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D&D 5th Edition Announced

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To the surprise of almost no one, WOTC announced that the 5th edition of D&D is in development and will have some type of open playtest here: Charting the Course for D&D: Your Voice, Your Game. I got off the edition merry-go-round years ago and it will take a lot to get me to even consider getting back on. At a minimum, a new edition would have to have fast combat (averaging 10-15 minutes maximum), minis and battlemats would have to be entirely optional, it could not be built around the needs of organized play, charop players and/or rules lawyers, and it would have to be built on traditional D&D -- a good measure of this would be that it could reuse all the modules published by TSR without a lot of reworking. A requirement for system mastery on the part of players or a requirement for 3.x level DM prep time need to be absent as well Publication under the OGL would likely make me more interested. Somehow, I doubt these are the directions WOTC is going with 5e, however.

Even if I don't personally like 5e, I hope D&D 5e is closer to traditional D&D than 4e was. I also hope it is based more on the needs of actual players rather than what Hasbro thinks is the best way to maximize profits. Note that I'm not against maximizing profits, but the game system needs to be designed around what players need. I think 4e has shown that completely rewriting the IP and trying to require monthly subscriptions and the like hurts profits because it turns off too many players. As Gary Gygax and TSR pointed out in the early days of D&D, players really don't need anything beyond the rules to play forever. Trying to produce a tabletop RPG where that is not true is probably futile.

What do you think of the announcement of 5e. What would it take to get you interested it switching from whatever you are playing now to 5e?

4 comments:
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ADD Grognard said...
January 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM  

I have sworn off WotC D&D for good. The boycott started 01-01-12.

Vote NO to 5e.

(good to see your post...I haven't heard back from you after my email...hope all is well)

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Chris Nason - Freeware Front said...
January 10, 2012 at 7:35 AM  

I have some hope that 5E will be a better game than 4E, but I will not be an early adopter. 4E turned me right off and sent me running back to my AD&D roots so fast it made my head spin. We'll see how the playtest goes. At least that aspect of 5E seems like a step in the right direction. It's almost like an olive-branch to disgruntled players everywhere.

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Randall said...
January 11, 2012 at 8:54 PM  

@ADD Grognard: No reply because there's no news to report. I written about the problem you mentioned and haven't heard a thing back. However, since my name was fortunately stripped off of it, I find it hard to care enough to spend a lot of time on the issue. I ceased feeling like I needed to enforce WOTC copyrights for them when they pulled PDFs of older editions.

@Chris: I hope 5E will be better than 3.5 and 4E, but I don't think I'll place any bets on that. As for the open playtest, I fear it will just be a marketing ploy like the Pathfinder open playtest was. I really hope I'm wrong on that issue as open playtesting can catch a lot of issues. Microlite74 is much better for ideas and comments from those who playtested it, for example.

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ADD Grognard said...
January 15, 2012 at 2:58 PM  

That's cool. And like you said, one of the better times NOT to get credit for something :)

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