Split the Players Handbook into two books: Lower Tiers and Upper Tiers

Yaarel

Mind Mage
The upper tiers, including epic, are fun. These characters seem worth supporting in a dedicated book. Even if only 5% of campaigners buy the upper tiers book, that would at least cover the cost of printing it. If done well, perhaps many more will buy it.



If I were to be draconian:

Apparently, tiers 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12, represents 95% of 5e campaigns.

If only 5% of campaigners complain about missing levels 13 and up, then by 5e standards of approval, that is a done deal.

• Players Handbook covers levels 1 to 12, only.

• Levels 13 to 20 relocates to the DMs Guide as options alongside epic.

But.



Tiers 13-16, 17-20, and 21-24 have potential. And need more comprehensive support anyway.
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
If the goal is to figure out what works well at upper tiers, does this chart, published 2019, give any insights?

screenshot-2019-02-07-at-10-09-43-png.112252


Apparently, by the Legend tier, levels 17-20, the classes that make it are:

• Fighter (14.1)
• Rogue (10.1)
• Wizard (10.1)
• Barbarian (9.1)
• Warlock (8.5)
• Paladin (8.4)
• Sorcerer (8.0)

This is surprising because Clerics and Rangers start strong at the Student tier, 1-4, but lose steam by Legend. Wizards gain steam.

Maybe the pattern is? The classes that work well in the upper tiers are: classes with new toys (Wizard) and/or simple classes without too many moving parts (Fighter).
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
It's an interesting idea. It would serve their goal of trying to reduce the sometimes overwhelming appearance of choices in a single book for new players.
In a way I agree, and in another way don't quite follow. The great majority of choices - and certainly the most impactfull ones - are made in the first two tiers. But then, what I would envision for a high tier focused book would be additional choices of a similar impact to choosing race, background, subclass, and first few feats. Some type of paragon class branching, and perhaps some cultural choices akin to background.

My ideal would be that some elements - like HP - stop scaling. But that new ways to play open up, and power of a different sort becomes available.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
In a way I agree, and in another way don't quite follow. The great majority of choices - and certainly the most impactfull ones - are made in the first two tiers. But then, what I would envision for a high tier focused book would be additional choices of a similar impact to choosing race, background, subclass, and first few feats. Some type of paragon class branching, and perhaps some cultural choices akin to background.

My ideal would be that some elements - like HP - stop scaling. But that new ways to play open up, and power of a different sort becomes available.
That stuff is worthy of exploring in RPGs but I just don't see it happening in One D&D. It's too much of a "new edition" type vibe for this kind of update I suspect. It would be too far from compatibility to make it into this anniversary edition.
 

Short answer to the OP. No.

What would make high level play more popular is if they got off their rears and rethought high-level play and designed for two styles of play

1 - Mundane
2 - Supernatural (introducing Epic Feats)

BOTH options would see a hit point, HD, proficiency cap, power caps however -

Mundane would see
Casters - (i) access to more powerful spells at a cost of other resources (so you'd sacrifice spell slots or another resource when casting any 6th+ level spells) (ii) the ability of pooling of magic resources between 2 or more casters
Martials - (i) additional manuever/stance options (ii) pull of heroic-feats/manuevers that costs resources (HD, exhaustion levels...etc)

Supernatural would allow
For the selection of Epic Feats (resistances, unshackling the hp, HD, proficiency caps, additional powers at no cost)
 

the Jester

Legend
The upper tiers, including epic, are fun. These characters seem worth supporting in a dedicated book. Even if only 5% of campaigners buy the upper tiers book, that would at least cover the cost of printing it.
And that's super not the business model for 5e books. That's exactly what WotC wants to stay away from- niche products that don't sell enough to justify them. They have been very clear about this since the edition launched; they want every product to have the maximum appeal. 5%, 10%, even 20% is far below what is realistic for them to shoot for.
If done well, perhaps many more will buy it.
WotC isn't taking a "let's hope for the best" approach with 5e publications, they're carefully thinking about what has the widest appeal and pitching every release appropriately.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
And that's super not the business model for 5e books. That's exactly what WotC wants to stay away from- niche products that don't sell enough to justify them. They have been very clear about this since the edition launched; they want every product to have the maximum appeal. 5%, 10%, even 20% is far below what is realistic for them to shoot for.

WotC isn't taking a "let's hope for the best" approach with 5e publications, they're carefully thinking about what has the widest appeal and pitching every release appropriately.
I agree this is the case. And it is a problem that interferes with getting upper tier support.

To be generous, WotC seeks, say, at least a 63% approval rating.

Approval and usage are nonidentical, but the upper tiers must become widely appealing.
 



ReshiIRE

Adventurer
I just do not see why WoTC don't release 1 to 20 adventures when it appears to work for other systems, has worked in the past, and appears to work for some third parties. I assume other publishers do it because it does make them money and not out of stubbornness. So why does WoTC not persue the same idea? Does it have to do with their structure, or having to split those adventures into multiple books? Is it digitising or other issues?

Is it simply that they feel that it won't work for the 5e audience?

Or do they feel there are design issues that they find difficult to tackle at higher levels and would prefer 5e third parties and game masters to provide their own opinionated take, so as to keep the design of their own adventures less suspectible to design issues?
 

the Jester

Legend
I just do not see why WoTC don't release 1 to 20 adventures when it appears to work for other systems, has worked in the past, and appears to work for some third parties.
Yeah, I wonder about this, too. Even if not 1-20, if we could have one adventure for 8-20 for every three or even five we get for 1-10 or 1-12, I'd be happy.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Yeah, I wonder about this, too. Even if not 1-20, if we could have one adventure for 8-20 for every three or even five we get for 1-10 or 1-12, I'd be happy.

They've certainly released PLOTS that ought to run L8-20. I mean, c'mon Out of the Abyss! How is "Captured by Drow, escape through the underdark, run into Demon Lords, finish in Menzobaranzan Archmages, Demons, and Beholders in between? (And did I mention Demon Lords? I think I did.)" How is that not a HIGH LEVEL Adventure?
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I just do not see why WoTC don't release 1 to 20 adventures when it appears to work for other systems, has worked in the past, and appears to work for some third parties. I assume other publishers do it because it does make them money and not out of stubbornness.

I think it's a great question.

But personally I love the shorter modular adventures (whether separate floppy ones like 1e or the collections like Yawning Portal). A bunch that did 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20 would be great. Although my suspicion is that there would be an exponential decrease by tier in which came out if they didn't work at it :-(
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Would switching to spell points as the default − instead of slots − make the upper tier simpler enough to be worthwhile?

At least for spell slots 1 to 5, and probably 6 too:
• 1+level points can refresh per short or long rest.
• One cannot spend more than level/2 (round up) per casting.
• The spell cost equals its slot. So, a slot-3 Fireball is the same thing as a 3-point Fireball.

The system balances solidly.
 
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FitzTheRuke

Legend
I think level 11+ (or 13+ if you go to 24) would be good to start swapping out features for other features (and not necessarily more complicated ones, but more evocative ones) instead of gaining MORE abilities.

I think you'd find more people willing to play higher levels if you did that.

EDIT: I think one thing that nearly everyone on this thread would probably agree on, is this:

High Level play needs to be Supported. T
To achieve that, it probably needs to be re-thought.
 

Do Paizo APs go from level 1-20? I never played pathfinder. Wotc adventures seem to make each chapter=1 level. I don't know how they would fit levels 1-20 into one book without it being a) pure dungeon crawls or b) significantly less verbose and with less art than their current products.
 

Do Paizo APs go from level 1-20? I never played pathfinder. Wotc adventures seem to make each chapter=1 level. I don't know how they would fit levels 1-20 into one book without it being a) pure dungeon crawls or b) significantly less verbose and with less art than their current products.
Bring back Dungeon magazine
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
The classic 1e adventure series could appropriately stretch out to fit:

9-12: Against the Giants
13-16: Descent into the Earth / Kuo-Toa
17-20: Vault of the Drow
21-24: Demonweb Pits

In 1e Lolth is a "demigod" (17-20), but in 5e more like an epic (21-24).
 

payn

Legend
Do Paizo APs go from level 1-20? I never played pathfinder. Wotc adventures seem to make each chapter=1 level. I don't know how they would fit levels 1-20 into one book without it being a) pure dungeon crawls or b) significantly less verbose and with less art than their current products.
In PF1 era, the APs went into the teens. Typically, stopped somewhere between 14-16. A lot of that had to do with the gonzo math at upper levels and massive resources PCs had. You basically had to have 100 room dungeons to challenge them.

In PF2 they moved into running them 1-20, but also have experimented with 1-10 and 11-20 APs.
 

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