Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

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Wizards of the Coast has announced a new version of D&D.

Mike Mearls, lead designer for D&D at parent company Wizards of the Coast, announced Monday that it is developing a new version of Dungeons and Dragons.

While the details are still to be developed, Mearls said the latest iteration will aim to incorporate the best of its predecessors, along with the varying play styles and different approaches of the players who have loved them.

As such, Mearls said the company will be reaching out to its player base for suggestions.

A few more links:
New York Times
Examiner
The Mary Sue
Wizards sign-up - Link stolen from RichyRambo
What is the next Dungeons & Dragons?
*Updated* The Trollish Delver DDXP
*Updated* Geeks Dream Girl DDXP

It's been almost 4 years and a new edition of the game is confirmed to be in the works. If it takes them a couple of years to get this to market, I think that's about right on time for a new edition. Let the edition war BEGIN!

Still plodding along with 4e and will be with it for some time to come. Our group just hit 10 since playing from launch, and by hit I mean they were 6 and I bumped them up for the new campaign a few mnths back. Wonder if I'll ever get to 5 at this rate. Not that I'm complaining. Honestly tho, who has hit the level cap with their group? Anyone here?

So, here's my $0.02. I am reminded of this comic:

IMAGE(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/standards.png)

Do we need another edition to solve the edition problem? People play AD&D, 2nd Edition, 3rd Edition, 4th Edition ... and they like those games. No one game will make them all happy. So why bother? As far as I know, WotC could publish content for all of those old versions and charge people for it in book or online format.

I wonder why they didn't take 5th edition as a chance to transition from a book publishing model to an online service or online publisher.

I'm glad they've got Monte Cook writing it, he actually enjoys D&D which is something the writers of 4E didn't seem to do very much.

TheWanderer wrote:

Still plodding along with 4e and will be with it for some time to come. Our group just hit 10 since playing from launch, and by hit I mean they were 6 and I bumped them up for the new campaign a few mnths back. Wonder if I'll ever get to 5 at this rate. Not that I'm complaining. Honestly tho, who has hit the level cap with their group? Anyone here?

Most campaigns never hit the level cap, mine always died around 7-9 because the game gets more cumbersome at higher level. I did play a 2E campaign to epic level but that took years and was regular play, it was during elementary and middle school.

Oh Lord. The forums will run red with the blood of edition warriors.

I'll be quite interested to see how this plays out. One of the big things people have dinged 4e on is, "How's it all going to work when all your online tools go away?" I'm keen to see how Wizards will handle this. I'd love to see an omnibus 4e toolset that is downloadable, but I doubt that'll happen.

As far as hitting the level cap, /shrug. Our group plays a lot of different campaigns rather than one huge one to rule them all, so it hasn't really been an issue. We seem to prefer playing in the heroic tier (1-10).

I still like 3rd edition the most, but I'm always interested in seeing what they come up with (4th ed had a lot of neat ideas).

I haven't played a tabletop RPG in years, not since D&D 3e, and didn't really like what I heard about 4e, but I'm always interested to know what the granddaddy of P&P role-playing is up to. That Mike Mearls is in charge is really interesting to me since I thought Iron Heroes was the best thing I had ever read, D&D-wise (sadly never got the chance to play it, but still have the three books).

On the other hand, this intent to be compatible with previous editions (!) of D&D seems onerous—in addition to the diversification that D&D is seeing as a brand: Red Box, Essentials, Adventure System. I do like D&D as the venerable elder of role-playing—but not the Microsoft Windows.

Gravey wrote:

I haven't played a tabletop RPG in years, not since D&D 3e, and didn't really like what I heard about 4e, but I'm always interested to know what the granddaddy of P&P role-playing is up to. That Mike Mearls is in charge is really interesting to me since I thought Iron Heroes was the best thing I had ever read, D&D-wise (sadly never got the chance to play it, but still have the three books).

On the other hand, this intent to be compatible with previous editions (!) of D&D seems onerous—in addition to the diversification that D&D is seeing as a brand: Red Box, Essentials, Adventure System. I do like D&D as the venerable elder of role-playing—but not the Microsoft Windows.

Full disclosure: While I still play 4e with a particular group of friends, I've otherwise abandoned supporting WotC in favour of Paizo and Pathfinder wherever possible. To be more precise, their online business model drove me away, and is a the overwhelming reason for my bitterness toward the company.

I'm curious about the motivations behind this, and I would love to have a fly on the wall at WotC headquarters who could report to me the insider scuttlebutt from the past six months over there. I have no fundamental problem with 4e, and I do, for the most part, enjoy the system - but their business practices have been pretty messed up, as far as I'm concerned.

Gravey's identified one of my major problems with the 4e model - I still have no idea what Essentials and the Red Box are, and how/why they are different from the PHB I bought back in 2009. I can't find anywhere online from WotC that does a good job of explaining the differences, so it looked to me, the consumer, that they just abandoned the 4e "core" line (for lack of a better term) in favour of releasing an even more simplified version of the system. Thus - "Whaa??"

Frankly, I also found their online community to be fairly oppressive. I mean, there's only so many times that you can read someone starting a thread to complain (particularly about the DDO services offered) with the phrase, "Well, I guess someone's going to have to brave the banhammer to post about this, so..." before you start to think that it's not a joke anymore.

Now, all that being said, I'm curious about this new iteration for a couple of reasons. My biggest problem with WotC was the fact that they didn't seem to listen to their customers, ever. The fact that they're starting this process with, essentially, an eighteen-month playtest period that (I think?) is open to anyone who wants to participate is a HUGE step in the right direction for these guys. I also find Monte Cook's take on game design really interesting, so I'm curious to see what he does with this thing.

Still, I think WotC has lost my business, permanently. While down the road I make play an occasional game of 5e if there are are friends who want to invite me in, I don't think I'll ever give that company money again.

Also:

TheWanderer wrote:

Still plodding along with 4e and will be with it for some time to come. Our group just hit 10 since playing from launch, and by hit I mean they were 6 and I bumped them up for the new campaign a few mnths back. Wonder if I'll ever get to 5 at this rate. Not that I'm complaining. Honestly tho, who has hit the level cap with their group? Anyone here?

We've hit level 11 with our group after regular biweekly sessions for the past 3.5 years. Granted, it's a heavy role-playing group, but still.

I don't play anymore since 3rd, skipped even buying the 4th. It'll be interesting to see how they go with this.

Farscry wrote:

I still like 3rd edition the most, but I'm always interested in seeing what they come up with (4th ed had a lot of neat ideas).

I'm still waiting for you to buy the few 4e books I picked up at launch.

Fyedaddy wrote:
Farscry wrote:

I still like 3rd edition the most, but I'm always interested in seeing what they come up with (4th ed had a lot of neat ideas).

I'm still waiting for you to buy the few 4e books I picked up at launch. :D

I thought I told you, I picked up the three core books about a year ago (phb, dmg, and mm). I probably forgot, I forget everything!

Oooh Monte is back! Mechanics can take a back burner for a small second while we figure out what world they will set the "core" campaign in. Are we going back to Eberron, Greyhawk, Forgetton Realms, /quiver Dark Sun!. Who knows until they get us more details.

I've been playing 4E actively for the past year now. I like it a lot, although I only run the Essentials flavor. Them proceeding to fifth edition is okay by me as the non-Essentials 4E is a bit of an overbloated mess.

However, this is the first time a pen and paper game is totally reliant on online services. If they just pull them from 4E on the launch of 5E, that'd be unwelcome. I can't imagine running 4E without the online character creator (and crucially power cards), so at the very least I'd expect an offline variant to be made available to subscribers to not make the previous version extinct. I tried to run it without DDI and that sucks.

Based on what Mearls and Cooke have been writing in the Legends and Lore articles, I can hardly be surprised. Unfortunately, some of what they were saying sounded like a terrible step backwards in terms of simplifying what didn't need to be simpler, complicating what didn't need complication and choosing against my preference of game/sim pretty much every time. Everything else sounded like a different way of saying what was already in the rules. I have pretty heavy book/time investment in 4E, so I can't see myself moving up to the new version, but it makes me sad that it means that there is likely to be no more support to the current edition.

I think that sadness is what causes "Edition Wars!!1!"; who cares if the new version is better, the version I have is the one I "get" and now it is being left to die. What really struck me as ironic was the idea that people got upset about the new edition (4E), so the solution is to make a 5E? I also like the idea that the game will be "backwards compatible", when one of the biggest complaints about every edition as it gets older is that there are too many options, too much to catch up with...

I am still planning on hitting up DDXP, where there will be some NDA'd playtests that I have a ticket for. Depending on how restrictive the NDA is, I can probably give some 4E-biased opinion here.

Oh, and the one thing I'd love them to tackle is magic users. Compared to all the streamlining and user-friendliness going on in especially Essentials, making and managing wizards is an unwelcome pain. Way too many powers to read through and the memorize stuff by day should be a thing of the past, really.

jlaakso wrote:

Oh, and the one thing I'd love them to tackle is magic users. Compared to all the streamlining and user-friendliness going on in especially Essentials, making and managing wizards is an unwelcome pain. Way too many powers to read through and the memorize stuff by day should be a thing of the past, really.

?

MUs pretty much have the same power structure as everyone else under 4e, as I recall. They have an option to swap out spells when they rest, but you certainly don't have to.

Mind, now everyone has to "rememorize" dailies.....

Atras wrote:

Based on what Mearls and Cooke have been writing in the Legends and Lore articles, I can hardly be surprised. Unfortunately, some of what they were saying sounded like a terrible step backwards in terms of simplifying what didn't need to be simpler, complicating what didn't need complication and choosing against my preference of game/sim pretty much every time. Everything else sounded like a different way of saying what was already in the rules. I have pretty heavy book/time investment in 4E, so I can't see myself moving up to the new version, but it makes me sad that it means that there is likely to be no more support to the current edition.

I think that sadness is what causes "Edition Wars!!1!"; who cares if the new version is better, the version I have is the one I "get" and now it is being left to die. What really struck me as ironic was the idea that people got upset about the new edition (4E), so the solution is to make a 5E? I also like the idea that the game will be "backwards compatible", when one of the biggest complaints about every edition as it gets older is that there are too many options, too much to catch up with...

I am still planning on hitting up DDXP, where there will be some NDA'd playtests that I have a ticket for. Depending on how restrictive the NDA is, I can probably give some 4E-biased opinion here.

It's not going to be backwards compatible. They are trying to bring people back.

4E is way too "gamey" and not simulationist enough for me. i am really into verisimilitude when it comes to rpgs and 4E throws that out the window. i hope they dump the power system completely and try to speed up combat.

Bah! The greatest version of D&D will always be the version you learned on...

IMAGE(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7157/6669870347_ac43b1bda6.jpg)

IMAGE(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7161/6669873153_1f8a3f3615.jpg)

Now, all you first levels can get off my dungeon's lawn!

tanstaafl, I think my wife has that same box.

Every release starting with 3.5, the subtext of their releases has been that they hope to satisfy the angry voices on the Internet. Unfortunately, they seem to be trying to do something impossible like satisfying people who complain on the Internet. There was even a story about fifth edition on the front page of Yahoo today, and their press release pretty much stated that they wanted input from fans regarding new changes.

I haven't had a group in years, so this is going to be more of an intellectual exercise than anything else. Still, I do wish them all the best of luck.

that original box set is awesome. Maybe I'll try to find one someday. I think my D&D set (1977) was the one after right after that, but before they had Basic, Expert etc etc etc

tanstaafl wrote:

Bah! The greatest version of D&D will always be the version you learned on...

IMAGE(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7157/6669870347_ac43b1bda6.jpg)

IMAGE(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7161/6669873153_1f8a3f3615.jpg)

Now, all you first levels can get off my dungeon's lawn! ;)

Damn. I go back to the Red Box Basic Set. But you sir.... *slow respectful 80s clap building to teen applause finale*

necroyeti wrote:

MUs pretty much have the same power structure as everyone else under 4e, as I recall. They have an option to swap out spells when they rest, but you certainly don't have to.

Mind, now everyone has to "rememorize" dailies.....

They just have more options. Certainly it feels daunting for any new player I've subjected to it. Whereas the other Essentials characters get up and running in minutes, MUs just take more time and space. I don't know, may be just my old aversion to MUs in D&D, I never liked them.

tanstaafl wrote:

Bah! The greatest version of D&D will always be the version you learned on...

Actually, while this is often true for many people, I learned on and played 2e quite a bit. But 3e I loved for the sheer flexibility of its system for building custom characters and for the emphasis on skills. Which is the primary reason I am not as fond of 4e as either 2e or 3e; 4e is the least flexible for custom characters in my opinion, and the skill stuff is scaled back dramatically from 3e.

I like all three systems, so don't take it to mean I'm slagging off on 4e. It's just my least favorite of them.

Huh. I'm currently running a 4e game, and had a previous campaign hit 23.

Overall, I like 4e quite a bit. I'd like it a hell of a lot better if WoTC was substantially nicer about their business practices. (As a company, I'd rather support Paizo, but hey.) Flinging around C&Ds like candy to people writing things for their system put me off quite a bit. Also wish Rituals in 4e were less of a clusterf*ck.

Oh, and I learned on 2e, played the most with 3e-3.5, and with caveats, 4e is my favorite.

Interestingly, I've still used a massive amount of Pathfinder stuff. It's pretty easy to convert a lot of it, and I like their writing and fluff a hell of a lot more.

Farscry wrote:
tanstaafl wrote:

Bah! The greatest version of D&D will always be the version you learned on...

Actually, while this is often true for many people, I learned on and played 2e quite a bit. But 3e I loved for the sheer flexibility of its system for building custom characters and for the emphasis on skills.

Yup, AD&D 2e was the edition I learned—PHB, DMG, POSP & POSM were our core set—and while I did learn it fine and had a lot of fun, 3e was a breath of fresh mechanically consistent air. Good riddance to THAC0, "non-weapon proficiencies", dual- and multi-classing restrictions, class-specific XP tables, and god only knows what else I've jettisoned from my memory.

Gravey wrote:
Farscry wrote:
tanstaafl wrote:

Bah! The greatest version of D&D will always be the version you learned on...

Actually, while this is often true for many people, I learned on and played 2e quite a bit. But 3e I loved for the sheer flexibility of its system for building custom characters and for the emphasis on skills.

Yup, AD&D 2e was the edition I learned—PHB, DMG, POSP & POSM were our core set—and while I did learn it fine and had a lot of fun, 3e was a breath of fresh mechanically consistent air. Good riddance to THAC0, "non-weapon proficiencies", dual- and multi-classing restrictions, class-specific XP tables, and god only knows what else I've jettisoned from my memory.

THAC0 gets too much hate. If someone has a basic level of arithmetic knowledge they should get it. it isn't complex at all.

I am a THAC0 fan.

Heh, the old THAC0 debate. Funny thing is, THAC0 uses the exact same basic math as what 3e used. Only difference was in making it faster in 3e to calculate attack roll results in-combat. Well, faster for most people by virtue of being more straightforward (me being one of those people!). I never understood why it was such a big deal to anyone though, since it's the mathematical equivalent to semantic differences.

Budo wrote:
tanstaafl wrote:

Bah! The greatest version of D&D will always be the version you learned on...

Now, all you first levels can get off my dungeon's lawn! ;)

Damn. I go back to the Red Box Basic Set. But you sir.... *slow respectful 80s clap building to teen applause finale*

Whatevs. I own a copy of Chainmail.

Farscry wrote:

Heh, the old THAC0 debate. Funny thing is, THAC0 uses the exact same basic math as what 3e used. Only difference was in making it faster in 3e to calculate attack roll results in-combat. Well, faster for most people by virtue of being more straightforward (me being one of those people!). I never understood why it was such a big deal to anyone though, since it's the mathematical equivalent to semantic differences. :D

The snarky response is that THAC0 kept the rift raff out of the game. I don't mind the shift to the 3E system, actually. I just don't understand why people were so dumbfounded by THAC0...but I'm not an English major. (I kid...I kid...) (that's a joke)

Red Box basic for me as well, followed shortly by 2nd Ed. These days I'd generally prefer to play games with more narrative focus than D&D; fun as the whole tactical combat thing is, I prefer to do it in computer games or board games, rather than P&P RPGs.

Ulairi wrote:

THAC0 gets too much hate. If someone has a basic level of arithmetic knowledge they should get it. it isn't complex at all.

I am a THAC0 fan.

My criticism of THAC0 isn't that it's complex, it's just that it's an inelegant inconsistency in the system. There's no more trouble to subtracting your roll from your THAC0 than adding your roll to your BAB and comparing to AC. I guess I'm really hitting at descending AC as the problem. 3e swept that all away with the consistent rule of thumb that 'rolling higher is always better', in all circumstances.

THAC0 just gets to be whipping boy, since it's such an endearingly ridiculous acronym.

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