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Why is it that the Paladin and Ranger always get royally shanked when it comes to their spellcasting in 3.5? I mean it's bad enough that they're consistently tier 4 and 5 classes to begin with due to their extremely specific class features and the next-to-zero aid in spellcasting doesn't help them out at all. At the very least I'd give them half the amount of points the Bard gets. Really, anything to help them out because they struggled so bad in this edition.
Forever Slayer wrote:
Big corporations are the bane of RPG's and Hasbro is no exception.
Why? By all accounts 5E is doing exceedingly well. 4E did exceedingly well at first go, and many believe 3E sold extremely well too. So if by "Bane" you mean making lots of profit, then......sure?
Forever Slayer wrote:
I believe D&D would be better off in the hands of a smaller company who does not see D&D as a mega money maker but as a table top game that may not earn you billions, will earn you a nice profit while giving gamers the game they want.
They did, back in 2000. It's called the OGL. Your welcome.
Forever Slayer wrote:
I see Hasbro as the kind of company that would continue to work on a brand to make it larger than it has. I see Hasbro as a company that wants to make it more interesting to people who might not ever have gamed before. I see Hasbro as a company that wants to do more with the brand other than basically sit on it for coppers a day. I see Hasbro as a company that wants to branch into other spheres of the entertainment industry so that we can enjoy D&D-ish things in addition to just the TTRPG side of it.
To me those are all great things to strive for. They've hit some set backs, yes but I think they're learning.
Core is difficult since a lot of the better feats resides in other supplements or even in Dragon magazine. That being said I'd go with Fighter 4/ Rogue 16. You'll still get 4 attacks per turn and you'll amp up your damage by making attacks with Sneak Attack.
Stats (25 pts)
I'm not sure if this thread is still relevant but I'll throw in my 2cp.
Lets see, as a Human Monk you'll get (not including bonus feats)---
Human - Improved Initiative
The last two are pretty much filler. Same thing with Blind-Fight. Being blind really sucks so being able to roll an extra d20 is really nice to have when magical items aren't forthcoming.
As for Stats: 20,18,16,16,16,10
Without any magical aid @ 20th level:
The "feeling" of D&D, for me, is pretty general because I tend to think of D&D as the Original trope Fantasy RPG. Other games need to distance itself from D&D, not the other way around. Because of that, I tend to D&D a very large margin of variation. Things that stick out as distinctly D&D are:
• Wizards use Intelligence and spellbooks to ready and cast their spells. Every edition so far as had this feature.
• Fighters are tough, weapon-specializing warriors that excel in combat. AD&D and 4E (and to an extent 5E) did this pretty well while 3E, v3.5, and PF need specific builds to make this true (mostly due to excelling in combat part).
• Clerics are mortal instruments of their deities and channel their divine power in wondrous displays of magics and miracles. Again, every edition so far has had this feature.
• Rogues and Thieves are cunning knaves who use a specific set of weapons and tools for unscrupulous acts. Every edition has met this so far.
• Monsters should include Dragons, Mindflayers, and Beholders.
Perfection........? Now THAT is the real head scratcher
Some of the stuff I've incorporated:
• Starting HP = Constitution score. Hit Die + Con modifier at every level thereafter.
• Ported over 4E's Melee Training feat, which now grants a +1 bonus to one Ability score of your choice (without going over 20) and you now use that particular score's modifier when rolling for weapon attacks. You only deal half the modifier's number in damage (rounded down). So a Cleric who choose Melee Training (Wisdom) gets +1 to his/her Wisdom score and say they now have a Wisdom 17 (+3), they would add +1 to weapon damage rolls.
• Daggers are more deadly when used in close combat such as grappling, increasing their damage die to d8.
• I'll probably also convert more 4E powers into maneuvers for the Battle Master to pick, as well as anyone who grabs the maneuver-based feat.
• Figuring out a homebrew for the Warlord as well.
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Just remember that 5th Edition does not need the crazy bonuses that 3.5 and Pathfinder use. Magic bonuses per item cap at +3 for a reason and the system is meant to be low magic when it comes to items. You could make masterwork weapons cost half the price of a +1 magic weapon, since masterwork only gives you the bonus on the hit and not damage. Masterwork armor is more of a problem, since it would be identical to +1 magic armor, just not being magic.
Masterwork armor in 3e/v3.5/Pathfinder just gives reduces the armor check penalty by 1. So 5e's Masterwork armor could remove Disadvantage on Stealth checks or maybe lower the Strength requirement to wear it properly?
Well a simple port from 3e is easy enough, just adjust the prices to reflect the quality of the weapon. Another idea is to make all +1 items non-magical and anything +2 (or greater) or that has a special effect magical so there is a distinction.
I wouldn't say it's a crappy game to go with just the basics, especially when there's a significant portion of the community who doesn't want to delve into the multitude of additional options the PHB has. A DM can have the players download the basic rules while they buy the DMG and then go from there. And if the DM wants to gradually add more content like additional sub-paths, more spells or classes or races, it's pretty easy to do.
Basically it's all in how much you're looking to put into your game. For myself, I'd be happier with the full rules bit I've run a few basic games and they're just as fun.
The way I look at it is like this, D&D is an exception-driven system. Specific beats general and the TONS of specific modifiers, rules, and exceptions that it makes it almost not ever try something you're specifically not build for. Have you ever seen people in 3.5/PF attempt to trip someone else when they weren't equipped with a trip - specific weapon and/or have the Improved Trip feat? My guess is no or it's only done sparsely because the penalties and repercussions of trying it without the feat is a near waste of your turn. To me, that's problematic. I'd rather not have penalties and repercussions for basic actions and allow people who delve into those specific mechanics the greater benefit.
14 sided die wrote:
ONe thing I noticed about 4e was that it was really easy to pick up and play, and to teach to beginners, and didn't require a huge level of system mastery, since everyone works off basically the same mechanics
My experience as well. During a summer two years ago I had a series of friends-of-friends stop by to game occasionally and they never played before. With 2 sessions they picked up the game quite easily and was having a blast, even when one of them died.
Yep, the focus of the spotlight is about role within the round instead of the encounter. For example in 3e if there was an encounter that featured lots of undead or 1 powerful undead the Cleric had the potential to completely obliterate the enemy on his turn, sometimes before anyone else acted. In 4e his radiant spells help immense but the others at the table still get to engage too.
They effectively removed "I Win" buttons for the most part from the game. Still, wizards are unparalleled in terms of monster lock-down and single target penalties as well as mob/minion destruction but they still need help in other areas. Further, by allowing everyone a chance to try skills, you remove the requirement of certain classes to be in the party, like always having a Rogue to picks locks or always a cleric to heal as anyone can get Thievery skill via class, feat, and racial selection as well as other non - casters being able to heal (aka Warlord)
That's my understanding as well. In my sandbox games the PCs usually start out in an area where the monster threat is minimal in terms of power level. Going into the wilderness and off the beaten path, however, can lead to unexpected dangers like Trolls, Orc warbands, hydras, dragons, and so forth. It's important for PCs to get an idea of their surrou and the local knowledge of the area, going so far as tales, rumors, and superstitions.
These things might be true or an exaggeration or completely baseless. They don't know but for sure it's not always going to be rolled out like a nice, box - shaped encounter with the exact number of monster to XP ratio. It's gonna be what is appropriate for the situation. A group who raids a Kobolds lair isn't fighting 4-6 Kobolds for every 2 to 3 rooms. If they're not cautious then they could awaken the whole tribe and that would be really bad for them.
I place encounters that are consistent with the world-view and not based on PCs level or the WoW style of zones. The players can, quite easi5, enter an area that far surpasses their level or they can get into a scrap with a group of lv. 2 Kobolds when they're Paragon tier. It depends on what they're doing, where they want to go, and how well they follow up on, ignore, or cautiously circumvent rumors the people they interact with know of.
If there's a fable of an ancient and Evil spirit haunting a nearby house they can investigate but there's no guarantee it's level - appropriate.
I think they want 3PP support because, heck, 4E even had 3PP support. However I feel they don't want a repeat of what happened with Paizo in the off-chance they change up systems in X-amount of years. And to both provide 3PP support AND protect themselves later on, they need to be very specific on what gets released so 3PP needs to do more leg work mechanics wise.
Ah, the OGL "Keeping gaming companies married to a specific rule-set since 1999!"
Well I for one am glad WotC hasn't released an OGL yet. I think they'd be better served by up-dating and reviving their GSL to be more expansive. If they allow their basic rules to be expanded upon by 3PP, that would be a good start too. But, in all honesty, people have already been using the Basic rules for creating and converting adventures to 5E for months now. And as far as I know the only things to be hit with C&D letters are on-line character builder programs that give out information beyond the Basic Rule-set. Something WotC has every right to protect.
Why do you wish to take an elegant smooth system and make it complicated? I genuinely don't know why you would wish to do that?
I suppose there is a really strong desire for "Gritty" style combat and, I'm assuming, to make entering combat a really tough choice regardless of level? With rules regarding losing limbs even a 10th level Fighter with 75 HP is still wary of Kobolds and Goblins if they score a critical hit and chop off their arm.
Personally, I don't think D&D is the genre or game overall to mimic this particular style.
I'm not sure I follow? If someone narrates HP loss as broken bones, wouldn't that also impact nearly everything they did until healed? And at what point does the damage taken = broken bones? If a character with 35 HP takes 15 damage, is that sufficient enough? And if so, what happens when that character tries to attack with that arm or use their reaction to block (via Shield Master feat)? Are added penalties added when they try to climb or use the arm in any way?
I just don't think D&D's HP system is designed well enough to accomplish the gritty feel many people seem to want from it. Falling off a 40 ft cliff SHOULD negatively impact your character for a long while, regardless of level, but in D&D-land so long as you have 1 HP remaining, you can climb that cliff again, swim, fight, drink and carousel around for as long as you want. Which makes constraints on healing seem overly penalizing for seemingly zero gain.
Battle Master fighter, yes to a degree. The biggest thing about the Warlord in 4E was that it used Intelligence as a secondary stat AND they could opt to use their turn to allow other people to attack all the time (instead of being tied to Short Rest mechanics). As for the Valor Bard, not really considering that the Bard is magical in nature and the Warlord isn't. I could reflavor the spells to be non-magical but that sort of defeats the purpose IMO.
Obviously, some would beg to differ.
If I'm not mistaken that was the way it originally was in the Playtest, that if you wanted to spend your Hit Die, you needed a Healer's Kit to do so. Now it just helps stabilize people. Though I'm not entirely sure what this houserule is supposed to do or represent?
Over the years I've houseruled v3.5 and Pathfinder a LOT, including things like armor as DR, Wound/Vitality system, disease tracks, and other things to the like. So far I haven't house-ruled much of 5E because I really haven't delved too deeply into the system for something to come up. Everything appears to be working as intended so far "officially".
I think this goes to illustrate the difficult position Wizards is in when they first created this edition. I will say that wizards has always promoted the idea of making a game the way you want to certain degrees.
A few additional "Favorite things"
• Self Healing via Hit Die. Not as potent as Healing Surges but I'll take it where I can get it.
• Cantrips. YAY, no more Wizards with crossbows and can't be magic-users for 1/2 the day.
• Non-Magical Healing. Personally I would have loved to have a Warlord sub-class but some of the maneuvers and a feat or two can shore up this area quickly enough. At least I can hold out for future supplements.
• PRof. Bonus is universal. Long gone are the days of various attack progressions and multi-attacks decreasing with each swing.
You're right, published adventures were pretty ridiculous with throwing in material from other supplements that any given DM might not have access to. For things like feats and class features there were times they'd reprint the feature in the monster Stat block or on the same page for ease of reference, though spells were another matter. At the least we'd get a small subscript abbreviation of the boom it was in. But not so with 5e.
Matthew Koelbl wrote:
How many people are really confused by a feat or two and 1-3 spells and/or maneuvers? I think the majority of people buying into 5e are going to be experienced players to which a few added options aren't player - breaking choices that will leave people dumbfounded from the get-go.
Matthew Koelbl wrote:
Barbarian certainly feels distinct from the others, since it gets Rage right out of the gate. Ranger and Paladin get unique at level 2, when they get spells. Is that really any worse than 3.5, where paladins have to wait until level 4 for spells and 5 for a mount?
Barbarians ALL feel the same out of the gate barring weapon choices. I get that's the idea, just not a fan. As for the Ranger and Paladin, it's not worse but it isn't all that much better. I just like more options at earlier levels. A 4e Paladin got multiple choices and he felt like a divine warrior from the get go where's a 5E paladin just sort of doesn't
Do you criticize Pathfinder for that? I've never seen them reprint every single spell, feat, ability, etc. in their adventures.
Yep, and 3.5 too. However with both systems it isn't an issue anymore just because the game has been out since 2000 and 2008 respectively, giving DMs time to learn what the spells do, etc. That doesn't mean that an alternative solution wasn't there, it was, they just didn't utilize it.
And I'm not even saying they have to put FULL disclosure on every spell an enemy or NPC has access to in their write-up, just the most common ones that particular NPC/Enemy will bring to bear in combat.
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
I get that, but you're missing the point that I have to look elsewhere from the monster description to get info on their actions in terms of their spells. It's annoying when every time the monster goes and I use a different spell, I have to look up range, duration, damage or effect before I can even figure out if that's a good choice at the time. It's an annoyance that could've been fixed.
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Right, "apprentice levels" showed up in the Playtest packets and I was vocally against it on their surveys. I still am to a degree. I don't really think starting at level 3 is the best approach to get around this as a veteran player and would have rather been happy with Level-0 rules for those who want to simulate the farmer-boy grow to soldier thing.
Substance as in, options. A 1st level Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Barbarian are all pretty much the same unless your human and the DM has agreed to the 1st - level feat variant. The paladin doesn't feel very divine until 3rd level.
Monsters having the full text of their available spells printed along side might have been done in 4th Edition, but it's never been done at any other time to my knowledge.
Correct, however I never liked it in those editions either. Having to do multiple page references for 1 monster is really annoying. It would have been better to say "These are his common spell attacks"
Firebolt: at-will, 120 ft., 1 trgt, +8 attack, 3d10 fire damage
Instead of just throwing out a dozen or so spells from the PHB that the DM now has to look up for their range, components, duration, effects, etc.
After doing a few sessions with the non-Playtest rules and having access now to the PHB (instead of just the Core material) there are a lot of good things that I like:
• Bounded Accuracy
Things that I'm not a fan of:
The last two supplements of Ravenloft I have was created by Sword & sorcery and I think was designed for 3rd Edition. Those two books were pretty awesome for drawing inspiration and a feel of dread. I'm actually look at them to build a 5e adventure from.
David Bowles wrote:
I'd say that this is true from about 1st through 6th or 7th level. It's at this point that martial (ie. non-magical classes) really start to fall to the way side in terms of contributions. It's basically why I'd really fight hard to play E6 when playing v3.5 or E7 (for Pathfinder) because I know that once 4th level spells start to become the norm when combat arises, my character will instantly be taking a back seat to the Rocket Tag that occurs in the mid- to late-levels.
Now I've played the Rise of the Runelords adventure with a rogue (later reworked as a Swashbuckler 3/ Rogue 6/ Swordsage 1) that did an OK job at dealing damage. However I'll point out that he only did this well with a WHOLE lot of 3.5 help ie. Tome of Battle feats, maneuvers, and classes as well as lots of 3.5 magical items like the rod of ropes, and assassinating weapons) and spells from the Cleric and Wizard placed on him.
David Bowles wrote:
So an active mechanic that requires interaction is boring compared to v3.5/PF's Lightning Reflexes of +2 to Reflex saves.....? Color me confused.
David Bowles wrote:
The Ork needs power attack so the effect of it scales with the BAB of the Ork.
Level and CR are still interchangeable here. If you want a higher level Orc, then use a higher value for the damage expression. -5 to attack, +10 or +20 or +30 to damage depending on what strength you want the Orc to be. Why is that difficult?
David Bowles wrote:
Monsters built like PCs level the playing field for both the players and GM. It also gives the GM opportunity to build some really cool mosnters!
See, here's where we totally disagree. As a DM for my group I've always felt constrained by the v3.5 system for creating monsters. Making them bend to the requirements of PCs is just too limiting. Want that Orc to wield two battle-axes, well he's gotta have Dexterity value of X and Two-Weapon Fighting feat AND Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting feat and that means he'll need to be Y level and blah-blah-blah. No thanks. I'll just write down "2-battle axe attack" on his character sheet and not bother with the minutia of rules-jargon for a monster that will most likely die in the 2-3 rounds of combat he's featured in.
Creature abilities in 4E and D&D:Next sort of replace the need for feats IMO. An Orc doesn't need Power Attack, he could simply have a line that says "-5 to Attack, add an additional +10 to the damage roll" or to illustrate Lightning Reflexes "The Orc has advantage when making Dexterity saving throws."
An endless list of feats based on HD isn't required (and good riddance).
On the contrary, I'm in very much support of houseruling and I think that removing the XP system is a very elegant way of breaking down the whole "10 encounters per level up" math that the system uses. It's arbitrary and I've seen people post very different ways to accrue XP.
I was also throwing in another way of doing XP in the form of Story Award points, something that not all DMs do. It's something that I've found in a lot of 3rd Edition adventures and only here and there with 4E ones.
That's exactly how the system is supposed to work. 40 Kobolds and other mediocre monsters need to be in larger numbers to be a significant threat otherwise we get 3E's and 4E's syndrome of being able to sit down on the ground and let the monsters attacking you, only hitting 5% of the time, which is moronic and stupid yet works RAW.
Just look back at Lord of the Rings where they enter the Mines of Moria: Do you think a group of nine 10th level v3.5, Pathfinder, or 4E D&D characters would've even blinked an eye at the goblins running down the walls towards them in that scene? Nope, they would've laughed as the Fighter greater cleaved / Encounter-Daily powered to his hearts content, the Wizard would've been dropping 20' areas of goblins on whim with fireball, scorching burst, or a myriad of other AoE spells, and everyone else would be killing 2-3 goblins per turn all the while the Goblins would've all had approx. 5% chance to hit them. At least with 5th Edition such a scene is particular fearsome to adventuring parties of most levels barring heroes ramped up with magical gear (something not inherent with the system math).
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
This is true for the 1st few encounters I suppose however it's been my experience that as people become familiar with their character's abilities, they quickly decipher which powers are good to use and when, cutting down on what people call "option paralysis". What I've found slows down play is Immediate Interrupts and Immediate Reactions. When PCs are always cutting in as the monsters are going (nearly taking a 2nd turn) it can bog down the game significantly. So what I've done is reduce the number of Immediate Reactions/Interrupts any character can have to 1-per tier (not including features like a Fighter's Combat Challenge or a Swordmage's Aegis power).
While I generally agree with your statement, 3E/Pathfinder/4E leading it to be more adventure-path based, it doesn't necessarily have to be. I'm not entirely sure where the notion came from that these editions push for level-appropriate encounters all the time? Perhaps it's because most 3E/PF/4E adventures have a level range and going off that specific path is uncharted and thus, DMs don't normally allow for that and go a more rail road element. I've certainly done my fair share of sandbox style games with both 3E and 4E and the Players generally know venturing into territories that have significantly difficult threats are going to result in their quick deaths.
At first I thought so too until I came to the conclusion that I was doing it wrong with "balanced" encounters and trying to put an even amount of monster-types into these dungeons. For example, each room having 2 standard soldiers, 1 standard lurker, 1 standard artillery. It was pretty balanced but combats would then take 35 - 45 minutes. So I started throwing in LOTS of minions and maybe 1 standard, and the minions would often be a few levels higher than the PCs to make it more difficult, not to mention that I wouldn't differentiate which one was a minion and which wasn't, which tended to make the PCs pause when they were popping off Enounter and Daily powers. The frustration apparent on their face as they "waste" a precious resource on a minion is really priceless, muwhahahaha.
I think what happened is that the designers looked back on all their best and most memorable combats from previous editions and tried to engineer a system that would produce that result all the time, not realizing that a fight with a couple kobold sentries isn't supposed to feel epic.
Which is why, as a DM, it's important to gauge the relativity of your combat encounters. If you throw a few kobold sentries at the PCs, after 2 or 3 rounds and nothing significant has occurred, have the Kobolds retreat or surrender or *gasp* even reduce their HP to where the next shot kills them. The point of combat is to be dramatic, not just something to get into as a throw-a-way encounter. You can also run such an encounter as a Skill challenge. The point is to discern the reason for the Kobold's appearance and decide if combat is the best way to go about overcoming that obstacle. If the Kobolds are there protecting a way through a valley or bridge, can the PCs find a way around without engaging in combat? How about persuading the Kobolds to leave by bribing them or maybe looking for an alternate route.
Basically there are TONS of ways to get around a boring combat that will take 30 minutes but a lot of DMs are either too lazy to do something different or the Players aren't imaginative enough to find a simpler solution (as it pertains to 4E).
In my opinion, the best thing to do with 4E combat is to jettison XP counting, and find some other system for leveling up PC's that doesn't rely on X encounters per adventure, then limit combat only to meaningful, high stakes encounters. So a room in a dungeon shouldn't be an encounter, a floor of a dungeon should be an encounter. Anything incidental, like a rogue sneaking up to a guard and slitting it's throat, can be handled via skill challenge.
Well that's one way of handling it and I've done that before too. I also think people skip over the possibility of awarding story-based XP which helps alleviate the requirement for more combat to fill the XP gap.
I too have seen this before from quite a few people in the online community.
I'm just not sure the online community is that much of a significant portion of players for the game, at least from a polling perspective or as any sort of gauge on things like mechanics. Sure, things like Damage-on-a-Miss was a contentious issue but was this representative of the community on the whole or just those specific people? It's hard to say IMO because it's a topic that I've ONLY ever seen argued on Forums and not real life. Same thing with topics like healing, powers, spell-per-day, Liner Fighter/Quadratic Wizard, 5-Min work days, etc.
I think the designers received the best information they could and that it correlated, to a degree, what they were already going with. And in all honesty just because a group of people (say, 3e fans for example) play and love 3E or PF doesn't necessarily mean they like things such as save-or-die spells, wealth-by-level, or the deluge of Feats and Prestige Classes.
You mention Bounded Accuracy and I think that's probably one of the BEST innovations for the edition. Even though I enjoy playing v3.5 and Pathfinder and 4E one of the biggest problems I had when looking at those systems is the ridiculous height the numbers reach. I do NOT NEED a Fighter with +45/+40/+35 attack modifiers that deals 70s, 80s, or 100s of points of damage or AC to reach the 50+ to feel "Epic". I feel it was done because someone back in the 3.0 system creation thought "Oh, higher numbers means I can feel BIGGER and BADDER!" and all I felt it did was put an arbitrary and fictitious strain on class and monster design. Monsters in the CR 18 - 20 range just got Natural Armor +20 because the Fighter got +18 to 20 BAB.
Not only that but it completely removed these characters (and monsters) from the "commoners" of the settings. Even when reading novels like the Forgotten Realms epic heroes had flaws and could be felled by things like common weapons and people. In v3.5 I can make a 12th level Fighter that literally just sits on the ground why 9 orcs beat on him and they'll only damage him 5% of the time. That's just moronic.
There were several things in the forums discussing the rules that showed an overwhelming desire for certain things...but when you look at what happened it was as if this feedback was blatantly ignored in surveys, forums, and questionnaires.
Again, forum communities are not indicative of the overall attitude towards the edition, let alone specific mechanics. Going from what Mearls stated, it appeared from looking at the forums the community was "divided" however when looking at the survey data there was a lot more things the player base had or wanted in common.
I think if they had actually listened more to the feedback instead of what they wanted to absolutely have in it, we'd have gotten a game that was more a blend of 3e and 4e than something new that came out of their beta. I mean, point blank, those who were involved were all 3e and 4e players as the majority, and they were all trying to push their ideas from each of those respective editions.
Its funny you say this because I see a certain amount of people saying there's too much 4E (or insert the edition you didn't like here____) among community posters here, and in other places. TO me I think that means they did something right. Besides "powers" there's a LOT of 4E design in this edition. There's also quite a bit of 3E elements in the game as well, even looking at the books one could jump to the notion that it "feels" like 3E.
If they actually had listened and changed it accordingly, it would have been a pure blend of 3e and 4e without any of this limited stuff of +6 total over 20 levels as a bonus...or skills being handled like they are.
Perhaps the majority of people who play and like 3E/4E actually think +20 over 20 levels (or the silliness of the BAB system) was not only unnecessary but perhaps even disliked? Further, I've seen a LOT of people complain about skill ranks and points and how the classes were really deprived of points in both 3E and Pathfinder. The fighter getting 2 per level? Really? That's pretty terrible. I'm glad they got rid of points and I really hope they don't show up again in a WotC D&D system. This isn't GURPS.
They literally made up the rules and asked how people liked them. They took no advice on what NEW rules to implement. Instead, they just removed rules that they saw an overwhelming majority disliking...but otherwise, making up their own rules instead of taking suggestions of what others were suggesting, at least if you looked at the forums and the actual rules that were being suggested.
Well yeah but the rules changed pretty significantly as the process progressed over two years. I still have the very first playtest packet where there were only pre-generated characters. BOY do they look different than ones you can make now with the PHB. The rules, the idea about powers and feats and terminology all changing. The change to the classes and races are ALL different. And it was predominantly due to the feedback from playtesters. If people didn't playtest it and give feedback, why should their preferences be catered to?
It SHOULD have been something that looked a lot like PF but with a LOT of 4e stuff in there (maybe the defenses as 4e instead of saves...or with the HP boosters, or a second wind for all classes...or other items). That is if what was being discussed would have been reflected in their actual rules and utilized to actually create the rules, rather than only delete the stuff a huge number of people didn't like and discard the rest of the feedback in favor of their own rules they were writing in house.I'm glad it doesn't look anything like Pathfinder. For one, we already HAVE Pathfinder, and for free to boot. Why would I shell out hundreds of dollars for a system that only has some 4E-stuff bolted onto a d20/SRD system. No thanks, I don't need to pay money for that and I think a lot of others would feel the same. On the other hand, 5E looks like they took ideas and philosophy from a variety of editions to make their system. It has 4E-isms in there along with 3E-isms and 2E-isms, and 1e-isms.
How can any of us really know? We saw the surveys and we saw the results. The community is just one aspect of the equation. I think WotC knows the numbers better and wrote their rules accordingly. Sure, the designers had an agenda and idea going into 5E and I think they used survey feedback to tweak these ideas into the form the designers and players both wanted. I can only say that the overall feedback from Amazon reviews and the community (here and on other sites) is generally positive and receptive of this edition.
I think an OGL is good for the hobby. It may not be good for a certain business, but I feel it is for the hobby as a whole.
Which is why I find it a bit baffling that WotC is going to put themselves into a similar circumstance with re-releasing a new OGL.
Why? Because it doesn't alienate an entire portion of the playerbase. When 3rd edition came out, it was a huge change from 2nd edition. Many people didn't want to switch, so they became alienated. And since their system of choice was no longer the supported one, it fell out of favor and those people end up finding it difficult to find people to play 2nd edition. If not for the OGL, the rather large portion of the playerbase that didn't like 4th edition would be SOL, and would experience the same plight from the previous edition change. But, thanks to the OGL, Pathfinder sprang to life and gave them a chance to continue on.
so instead of alienation we get division and warring. I'm not convinced the latter is a better option. People still play 2nd Edition today, just as people still play 3.0, v3.5, and 4E. And when Pathfinder his critical mass, it's going to be very interesting to see how that plays out as Paizo decides how to proceed going forward. I think even a small departure from current PF rules will result in a civil war between those who want to push forward with a better system and those who've invested far too much and are now going to be left out in the cold (who possibly will create a spin-off of Pathfinder of their own considering it's all OGL).
4th edition lovers will experience the same thing that 2nd edition lovers faced. 4th edition isn't supported anymore, a new edition is out. The new kid on the block (5th edition) is getting more play, and those who loved 4th edition but don't like the new edition will find it hard to find players to play their system of choice.
Publicly, yes. Going into a FLGS it's going to be hard to get a group to sit down for a 4E session as opposed to a D&D:Next session. Home games, however, don't suffer from that sort of thing because those running it decide on what to play and bring in people who are probably on-board with that decision.
However the major difference here is that 2nd Edition received 15+ years of supplements, books, novels, and adventures plus HUNDREDS of Dragon/Dungeon magazine content to draw from. Compared to 4th Edition's 5 year run. That's a pretty stark comparison and it's no shocker that 4E fans feel a bit thrown under the bus here. At least with AD&D players they have a vast library to fall back on that they really don't need current content to keep going where as 4E had a lot of areas that just weren't as developed, leaving it to the player base to make up the difference.
Did the OGL hurt WotC financially? I think in some part when they abandoned 3rd edition and Pathfinder scooped it up, it hurt their wallet. Another part in why they were hurt financially was the new system. Was it a good system? I don't know as I never played it (I look at the classes and think "Nope", but the rest of the system seemed rather decent). I think it was just too different for a lot of people. The whole "It looks like World of D&DCraft" that went around the internet probably also didn't help.
I'm fairly certain that no matter what WotC put out after 3.5, it would've failed because it was the second release of "new" rules in under 5 years. Even though people bought v3.5 they were really peeved and expressed it over MANY MANY times on forums and the internet. WotC was losing trust from that point and to come out with a new system a mere 5 years later was just more insult to injury. However I give WotC credit for making 4E look and feel different because I already have a game that does "simulation" and didn't need another one (hence why I don't buy Pathfinder books) and that 4E gave me and my group a different feel but yet had a LOT of ties to the original game that it wasn't that much of a rapid departure. Obviously people felt differently.
Also keep in mind that WotC got flack and people were already writing off 4E before it even hit the shelves. The drama and talk leading up to the game didn't help matters at all.
A 5th edition OGL, I think, could be a good thing. When WotC publishes the inevitable 6th edition, those who loved 5th edition won't be SOL, depending on just how different it would be. Those who loved 4th edition could continue with 13th age, but I don't know how similar, if any, it is to 4th edition. I also haven't heard a thing about 13th Age since the core book was published.
I guess my problem is that WotC will, eventually, get burned when they hit the major saturation point of the system. Oh they've learned that producing TOO much too early is bad and so they'll wait on system-increasing mechanics, churning out Adventures for the most part and maybe one supplement per year to lengthen the cycle's life. But sooner or later, at some point down the road (10, 15 years) they'll come to an impasse where the current model just isn't making them the money Hasbro wants. At that point, when the game changes to meet the new expectation of the gaming generation, they'll be right back to where they were in 2008 and the warring and fighting will begin anew.
I haven't read 13th Age but from some people I hear it's a good successor to 4E and from others I hear there's too much "indy" innovation there to make it as enjoyable.
As far as 4E rules go they released five classes: Fighter (Weaponmaster), Cleric (Templar), Rogue (Scoundrel), Wizard (Arcanist), and Warlord (Marshal) as free downloadable classes from their site. You could still grab them now and they come complete with powers for all 29 levels and Paragon Paths. Couple this with the Rules Compendium and the free Adventures they've published and you can easily and viably play 4E for zero money.
EDIT: It's difficult to grab feats, so you'd need a list of them to choose from to go forward. So there is that problem.
As for the OGL, I really can't express how disappointed I am with WotC for doing it again. Of course those here, who've stuck with Pathfinder, find the information wonderful (and it's obvious why) however I feel what the OGL does is cement the publisher into a quagmire or system glut for the foreseeable future and the second they feel like trying something new or going into a new direction this WHOLE thing is going to happen ALL OVER again. Though it won't be PF but some other 3PP people will latch onto What it does is cause stagnation.