D&D (2024) Split the Players Handbook into two books: Lower Tiers and Upper Tiers

Yaarel

He 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

He 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

He 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.
 



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?
 

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