Speak Your Mind in the Next Version of Dungeons & Dragons

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dragongit:
One thing I've never understood, why do people hate 4th edition so much? What was about it that people just seem to dislike? I'm just very curious as to why.

Simply put, because it's more like a tactics board game with a lot of video-gamey elements thrown in with the "RP" part of "RPG" mostly ignored. It attempted to address the loss of the table-top market to MMORPGS by aping the weaknesses in MMORPGs and incorporating them into the table-top game rather than emphasizing the strengths of playing with a real live DM.

For a longer explanation, read this:

http://avoidingtherapy.blogspot.com/2012/01/d-forever.html

~Cheers!

I'm excited about the changes to the rules. From the vague statements regarding the changes it sounds like something I'll enjoy playing. I'm also excited that they're taking in fan feedback since the most vocal fans are no doubt the most experienced D&D players around.

I'm also feeling like a bit of a chump. I literally bought the essentials Red Box and a few books two weeks ago.

Just sort of makes the whole essentials idea pointless. Almost like they were using essentials to test 5e rules... Ah well at least I haven't sunk THAT much money into it and I discovered I enjoyed D&D. I'll be holding off on book purchases until the new version comes out.

Cool, I'm not too tied up in any previous edition, it'll be interesting to see how this broader 5th edition plays. I'm not worried either way, I usually only end up playing about two times a year anyway but when I do play, I play all damn day.

I'm not impressed. I seriously doubt anything they'll do with 5th edition will be enough for me to buy any new books. My friends and I bought a lot of 3rd books and I bought the core books for 4th and a few extras. No one in my circle wanted to play 4th at all, so it was a complete waste of money, especially when I bought some of the extras and it turned out to be nothing but repainted classes that pretty much had the same abilities at the core classes. I liked the combat system in theory but it seemed to drag on even longer than combat in 2nd or 3rd edition. There was absolutely no support for storytelling in this system. In all, it was garbage and now sits on my shelf collecting dust.

I'm excited to hear that there is some way to incorporate the editions previous. Im really excited to hear more

I really don't see the need for additional editions of D&D. Most people already have houserules combined with X edition for w/e they want to do. The only thing I would like to see out of WotC is a comprehensive and updated method for handling large scale warfare while allowing the PCs to have an active role. This isn't too big of a deal for me though since with some houseruling I've already got a good enough system for that. But as ever I will keep an eye on this new edition and hope against all hope that it is actually better than 3e.

Sounds like Pathfinder's success has finally shaken things up at WotC, as Paizo already did the open-beta-community-playtest. A mdoular rule system sounds cool, as that's how I used to play prior to 3rd edition (a little bit of AD&D mixed with a little Basic/Expert).

I agree that WotC needs to focus on digital tools for playing online as a complement to their paper product, and found it interesting that the Virtual Gaming Table hyped back when 4E was announced got mentioned in a couple of the news articles. Software has never been a strength for Wizards, and they should just license it out like they do their video games.

Greg, your articles are a joy to read.

dragongit:
Now, I will come out and say, I'm a nerd and a geek. But I've never played a game of DnD, mainly due to my lack of real life friends. I only just began to collect the 4th edition books for artwork sake alone, maybe I'd find a group.

One thing I've never understood, why do people hate 4th edition so much? What was about it that people just seem to dislike? I'm just very curious as to why.

4e is a good game.
It's more balanced than 3e, and you can usually play what you want to play without gimping yourself.

That there is part of the problem, 'cos people think the ability to gimp yourself is integral to D&D.
(I do too, incidentally. It's not a game of skill if there isn't much of a skill divide between good and bad players)

I think the biggest issue is how the game feels.
Less like a tabletop and more like a cross between Magic: the Gathering and World of Warcraft.

the7ofswords:
Simply put, because it's more like a tactics board game with a lot of video-gamey elements thrown in with the "RP" part of "RPG" mostly ignored. It attempted to address the loss of the table-top market to MMORPGS by aping the weaknesses in MMORPGs and incorporating them into the table-top game rather than emphasizing the strengths of playing with a real live DM.

For a longer explanation, read this:

http://avoidingtherapy.blogspot.com/2012/01/d-forever.html

Your comparisons to MMOGs are deeply flawed. For example:

It's true that aggro largely exists to allow MMOG monsters to make suboptimal decisions, mirroring how a human GM might "roleplay" them in a fight. D&D4's "defender" mechanics aren't aggro. Instead, they aim to remove the underlying stupid thing -- that the game rules make it more reasonable for opponents to just run straight past the fighter and gun for the squishy wizard throwing fireballs from the back, and the GM/AI assigning those monsters to beating up the heavily-armored, hard-to-bring down warriors is making poor choices in the name of making the fight seem more "realistic". D&D4 fighters instead have abilities that directly punish opponents for trying to ignore the fighter and chase easier prey, so that it actually makes sense tactically -- just like it makes sense in a "roleplaying" way -- for the monsters to have a go at him instead of the wizard he's protecting.

The underlying premise here -- and it's one that I support fully, even if D&D4 isn't my bag and I don't play it &c. -- is that game rules that create contradictions between player-level decision-making and character-level decision-making are annoying and rickety.

-- Alex

This is just a bad idea. Way too soon! Editions need to be like 10 years apart, minimum. You just can't ask people to buy all new books every few years. It will fail, regardless of quality, then Hasbro will pull the plug on the entire line. This is a sad day.

Open beta plus looking back over their history? Maybe Im wrong, but what Im hearing is "Hey guise! White Wolf got lots of attention for their V20 thing, we should totally copy them".

I was quite excited about 4th Edition as it was being developed, but the more info we got the less enthusiastic I was until I finally stopped paying attention before it was even released. Ill definitely follow 5th Ed too... Im just hoping it doesnt end the same way.

Glad they're trying to listen to players this time but sadly Wizards lost me a while ago. My group and I couldn't stand 4th edition and play Castles & Crusades now, old style dnd without so many nonsensical charts. For those of you who like the older style games I seriously recommend you give this a shot, I love the system and it's been put together by a team of smart people with minimal rules that you can twist however you want, though they work great on their own.

I'm good guys, I'll just stick to my AD&D, thanks.

But I just bought the Player's Handbook for 4E ;-;

Oh well, at least now I know to save my money on the rest of the books until the next edition comes out. 4E has a lot it does well (combat, paragon paths and epic destinies) and a lot it doesn't do so well (diversifying classes, rituals) and I'd like to see how well it blends with other editions.

4th ed. felt more like a board game than the D&D I know and love. Thanks but I'll stick with Pathfinder.

It's funny; 4E felt more like the D&D I know and love than d20/3.x. Different people want different things from D&D, and that's what they're trying to address with the new edition.

I don't know if the new edition will be for me, but I'm glad they're preserving support for 4E via D&DI. I run an active 4E game, play in two, and am about to start another one. I want to be able to easily continue those with the online tools I currently use after the next edition comes out.

I'm not at all convinced that the OGL was as good for WotC as the Escapist's articles have claimed. They were certainly good for third-party publishers, but I played and ran plenty of d20/3.x without giving WotC a dime. With 4E, I maintain a D&DI subscription and have a reasonable stable of books (DMGs, MMs, setting books). I think that's a big part of the reason why the GSL is so much more restrictive. I could see them opening things up a bit more for the next edition, but I doubt they'll go full-on OGL again unless they have some other means of recouping that revenue, possibly via D&DI tools (which are extremely handy, but slow to improve).

Zachary Amaranth:

VoidWanderer:
I am... scared.

I think Wizards is dragging their franchise down Square-Enix's Final Fantasy path, and it concerns me greatly.

If they want to resume this path, I highly recommend they look at the rule system for Star Wars Sage Edition. I had thought 3.5e was the greatest d20 system, until I DMed a session of SW Saga Edition and thought 'Holy hell, they've actually perfected the damn thing! Fast and fluid, plus a hoot to enjoy. Bravo'.

But, I will give it a go... at some point.

In many ways, Saga was a prototype for 4E, so they did sort of go down that path. Unfortunately, only sort of.

It's a shame Saga's no longer on the market. I'm a Star Wars fan and I loved Saga Edition, but apparently there's no money in tabletop Star Wars stuff.

I wouldnt worry too much, another Star Wars RPG is in the works by an unnamed company

In other A Call to Arms news, I can now report that we did not manage to grab the licence we were chasing for the game - Star Wars. We weren't really expecting this one to happen (we made a sideways reference to it in the State of the Mongoose), but we got much further along than we thought we would.

The interesting thing is why our negotiations ended - another company beat us to it. We are not going to reveal who this is (you have heard of them), as that is their fanfare to blow. However, I am sure many will find it intriguing that the licence covers card games, RPGs, and... miniatures. Now, the company concerned is not known for its miniatures lines, which will probably put paid to my dream of 28mm multipart/multipose Stormtroopers.

SO hopefully soon someone will reveal their new Star Wars RPG and card games!

I was never a fan of Saga (And hated 4e) I always preferred d20 revised

castlewise:

Lord Beautiful:
I hope they're not kidding about maintaining support for 4th edition. It's not that I'm too stubborn to move on, as I'm certain the next edition will be lovely, but those manuals are god-awfully expensive.

Word. My group started on Essentials and just decided to upgrade to regular 4th edition. I don't want to tell them that we have to spend another $60 bucks on a *third* set of rulebooks.

Ahh young padawain, how much you have to learn.

I have enough assorted RPG books that if I actually stacked them on top of each other they would, I kid you not reach at least 20 feet.

I've been gaming for 20 years now. It adds way up over the years... Trust me.

1st ed: PHB, DMGx2, MM(With Cthulhu Mythos and without), MM2, Field Folio, Unearthed Arcana, the greyhawk folio, Dungeoneers Survival Guide, Wilderness Survival Guide, and the Greyhawk Hardcover. I also have the City State of the Invincible Overlord and a few other Judges Guild things, plus Kingdoms of Kalimar. I also have all the iterations of "basic" D&D including Holmes, B/X, BECMI, and the Rules Cyclopedia. All I'm really missing is a copy of the old "whitebox" ruleset. For added fun I even have the retroclone systems Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC, and Basic Fantasy Roleplay so that I can play my favorite editions without my 30+ year old books suffering too much wear and tear

2nd ed: PHB, DMG, the Monstrous Compendium with the Krynn and Planescape expansions, the hardcover MM, the entirety of the "Complete" series, several of the historical series, Combat and Tactics, Spells and Magic and Skills and Powers. Plus the Dark Sun boxed set, the Planescape boxed set, the Forgotten Realms Boxed set and Greyhawk Wars.

3rd Ed: I can't even start to list them... I have 7 boxes in the basement full of D20 stuff.

4th ed: PHB, DMG, MM as well as the 2nd iteration of each as well as divine, martial and arcane power as well as Adventurers Vault 1 and 2.

I also have probably 95% of the Shadowrun sourcebooks books ever printed, though probably only about 50% of the adventures. Heck, I have the 1st edition Shadowrun rulebook in Japanese!

I also have Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition.

Paranoia (3 different editions)

A smattering of Palladium crap gathering dust including Heroes Unlimited, Robotech, RIFTS, and Palladium Fantasy Roleplay.

and that's just what I can think of off the top of my head.

TsunamiWombat:
Thou need to ditch paper and go digital.

I've been thinking this for awhile. Why couldn't a glorified chat room with shared interface and GUI screens work. Everyone uses a number generator for the dice rolls, a board application if you need it, and maybe even some static images to choose from for fluff heads

Eusebiusdreams:
If you roll a martial character and you end up in a higher level campaign with core races and feats, most newer players won't use their environment creatively and your sessions will end up like this video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbzUfV3_JIA

Thank you for posting Mitchell and Webb. God Lord they're brilliant.

O.T: I haven't played the game in years. It was fun for awhile, but eventually I just moved on to other things. That being said, I've got five 3.5ed books on my desk right now. The 3 Monstrous Manuals, Manual of the Planes, and The Draconomicon. The flavour text is great fun, and the artwork is beautiful. They're read like novels and kept pristine.

I'm cautiously optimistic.

After the absolutely dreadful 4th edition[1], I essentially abandoned Wizards. If this shiny new edition manages to return to its roots as opposed to the semi-MMORPG feel of 4th edition, I'll be right behind it. But if this is "MEET THE NEW EDITION, SAME AS THE OLD EDITION"[2], then I'll do something that Wizards won't care about because I'm no longer a paying customer anyways.

PS: I would be quite surprised if they manage to make this new edition completely comparable with all the older editions, like they say is one of their goals. Considering the many differences between the different editions of D&D, I would be surprised if they can fit together editions without feats, rogues using d100's for their skills, and healing surges into one system.

Just my nerdy 2 cp.

[1]: in my opinion.
[2]: This time with a shiny new coat of paint!

Dirty Apple:

TsunamiWombat:
Thou need to ditch paper and go digital.

I've been thinking this for awhile. Why couldn't a glorified chat room with shared interface and GUI screens work. Everyone uses a number generator for the dice rolls, a board application if you need it, and maybe even some static images to choose from for fluff heads

http://www.rptools.net/index.php?page=maptool

WOTC are also already making their own one. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26286405/The_Dungeons__Dragons_Virtual_Table

And they do work very well. I have a regular once a week internet game with a group from all over the UK. We've been playing for 3+ years :-) Add in Skype for voice chat and it is great.

I just want them to get rid of the archaic spell casting system and get some kind of MP/Mana pool system. I am probably in the minority though.

Clive Howlitzer:
I just want them to get rid of the archaic spell casting system and get some kind of MP/Mana pool system. I am probably in the minority though.

They actually have that in some minor way in 4E. Psionic chars have 'power points' that they use to augment their basic powers. You have a set number of power points per encounter but you can spend them in any way you want (so you can repeat the same power if you like), and you can augment with more or less points for a variety of increasing power effects. Gives them some good flexibility over other classes that have static encounter powers :-)

I played a psionic for a few levels during a DM interlude and it was really fun actually. 'Living missile' where I could throw an enemy around like a ragdoll and crash them into their allies was my personal fav :P

Personally, I'd like to see D&D return to something more like 1st edition. That was the system I cut my teeth on and I still think it was the most enjoyable of the lot. Though really, I think Ars Magica is a much better swords-n-sorcery system than any edition of D&D. Maybe I'm biased because I always prefer to play mages?

What they intend to do is a big ask. I can't imagine it actually working, providing the best and greatest of all editions, and keeping everything everyone liked about them just seem entirely impossible. Particularly when you consider that people like different things. Like I love the lore from 2nd edition, the combat from 4th edition, dieties & leveling system and the setup/DM ruleset of the 3 edition. But 4th edition killed a lot of 3rd edition which I liked, and 3rd removed 2nd's stuff also. 4th also killed parts of 2nd, where as 2nd was nothing like 4th.

Then there are players of 4th who like the simplified lore, and don't want a shit load of it.

I don't see how they can successfully accomplish the task they have set out on. If they can, then all power to them. But I just don't see it happening.

I hope they'll do alright. They've improved 4th Edition with the Essentials line, giving each class more a unique feel of play instead of a set of powers.

4th Edition, in my opinion, is an edition for spoiled players. Even though I started it and am DMing for it myself, everything is done so that players are satisfied even though they command more and more loot and weapons to dick around with.

It's also very combat heavy, meaning that they need to plow through hundreds of battles to get to where they want to be. It's not SO bad, but to speak with an Arch Lich, you really need a higher level.

And even with that they find it really hard. I don't want to hand out magic weapons like candy at Halloween. They'll just become pompous, greedy and overconfident. But without that or min/maxing, they're hopeless.

I just hope they can create classes that are individually unique, create a way for players to need less powerfull magic items. (or more rare, powerful items) And if they really need to put the players in front of a gridline for battles. Give us miniatures without the randomness factor of Magic: The Gathering cards.

More about this here:
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20120109

NOOOOOOOOOO, NOT ANOTHER EDITION!

I wish they would stop "creating something new" and focus on supporting older editions. I would buy a 2E Planescape book if it came out tomorrow. My friends would do the same for 3E books. In the end, we would play whatever suits us. Everytime they release a new edition they alienate a lot of their old customers. That is something they don't get.

Selvec:
What they intend to do is a big ask. I can't imagine it actually working, providing the best and greatest of all editions, and keeping everything everyone liked about them just seem entirely impossible.

Here's how they could do it: A radically simplified "core-set" of rules that only has the bare minimum needed to play; these have been largely static through all editions (excluding some seismic shifts like the abandoning of Thac0 from 2nd to 3rd edition). Then sell a series of "modules" that stack the unique rule-sets of different editions onto that core-set.

One group could do core-set plus 3rd edition skills, another could do core-set with 4th edition combat, etc. Just think of the money-making potential if they split up these modules into really small units: 1st edition rogues, 2nd edition mages, 3rd edition sorcerers - each with their own (not necessarily print) product! It would be a more reliable revenue stream then miniatures.

yaballa:
Everytime they release a new edition they alienate a lot of their old customers. That is something they don't get.

They do get it. But supplements -- particularly ever-narrowing supplements -- are a poor income stream. And, eventually, a lot of people do get tired of a particular ruleset and start looking for something new (just not "too new").

-- Alex

Didn't 4e only come out not long ago? I remember the Penny Arcade podcasts from before it was even released... maybe that's just me being old, I'm not sure.
I honestly don't mind the changes but that's mostly because I never actually bought any manuals or anything for 4e so I don't feel very ripped off (I'm sure a lot of people will be feeling this way though)

I shall be optimistic and happily flip through a few scans before I sink money into this. I honestly hope they can make a solid set of conversions and overhead rules.

Xennon:

Dirty Apple:
I've been thinking this for awhile. Why couldn't a glorified chat room with shared interface and GUI screens work. Everyone uses a number generator for the dice rolls, a board application if you need it, and maybe even some static images to choose from for fluff heads

http://www.rptools.net/index.php?page=maptool

WOTC are also already making their own one. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26286405/The_Dungeons__Dragons_Virtual_Table

And they do work very well. I have a regular once a week internet game with a group from all over the UK. We've been playing for 3+ years :-) Add in Skype for voice chat and it is great.

See, I knew there had to be something like this out there. I've done a few basic google searches, but nothing ever really turned up. I can't help but think that an online setup would allow the game to reach people that are having trouble finding a gaming group in their local area. Also, just because there may be a group in your area doesn't mean you can join. I'll have to look into this. Thanks.

Dirty Apple:

Xennon:

Dirty Apple:
I've been thinking this for awhile. Why couldn't a glorified chat room with shared interface and GUI screens work. Everyone uses a number generator for the dice rolls, a board application if you need it, and maybe even some static images to choose from for fluff heads

http://www.rptools.net/index.php?page=maptool

WOTC are also already making their own one. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26286405/The_Dungeons__Dragons_Virtual_Table

And they do work very well. I have a regular once a week internet game with a group from all over the UK. We've been playing for 3+ years :-) Add in Skype for voice chat and it is great.

See, I knew there had to be something like this out there. I've done a few basic google searches, but nothing ever really turned up. I can't help but think that an online setup would allow the game to reach people that are having trouble finding a gaming group in their local area. Also, just because there may be a group in your area doesn't mean you can join. I'll have to look into this. Thanks.

Indeed :-) There are also communities for finding games, such as http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/forumdisplay.php/17-Find-or-Advertise-Games-in-Your-Area where you can sign up, put your details, location, requirements etc in and then you appear in a directory of people looking for players/dm's for both face 2 face and online games :-)

FelixG:

I wouldnt worry too much, another Star Wars RPG is in the works by an unnamed company

In other A Call to Arms news, I can now report that we did not manage to grab the licence we were chasing for the game - Star Wars. We weren't really expecting this one to happen (we made a sideways reference to it in the State of the Mongoose), but we got much further along than we thought we would.

The interesting thing is why our negotiations ended - another company beat us to it. We are not going to reveal who this is (you have heard of them), as that is their fanfare to blow. However, I am sure many will find it intriguing that the licence covers card games, RPGs, and... miniatures. Now, the company concerned is not known for its miniatures lines, which will probably put paid to my dream of 28mm multipart/multipose Stormtroopers.

SO hopefully soon someone will reveal their new Star Wars RPG and card games!

I was never a fan of Saga (And hated 4e) I always preferred d20 revised

Yay!

I really preferred Saga in most respects, but I enjoyed Revised. I cut my teeth in gaming on the WEG version, so I always compare the new editions to it anyway.

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