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Official D&D 5E Announcement

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 :lulz: :argh!: :kingmeh:

(The NYT aparently broke this story before they should have.. as it was 'under embargo' until this morning.......)

More on this here:

And some interesting insights on this whole development over @ EN World:

Comments on the dev of 4E (& what got fucked up):

Thought you all would appreciate those latter links.

The Good Reverend Roger:

Cainad (dec.):
If WotC asks for D&D fan feedback on how to make 5th Edition, all they're going to wind up with is a massive pile of weird crap that was never intended to work as a game. The fanbase will guide them to create The Ultimate Nerd Rage Target, so that they can spend hours, days, grognarding to their heart's content.

And the rest of us will keep playing the games we want to play, be it Pathfinder, 4E, or Uncle Jimmy's Roundabout Rumpus Rodeo.

Interesting. If you've been following the Legends and Lore columns on DDI, you can tell they've been talking about 5e backstage quite a bit.  So I'm not entirely surprised.

I do look forward to seeing what they're cooking up. The R&D team's main task these days is to reunite tabletop RPG consumers, and find out how to make a buck in the new [digital] world of publishing.

I've been playing 4e since its release, and I've loved it. To me, it's different than previous editions in a really good way. It actually annoyed me most that the D&D R&D team is married to the 1970s - a lot of their content and errata is focused on recreating the experiences people had Back In My Day when Mages didn't have to roll to-hit, and you had to save versus death or go back to level 1. (somebody brought a copy of the "classic" adventure White Plume Mountain over to my place last week... now that I've read it ... it doesn't sound fun at all! module quality has come a long way since then)

The rumors we've been hearing is that 5e is a very modular system. Like they'll treat combat, feats, skill challenges, etc, as separate systems that you can choose to include -or not- in your game. For example, if you want that Original D&D experience, you can toss out the social skills like bluff, diplomacy, and intimidate and just roleplay those encounters without the die rolls. Or if you want a nautical themed campaign, there'll be a suite of nautical races and feats in its own publication, rather than having a little of every theme in every publication. Interesting idea.

And you can see why they're approaching it this way --- WotC's publishing strategy in the last two years has been kind of schizophrenic. The Essentials line is aimed squarely at newcomers, and the core product line is getting overwhelming with how many choices they give you. It's kind of cool to have that forked approach though. When a new player joins my campaign, I push them towards an Essentials build if they don't have a lot of RPG experience, or a core build if the already know how things like hit points and armor class works. So we can have newcomers at the table with simple characters, and vets with very complex characters, and neither overpowers the other.

My 4e career have taken me from level 1-10 several times. The group I DM for is level 14, which is the highest level I've seen in D&D 4e. IMO it's WAY easier to write for a 4e party than a 3e party. A fellow D&D grognard told me he recently switched from his epic tier D&D game back to pathfinder. He said, "You know, I kinda thought 4e PCs were overpowered at epic level... until pathfinder made me remember how broken 9th level spells are." I can attest to that!

In 4e's favor, I think it's the easiest version of D&D to learn. I've seen a much shorter learning curve than any other edition I've played. That being said, combat does get really slow at times. PCs have 3 actions per round, and there's a lot of choices for EACH of those actions, which can lead to a sort of deer-in-headlights paralysis when your turn comes up if you're not prepared. (you know how it goes... at my table, 4 of the players can do their turns in two minutes, the others take 5-10 minutes. Take a smoke break, come back, and they're still adding up the dice)

A few of the Legends and Lore columns riff on that note... like Mearls suggests that we might need FEWER actions per turn, then the combat would speed up considerably.

What I don't want to see lost is the emphasis on strategy and tactics. Speaking as a DM, I've found D&D 4e combat way more interesting and exciting than previous editions. Things play out like a chess match - people moving and checking each other, sliding around zones, using the terrain... the dynamic elements of battle are build into the system more smoothly and organically than in 3e.

Another thing I don't want to lose is system-wide balance. all previous editions had a big problem with Linear Fighters Quadratic Wizards. And at high level, you have to really know the system or you can fuck up your character permanently. I recall a mid level 3.5 campaign where the party rogue tried to become a priest of the trickster god, and ended up as both a shitty rogue and a shitty cleric. Or if you stacked the right combo of prestige classes, you could get absurd class features that left everybody else in the dust.

The Good Reverend Roger:
Well, Pathfinder works for me, so I'm sticking with it.  Also, I see no need to replace a couple of grand of shit every time Hasbro's sales start slacking off.

@Cram:  Yeah, the 70s/80s modules sucked 99% ass.  No argument there...And yeah, they've DONE the "return to <insert hackneyed adventure> to DEATH.


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