D&D (2024) What does Backward compatibility mean to you?

What does Backward compatibility mean most to you as a player?

  • I can use content from 5e and 1DnD in the same PC

    Votes: 24 20.9%
  • A PC built with 5e PHB and a PC built with 1DnD rules can play together

    Votes: 35 30.4%
  • 5e material can be easily migrated to 1DnD with minimal work

    Votes: 47 40.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 9 7.8%

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It makes perfect sense. The system(the rulebooks) have to do all the work for me or they are not backwards compatible. 5e explicitly says that the DM is a player, so he is. He's using the system just like everyone else is, but he has access to restricted portions that the other players do not.
The rules are a set of procedures (software), not hardware. The game doesn't run itself, it needs Human hardware.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The rules are a set of procedures (software), not hardware. The game doesn't run itself, it needs Human hardware.
Yes! It's software that must be backwards compatible. That's where the term came from. Software. The hardware would be Apple and IBM, which are not compatible with one another, but both have versions of Word made for it. In D&D terms the different hardware are DMs with different playstyles, both using the software(rule books) that need to be backwards compatible.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
One thing I think we all need to remember here... before the books finally get released in 2024 and whole swathes of people start screaming "THEY SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE! BUT IT ISN'T! THEY LIED TO US"...

...is that there's whole crapton of people who don't believe everything in just the 2014 PHB is balanced and compatible. We have people here in this thread saying they want to integrate the 2024 books with no work? Heh heh... well, we have all manner of people on EN World saying they can't use the Beastmaster, 4 Elements, or Wild Mage right now without having to do work, OR using any number of the adventure path books without re-writing huge chunks of it.

So just remember that in 2 years. If you are doing any sort of work at this moment to run your games using just the products we have already in our possession... that ain't gonna STOP happening when the 2024 books get released. You better be prepared for it. That 4 Element Monk you think sucks eggs right now is going to continue to suck eggs, if not suck even more eggs when compared to the 2024 Monk that gets released. So yeah, you're going to have to continue to fix it if you really want to use it that badly.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yes! It's software that must be backwards compatible. That's where the term came from. Software. The hardware would be Apple and IBM, which are not compatible with one another, but both have versions of Word made for it. In D&D terms the different hardware are DMs with different playstyles, both using the software(rule books) that need to be backwards compatible.
So, yea, the DM is the hardware. And they are writing the rules with procedures (software) for using older material, that the DM (hardware) can run to make a seamless experience using older material.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Backwards compatible means to me that I can continue to use all the old stuff that hasn't been replaced with the new stuff. It's a lot looser than "compatible" which implies both ways, all the old stuff and all the new stuff can play together, and "fully compatible", which is even a higher degree.

Things will change from the playtest, but even with what they have right now there are a few places that aren't backwards compatible. Say I wanted to play an wood elf tribesman. I pick the new Elf race, but want the feature from the old Outlander background so I pick that. Because ability scores modifiers have been moved, I end up with a character with a +2/+1 anywhere.

But this is a playtest, an errata to the 2014PHB could resolve this. But we've only seen a bit of the playtest, I expect there to be other issues that come up.

From the little I've seen, this seems like it will be a half-edition shift like 3.0 and 3.5, and while that promised backwards compatibility there were some jagged edges and over 80% of the additional-book content for 3.0 later had it redo and republished as 3.5 content.
 

Vael

Legend
I think using the strict interpretation of DnD as the same as software is inviting disappointment, because while the two may be analogous, DMs aren't strictly the same as a computer.

As for myself, I'll break it down.

As a DM, I'd like to any adventure to be more or less runnable with minimal issues. If an encounter in the adventure calls for using 3 Thugs, for example, I should be able to use either the 5e or 1DnD Monster Manual and not throw the encounter completely out of whack power level wise. A DC 15 check should be equivalent between editions.

As a PC ... I don't think I should be able to 100% crossover material, but I expect I can play a race from Mordenkainen's Monsters of the Multiverse without issue, for example. Other things like racial feats from Xanathars might need some massaging or revision, and spells may also be superceded by the new material.

As a fan of DnD ... I'd like to not force players to rebuy books. So yes, I'd like to have someone with a 5e PHB be able to sit at the same table as a player with the 1DnD PHB.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I really don't agree that "all of the above" is a cop-out. All of the above is a perfectly reasonable answer, because all of them are true. I also don't agree with @Maxperson that there has to be NO work involved for it to qualify, but I DO agree that the work involved ought to be minimal. OR easily understood, such as "You can make a 2014 PC OR a 2024 PC and play together but you can't mix-and-match". OR everything has errata that gets whatever needs changing in-line, but is easily understood.

As long as those things are true, it might not be perfectly backwards compatible, but I don't believe in perfection, so it would be close enough to backwards compatible (I agree that backwards adaptable is a more acceptable term, but words are often less than perfect). Close enough for me, at any rate.

As long as I can keep selling all the 5e books that I have in stock at my game store, I'm happy! (I expect it to be worth paring down the old DMG, MM, and to a lesser extent PHB, of course).
I really wish people would come with a different word for these kinds of changes than "errata". Errata implies the correction of a mistake; I mean, its derived from the same root word as "error". What is called errata in RPGs is, in large part, not correcting errors in the text, but actually changing things.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
The example they use for what they mean by "Backwards Compatibility" in the playtest FAQ is specifically running Curse of Strahd with just the new Core books, so most of the back catalog should still be viable.
Just adventures though, it seems. Show me backwards compatibility with a rules supplement if you want me to buy backwards compatibility.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
It makes perfect sense. The system(the rulebooks) have to do all the work for me or they are not backwards compatible. 5e explicitly says that the DM is a player, so he is. He's using the system just like everyone else is, but he has access to restricted portions that the other players do not.
Maybe the DM won't be a player anymore in the new rulebooks. Just a facilitator for the real players.

Not likely, of course, but the changes they're proposing definitely would require more effort from the GM to convert.
 

I doubt 5.5 or 6 or what ever will be... but here is what I would say:

If I walk to a table and can have my character be made using the 2024+ rules, the player next to me be made using the 2014 (without adding or subtracting) phb and a 3rd player has a mix of those...

basically it has to play like essentials and PHB1 and PHB2 from 4e did together.
 

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