D&D 5E To much 5th edition content?

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Bloat generally refers to the PC crunch, not the settings, adventures and monster books. It was the magic items, spells, classes/subclasses and feats.

I don't equate those two. Settings(other than FR and Dark Sun) and campaign adventures are useless to me, but they don't make the game feel bloated at all.

I don't even mind ones that mimic other features. I like the idea that feats are another way to "multiclass" a bit.
Yeah, if Adventures and Settings don't float your goat, there have been only a handful of books in 8 years.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

pogre

Legend
I'm not overwhelmed by the number of releases, but I have recently introduced a couple of new people to the game and man! looking at a PHB + Tasha's +Xanathar's is pretty overwhelming. However, I have some veteran players who would like even more player options.

WOTC is always threading the needle. They have done a good job of it for the most part.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yeah, if Adventures and Settings don't float your goat, there have been only a handful of books in 8 years.
My group and I didn't even leave 3e for 5e until just before the pandemic hit for that reason. There was finally just enough to make it worthwhile to give up all that 3e had to offer and make the switch.
 

pogre

Legend
My group and I didn't even leave 3e for 5e until just before the pandemic hit for that reason. There was finally just enough to make it worthwhile to give up all that 3e had to offer and make the switch.
Honestly curious - Why didn't your group go with Pathfinder?
 


teitan

Legend
For the last time, I AM NOT SAYING IT IS BLOAT!!! I AM SAY IT IS HEADING (QUICKLY) IN THAT DIRECTION! Are you even reading my posts?

Since I am not the only one saying or thinking this...

You got? :rolleyes:
Excuse me? I don't think you are even reading my post and your hostility in this matter is inexcusable. You so want me to hear you but you refuse to hear me. You want to be right and stand on top of a soap box and scream me down and roll your eyes but not engage in a friendly discussion. At this point I do not care about your point. I get your point. Your point is now irrelevant because while you are able to have a conversation with another you instead choose to shout ME down? No, not cool man. Not cool at all. You have a good life. For the red screen team, he's now on my ignore list.
 
Last edited:

We looked at it, but it looked like Pathfinder dialed up the power level of the game and 3e was already too powerful at high levels and my campaigns usually hit 16-20th level by the end. I did grab a few books for some ideas and usable bits.
This is the exact same reason I never went for PF. The power level gets really wonky but we participated in the tests for the D&D next so moving to 5ed was a natural thing to do.
 

teitan

Legend
This is the exact same reason I never went for PF. The power level gets really wonky but we participated in the tests for the D&D next so moving to 5ed was a natural thing to do.
I didn't jump into Pathfinder either because by the time it came out I was so burnt out on 3.x style D&D that I got anxiety thinking about playing. WHich is ironic because I run a Starfinder campaign now and absolutely love playing it.
 

I didn't jump into Pathfinder either because by the time it came out I was so burnt out on 3.x style D&D that I got anxiety thinking about playing. WHich is ironic because I run a Starfinder campaign now and absolutely love playing it.
Sci-fy is its own beast. I must admit that with different players, I would try that wagon right now. But my players are neck deep on fantasy style of play. They do like something else once In a while for a few months, but they much prefer fantasy style RPG.
 

teitan

Legend
Sci-fy is its own beast. I must admit that with different players, I would try that wagon right now. But my players are neck deep on fantasy style of play. They do like something else once In a while for a few months, but they much prefer fantasy style RPG.
What really helped is it is almost an E6 system, the spells cap out at level 6, might be 5, there aren't iterative attacks, it's not a golf bag of weapons (whhhhhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy did they dooooooooooooo that in 3.5????????????? whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy???) It is sleeker in design, slimmed down 3.x. I can even ad hoc on the fly and it doesn't break anything whereas 3.x had a lot of moving parts and they broke easily if you shifted too much.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
It really is kind of an odd place to be in. I know it's been mentioned upthread at some point. But 5e feels like it's got a fair amount of content (not nearly as much as prior editions, but still, a fair amount) but when you actually look at the books that starts to dissipate. Like, all these setting/adventure books aren't really great adventures and as setting guides most are really underbaked. Then you look at the rules expansions and there isn't as much as you would like, and some of the races/subclasses are reprints from earlier books and so on. Like, can anybody tell me the point of SCAG at this point? The good rules options out of that got put in Xanathar's and the settings stuff in it is so barebones it's practically useless.
 


vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Like, can anybody tell me the point of SCAG at this point? The good rules options out of that got put in Xanathar's and the settings stuff in it is so barebones it's practically useless.
Yeah, I mean, if you want the lore of Sword Coast/North you better go with the gazeteers from the AP like Storm King or Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate or the free Adventure League stuff on the Factions. The good archetypes were reprinted in other books and the rest is pure garbage that deeply requires a new pass; good concept, terrible execution.

Since it was made by Green Ronin and not in-house, I dont know if WotC can just edit it with a bunch of new stuff, but gathering the setting lore from APs and giving us a Sword Coast bestiary, a good chapter on the Gods (which are a big part of the FRs) and a few quest giver Patrons, like ALL the other setting books, would be a nice move.
 

You seem to be missing the point that myself (and I expect others) are making. We aren't saying 5E is bloated now, but it is getting a little on the heavy side, leaning nicely into bloat.
In my experience it has yet to catch up with 1e in terms of bloat. And I don't mean 1e including all the sourcebooks, I mean just the core three rulebooks of 1e. It certainly doesn't have as many subsystems or lookup takes and it certainly isn't as awkward to mesh those subsystems together as it is for 1e. And even if you think (IMO erroneously) it's more bloated than the three core rulebooks it's a lot less bloated than 1e is if you include the utter mess that was Unearthed Arcana.

5e was bloated from the moment it was published just because it's a mainline D&D. There are few other systems that would even try to fill three three hundred and twenty (or whatever) page rulebooks. Indeed I'm trying to think of any modern games I own that is the size of one of those rulebooks.

What this means is that even after more than seven years of supplements 5e is the least bloated the main D&D then published has been since the late 1970s. Yes, it is headed in the direction of bloat. This is inherent in being a D&D. But by the standards of historic D&Ds it's only just approaching the starting line.
I don't think they'll make the mistakes with feats again (no feat chains), but the subclasses are already over half-way to your goal. That is, it is getting bloated.
They're doing the right thing with Monsters of the Multiverse to reduce bloat without reducing complexity; they're putting the spells in the monster statblocks so you almost always need only one page to run a monster.

And subclasses are the least toxic form of bloat because they don't show up in random places and each player only gets one of them. If a subclass is added to the design space then it's only relevant if someone's playing it, and it's one in, one out for any given game. Each time a spell is added to the game it's worse because it could crop up on multiple PCs or even monsters and because it can grind games to a halt as people flip through books to look up their spells while your subclass is always with you. And feats and non weapon proficiencies have major knock on effects sometimes.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
I find it curious that people are complaining about (approaching) bloat of 5e when it has far less content than almost any other Edition ~8 years in. Maybe the quality or focus of the content so far is not what one would have (I have heard people complain about the adventures), but that is a different animal, imho.

Also, the one of the reasons there is a fair amount of reprinted material in some of the releases is that WOTC realizes that not everyone buys every release outside the PHB, DMG, MM, and doesn't want to force people to pick up older books just for that sub-class or spell. There was also the PHB + 1 rule (which might have gone by the wayside now), where in tournament play, you were only allowed the PHB + source book to build PCs. For the first few years, many home tables seemed to be following this rules as well, with memories of previous editions excessive build combos still fresh.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
In my experience it has yet to catch up with 1e in terms of bloat. And I don't mean 1e including all the sourcebooks, I mean just the core three rulebooks of 1e. It certainly doesn't have as many subsystems or lookup takes and it certainly isn't as awkward to mesh those subsystems together as it is for 1e. And even if you think (IMO erroneously) it's more bloated than the three core rulebooks it's a lot less bloated than 1e is if you include the utter mess that was Unearthed Arcana.
IMO that isn't bloat, that is complexity. AD&D was a much more complex beast in most ways than 5E, so of course there will be more content to reflect that.

If you go by page count, the the PHB, DMG, MM, and UA in 1E compared to PHB, DMG, MM, and XGtE for 5E, 5E is much larger: about 615 vs. 1180 or so. So, for those 4 books, 5E has a page count over 90% than 1E. 🤷‍♂️

And FWIW, the only issue I had with UA is most copies completely fell apart! :) I am lucky I have one of the few that never did... knock on wood. It is also one of the books in 1E that I really liked as well.

5e was bloated from the moment it was published just because it's a mainline D&D. There are few other systems that would even try to fill three three hundred and twenty (or whatever) page rulebooks. Indeed I'm trying to think of any modern games I own that is the size of one of those rulebooks.
True, there are very few I've run across...

What this means is that even after more than seven years of supplements 5e is the least bloated the main D&D then published has been since the late 1970s. Yes, it is headed in the direction of bloat. This is inherent in being a D&D. But by the standards of historic D&Ds it's only just approaching the starting line.
IMO it has started, but I agree only just. You might have it in the starting gate, I have it just out of the gate.

They're doing the right thing with Monsters of the Multiverse to reduce bloat without reducing complexity; they're putting the spells in the monster statblocks so you almost always need only one page to run a monster.
I'll reserve judgement on if I think this is a good move or not. It seems like it would limit the spellcasting ability severely, and even if other spells in the stat blocks weren't used a lot, I preferred having the complete list available.

IME most DMs are pretty familiar with the bulk of spells in monster stat blocks currently. If you have time you can always review them before hand and if not taking a moment to look up a spell doesn't slow things down very much.

Maybe when I get a chance to see several examples, I won't mind it, but for now I am waiting to see.

And subclasses are the least toxic form of bloat because they don't show up in random places and each player only gets one of them. If a subclass is added to the design space then it's only relevant if someone's playing it, and it's one in, one out for any given game. Each time a spell is added to the game it's worse because it could crop up on multiple PCs or even monsters and because it can grind games to a halt as people flip through books to look up their spells while your subclass is always with you. And feats and non weapon proficiencies have major knock on effects sometimes.
While I can see your point, I feel the opposite (of course, right? who saw that coming... ;) ).

Every new subclass means more features to make certain are balanced to the current ones and for the game I want to run. I am not saying I wouldn't mind some new ones, especially considering the requests people have made that have yet to be met.

I agree spells fall under the same issue, but IMO are much easier to balance and implement.

Regardless, this has already become a "yes bloat (or starting bloat) vs. no bloat" thing. It is all a matter of opinion and perspectives. For me, there's bloat beginning (probably with Tasha's). For other, no bloat. I doubt I'll buy anything new for 5E unless it addresses the issues I want to see tackled (which I doubt will happen). For others, they will buy just about every bit of something for 5E WotC puts out. If it makes them happy (and you know it will make WotC happy), it is their money so more power to them.

Finally, the issue is not also whether prior editions reach bloat or not, it is if an individual feels 5E is getting there, already there, or not even close. 🤷‍♂️
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
If you go by page count, the the PHB, DMG, MM, and UA in 1E compared to PHB, DMG, MM, and XGtE for 5E, 5E is much larger: about 615 vs. 1180 or so. So, for those 4 books, 5E has a page count over 90% than 1E. 🤷‍♂️
Not to get super into pedantic weeds here, but you do have to keep in mind that the 1e books used simple two column layouts, included far less art and were set in a tiny, painful font. I think a word count comparison would bring that more in line than a page count one.
 
Last edited:

DND_Reborn

Legend
Not to get super into pedantic weeds here, but you do have to keep in mind that the 1e books used simple two column layouts, included far less art and were set in a tiny, painful font. I think a word count comparison would bring that more in line than a page count one.
Probably, but I would imagine 5E would still win out, so to say.

There's no denying 1E books were "content rich" even if you didn't care for the content.
 


IMO that isn't bloat, that is complexity. AD&D was a much more complex beast in most ways than 5E, so of course there will be more content to reflect that.
IMO it isn't. AD&D was a much more fiddly beast, but the design decision to make everything into a subsystem meant that it really wasn't that complex. Just full of fiddly detail.

You get complexity when you get emergent interactions and when you get choices. The stacking of modifiers in 3.X and the choices that lead to lead to a lot of complexity in 3.X - and the way that you could set things up in 4e mixing forced movement, zones, and terrain were even more complexity in combat.

But AD&D? Just go through the steps. It's not as if you have many mechanical options at all - and it's not as if the subsystems get to interact because they are different subsystems. Adding things like helmet rules, a parasitic infections table, or a wandering harlot table doesn't add complexity - it just adds stuff.
If you go by page count, the the PHB, DMG, MM, and UA in 1E compared to PHB, DMG, MM, and XGtE for 5E, 5E is much larger: about 615 vs. 1180 or so. So, for those 4 books, 5E has a page count over 90% than 1E. 🤷‍♂️
That's because 1e used tiny type with little space given over to art while 5e is extremely spaciously laid out.

If you're going by word count then based on this thread the 1e DMG is over 240,000 words, making it pretty massive; the 5e DMG is just under 200,000 words. The PHB by contrast (in other words the parts the players have direct access to) was only 132,000 words - which compares to about 210,000 for the 5e PHB. Of course I'd argue that about 50,000 words that were in the 1e DMG (including things like the attack matrices, saving throws, and the enlarged spell explanations) should have been in the PHB which means that the 1e rules are very slightly smaller when combined.

Then there's the monster manuals; 5e's uses much more and much bigger art. There's a difference in size of course - but it's about 98,000 words vs apparently 105,000.

Or in short if we go by word count 5e is about 10% bigger.
IME most DMs are pretty familiar with the bulk of spells in monster stat blocks currently. If you have time you can always review them before hand and if not taking a moment to look up a spell doesn't slow things down very much.
IME this is putting things backwards. People who are not familiar with the bulk of spells don't DM. This has two consequences that are actively harmful to D&D
  1. It is bad for the community because only people who can memorise spells like that DM, preventing them bringing their talents
  2. It is bad for worldbuilding because it restricts the spells that are used to only the common ones.
And "doesn't slow things down very much" still means "arbitrarily slows things down".
Every new subclass means more features to make certain are balanced to the current ones and for the game I want to run. I am not saying I wouldn't mind some new ones, especially considering the requests people have made that have yet to be met.

I agree spells fall under the same issue, but IMO are much easier to balance and implement.
And here I think that you are objectively wrong and that in the long run spells are actually really hard to balance while subclasses take more work up front but are ultimately quite a bit easier to balance especially for the impact they have. This is because of combinations; a character can only have one subclass so you only have to balance that. But a character can have two dozen spells - and you don't have to just balance for that one spell, you need to balance for combinations. Spells can combine with spells while subclasses (other than the first ability) almost never combine with each other. Interactions are where complexity happens.

Or, to put things another way, Shield is a really overpowered spell not because wizards and sorcerers can cast it but because paladins can poach it and combine it with plate armour and shields. No one can poach a level 7 class feature from the subclass for another class.
Regardless, this has already become a "yes bloat (or starting bloat) vs. no bloat" thing. It is all a matter of opinion and perspectives. For me, there's bloat beginning (probably with Tasha's).
For me the bloat began when, unlike almost any other game I play, the decision was made to separate the rules into three large hardbacks rather than one.
For other, no bloat. I doubt I'll buy anything new for 5E unless it addresses the issues I want to see tackled (which I doubt will happen). For others, they will buy just about every bit of something for 5E WotC puts out. If it makes them happy (and you know it will make WotC happy), it is their money so more power to them.

Finally, the issue is not also whether prior editions reach bloat or not, it is if an individual feels 5E is getting there, already there, or not even close. 🤷‍♂️
And then there are people like me. I can do without extruded fantasy product - but I definitely want more books like Tasha's that push at the boundaries of D&D 5e.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top