D&D 5E What's the closest system to D&D Next that is currently available?


First Post
It feels to me like they rebuilt the game from square one. 5th borrows a couple ideas from each edition, but really feels like it's own beast overall. I like 5th (thus far) better than 4e, but I don't think it really has any more connection to the previous editions than 4e did.

That said, 5th is flexible enough at this point to play similarly to OD&D, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at the table. Depending on what you liked about 4e, you may not be able to carry over the same style of play to 5th.

Yeah, what I like is that it feels like classic D&D, appears that I could run the game (particularly combat) pretty quick, and doesn't overwhelm players with powers and sticks to special abilities that are actually meaningful. I've got a big group that meets intermittently, so I need to be able to run an adventure in one session. Also, no one is that interested in learning a new game system - when they want to play D&D they want familiar trappings - which Next does have.
Honestly, I'd only use the playtest document with that group if they're specifically excited about 5e.

They're still working on pretty basic stuff, so classes and even core rules can change between versions of the playtest document. If you're playing irregularly, it may feel like the rules are changing every session.

That said, it does run quite fast and doesn't have the overwhelming number of options 4e presents during combat. And it definitely feels like D&D. So if people are willing to put up with a shifting set of rules, it fits all your requirements.


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Consonant Dude

First Post
Wow! Answers are all over the place...

2e + 3e
1e + 4e
BECMI + 3e
2e + 4e

Yeah, I'm not surprised. They did promise they would go back and try to distill the best parts of older editions in the process of creating a new one. Of course "best parts" what exactly constitute the best parts can be highly subjective.

What I find interesting is that, to me, both playtest documents seem to highlight different aspects of older DnD editions. For instance, the second playtest document brings back a little of the grid feel of newer editions. This is something I personally lament, while I recognize it probably appeals to others.

Eventually, I suppose the challenge will switch to presenting these features of older editions in ways that are more appealing to a fanbase that wasn't always receptive or to make it easy for the fanbase to ignore such aspects while not feeling like they have to heavily houserule the game.

Viking Bastard

When I said C&C, it was less because I thought Next was such a huge callback to 1e and more because 'Old School + d20 = C&C'. I could probably have pointed at some other game that does the same (like the now popular DCC), if I had any experience with any of them.

If I were to quantify Next more thoroughly, I'd say it is 3e reconstructed from the mechanical chassis of Essentials, but is written in a condensed and cleaned up edition-neutral Old School style.


Every time WotC begins working on a new edition, there are people who see any deviation from their own favorite edition as a step in the wrong direction. And that's OK, because people have a right to their opinion and shouldn't feel locked out of the conversation just because they happen to think 1e/2e/3e/4e hit all the right notes.

At the same time, though, Next is being undertaken as a way to integrate the best ideas from previous editions into a coherent whole that most people will find preferable to what they're now playing, without entirely duplicating anything that has come before. So there's a sense in which the "grognards" of any particular edition aren't the target audience here, because they aren't going to play Next no matter how well it accomplishes its design objectives.

To me, Next "feels" most like old-school D&D as far as flavor is concerned, but with 3e's revamped d20 mechanic and a surprisingly large number of 4e innovations from themes to backgrounds to at-wills thrown into the mix. And that's a good sign, because it shows they're taking seriously the inclusivity they're publicly projecting about Next, and not just going through this process as an excuse to roll back the clock to [insert your least favorite edition here].

So, I'm going to go with "D&D" as my answer for which current gaming system most closely resembles Next.
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In terms of character development, it feels like a 2e / 4e combo. In terms of action resolution, it feels more like BECMI, with upwards-scaling DCs and unified mechanic.


First Post
Man, after reading that free Radiance PDF, I'm going to agree with Sir Robilar. It's much like 5e in that it hones the d20 framework down to a very simple core. The big, obvious difference from 5e is that all the classes have the exact same structure for gaining new powers and abilities.


To me personally...
It feels the most like late 80's D&D. Specifically the Rules Cyclopedia and maybe 2E.
But mechanically it adopts a lot of 3E stuff, mainly the unified core mechanic.
However, it is also being balanced and streamlined in a way similar to 4E, avoiding everything that made 3E a complete mess.

In other words I'd say it most reminds me of the ultimate (not best, but ultimate) expression of classic D&D, the final point of both Basic and Advanced. But being completely rebuilt from the ground up with lessons, innovations and developments from the WotC era.

I think that if you pick up the Cyclopedia or one of its clones and use houserules and fixes to bring it closer to 3E/4E you get something rather like Next.


I'm not sure what to take away from that :confused: Maybe just that 5e feels like a mix of old school D&D and streamlined new school design philosophies?

I think it is also feels like D&D because of what they are leaving out as what they are putting in. There isn't a bunch of tables like 1e or combat feats and powers like in 4e. So it doesn't feel as much like those editions.

However, there are some things that you can find that feel like particular editions. I do not think however they are particularly looking at any particular edition as the template, but rather what is fairly common to all editions.

This explains why a few people are having an extremely bad reaction to D&D Next as well. If someone doesn't see a defining feature of an edition that they really like but is polarizing (no set skill and feat list, no powers, THACO, tables upon tables to look up etc.) then it feels like the edition they feel is inferior to the one they like best.


This explains why a few people are having an extremely bad reaction to D&D Next as well. If someone doesn't see a defining feature of an edition that they really like but is polarizing (no set skill and feat list, no powers, THACO, tables upon tables to look up etc.) then it feels like the edition they feel is inferior to the one they like best.

Yeah, that might explain why people like me who never had a favorite edition like the playtest rules.

There was a great post on ENWorld recently which satirized the last four editions, and it was spot on! Wish I could find it again! But basically I share the sentiment: D&D is fun in any edition, and they all have pretty glaring flaws that a good DM succeeds at having/making fun with *in spite of* those kooky rules.

I'm sure 5e will have these too, but so far there seem to be a lot fewer such instances IMO. I think it strikes a nice balance.

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