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: 34 40.0%
  • Star Frontiers

    Votes: 25 29.4%
  • 5E Modern (not setting specific)

    Votes: 23 27.1%
  • 5E Sci Fi (not setting specific)

    Votes: 17 20.0%
  • Star Wars 5E

    Votes: 15 17.6%
  • Other (Boot Hill, Gangbusters, Etc...)

    Votes: 10 11.8%
  • WotC Should Stick to D&D

    Votes: 18 21.2%

Dire Bare

Legend
That sounds like Monte Cook and Wolfgang Baurs sense of hunor..humor...

To be fair, WotC slapped that label on everything in the DMsGuild once people started talking about Oriental Adventures online seriously. So they just assume anything old they sell is offensive, apologize for that, and take the money anyways.
That's one way to look at it.

Or rather, an acknowledgement that past products were not written in the same environment we are in today. And to go through each individual product and "judge" it would be a fool's errand, hence the blanket warning label. The right move, IMO.
 

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Today Buck Roger is a dead licence, practically forgotten, without enough value to sell merchandising products. If WotC wanted a Raypunk franchise, they would create one for Magic: the Gathering, something like "New Capena in the space". It would be curious medieval fantasy meeting "aliens" with a look of retrofuturism/Cassette-Futurism (sci-fi from 60-80's).

But the things may be different if Hasbro gets Buck Rogers licence with the goal to revive this, as an example of potential usefulness for other companies to increase the value of their IPs thanks a partnership with Hasbro.
 

Reynard

Legend
Not exactly. Williams doesn't own Buck Rogers . . . but has family that do have a controlling interest in the IP. She greased the wheels to get TSR to license Buck Rogers, as a bit of nepotism.

There's no reason why WotC couldn't license Buck Rogers now . . . if they and the Dille Trust were both willing . . . and I feel like another company currently has the license, but I can't find anything on the internet about it. Maybe I'm thinking of Flash Gordon or John Carter.
Pinnacle has a Flash Gordon setting for Savage Worlds and Modiphius has a (really well implemented) 2d20 John Carter game
 


Hit points exist simply to make the game fun, and are just as valid, and silly, in any setting.
I disagree.

Context matters. Some settings, because of the general style of what's happening, the types of weapons used, whether characters are usually wearing armour, using magic, non-human and so on, can come across as vastly more/less silly when HP are used, especially linearly increasing HP like 5E uses, which is basically the "worst case scenario" HP-wise.

In a Western game, it's unlikely anyone is wearing any significant armour (Ned Kelly notwithstanding), and it's extremely likely most of that's happening is people shooting each other with pistols/rifles. This is a particularly good way to highlight the absurdity of HP and create a situation where any kind of immersiveness or RP is hard to sustain because things are so patently risible. Whereas for standard D&D, things have evolved to play this down, and to make it easier to play things off as not actual serious injuries. It's very hard to believe when someone shoots you with a gun, repeatedly, and you're unarmoured, that that would work. Part of why D&D doesn't work for some fantasy genres/vibes though is its use of linearly increasing HP.

A 5E Modern setting absolutely has the same problem. I guess you missed where I pointed that out? It's slightly less bad because you at least have bullet-proof vests and so on.

With Star Wars, well, last d20 SW game I played thought this problem was so bad that it created the VP/WP system, so yeah, that kind of massively supports my point, doesn't it? Maybe there was a later version that just used HP or something? But if so I'm sure that contributed to its unpopularity.

I also disagree, from long RPG experience, that linearly increasing HP "makes the game fun". 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. Avoid death spiral mechanics does tend to make the game more fun, and having a simple "pool" or a couple of pools to which you do damage can be quite accessible and effective, but there's nothing particularly charming or fun about the linear increase of HP. 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.
 

D&D is already a Western in Renaissance Faire garb. They really wouldn't have to change much.
I think this is one of those "received wisdom" things people say a lot but that, if you actually examine it, it doesn't add up beyond the most facile/superficial level.

Whilst D&D somewhat often (though perhaps not the majority of the time) features some Western-like elements, such as being set on a frontier/in a wilderness, and featuring characters who are "outside the law", it doesn't follow most of the patterns of the Western genre, which are extremely well-described here:


D&D is increasingly rarely about any of those things. Revenge/retribution? Rarely. Often rather it's pre-emptive. Honor codes? Almost never. I struggle to think of even a single adventure genuinely about that. Subjugating nature and/or natives? "Civilizing" the frontier? Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr it probably shouldn't be, not in 2022, and you're saying lean into that? I suggest maybe don't lean into that! Just a thought!

Also the sheer rapaciousness of most D&D PCs, including in official adventures, where they're basically expected to steal everything not nailed down, does not jive at all well with being the protagonists in a Western (this includes Western-equivalents like Samurai movies), but rather tallies better with the antagonists/villains. You'll notice the plots also don't tally well, typically. The only major crossover which is common is the "outlaw gang" plot, which I think we all know is one of the least distinctive or specific elements of Westerns, and the most shared with other genres.

This only breaks down further as D&D characters gain levels, and become wildly superhuman in capabilities, something that fits extremely poorly with the Western genre.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Given specifically the constraints of "it's going to use the 5e engine" my votes are "Gamma World" and "Other". With some serious caveats about Gamma World since the 4e version of that setting is IMO the best version that has been done to date and it would be tough to make a 5e version of it that would play as well. But I'd be willing to see what they come up with.

Other because 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. Seeing what they'd do for a Star*Drive setting might be interesting.

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).
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think this is one of those "received wisdom" things people say a lot but that, if you actually examine it, it doesn't add up beyond the most facile/superficial level.

Whilst D&D somewhat often (though perhaps not the majority of the time) features some Western-like elements, such as being set on a frontier/in a wilderness, and featuring characters who are "outside the law", it doesn't follow most of the patterns of the Western genre, which are extremely well-described here:


D&D is increasingly rarely about any of those things. Revenge/retribution? Rarely. Often rather it's pre-emptive. Honor codes? Almost never. I struggle to think of even a single adventure genuinely about that. Subjugating nature and/or natives? "Civilizing" the frontier? Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr it probably shouldn't be, not in 2022, and you're saying lean into that? I suggest maybe don't lean into that! Just a thought!

Also the sheer rapaciousness of most D&D PCs, including in official adventures, where they're basically expected to steal everything not nailed down, does not jive at all well with being the protagonists in a Western (this includes Western-equivalents like Samurai movies), but rather tallies better with the antagonists/villains. You'll notice the plots also don't tally well, typically. The only major crossover which is common is the "outlaw gang" plot, which I think we all know is one of the least distinctive or specific elements of Westerns, and the most shared with other genres.

This only breaks down further as D&D characters gain levels, and become wildly superhuman in capabilities, something that fits extremely poorly with the Western genre.
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.
 

Reynard

Legend
Given specifically the constraints of "it's going to use the 5e engine" my votes are "Gamma World" and "Other". With some serious caveats about Gamma World since the 4e version of that setting is IMO the best version that has been done to date and it would be tough to make a 5e version of it that would play as well. But I'd be willing to see what they come up with.
Do you mean GW 4E from 1991, or the version they did during the 4E D&D era?
If the former, why do you think it would be difficult to make a playable 5E version of that?
If the latter -- well, we can't be friends.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Do you mean GW 4E from 1991, or the version they did during the 4E D&D era?
If the former, why do you think it would be difficult to make a playable 5E version of that?
If the latter -- well, we can't be friends.
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).
 

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