D&D 5E What are/will be the main beefs of D&D Next relative to other editions?

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
That's the intent of the playtest, but playing D&D, as I'm sure you know, takes a lot more than just downloading the files and hitting run.

You have to get someone excited.

Come on now, you spend countless hours posting on this board, just like I do. We both have the time to try the game out. You don't need to be "excited" to try the game out. You just have to be curious, and have a spare couple of hours. I play countless new boardgames, and I am not usually "excited" to play them, just curious. So turn out to be great, some good, some meh, and some bad. But it's just a single game for a couple hours. If you have the interest enough to read the rules and debate it on a message board for many hours, you have more than enough incentive to try the free game out for yourself.

They need to go out and get their friends excited... in theory excited enough to also sign up for the playtest, but whatever. They all need to set aside a time, competing with other games and other leisure activities, and actually play.

But that's exactly the same process people will be going through when they have the game in hand on launch day. If that process is breaking down, they need to know where and why.

This brings me to the flipside to your suggestion: WotC wants to get as many people playing the game as possible. Potential customers and wary customers are the ones they should be getting feedback from. The people who are sure either way are largely irrelevant.

Cheers!

I disagree. Anyone unwilling to even try a free version of the game, one single time, is not really a potential customer.

But I will miss you also from these D&D Next threads, since apparently you've decided to never try the game too? Ah well.
 
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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Good point. The people that really matter in this context are the conscientious ones who could go either way.

"Could go either way" is not usually for a person who dedicates hours to commenting about Next, who reads Next extensively, but who refused to even playtest it a single time for a couple of hours. That's not a likely potential customer, it's usually someone who already made up their mind that some other version of the game is the one they will continue to play. You want people who are willing to play the game and take it for a test run.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
"Could go either way" is not usually for a person who dedicates hours to commenting about Next, who reads Next extensively, but who refused to even playtest it a single time for a couple of hours. That's not a likely potential customer, it's usually someone who already made up their mind that some other version of the game is the one they will continue to play. You want people who are willing to play the game and take it for a test run.
That's a very harsh attitude. Reading and posting are things that people can do easily on their own time, not infrequently while working. Running an actual game is a significant commitment for several people to use their shared time. I suspect that I'm not alone among ENWorlders in having a backlog of systems and campaign ideas to run. Convening five people for something that I think might be worth my time, as opposed to something that I know is worth my time, is not an appealing decision.

And it's important to know that it's entirely possible that a system can read well and convince me that it's worth my time to try it without playing it, so that's not an unreasonable bar.

Think of reading the books as being analogous to viewing promotional material for a movie. Is watching a 90 second trailer the same as actually being in the theater and watching the whole thing with your 3D glasses on and an audience around you? No. Is the former a sufficient and reasonable basis to decide whether you want to spend money on the latter? Yes. Is the quality of promotional material as well as the quality of the whole product relevant to the success of the final product? You bet.

If reading the 5e playtest documents (or even reading less than that, say, just the announcements or columns from the WotC website) is enough to convince me, or [MENTION=5038]Greg K[/MENTION] or anyone else that it isn't worth playing the game for real, that's on them, not us.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
That's a very harsh attitude. Reading and posting are things that people can do easily on their own time, not infrequently while working. Running an actual game is a significant commitment for several people to use their shared time. I suspect that I'm not alone among ENWorlders in having a backlog of systems and campaign ideas to run. Convening five people for something that I think might be worth my time, as opposed to something that I know is worth my time, is not an appealing decision.

I run D&D Next on Roll20 (which is free) using Skype (which is free) and free maps on Roll20, with people in various states and cities around the U.S.. It's not that hard anymore to get a game together to test something out, if you really want to try it.

And I think this might be one difference between some people (obviously not all) who post here, and who play the game. Someone earlier mentioned that they know lots of people who love D&D Next, they just don't post much, because they dedicate their D&D time to playing the game, not talking about it.

And it's important to know that it's entirely possible that a system can read well and convince me that it's worth my time to try it without playing it, so that's not an unreasonable bar.

It's an unreasonable bar. It's a playtest. The intent was for you to play it. Some games read boring but play well, and some games read great but play poorly, and you cannot know the difference until you actually play the game. So just go play the game!

Think of reading the books as being analogous to viewing promotional material for a movie.

It's not the promo though. The promo for a campaign of D&D Next is playing a session of D&D Next. The concept is a game, not a book. Games are about playing, just as movies are about viewing/listening to a screen (and not about reading a script).

How about think of reading playtest rules for a game as PLAY TEST rules for a GAME. It's right there in the name of the thing, it's a TEST OF PLAYING A GAME. You're not an editor - they have editors in their employ. They're not asking you to check their spelling and grammar and sentence structure, they're asking you you to PLAY the test rules and provide feedback on the game.

Is it really so hard to play an RPG once before deciding on it? Is that where many have gotten to on EnWorld, that it's not about playing games anymore, it's about just reading them and contemplating how it might be played? That you'd dedicate hours and hours to discussing tiny permutations of the rules without ever devoting a couple hours to playing the game you're so willing to talk about?

Is watching a 90 second trailer the same as actually being in the theater and watching the whole thing with your 3D glasses on and an audience around you? No. Is the former a sufficient and reasonable basis to decide whether you want to spend money on the latter? Yes. Is the quality of promotional material as well as the quality of the whole product relevant to the success of the final product? You bet.

The promo for a movie is in the same format as the movie - you as an audience member watching the images and listening to the sounds from the screen and theater. If you want to promo a campaign for a game (which lasts a year or so), you PLAY THE GAME ONCE, which lasts a session. You don't read the rules - the game isn't about reading rules any more than a movie preview is about reading a scene of the script for a movie.

My wife is an actress. I've read countless scripts in my time. No matter how good you get at it, reading a script is never even close to the same experience as watching actors act out the script. Some scripts read awful, but play out beautifully on screen. Some scripts read wonderful, but just don't work when acted and directed. The analogue for a preview to a campaign of a game is to play the game once, and the analogue for a preview to a movie is to WATCH parts of the movie, not read the script.

If reading the 5e playtest documents (or even reading less than that, say, just the announcements or columns from the WotC website) is enough to convince me, or [MENTION=5038]Greg K[/MENTION] or anyone else that it isn't worth playing the game for real, that's on them, not us.

Fair enough. Nobody is going to twist your arm to play a game you're not interested in. But, then I will miss each one of you in these threads - as surely, now that the last playtest document is out, you won't continue to enter threads to discuss small minutia about that game you've already decided you're not willing to play even once right? Much like I would not enter a movie thread on a regular basis to discuss scenes from a movie I am not interested in or willing to see?

That - or you could try the game out, and talk about your game. It's fun, you should try it! It's way more fun than talking about the rules.
 
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Ahnehnois

First Post
Fair enough. Nobody is going to twist your arm to play a game you're not interested in. But, then I will miss each one of you in these threads - as surely, now that the last playtest document is out, you won't continue to enter threads to discuss small minutia about that game you've already decided you're not willing to play even once right? Much like I would not enter a movie thread on a regular basis to discuss scenes from a movie I am not interested in or willing to see?
Other than these "why won't you give 5e a chance threads" where I'm not talking about specific mechanics, when was the last time you saw me posting in a 5e thread? I posted on it a lot in the early going, less as things went along, and then announced that I was hopping off the bandwagon. I even posted the amusing lack of self-awareness in the WotC standard email message I received when I opted out of the playtest. I'm not talking about mechanics any more because I don't know and don't care, and my overall post volume is mostly 3e and other systems or off-topic these days.

This thread is asking why I went that way, so I and others have answered. Other than that, I'm really out of the 5e discussion.

That - or you could try the game out, and talk about your game. It's fun, you should try it! It's way more fun than talking about the rules.
I don't know. There's a certain crowd that feels the need to dissect every specific play example I provide and use it to convey thinly veiled personal insults. And personally, I often don't read other people's actual play discussions because they're so long and full of campaign-specific references that the rest of us don't get and because the specific gaming style of the person posting is alien to the rest of us. There's so much specificity to an individual game table that I don't know how useful it is to talk about it. Sometimes I think the quality of discussion is higher when we stick to the generic and talk about theory rather than practice. Sometimes examples are useful to explain the theory, that's all.
 

Kinak

First Post
But I will miss you also from these D&D Next threads, since apparently you've decided to never try the game too? Ah well.
You misunderstand. I have run the game and if my group were to ask me to run 5e again, I wouldn't have any problem with that.

I just don't think that having tried it is what entitles me to an opinion, because that's the exact opposite of how we decide things. I developed an opinion, which lead me to download the packets. That opinion developed further, leading me to run the game.

Now my opinion is that 5e would need as much houseruling to do what I want as Pathfinder, if not more. And my players' general opinion is that they'd rather use Pathfinder for campaign play and they'd prefer to stick with the same system for fantasy campaigns and fantasy one-shots.

It's possible that WotC will change direction at some point and change those opinions. If not, I still get to work through exactly what I want out of a tabletop RPG and my houserules will be all the better for that.

Cheers!
Kinak
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Other than these "why won't you give 5e a chance threads" where I'm not talking about specific mechanics, when was the last time you saw me posting in a 5e thread?

It was not me being specific to you, and it was not meant in a snarky tone.

I'm always dismayed when I hear that the population of people who will discuss a game I like is decreasing. That's all I really mean. I like it when there are lots of people talking about the game they're all playing.


I don't know. There's a certain crowd that feels the need to dissect every specific play example I provide and use it to convey thinly veiled personal insults.

If I've ever given you that impression, I am sorry. I am not saying I am never snarky (I definitely can be), but I never go into it with that intent in mind. Particularly not for an actual play example. So, if I did that to you, sorry about that.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
I'm always dismayed when I hear that the population of people who will discuss a game I like is decreasing. That's all I really mean. I like it when there are lots of people talking about the game they're all playing.
It is unfortunate. I'd much rather there was one great game that was at least good enough that everyone could agree on it.

If I've ever given you that impression, I am sorry. I am not saying I am never snarky (I definitely can be), but I never go into it with that intent in mind. Particularly not for an actual play example. So, if I did that to you, sorry about that.
I had other individuals in mind, and there's a general snobbishness on ENWorld sometimes about certain issues. I don't mind argument. After all, these are forums for open discussion.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Since we haven't seen the end product, it's pretty hard to say. As others have noted, so far the one common theme I've seen in complaints about 5E is that dedicated 4E players feel they're being kicked to the curb.

But when you think about it, the bulk of complaints invariably come from fans of the preceding edition. I don't recall the AD&D crowd griping much about 4E. They just looked at it, shook their heads over kids these days, and went back to AD&D. It was the 3E players who felt angry and betrayed. The old-schoolers had already made their break with the current edition.

For fans of 4E, the best that 5E can do is keep them on board; the worst it can do is drive them away. So we'll hear complaints from those being driven away, while those who stay on board will just carry on. Conversely, for people playing BD&D or AD&D or 3E or Pathfinder, the worst that 5E can do is fail to win them back, while the best it can do is succeed. So we'll hear praise from those who are won back, and a collective shrug from those who aren't.
 
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MJS

First Post
My main beef is the rules clutter, which is causing a *bleep* and alienation. The 5E team, while understanding the actual core (gygax/arneson), seem a bit "design happy". So they add a lot of clutter, then say its optional. 1E is quite like this, but that is not the element of AD&D they should be going for.
Any attempt at a unifying system has to be rules light in its core, just a cleaned up B/X really. 5E seems more of its own animal, one that can be stripped back easily enough (after all we all did it with 1E - Gary included ), but I think its getting too bogged down out of the gate.
I do still want to see the books when they come out, and even if I don't want those, I will be interested in supplements and modules.

Mod Edit: Ladies and gents, please watch your language. Thanks. ~Umbran
 
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