So Will 'OneD&D' (6E) Actually Be Backwards Compatible?

Will OD&D Be Backwards Compatible?

  • Yes

    Votes: 107 57.5%
  • No

    Votes: 79 42.5%


(he, him)
Before the recent upheaval, I was pretty convinced that it would be firmly in the "not actually compatible, but similar enough that you can paper of the incompatibilities fairly easily" range (similar to 3.0 => 3.5, maybe a little worse but still definitely a "5.5").

I still think that is probably the most likely outcome, but I am considerably less sure about it!
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More than likely, I think they're preparing to sell it or spin it off. I don't really expect to see 6E/OneD&D at this point.
The best way to achieve the goal of a legacy product that has been around since 5E was created was probably to put it in the Creative Commons, where no future business changes can impact it.

I don' t think you will be correct. But if it will turn out like this, then I would hate that they added SRD5.1 to CC. Then I think harm has been done to me and many people who were looking forward to a consolidated 5e.

But as I said: very unlikely that they just give up and sell it.


I'm going to disagree there about the Monsters. I guess it depends on what you mean by "greater," but I think they are trying to make monsters easier to play / more interesting, but the don't seem more powerful.
Yeah, we already have a couple years of OneD&D Monsters at this point since they steal changed their Monster building a while back. New presentation, streamlined a bit...same deal.


I think it will be compatible in the sense that the core rules of the game aren't going to change. And by core rules I mean the rules they were originally going to put under CC-BY with their 1.2 OGL talk in the DDB survey. The changes will be in the other parts - classes, monsters, spells, magic items will all probably get a tweak to one level or another, some more, some less, but the basic structures aren't going to change.
This is what I see occurring in front of our eyes, yes.


2 weeks ago? Yes. Now? Only partly. Sure, it will be compatible, but you're gonna have to do some work to make that way. Kind of like B/X to AD&D. Sure, it can work, but you're going to have to make some changes to have a true conversion. I suspect mostly there will be name changes to old terms. No surprise there, as we've already seen them in playtest docs.


My thoughts too. Who knows what compatible means. I suspect adventures and monsters can be used pretty easily but not classes/subclasses. The next play test document might add some clarity.
The last playtest packet they said the goal was for the final product to allow any old Subclass to work with the new base Class. I think they can achieve that with some simple.guidelines, once they've nailed down the base designs.


I voted Yes. I don't think they're going to change their design plans at this point, and their current design is compatible to the point that you could mix'n'match 5e and 1d characters in the same party, and play 1d characters through a 5e campaign.

I do think this may result in them shortening the timeline on building a true new edition, and they'll probably try to low-key it as a variant system that could exist alongside 1D&D, most likely "enhanced to make the best use of online digital tools" and built only for use through DDB and their VTT.

I'm a OneD&D detractor on most points, and I think there will be a certain degree of needless incompatibility (I guess because I consider the OneD&D project about 90% needless), but fundamentally, I've seen nothing so far to indicate that adventures won't be nearly completely compatible, or that should someone wish to use a 5e era monster book in a OneD&D game there would be more than occasional issues requiring simple adjustments for compatibility.


Had you asked me a month ago, I would have said yes... ish. It looks to me like they're changing a good bit more than I had previously expected, so we're seeing something of the scale of a 3.0e -> 3.5e change, rather than a 4e -> Essentials non-change. (I should note that I generally consider the complaints about 3.0e -> 3.5e lack of compatibility to be overblown.) So I'd expect existing adventures to run fine with the new books, possibly with a small web enhancement to update some monster stat-blocks, but I wouldn't expect to run 2014-vintage characters alongside 2024-vintage ones without issue, and might find older supplements have some teething problems.

Following the OGL debacle, I think all bets are off. If they want to create a walled garden with tighter licensing, that would necessitate more extensive changes, which would lead to incompatibility. But it would also mean essentially abandoning the ongoing design work and the playtest and starting over.

Gut feeling... yes-ish. But I wouldn't be at all surprised by the opposite.


Chaotic Looseleaf
I've always assumed that it will be compatible with D&D5 the same way D&D3.5 was compatible with D&D3, or Pathfinder was compatible with D&D3.5, or a major league pitcher can play baseball with a little league team. So, both and neither.

My first reaction to them releasing the SRD 5.1 under CC-BY 4.0 was that they'd have to make oneD&D into D&D6, but the more I think about it the less that seems true. From a sales perspective, I'm sure D&D3.5 "killed" D&D3, and Pathfinder "killed" D&D3.5.

Even with competitors and clones in the marketplace, the chance that oneD&D will not still dominate the market in 2024 is virtually nil. Whether or not it is still dominating the marketplace in 2029 is a complete unknown.


The EN World kitten
If they're trying to make it a billion-dollar franchise, how does this advantage them? If everyone who wants to keep up has to go out and re-buy everything, it will keep it as a 150 million-dollar franchise a bit longer, but do nothing to grow the brand.
After all of the hullabaloo about the OGL, I would have thought that was obvious: it lays the groundwork (i.e. new rules set) for them creating an "immersive" D&D VTT, which has monthly subscriptions and is replete with micro-transactions, which other VTTs can't offer. That's where the money is, as far as WotC/Hasbro is concerned, with the books largely being an afterthought. That's why they were trying to revoke/de-authorize the OGL v1.0a in the first place; because they wanted to eliminate direct competitors for playing D&D in the digital marketplace, squeezing out places like Foundry and Roll20 by disallowing them from hosting 5E-compatible experiences, since those would be too similar to a 5E-compatible 1D&D game.

But if they make 1D&D dissimilar enough from 5E, then presuming they can get the bulk of their current customer base to switch over (which I think is an overestimation on their part), they can still make their VTT into the one-and-only place to get "authentic" D&D VTT gameplay.

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I don' t think you will be correct. But if it will turn out like this, then I would hate that they added SRD5.1 to CC. Then I think harm has been done to me and many people who were looking forward to a consolidated 5e.

But as I said: very unlikely that they just give up and sell it.
I don't really want a consolidated 5e. Putting the 5.1 into the CC essentially allows folks to cut WotC out of the equation, especially with the option of 1.0a still out there. I would be happy to see WotC spin off on its own here.


Three weeks ago I would say yes, the hostility around 3pp lends itself to a split.

That said, since moving away from the controversy I don’t think they have anything to gain by casting 5e off at this point. I think it will be and will stay compatible for a relatively long time… however if they can find ways to differentiate they will. It just might be optional instead of part of core rules.

So far in the play test, that isn't true.

They have nerfed the biggest options, like adding concentration to spiritual weapon.

And buff the weakest ones, like two weapon fighting.

I think if they can achieve that for all classes, it would be a big argument to transition to OneD&D.
But actually they don't need us to switch.
If they opt to go the slow and steady route as with core 5e, new players will naturally just pick the new books and take the new online offers. And after a few years, 90% of the player base will play OneD&D.

Won't happen if the difference is too big, because they have to build up a whole new eco system and compete against themselves.

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