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D&D 5E What most needs revision for the (hypothetical) 50th anniversary core books?

I've pretty much already written (repeatedly) why I disagree with all of this... but it is hilarious to me that earlier you wrote "I think 20/30 year olds are like this," then I wrote "I'm in my 20s and that's a dumb stereotype" and you replied with "Just because your 20 you can't prove I'm wrong."

Like lol, ok. And somehow my opinion that releasing a new edition on an anniversary being dumb (because pinning a new rules release on an arbitrary date is indeed, very dumb), somehow means I don't think people will buy books from a new edition ever (or ever have)... like ok, keep arguing against whoever it is you imagine I am, 'cause I'm not interested.
Your argument about why people wouldn't buy new books just doesn't make sense, mate. And you didn't say "that's a dumb stereotype", you said "that's a broad generalization". If you'd said young people liking new things was just a "dumb stereotype" I'd have been laughing too hard to type.

Like I said though, you could be right about it not happening in 2024, that's the weakest part of the assumptions.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Your argument about why people wouldn't buy new books just doesn't make sense, mate. And you didn't say "that's a dumb stereotype", you said "that's a broad generalization". If you'd said young people liking new things was just a "dumb stereotype" I'd have been laughing too hard to type.

Like I said though, you could be right about it not happening in 2024, that's the weakest part of the assumptions.

I was specifically referring to the narrow, backwards compatible version of the books the OP was suggesting to me. If it really was a new edition, I think people would buy it. But if it's just the same books with some changes to races/alignment, I don't think it would sell like crazy. Probably do ok, but not like Tasha's or Xanathar's if 80% of it already is in the core books.

I was being polite in my first reply... you did initially make young people sound like addicts who crave new things, which I find just a lazy stereotype of 20/30-olds (who are adults, not teenagers).
 

Well, you are talking about polls here, which aren't really reflective of the actual 5E playerbase (way crunchier than most players). It would be better to poll Reddit to get an idea for actual preferences, and even then it would skew to more crunchy tastes.

I also just don't think the core books success is replicable, and that releasing new ones would cannibalize sales. I don't think most old players are going to buy new versions of their core rulebooks, and new players will buy one or the other, not both.
If they release new books, I'm willing to bet they won't add any new, as-yet-unpublished rules. Just updates.

This is to make sure that anyone who's been keeping up with supplements doesn't need to buy new core books (they're certainly welcome to, and they'll get new art, but they don't have to, which will be important.) For new players, it's just the most recent printing with all the errata and major options already included.

(This is also why I think they won't cut any subclasses - they will really want to lean into the idea that this is not a new set of rules, and you don't need to buy two PHBs).

I already own two versions: the 1st and 9th printings, and there are a few small but significant changes which were already in the errata. I suspect the Anniversary Edition will not go much further than that. But will include a bunch of the optional rules from Tasha's (at the very least re: racial ability mods.)
 


I wonder how they'll deal with the split between "OC" and "neo-trad" playstyles (assuming those terms are at all accurate or applicable to a large part of the player base). It does seem there are some players who want a more immersive storytelling game and others who want options and crunch, and they all make do with 5e even though they'd prefer something else.
 


Mercurius

Legend
@Ruin Explorer and @Urriak Uruk , I compiled some thoughts and created a poll (everyone loves a good, if meaningless, poll!) here:

 

I wonder how they'll deal with the split between "OC" and "neo-trad" playstyles (assuming those terms are at all accurate or applicable to a large part of the player base). It does seem there are some players who want a more immersive storytelling game and others who want options and crunch, and they all make do with 5e even though they'd prefer something else.
Why everyone lashes themselves to the current edition of D&D, rather than exploring OSR or D&D alternatives, is beyond me. There's so much compatible material out there, everyone can be happy.

I noped out of 4E and went with Castles & Crusades. The world did not end and none of my players abandoned my campaign.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The system needs to slaughter the spherical cow of no feats no magic items assumed everywhere. Characters progress as they advance, as a result bounded accuracy Does. Not. Work.

Murder QFLW by baking in a mac item budget & pegging spells to it or better as casters basically do not notably benefit from magic items while combined with feats fighters become quadratic with them & can always be lifted up with magic items.

resistant to nonmagical bludgeoning piercing slashing is a meaningless waste of ink after tier 1 maybe somewhere in tier2, nothing should be balanced on the assumption that weapon users will be left dealing half damage

Spell slot advancement needs to revert to the old ways where it continues to grow rather than slowing out of the gate & being effectively frozen at 1 possibly
slots for higher level slots

Bring back (ex)(su) &(sp) tags on abilities then create a proper tactical combat module that hooks off those & movement

Bring back subjective elements in weapons & armor
Rework healing, basically all of phb197, & rest mechanics


edit: Remove or rework concentration, it's absurdly overused to the point that it's both pointless & impossible to fix with houserules. Use a system like anarchy online's NCU memory if something like that is needed. Concentration spells need to function more like hex & eyebite that allow redeployment rather than just being concentration to hamstring casters.

I'd also like to see a move away from low ac with bajillion hp back to the faster & less monotonous higher ac with lower hp, maybe even with touchac in some cases
 
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ECMO3

Hero
I've been on the internet for 29 years now, and I've seen countless edition changes for various games and countless updates to TV shows and reboots and so on.
Just curious, where did you go to access the internet in 1992?

But even then... you look at previous edition changes, and it looks in all cases like most people picked up the new edition, despite any amount of grousing.
I don't think this is true. If we look at history I think opposite is actually true more often than not.

When we went from 1E to 2E most did not pick it up, as a matter of fact it bankrupted TSR. I was playing then and everyone I knew kept playing 1E, perhaps with a few rules taken from 2E, but they did not transition and most importantly they did not purchase the books.

4E again did not bring the 3E players along, most of them either kept playing 3E or moved to pathfinder, enough that pathfinder actually outsold D&D some years during this era..

5E brought in millions of new players, that is where the growth has been although it did bring in people who were still playing 1E and 3E.

I think if we look at history, what happened 5E is unique, not the norm.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
The other area of frequent complaint, at least on the internet, is some variation of it is too bland, too simplistic, not enough options, not made for "real gamers," etc. And this isn't only coming from diehards. My group is comprised of casual Gen-Xers, most of whom, when we got our group together in 2008, hadn't played since college or 2E. For the most part, they really liked 4E and I know one, at least, hasn't been as struck with 5E because of the reduction in tactical options. On the internet I see some complain about the overall failure to make good on the whole modular option/complexity dial thing, or keeping the scope of D&D too narrow (FR campaign after FR campaign).
I don't think this is widespread for two reasons. First 4E was largely a failure, that goes against the idea that there are a lot of people who really liked it. By most accounts, and most importanly in terms of sales it appears people really disliked it.

Second 4E is still around, you can still buy the books and there is still a ton of content online. If large numbers view it as superior to 5E they would be playing it instead of 5E.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Let's assume that we will, indeed, see revised core rulebooks in 2024, a proverbial "5.5." Let's also assume that it won't be more than 5.5, and maybe more like 5.3-5.4...the key being backwards compatible.

The question: What aspect of the core rules do you feel is most in need of revision? If you could ask the folks at WotC to revise one area, what would it be?

For myself, I've played 5E too sporadically over the years to feel like I know the system inside and out enough to offer a super educated opinion, but my first thought is classes. Maybe I'm biased because ranger is my favorite, or at least default, class, but I'd like to see them strengthen some of the weaker ones (ranger, monk, sorcerer), and without requiring a subclass to do so.

It is probably too large of a change for even 5.5, but I'd like to see how a slightly less bounded accuracy would look, with Proficiency Bonus going up to +10 at 20th level rather than +6. I like bounded accuracy, but wonder if it is too bounded. It just strikes me as odd that a 1st level fighter with 20 STR has a base +7 to hit, while a 20th level fighter with 20 STR is only +11. I know: class features, feats and magic items and all that. But, still.

You?
I think we will see an overhaul of travel, but that will be the only true overhaul.

I think we will see new versions of the ranger features that suck, that will be competitive with the Tasha’s replacements. Like, Natural Explorer that gives bonus spells, for instance. Changes that make it so that the PHB feature is actually equal to the optional replacement for it.


I wouldn’t be surprised to see a revision of the 4 Elements Monk, and I’d expect to see some light revisions to the Druid and Sorcerer.

The biggest change I wouldn’t be surprised by would be changing Two Weapon Fighting to not require the bonus action.
 

ECMO3

Hero
The biggest change I wouldn’t be surprised by would be changing Two Weapon Fighting to not require the bonus action.
I think that would be a bit much as a core rule change. Alternatively, I could see this as the fighting style and changing the rules so everyone gets their ability increase to damage with TWF.

The problem with giving everyone a free attack with TWF is that is a huge increase for Rogues, Rangers, Monks, Hexblades and Bladesingers and would make those characters substantially more powerful in combat than they currently are as they have substantial bonus actions they could now take that they couldn't do if using TWF. It would also make sword and board even weaker than they currently are and would nerf the sharpshooter feat since thrown weapon fighting would be strictly better.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Rename the Monk "Mystic" and change Ki points to Spell Slots which they secretly are (among other changes to de-Orientailize them)
Why switch to spell slots? I agree with renaming the class and some of its features, but ki works very very well as it is, other than it running out in games with few short rests, which is easy to fix by adding that they can regain them by spending 10 minutes in meditation (while the Wizard casts a ritual spell, perhaps) a couple times a day.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Why switch to spell slots? I agree with renaming the class and some of its features, but ki works very very well as it is, other than it running out in games with few short rests, which is easy to fix by adding that they can regain them by spending 10 minutes in meditation (while the Wizard casts a ritual spell, perhaps) a couple times a day.
Mechanically, yes, but my main concern would be to defluff the mechanical structure. Been watching the Asians Represent stuff lately, and the treatment of "Ki" in D&D is super problematic: the Manuvers of the Battle Master, Rage of the Barbarian, or Spells of the Wizard or Cleric can just as easily be interpreted as "Ki," in an authentic take on the concept, and the Ghettoization into one Class along with some other Orientsliat tropes is something that I would want to change. Making the abilities key off of Slots would help make the design relation between Monks and other Classes more apparent, but using "Spell Points" would also work fine.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think that would be a bit much as a core rule change. Alternatively, I could see this as the fighting style and changing the rules so everyone gets their ability increase to damage with TWF.
That could work. Or make it how the Dual Wielder feat works, though that would suck for people that don’t want feats.
The problem with giving everyone a free attack with TWF is that is a huge increase for Rogues, Rangers, Monks, Hexblades and Bladesingers and would make those characters substantially more powerful in combat than they currently are as they have substantial bonus actions they could now take that they couldn't do if using TWF. It would also make sword and board even weaker than they currently are and would nerf the sharpshooter feat since thrown weapon fighting would be strictly better.
So, Sharpshooter and Sword and Board wouldn’t be any weaker. If they buff the Ranger, it doesn’t make the Fighter or Paladin weaker.

That aside, Hexblade is the only ones being boosted that I’d be worried about. The rest are already not in the top tier of damage dealing. I’m not sure this would make the TWF Hexblade as good as the EB-AB Hexblade, either.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Mechanically, yes, but my main concern would be to defluff the mechanical structure. Been watching the Asians Represent stuff lately, and the treatment of "Ki" in D&D is super problematic: the Manuvers of the Battle Master, Rage of the Barbarian, or Spells of the Wizard or Cleric can just as easily be interpreted as "Ki," in an authentic take on the concept, and the Ghettoization into one Class along with some other Orientsliat tropes is something that I would want to change. Making the abilities key off of Slots would help make the design relation between Monks and other Classes more apparent, but using "Spell Points" would also work fine.
Hmm. I agree with the general goal, but I think it is better as it is, with a different name. I would really hate for it to be “spell points”, though. Even leaning into the “Mystic”, the non-Spellcasting subclasses are not a spellcaster, conceptually. They should live in the same space as battle masters, having a resource pool that is not spell-related, representing focus, stamina, and determination. The mystic can also connect to other living things with their spirit, spending Focus to do things like stun a creature.
 

Mechanically, yes, but my main concern would be to defluff the mechanical structure. Been watching the Asians Represent stuff lately, and the treatment of "Ki" in D&D is super problematic: the Manuvers of the Battle Master, Rage of the Barbarian, or Spells of the Wizard or Cleric can just as easily be interpreted as "Ki," in an authentic take on the concept, and the Ghettoization into one Class along with some other Orientsliat tropes is something that I would want to change. Making the abilities key off of Slots would help make the design relation between Monks and other Classes more apparent, but using "Spell Points" would also work fine.
Why "mystic" tho?
That doesn't sound much better and doesn't give a good idea what the class is
Mystic sounds too occult. Like a spiritualist or a medium

Why not something like "brawler?"
 

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