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


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I mean, no one "determines" it but my personal litmus test is: if you can't use the PHB from one edition at the same table you use the PHB from another, they are in fact different editions. As it relates to 1D&D, if you can't easily play characters created with the 2014 PHB alongside characters created with the 2014 PHB, that's an edition shift (whatever the publisher says).
Interesting, from what we have seen so far I feel I can do that.

However, that is probably the best definition of an edition change I’ve seen
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Someone earlier referred to D&D becoming more of a "Ship of Theseus" situation. I think that's exactly right, and is exactly what WotC means when they say that they are switching from the old "editions" model to a slow evolution model. Over time, you might get substantial change, but unlike with "editions" there will be no clean break between what are essentially different games.

In the past, you had distinct editions. If WotC achieves their stated goals, in the future you will have incremental change in response to changes in the game's environment (the wider culture, but also the specific culture of RPGs). As with biological evolution, there won't be a clearly defined point where one thing became another, and there won't be a clearly defined point where they stop being able to interbreed.
How does that square, then, with specifically and intentionally making a raft of changes all at once, specifically with new published books?

Like...you're basing your argument on all transitions being a slow, gradual thing, one rule here, one errata there. This is a ground-up rewrite, shuffling class features and even subclass levels, adding new class features not present (e.g. giving Rangers Expertise), changing existing mechanics quite a lot, adjusting various spells, completely reworking spell lists, axing the "spells known" vs "prepared" distinction...

This is a lot of changes all at once. It's not incremental. Maybe if these updates came one at a time, reworking a single class a year or something...but that's not at all what "One D&D" is going to do.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Yes, they literally asking you to do that in the playtest
But not necessarily toward the goal of being able to use either/or. The goal now may be to get comparative information on changes. Or it may be PR nonsense. Who knows?

I don't think we will know until the 2024 books are out, and even then people will argue (if 3.5 and Essentials are any indication).
 

How does that square, then, with specifically and intentionally making a raft of changes all at once, specifically with new published books?

Like...you're basing your argument on all transitions being a slow, gradual thing, one rule here, one errata there. This is a ground-up rewrite, shuffling class features and even subclass levels, adding new class features not present (e.g. giving Rangers Expertise), changing existing mechanics quite a lot, adjusting various spells, completely reworking spell lists, axing the "spells known" vs "prepared" distinction...

This is a lot of changes all at once. It's not incremental. Maybe if these updates came one at a time, reworking a single class a year or something...but that's not at all what "One D&D" is going to
But not necessarily toward the goal of being able to use either/or. The goal now may be to get comparative information on changes. Or it may be PR nonsense. Who knows?

I don't think we will know until the 2024 books are out, and even then people will argue (if 3.5 and Essentials are any indication).
I agree we will not know until ‘24, but right now you can play with these supposedly radical changes with your ‘14 PHB. It works, we have done it and it didn’t seem all that difficult.
 

I mean, no one "determines" it but my personal litmus test is: if you can't use the PHB from one edition at the same table you use the PHB from another, they are in fact different editions. As it relates to 1D&D, if you can't easily play characters created with the 2014 PHB alongside characters created with the 2024 PHB, that's an edition shift (whatever the publisher says).
and we don't have the new PHB so we can't be sure... but by the playtest 2/3 of the classes are rewritten, several spells, how spells are grouped, several feats, how races work, and several conditions/rules.

If I took 2 players that had played RPGs other then D&D and 2 players that played TSR era D&D and gave 1 or each the playtest info (and my assumption of close to what the 1D&D phb will be) and the other the 2014 PHB had them make 2 characters each, then sat them down to play 2 games... 1 run by someone only with the 2014 PHB and 1 with the playtest one no one at the tables would understand what was going on.
 

jgsugden

Legend
If you understand what a word was intended to mean, you're using it gooderest enough.

If you are using it in a way that was established 40 years ago and has been used consistently since then, you're using it in the most important way - understandably.

As for the 'promise that 5E would be the end all of D&D': One D&D is an evolution to rough off the edges, but so far it seems like the least change between editions that we've ever seen, and you may, in fact, be able to take a 5E character and drop them directly into One D&D with only minimal changes - likely about the same as you'd experience playing with a new DM with different house rules.

But putting that aside, and assuming that once One D&D releases every cent we spent on 5E will no longer provide us any benefit...

I spent $500 on 5E hardcovers. I spent an additional $1000 on D&Dbeyond. Since July 2014 when the 5E materials officially started to release, I've spent another $1500 on miniatures and $2000 on terrain and accessories. That is $5000 cash flow (roughly) on this hobby over 8 and a third years.

During that time, I have played about 2500 hours of D&D at the table, and spent another 2500 hours enjoyably worldbuilding/preparing as a DM. Further, I've spent about 3000 hours on Reddit, Youtube, Enworld and other sites talking about this game I love (and a few hundred more shaking my head at some members of the community). 8000 hours of entertainment, $5000. Let's bump it up to $6000 for costs to deal with all that pesky electricitiy I used as well as for things like donations to sites I use. 1.33 hours of entertainment per dollar I spent. That is ridiculously cheap and I consider myself in the top 2% of spenders on this game (although there are people that spent well more than $25,000 since 5E released - but there are far, far, far, far more that spent much less than I did).

I think I have received my money's worth.

And to be honest - every cent I spent was unnecessary. I could have run 5E for free. They gave us enough essential material, and the rest of the 'near essentials' it is out there through borrowing books, internet, etc... Many of the players that I've had at my tables over this past year likely spent less than $200 total over that entire period. Their biggest expense was likely the electricity to play online or gas to reach my place in their car.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I mean, I couldn't care less about the financial investment. I've never really cared about that angle when it comes to the separation between one edition and another.

For me, it's clear that you need some conversion rules if you're going to take a 5e PHB character and use it in a One D&D game. Because there are rules you will be expected to be using--like the backgrounds with feats--that don't exist in 5e currently. Everyone recognizes this is an adaptation. As far as I can tell, everyone recognizes that this is some kind of conversion. Hence why I said what I said earlier: How do you define "simultaneously and seamlessly"?

For me, if you need a set of conversion rules, it's big enough to at least qualify as an X.5 "update." A bump of that size is, as far as I'm concerned, an explicit admission that the X.0 rules weren't evergreen; they had to be re-greened. That's why you need a top-to-bottom revision, and not just an errata book and the occasional updated reprint.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I agree we will not know until ‘24, but right now you can play with these supposedly radical changes with your ‘14 PHB. It works, we have done it and it didn’t seem all that difficult.
I mean, of course it does since they want you to playtest it in pieces. Which is the dumbest possible way to do a playtest UNLESS the end goal is that these pieces are interchangeable. So we still need to wait and see.
 

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