The Fifth Edition Announcement - What do you think of their stated intentions?


4th Edition

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Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

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Can we not use terms like "vomiting forth" material? It's disrespectful and unnecessary. There are other ways to get your point across rather than inflammatory language like that.


Cat Daemon wrote:

To me it doesn't make much difference.

There were 4 major things that made me leave D&D/WOTC for Pathfinder/Paizo:

  • Loss of the OGL and SRD
  • Single platform computer tools (for a platform I didn't have)
  • Terrible customer treatment and service
  • Complete inability to play some of my current ongoing campaigns in 4E

IF they fix those, then I might wander back and see what they've come up with. Until then, I'll stick to Pathfinder.

Pretty much the same situation with me. I switched over the OGL/SRD and the fact that Paizo is hyper friendly while Wizards isn't. That said, if 5E is good enough I may play it, though I won't likely abandon Pathfinder.


For me a great thing about the OGL is that I know that I can make my custom setting and put all the material online any time I want. I know that nothing in it will get me into trouble for violating copyright.
With other games, I am not really sure about that.

Frog God Games

Yora wrote:

For me a great thing about the OGL is that I know that I can make my custom setting and put all the material online any time I want. I know that nothing in it will get me into trouble for violating copyright.

With other games, I am not really sure about that.

A lot of game companies have "fan site kits" or something similar along with guidelines on what you can and cannot do to (usually you just need a disclaimer page... and they provide the disclaimer statement) so that you can do just that.

White Wolf does this, as does Paizo with the CUP, which covers the use of their IP.


Chuck Wright wrote:
Yora wrote:

For me a great thing about the OGL is that I know that I can make my custom setting and put all the material online any time I want. I know that nothing in it will get me into trouble for violating copyright.

With other games, I am not really sure about that.

A lot of game companies have "fan site kits" or something similar along with guidelines on what you can and cannot do to (usually you just need a disclaimer page... and they provide the disclaimer statement) so that you can do just that.

White Wolf does this, as does Paizo with the CUP, which covers the use of their IP.

And, of course, so does WotC.


Aren't those image packs?

What I mean is that I can post complete stat blocks of NPCs on my site and when I make a pathfinder oracle, I can post that character with all explaination how each of his abilities work when for example, it includes something from Ultimate Magic, which not everyone might have.
I also can post the stats of a fairy dragon with two levels in rogue.

In 3.5e, I at least know that I could post stats for a sorcerer NPC with material from the SRD and my own homebrew creations, and could post a pseudodragon rogue instead.

With 4th Edition, I have no idea.

And maybe one day I decice to sell deluxe pdf compilations or I add ads to the page that get me money. And suddenly I am in a legal nightmare with no idea what would happen if Wizards knows about it.
With the Pathfinder stuff, I know exactly that everything is perfectly fine.

Frog God Games

I figured that they did. I was working from memory.

Thanks for the linkage, Scott. :D

Frog God Games

Yora wrote:


With the Pathfinder stuff, I know exactly that everything is perfectly fine.

Sure, as long as you don't use Paizo IP and stick only to the open material.

Liberty's Edge

Yes because PF is not all all simialr to 3.5 in no respects no sir. Have to love it when people point out the same flaws in rpgs they dislike when the ones the like have the same. I'm not the fan I sued to be of 4E yet a lot of the stuff in PF is very similar to stuff I saw in 3.5

Scott Betts wrote:
The people who are showing up with nothing more to say than, "4e is just the worst, WotC can go fornicate with undesirables, and I hope Hasbro's stock suffers momentary dips!" are only here for today, right? They're just going to post their unpleasant opinions and then leave, yeah?

Yeah pretty much. Nothing better to do really. When PF 2E is released eventually and it will be then they will get offened if we do the same. Funny how posters complined that Wotc was not asking for feedback from the public. They now are doing so and the same posters are going "not interested" Makes me be embrassed to be in the hobby. Do I think Wotc screwed upa few things in 4E and the release of 4E. Yes. I'm not gleefully rubbing my hands toghter in joy either.


My D&D experience has spanned over 20 years, and gone from D&D Basic (the black box with the Red Dragon on it) through 4E and Pathfinder. I currently run a homebrew that is the synthesis of years of house rules applied to 3.5 overlaid recently onto the Pathfinder system. While I was highly disappointed with what WotC presented in 4E, I was able to garnish a few bits of flavor from the first round of books to add to my homebrew. So for me 4E was not a total loss. I was, however, disappointed with the direction they took.

It's understandable, MMORPGs were (and still are) one of the most profitable segments of the gaming/entertainment market, and WotC/Hasbro was looking for a way to revitalize D&D and infuse it with the feel of those games, so as to draw a whole new generation of players into the fold. Unfortunately, most MMOplayers were not looking to pay their monthly fee again just to get access to a resource site, nevermind pay for all the books that come out. The lack of strong visual cinematics is also a major negative to many MMOplayers. PnP RPGs require a great deal of imagination and creativity, both for the player and the dungeon master, and a big part of that is being able to conjure an image of the game in your mind, something many young people today have not developed (thanks to the oversaturation of TV/video/digital media and lack of reading).

Which brings us to now: I am definitely interested in seeing what material comes down the pipeline from WotC/Hasbro. If we think back to the release of 3rd edition, it was riddled with inconsistencies and plagued with balance issues. SO, WotC took the feedback of players and updated 3rd to 3.5, and it went on to be very successful. With Pathfinder outpacing 4E in sales, I believe WotC/Hasbro has realized that they made several major errors, both from design and marketing standpoints. As such, they are looking to give the gaming community (their patrons) what they want, something that is not 4E. And whether its simply to disassociate the new edition with 4E so as to not carry the negative karma, or because the new edition is a drastic rules change, they are calling it 5th Edition. Let's all give it a chance, at least sign up and playtest it. Then, let us judge it.

UPDATE: and they did something right by getting Monte Cook back on board as the design team lead.


This is going to sound weird, coming from someone who is an admitted loather of 4e for mostly nebulous touchy-feely reasons and whatnot who was yet another hyped-but-disappointed sort.

I don't want 5e to be a flop.

I want it to be everything I wanted 4E to be (though admittedly Paizo did far better with that concept), and if they keep the themes and motifs of 4e but put it either in a set of options instead of making it the default, I would genuinely be happy with that.

I'd like to see a return to the more Greyhawk/Mystaran roots, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to see them crib from Paizo while attempting to capture the feel, if they wanted to make D&D more video-like, of the Tower of Doom/Shadows over Mystara. While many people lamented about 3.x being Diablo II the Tabletop, I don't think it was entirely a bad thing, and I started off a hater on that front too.

Truth be told, I'd like to see 5e capture the moment of something being released now, without it being seen as a negative, but I don't honestly know how it could be done; as mentioned, I hated 3.x when it was released, but the Diablo II analogy grew on me. I gave 4e a chance, but the opposite result happened, putting me off more and more over time instead of worming its way into my heart.

It would be incredibly silly for me to speculate that they're going to gear 5e to being like Diablo III, but the me of about a decade ago is insanely giddy at the possibility, especially for those that have hated on the 'RAINBOWS' meme of said game. With the scale and scope of differences in writing style, 'gamism versus naturalism', and all of the other buzzwords and meta-observations, I'm having a level of enthusiasm that almost, ALMOST makes me overlook certain Charlie Brown Football Kicking analogies.

So, cautious optimism. A lesson learned from my own prior strident antagonism. A desire for tabletop gaming to have a magical kumbaya moment.

Here's hoping that such hope is not poorly placed.

Liberty's Edge

My other hope with 5E is releasing of more campaing worlds. Greyhawk Mystara, Dragonlance even a reboot of FR minus the too large number of goods and high level NPCs. If Feats are kept I would also like to sae them increase in power like spells. Dodge gives you a +1 to AC great for low levles not much of a consideration at high levels imo.

Not even sure I will even get on board the 5E train yet I remain cautiouslly optimistc.

Liberty's Edge

I started playing in 1981. D&D will always have a special spot in my heart. I was disappointed in how they rolled 4e out. I tried it and did not care for the system. I picked up Pathfinder and am happy with it. I will keep an eye on 5e because I am curious, but how do you justify spending a ton on money on a game that may disappear in five years? At this point in my life I am fine with Pathfinder. I have bought enough stuff to play for another 15 years and then I can convert my 3.5 collection for the next 15 years, and then some classic titles from 1st edition. I doubt I will purchase anything from 5e and I know a handful of years from now I will not purchase Pathfinder 2.0. I do wish the folks at WotC luck with the new edition. I would hate to see D&D go away.


wanderer82 wrote:
Let's all give it a chance, at least sign up and playtest it. Then, let us judge it.

Certainly. I had my fun with my previous post ("Blah blah blah, onehundred milleooon, blah blah blah."), and IMO Hasbro is responsible for 4E and their attitude towards their customers. That being said, I did sign up for the playtests (I am an RPG nerd afterall). A few things:


  • They are out to make money, so the best thing for them is for me to buy a lot of their books. I doubt anyone is looking forward to shelling out more cash for yet another system.
  • Monte Cook is assisting in the design, that is an interesting and a good move on their part.
  • I doubt coming out with 5e will improve their attitude towards their customers.
  • At which time do we start having rules "bloat", too many systems?
  • While the best thing for publishers is to sell a lot of rule books, the best thing for users is to have a lot of good quality adventures.
  • At this point, even if they come out with something much better than 4e, I doubt I would switch. Just too invested in Paizo, who is a good quality company.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

I hope that 5th edition does well for them, but my reaction to their early announcement is that they're setting themselves up for failure with their stated goals. They seem to want to make something that will please everyone, and I can say right now that won't happen.


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Re: why there aren't more 4E types pissed at this move; half of WotC's D&D General forum thread had already turned into 5E topics. I think that was to fill the space of books not really coming out anymore during the past year. Similar reason to why 3.0 wasn't a "cash grab", leave enough dead space in product and people will want to throw money your way again. Notice how well Paizo has done with 3.75 when 3.5 earned the "cash grab" moniker, both are basically rehashes, one was timed better.

Frog God Games

Odd editions are never cash grabs. That's just common sense. <grin>

Liberty's Edge

Cash grab gets tossed around way too freely. Every company rpg or otherwise wants to make a qulaity product and make a profit. It's not like Paizo employees would lose any sleep if the company made too much money. I also don't see it as a bad thing. Gamers forget companies have costs, bills and employess to pay as well as investors. To do so you need to release more product. If that does not work a new edition. Good will is all well and nice yet it's not recognized as a form of currency by any bank. I'm not saying a company should not try and have the excellant customer support like Paizo does. It needs to be tempered with a healthy does of commen sense that when it's all said and done it's still a business. My reponse to 5E or any others company attempt to make money as a cash gab is "well yeah did you expect otherwise". Why anyone would think otherwise just does not understand business imo.

As to why 4E fans are not more angry. First off none of the "were not making a new edtion. Honest!!" type of smokescreen they did with 4E. A new edtion so soon does not make me happy yet I can appreciate the honesty. Second a new edtion with fan feedback. Your not going to please everyone. You need to please the majority and having public feedback for that will go along way. Third I'm not as huge a fan of 4E as I used to be and would rather invest in a newer edition rather than an older one that does not do it for me anymore.


Chuck Wright wrote:
Odd editions are never cash grabs. That's just common sense. <grin>

Oddly enough, there may be some truth in this.

Some people loved Spycraft 1.0 and hated 2.0.

Yet, strangely, many people were meh about Mutants and Masterminds, but fell head over heels for 2.0, only to be all meh about 3.0/DC Adventures.

It brings to mind the reactions of people to the numerically sequential Star Trek films...and to an extent, the reactions of people to the Star Wars hexology (People loved IV, VI, and hated V and I, with II and II getting differing parts of the fandom).

Maybe it's timing, maybe it's the unintended demographics. When I was playing BCMI/Red&Blue boxes, I was big on the early corridor dungeon crawler early PC games. During AD&D 1&2E, I was also playing the Zelda type games and Dragon Warrior series along with Final Fantasy 1. 3E was when I was playing Diablo I and II, and oddly enough I didn't like 3E at the time for being Diablo-like, but then it grew on me. Everyone (in the most vocal part of the discussion) lamented the MMO-ness of 4e, though I didn't so much find that to be the issue as much as other things that shan't be rehashed because the edition wars are over. :D

Maybe there IS something to this whole Diablo 3 coincidence I'd mentioned...

Liberty's Edge

Another problem is that if you release an edition of an rpg that is too similar to the previous one sometimes the fanabse is not as interested in purchasing it again. I know of some in my gaming circle that while they play in my PF game will not purchase any PF books because it feels too much like 3.5. Chaosium is rel;easing a 7E of Call of cthulhu next year most likely. Without any major changes. I like CoC. Do I want to buy 6E with some minor rules changes no not really. It's a paradox. Gamers don't want the same game wile at the same time don't want a newer version instead. To be honest we a gamers don't really know what the hell we want as a whole but I digress.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My thoughts on the 5th edition announcement: While I was angered by Wotc’s behavior during the transition between 3.5 and 4.0 D&D (being told how much more fun and better the product would be etc. I know marketing and all), and I am still saddened that Wotc brought about the end of the print Dungeon and Dragon magazines.

I played and GMed the new game for 3-4 months and both I and my group found it not to be our cup of tea. We went back to 3.5, found Rise of the Runelords…and well played pathfinder from the Beta, to the game, and the rest is well history. I happen to prefer Pathfinder and enjoy the products Paizo puts out. While I don’t like everything Paizo produces, I am for the most part happy with most of what they do.

I no longer feel any animosity towards Wotc, and by extension 4.0 D&D. I think there is plenty of room for both systems. Besides “the game” Pathfinder and 4.0 D&D is all about getting together with your friends. What does the system matter?

That being said, I can appreciate Wotc’s desire to mend the community. And To me it seems that they are taking a page out of Paizo’s playbook. They are doing some sort of open play test, to give us some input in how 5th edition D&D is going to be shaped. I don’t begrudge Wotc a chance to look around see what works (the play tests for new materiel for example) and give it a try them selves

I’ll take a look at 5.0 D&D, I might even buy the basic PHB DMG and MM, and if I’m intrigued, I’ll give the game a try. But I doubt I will leave Paizo and Pathfinder behind. Simply put I like the Pathfinder RPG and I enjoy playing it.

So I wish WOTC luck with producing an “all inclusive” 5.0 D&D.


ElyasRavenwood wrote:
“the game”

Oh dammit.


I posted this on the "future of D&D" thread, but it seems repeating it here is profitable, if only to hear from someone who's actually seen some of the 5e ruleset:

David M. Ewalt of Forbes magazine has already played in a session of 5e run by Mike Mearls, back in December. He had positive things to say about it, but no real info. So 5e is a lot further along than people think.

Ewalt wrote:

First of all, and least surprising: It’s pretty great to have Mike Mearls be your Dungeon Master.

Second, and most important: Wizards is on the right track.

I’m not a fan of fourth edition. I find the combat slow, the powers limiting, and the rules inhospitable to the kind of creative world-building, story-telling and problem-solving that make D&D great.

But so far, the fifth edition rules show promise. They’re simple without being stupid, and efficient without being shallow. Combat was quick and satisfying; we got through most of an adventure in just a few hours. And I get the sense that fifth edition will bring back some of the good complexity of previous versions, allowing players to create unique characters and new worlds.

If 5e really does hearken back to previous editions, then things might change at my gaming table.

Dark Archive

ElyasRavenwood wrote:

My thoughts on the 5th edition announcement: While I was angered by Wotc’s behavior during the transition between 3.5 and 4.0 D&D (being told how much more fun and better the product would be etc. I know marketing and all), and I am still saddened that Wotc brought about the end of the print Dungeon and Dragon magazines.

I played and GMed the new game for 3-4 months and both I and my group found it not to be our cup of tea. We went back to 3.5, found Rise of the Runelords…and well played pathfinder from the Beta, to the game, and the rest is well history. I happen to prefer Pathfinder and enjoy the products Paizo puts out. While I don’t like everything Paizo produces, I am for the most part happy with most of what they do.

I no longer feel any animosity towards Wotc, and by extension 4.0 D&D. I think there is plenty of room for both systems. Besides “the game” Pathfinder and 4.0 D&D is all about getting together with your friends. What does the system matter?

That being said, I can appreciate Wotc’s desire to mend the community. And To me it seems that they are taking a page out of Paizo’s playbook. They are doing some sort of open play test, to give us some input in how 5th edition D&D is going to be shaped. I don’t begrudge Wotc a chance to look around see what works (the play tests for new materiel for example) and give it a try them selves

I’ll take a look at 5.0 D&D, I might even buy the basic PHB DMG and MM, and if I’m intrigued, I’ll give the game a try. But I doubt I will leave Paizo and Pathfinder behind. Simply put I like the Pathfinder RPG and I enjoy playing it.

So I wish WOTC luck with producing an “all inclusive” 5.0 D&D.

I feel the same way; I was put off by those infamous 4E marketing comments and videos that ridiculed 3E, and when Paizo announced Pathfinder, I was thrilled. We did consider 4E briefly, but all the guys in my group voted for Pathfinder, and in truth we didn't give 4E a chance at all. But I don't think any of us were angry at either 4E or WoTC; disappointed and sad, perhaps, but not angry.

In retrospect I think we made the right decision, but occasionally I wish WotC would have released new printings of the core books with all the updates and errata. I honestly think it would have been wiser than going forward with the weird compromise labeled as Essentials; I still can't fathom if it was primarily intended as a preview or an early test for the first 5th edition ideas, because I didn't know what to think of it. I didn't buy the books or the boxed sets (except for the Dungeon Tiles) because I didn't get them, plus I didn't like the format (digest-size paperback books? C'mon!). Another printing of the core rules -- or a revised and updated 4.5 edition -- would have been another matter.

Don't get me wrong, I still love Pathfinder, but upper tier play (which is where my campaign in now at) is just as torturing as to GM it was in 3E, and many of the things we found irritating (system mastery, GM prep time, highly swingy combats) are still there. I mean, low-level play is exciting and fairly easy to GM, but 10+ level NPCs still take me hours to create and my lack of system mastery and tactical insight often makes combats one-sided slaughterfests.

It's a weird conundrum; although I feel 4E is a good game that has a lot of mechanics I'd love as GM, it still has (from my perspective) a lot of flaws, too (or, rather, mechanics and flavor I don't care for). As I said, I still might have bought the books if they contained the latest errata (and I would never pay for digital tools, no matter how well they were done) and given it a fair shake. I think this time we will give 5E (or however it will be called) a go, and if we like it, play it along with Pathfinder.

I hope race will play a bigger role in 5E; perhaps via racial powers, or maybe themes/archetypes? The latter two might also work better than "builds" and potentially replace multiclassing. It would also be nice if they got rid of the AEDU format; maybe adrenaline/zeal/mana points would be a better option, and a level-based cap (2 pts. per level, or something) on using points per attack or round to prevent "going nova"? And, definitely WotC should re-imagine the 4E monster stat block format; the current "dark-green-on-green-background" is IMO quite irritating.

I don't know how they'll make that "unified-mechanics-but-modular" thing working in the way they've described it, but I'm intrigued and will try the game when it comes out. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Dracovar wrote:
And hey, "modular" is a great buzzword for "lots and lots of expansions we can sell"
Stefan Hill wrote:
So Paizo are already modular, not seeing WotC's idea as novel. So in answer to the OP - I would say WotC intentions are to replicate what Paizo is doing already.

I hope people are underestimating what WotC mean by modular, I am hoping for a game that is modular not in terms of expansions, but what is in the core books - something that Paizo are very much not doing.

For example my idea of a modular D&D book:

First couple of chapters present the core of the game, very basic, with no races, just four clases Fighter, Rogue, Cleric and Wizard. There would be no skills, just advise to use Ability checks (perhaps with half level bonus like 4e) and if the PC has an appropriate background to give a +2 to +5 bonus. Combat would use abstract zones so minis are not needed. There would be no combat manouvres.

The next lot of chapters could be entirely optional sets of rules:

Races - Each race could have minimum and maximum starting ability scores rather than ability score modifiers (ala Earthdawn), so they overlay perfectly with the basic game. Give each race some specific self contained abilities and you're done.

Advanced Classes - Add new classes like Bard, Barbarian, Monk, Ranger etc

Adventuring Skills - Rather than GM adjudication of giving a +2 or +5 bonus to tasks that fit a PC's concept have a set of core adventuring skills like 4e that can be trained or not (and perhaps even "double trained" to give a specialisation). Each character has a specific number of skills it can train at char gen and then every 3 levels or something. This could list class skills if really needed but that would cause interaction between modules.

Background Skills - Add in Craft, Profession and similar skills that can be trained using a seperate pool of training uses than Adventuring skills, so you can bolt this on seperately without having to redistribute points spent on adventuring skills.

Feats - Add in the option for PCs to gain feats, extra abilities etc that do not simply give bonuses to skills as that would be interaction between modules.

Tactical combat - Expansion of the combat rules to use precise ranges, positioning and movement speeds. Also options to add manouevres like Disarm, Grapple etc. Maps in adventures could support both the basic and tactical combat by being marked in both 5' squares and also zones highlighted. Even in a single game you could mix and match - use abstract rules for a simple bar brawl that won't last more than a few rounds and break out tactical combat for fighting the main villain and his minions at the temple of the underdark.

Powers - For those that want 4e like powers, you could add in that option here. Not quite sure how that would tie in with spells in the basic game, but maybe it as simple as in the basic game spells do make Wizards more powerful than Fighters at higher levels (ala 3.5) but introducing martial powers levels the field for a more balanced game.

Gritty & Cinematic Options - the basic game would have a general high fantasy feel with easy play being front and centre. This chapter could include optional rules to change the feel, for example in the basic rules resting overnight could mean recovering all hit points, but here there could be rule for lingering rules that say if a single attacks inflicts damage that exceed your Con Score (or other threshold) you take a Wound meaning you cannot recover a specific amount of HP until you heal that wound (requiring perhaps two days bed rest).

Other options could include Hero Points that allow dice re-rolls etc.

There could even be a chapter for FATE like Aspects!

So for example you could play D&D with Races and Skills, but no Advanced
Classes, Feats or Tactical combat. Or you could play the basic game with no Races or Skills but with Tactical Combat and Powers.

This would allow the game to support anything from basic like D&D to something like 3.5 or 4e, and would also ease players into the game by adding a layer of rule one at a time.


DigitalMage wrote:

I hope people are underestimating what WotC mean by modular, I am hoping for a game that is modular not in terms of expansions, but what is in the core books - something that Paizo are very much not doing.

This would allow the game to support anything from basic like D&D to something like 3.5 or 4e, and would also ease players into the game by adding a layer of rule one at a time.

DigitalMage, while I like how you're thinking, the modular layout you proposed would make writing adventures impossible because you would never know which "modules" the group who is buying the adventure has chosen to use in their campaign. Having or not having any one of your modules would potentially create a TPK or having the group stuck without any choices on how to proceed.


Not neccessarily. Options that the players don't have would also be not available to enemies. And in 3rd and 4th Edition, there were always so many options that you could never know which abilities and resources the players would have and which not. Or even just the number of characters.
Often the exact level of the characters would be unknown as well. You always have to write adventures in a quite flexible way that does not rely on a specific group constelations.
But it is something the developers should keep in mind. All optional modules would have to benefit players and enemies equally.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Yora wrote:
But it is something the developers should keep in mind. All optional modules would have to benefit players and enemies equally.

Definately, and maybe it will require NPC stat blocks to be clearly seperated out, so Racial Abilities can be ignored if you're not using Races, Skills can be ignored if you're not using skills etc.

Re skill checks etc, it could be written like "Have players make an Intelligence/Decipher Script check DC 15" - if you're not using Skills its an Intelligence check with a GM awared +2 or +5 bonus if the PC has a background relevent to deciphering languages, or to do with the content of the document. If you are using skills its a Decipher Script check. Ditto for things like Dexterity/Stealth, Wisdom/Perception, Charisma/Bluff etc


DigitalMage wrote:

For example my idea of a modular D&D book:

First couple of chapters present the core of the game, very basic, with no races, just four clases Fighter, Rogue, Cleric and Wizard. There would be no skills, just advise to use Ability checks (perhaps with half level bonus like 4e) and if the PC has an appropriate background to give a +2 to +5 bonus. Combat would use abstract zones so minis are not needed. There would be no combat manouvres.

The next lot of chapters could be entirely optional sets of rules:

Races - Each race could have minimum and maximum starting ability scores rather than ability score modifiers (ala Earthdawn), so they overlay perfectly with the basic game. Give each race some specific self contained abilities and you're done.

Advanced Classes - Add new classes like Bard, Barbarian, Monk, Ranger etc

Adventuring Skills - Rather than GM adjudication of giving a +2 or +5 bonus to tasks that fit a PC's concept have a set of core adventuring skills like 4e that can be trained or not (and perhaps even "double trained" to give a specialisation). Each character has a specific number of skills it can train at char gen and then every 3 levels or something. This could list class skills if really needed but that would cause interaction between modules.

Background Skills - Add in Craft, Profession and similar skills that can be trained using a seperate pool of training uses than Adventuring skills, so you can bolt this on seperately without having to...

Your post just made me think of something. My initial reaction to "modular" was positive (despite having little or no interest in 5e). However, how in the hell to you write an adventure for such a system? If you stick to the basics, you're leaving prep for GMs that use more "game pieces". GMs buy modules to save on prep.

Maybe you can't. Maybe you hope 3PPs will carry that water for you. (They won't again in large numbers - especially if there's a ton of modular/option levers that can be applied.)

In any case, if WotC thinks rulebooks alone will be enough to "unify the fanbase" behind 5e, (as they did with 3e & 4e) I think that they are sadly mistaken.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm just not willing to give wizards of the coast any more of my money. They have enough of it (or had). I cringe when I really think of the amount of money I spent as a kid on magic cards and then later on more magic cards and 3.0 and 3.5 products. And loyalty is rarely rewarded by them, soon your purchased products will be obsolete so you need to purchase new stuff. Paizo has made a significant effort to prevent this kind of effect. I am more confidence with Jason, James, and Lisa at the helm of my hobby then I am of the faceless corporation that is Hasbro. It is as simple as that.


BPorter wrote:

Your post just made me think of something. My initial reaction to "modular" was positive (despite having little or no interest in 5e). However, how in the hell to you write an adventure for such a system? If you stick to the basics, you're leaving prep for GMs that use more "game pieces". GMs buy modules to save on prep.

Maybe you can't. Maybe you hope 3PPs will carry that water for you.

To me, it's more than that -- they keep talking about one system to rule them all... er, a single gaming system where we can all be playing the same game -- except that, to me, the very modularity they're talking about means that isn't true (or, rather, true In Name Only). Imagine the fun of trying to find and explain things to other gaming groups -- I mean, right now, if I tell people I'm running a Pathfinder campaign, then they know what to expect (in the same way that if I tell people I'm running a Mechwarrior 2ed, SR 4ed, Classic ED, whatever...) -- and if they don't like the feat-tree, Vancian, etc, etc, -- then they know not to play. But what will it mean that you're running a "D&D-5e" game? I have to imagine that modules are at the Campaign and not Player level, because I can't see how you can run a game when characters use actively different mechanics (rather than options)..

And, to be honest, I think the other reason it makes me shudder is that I have too many bad memories of people showing up with Splatbooks and all but forcing the GM to accept crazy-build characters - some of which were rules-legal (sadly), but many of which were based on, shall we say... creative... interpretations of the new rules -- and I don't love the potential for someone bringing in their "modular" character that makes use of modules that other people don't have.... Especially because history tends to show rather clearly that later options tend to be more powerful than earlier ones due to power creep (after all, you want the new stuff to be "cool" and for people to have a reason to buy it... and I'll say Wizards had the same problem with booster pack sets for M:tG more than once along the way...)


I guess the big question in my mind is: how many versions of the Draconomicon will they be able to justify this time around? Let's see, Chromatic, Metallic, Gem, Planar....


Modular does not equal good necessarily. I'm thinking about Gurps here and how many different sets of ideas can be brought to a table. That Elven Starpact Warlock whatever example above might just be spot on as far as modular goes.

Dark Archive

I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with. If they are using feedback from Monte's L and L feature, then they have some interesting ideas cooking. I am not a fan of 4th edition, I did not buy a single 4th product, but I'm still willing to give them a chance. I'm honestly hoping I love it and they put out Darksun for it. I was very sad to see the new Darksun and know I could never play it.


Tilnar wrote:
To me, it's more than that -- they keep talking about one system to rule them all... er, a single gaming system where we can all be playing the same game -- except that, to me, the very modularity they're talking about means that isn't true (or, rather, true In Name Only). Imagine the fun of trying to find and explain things to other gaming groups -- I mean, right now, if I tell people I'm running a Pathfinder campaign, then they know what to expect (in the same way that if I tell people I'm running a Mechwarrior 2ed, SR 4ed, Classic ED, whatever...) -- and if they don't like the feat-tree, Vancian, etc, etc, -- then they know not to play. But what will it mean that you're running a "D&D-5e" game?

I dunno. I already see so many differences from game to game, and always have - whether due to setting, house rules, DM style, etc - that I can't imagine this will be any more problematic than before.

I don't think D&D has ever been a single unified entity - but almost every game, no matter the house rules, still had a solid and similar core. I suspect the same to be true here.

The Exchange

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At present, I'm cautiously optimistic. We might end up with good system out of DnD Next.

This presents no threat to Paizo or Pathfinder. Paizo aren't going to put themselves in the position of being dependant on anyone else for the system used for their APs ever again, so Pathfinder is safe. Depending on the license, Paizo may even be able to devote a page of each AP to how to convert that for whatever the finished system is called - big win.

They have good folks designing this, so that's another good sign. However, what is coming out at the moment is pure marketing. The stated goal of a modular system conflicts directly with the stated goal of unifying the community. A modular system will do nothing to help the community get together and game. At best (for WotC) it will lead to a community that is just as fractured, but all playing different, incompatible sets of modular add-ons to 5ed. Everyone will have their own favoured set of modular add-ons.

They have also stated that it is up to the fans what era of the Forgotten Realms they want to play in and that they intend to support it all. That implicitly doubles the amount of development effort that they would have to apply - I don't believe it.

At present, I get the impression of a big company releasing polished statements designed to appeal to the audience. I'm going to get in on the playtest and see what the reality is before forming a further opinion.

Scarab Sages

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I kinda get the feeling that everything that we're being told right now (and it isn't much) is marketing flim-flam. Though I am jaded.


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Speaking as someone who played D&D for 30 years (1978-2008), spent several thousand dollars on gaming materials, and who has a real sentimental attachment to the game... I have to say that I'll give 5E a look out of curiosity, but I don't think I'll be playing it. Pathfinder is my game now.

It was surprisingly easy to make the break, and I have no interest in undoing it. The only thing I really miss is the Forgotten Realms, but they ruined that too thoroughly to repair. Unless they retcon the "Spellplague" and everything that followed it completely out of continuity, there's nothing left there for me either.

4E has fallen into a virtual tie with Pathfinder for the title of best-selling tabletop RPG, despite having major corporate backing, a 40-year-old household name brand, and a lot more money. The owner of my local games store tells me Pathfinder is now vastly outselling 4E in her shop. I think 5E is less a "money grab" and more a necessary bid for survival before the grey-suited, un-sentimental folks on the Hasbro board of directors, who think "gaming" means the blackjack table at Mohegan Sun, decide to yank out the plug.

Dark Archive

Dark_Mistress wrote:

They are saying all the right things right now. But I am curious when it really comes down to it, will they actually be able or willing to do it.

I also really want to know what their stance on a OGL or something along those lines will be. Since 3pp is the main thing that keeps me playing Pathfinder and 3.x before that. I like niche products that only 3pp are going to do.

To quote a friend of mine:

I suspect that while WOTC will try to use the Paizo fan feedback system, they will implement it badly due to the corporate nature of Hasbro. Further, I doubt they'll be able to capture again the folks that have come over to pathfinder and bring them back to 5th. And they have other fence mending to do...I know some 4e folks that liked the edition that feel a bit burned that 5th is already coming out.

Too early to tell much of anything.

Dark Archive

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Scott Betts wrote:


If everyone shared your attitude, fantasy tabletop gaming would be a shivering husk of itself in twenty years or so.

I'd think revamping and rereleasing the game every 3-5 years like has been happening since 3.0 release is much more of a danger to FTG then his attitude is. You burn out your player base and their good will much faster that way.


I would say they completely cut and pasted their 4th edition press releases except for one thing that gives me the slimmest glimmer of hope:

Quote:
Monte Cooke

If it does not include open license then I am not interested at all, the best things about 3.x was anything WoTC did not have the opportunity to hit with their homogenization ray.


Matthew Trent wrote:
I kinda get the feeling that everything that we're being told right now (and it isn't much) is marketing flim-flam. Though I am jaded.

It strikes me that it's much more difficult to get away with marketing flim-flam when people are actively testing your product out pre-release in the public sphere, as we'll soon see them doing.


carmachu wrote:
I suspect that while WOTC will try to use the Paizo fan feedback system, they will implement it badly due to the corporate nature of Hasbro.

I'm almost certain that Hasbro will have little to nothing to do with hwo fan feedback is handled. Wizards of the Coast is in charge of this project. I don't think your friend knows what he is talking about.

Dark Archive

carmachu wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


If everyone shared your attitude, fantasy tabletop gaming would be a shivering husk of itself in twenty years or so.

I'd think revamping and rereleasing the game every 3-5 years like has been happening since 3.0 release is much more of a danger to FTG then his attitude is. You burn out your player base and their good will much faster that way.

I agree. A way too fast turnover that does not catch as many new players as planned and grates on the established fanbase.


Also, there are lots of people who make the same charges at paizos announcement to ask for player feedback to improve the final game. Like nobody ever listened to anything the players said and those who pointed it out where banned from the forum and their posts deleted.
So yeah...

Liberty's Edge

DigitalMage wrote:
Dracovar wrote:
And hey, "modular" is a great buzzword for "lots and lots of expansions we can sell"
Stefan Hill wrote:
So Paizo are already modular, not seeing WotC's idea as novel. So in answer to the OP - I would say WotC intentions are to replicate what Paizo is doing already.

I hope people are underestimating what WotC mean by modular, I am hoping for a game that is modular not in terms of expansions, but what is in the core books - something that Paizo are very much not doing.

For example my idea of a modular D&D book:

You just described 'Zeb' Cook's 2e AD&D!

Contributor

Scott Betts wrote:
carmachu wrote:
I suspect that while WOTC will try to use the Paizo fan feedback system, they will implement it badly due to the corporate nature of Hasbro.
I'm almost certain that Hasbro will have little to nothing to do with hwo fan feedback is handled. Wizards of the Coast is in charge of this project. I don't think your friend knows what he is talking about.

You might want to note this paragraph in [url: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/9329-Speak-Your-Mind-in-the-Next-Version-of-Dungeons-Dragons]Greg Tito's article over at the Escapist:[/url]

Quote:
Previous editions of the game had play testing periods, but Wizards restricted access to freelancers or those connected to the company and those tests were ineffectual at best. I was in a play testing group for 4th edition back in 2007, and we submitted a 30 page annotated document of what we felt worked and what didn't work with the rules we played. Other than my name among the hundreds of play testers in the back of the 4th edition Player's Handbook, nothing I submitted made it into print. Our feedback was summarily ignored, and Mearls admitted that was essentially true of all the feedback Wizards received from the 4th edition play test.

The article does note that they'll be trying to get away from that this next time, but previously, yes, they did ignore all the feedback they got which doesn't inspire much confidence.


Will they have an NDA? I kid!

I own all of the core and FR 4E products, but have never played them. They sit on a shelf in case my game groups wants a departure from Pathfinder, and we decide to give it a shot.

I'm semi interested in a 5E for the same reason. Something to play other than pathfinder when we need a break.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
The article does note that they'll be trying to get away from that this next time, but previously, yes, they did ignore all the feedback they got which doesn't inspire much confidence.

Sure, I'm not arguing that they were good at handling feedback. I'm just pointing out that it's sort of ridiculous on its face to imagine Hasbro having anything to do with direct decisions over which feedback gets listened to and which feedback doesn't. This is a WotC project. Hasbro is pretty hands-off.

Liberty's Edge

Scott Betts wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
The article does note that they'll be trying to get away from that this next time, but previously, yes, they did ignore all the feedback they got which doesn't inspire much confidence.
Sure, I'm not arguing that they were good at handling feedback. I'm just pointing out that it's sort of ridiculous on its face to imagine Hasbro having anything to do with direct decisions over which feedback gets listened to and which feedback doesn't. This is a WotC project. Hasbro is pretty hands-off.

What are you basing this off, exactly?

I grew up in the shadow of the Hasbro factory back in the '80s... they have kept up with the increasingly competitive market they live in by offshoring and putting profit first like most other American corporations. Which is no more a knock on them than any other company - US consumers have made the cheapness of goods a priority for decades, and increasingly shifted their spending to services (your cable bill didn't get to where it is overnight).

In the end, though, WoTC answers to Hasbro, and I'm not sure how they'll take it if WoTC goes to them trying to reverse some of the more divisive business decisions they made in the 4E days, like offering PDFs again or doing away with the expectation of a MMO-like monthly revenue stream represented by DDI.

It seems as premature to make definitive statements like 'Hasbro won't be involved' as it is to assume that Hasbro's going to be all over this from top to bottom.

I'm hopeful that they'll follow through on what they've implied, but right now things are so vague that the end result could be practically anything. Modular could mean just 4E's Red Box rehashed or a return to something resembling the OGL - no idea.

Cautiously optimistic, I guess. Hopefully they don't plan on charging for books in whatever form the playtest takes, so we can see how things will unfold without investing much in the meantime.

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