WotC What Official 5E non-D&D Game Do You Want To See from WotC?

What non-D&D 5E game should WotC make?

  • Gamma World

    Votes: 33 39.3%
  • Star Frontiers

    Votes: 25 29.8%
  • 5E Modern (not setting specific)

    Votes: 23 27.4%
  • 5E Sci Fi (not setting specific)

    Votes: 17 20.2%
  • Star Wars 5E

    Votes: 15 17.9%
  • Other (Boot Hill, Gangbusters, Etc...)

    Votes: 10 11.9%
  • WotC Should Stick to D&D

    Votes: 18 21.4%

I won't make a strict line by line case, but the feel of a D&D party has more of John Wayne than Mallory.
Oh for sure!

Yeah, if you're putting it on a sliding scale with, say, Westerns on one end, and Arthurian romance on the other, most D&D, hell most fantasy (TTRPG or literary) is a lot closer to Westerns. I mean, a Wizard of Earthsea is more a Western than it is an Arthurian romance. Lord of the Rings is maybe midway between them on that scale (in part because Tolkien, that naughty boy, decided Arthurian stuff was "un-English").

But if you keep testing D&D on other sliding scales between Western and and other genres, like say, Pulp, or Road Trip, or Heist, or whatever the hell genre The Fast and The Furious has become (because it does seem like that is a genre), or like, Shonen anime (which even when set in the Wild West tends to defy the genre norms - I mean, Trigun is far less of a Western than Cowboy Bebop - note Cowboy Bebop isn't Shonen, per se), then I think you'll see more complex picture emerge. Eventually if you keep doing this with genre pairs, I think you'll find there's only a limited amount of Western influence in modern D&D, especially as it attempts to avoid sliding into problematic tropes.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Absolutely the latter - it's actually the 7th edition of Gamma World but will always and forever in my heart be considered the "4e version". The one based on 4e mechanics. The one with the templating for character creation, the random mutations and the crunchy tactical 4e combat that made for the best version of Gamma World I've ever run - and I've been running Gamma World since 2nd edition.

(The one based on 2e mechanics could probably be made into a 5e D&D campaign setting - it would barely need to rise to the level of a new game except for all of those magic rules you'd have to ignore or reskin into "mutations". I'd be fine with that, though our table would continue to play the most awesome edition of Gamma World ever published if they did).
I like the 4E version as a gonzo beer-n-pretzels one off game but I don't think it is a particularly good Gamma World game. For me, the 1991 4th Edition is the best version, both mechanically and setting wise.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Oh for sure!

Yeah, if you're putting it on a sliding scale with, say, Westerns on one end, and Arthurian romance on the other, most D&D, hell most fantasy (TTRPG or literary) is a lot closer to Westerns. I mean, a Wizard of Earthsea is more a Western than it is an Arthurian romance. Lord of the Rings is maybe midway between them on that scale (in part because Tolkien, that naughty boy, decided Arthurian stuff was "un-English").

But if you keep testing D&D on other sliding scales between Western and and other genres, like say, Pulp, or Road Trip, or Heist, or whatever the hell genre The Fast and The Furious has become (because it does seem like that is a genre), or like, Shonen anime (which even when set in the Wild West tends to defy the genre norms - I mean, Trigun is far less of a Western than Cowboy Bebop - note Cowboy Bebop isn't Shonen, per se), then I think you'll see more complex picture emerge. Eventually if you keep doing this with genre pairs, I think you'll find there's only a limited amount of Western influence in modern D&D, especially as it attempts to avoid sliding into problematic tropes.
I think that speaks to the malleable nature if Fantasy as a genre (you can put in pretty much anything imaginable) and TTRPGs as a medium (being centered in imagination).

Anime and The Fast & Furious are sort of examples of recursion. D&D, specifically Basic, has had sizeable influence on Anime, and the director of the F&F franchise from Tokyo Drift onwards has been very open that F&F is a D&D story as conceived and executed.
 

Now I am thinking a new Gamma World shouldn't be set in our Earth but in a postapocalyptic fictional planet, to avoid troubles, and allowing more creative freedom. I think it has got a great potential, not only to sell toys, but also videogames or distopian young adult novels. Now I wonder how would be a postapocaliptic rock-punk version of "Jem & Holograms". Omega Earth could be a new plane for Magic: the Gathering, mixture of postapocaliptic Raypunk and 80's look. And a "G.I.Joe+Transformers+Gamma World? The villains would be the Cobra Cult, (Oficially a megacorporation ruling from arcologies(super skycrappers) as independient mini-states, but really a secret lodge). And a megalopolis would be the home of a "C.o.p.s vs crooks".

TBD_Page_Meta_Image.jpg
 

Reynard

Legend
Now I am thinking a new Gamma World shouldn't be set in our Earth but in a postapocalyptic fictional planet, to avoid troubles, and allowing more creative freedom. I think it has got a great potential, not only to sell toys, but also videogames or distopian young adult novels. Now I wonder how would be a postapocaliptic rock-punk version of "Jem & Holograms". Omega Earth could be a new plane for Magic: the Gathering, mixture of postapocaliptic Raypunk and 80's look. And a "G.I.Joe+Transformers+Gamma World? The villains would be the Cobra Cult, (Oficially a megacorporation ruling from arcologies(super skycrappers) as independient mini-states, but really a secret lodge). And a megalopolis would be the home of a "C.o.p.s vs crooks".

TBD_Page_Meta_Image.jpg
Not putting it on Earth just makes it more restrictive. Remember, Gamma World is not Fallout. It is a LONG TIME into the future and has more in common with Thundaar than Damnation Alley.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Remember, Gamma World is not Fallout. It is a LONG TIME into the future and has more in common with Thundaar than Damnation Alley.
Unless you're playing the 6th edition of the game put out by White Wolf under the 3e rules. Which for some reason decided that Gamma World needed to be more serious.
 

TheDelphian

Explorer
5e would be an easy conversion for WOTC. I mean if rank amateurs can do it


Then professionals should do it better.
 


Reynard

Legend
Unless you're playing the 6th edition of the game put out by White Wolf under the 3e rules. Which for some reason decided that Gamma World needed to be more serious.
I worked on that edition and am very proud of the writing and design I did, but it was definitely a different flavor of PA than what GW usually is.
 

If I could cast negative votes it would be for Star Frontiers. I do not want to see a 5e D&D version of Star Frontiers - in fact, it wouldn't be Star Frontiers because Star Frontiers is a game system, not a setting, and taking D&D mechanics, wrapping them up in sci-fi trappings, and presenting them as a new Star Frontiers would be the absolute last thing I'd want to see them do. (I'd much prefer to see them open up Star Frontiers on DM's Guild for anyone to publish material for and be able to charge for it)
I find this fascinating. To me SF is about the setting and not the mechanics. Mechanics are certainly important in so far as it is level-less and they give a feel for the game. I'm currently reading and considering the Frontier Space rules, and not surprisingly, they seem to be a great fit for the Star Frontiers setting.

I'm going to free stream think about what SF is for me...
  • Sathar are important. An alien adversary that is cleary evil. That have powers (hypnotism) that no one else has and are hard to fight against (even if the party almost never faces the challenge).
  • A frontier feel, lawlessness and the frequent might makes right, plus of course the unexplored.
  • mega corporations
  • a touch of hard sci-fi, no artificial gravity, and jump times and travel times are long
  • lethality, combat is deadly, survival is hard,
  • and there is much more than combat.

Somehow a very similar thought to cyberpunk... ;P
 


Jaeger

That someone better
I can't recall a fantasy media thing that feels like the forgotten realms in a long time.

Harry Potter* aside, If you look at the Fantasy that has broken out into the mainstream, you have:
Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Conan, and The Witcher.

All three taken individually, or heck, even combined are far and away more "low-magic", and less fantastical, than Forgotten Realms ever was. Or core book baseline D&D for that matter.

You don't have to throw in the kitchen sink to make a fantasy setting compelling, and adventure worthy.

*Kids fare will naturally be more whimsical by default.


If they deviated hard from 5E and did a sort of E6-ish thing I could see it working but the OP's position is that they don't.

^This^ And I don't think a E6 or even E3 play model would be that hard of a deviation.

And, he did say:
using 5E as a base

I see some wiggle room there!

Part of why D&D doesn't work for some fantasy genres/vibes though is its use of linearly increasing HP.
Plenty of RPGs which either have HP that don't increase linearly (in some cases don't increase significantly at all after chargen), or don't use HP at all are as fun or more fun than D&D
In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's one of the things that people tend to end up disliking about D&D, and it's one of the many reasons so many campaigns peter out in the 8-12 level bracket, because HP have got so crazy. It's also why in editions where people have low HP at L1-3, adventures often have to be written in peculiar ways to "shepherd" PCs out of that zone, and why, as far back as 2E, starting L3 seemed like a good idea.

I'll go further and say that making d20/5e based games around an E6, or even a E3, flat HP paradigm is a big unexplored design space for d20 games that even the OSR has yet to dive into.

5e's 'Bounded Accuracy' based math would be a good base for this. And the Dark Souls RPG, even though a bit DOA, did show that there is enthusiasm for a 5e variant that is willing to redesign itself around a different paradigm of play. A E3 fix HP fantasy game would play out very differently over time than the current HP to 20 levels 5e model.

If WotC does a Gamma World or Star Frontiers style game; A fixed HP model should be embraced.

Which of course means that neither will ever happen. I just cannot see WotC doing a5e based game that doesn't work exactly the same way as their D&D offering.


I'd be interested in seeing what Wizards would do with the 5e engine outside of D&D, if only from a game design perspective.

Another poster here listed opined how all current alternate D&D settings serve to drive corebook sales. All the settings they offer always have a clause that everything in the PHB is a-ok to play. I wish I remembered who it was so I could quote it but the post is from a while back in an older thread. And I find myself in agreement with that assessment.

I really doubt that WotC would even do a setting where Core PC classes are redesigned and flat out not allowed, let alone a ground up 5e based RPG. I really think that they don't want to clutter up their D&D 'lifestyle' branding.

I think Star Frontiers and Gamma world should get a shot - but unless WotC is gonna take a real crack at what a custom 5e based game can do, and support the game line, then they are best left alone.

And to be honest, given recent 5e offerings, I'd take my chances on some well known 'amateur' game designers having their hands on the reigns over the WotC 'professionals'...
 

I'll go further and say that making d20/5e based games around an E6, or even a E3, flat HP paradigm is a big unexplored design space for d20 games that even the OSR has yet to dive into.
Yeah I'm honestly surprised we haven't see people do this much yet. Especially the OSR stuff which nowadays tends to be pretty daring systems-wise. I was somewhat disappointed to see Worlds Without Number didn't take a smarter approach to HP despite solving a number of other perennial "D&D oddity" issues fairly handily (not least knocking out/killing unaware characters).
 

Jaeger

That someone better
Yeah I'm honestly surprised we haven't see people do this much yet. Especially the OSR stuff which nowadays tends to be pretty daring systems-wise. I was somewhat disappointed to see Worlds Without Number didn't take a smarter approach to HP despite solving a number of other perennial "D&D oddity" issues fairly handily (not least knocking out/killing unaware characters).

The only thing I can think of is that it is a kind of a game design 'blind spot'.

Level goes up, of course HP must go up... It has just been so much a part of D&D based games design, that it is just taken as a given. Changing it just doesn't occur to them.

When really 'levels' are just a way to do advancement, and there is no real reason HP has to scale with it.

But in fairness, I'm a minority opinion on this.

People love having high hit point PC's, or rather, I think they love the idea of it. To the point that many are willing to ignore/put up with the scaling issues that HP bloat inevitably induces in the game system at higher levels.
 

Stormonu

Legend
People love having high hit point PC's, or rather, I think they love the idea of it. To the point that many are willing to ignore/put up with the scaling issues that HP bloat inevitably induces in the game system at higher levels.
I actually prefer 1E/2E's handling of HP, where it really started to peter out at 9th level. You still got some, but at a much reduced rate.

As for Star Frontiers, I really liked the mechanics of Alternity better than SF's - but as mentioned earlier, I think WotC gave up the Alternity rights. But most of all I like a mix of Star Frontier's races with Star*Drive's setting. Go team Yazarian!

On GW, if someone preferred the edition from the 4E time period, I'd need an explanation as my own experience with that version was grossly underwhelming and unappetizing - especially considering the card booster sets.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
As for Star Frontiers, I really liked the mechanics of Alternity better than SF's - but as mentioned earlier, I think WotC gave up the Alternity rights. But most of all I like a mix of Star Frontier's races with Star*Drive's setting. Go team Yazarian!
Wizards didn't give up the rights to the game mechanics for Alternity, they let the trademark lapse and Sasquatch published a new game with the name Alternity and similar but not the same dice mechanics. They were pretty explicit that they were not stepping on Wizards copyrights, only using the trademark that had lapsed.
 

Jaeger

That someone better
I actually prefer 1E/2E's handling of HP, where it really started to peter out at 9th level. You still got some, but at a much reduced rate.

I am of the opinion that had WotC stuck to that HP paradigm with 3-5e it would have smoothed out the math at higher levels and greatly reduced the scaling issues that have plagued every edition since.


But most of all I like a mix of Star Frontier's races with Star*Drive's setting. Go team Yazarian!

Not a bad notion at all...

IMHO Star frontiers has the more recognizable name in the hobby, but the star drive setting was better.

I can see a new Star Frontier's the game, but with the star drive setting. More or less...

I would totally to a scum and villainy/edge of the empire take on the default mode of play. i.e. Firefly.

But such a thing might be seen as grand heresy.


If I did Gamma World I would openly commit grand heresy.

My 5e based Gamma World would be reimagined from the ground up. It would be a combination of Fallout + MadMax + Jurassic Park. Or if we want to reference obscure games: Atomic Highway + Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.

But don't worry, GW is safe.
 

Star Drive is the name of a videogame without links to the RPGs. Star Frontiers can be the title, but the lore or background can be Star*Drive or a rebooted version mixed with some things from Star Frontiers. It is strange but I imagine it as sci-fi with a lot of vintage look.
 

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