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I guess that's more or less where I'm sitting. The system seems good, but not really great, and while I'm willing to give WotC time to show they have learned from their mistakes, I need to see some evidence of it before I look at any of their product seriously. If in a few years, they have proven their critics wrong, and the system has shown itself to have legs, I'll reconsider, until then, I'll be watching from the sidelines on this one.
In a way I feel bad for the WotC designers. I expect they had no control over some of the steps WotC took to alienate customers, and I think they're doing good work. Hopefully the new leadership isn't so out-of-touch.
You know like you can't really point out anything specific about something that you don't like, but you end up really disliking the whole? That kind of feeling.
At the end of the day, preferences are feelings, and they don't have to be logical (not to imply that yours aren't). We like what we like. All too often I tend to forget that (my wife is convinced I'm half Vulcan).
For myself, I was drawn to Paizo during the Dungeon era because they were by far the best source of material for my ongoing campaign. The fact that the mechanics they used were all core was the ideal situation for me -- very little additional crunch (which I tend to dislike), but tons of first-class creativity. This situation persisted through the 3.5 adventure paths. Alas, nothing lasts forever. And in fairness to Paizo, I don't think that was a sustainable business model once 3.5 went out of print.
When 4E was released I embraced it wholeheartedly, only to watch WotC make a series of bad decisions that I believe ultimately doomed what I found to be a very promising set of rules.
As 5E approaches, I find I (again) like the rules, but revelations about organized play (you can't play the adventures at home, for example) have made it unlikely that I will be leaving PFS. PFS is by far and away the best-run OP campaign with which I've ever been involved (PFS>LG>LFR imho). So while I'm of mixed feelings about the Pathfinder RPG rules (I prefer something more rules-light, especially as I get older), I have other reasons to stick around.
My sincere hope (which is often enough to invite curses here :P) is a cleaned-up, simplified 2nd edition of Pathfinder in the next few years. I simply don't care about spending $50 or $100 for new rule books, because the time and effort saved are more than worth the expense (assuming improvement, of course). Something with the clarity, simplicity, and organization of the Beginner Box would be fantastic.
Maybe it's simply the fact that it's not Pathfinder and that i have a natural reaction to dislike anything that comes from WOTC,
Props for being aware of your possible biases (seriously).
Sorry 5E isn't to your liking, but it sounds like you really like Pathfinder, which is awesome. Everybody wins. :)
I've been to PaizoCon twice, and will probably be going next year given the new dates.
It's definitely smaller than GenCon, and as you might expect, for the most part the games are Pathfinder (or more recently the adventure card game). On the other hand, if you want to meet Paizo staffers, they make a point of being super approachable. And if you like PFS, there is a large presence, and for the last few years they've run a test version of the upcoming GenCon special.
In short it's a nice supplement to GenCon, with the added bonus of being much more affordable. If Pathfinder is your thing, you won't be disappointed.
Bugley, as far as C&C is concerned - I have the older books and backed the more recent KS (and received my new printing PHB) - I like certain things about C&C, and 5e (bounded accuracy keeping the sweet spot for most of the game). Haven't decide if I will run a core C&C with some tweaks, a modified 2nd ed (taking some bits from 5e or C&C) or a modified 5e. Sort of at a crossroads right now.
I picked up the PHB and Monster's and Treasures a few years back; there was a lot to like. I mentioned it because from my read-though it seemed like it might be just what you're looking for...
Scott Betts wrote:
So a business shouldn't have the ability to determine who gets to distribute their product? That's wrong, to you?
That's extremely disingenuous of you. There's a big difference between "decide who distributes their products" and "make unavailable something that has already been paid for."
Furthermore, this is precisely the sort of argumentation for which you're constantly taking others to task.
Overall, I think WotC made some legitimately bad choices during the 4E era. Personally, I liked the rules, but they made it increasingly difficult to support them as a company through what I believe were increasingly customer-hostile actions.
As for 5E -- Once again I like the rules, but I harbor some doubts about WotC. I do think it is worth noting that many of the people behind D&D have changed, and so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt by assuming they have learned their lesson. However, the silence on PDFs and the OGL do not bode well.
I'm buying the 5E core. Beyond that? Wait and see.
It like this was made for you.
When I first paged through 4e at the book store it looked to me like a video game rather than an RPG.
Completely agree. Except for the lack of a controller, display, and graphics of any kind, it was just like a video game!
Pardon the sarcasm, but this little bit of edition warring needs to be taken out behind the chemical shed.
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Pathfinder and 5E aren't mutually exclusive, either. I expect to run a home game with 5E, but I don't see myself abandoning PFS any time soon. All my friends are there. :)
I guess I didn't have that experience. I could still play Champions just fine. In fact, a new edition of Hero came out in 2001. And we got new games like Fate (2003) and Savage Worlds(2004) during the heyday of the OGL.
Without the OGL, there would be no:
Was there a flood of crap? Absolutely (Fast Forward, I'm looking at you). But overall, lots of cool games -- and a lot of great adventures -- wouldn't exist without the OGL. YMMV.
Diego Rossi wrote:
To hit a invisible creature or one with total concealment you attack the square, not the creature.
Right. Meaning the square is the target. And if the square is in the middle of a cloud, you can't see it, therefore according to RAW, you can't target it, no?
Again, I understand how it works. I would simply like it if the rules were clear.
That really hasn't benefited WOTC that well, has it? It's been good for US, true, but not for WOTC's bottom line. That was part of the problem with 3rd edition for WOTC, people were buying other products, not Wizards'.
Perhaps, but even assuming that's true, WotC can't go back in time and undo the OGL. They can either embrace the OGL with 5E, and gain advantage, or try (again) to kill it, and gain disadvantage. ;)
As someone who wants to see 5e succeed, I hope they do the former.
Electric Wizard wrote:
No one has mentioned The Death Tax. That's a Socialist thing isn't it? (I really don't know.)
I can't tell if you're being serious.
I mentioned the estate tax upthread...that's what some people call the "death tax." And it's "Socialist" in so far as the very idea of taxation itself is Socialist -- which is to say, not at all.
Scott Betts wrote:
I remain convinced that the actual terms of the license didn't matter at all, except insofar as people misconstrued or misjudged the terms of the license (save, perhaps, large companies like Paizo for whom the license is actually untenable), especially after its revision. There are a number of small 3pps that worked within the GSL just fine.
And I remain convinced that if WotC had released 4E under the OGL from the start, there wouldn't be a Pathfinder RPG. The OGL made Pathfinder possible, but WotC abandoning the OGL made Pathfinder necessary. You know as well as I do that the "we can't tell the kinds of stories we want with 4E" excuse is tripe. You know because you've used 4E to tell those stories. You wrote an excellent conversion of ROTRL for 4E, for heaven's sake.
Scott Betts wrote:
But why would anyone do that? Given the choice between buying the version of 5e made by the official creators and with a huge support and player base, or the version of 5e made by a tiny company with very little to distinguish itself and almost no player base adoption, why would anyone choose the latter? Edition clones have only been reasonably successful when they clone a version of the game that is no longer in print.
I'm not suggesting someone would...I'm suggesting that WotC's irrational fear of someone doing so is the only reason I can see for them not releasing 5E under the OGL. Which is funny, because if someone did want to do it, not releasing 5E under the OGL wouldn't stop them.
You're obviously free to disagree, but it seems quite clear to me that Wotc has little to gain by avoiding the OGL...but quite a lot to lose.
Scott Betts wrote:
Plenty of people are willing to put up with the OGL for the system it was written for. I expect very few people are willing to shoehorn it into systems that it was not written for. We're talking about 5e, not 3.5.
The OGL has been put to use re-creating pretty much every other version of D&D: Everything from OSRIC and Castles and Crusades (1st Edition) to Labrinth Lord (D&D) to god knows what else. All they do is change a few names. I think it's highly likely someone will do the same thing for 5th edition unless they're given a better choice (i.e. the release of 5E under the OGL). Advantage becomes favor; disadvantage becomes disfavor. Pretty much all the other terms (AC, hit points, hit dice, saving throws, etc.) are accessible through the existing 3.5 OGL.
Scott Betts wrote:
Especially once an actual licensing framework is released for 5e.
Perhaps. However, I think the GSL fiasco demonstrated pretty conclusively that the terms of the license matter.
So in summary: By not releasing 5E under the OGL, WotC can make it inconvenient to support 5E. However, a determined party could still use the 3.5 OGL to do what Paizo has done with 3.5 (and what WotC apparently fears someone will do with 5E): Publish a viable D&D competitor. As someone who wants to see 5E succeed, that seems like the worst of all possible worlds.
Scott Betts wrote:
Why would WotC voluntarily cheapen the value of its own licensee (Trapdoor Technologies) by allowing other digital tools companies the same level of rights access without the protections of a (robust) licensing agreement? Heck, it's possible that Trapdoor even has an exclusive license to develop D&D digital tools.
The specific item in question (digital chargen tools) is kinda incidental to my point: The OGL cat is out of the bag. People who really want to put in the effort can already do 5E products using the OGL (see Frog God). All that not releasing 5E explicitly under the OGL does is muddy the waters, raise the bar to entry (not every company has a lawyer or judge on-staff), and discourage participation.
I'm buying 5E either way, and want to see it succeed. In my opinion repeating the lack of communication at launch surrounding licensing for 4E isn't a good start.
I posted here because this is the board I use the most by far, and I think it is of interest to many here. That said, I did also post on ENWorld. The WotC forums are horrible to the point that I'm simply unwilling to use them.
As for making their largest competitor possible -- that's totally true, but too late to take back.
Over on the Lone Wolf forums there is a discussion about Hero Lab supporting 5E. The gist is that their hands are tied until you releases news on 5E licensing.
This is exactly what I feared would happen.
You should have learned from 4E and embraced the OGL early and publicly for 5E. Unfortunately, your failure to do so is already having negative effects on your potential customers. And for what? The OGL genie is out of the bottle. The good news is that it isn't too late to make it right. Release 5E under the OGL. Don't discourage third party support of your product by creating uncertainty. Don't hamstring 5E before it is even released. Please.
A D&D fan
I think that's by design; that is, a conscious choice to favor simplicity and consistency over additional detail which may (or may not) be more "realistic." I happen to like the change, but it is entirely a matter of opinion, of course. I do think that padded armor imposing disadvantage on stealth is a clear WTF moment, though.
As for "chainmail is heavy armor" -- That was a point of confusion during the very first 5E session I ran.
This came up at a PFS table I was GMing several weeks back. According to the PRD (and my sixth printing corebook):
"Ranged Attacks: With a ranged weapon, you can shoot or throw at any target that is within the weapon's maximum range and in line of sight."
Surely this should read line of effect, rather than line of sight? Otherwise this implies that shooting a target in darkness or concealment isn't possible.
Obviously in a home game, I just rule this as line of effect and move on, but it would be nice to have the wording changed for PFS purposes.
So I ran my first session of 5E over the weekend. We began the Starter Set adventure using the basic rules.
The game moved along well. We spend a total of five hours, which included character generation and dinner. During the ~3.5 hours we actually spent playing, we got through five combats and wrapped up the first section of the adventure. It reminded me of "reset" 3rd edition with many of the corner-case rules removed. I particularly liked the "hybrid" prepared/spontaneous spell-casting model shared by the cleric and the wizard. Someone at the table described it as a "D&D greatest hits," which I think was very appropriate.
We tried going map-less for a combat, but it just didn't feel quite right. Then we tried a grid with minis, and while that was close, it felt a bit "fiddly" for the rules-moderate nature of the game. We decided next time we're going to use minis and maps, but without a grid, and just measure distance with string. That should offer a visually appealing tactical representation without the restrictive feel of a grid. Since the rules don't assume a grid, it seems like the best balance. It also seems appropriate given D&D's war-game roots.
One thing I noticed was the need to read and re-read the basic rules. With several iterations of D&D and Pathfinder rattling around in my head, it was really tough to keep everything straight.
Naturally the lack of customization in the Basic Rules was very confining, but the experience left me really wanting to see the Player's Handbook. I still fear WotC is going to make bone-headed mistake at the last minute, but I'm excited in spite of myself: 5E might end up being close to my "ideal" D&D. If so, it will become my "go-to" game for fantasy role-playing, but it seems highly likely that I'll be sticking with Pathfinder for organized play unless most of my friends switch (thanks, network effects!).
Brian Torrens wrote:
How thick are the pawns (the stock itself). I am considering ordering some of the bases, but I would like to know how wide the opening is so I know how thick a card stock to print my pdfs on. I picked up some of the pdfs of the pawn sets and I find it really handy to print out just the figures I need for a specific set of encounters.
Very thick -- it's closer to card board than card stock. Picture the box a Monopoly set comes in. You probably can't print on something this thick...I would suggest printing on labels, then affixing to poster board or even foam core.
Edit: Just measured -- they're about 1/12" thick.
I was basically being a smart-ass by offering to concede the just world fallacy if we could agree to eliminate inheritance. :P
I completely agree that the best adventures of the 3E era were in Dungeon -- it wasn't even close. That said, I did like Red Hand of Doom.
5E definitely looks to be closer to my preferences mechanically, but I have serious doubts that they'll get the other stuff (PDFs, the OGL, organized play) right. We'll see. Since I like the rules themselves, I want to believe, and the is new leadership and new direction -- but 4E didn't end well for me.
Completely agree, except to say we don't actually know the DDN PDF situation yet. But there appears to be a pretty good chance they're going to get this wrong.
2. Paizo's flip maps are simply awesome. I can't even imagine Wizards having the snap to produce something like The Emerald Spire with full maps of all sections.
Agree Flip-Mats are awesome. Hope WotC does something similar (and/or brings back Dungeon Tiles).
3. Golarian >> Forgotten Realms. Not even close. Though the Realms are still cool, they are also pretty tired by now; Wizards needed a better game world. In short, Golarian is basically all of the old D&D game worlds and much more, all Pathfinderized.
Personally I don't care...my best campaigns were home brews.
4. Paizo has excellent customer service whenever a problem comes up (which is very rare). Relate to it, Wizards. The D&D branded franchise has seriously jerked me around many times throughout the years: AD&D 2nd, the short hop from 3.0 to 3.5, the whole 4E debacle, the recalled earlier edition PDFs after I paid for them online, a generally snobby & inattentive attitude, and so on. Screw that. In contrast, Paizo has been awesome since inception.
Agree that Paizo is better, but as they grow I'm seeing some of the same problems that Wizards has start to creep in. Agree that WotC yanking the PDFs was completely unacceptable (and counter-productive).
5. Paizo has a bazillion products, virtually all of them bad ass (and again, with maps, PDFs and customer service support).
Actually a downside to me when it comes to mechanics for mechanic's sake.
Pathfinder is too rules-heavy for me to be 100% satisfied with it. That said, right now it's the best overall option out there.
I've GMed several APs on roll20 and I have to say the hardest part is usually finding good maps - APs usually only cover about 50% to 75% of the fights with maps, and those maps are frequently small, which means it's hard to fit them onto roll20 without making for ugly maps. I have had some success with community made maps, but that really depends on the AP you're running. The AP forums can be a treasure trove of great stuff! For example RotRL has quite a few user-made maps but Curse of the Crimson Throne has very little community support. I really wish I was a better artist so I could just draw my own maps when I come up short.
You might try Dundjinni. I've heard the legal terms surrounding distributing what you create can be onerous, but that shouldn't be an issue if you're just using them for your VTT games.