D&D 5E We're Getting Old - and is WotC Accounting For That?

Halivar

First Post
We need more DMs. The Barrier to Entry for DMing should be lowered. I think encounters is a perfect venue.
I gotta say, 4E is the first edition I felt like I could competently DM. It was just brilliant for that purpose. And it did, indeed, have a lot of hand-holding. Loved the advice in the DMG. The problem, I think, is that getting that info into a prospective DM's hands required a $90 buy-in as opposed to $30 for a player. Gotta fix that somehow.
 

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That said, it does seem they have some leeway. I mean, in some ways Hasbro is carrying a full cast of designers for a year or two without producing a single new product. We've never seen this kind of gap before between editions.

Transmedia. They've got the same designers working on other D&D-related products so they can afford to let them take their time working on 5e in the hopes it will sell better than 4e. I consider this a very good thing.
 

Mercurius

Legend
[MENTION=9327]Halivar[/MENTION], I think the best way to "fix" that is to have a comprehensive starter set for an affordable price (say, MSRP of $40 or so, thus $30 or less on Amazon). The Holy Trinity can remain relatively unchanged - except perhaps a few tweaks, like returning magic items to the DMG (for chrissakes!), and maybe including an expansive appendix with stuff like monster charts, like in the 1E DMG. But if that starter set has everything you need to play, say, 1st-3rd or (preferably) 1st-5th level, that will cover a lot of mileage.
 

Wrong. I've played every edition. I want a great game, regardless of how many sacred hamburgers have to be served.

But we see over and over again threads about "deal breakers", "not in MY D&D", "That's not (how I see) traditional D&D", "DISASSOCIATIVE!", etc. and those are major hinderences to a design team finding what actually works best for the widest audience.

Do you want the best* game they can make, or the best Dungeons & Dragons they can make?

I submit that these are incompatible concepts--D&D can never be the best role-playing game, because to utilize all of the insights of RPG development over the last few decades would require veering too far from the product identity assumed by any edition of D&D.


* I recognize I changed "great game" to "best game;" that was intended to illustrate a point, not to misrepresent your statement.
 

delericho

Legend
I gotta say, 4E is the first edition I felt like I could competently DM. It was just brilliant for that purpose. And it did, indeed, have a lot of hand-holding. Loved the advice in the DMG.

Agreed. There's a huge amount I don't like about 4e, and I'm not particularly a fan even of the 4e DMG, but some of that advice, and especially the encounter-building guidelines, was really great - and definitely a step up from 3e (and, indeed, pre-3e). I really hope 5e doesn't throw all of that out.
 

Herschel

Adventurer
Do you want the best* game they can make, or the best Dungeons & Dragons they can make?

I submit that these are incompatible concepts--D&D can never be the best role-playing game, because to utilize all of the insights of RPG development over the last few decades would require veering too far from the product identity assumed by any edition of D&D.


* I recognize I changed "great game" to "best game;" that was intended to illustrate a point, not to misrepresent your statement.


I want the best game in the medieval sword & sorcery-ish theme. The sacred cows not only hold back design but which particular ones are important is so inconsistent from gamer-to-gamer that "what's D&D?" is rather meaningless overall. It's like trying to define "what is music" to a disparate audience. I really want the full set of polyhedral dice, I want character sheets and I want characters that actually are designed to work together (and make each other better by doing so, ie: the sum is greater than the individual parts). Those are my absolute needs in a system, and I fully admit even the dice thing is kind of silly and an artificial limit, as are character sheets.

Oh, and I hate required system mastery. 3E really turned me off by it and 4E pushes it in places, mainly in Epic play.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
I don't want characters that must work together. As you say, "designed" might be all right.

The players made an all rogue and one fighter campaign one time, it was glorious.

If by working together you mean things like teamwork...cool!

If you mean a dependence on certain abilities...nah...
 

Weather Report

Banned
Banned
@delericho, what you wrote reminded me of a thought I had some time ago with regards to Paizo's success. It came to me that D&D, as a franchise and brand name, may partially be a victim of its own success - with the alleged "25 million" always hanging over their heads, not to mention the very successful resurgence with 3E and the OGL. The problem is that WotC is owned by a corporate powerhouse who is always looking at the profit margin, first and foremost. Obviously Paizo cares about profit margin, but I still get the sense that company is, first and foremost, a gaming company run by and for gamers.

WotC might be better off being independent like Paizo, because then they can go back to a similar model and decisions can be made from a "creativity first" approach rather than "profitability first" approach. I mean, obviously Mearls & Co are as gamerish as they come, but they've go the looming shadow of Hasbro forever over their shoulders.

That said, it does seem they have some leeway. I mean, in some ways Hasbro is carrying a full cast of designers for a year or two without producing a single new product. We've never seen this kind of gap before between editions.

Anyhow, there's such a thing as too big. I think it really depends, though, on how much Hasbro thinks they can make from D&D - or if they're OK with it being a "modestly successful" corner of the corporation.
@adamc, I hear you. After playing 4E for a few years with the Character Builder, I could barely remember how to make a PC the old fashioned way. Or we could talk about smartphones - once you start using them, its hard not to rely upon them and then other, older faculties start atrophying. I have a friend in his early-to-mid 30s who said that he's noticing that he's not retaining recent, trivial memories as much anymore because he stores so much on his iPhone. I'm caught between finding that creepy and rather intriguing in terms of what possibilities may arise if our brains re-allocate energy from memory storage into something else, even unknown.

Anyhow, I think its the state of things in 2013 and beyond. Any new iteration of D&D must include an online suite of tools, apps, the whole nine yards. But there's still a pretty daunting access point for newbies; WotC tried to address this with Essentials, but I don't think it was all that successful.


I heard D&D has become a peripheral product line for Hasbro, could be the best thing for it.
 

Weather Report

Banned
Banned
I want characters that actually are designed to work together (and make each other better by doing so, ie: the sum is greater than the individual parts).


That's too contrived for me, and reeks a bit of "...you were the last winner..."

Along the lines of what SkidAce said, an all Rogue party can rock, I do not want to be forced to have every "role" represented.
 

Herschel

Adventurer
I don't want characters that must work together. As you say, "designed" might be all right.

The players made an all rogue and one fighter campaign one time, it was glorious.

If by working together you mean things like teamwork...cool!

If you mean a dependence on certain abilities...nah...

In the case of the rogue party, design with the ability to set each other up for sneak attacks, shenanigans, etc. Sure, he could just flank with the Fighter, but there's only one Fighter to flank with. Be able to do things like stab and draw his attention as you step/shift a "space" away, leaving him wide open for your pal to nick a kidney. A group of rogues could be a shifting blade barrier where an enemy has no idea which one and where will the next attack come from.
 

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