WotC is right to avoid the word "edition."

Parmandur

Book-Friend
But we're not even really talking about obtaining results from a study that uses AL as a sample, are we?
Exactly, we are talking about whether AL usage is a barometer of compatibility, which it clearly isn't, unless we want to claim that Volo's Guide to Monsters was incompatible with Xanathar's Guide to Everything (until it was).
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Aldarc

Legend
The cynic in me says the call for a complex martial comes largely from those who would have their cake and eat it too; who want a character with all the capabilities of a full-on Fighter but which also has spells or other quasi-magical abilities baked in for those times when fighting isn't the best course of action. Think Gish, or Warlord, or Swordsage; that type of thing, only leaning a bit toward the warrior side.

In other words, a jack-of-all-trades character that is in fact a master-of-all-trades - the type of character that is the bane of party play as it has no real weaknesses for the rest of the party to shore up.

Because otherwise, there's really only so much complexity you can put into a hit-it-till-it-falls-over warrior archetype before you either make it not a warrior any more or you make it something better suited to a supers game.
How does the Warlord not lean into the Warrior side?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
we are all in edition war mode... I admit it, but lets be honest you are effected by it too
I wouldn't say I'm in edition war mode; more I'm in the mode of "they're doing a new-ish edition of the game so now's the best opportunity to push - in whatever tiny way I can - for meaningful change toward a tougher, more warlike, dare I even say nastier style of game where the different characters all have significant weaknesses and thus need each other's strengths in order to survive, never mind thrive."
lol you mean a hexblade or a warrior cleric or bard, or the bladesinger.... you know the classes that are just that.
Yes, that sort of thing - classes that IMO while sometime fun and interesting in and of themselves maybe aren't necessarily good for the bigger picture.
again you are mistaken for "we want things as good as what others have" for "give us everything" but I can see how it's hard to see when the casters are pretty close to having it all
Then rein back the casters! As the design level there's many very easy means of doing this, if the designers had the gumption to dare try any:
--- make casting take time within a round, during which time the caster is defenseless
--- make casting extremely easy to interrupt (and get rid of combat casting in the process), any jostling or disturbance and your spell is lost
--- limit or even get rid of at-will cantrips
--- make magic dangerous and risky e.g. interrupted spells can go wild, casters have to roll to aim AoE spells and can much more easily clip their allies on a poor roll, etc.

And that's just a start.

The main balance point between warriors and casters at one time was that casters could only do their thing so many times a day, and in a quite restricted manner, where warriors could keep going all afternoon as long as they didn't run out of hit points.
look to 4e to manage to not be a super game, not be a non warrior... but still have options and power.
Not in edition war mode so not touching this with my handy 10' pole. :)
 

Yes, that sort of thing - classes that IMO while sometime fun and interesting in and of themselves maybe aren't necessarily good for the bigger picture.
as long as we have those class/subclasses I just can't take serious any push to no increase the fighter.
Then rein back the casters!
that is well beyond hope... maybe in 6e
The main balance point between warriors and casters at one time was that casters could only do their thing so many times a day, and in a quite restricted manner, where warriors could keep going all afternoon as long as they didn't run out of hit points.
but that has become less and less true each edition
Not in edition war mode so not touching this with my handy 10' pole. :)
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
We know that it is a skewed sample, by definition. As @billd91 pointed out, that's the default assumption, particularly when talking about a fraction of a percent of the total population. But more importantly, we don't know how the sample skews!
All polls are a fraction of the total population. A Gallup poll is 1000 people with a margin of error of +/- 4%. That's for a population of 329 million. D&D only has a population of 50 million, yet you're saying a spread out sample size of multiple thousands is skewed an inaccurate.
But the main point is thatbAL rules are not a good measure of the game, because they are artifical and rigid by nature.
That much is true. AL doesn't play the game like most of the rest of us do, which does put things in doubt, not because of the number polled vs. population size.
 



billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
That much is true. AL doesn't play the game like most of the rest of us do, which does put things in doubt, not because of the number polled vs. population size.
I run AL. I run a home game. I run them pretty much the same.
The fact that people who play in or run AL may not have the same options to curate material and are self-selectively fine with that may contribute to why the AL population may not be representative of the whole D&D community, but it's not like we're Australian football compared to American football.
I feel there's a BIG misconception at work here.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I run AL. I run a home game. I run them pretty much the same.
The fact that people who play in or run AL may not have the same options to curate material and are self-selectively fine with that may contribute to why the AL population may not be representative of the whole D&D community, but it's not like we're Australian football compared to American football.
I feel there's a BIG misconception at work here.
I think there is a significant difference between most home games and AL games. You may run them pretty much the same, but my experience is that there are a lot of house rules used in home games and the rulings DMs come up with often break or bend rules when they think it's necessary. My understand of AL is that house rules and breaking/bending rules isn't allowed.
 
Last edited:

Deadstop

Explorer
I run AL. I run a home game. I run them pretty much the same.
The fact that people who play in or run AL may not have the same options to curate material and are self-selectively fine with that may contribute to why the AL population may not be representative of the whole D&D community, but it's not like we're Australian football compared to American football.
I feel there's a BIG misconception at work here.

There are two different issues being discussed here.

The original claim was that one could judge “compatibility” between 2014 and 2024 material based on whether AL allows both to be used together. The argument against that was that AL play is already different and more restrictive than home play, and so AL policy may not be the relevant measure of compatibility for most players.

The slightly different argument that has been dominating the discussion is whether AL players constitute a statistically representative sample of D&D players. Which then kinda got turned into the weirder question of whether there is something that makes AL players significantly different from other D&D players.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
And yet people can't ever seem to show what they want when they ask for a "complex martial" that isn't already provided by multiple 3PPs. At this point one can assume there is nothing that could possibly fill this "need."
I think a lot of people have the unfortunate impression that their gaming wants for D&D can only be filled by WotC. All those 3PPs don't count apparently.
 



Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I think there is a significant difference between most home games and AL games. You may run them pretty much the same, but my experience is that there are a lot of house rules used in home games and the rulings DMs come up with often break or bend rules when they think it's necessary. My understand of AL is that house rules and breaking/bending rules isn't allowed.
What isn't really known is how closely WotC monitor AL play - i.e. the version of play that is in theory completely by the book - for use as a guide to whether the game is "working" or not.

Because that's the perception even if not the reality, and has been since 1e's RPGA days: that organized play is the "official" version, and due to this has an outsized influence over what revisions and tweaks etc. might occur during an edition's run regardless of what percentage of the gaming community is actually playng AL vs a home game or something else.
 


Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
If they use the word edition, it will almost certainly be just "Anniversary Edition." They might go with Revised Dungeon & Dragons, but I find that unlikely.


It really comes down to how you define an edition. We are currently playing the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. You have: OD&D, BECMI, 3E, 4E, and now 5E, as technically Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was a different game. If you want to break things down by major rule changes across all Dungeons & Dragons, it gets messy.

  • OD&D: 1-4 versions
    • At least Greyhawk made significant changes, and I believe the other supplements might have as well
  • 1E AD&D: 2 versions
    • Unearthed Arcana made changes enough to be considered 1.5E
  • BECMI: 2-6 versions
    • Each set made significant changes, but arguably they were extensions of the rules like OD&D had. The Rules Compendium combined them all, which I'd consider a half edition at least
  • 2E AD&D: 2 versions
    • The revised version would have been a half edition
  • 3E : 2 versions
    • Everyone knows the half edition
  • 4E: 2 versions
    • The Essentials set was a half edition change
  • 5E: 1 version (plus probably 1 in 2024)
So at a minimum we've had 12 major rule systems, and at most 19 versions. The fact that there's some compatibility might be irrelevant, since a lot of material from BECMI, 1E, and 2E was usable in any of these editions.
1977 Basic was more intended as the Starter Set for 1977 AD&D with somewhat different rules (note that the 4e Essentials Red Box has somewhat different rules from the 4e Essentials Core Rulebooks, too; this is the precedence for that). It’s MOSTLY compatible with the 1977 AD&D set, which was intended for if you completed the Basic Set and wanted to keep going. The ‘77 Basic Set also shares remarkable compatibility with the ‘74 OD&D rules; both it and 1e are iterative improvements on OD&D, much like 2e was over 1e or Player’s Option and 90s errata revisions over 1989’s core rules.

The 1980/81 B/X sets were definitely intended to be successors to the ‘77 Basic, but were incompatible with it, and similarly incompatible with AD&D - that’s why the Expert Box exists, since you’re no longer expected to convert your Basic character to AD&D rules upon hitting the upper level limit.

The 1983+ BECMI sets, the 1991 Black Box set, the 1991 Rules Cyclopedia, and the 1994 Classic Set were all essentially errata to the 1980 B/X game, though plenty of things changed. This is more akin to 4e Essentials over 4e than say, 2e over 1e, though even the first two editions of AD&D are relatively compatible.

AD&D is not a separate game from 3.0 D&D onward. They just dropped the Advanced because the Basic line had been retired. If anything, Basic was the separate game with its own editions.
 
Last edited:

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I try to make it short:

3.0 retained a lot of the 2e structure. Spellists were close to ADnD. Spells themselves. Skills also.

Then 3.5 made following changes:

1. Restructuring of some classes
2. Removal of some skills
3. Cover rules and concealment rules were boardgamified, instead of beong DM adjucation. -> Board game dependancy was introduced.
4. Feats changed. Much easier again to cast in melee. Or even casting spells in shapeshifted form.
5. Spell lists were changed completely. Opposing schools of specialists were simplified and chosable.
6. Some spells became butchered into pieces or lost their cool applications (command was changed to a list of options, ice wall could not be used as a horizontal plane anymore).
7. Some weapons were removed/changed.
8. Prestige classes were now officially pure players material used to plug holes in the multiclass system instead of being rewards for the DM. (Although later, some cool prestige classes reappeared).
9. I think HP for monsters were inflated even more, making damage spells even more irrelevant.

That was just out of my head. Maybe I misremember something. I surely forgot a few things.

Somehow so many philosophies have changed, that somehow 3.0 books were incompatible with 3.5... Also every relevant book was somehow replaced with a newer option.
The only two changes from 3.0 to 3.5 that stick in my head were spreading the ranger abilities over a number of levels instead of everything at 1st and changing the stat increasing spells (Bulls Strength, etc) from lasting all adventure to lasting one combat.

I think the differences were noticable, but it was still the same game. Listening in on a session and pinpointing if it was 3.0 or 3.5 would be difficult for many and I suspect the same situation will happen with 5e or 5.5/6/One/360/SeriesX/Anniversary/50th.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top