5.5E The future of edition changes and revisions

JEB

Legend
Well, then explain to me how people can complain about this change? It may not have always been consistent, but this could be a bridge too far for some.
Speaking personally, I could live with this retcon, but it's definitely a change from the past 48 years of goblinoid lore, and more significantly, one that's represented explicitly in rules as well as lore. So I can see why it bugs some people. I think it would have been better to have the Feywild goblinoids exist alongside classic goblinoids, rather than asking folks to either go with the new lore if they want to stay official, or move to homebrew.
 

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Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Well, then explain to me how people can complain about this change? It may not have always been consistent, but this could be a bridge too far for some.
Old=Crotchety

Not a lot of teens and young adults lamenting modern 5e changes.

In my case I am old...but I adopted "every being can max any stat and adopt every motivation" before 3e rolled around so most changes aren't activating my crochety sensors.

I do find myself not interested in the direction 5e is taking with less gritty storylines and anything goes plotting, but I'm mature enough to realize this game isn't being designed for me anymore. It's not ruined, it's just evolved to something different.

I'd prefer the game stayed the way I like it to be but I completely understand why it isn't.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Speaking personally, I could live with this retcon, but it's definitely a change from the past 48 years of goblinoid lore, and more significantly, one that's represented explicitly in rules as well as lore. So I can see why it bugs some people. I think it would have been better to have the Feywild goblinoids exist alongside classic goblinoids, rather than asking folks to either go with the new lore if they want to stay official, or move to homebrew.
The main thing it has going for it, though, is bringing Goblins more in line with standard pop culture tropes of what a Goblin is, and differentiates them from Orcs or Kobolds.
 

Speaking personally, I could live with this retcon, but it's definitely a change from the past 48 years of goblinoid lore, and more significantly, one that's represented explicitly in rules as well as lore. So I can see why it bugs some people. I think it would have been better to have the Feywild goblinoids exist alongside classic goblinoids, rather than asking folks to either go with the new lore if they want to stay official, or move to homebrew.
That is exactly what I'm saying. It is a real change to 48 years of lore, that also has a rules aspect.
 

Old=Crotchety

Not a lot of teens and young adults lamenting modern 5e changes.

In my case I am old...but I adopted "every being can max any stat and adopt every motivation" before 3e rolled around so most changes aren't activating my crochety sensors.

I do find myself not interested in the direction 5e is taking with less gritty storylines and anything goes plotting, but I'm mature enough to realize this game isn't being designed for me anymore. It's not ruined, it's just evolved to something different.

I'd prefer the game stayed the way I like it to be but I completely understand why it isn't.
Yeah, WotC can do what they want, I guess. I have nearly 50 years of good material to play with, and an excellent 3PP to work with in the form of Level Up. I hope there's something worth pulling out of the Spelljammer stuff coming up, but other than that, WotC and I are parting ways.
 

JEB

Legend
It is perfectly valid for someone not to like the changes to monster in Monsters of the Multiverse, but basing that opinion on a mistaken belief that monsters have ever been handled with any level of consistency in D&D's past doesn't make a lot of sense.
Kind of surprised to hear you, as someone very familiar with monsters throughout the editions, suggest that they've been inconsistent throughout the game's entire history. 2E, for example, practically copy-and-pastes the flavor text for many core monsters from 1E. There have indeed been changes with time, but they're generally minor, additive, or based around rules changes, rather than conceptual reworks. (4E, of course, was a notable exception to this.)
 

Echohawk

Shirokinukatsukami fan
Kind of surprised to hear you, as someone very familiar with monsters throughout the editions, suggest that they've been inconsistent throughout the game's entire history. 2E, for example, practically copy-and-pastes the flavor text for many core monsters from 1E. There have indeed been changes with time, but they're generally minor, additive, or based around rules changes, rather than conceptual reworks. (4E, of course, was a notable exception to this.)
Some monsters have remained somewhat consistent, but at least as many have not. From 1e to 2e, the approach to monster updates was quite lazy, with much copied flavour text, sometimes even when the underlying mechanics no longer reflected that flavour. The jumps from 2e to 3e, from 3e to 4e and from 4e to 5e had far more extensive changes to many monsters.

Frequently, it is easy to overlook how inconsistently monsters have been presented. Let's take Spelljammer's asteroid spider as an example. If you were to take a quick look at MC7 and the recent Monstrous Compendium Volume One you'd probably conclude that since they are both ten-legged spiders living on asteroids, they hadn't changed much.

A closer inspection reveals that the original was a medium-sized predator that used a paralytic poison and could go into a form of suspended animation, while the new version is a gargantuan spider that weaves webs capable of snaring spelljamming ships, which it can surpress the spelljamming capabilities of. The new version doesn't even explicitly have ten legs, although it is illustrated with ten. A close look at most creature across the editions reveals similar changes.
 

AnotherGuy

Adventurer
If this hasn't been mentioned in the posts following the OP I'd be very surprised.
DMs Guild did not exist for previous editions - you want 5e splat - go to DMs Guild. I'm sure if you take DMs Guild, Enworld's 5e pamphlet and Level Up + official published and you'd likely end up with the same or likely even more than what was done/available in previous editions.
 

Yora

Legend
I do find myself not interested in the direction 5e is taking with less gritty storylines and anything goes plotting, but I'm mature enough to realize this game isn't being designed for me anymore. It's not ruined, it's just evolved to something different.
Maybe not even that. New D&D really just introduce new games, they don't replace existing ones.

I would suspect that AD&D 1st edition and B/X are still being played much more than many recent critics' darlings RPGs.
 

Echohawk

Shirokinukatsukami fan
Kind of surprised to hear you, as someone very familiar with monsters throughout the editions, suggest that they've been inconsistent throughout the game's entire history.
I was curious about goblins specifically, so I spent half an hour or so skimming through their write ups. It turns out that they are actually one of the more consistently presented races, and yet...
  • They have drifted from their original lawful evil alignment (1e/2e) to neutral evil (3e), to just evil (4e), through to 5e's prevarication.
  • In OD&D they hated dwarves so much that they would attack on sight. This antipathy gradually faded through editions.
  • The 1st Edition Monster Manual implies that they may be related to kobolds. This is a relationship that continues to be mentioned throughout 1st and 2nd Edition, until kobolds became something different in 3e.
  • BX and BECMI give goblins eyes that glow red in the dark. They don't seem to have these glowing eyes in any other version.
  • Until 3rd Edition, goblin aversion to sunlight is constantly emphasised. Yet from 3rd Edition onward, this seems to have been entirely dropped.
  • 4th Edition implies that goblins may have been the magical creations of the hobgoblins when the hobgoblins ran an ancient empire.
The revelation in Monsters of the Multiverse that goblins were originally fey makes it clear that goblins themselves are unaware of this distant history. In that sense, this is "additive" lore, in that it doesn't detract from what was previously understood, it just adds another layer. Mechanically, goblins now gain Fey Ancestry giving them resistance to charm. This is a change, sure, but not something that is likely to have a massive impact on how PCs experience goblins in practice.

Bottom line: I'm not convinced that "but this changes everything we know about goblins" is a reason for disliking the recent changes that stands up to close scrutiny. Would the new goblins be more acceptable if they were glowing red-eyed, sunlight averse, compulsive dwarf killers, who were magically created by hobgoblins before they became fey?
 

I was curious about goblins specifically, so I spent half an hour or so skimming through their write ups. It turns out that they are actually one of the more consistently presented races, and yet...
  • They have drifted from their original lawful evil alignment (1e/2e) to neutral evil (3e), to just evil (4e), through to 5e's prevarication.
  • In OD&D they hated dwarves so much that they would attack on sight. This antipathy gradually faded through editions.
  • The 1st Edition Monster Manual implies that they may be related to kobolds. This is a relationship that continues to be mentioned throughout 1st and 2nd Edition, until kobolds became something different in 3e.
  • BX and BECMI give goblins eyes that glow red in the dark. They don't seem to have these glowing eyes in any other version.
  • Until 3rd Edition, goblin aversion to sunlight is constantly emphasised. Yet from 3rd Edition onward, this seems to have been entirely dropped.
  • 4th Edition implies that goblins may have been the magical creations of the hobgoblins when the hobgoblins ran an ancient empire.
The revelation in Monsters of the Multiverse that goblins were originally fey makes it clear that goblins themselves are unaware of this distant history. In that sense, this is "additive" lore, in that it doesn't detract from what was previously understood, it just adds another layer. Mechanically, goblins now gain Fey Ancestry giving them resistance to charm. This is a change, sure, but not something that is likely to have a massive impact on how PCs experience goblins in practice.

Bottom line: I'm not convinced that "but this changes everything we know about goblins" is a reason for disliking the recent changes that stands up to close scrutiny. Would the new goblins be more acceptable if they were glowing red-eyed, sunlight averse, compulsive dwarf killers, who were magically created by hobgoblins before they became fey?
My reason is that I don't like the fey asthetic, feel it is being used too liberally recently, and see no benefit to adding it to goblins.
 



Remathilis

Legend
My reason is that I don't like the fey asthetic, feel it is being used too liberally recently, and see no benefit to adding it to goblins.
And that's a fair assessment. You don't have to like every change. A lot of people hate draconic kobolds, elemental giants, and demonic gnolls.

That said, I think a trend is starting to emerge: the various classic evil humanoids are going to get more diverse origin stories than "born of an evil deity and forced to serve." Kobolds are connected to dragons. Gnolls to fiends. Derro to aberrations. Now goblinoids to the fey. It appears only orcs so far aren't being connected to a larger creature group, and that's probably to prep them for their upgrade to PC race status. (A guess on my part).

On the one hand, I think it adds a lot more flavor to humanoids to give them connections like that. Kobolds benefited greatly from the blood of dragons theming since 3e, and I find 5e gnolls far more interesting than the older hyena men. Goblins becoming fey+like give them more room to be tricksy and whimsical but also sadistic and cruel. It might also add some more interesting ideas into D&D goblins who have been overshadowed by the chaotic energy of Pathfinder goblins since they became a thing.

But different strokes and all that.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
On the one hand, I think it adds a lot more flavor to humanoids to give them connections like that. Kobolds benefited greatly from the blood of dragons theming since 3e, and I find 5e gnolls far more interesting than the older hyena men. Goblins becoming fey+like give them more room to be tricksy and whimsical but also sadistic and cruel. It might also add some more interesting ideas into D&D goblins who have been overshadowed by the chaotic energy of Pathfinder goblins since they became a thing.
Yea, I definitely prefer the more overt Faerie origin for goblinkind, it fits better with how I use them. Goblins are disgusting tricksters and pranksters, with focuses of toilet humor and weird technology. Hobgoblins are their antithesis, focused soldiers, and more of an Unseelie mirror to high elves. (In that they are material plane dwelling descendants of the "rank and file" denizens of Faerie.) Bugbears then become almost literal boogeymen, who leap from shadows to capture children and the weak for their next meal.
 

JEB

Legend
I was curious about goblins specifically, so I spent half an hour or so skimming through their write ups. It turns out that they are actually one of the more consistently presented races, and yet...
  • They have drifted from their original lawful evil alignment (1e/2e) to neutral evil (3e), to just evil (4e), through to 5e's prevarication.
  • In OD&D they hated dwarves so much that they would attack on sight. This antipathy gradually faded through editions.
  • The 1st Edition Monster Manual implies that they may be related to kobolds. This is a relationship that continues to be mentioned throughout 1st and 2nd Edition, until kobolds became something different in 3e.
  • BX and BECMI give goblins eyes that glow red in the dark. They don't seem to have these glowing eyes in any other version.
  • Until 3rd Edition, goblin aversion to sunlight is constantly emphasised. Yet from 3rd Edition onward, this seems to have been entirely dropped.
  • 4th Edition implies that goblins may have been the magical creations of the hobgoblins when the hobgoblins ran an ancient empire.
The revelation in Monsters of the Multiverse that goblins were originally fey makes it clear that goblins themselves are unaware of this distant history. In that sense, this is "additive" lore, in that it doesn't detract from what was previously understood, it just adds another layer. Mechanically, goblins now gain Fey Ancestry giving them resistance to charm. This is a change, sure, but not something that is likely to have a massive impact on how PCs experience goblins in practice.

Bottom line: I'm not convinced that "but this changes everything we know about goblins" is a reason for disliking the recent changes that stands up to close scrutiny. Would the new goblins be more acceptable if they were glowing red-eyed, sunlight averse, compulsive dwarf killers, who were magically created by hobgoblins before they became fey?
Interesting rundown, appreciate the research from someone with your expertise. But, I do have some comments:
  • They changed all three core goblinoid races, not just the goblin (the bugbear getting the most notable mechanical change). So the analysis should consider those changes as well. Taken as a whole, it's a little more significant.
  • By your own admission, goblins actually have been pretty consistent across editions. (You didn't mention it, but early 5E was also pretty consistent with earlier portrayals.) Those previous-edition changes you found are fairly mild, and mainly a matter of lore than mechanics. None quite compare to making goblins fey (both in lore and mechanics) when they were previously just Material Plane humanoids. MOTM's changes are far from the most drastic edition change ever (the champion there is probably 4E's lamia), but it's certainly a more noticeable change than anything previous for goblinoids.
  • You also neglected to recognize that this is the first time we've had such a fundamental change to a core monster in the middle of the same edition, to the point of intentionally contradicting published material that's less than six years old (VGTM). I think folks can be forgiven for being taken aback by that. (TBH, though, between the lore and mechanical changes overall in this book, it very much feels like a different baseline setting to earlier 5E. Even if technically compatible. This extends to changes such as those you raised with Spelljammer above, as well as Ravenloft.)
 

Interesting rundown, appreciate the research from someone with your expertise. But, I do have some comments:
  • They changed all three core goblinoid races, not just the goblin (the bugbear getting the most notable mechanical change). So the analysis should consider those changes as well. Taken as a whole, it's a little more significant.
  • By your own admission, goblins actually have been pretty consistent across editions. (You didn't mention it, but early 5E was also pretty consistent with earlier portrayals.) Those previous-edition changes you found are fairly mild, and mainly a matter of lore than mechanics. None quite compare to making goblins fey (both in lore and mechanics) when they were previously just Material Plane humanoids. MOTM's changes are far from the most drastic edition change ever (the champion there is probably 4E's lamia), but it's certainly a more noticeable change than anything previous for goblinoids.
  • You also neglected to recognize that this is the first time we've had such a fundamental change to a core monster in the middle of the same edition, to the point of intentionally contradicting published material that's less than six years old (VGTM). I think folks can be forgiven for being taken aback by that. (TBH, though, between the lore and mechanical changes overall in this book, it very much feels like a different baseline setting to earlier 5E. Even if technically compatible. This extends to changes such as those you raised with Spelljammer above, as well as Ravenloft.)
Yeah, contradicting material within the edition is a bit of a bigger deal. It makes it harder to compartmentalize (which is my primary way of dealing with changes in the game I don't care for, and which has been increasingly more difficult in the last few years). Of course, being surrounded online by people who apparently love everything WotC's doing doesn't make it any easier.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Interesting rundown, appreciate the research from someone with your expertise. But, I do have some comments:
  • They changed all three core goblinoid races, not just the goblin (the bugbear getting the most notable mechanical change). So the analysis should consider those changes as well. Taken as a whole, it's a little more significant.
  • By your own admission, goblins actually have been pretty consistent across editions. (You didn't mention it, but early 5E was also pretty consistent with earlier portrayals.) Those previous-edition changes you found are fairly mild, and mainly a matter of lore than mechanics. None quite compare to making goblins fey (both in lore and mechanics) when they were previously just Material Plane humanoids. MOTM's changes are far from the most drastic edition change ever (the champion there is probably 4E's lamia), but it's certainly a more noticeable change than anything previous for goblinoids.
  • You also neglected to recognize that this is the first time we've had such a fundamental change to a core monster in the middle of the same edition, to the point of intentionally contradicting published material that's less than six years old (VGTM). I think folks can be forgiven for being taken aback by that. (TBH, though, between the lore and mechanical changes overall in this book, it very much feels like a different baseline setting to earlier 5E. Even if technically compatible. This extends to changes such as those you raised with Spelljammer above, as well as Ravenloft.)
Are they making goblins fey or are they changing their origin to say they were once fey but now are not (ala elves) with an associated fey ancestory ability?
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Are they making goblins fey or are they changing their origin to say they were once fey but now are not (ala elves) with an associated fey ancestory ability?

The latter.

Which is why the complaints about "fey aesthetics" and so on are rather perplexing. It seems to be more of an imagined future issue than anything that's actually happening.
Actually...both. Goblinoids on the Material Plane ate Humanoids with Fey Ancestry now, but some of the Goblinoid monster stat blocks are now Fey (Nilbog, etc), with text explaining that some Goblinoids are still in the Feywild.
 

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