D&D 5E To much 5th edition content?

I think a lot of the 'bloat' is due to how much of a mess of inconsistencies, patches, and replacements the edition has become. All the while still failing to manage certain concepts at all.
Out of curiosity which classic D&D concepts would you say are missing?

Me, I mostly have the warlord and high level martials actually being high level.
 

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DND_Reborn

Legend
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.

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 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".

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.

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.

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.
Ah, once again... :)

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teitan

Legend
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.
That’s kind of my issue. Is it really a lot of options or is it just reprints with tweaks? There really isn’t a lot for 5e from WOTC. You think there is but it’s a ton of overlap and reprinting. I’m fine with that unless you’re talking about something like Multiverse where it is a total reprint that seems somehow unnecessary and forced and could have waited until 2024 when they released the revision as a Monster Manual 2 kind of thing. Compiling all the races published to date in one place is kinda a good idea unless you already have the two books and let’s face it, who really doesn’t and then doesn’t have 70% of them in other books?
 

teitan

Legend
I think a lot of the 'bloat' is due to how much of a mess of inconsistencies, patches, and replacements the edition has become. All the while still failing to manage certain concepts at all.

You could easy have more content without it being bloated if it was actually consistent, organised, and done well.
See I don’t see inconsistencies because I never expected 5e to be a game of consistency but a DM’s game where it is rulings, not rules. It was very much presented as an OsR style game when it was playtested, hyped and rolled out. Rules were options. When you turn off those optional rules the rule set is very consistent. When people started expecting the rule set to be the optional rules and comport to THEIR fluff and THEIR biases instead of turning options off and on or assuming everything has to be used because it’s in the book. More rules, more inconsistencies. When people want everything spelled out for them like in the 3.x to 4e era instead of the 1e-2e, early 5e years, you get into things like counting squares and long winded debates instead of moving forward in the game. These aren’t inconsistencies, they’re features to ease the progress of the game rather than hinder it. Don’t know? Make a ruling.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
That’s kind of my issue. Is it really a lot of options or is it just reprints with tweaks? There really isn’t a lot for 5e from WOTC. You think there is but it’s a ton of overlap and reprinting. I’m fine with that unless you’re talking about something like Multiverse where it is a total reprint that seems somehow unnecessary and forced and could have waited until 2024 when they released the revision as a Monster Manual 2 kind of thing. Compiling all the races published to date in one place is kinda a good idea unless you already have the two books and let’s face it, who really doesn’t and then doesn’t have 70% of them in other books?
Yeah, I'm kind of surprised that they didn't just wait to make all the racial, statblock and culture changes for the 2024 revision. Now we're doing compilation books, that use the new stat blocks as the only major difference, when really, that's kind of stealing the 2024 release's thunder? Kinda strange.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
Out of curiosity which classic D&D concepts would you say are missing?

Me, I mostly have the warlord and high level martials actually being high level.
Classes is the main thing. Of which warlord is the most obvious. We have battlemaster which has a few support focused features, but in the end it's still a front line hit things class.

We still don't have a psion either. And despite having tons of gish subclasses, we don't have any which replicate how the swordmage/duskblade/magus acted in prior editions.

No playable plant race which is a shame. They're such a meme in pathfinder and I wish DnD has something similar.

No ice/winter themed subclasses for any class which is surprising.
 

Yora

Legend
It's never about too much content. It's always an issue of good content.
So far, the list of 5th edition books that I consider useful are the Player's Handbook and the Monster Manual.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It's never about too much content. It's always an issue of good content.
So far, the list of 5th edition books that I consider useful are the Player's Handbook and the Monster Manual
The Dungeon Master's Ghide might be helpful if you read through it.
 

teitan

Legend
Classes is the main thing. Of which warlord is the most obvious. We have battlemaster which has a few support focused features, but in the end it's still a front line hit things class.

We still don't have a psion either. And despite having tons of gish subclasses, we don't have any which replicate how the swordmage/duskblade/magus acted in prior editions.

No playable plant race which is a shame. They're such a meme in pathfinder and I wish DnD has something similar.

No ice/winter themed subclasses for any class which is surprising.
Magus was just the Pathfinder version of Warlock, especially the Black Blade version and I don’t really recall other editions doing “duskblades/swordmages” really.
 

teitan

Legend
It's never about too much content. It's always an issue of good content.
So far, the list of 5th edition books that I consider useful are the Player's Handbook and the Monster Manual.
I think the DMG is incredibly valuable content. Too many people downplay it but tell me the rules for experience or how to customize monsters. What are the grim & gritty rules? How do you make an intelligent sword? How do you design an encounter? How many encounters per day is the expectation, it’s not one balanced encounter.
 

Yora

Legend
I did read it, it's awful.
I've been using the monster creation guidelines to make custom monsters, but that alone does not make a quality book.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
I don't think it's really a controversial take to say that the DMG would be considered inessential by some. It's probably the least "essential" DMG of any edition I can think of (to be fair, I haven't read much of the 4th ed one and I know they took magic items out of it, so maybe that beats it, idk).
 


HammerMan

Legend
Out of curiosity which classic D&D concepts would you say are missing?

Me, I mostly have the warlord and high level martials actually being high level.
I would add martial arcane classes have been OVER acknowladged, but not in a unique way. Bards, ELdritch Knights, Arcane Tricksters, and even bladesinges are all useing OTHER spells. (most wizards) but they don't have any spells uniqe to them.

1 thing I would want is a 1/2 or 1/3 caster with weapon trianing and atleast a few spells just for them.

non spell useing complex classes would be nice (like your warlord example)

epic expansion (I don't mean over 20 but it could) just options for something in the last 5ish levels
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
I would add martial arcane classes have been OVER acknowladged, but not in a unique way. Bards, ELdritch Knights, Arcane Tricksters, and even bladesinges are all useing OTHER spells. (most wizards) but they don't have any spells uniqe to them.

1 thing I would want is a 1/2 or 1/3 caster with weapon trianing and atleast a few spells just for them.

non spell useing complex classes would be nice (like your warlord example)

epic expansion (I don't mean over 20 but it could) just options for something in the last 5ish levels
Yep that's the thing. We have so many gish subclasses and yet none of them bring anything like the prior edition gishes did to the table.

If you add more, you're just adding to the bloat even more. If you don't add more, those gaps remain unfilled. It's a no win situation.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Yep that's the thing. We have so many gish subclasses and yet none of them bring anything like the prior edition gishes did to the table.

If you add more, you're just adding to the bloat even more. If you don't add more, those gaps remain unfilled. It's a no win situation.
yup... WOtC has painted itself into a corner in many ways
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
I have to say that there is so much 5e content being generated right now it is rather amazing.
Whether WotC or through 3rd party KS.

My last DTRPG was just this side of nuts, and my next one at the end of March equally so. This next one will include a lot of Age of Sigmar stuff, and any other 5e product releases, plus late backing or KS stuff.
 

Classes is the main thing. Of which warlord is the most obvious. We have battlemaster which has a few support focused features, but in the end it's still a front line hit things class.
I've said in the past I think this could be fixed by adding a new fighting style for Direct The Strike and a couple of maneuvers including one that makes someone spend hit dice.
We still don't have a psion either.
Aberrant Mind Sorcerer hits almost every single point of a sorcerer. Uses power points (fully interchangeable between metamagic and spells) and has all the psionic abilities/spells including getting to use them like psionics.
And despite having tons of gish subclasses, we don't have any which replicate how the swordmage/duskblade/magus acted in prior editions.
The swordmage is very different from the other two. Delivering a spell through a sword should, I agree, be a thing - but it's starting to drift into the territory of the Paladin smite spells (with the Paladin having expanded massively thematically and pressuring Gish classes because of it)
No playable plant race which is a shame. They're such a meme in pathfinder and I wish DnD has something similar.
Agreed
No ice/winter themed subclasses for any class which is surprising.
Storm Herald Barbarian has Tundra as one of the choices and Circle of the Land Druids get arctic as a choice. There should however be both clerics and sorcerers of winter.
I would add martial arcane classes have been OVER acknowladged, but not in a unique way. Bards, ELdritch Knights, Arcane Tricksters, and even bladesinges are all useing OTHER spells. (most wizards) but they don't have any spells uniqe to them.
Bards certainly have unique spells. I don't think they have many but they definitely have Vicious Mockery as a cantrip and Dissonant Whispers at first level. (Note: this does not include subclass poaching). Possibly unique spells for subclasses would be an idea.
1 thing I would want is a 1/2 or 1/3 caster with weapon trianing and atleast a few spells just for them.
Both Ranger and Paladin qualify here.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
The swordmage is very different from the other two. Delivering a spell through a sword should, I agree, be a thing - but it's starting to drift into the territory of the Paladin smite spells (with the Paladin having expanded massively thematically and pressuring Gish classes because of it)
Yeah that's another issue with a gish class focused around hitting magically. That's been moved more onto paladin this edition. But then despite paladin's theme being expanded, it doesn't even remotely approach arcane/elemental themed subclasses.

Ranger also has some spells focused on weapon attacks however. Ensnaring strike, seating smite, lightning arrow. So it's not completely paladin exclusive.

Even more frustrating is that the magic initiate feats, and the fey/shadow touched feats don't allow access to the smite type spells either. So you can't even feat your way into that playstyle as an arcane class.
 

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