would have five adventures every month: two zero-prep delves and three longer adventures (one for each tier). Of the three longer adventures, one should be standalone and setting-neutral, one should be standalone and tied to a specific setting, and one should be an Adventure Path module. (There should be one AP per year, probably running for 15 levels in 9 installments.)

eDungeon should also feature lots of 'how to' articles, walking through adventure and campaign creation, map making, and so on. Finally, it should feature to development of a DDI-exclusive setting that subscribers can directly influence as it is created.

The Compendium is as it is now. Notably, this will be the easiest way to "catch them all" as regards the collectable power cards (the replacement to "* Power" discussed above).

The Adventure Builder and Campaign Builder tools are as the name implies - easy tools to create elements for the game. At the Silver tier, these would have limited functionality - the ability to manipulate only pre-generated elements (Dungeon tiles, etc). At the Gold tier, they would allow users to create their own custom elements.

Crucially, whenever a custom element is generated (whether this is 'just' a tile, or a full-blown adventure, campaign, or world), the creator will have the option of adding it to The Vault.

The Vault would be a repository of the collected genius of all DDI contributors (including exclusive content from the designers, of course!). It's the OGL again, but controlled by WotC. I can see that being a huge time-saver - instead of having to create whole new adventures/campaigns/maps/whatever, I can just pick the brains of the best of prior art.

(If I could see a way to make it work, I would like to offer some incentive to DMs who add to The Vault, or indeed those who run games on the VTT - some minor discount on their renewal, or periodic contests to showcase the best and see themselves in print, or something. But, as I said, I suspect that may be impractical.)


As noted above, the core ruleset should be vastly simplified from its current position. I have no problem with adding complexity later, but the core should be as easy as possible.

In fact, much of 4e is pretty much okay - there are some changes I'd make here and there, but I suspect many of them would merely be different, not necessarily better.

A couple of things I would definitely do, though:

Firstly, ramp the power level of 1st level characters back a bit. Ideally, the first level character should be the equivalent of elite mercenaries (or real-world Special Forces) - they're clearly a cut above the norm, but they're not outright superhuman (as is the case now).

In fact, if DC 30 represents to pinnacle of real-world human achievement (the point at which World Records fall), then I would suggest that optimised PCs should start to be able to hit that around 8th level (not quite the end of the Heroic tier).

(Note that real-world World Record holders are insanely specialised; even the most optimised PC is necessarily more well-rounded than that!)

Secondly, make a much clearer statement of what the tiers are supposed to represent. I would argue that Heroic adventures should be mostly human-scale, Paragon adventures should be larger-than-life but not absurdly so, and Epic adventures should be the truly world-shaking stuff.

(Heroic PCs are the Black Company or the Three Musketeers; Paragon PCs are Aragorn or the Knights of the Round Table; Epic PCs are Achillies or Leonidas. (Note that none of these examples feature heavy magic use - scale the magic appropriately.))

Thirdly, I would reduce the number of independent things that make up a PC. Largely, I would do this by removing ability score increases by level (or, actually, any other source), making feats small, discrete "always on" numerical bonuses (meaning that the Core Rulebook could conceivably include all the feats in the game!), and so on. Conversely, things like a character's powers or magic items should expand the range of "what the character can do" (maybe giving temporary and situational bonuses).

(To give some 3e examples: Skill Focus should remain a feat; Cleave should become a power. Toughness is a feat; Improved Counterspell is a power.)

Fourth, I'd further simplify monster design to facilitate rapid prototyping.

Frankly, in actual play players are unlikely to notice the difference between the Orc having a +1 to hit and it having +2 to hit (chances are the DM will miscalculate at some point in the encounter anyway :) ). So, set all monster attack/skill modifiers to multiples of +5, and all defences to multiples of 5. (Enough so that players will notice the difference. Also, set all damage values to either Xd6 (no modifiers) or to 1d6+modifier.

(Under this paradigm, monsters are distinguished from one another primarily by "what they can do" - that is, by their powers.)

I've gone on too long. :blush: Hopefully, that gives some feel for what my thoughts are at this time. :)

Hello triqui,

I love the hot pot of ideas that these sort of threads become. Fun for some, and easily avoided by others. I think your points cogent in relation to Mr Mearls and in terms of timelines and with a three year development cycle, the early stages of that development are likely slated for some time this year. Essentially I think you are right that the 5e wheels are beginning to crank over.

So the question is: what would you *think* it would looks like, and what do you *want* it would looks like?

I'll leave the details to others but in general there is a couple of things I would like to see in an attempt to get most past and current players involved:

* A single core PHB, DMG and MM rather than the core being sprayed over a series of books.
* Dragon and Dungeon back in print as well as online.
* A friendlier license than the GSL for 3PP.
* Full electronic support from the outset. (Essentially the 4e vision turned into an actual reality)

However, I think the chances of any of these are slim to the point of remote. As long as it is fun to play, that is all I ask I suppose.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

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