D&D 5E What would 5E be like if the playtest's modularity promise was kept?


The EN World kitten
For a little trip down the memory lane, here is something Monte Cook, then acting as the co-lead designer of D&D Next said in the second ever Legends & Lore article:
Forgive my nitpicking, but this was far from the second ever Legends & Lore article. That particular series began on February 15th of 2011, and was posted weekly. The quote from Monte is from the January 16th, 2012 article, almost a full year after the series had begun. For those interested, the full article can be found here:


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Not even that, just take a look at how much people complain when DMs try to make the game their own. How terrible we are because we don't allow every race or class under the sun. How dare DMs not allow variable racial bonuses. On the other hand variable racial bonuses are definitely ruining the game.

If there were significant demand for more a more modular system, a more modular system than we already have would be developed.
It cuts both ways. Lots of people disliked Tasha's "options" because they felt WotC was dictating them rather than presenting an option. Imagine if they had printed the Greyhawk Initiative in Tasha's; people would be furious that WotC was changing the initiative rules on them!

Honestly, WotC ceded the ground on modular rules to 3pp like Level Up because any option they put in would be considered Core by the majority of players who would either demand to use it or rail how WotC was changing their game on them.

It's a no win situation


I was under the impression that the dislike came after Tasha's take on racial ability modifiers became the de facto standard in subsequent books, leaving people who preferred the older format with no option.
The hate began long before it was used on any subsequent races. When the info from Tasha leaked, people hated how WotC was forcing this down their throats by simply presenting the option in the book (with the assumption players would FORCE DMs to use it because it's an Official rule). Even if WotC hadn't used floating ASI on future races, the Tasha rule was enough for people's blood to boil.


#1 Enworld Jerk™
So what you're saying is that if you want a modular system that you have plenty of options.
I mean, that's rather irrelevant. People are talking about how neat it would be if 5e was modular in the way described before, or postulating what it would look like. Saying "go play something else" doesn't really add anything to the discussion. It's the equivalent of somebody telling you to move to Canada whenever your country does something you don't like.

Which returns us back to Monte's premise.

There was a belief at one point an BECMI elf, a 4e Invoker, and a 3.5 fighter/rogue/barbarian/master duelist was all going to be replicated and able to play at the same table using 5e as a lingua franca. Those people were dreaming of things that cannot be done and even if they could, would cater to a relative minority of players per module.
so what they said was undoable... and we know they tried... OR they gave up and changed direction OR they lied/mislead to get people to get into the system...
If there were significant demand for more a more modular system, a more modular system than we already have would be developed.
no one ever did something so no one ever should... an interesting take

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