D&D 5E What I think they're going to do with 5e

I had written something similar in this thread back in June:
http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/307836-what-if-instead-5e-addition.html
But I'll refine it now that we know a bit more.


How could the Mike Mearls articles and the modular style of 5e actually resolve edition wars and unify editions?

What would be amazing to see would be for WotC to release a beautiful and solid conversion device (including relevant/important fluff), so that anyone could buy a product from ANY edition and quickly and easily convert it to any other edition. Or, if they play it in 5e, it'd effectively be the same as that.

Then they release their full line of PDFs for sale (as part of D&Di or not) for all editions.


Suddenly, I can play 4e, buy a 1e adventure, and EVEN BETTER, IT IS AUTOCONVERTED TO 4E (or 4e style) by the device being computerized. I guess I'm suggesting, along with manual pen and paper, that people could buy an app/component of D&DI that would do the conversion for them.


Imagine if, as this series seems to hint, all editions truly could be unified as a "whole D&D" and anyone could play any adventure/class/kit/specialty priest/prestige class/paragon path in the edition of their choice.


If they could do THAT, I'd be back on board with WoTC big time, and I think it could do well to quiet a lot of the edition warring....and actually make new editions welcome rather than controversial. Plus, it would mean all new products they'd sell (an adventure for 5e, 6e, 7e etc) would be usable for people who play 1e, 2e, 3e, and 4e.

While I'd agree supporting out of print models in and of itself would not be lucrative for WotC, I'm not JUST suggesting that. I'm saying they would have a way to sell current material to people playing out of print editions. I'm also suggesting that classic adventures and their pdfs and such could be used (sold as new) for people playing the current edition.


I can imagine 5e being best done through an app or computer at the table, where each person has their own character sheet on it, maybe even in different "editions" and the computers "cross talk" so that each person only feels as though their playing their own edition.

But, I also think this would be doable manually by a DM. Some charts and specifics on conversion or modularity should be able to translate these things as a computer would.
 

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I wanted to add that what I'm suggesting above is a bigger, and more difficult task than what they might be doing...

If they are doing effectively that, but keeping it all "within 5e" via its modularity, I think it'd be quite a bit easier. We wouldn't be able to autoconvert prior edition materials, but we would be able to do the remainder of what I suggest...simultaneously play different "edition feels" all at the same table.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
Interesting thoughts.

I actually have an idea on how WotC could make a 5e that is 90% compatible with existing 4e material, and 90% compatible with 1e/2e right out of the box.

3e is a little trickier because its math doesn't scale as nicely, but it would still be around 75% compatible with my conjectured 5e.

If my idea is right, I could see exactly how you could provide a core system with modular rules to literally recreate the play style of any edition you wanted. Though some rules supplements with feats and spells aren't so easily converted, adventures would be super easy to convert. You could run Tomb of Horrors or B1 Keep on the Borderlands right out of the module and convert it to my theoretical 5e on the fly. You could almost run a 4e module in 5e the same way, just layer on the miniature rules. 3e material would require slightly more conversion but you could do it pretty quickly as well.

Maybe I'll make a post about it. I'm still mulling it around in my head.
 
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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Aberzanzorax said:
I guess I'm suggesting, along with manual pen and paper, that people could buy an app/component of D&DI that would do the conversion for them.

Pretty sure that's impossible.

An OD&D goblin, a 1e goblin, a 3e goblin, and a 4e goblin are all quite different. They have different traits and mean different things and have different roles in the world and in combat.

Converting between editions is always going to be more of an art form than a science. No computer program can really do an adequate job, because the relationship between the editions is not a mathematical operation, it is a sense of many things, some of which are more important than others to different groups.

Now, a DM might be able to do it. And I think it would be smart (if tremendously difficult) to include some general rules-of-thumb for conversion. It's never going to be automated, but a DM can use their own judgement and allow or convert things for their own games, no problem.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Pretty sure that's impossible.

An OD&D goblin, a 1e goblin, a 3e goblin, and a 4e goblin are all quite different. They have different traits and mean different things and have different roles in the world and in combat.

Converting between editions is always going to be more of an art form than a science. No computer program can really do an adequate job, because the relationship between the editions is not a mathematical operation, it is a sense of many things, some of which are more important than others to different groups.

Now, a DM might be able to do it. And I think it would be smart (if tremendously difficult) to include some general rules-of-thumb for conversion. It's never going to be automated, but a DM can use their own judgement and allow or convert things for their own games, no problem.
This, exactly. Automated conversion isn't going to happen.
 

Croesus

Adventurer
What would be amazing to see would be for WotC to release a beautiful and solid conversion device (including relevant/important fluff), so that anyone could buy a product from ANY edition and quickly and easily convert it to any other edition. Or, if they play it in 5e, it'd effectively be the same as that.

As was pointed out in your previous thread, automated conversion between editions simply isn't possible. The systems are far too different for a computer to make all the nuanced judgement calls. And a computerized conversion without any nuance would be worse than no conversion at all.

Also, I don't remember reading anywhere that WOTC is promising a version of the game that is backwards compatible with all previous versions. They have said clearly that they want to design a game that appeals to players of all the prior versions, which is a very different goal.
 

kitsune9

Adventurer
Aberanzorax, if they do an electronic component, I think your idea is excellent. It would take a little bit of programming, but yes, I think that would be doable across editions.
 

Also, I don't remember reading anywhere that WOTC is promising a version of the game that is backwards compatible with all previous versions. They have said clearly that they want to design a game that appeals to players of all the prior versions, which is a very different goal.

VERY true.


While that may be enough, I'm thinking that if it were backwards compatible, that'd be even better.

However, if they're to do only what you're suggesting, I'd be surprised if they didn't at least (themselves) convert a few very classic adventures (like some or all of Dungeon's 30 top adventures) to 5e, with notes on how to do them with each mod.
 

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