D&D 5E Will I like D&D Next?

Mercurius

Legend
I've been out of gaming for about a year and am tentatively thinking about pulling together a campaign come January. I'm a bit burnt on 4E and am wanting to give Next a shot, but wanted to get some initial impressions before diving into the playtest packet.

Here are my general preferences and criteria:


  • I liked the tactical options of 4E, but didn't like the overall "simulation over imagination" effect.
  • Options are good as long as they are, well, optional
  • I don't mind a bit of complexity as long as it isn't complicated (e.g. the human body is complex, the mess of wires behind most desks is complicated)
  • I'd like grand finale battles to last a long time (1-2 hours) and be intricate if desired, but minor battles to be quick and deadly and over in 10-20 minutes (and easily accomplished without the use of miniatures)
  • I want magic items to be magical - vorpal swords to be "vorpal," items overall to feel like they are arcane and mysterious rather than enhancement-devices for munchkinizing characters
  • I want to focus on exploration, adventure, magic and mystery, and a game system that facilitates that and doesn't get bogged down in minutia
  • I liked the tone and vibe of AD&D, the aesthetic and diversity of 3E, and the streamlined nature of 4E
  • I like the idea of "classic D&D" as the default, but with options to do just about any fantasy variation (I know, this will be later, but it came to mind)

I'm sure there's more, but hopefully that will get some ideas flowing.
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
It depends. Its not bad but if you have a favorite edition or playstyle it may not be your thing. It is also a little messy atm (monster math etc).
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
[*]I liked the tactical options of 4E, but didn't like the overall "simulation over imagination" effect

It has a lot more imagination over simulation. However, it has a lot less tactical options so far (it does not even assume a grid or miniatures). They will release a tactical combat additional module for the game however, according to a relatively recent article from WOTC, which may satisfy you (we won't know until it comes out - it's apparently not even written yet).

[*]Options are good as long as they are, well, optional

There are fewer options right now than 4e, but they've said four optional rules modules will be released: tactical combat, storygame, sub-class specialization/customization, and downtime.

[*]I don't mind a bit of complexity as long as it isn't complicated (e.g. the human body is complex, the mess of wires behind most desks is complicated)

Complexity is much lower than 4e, or 3e.

[*]I'd like grand finale battles to last a long time (1-2 hours) and be intricate if desired, but minor battles to be quick and deadly and over in 10-20 minutes (and easily accomplished without the use of miniatures)

It does this pretty well. I've found on average the battles are lasting closer to 30 mins but that may be unfamiliarity with the rules. Some were 10 mins, and one was 30 seconds (Cleric turned undead on skeletons as first action in initiative order, all the skeletons blew their saves by a lot, they all disintegrated). The longest they've lasted is an hour. Definitely works fine without miniatures, and you can watch a youtube video of the designers playtesting it with no minis or grid.

[*]I want magic items to be magical - vorpal swords to be "vorpal," items overall to feel like they are arcane and mysterious rather than enhancement-devices for munchkinizing characters

Definitely has this. Full tables for developing multiple aspects of magic items, from origin, to look, to minor powers, etc...

[*]I want to focus on exploration, adventure, magic and mystery, and a game system that facilitates that and doesn't get bogged down in minutia

Yes this seems to be a major theme of Next.

[*]I liked the tone and vibe of AD&D, the aesthetic and diversity of 3E, and the streamlined nature of 4E

It has the tone and vibe of AD&D, it does not have the diversity of 3e, and it has even more steamlinging than 4e. Maybe the diversity will be there once the final game is released.

[*]I like the idea of "classic D&D" as the default, but with options to do just about any fantasy variation (I know, this will be later, but it came to mind)
[/LIST]

It appears as if that's the plan.
 
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Mercurius

Legend
Thanks for the feedback. So far, so good. I'm definitely interested in giving it a try. For some reason I'm getting the sense that it has a quality that was lost in recent editions.
 

MortalPlague

Adventurer
...I'm getting the sense that it has a quality that was lost in recent editions.
I would agree with that.

Mistwell mostly hit the nail on the head. The boss battle thing is probably the hardest part of D&D Next, since the monsters don't often have the staying power to be a persistent threat through a long battle. That said, try looking up the legendary black dragon (https://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20130617) and see how that would run as a boss fight, especially in its lair.

Despite the lack of setpiece boss fights, I'm a huge fan of the 5th Edition rules. They're light, but I don't feel like I'm missing the essence of D&D. I've played a couple of short campaigns with my group, and the games have been highly enjoyable with memorable and interesting characters, creative play, and some evocative moments that 5th made easy.

The other thing I'll mention is that 5th Edition has some awesome adventure design. Take a look at 'Reclaiming Blingdenstone', in the playtest packet. It's a wonderful, interesting nonlinear adventure with six different quests! Some of them are tied together, others aren't, there's detailed NPCs and handouts and opportunities for combat, exploration, and interaction to all shine.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I've been out of gaming for about a year and am tentatively thinking about pulling together a campaign come January. I'm a bit burnt on 4E and am wanting to give Next a shot, but wanted to get some initial impressions before diving into the playtest packet.

Here are my general preferences and criteria:


  • I liked the tactical options of 4E, but didn't like the overall "simulation over imagination" effect.
  • Options are good as long as they are, well, optional
  • I don't mind a bit of complexity as long as it isn't complicated (e.g. the human body is complex, the mess of wires behind most desks is complicated)
  • I'd like grand finale battles to last a long time (1-2 hours) and be intricate if desired, but minor battles to be quick and deadly and over in 10-20 minutes (and easily accomplished without the use of miniatures)
  • I want magic items to be magical - vorpal swords to be "vorpal," items overall to feel like they are arcane and mysterious rather than enhancement-devices for munchkinizing characters
  • I want to focus on exploration, adventure, magic and mystery, and a game system that facilitates that and doesn't get bogged down in minutia
  • I liked the tone and vibe of AD&D, the aesthetic and diversity of 3E, and the streamlined nature of 4E
  • I like the idea of "classic D&D" as the default, but with options to do just about any fantasy variation (I know, this will be later, but it came to mind)

I'm sure there's more, but hopefully that will get some ideas flowing.

Based on my experiences with the D&D Next play test, your preferences would lead me believe D&D Next is a potential match on many of them. I can't say much for certain considering it's not in final form, but it's a close enough match that I would predict you'd get some mileage out of the game even if it didn't become your primary game.
 


I don´t know about 13th age enough to support the previous poster, but it is also pointing you towards DnDnext. Overall what you want out of the game is what the designers want out of the game. It is not there yet (monster math the biggest offender), but it is close enough to have a lot of fun. Until level 5 it should run smoothly.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Agree with the level 5 part. I enjoyed the earlier packets more that only had 5 levels with the favorite being the Sorcerer and Warlock packet. Seemed to go down hill from there. Actually wondering if D&D would work better as a 10 level game?
 

Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
Agree with the level 5 part. I enjoyed the earlier packets more that only had 5 levels with the favorite being the Sorcerer and Warlock packet. Seemed to go down hill from there. Actually wondering if D&D would work better as a 10 level game?

Funny you mention that.

I spent some time last week looking at E6 and marvelling at what a tight game those guys had made out of 3.5E by limiting it to 6 levels.
 

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