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

Parmandur

Book-Friend
They failed at actually making any modules other than the default ones though, so while the system may have been modular, the game never was.
They have several books full of modules, actually, they just put out a gift set with them. Have they made all things, for all people? No, no they haven't. But the system would allow them to if they wanted to.
 

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a 3rd level slayer or knight is more interesting fun and capable then a 15th level battlemaster
I'm just saying but like a Battlerage Vigour Fighter would wedgie that Knight and shove him in a locker...

Also excuse me reality but how on god's green earth is "wedgie" not a word, and thus triggers a spellcheck underline, but Slytherin is a word and does not. Wth.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
While I agree, that is note the spirit of what Monte said in the quoted text IMO. Of course Monte didn't make it to the end of the playtest.
I don't think he made it much past this article, actually. This is a pie-in-the-sky design goal, admittedly, but they did deliver on a simple base system that allows variable modules (see Champion and Battle Master), they just have focused on popular playstyles. Because they are Hasbro.
 

They have several books full of modules
????!?!?!???

Such as?

Settings aren't modules, and most of the settings haven't included modular options, merely extensions specific to that setting. Classes and subclasses also aren't modules. Options maybe, but not modules.

Beyond the class stuff, Tashas has some modular stuff in it, it's just unfortunately quite well-hidden and poorly presented.

But several implies, imho, a minimum of four. And there's no way to even argue it implies less than three.
 


James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
I'm just saying but like a Battlerage Vigour Fighter would wedgie that Knight and shove him in a locker...

Also excuse me reality but how on god's green earth is "wedgie" not a word, and thus triggers a spellcheck underline, but Slytherin is a word and does not. Wth.
Oh probably, but I still found the Knight to be perfectly functional at his job, and his aura even gave him an advantage over other Defenders.

But I was always playing off the wall Defenders- like my Snapping Tetsudo, dual wielding shields, lol.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
????!?!?!???

Such as?

Settings aren't modules, and most of the settings haven't included modular options, merely extensions specific to that setting. Classes and subclasses also aren't modules. Options maybe, but not modules.

Beyond the class stuff, Tashas has some modular stuff in it, it's just unfortunately quite well-hidden and poorly presented.

But several implies, imho, a minimum of four. And there's no way to even argue it implies less than three.
Xanathar's and Tasha's are this entirely, and frankly I disagree that the Setting books aren't modular. Heck, the Adventures often include significant rules modules (Rune magic in SKT, for example, vehicles in Ghoats of Saltmarsh, etc.).

They delivered a system that is modular, and have put out products that provide modules thst plug in or out, as desired, without feeling grafted on as did similar add on systems for 2E or 3E. On that front, they delivered. They didn't deliver every possible playstyle ever, no, and the DMG itself is a beautiful mess that could use revision.
 

Ondath

Hero
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:

I should have said second L&L article published after Next was announced, but I realised my mistake too late. Mea culpa!
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I feel that a modular system could have been done and done well. The issue that that sides would not get 100% of what they wanted.but more than what current 5e provides.

A base system with a base assumption of swappable parts on each class and race. With variant for death, health, magic level, tactics, survival, and conversation.

For example, the killer of modular fighter was that there was no real swappable class feature. So there was no choice of +X damage as the default and a choice of Y superiority dice or Z special attack.

Basically the aspects of TCOE could have been built in the base system's design and math from the start. Instead they went with a "Good enough for most people" version and attempted to has mods on the backend.
The major issue with this is just how minimalist early D&D demands things be. Hence my comment earlier. If Fighters need to be essentially empty of features, how do you match that in such a way that you don't make the new(er)-school options a straight 100% power-up, thus throwing all encounter math completely out the window.

And it doesn't matter how many subclasses or Battlemaster maneuvers you could take to create the essence of what a Warlord might possibly do... no Warlord Class means 4E cannot be made and thus 5E modularity is complete and utter BS.
Alternatively, all the options on this front being outright crap at doing Warlord-like things kinda getting in the way? I mean, the four things Warlords were pretty good at were (a) actually being the main healer of a party, (b) dealing with negative conditions, and especially (c) handing out or enhancing attacks and (d) effectively repositioning allies. The Battle Master is kind of passable at exactly one of those things (repositioning). The Banneret, the one that's supposed to be specifically good at the first two things, generally sucks. And the franken-builds that let you kinda sorta do this set of things without magic are ugly and really, really slow to come online (e.g. you need to be at least 5th level just to START hitting the Warlord-esque feels).

Thing is, a LOT of people like to characterize the above as "ah, yes, you're arguing in bad faith and would never, ever be happy unless 5e was just a reprint of 4e." It's not. It's asking for the things carried forward to, as you put it, actually keep enough of the spirit of the thing. I made rather a lengthy post on the subject (and a later follow-up taking a more holistic view, rather than an item-by-item one.) 5e "learned" from 4e  mostly by mimicking the superficial color or concept of the latter and absolutely none of the spirit....which tends to get people rather annoyed as you might expect!

I get tired of this argument. 😞
Join the club. Sales aren't quality and never will be. If you stop conflating them, this argument will go away.

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.
Exactly. "Get out if you don't like it then" is not, at all, an argument in good faith.

But 5E just gave up on modularity. The DMG in general has an "unfinished and untested" vibe to a lot of the optional rules, like they slapped them together without ever using them in "live fire" conditions.
Because they almost certainly didn't use them so, or did so in only very limited ways. 5e's designers wasted more than half of their playtest period, easily 1.5-2 years, dithering about with fiddly random/unworkable stuff (e.g. Specialties) or repeatedly going back to the drawing board without letting designs breathe. Multiple classes never got any public playtesting at all for the mechanics they ended up using, because they appeared once and WotC got scared off, and you can see the weaknesses in the resulting classes (e.g. Sorcerer and Warlock). 5e is a game that spent about two years figuring out utterly basic stuff and then had to speedrun the final year to make sure things got published on time. It's honestly somewhat impressive that it came out with relatively few glaring faults (I'm looking at you, Beast Master), but if their playtesting had been more rigorous and serious and their schedule more...timely, shall we say, 5e could have done much better than it did in terms of legitimate modularity (and fixing preventable problems).

????!?!?!???

Such as?

Settings aren't modules, and most of the settings haven't included modular options, merely extensions specific to that setting. Classes and subclasses also aren't modules. Options maybe, but not modules.

Beyond the class stuff, Tashas has some modular stuff in it, it's just unfortunately quite well-hidden and poorly presented.

But several implies, imho, a minimum of four. And there's no way to even argue it implies less than three.
Honestly, don't bother. For some folks, "it adds one subclass option" is going to be enough to be "modular," even though that looks legitimately nothing like the bill of goods we were sold.
 

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