D&D 5E What do you think now that we've received the final playtest packet?

JeffB

Legend
[MENTION=2525]Mistwell[/MENTION]

I ran between 8 and 10 sessions of the playtest over the course of the wholoe thing.35...40 hours or so?

Most recently, the packet from August, if you have the search function you can find my playtest thread. The latest packet removed a few things I actually liked, so I did not bother with the september packet (though I did read it). Overall, NEXT does not do anything my S&W/OD&D game does not do or cannot do with a simple houserule/addition.

But frankly the current ruleset is not the real problem, it is having tons of quality adventure support, and how much stupid use of the branding iron they are swinging about lately that will likely make or break the game for me. Based on the FR NEXT modules we have seen, and WOTCs track record since the post TSR buyout 2e era period, I am not hopeful for the former either.
 
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Kinak

First Post
1) Have you actually played the most recent version of the playtest?
Nope, nor do I have any intention to.

If I were going to run another 5e one shot, I wouldn't use the current packet. If I were going to try another 5e campaign, I... well, I just wouldn't.

2) How many times have you played any version of 5e, roughly?
A few one-shots and a failed campaign. Enough for my players to go from "this'll be a great light alternative to Pathfinder, we should pick this up when it comes up" to "well, looks like we won't have to budget for that."

GX.Sigma said:
Of course. Why would you keep playing it if you don't like it?
This is sort of the key. I mean, if I were a paid playtester, I'd run it and enjoy myself... but there's no reason to run it over the games I already have on my shelf, even figuring in the chance to make it a better game.

And, I think there's an important parallel here: I haven't played a lot of those games either. I haven't played the Numenera or the new Shadowrun, but I'd run them before the current 5e document. I also haven't run Dungeon World, but would start a 5e campaign first.

Mistwell said:
I know we're a bunch of guys who all think very highly of our own ability to visualize the rules in play, but that often isn't a good method for genuinely assessing them.
It most certainly isn't, but it's also a lot of how we decide what to buy and what to play.

Like a lot of us, I buy entirely too many RPG books. If I go through an RPG book and it doesn't seem fun, I'm extremely unlikely to end up playing it. And if I don't play it, does it really matter how awesome it would be if I did try it?

"Your game reads badly, so I'm not going to try it," isn't the most fun kind of feedback, but it's pretty valuable. You can't wow people with gameplay unless you get them down at the table first.

Cheers!
Kinak
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I think this is a big difference between an indie game, and a game from a major RPG publishing house. The amount of buzz from people who are playing a game from a major RPG publishing house will likely be so much louder than "your game doesn't read well at a glance" type assessment, that I think the later will have almost no impact. If the buzz from actual players is positive, it will sell well. If it is negative, it will sell poorly.

However for a smaller indie game, how it reads at a glance may well be the only time that person is exposed to the game in any fashion. They may never hear any buzz, good or bad, beyond that one look at the game.
 

Kinak

First Post
I think this is a big difference between an indie game, and a game from a major RPG publishing house. The amount of buzz from people who are playing a game from a major RPG publishing house will likely be so much louder than "your game doesn't read well at a glance" type assessment, that I think the later will have almost no impact. If the buzz from actual players is positive, it will sell well. If it is negative, it will sell poorly.
I don't disagree the buzz is important, but much of that buzz is just the static of several thousand first glances. And there's certainly no test to prevent people without in-play experience from buzzing away.

As a 4e non-fan, I don't think it's taking sides to say that most of the negative buzz around 4e at launch was based on a read-through or even just a glance. A lot of the traditional edition war arguments we still hear started as at-a-glance reactions around the same time.

I personally know players who flipped open the 4e PHB, looked at one of the power lists, got through a few powers, closed the book, and never came back. Have they ever played 4e? Nope. Do they still badmouth 4e? Absolutely. Is that an informed opinion? Not in the slightest. But is it part of the buzz? Of course.

And, to pick on myself a little, I happily talked up 3rd over 2nd during that transition because it read similarly to my houserules. It wasn't an in-play comparison, I wouldn't actually play 3rd until my wife started editing 3PP products years later. But, regardless of how ill-informed it may have been, it was still part of the buzz.

That's all a long way of saying that buzz, positive and negative, is more noise than signal... particularly when we're talking about games where one campaign can last longer than the lifespan of an entire product line. And much of that noise is just people's first reactions looking at the books.

However for a smaller indie game, how it reads at a glance may well be the only time that person is exposed to the game in any fashion. They may never hear any buzz, good or bad, beyond that one look at the game.
Honestly, I think word-of-mouth is exponentially more important for independent games. They don't appear in traditional book stores, they may not appear in even good game stores, they need to catch your attention amid other indie games and obviously better-supported product lines, you're only going to find them on the web if you look, and they typically have no paid advertising.

That said, I'll certainly agree it's an uphill battle for indies. You really want both word-of-mouth and for your game to read well. But if I had to choose one to be successful financially... well, "it's not what you know, it's who you know."

Cheers!
Kinak
 

Play it and like it. Waiting for the last upadate and then it will go to the printer, so I have version that I can easily modify with a pencil if needed and when updates in L&L become apparent (improved HD for monks, bards and rogues)
 



JeffB

Legend
This right here is the selling point of 5e to me.

How so? Do you or your group feel the need to play whatever is new or says D&D on the cover/is official or in-print?

houserules are unacceptable?

Nothing wrong with any of that, if that floats your boat or are that particular, but it is a waste of dinero for me to invest in a new ruleset that does not offer any improvements in a meaningful way over what I have and then I STILL have to spend time and effort converting modules and such (not to mention, my module budget just got wrecked buying into the new editions core books).
 

Salamandyr

Adventurer
How so? Do you or your group feel the need to play whatever is new or says D&D on the cover/is official or in-print?

houserules are unacceptable?

Nothing wrong with any of that, if that floats your boat or are that particular, but it is a waste of dinero for me to invest in a new ruleset that does not offer any improvements in a meaningful way over what I have and then I STILL have to spend time and effort converting modules and such (not to mention, my module budget just got wrecked buying into the new editions core books).

a) It is easier to find players for a currently supported product.

b) There is nothing wrong with houseruling, but if you are dependent on houserules for your enjoyment of a game, then as soon as your current group breaks up, your game is pretty much gone. The game I played as a teenager? It doesn't exist. Because the game I played wasn't the one in the rules, it was a set of shortcuts, houserules, interpretations and misinterpretations of the books that we had. We largely used AD&D races, classes, and spells, with B/X gameplay mechanics, and made up the rest as we went along.

That game ceased to exist the moment my group broke up.

c) The fact that stock 5e works as well as my houseruled OD&D means that it's designed better than OD&D.

I love Classic D&D, but I can go on forever listing its inadequacies. So a game that lets me play in the classic style without a whole host of those inadequacies?

Sold.
 
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fjw70

Adventurer
That's a good point about house ruling. I have no problem with houserules and use them a lot when I play with my kids, but I prefer to keep house rules to a minimum with my adult group. My adult group has been together about 2.5 years and even though we have a core group of players we have also had a lot of people cycle through the group and it is a lot easier to manage if the rule set it consistent with what people know.

i don't want to hand a new player a packet of house rules before they can make a character for my game. I can just tell them make a standard 4e character at level X. The only other thing they really need from me is the wealth level for each character.

What few houseruling I do use is on the DM side of things that are hidden from the players (e.g. Monster design).
 

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