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D&D General There are no "Editions" of D&D

If you start making significant changes to how classes in the PH work, you have crossed that line IMO. This is why Essentials wasn't an edition change, but rather a big supplement or a new corebook to play from, depending on your perspective.
Because they were called different names in essentials IIRC?

I mean they could do the same thing here, not that I think we will.

I can see that, it doesn’t personally bother me, but that makes some sense. If I can’t use them at the same table I can see that being an issue. However, from what I have seen o think I will be fine in that regard, similar to how essentials worked with 4e
 

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Excellent comparison. 3.5e was a partial new edition, in that it rewrote a couple of classes in constrained ways, and certain spells and such, but otherwise kept a lot of the game perfectly identical. Essentials was not at all a new edition, because it was just...more options. You could choose to use only the new options, or only the old options, or mix and match to your heart's content (within the already-existing "you can't multiclass with your own class" rules.) It didn't really make any difference on the whole.

One D&D is absolutely showing up as a rewrite of most classes in a pretty substantial way, which is intended to genuinely replace those old classes, even though you can still play them if you really want to. Hence, it looks like it will fall somewhere between a "half-edition" like 3.5e and a thin but meaningful full edition change, depending on whether it is relatively modest with its rewrites, or quite substantial.

IIRC, the playtest Rogue we've seen is a pretty hefty rewrite. If it's emblematic of the coming changes, I would absolutely say the One D&D stuff is explicitly showing that 5e-as-originally-published wasn't evergreen.

Edit: For example, the fact that the One D&D Ranger now gets Expertise and, I quote, "elements from other classes," is a pretty major change. So is the unification of spell lists into just three (arcane, divine, primal) that all classes of a particular type will share. The whole idea of class-specific spells is getting chucked out the window, unless they're specially-granted features. That's huge. In principle, that means eldritch blast is either gone, a special bonus Warlock feature, or something any Arcane spellcasting class can learn. Likewise for things like find steed, find familiar, etc. That's at least as big a change as the kinds of changes 3.5e made to the 3e spell list.
Thanks for the reply. I can see what you and @Micah Sweet are talking about. I guess ultimately I don’t care if it doesn’t change the game I’m playing and from what I can see so far, it will not.

However, if this ends up being like the Next playtest, most of what they are showing now will never happen!
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
First, we don’t know what the final rewrites will be.
Nor do you.

2nd, says who? Who determines what amount of rewriting is needed to make it a new edition?
We each make our own evaluation. And mine is that these are pretty major changes.

Everything I’ve seen so far still feels I the realm of 5th edition to me.
Very little in early 3e was dramatically different from early 2e. Sure, there were some things. But very late-2e Skills & Powers etc. had clearly moved in a 3e-like direction. Very late-3e had clearly moved in a 4e-like direction with Tome of Battle, reserve feats, and categorizing classes into overall functions in the party (check out the "Paladins with Class" and other "...with Class" articles to see what I mean.)

Edition changes are rarely quite as revolutionary as many think they are. But they're also never merely evolutionary either.

That doesn’t bother me. What if they simply gave them new class names? Would that change your opinion? So they would technically be new classes, not rewritten classes.
New names alone are obviously not enough. We're getting a lot more than new names. Completely rewritten spell lists, feature shuffling/deletion/addition/rewriting (Magical Secrets works in a completely different way and doesn't kick in until very high level, Font of Bardic Inspiration is now a 7th level feature, Rangers now get Expertise, etc.) Backgrounds provide a guaranteed feat at 1st level when previously feats were absolutely 100% optional and you'd better believe half the DMs from here to Australia (the long way!) would pop out of the woodwork to remind you of it.

Both of those feel evolutionary to me, not revolutionary. I.e. the same edition. If that was the only thing that changed, would you consider it a new edition?
It might; it might not. I am inclined toward saying it would be, but I can grant that it might be finagled into just one prominent piece of errata. But it isn't the only thing, as mentioned above--it's the tip of the iceberg, the one universal bit we've seen thus far.

That is the one that get me. If there was major math changes that would IMO
Sure. That's the smoking gun. But there are other ways to prove someone committed murder than literally observing them holding a smoking gun while the victim falls to the floor.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
However, if this ends up being like the Next playtest, most of what they are showing now will never happen!
If it ends up being like the Next playtest, then they will have manifestly failed at making the original 5e evergreen, because the rewrites would need to be massive and affect nearly every part of the math and gameplay structure. Remember Specialties? Proficiency dice? The playtest Sorcerer and Warlock?

To be anything like the Next playtest would, IMNSHO, be an absolute and unmitigated design disaster. The D&D Next playtest wasted over two years of public playtesting time accomplishing almost nothing, and faffing about with rules that ended up jettisoned in favor of untested, slapdash efforts so they could have something to meet their publishing deadline. You can see it in the weaknesses of the Sorcerer, Warlock, and Ranger classes; you can see it the poor quality of the Champion and Berserker subclasses; you can see it in the utter lack of class features or flavor-identity of the Wizard class; etc. 5e had literal years to get its act together, and it wasted more than half that time dithering.
 

If it ends up being like the Next playtest, then they will have manifestly failed at making the original 5e evergreen, because the rewrites would need to be massive and affect nearly every part of the math and gameplay structure. Remember Specialties? Proficiency dice? The playtest Sorcerer and Warlock?

To be anything like the Next playtest would, IMNSHO, be an absolute and unmitigated design disaster. The D&D Next playtest wasted over two years of public playtesting time accomplishing almost nothing, and faffing about with rules that ended up jettisoned in favor of untested, slapdash efforts so they could have something to meet their publishing deadline. You can see it in the weaknesses of the Sorcerer, Warlock, and Ranger classes; you can see it the poor quality of the Champion and Berserker subclasses; you can see it in the utter lack of class features or flavor-identity of the Wizard class; etc. 5e had literal years to get its act together, and it wasted more than half that time dithering.
That is not what I mean. What I am referring to is simply that a lot of what is on the playtest doesn’t make it into the product.

All of these proposed changes could end up being vaporware. I hope not, but they could be
 


Nor do you.
I said “we,” and therefor already included myself.
Very little in early 3e was dramatically different from early 2e. Sure, there were some things. But very late-2e Skills & Powers etc. had clearly moved in a 3e-like direction. Very late-3e had clearly moved in a 4e-like direction with Tome of Battle, reserve feats, and categorizing classes into overall functions in the party (check out the "Paladins with Class" and other "...with Class" articles to see what I mean.)

Edition changes are rarely quite as revolutionary as many think they are. But they're also never merely evolutionary either
I didn’t play 2e or 3e so those examples don’t help. My editions changes were 1e - 4e - 5e. This doesn’t feel like either of those.
New names alone are obviously not enough.
Ok, good to clarify.
We're getting a lot more than new names. Completely rewritten spell lists, feature shuffling/deletion/addition/rewriting (Magical Secrets works in a completely different way and doesn't kick in until very high level, Font of Bardic Inspiration is now a 7th level feature, Rangers now get Expertise, etc.) Backgrounds provide a guaranteed feat at 1st level when previously feats were absolutely 100% optional and you'd better believe half the DMs from here to Australia (the long way!) would pop out of the woodwork to remind you of it.
We will see how much of that comes to pass. However, again I can still see all of those changes being compatible and feeling like the same game to me.
Sure. That's the smoking gun. But there are other ways to prove someone committed murder than literally observing them holding a smoking gun while the victim falls to the floor.
Even a smoking gun can be a red herring
 
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I didn’t play 2e or 3e so those examples don’t help. My editions changes were 1e - 4e - 5e. This doesn’t feel like either of those.
Ah, I can see how that colors your expectations. 4e is the most dramatically divergent D&D edition so far, to the point where many say it isn't D&D but a different game altogether.

Suffice to say that 4e is not exactly typical of edition changes in the RPG industry, either for D&D or other games.
 

Ah, I can see how that colors your expectations. 4e is the most dramatically divergent D&D edition so far, to the point where many say it isn't D&D but a different game altogether.

Suffice to say that 4e is not exactly typical of edition changes in the RPG industry, either for D&D or other games.
Yes, it was a big change, but still felt like D&D to me
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
That is weird, we ran essentials and base 4e at the same table and never used a conversion guide. I didn’t even know there was one. What could you possibly need to convert?
I tend to concur that Essentials was not a new edition, because it was completely compatible with the existing 4E books and worked perfectly played directly alongside and with pre-Essentials 4E material.

There were a few optional/updated rules, like for magic item rarity, and some errata incorporated into the Rules Compendium, but virtually everything in Essentials books was functionally just supplemental and expansion material for 4th.
 

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