5E So whatever happened to the Tactics Variant/Module or Whatever

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Quite honestly it seems like it would be prohibitively difficult to add on like a patch in the first place so I wasn't really expecting to see it. Just adding in the bloodied condition for its fantasy fighting pacing fun might be extensive let alone a broad tactical boost. 5e design paradigm seems to make it an extensive rewrite not a add on.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
We’ve known the promise of modularity was an empty one since before the end of the playtest. Unfortunate, because 5e has a really, really solid mechanical underpinning that WotC just doesn’t seem to have any interest in experimenting with. There were some pretty cool variant rules in the DMG, and that was it. If you want any more tweaking than that, it’s 3rd party or nothing.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
As Charlaquin says, the bigger question is what happened to the idea of modularity in general?
 

CapnZapp

Hero
As Charlaquin says, the bigger question is what happened to the idea of modularity in general?
It died when WotC decided to not rock the boat afraid that any new ideas would jinx the edition and stop the profits rolling in.

They avoid doing anything that could be interpreted as "new edition" like the plague.
 
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Zardnaar

Hero
It's there in the class design and optional rules in the DMG.

I think the fanatics took things a bit to literally. They said fans of 1E to 4E could play together not that it would be 1E to 4E.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Based on what players of the individual editions have said about what was required to make the game like their edition, I suspect they realized early in the process that there was little they could do to make a majority of those players happy. No matter what they put in, they'd be a dollar short.

So they did what they could to put in variant rules to help bridge the gaps between the 5E they were making and the specific edition a player wanted... hoping that enough players and DMs would find the variants fun and useful. But any player thinking 5E would be made to exactly replicate the edition they wanted was going to be disappointed regardless.

And let's be real here... did ANY player really believe they were going to be able to play a single game that could replicate two different editions at the same time? If that was at all possible, the games would have had to have been so close already that we wouldn't have seen such wide disagreements about stuff that had been changed from one edition to another.

The whole reason there were such vitriolic diatribes regarding 3E and 4E for example was because the players thought the gap between the two editions was so huge. So what kind of game could possibly have be made in that gap that would have made both sides happy? I believe (and I suspect WotC learned soon the hard way) that there was none.
 
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MarkB

Hero
They may also have realised that modularity was a bit of a blind avenue sales-wise. It might bring in more people in the initial wave by catering to more varied play-styles, but in the long term creating a fractured fanbase each playing a different version of the same game doesn't actually provide a solid foundation for expanding the market.
 

dave2008

Legend
Quite honestly it seems like it would be prohibitively difficult to add on like a patch in the first place so I wasn't really expecting to see it. Just adding in the bloodied condition for its fantasy fighting pacing fun might be extensive let alone a broad tactical boost. 5e design paradigm seems to make it an extensive rewrite not a add on.
Why do you think it would be difficult to add? Doesn't seem that hard to me. I guess it depends on what you are looking for. So, what would you want in a tactical module?
 

Xeviat

Explorer
What is it you feel you'd need to make things more tactical. I feel like running 3 deadly (not dadly autocorrect ...) fights a day, with a short rest after each, gives more opportunities for tactical play. The monsters in 5E are a lot simpler than they were in 4E, so I steal a lot of monster stuff from 4th and just massage the numbers into the right place.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Why do you think it would be difficult to add?
Because increasing the tactical element of play interleaves with every class used and any combat spell and every monster in use. How many bits and pieces do you have to interact with just for one element is what makes it difficult?

I already mentioned the bloodied condition I will point out more broadly why that example works. It can give us monsters who have tactically interactive abilities defenses and powers which change over stages of a combat what makes them inducing/encouraging different kind of choices and approaches by the players. There could more stages if one wanted to notch it up.

Honestly I am not asking for identical to previous editions. One hopes for better.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The monsters in 5E are a lot simpler than they were in 4E, so I steal a lot of monster stuff from 4th and just massage the numbers into the right place.
You named one right there dude... do you really think you can go and change virtually every monster an easy fix to the game?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
There were some pretty cool variant rules in the DMG, and that was it. .
And some are kind of innadequate like how second wind is very nearly un-used in 4e due to action economy and which is even more tied down in 5e. But it gets a variant?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
It's there in the class design and optional rules in the DMG.

I think the fanatics took things a bit to literally. They said fans of 1E to 4E could play together not that it would be 1E to 4E.
I don’t think anyone expected the game to be able to play exactly like each other edition. But I don’t think anyone took the promise of modular rules too literally. Early on they were quite explicit about the idea of modular rules packets that could be plugged in or removed to tailor the experience more to your group’s play style, and those never appeared, beyond the handful of optional rules variants in the DMG. And to be fair, the optional rules variants in the DMG are a great example of what that kind of modularity could look like. It’s just a shame WotC never made any more products like that.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
And let's be real here... did ANY player really believe they were going to be able to play a single game that could replicate two different editions at the same time? If that was at all possible, the games would have had to have been so close already that we wouldn't have seen such wide disagreements about stuff that had been changed from one edition to another.
I didn’t expect them to succeed in making the edition able to be played like any other edition, but I did expect them to try, and I expected that some fans of each edition would be able to tweak the game in ways that they would enjoy, even if it didn’t perfectly replicate their edition of choice. I also expected that a lot of these modular rules packets would end up being DM-side, because the idea that each individual player in the same game could be playing a character that was like one from a different edition was obviously pie-in-the-sky.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I don’t think anyone expected the game to be able to play exactly like each other edition. But I don’t think anyone took the promise of modular rules too literally. Early on they were quite explicit about the idea of modular rules packets that could be plugged in or removed to tailor the experience more to your group’s play style, and those never appeared, beyond the handful of optional rules variants in the DMG. And to be fair, the optional rules variants in the DMG are a great example of what that kind of modularity could look like. It’s just a shame WotC never made any more products like that.
I find the accusation that people want it to be exactly the same is ummm insert something not nice.

I mean really why not actually try to be better? 4e had some experiments later in the edition where a class could shift battlefield roles for instance swapping out your general fighting specialization dynamically. Not that they were totally locked down any way but explicit fluidity is good too.
 
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dave2008

Legend
You named one right there dude... do you really think you can go and change virtually every monster an easy fix to the game?
Yes, especially after playing 4e I have a wealth of easy options at my finger tips! To be honest, I lot of 4e monsters aren't as engaging as people claim. That being said, there was an excess of conditions and movement that could be fun.

I find in 5e it is best to us straight 5e monsters for mooks and then dress up a boss with a few 4e-isms. Strikes the perfect balance for me and doesn't require much effort at all.
 

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