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5.5E What is "compatible"?

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
According to WotC, 3.5 was "fully compatible" with 3.0.

And it was, for roughly a month after it came out. But the further into 3.5 we got, the less the new stuff resembled the original stuff. You could still use it, but then, I can still use my old 2e stuff too. So by that logic all editions and versions are "fully compatible" with one another.
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Eh. They are making a MARKETING statement. They were also saying that 5e would be "modular" and we know how that turned out.

Don't hang much import on specific word choice years before release.
Sure, I don't hold too much to it but it's the direction we have. Making as assumption that it can't be true and coming up with ideas along those lines is just as prognosticating, but now it's also assuming they will not fulfill what their goal is.

They have shown us with Tasha's that they can make large changes and still be fully compatible, and have had a long history of not making changes that will invalidate existing characters (like the many-years-suffering beastmaster ranger). So what they are saying is possible to be done and is a direction they have shown us they normally follow.

So I feel that predictions based that what they are saying must be false (like non-optional rebalancing long rest recovery model changes to classes) are less likely to occur continuing to be being fully compatible - meaning that existing characters need no changes, not that there aren't new options that would allow you to build them other ways that may work better, like the beastmaster ranger new options.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
My assumption is that is will be 'compatible'.

As in you can run a human fighter from 2014 in the same game as a human fighter from 2024, and it will work. But the balance will just be off and the 2014 one will just feel less fun. Like comparing a tasha's beastmaster ranger to a PHB beastmaster ranger, but even more extreme.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
This is why I think what I said above is true.

compatible with all 5e books requires that the warlock still be a short rest based class, gain its subclass features at the same level, etc.

It doesn’t require that the Ranger learn spells, though, just that it has spell slots with which to cast any subclass or alt feature spells it might gain. So a variant option that uses spells slots to power exploration themed stuff with a short list, ranging from “poultices” to increased short rest healing, to forced march travel without exhaustion, to a specialized “trolls gift”/wolfsbane style poison system.
That would be dope as hell!
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Sure, I don't hold too much to it but it's the direction we have. Making as assumption that it can't be true and coming up with ideas along those lines is just as prognosticating, but now it's also assuming they will not fulfill what their goal is.

They have shown us with Tasha's that they can make large changes and still be fully compatible, and have had a long history of not making changes that will invalidate existing characters (like the many-years-suffering beastmaster ranger). So what they are saying is possible to be done and is a direction they have shown us they normally follow.

So I feel that predictions based that what they are saying must be false (like non-optional rebalancing long rest recovery model changes to classes) are less likely to occur continuing to be being fully compatible - meaning that existing characters need no changes, not that there aren't new options that would allow you to build them other ways that may work better, like the beastmaster ranger new options.
I think you’re reading a lot into one filler word that I doubt anywhere near as much thought went into choosing.
 


Zi Mishkal

Villager
Honestly? We don't know. 2e started out as clarification to 1e. You can pick up a 1e module and play it pretty easily in 2e. And you could pick up a BECMI module and play it in either 1e and 2e. But 2e wound up being a major change to the game, and being quite divisive in its time.
3.0, 3.5, PF1 are all similar to each other as well and you could mix together most of them with each other. But again, there's lines drawn - sometimes deep, bitter lines between each of those rulesets.
In all the above cases, players were strongly encouraged to "convert" their characters over to the 'new' system. Once converted over, the problem of editions falls squarely in the lap of the DM.

I feel that similar rules, which allow a DM (with a moderate amount of work) to run a 5e module in 5.5e is probably the absolute best case scenario anyone can hope for.

I also feel that whatever happens, it's going to split the community. This situation is more than passingly similar to the 1e-2e, 3e-3.5e situation. You have a large percentage of the community who feel that 5e is the only edition, because its the only edition they've played (for years). Any significant change to that edition is going to cheese some people off.

Giving them two plus years to fret over it isn't going to help matters either. We're a screwy species. Under the best cases, a whole bunch of us will automatically look for the worst case outcome. Some are very vocal against any change whatsoever. If WotC only loses 10-15% of their player base from this, they will be extremely fortunate. Depending on what they change, it could be a lot worse.

And I don't buy into the idea that they will "listen to the people". Any meaningful change will be baked into the new rules. You can do all the internal/limited ext. playtesting you want beforehand, but its only when you release it to the world do you really know whether you've screwed up. And at that point, you already have the next couple years' worth of products planned and partly written. You are locked into those rules.

I hope everyone had a restful summer, because the next three years are going to be a vitriolic mess.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I think you’re reading a lot into one filler word that I doubt anywhere near as much thought went into choosing.
If it was just one filler word you would have a point. But as mentioned we have a de facto statement of direction that they would not correct things the player base saw as wrong, such as the beastmaster ranger, if it would invalidate characters. I don't see any reason why they must change direction on that now, and since they are using verbiage that matches that existing direction they have been doing, it's a safe bet.
 


We got two cases in DnD history.
3 to 3.5 not compatible.
4Ed then 4ed essential, fully compatible.

For now is a marketing announce.
But I guess it’s really straight forward to rebuild the classes and keep them compatible as the 4ed Essential. Clean up races, feats, spells, monsters, magic items, can be done with 100% compatibility. For resting they can rebuild classes and not using short rest features, they will become pretty much like actual rogue, and be 100% compatible. They won’t touch skills, action, reaction, possibly use less bonus action.

For sure we gonna have a lot of UA and survey on the subject.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
So they rewrite the PHB keeping the broad power levels of characters the same, and core rules the same. All the classes and races stay. So compatible.

But they spend years making it better. One implication is that stuff from other sources may be "compatible", but new material is "better".

Whatever that means.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
So they rewrite the PHB keeping the broad power levels of characters the same, and core rules the same. All the classes and races stay. So compatible.

But they spend years making it better. One implication is that stuff from other sources may be "compatible", but new material is "better".

Whatever that means.
To be honest, it's probably more about refraining issues like Race than game balance. Also, based on how they are talking, a radical overhaul of the DMG advice and MM layout based on the past many years of feedback. The PHB might be the least changed portion, in the end
 

From reading/listening to reviews of Tasha's, it seems like it increases the power level of subclasses significantly, so that a PHB and Tasha's characters would not fit well in the same party. Is this the case, for those of you who have played with those rules? It seems that powercreep make editions somewhat not compatible with themselves, because while everything might use the same underlying structure, the amount of options make the play experience very uneven.

Reading over Tasha's, I also wonder if there is only so much one can do with exception based design. The subclass abilities and options strike me as overly fiddly and complicated, and make it so there is a lot more to track (per rest abilities, temporary hp, etc). There seems to be an attempt to fill out the action economy for each class, so that there is constantly uses for bonus actions and reactions and pet actions. This is not from play experience, however.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
To be honest, it's probably more about refraining issues like Race than game balance. Also, based on how they are talking, a radical overhaul of the DMG advice and MM layout based on the past many years of feedback. The PHB might be the least changed portion, in the end
Could be. But they have done on all these surveys, and are spending years on it. They are probably going to do something,
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Could be. But they have done on all these surveys, and are spending years on it. They are probably going to do something,
Yes, buy the modular, exception based design allows them to retool the feel of an option, without necessarily being out of balance in their spreadsheets.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I think it means you can use an old PC or an old Monster at the same table as a new PC or a new Monster. So you could have a combat which involves an old version of a Githzari, and a new version fo the Githzari, and it will all work fine. Similarly, you could have a PC with the old version of a Champion and a PC with the new version of the Champion. They might not all be as balanced as each other, but they will all still function OK as they're all based on the same basic rules behind them.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
From reading/listening to reviews of Tasha's, it seems like it increases the power level of subclasses significantly, so that a PHB and Tasha's characters would not fit well in the same party. Is this the case, for those of you who have played with those rules? It seems that powercreep make editions somewhat not compatible with themselves, because while everything might use the same underlying structure, the amount of options make the play experience very uneven.

Reading over Tasha's, I also wonder if there is only so much one can do with exception based design. The subclass abilities and options strike me as overly fiddly and complicated, and make it so there is a lot more to track (per rest abilities, temporary hp, etc). There seems to be an attempt to fill out the action economy for each class, so that there is constantly uses for bonus actions and reactions and pet actions. This is not from play experience, however.

These are classic issues with player supplements. (You can even go back to the original barbarian or cavalier, and don't get me started on 2e) Then a new edition comes and cleans everything up, until it gets all messy again,

Now we getting that while the supplements are still out there. One possibility is just that a very solid ranger, a better elemental monk, etc, etc, will just make the supplements redundant for a lot of players. Until new supplements come along.
 



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