My feelings about 5E D&D


4th Edition

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Shadow Lodge

The point is, many people do have very valid reasons and to be honest, WotC has earned all the "not even going to give it a chance" by their own actions and attitude.


Rockheimr wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Likewise, the people who hate 4E, hate WotC, hate Hasbro, have already decided they hate 5E, and are convinced that 4E killed their puppy...their opinion probably matters very little either, since there is very little potential for a sale with them, period.

I don't think wotc share that opinion. (Aside from anything, imho, they can't afford to.) Their oft-stated aim is primarily to draw back precisely the customers they lost over the course of 4e's short lifespan, 'to unite' the split D&D customer base.

That's probably why you can find (quite easily - page 1 of a google search) forums where 4vengers are spitting fire and brimstone (and I mean really HOT flames!) because they regard the 5e stuff revealed so far as extremely '3e/PF' rather than 'building on 4e's mechanics'.

Wotc are doing their best to sell the new edition to those who didn't like 4e. The question is ... will it work.

Whether it's successful or not, 5e will not be just a somewhat advanced version of 4e - that'd be death for the edition.

Actually, I think WotC is just tired of the BS and crying. Really, when you read D&D forums and other places that discuss D&D (specifically) 9/10 there will be multiple anti-4E or hate-hasbro threads and, honestly, enough is enough. I firmly believe they're just tired defending a game they developed and enjoy to people who love to hate. This whole D&D:next is designed to give the players the game the players want (hence modularity). Want a highly tactical game? Here are some rules. Want a strong story element with little fuss with mechanics? Here's a few less rules. Want to make character creation indepth and unique? Here are some modular rules for ya. Want characters that are 1-dimensional with the mechanics and enjoy simplicity? Here are some rules that don't use other rules. That way, someone can't say "WotC killed the Fighter" or "Wizards are just blasters now!" or "Wow, why do Rogues suck so much?" or "Gee, Rangers really have NO direction what-so-ever!!". Because there will be optional rules for all of these aspects to give the player what they want.

Does this directly insult 4E people? No, I understand where they're coming from and why they're going where they're going. I'm just as sick of all the BS too. So lets make sure 5E/D&D:next can appeal to a HUGE host of people and not just the people who've left or the people of 4E.

Liberty's Edge

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To be honest wotc did make some mistakes imo. Could have handled some things better. so while i'm not saying they are saints or anything some of the flak imo is undeserved. Too often either here or other fourms talk about anything D&D and someone just has to throw a anti-4E comment into the mix. I could udnerstand if it was an anti-4E thread or topic. Yet you can be discussing the merits of say Pathfinder and then some poster decides to take a cheapshot at 4E. While hiding their bad behavior behind freedom of speech while using it as an excuse. It's to the point where I have to word every thread here and elsewhere very carefully otherwise if I don't an anti-4E comments gets posted whehter its relavent to the topic or not.

As I said Wotc did in some cases deserve to get some flak. I may not agree with yet I can understadn and respect it. Except sometimes it's taken to extremes by certain segments of the fanbase. I just can;t understand someone who if thet hate Wotc, Hate 4E and 5E waste time even posting on a fourm. It's one thing to show an actual interest in 5E. It's quite another to indulge in anoter escuse to bash Wotc. I'm no saint weither and I have had my share of distruptove posts. Yet I'm honest about it and I don' hide behind freedome of speech when I do.


Diffan wrote:
Rockheimr wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Likewise, the people who hate 4E, hate WotC, hate Hasbro, have already decided they hate 5E, and are convinced that 4E killed their puppy...their opinion probably matters very little either, since there is very little potential for a sale with them, period.

I don't think wotc share that opinion. (Aside from anything, imho, they can't afford to.) Their oft-stated aim is primarily to draw back precisely the customers they lost over the course of 4e's short lifespan, 'to unite' the split D&D customer base.

That's probably why you can find (quite easily - page 1 of a google search) forums where 4vengers are spitting fire and brimstone (and I mean really HOT flames!) because they regard the 5e stuff revealed so far as extremely '3e/PF' rather than 'building on 4e's mechanics'.

Wotc are doing their best to sell the new edition to those who didn't like 4e. The question is ... will it work.

Whether it's successful or not, 5e will not be just a somewhat advanced version of 4e - that'd be death for the edition.

Actually, I think WotC is just tired of the BS and crying. Really, when you read D&D forums and other places that discuss D&D (specifically) 9/10 there will be multiple anti-4E or hate-hasbro threads and, honestly, enough is enough. I firmly believe they're just tired defending a game they developed and enjoy to people who love to hate. This whole D&D:next is designed to give the players the game the players want (hence modularity). Want a highly tactical game? Here are some rules. Want a strong story element with little fuss with mechanics? Here's a few less rules. Want to make character creation indepth and unique? Here are some modular rules for ya. Want characters that are 1-dimensional with the mechanics and enjoy simplicity? Here are some rules that don't use other rules. That way, someone can't say "WotC killed the Fighter" or "Wizards are just blasters now!" or "Wow, why do Rogues suck so much?" or "Gee, Rangers really have NO direction...

I have no doubt they're tired of the bull's eye on their back, but if I'm catching your meaning correctly, I'm going to have to disagree that a company would call for all hands to stop with a product that is nailing profit margins. I don't think 4E was bad enough that it's going to cause the company to implode, so much as I think that THEY think they can put out a product that people on a much wider scale are willing to purchase and play. That means more profits. Profits aren't the sole driving factor of WotC, but it's no doubt the biggest one. Forum flame wars and forum trolls are not going to influence the course of a company's product line, UNLESS these "flame wars" and "trolls" are a symptom of a much deeper problem within the product line, which would be reflected in drooping sales and losing one's stranglehold on a corner of the market to a competitor - a competitor using the same game system your company just decided to abandon. I do agree with you, a lot of the posters are simply bashing for the sake of bashing, but at the same time a great many of them get accused of doing the same for no other reason than expressing a dissenting opinion about the edition. Both sides of the fence do this. The "you're either with us or against us!" mentality stifles these discussions to a halt, each and every thread that pops up (Note: I am not accusing you of doing that here, just pointing out that the blame rests not just with the anti-4E disposition). I'd love to see discussions related to Edition vs. Edition not spiral into that territory, but there you have it.

At the end of the day, I think that WotC's employees, on an individual basis, are totally committed and totally enthusiastic about the products they are releasing. I believe that distinction needs to be drawn, even in spite of leveling accusations of dollar-chasing and profit margins obsession. It's kinda like when an obscure band finally strikes it big and starts making tons of cash, then the "sell out" labels are unrolled in full force. It's a business. They're here to make money. It doesn't lessen their commitment to their product, but money pays the bills. Marks missed mean jobs lost, and (as has been said thousands of times) people gots ta eat.

Liberty's Edge

Beckett wrote:
I disagree. One of my biggest issues with the whole thing is that WotC pulled all of D&D's prior games from the market, specifically the PDF's

I think that move, whilst possibly motivating by removing its own prior editions, was more driven by the fear of piracy (an over reaction) - I say this because they also pulled the 4e PDFs as well (luckily I bought the 4e core books in PDF but am annoyed I didn't buy PHB2.

But yeah, pulling PDFs was a stupid move IMHO and I hope it will be a decision they reverse as there are loads of 3.5 and 4e PDFs I would like to buy.

Beckett wrote:
which I had paid for under the assumption that I can redownload them whenever I needed.

Your beef againt WotC in this instance may actually be misplaced, rather your issue should perhaps be with the providers through which you bought the PDFs (DriveThruRPG.com or the like) who perhaps made claims that they couldn't back up.

Presumably the contract WotC had with the PDF sellers allowed them to pull the PDFs and disallow future downloading of purchased PDFs, so in that case the sellers should have made that clear.

I do remember DriveThruRPG.com stating that the limit of downloads for a single product was limited and indicating that they recommend buyers download and back up their PDFs.

Beckett wrote:
No, to me the hate for 4E and WotC is perfectly valid

That's cool, we all have different experiences of games companies, I for example still harbour bitterness towards Paizo for initially indicating that they were going to keep 3.5 in print, and then bringing out what amounted to a new edition yet still "lying" on their marketing by saying "3.5 thrives" and "3.5 compatible". My bitterness though doesn't stop me boycotting Paizo though as I still evaluate each product on its own merits rather than by what the publisher did in the past (or even continues to do).


DigitalMage wrote:


I think that move, whilst possibly motivating by removing its own prior editions, was more driven by the fear of piracy (an over reaction) - I say this because they also pulled the 4e PDFs as well (luckily I bought the 4e core books in PDF but am annoyed I didn't buy PHB2.

That's a pretty good point, I think. I didn't realize 4E sourcebooks were initially available in PDF form.


Finn K wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

As a 4E player, I'm perplexed at this perceived 'splat book a month' model. Which books are you talking about? I think you can play 4E with a DDI subscription and the rules compendium - in fact I think the DDI discourages purchasing splat books.

Is it perhaps a reference to the early releases? Where they spread the various classes among three Player's Handbooks and so forth? Since, as I understand it, they've explicitly stated their intention is to avoid that this time around and make sure every core class is available in the core, 'first book'.

I'm gonna admit, 'splat-book-a-month' is drawn from the post I was replying to-- but it did seem to me, during the time that I was playing 4E, that WotC was pushing about a hardcover book a month (sometimes more) with crunchy rules in each one, so I didn't think the model was off-- I could be wrong, since I stopped playing 4E quite a while ago. However, I do think Hasbro (and their stockholders) are going to expect a level of profits from this that are quite a bit higher than the level of profits that would satisfy many other game companies in this business... so I don't think following Paizo's smaller/slower sales model will work out for WotC-- which is what I was really getting at in that post.

While I've admitted it's speculation based on what we see going on-- that was already my take on why we're seeing a new edition already-- it's not that 4E wasn't profitable (it almost certainly was making a profit), and not that it wasn't successful (by many company's standards, it probably was)-- it's that it wasn't profitable enough or "successful" enough, by the expectations Hasbro has for its subsidiaries. Now, I may be wrong...

Finn K, based on both of your posts, you seem like a very smart fellow, and I agree with most of what you said. Regards, KGM


Sebastrd wrote:

In the first two years 4E was in print, they averaged a "splat book" every two months. In the second two years (running through August 2012) the rate decreased to one every four months. If you include DMG and setting type books and monster books, they'll have averaged one book every 45 days over four years. That doesn't include adventures or campaign settings.

I agree with Steve - DDI actually discourages the purchase of splat books since you can get all of the rules information in one place. I also think that an aggressive schedule of expanding rules options decreases the lifespan of the system.

It's possible, though, that 5E will buck the trend. Since it sounds like "splat books" will introduce optional systems instead of simply expanding on the existing rules, we may not feel like we're drowning in a sea of rules bloat quite so quickly.

Sebastrd, WoTC put out 15 Hardcovers during the first 12 months of its existence. I counted them faithfully at the time. After that, I admittedly stopped counting. It is difficult for me to imagine them reducing their hardcover releases to only 1 per 4 months. After 2-3 years of saturation however, I suspect that players weren't buying the books that were released in great numbers, hence the reduction in frequency of releases. This occurrence in turn contributes to the company's push for the new edition. Player's Handbook 1's inevitably sell more copies than Player's Handbook 3's or 4's (or whatever number 4Ed was up to...)

The problem with this business model is that it effectively locks the company in to having to produce a new edition every 3-4 years. Would you accept having to update a New Operating System with your personal computer/laptop every 3-4 years, that was NOT backwards compatiable with the previous edition? And with computers, not only will the next edition of Windows (or whatever you use) be backward compatible, you won't have to update if you don't want to/ or don't purchase a new computer.
Ultimately, I think that d&d works better as a "Mom and Pop" type of business that it was set up as originally. What WoTC wants in terms of profit and churning out product are, in my humble opinion, not in the best interests of the game.


Killer, did you even read my post?

Dark Archive

Sebastrd wrote:
Am I really the "fanatic"?

I think the average message board post has a tendency to create a false sense of black and white. Actual, logical discourse gets truncated into the least words possible and nuance and inflection are lost.

I think even the haters, are likely "less hateful", than first glance would suggest if one were to have a more appropriate communication format for debate - like in a pub over beers :)

I don't hate WotC, I just choose to take the view that when I consolidate everything that happened during the lead up and release to 4E (pdfs, insulting advertising, insulting developers, *some* of the sacred cow slaughering, wizards.com forum shenanigans,etc etc) that they are not a company I choose to do business with anymore. Each of those could be a conversation topic taking a couple of hours, but instead, on average I'm restricted to just typing: "WotC won't get my money!", because 30 seconds later it's either leap on by one of the 4E Crusaders, or buried in the next 30 posts that pop up instantaneously, and either way turns into a discussion not worth having.

Unfortunately, for WotC, they are doing business in a world now where you have a heavily invested and largely educated (meaning news travels fast) consumer base that has access to every mistake, miscommunication, and misdirection ever propagated by the company and it's very difficult for a company to crawl out from underneath the rubble of being crushed by the internet (Sony is still paying for the badwill it earned during the spyware on CDs incident...)

Liberty's Edge

DigitalMage wrote:
That's cool, we all have different experiences of games companies, I for example still harbour bitterness towards Paizo for initially indicating that they were going to keep 3.5 in print, and then bringing out what amounted to a new edition yet still "lying" on their marketing by saying "3.5 thrives" and "3.5 compatible". My bitterness though doesn't stop me boycotting Paizo though as I still evaluate each product on its own merits rather than by what the publisher did in the past (or even continues to do).

Um, I can run any 3.5 product pretty much "as is" with Pathfinder. Heck, I can run any 3.5 product "as is" with Kirthfinder.

Dark Archive

I'll try to not get misunderstood, I loved WotC for bringing D&D in my life, (late starter, didn't had any relation with the sport back when TSR had the reigns).

I had purchased almost every D&D related title since 3rd edition and everything just blown my thirst for the game into new levels.
Then repetition started to become apparent and introduction to new ideas was not play-tested enough in order to amend any fault at them.
Thus powergaming became a new addiction for me trying to find every hole in the rules or create eternal loops through lack of proper interpretation.

Now I want blame WotC for Powergaming (as a matter of fact I'm quite proud of myself for being able to do it, even though I disdain of doing it), it just made it so much easier to do this with all those new concepts and ideas without backing up their proper functionality.

Personally I doubt I'll consider to try the 5th edition, since so far Pathfinder suits my tastes and spends enough time to test its products before releasing them to the public.

IMO Quality is the most important factor to successfully keep a satisfied community of consumers.

Liberty's Edge

houstonderek wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:
That's cool, we all have different experiences of games companies, I for example still harbour bitterness towards Paizo for initially indicating that they were going to keep 3.5 in print, and then bringing out what amounted to a new edition yet still "lying" on their marketing by saying "3.5 thrives" and "3.5 compatible". My bitterness though doesn't stop me boycotting Paizo though as I still evaluate each product on its own merits rather than by what the publisher did in the past (or even continues to do).
Um, I can run any 3.5 product pretty much "as is" with Pathfinder. Heck, I can run any 3.5 product "as is" with Kirthfinder.

Is your comment in regards to my the "3.5 compatible" jab I made? If so I imagine you are doing some conversion on the fly - it may have become so natural now that you don't think anything of it, but its coversion none the less. As someone who likes to play RAW, any conversion brings up some level of ambiguity and potential for different interpretations. Also some stuff just plainly is not compatible with 3.5 because it uses concepts not used in 3.5.

For example say I am running a D&D3.5 game and I hear good things about the Pathfinder Advanced Players Guide, yay I think it has a "3.5 OGL Compatible" logo on the back and buy the book. I then get it home and start seeing:

Favoured Class Options - how do they work in 3.5 where Favoured Class
merely determines how much XP penalty you take for multiclassing?

New Barbarian Rage Powers - Rage what? There are no such things as Rage powers in 3.5!

Bull Rush Strike - "Whenever you score a critical hit with a melee
attack, [...] If your confirmation roll exceeds your opponent’s CMD, you may push your opponent back as if from the bull rush combat maneuver." - what is CMD? Does my confirmation roll need to beat a Strength check made by the opponent? Or will that be too easy?

Dirty Trick and Drag - Again with the CMB and CMD!

Holy Vindicator Presige Class - Requirements are Channel Energy? What's that?

Horizon Walker Prestige Class - Only requires Knowledge (geography) 6 ranks and the Endurance feat so it should be balanced for someone to take as their 4th level, yes?

Traits, "Eyes and Ears of the City" - Perception becomes a class skill and gains a +1 bonus? I guess Perception covers Spot, what about Listen? Does it also include Search? 3 skills become class skills and gain a +1 bonus each? Maybe your GM will rule it only counts for Spot and Listen? Maybe only for one of those skills?

Basically, I do not feel that Pathfinder = 3.5 and should not be labelled as 3.5 Compatible (we're not using a generic term like Green Ronin's 3rd Era logo, we're specifying 3.5, not 3.0).

Put it this way, how would Pathfinder fans like it if Green Ronin slapped a Pathfinder Compatible logo onto the original d20 Freeport companion and didn't change a thing inside? If they bought it and saw all the 3.5 rules do you expect they would feel misled?


Diffan wrote:
Rockheimr wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Likewise, the people who hate 4E, hate WotC, hate Hasbro, have already decided they hate 5E, and are convinced that 4E killed their puppy...their opinion probably matters very little either, since there is very little potential for a sale with them, period.

I don't think wotc share that opinion. (Aside from anything, imho, they can't afford to.) Their oft-stated aim is primarily to draw back precisely the customers they lost over the course of 4e's short lifespan, 'to unite' the split D&D customer base.

That's probably why you can find (quite easily - page 1 of a google search) forums where 4vengers are spitting fire and brimstone (and I mean really HOT flames!) because they regard the 5e stuff revealed so far as extremely '3e/PF' rather than 'building on 4e's mechanics'.

Wotc are doing their best to sell the new edition to those who didn't like 4e. The question is ... will it work.

Whether it's successful or not, 5e will not be just a somewhat advanced version of 4e - that'd be death for the edition.

Actually, I think WotC is just tired of the BS and crying. Really, when you read D&D forums and other places that discuss D&D (specifically) 9/10 there will be multiple anti-4E or hate-hasbro threads and, honestly, enough is enough. I firmly believe they're just tired defending a game they developed and enjoy to people who love to hate. This whole D&D:next is designed to give the players the game the players want (hence modularity). Want a highly tactical game? Here are some rules. Want a strong story element with little fuss with mechanics? Here's a few less rules. Want to make character creation indepth and unique? Here are some modular rules for ya. Want characters that are 1-dimensional with the mechanics and enjoy simplicity? Here are some rules that don't use other rules. That way, someone can't say "WotC killed the Fighter" or "Wizards are just blasters now!" or "Wow, why do Rogues suck so much?" or "Gee, Rangers really have NO direction...

WOTC don't make big business decisions for such vague and emotional reasons as there are lots of nasty comments about a 'game they love' on the net. If it was still selling like chilled lager at an oasis they wouldn't give a hoot for what someone was saying an a web forum - and rightly not.

They are a business. They have made a business decision.

I agree though with the last bit of your post, they clearly are trying to appeal to both perceived sides of the divide. The question really is ... will they succeed in doing so? (It's a tall order after all.)

Dark Archive

Diffan wrote:
This whole D&D:next is designed to give the players the game the players want (hence modularity). Want a highly tactical game? Here are some rules. Want a strong story element with little fuss with mechanics? Here's a few less rules. Want to make character creation indepth and unique? Here are some modular rules for ya. Want characters that are 1-dimensional with the mechanics and enjoy simplicity? Here are some rules that don't use other rules. That way, someone can't say "WotC killed the Fighter" or "Wizards are just blasters now!" or "Wow, why do Rogues suck so much?" or "Gee, Rangers really have NO direction...

Which ultimately is why I'm taking a very conscious wait and see approach.

I honestly don't believe that the average consumer/player actually wants that many decision points.

iPods are popular because they put everything the consumer of those devices wants right up front, they don't have to make 44 seperate decisions about how their iPod looks and works when they turn it on.

Frankly, I think most groups will have a very hard time coming up with the consensus this much modularity might need. I know in my group there would in fact need to be more compromise for a system like this, than say what is required for a largely fixed system.

From a purely practical point of view, I have to admit as well that if I buy a (theroretically) 400 page systems/rules book, and only use the 25 pages of it, while the rest is optional ... I dunno, I think I might feel ripped off and also likely feel like I should have just bought a 25 page system.


Digital Mage wrote:
New Barbarian Rage Powers - Rage what? There are no such things as Rage powers in 3.5!

Actually, if you look at the 3.5 Barbarian, and then look at the Pathfinder barbarian, you will find many of the 3.5 abilities in the "rage powers" section. They primarily expanded options there.

The vast majority of your examples require minimal work to figure out. If it required none, it would just be a paste and copy of 3.5. Compatible does mean exactly equal in every way.

Shadow Lodge

I'd also like to point out there is a conversion guide for just that sort of thing.


Despite my distaste for 4E, I'm hoping some of the good things they have done make it in. I like the fact that racial abilities past darkvision/low-light vision matter past the first few levels. A reroll is much cooler than a +2 to a skill check.

I like the self-contained monster entries. Stopping the game because the GM is desperate to pull out something cool in order to prevent an encounter wipe but doesn't know what obscure spell X is slows things to a drag.

Liberty's Edge

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Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
The vast majority of your examples require minimal work to figure out. If it required none, it would just be a paste and copy of 3.5. Compatible does mean exactly equal in every way.

Okay this is dragging this topic off at a bit of a tangent, but I will respond anyway.

For me, compatible should mean no conversion, no ambiguity on how something works, no having to figure it out on my own, or second guess how my GM would interpret something. I recognise that this is not everyone's idea of what compatible means, but it is mine and I have at least some backing for my definition of "compatible":

"Capable of orderly, efficient integration and operation with other elements in a system with no modification or conversion required"
Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/compatible

"designed to work with another device or system without modification"
Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compatible

"able to exist or be used together without problems or conflict"
Source: http://www.wordreference.com/definition/compatible

Beckett wrote:
I'd also like to point out there is a conversion guide for just that sort of thing.

I am aware of such a guide, but it is focused on conversion from 3.5 to PF, not the other way around - but even then, that is conversion and so to me means it is not 100% compatible. If something is not 100% compatible then for me saying it is compatible is false advertising. Saying it is "largely compatible" would be fine.

Anyway, the point I was originally trying to make was in response to Beckett's post saying "No, to me the hate for 4E and WotC is perfectly valid" and more generally in regards to how people's personal experiences with games companies can create different feelings.

So whilst I can't always understand why some people hate WotC for insulting them during the launch of 4e (what they saw as insults of previous editions I saw as humorous nods to some of the less than stellar aspects of those systems) or for pulling all previous editions of the game from the market (I saw this as just a "fear of piracy" over reaction as they also pulled 4e PDFs) I have to accept that their perceptions of what took place, though different from my own, are no less valid. They are no less valid because those perceptions now determine how those people react to the games company and their reception of any new product or edition they launch (yay, I made this semi relevant to the thread!).

I put forth my experience of Paizo and the Pathfinder RPG as a contrast to the possibly more familiar "4e hate" to illustrate that my perceptions of Paizo's action engendered in me a feeling of bitterness towards Paizo that others will not have gained due to a different perception of Paizo's actions.

But just because many people did not perceive Paizo's action in the way I did, does not make my "bitterness" (it's not hatred) any less valid - just like Beckett's hatred of WotC is no less valid because I didn't perceive WotC's action in the same way he did.

Hopefully that explains the point I was trying to make.


DigitalMage wrote:
For me, compatible should mean no conversion, no ambiguity on how something works, no having to figure it out on my own, or second guess how my GM would interpret something. I recognise that this is not everyone's idea of what compatible means, but it is mine and I have at least some backing for my definition of "compatible":

That definition gets tossed out the window the moment there is a slight edition change. 100% is impossible the moment any changes are made.

But my perspective isn't trying to reverse engineer Pathfinder stuff so it doesn't overbalance 3.5, but trying to take 3.5 stuff so it fits into Pathfinder. Addition is easier than subtraction in most of these cases, as if you take the wrong things out, you might lose a large part of the feel of the whatever it is you are trying to modify.

DigitalMage wrote:
Anyway, the point I was originally trying to make was in response to Beckett's post saying "No, to me the hate for 4E and WotC is perfectly valid" and more generally in regards to how people's personal experiences with games companies can create different feelings.

Both the H4ters and the 4vengers can be trying at times. And yes, I am aware that there are versions of the same for Pathfinder, but they are much more likely to pop up on another board than here.

Liberty's Edge

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
That definition gets tossed out the window the moment there is a slight edition change. 100% is impossible the moment any changes are made.

Exactly, so Paizo should have not IMHO attempted to brand their PF products as 3.5 compatible if that is not possible due to changes made. The core rulebook should have simply had some blurb on the back and in the introduction stating that the Pathfinder RPG was designed to be largely compatible with the 3rd edition of the world's (2nd) most popular fantasy roleplaying game, and that players should be able to use their 3.0 and 3.5 material with only minor conversion (or words to that effect).

The marketing buzz was making it clear that PF RPG was becoming an alternative 4e or 3.75 if you will. That should have been enough IMHO.

Anything more, i.e. claiming 3.5 compatibility is to me false advertising.

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
Both the H4ters and the 4vengers can be trying at times. And yes, I am aware that there are versions of the same for Pathfinder, but they are much more likely to pop up on another board than here.

Yep, and I know that I must be trying on occassion when I let my bitterness to Paizo show, however unlike some 4e haters on these boards (and possibly some PF haters on other boards) I try to be relevant to the topic at hand (though this tangent shows it is not always possible) and balance my criticism of Paizo with thanks and praise where it is deserved.

Silver Crusade

DigitalMage wrote:
Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
That definition gets tossed out the window the moment there is a slight edition change. 100% is impossible the moment any changes are made.

Exactly, so Paizo should have not IMHO attempted to brand their PF products as 3.5 compatible if that is not possible due to changes made. The core rulebook should have simply had some blurb on the back and in the introduction stating that the Pathfinder RPG was designed to be largely compatible with the 3rd edition of the world's (2nd) most popular fantasy roleplaying game, and that players should be able to use their 3.0 and 3.5 material with only minor conversion (or words to that effect).

The marketing buzz was making it clear that PF RPG was becoming an alternative 4e or 3.75 if you will. That should have been enough IMHO.

Anything more, i.e. claiming 3.5 compatibility is to me false advertising.

Here's where I disagree with you, and agree with Jason. What you want in order to call something "compatible" is for the new product to be identical. And PF, while it is clearly derived from 3.5, is not identical to 3.5. As far as I'm concerned, 3.5 material is still compatible with PF (at least to my standards for using the word "compatible")-- I don't have any problem using 3.5 material in PF games, if I should want to.

Now-- taking PF material and trying to make it "backwards" compatible, into 3.5 games? probably not so much (haven't tried it yet). But it's kind'a like new Operating Systems-- depending on the OS, I expect to be able to run software from older versions on the new system (most of the time-- there are exceptions and/or software that's just too many versions back), but running software specifically written for the new system on an older version? Usually doesn't work. If it's as easy or easier to use 3.5 material in PF, than it is to get Windows XP software to run on Windows 7 (and in my experience, it is)-- I consider the 3.5 material "compatible". I'm not trying to run it on an identical system-- I expect adjustments to be needed (same as I, a "skilled computer user" type but not a programmer, can still go into the settings and change a few to make the software I'm trying to run play nice in Win 7), but minor adjustments do not amount to an incompatible product.

Liberty's Edge

Finn K wrote:
Here's where I disagree with you, and agree with Jason.

And that is cool, and part of the point I was making. People have different interpretations of things, and that interpretation can determine how people feel about a company. You intrepret "3.5 compatible" to mean largely compatible using 3.5 material in a PF game with a little bit of conversion, whereas I expect 100% compatibility. Therefore you see the logo as informative whereas I would see it as false advertising. Therefore you see Paizo in a good light (or at least indifferent based upon that logo) whereas I get a bit annoyed.

Finn K wrote:
What you want in order to call something "compatible" is for the new product to be identical.

I want the material labeled as compatible to work with the system it is stated as being compatible with, with no need for conversion, modification or debate.

Taking this issue to a broader scope, game companies like Paizo and WotC need to acknowledge that if enough people interpret an action in a way that leads to a negative attitude toward the company - irrespective of if the intent of the action was completely different than was perceived - the company needs to address that.

If many, many more people felt as I do that the 3.5 Compatible logo is false advertising and it was adversely affecting their purchase decisionsx and Paizo wanted to win over that group they may wish to remove the logo from future products and future printings of existing products.

In the case of WotC, even if they never intended to insult fans of the pre 4e systems in their marketing, or don't understand how anyone could take their marketing as an insult, they need to acknowledge the fact that it seems a significant number of people did take offence and did feel insulted.

So maybe WotC need to issue an apology (despite not feeling they have anything to be sorry for) and state how much they respect the pre 4e systems of D&D.

Maybe WotC need to realise that, even if their motive to pull PDFs was solely to combat piracy, some people interpretted it as a way to try to take away the previous editions in a cynical attempt to get everyone to play 4e. Maybe if they want to earn back some goodwill and try to get some people back on board to try out D&D Next they should ironically put the previous edition PDFs back up for sale.

This is the point I am trying to make, I am not trying to debate what compatible means, or whether WotC intentionally insulted their players etc - those are just examples. What I am trying to get across is that people have different interpretations of the same events and that can colour their feelings - and games companies need to acknowledge that and if necessary act on that if they want to try to win over those people.

As Beckett said, to him the hate for 4E and WotC is perfectly valid and whether we agree with his interpretations of events or not we have to accept that to him that hate is a valid reason he is not going to try D&D Next.


See, I don't go by the strictest dictionary definition when I see the word "compatible." It's just me, but I expect to have to convert a few things right out of the box. Even if the product is 100% legit 3.5e, every company has their own opinion on what's balanced and what isn't, and every single book I use(even the 3.5 ones) I have to convert at least a little bit for my group's games.

*cough BowofTrueArrowsfromSwordandFist cough*
Nightsticks? Anyone?

As long as the same basic framework is there, I can fill in the rest. Heck, I use lots of 3e books in my 3.5 games, and that's no different than using 3.5 books in PF games. There will always be a little double-take and second-thought when using cross edition stuff, so I'm just used to it.

My main issue with PF was that the "conversion guide" barely covered 10% of the actual changes made, and my groups keep walking into Gotcha moments when we find a thousand little changes nobody mentioned before. "What? Knock is different now too?" *throws away spell list*

Don't get me wrong. I like the changes, but there were so ****amn many I'll never fully feel confident playing PF rules the way I was with 3.5.


Anyone plan on actually discussing 5E here, or are we conceding yet another thread to the edition warriors?


bugleyman wrote:

Anyone plan on actually discussing 5E, or are we conceding yet another thread to the edition warriors?

Like this post does?

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Considering 5e hasn't been released, there isn't much to discuss, really. Wild speculation isn't any more entertaining than reliving 2009, really ;-)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
DigitalMage wrote:


Taking this issue to a broader scope, game companies like Paizo and WotC need to acknowledge that if enough people interpret an action in a way that leads to a negative attitude toward the company - irrespective of if the intent of the action was completely different than was perceived - the company needs to address that.

If many, many more people felt as I do that the 3.5 Compatible logo is false advertising and it was adversely affecting their purchase decisionsx and Paizo wanted to win over that group they may wish to remove the logo from future products and future printings of existing products.

So far-- you're the only person I've seen who has this issue with Paizo's use of the "3.5 compatible" logo. So, I don't know that there are many other people who feel the same way that you do (although I acknowledge that there may be many more, and I simply haven't noticed them yet). I think however, from what I've seen, that Paizo has been sensitive to customer's concerns (certainly to a much greater extent than I've seen from WotC-- btw, the correct interpretation of my opinion, re: Paizo's use of the "3.5-OGL compatible" logo is indifference. IMO-- it's simply part of a clear statement that PF is a "3.5 - OGL" based game).

DigitalMage wrote:


Maybe WotC need to realise that, even if their motive to pull PDFs was solely to combat piracy, some people interpretted it as a way to try to take away the previous editions in a cynical attempt to get everyone to play 4e. Maybe if they want to earn back some goodwill and try to get some people back on board to try out D&D Next they should ironically put the previous edition PDFs back up for sale.

I think the evidence is almost undeniable that either WotC's real motive in pulling PDFs was to try to cut off access to previous editions of the game, or that WotC committed an action bordering on the criminally-stupid in failing to understand how their stance would be taken... since the only effect on "piracy" of WotC's pulling legal access to PDF files, has been to greatly increase the prevalence of pirated D&D books on PDF (and other) formats. Go do a torrent search: you'll be able to find any D&D book you want, so long as you don't care that you're blatantly violating copyright laws getting them that way (note: I'm not advocating that anyone should engage in such piracy-- just pointing out that it's out there). Meanwhile, there's a lot less piracy of Pathfinder files... because a sizable portion of people are willing to buy the PDFs from Paizo and support the company, since the PDFs are legally available for a reasonably inexpensive price.

DigitalMage wrote:


This is the point I am trying to make, I am not trying to debate what compatible means, or whether WotC intentionally insulted their players etc - those are just examples. What I am trying to get across is that people have different interpretations of the same events and that can colour their feelings - and games companies need to acknowledge that and if necessary act on that if they want to try to win over those people.

You say you're "not trying to debate what compatible means"-- I'd advise that if you don't want responses to, discussion of, disagreement and agreement with, comments on, critiquing of, to start debates over, et cetera, the opinions, examples, discussion topics and subjects you post here-- then don't post them.

I agree with you that people have different interpretations of different events, and that that can color their feelings of those events-- and that game companies should acknowledge that if they are to be respectful to and win over their customers (not sure that "need" is the right word).

However, I don't think it's entirely acceptable for you to bring up "compatibility", make a clear statement about your opinion of what "compatibility" means-- and then apparently expect that your opinion of what compatible means shouldn't be challenged and discussed (which is how I read that "I'm not trying to debate..." line).

"Freedom of Speech" (and freedom to write), does not mean "Freedom from Replies" when you post in a public forum.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DigitalMage wrote:
Finn K wrote:
What you want in order to call something "compatible" is for the new product to be identical.
I want the material labeled as compatible to work with the system it is stated as being compatible with, with no need for conversion, modification or debate.

How is this different from requiring it to be identical?


DigitalMage's definition of compatible is not useful to me. What is useful to me is PF material, which I use in my 3.5 game. I do have to tweak it, because the munchkin level of PF is higher than 3.5, but that's no big deal.

I also use 1E and 2E stuff in my 3.5 game. It's just as easy. I haven't tried with 4E stuff, primarily because I've never purchased any. But I have in the past used Palladium, and even Arcanum for the alchemist before PF came along.

I think that 5E, as it has been described, will enable us to use materials we already possess, as per the Mike Mearls quote:

"We hope to create a system that allows players to use much of their existing content, regardless of the edition."

As far as I'm concerned, compatibility has nothing to do with "identical" material. It has to do with a DM who can adapt material in an effective way.

Liberty's Edge

Finn K wrote:
So far-- you're the only person I've seen who has this issue with Paizo's use of the "3.5 compatible" logo. So, I don't know that there are many other people who feel the same way that you do

I imagine I am very much in the minority and hence my use of the "If many, many more people felt as I do" phrase :)

Finn K wrote:
I think the evidence is almost undeniable that either WotC's real motive in pulling PDFs was to try to cut off access to previous editions of the game, or that WotC committed an action bordering on the criminally-stupid in failing to understand how their stance would be taken

I think its maybe a little of both, but given the fact that they also pulled their 4e PDFs and it coincided with a big lawsuit re D&D books being pirated I speculate it was more to do with the piracy fear(however stupid their reaction was).

Finn K wrote:
You say you're "not trying to debate what compatible means"-- I'd advise that if you don't want responses to, discussion of, disagreement and agreement with, comments on, critiquing of, to start debates over, et cetera, the opinions, examples, discussion topics and subjects you post here-- then don't post them.

Poor choice of words on my part, so apologies for that. What I meant was that I didn't want to turn this thread into a debate on compatibility - which is what I was starting to do by responding to those who commented on my posts. Basically I was trying to avoid the discussion going completely off topic (apologies bugleyman!)

My use of the compatibility issue was an example to try to illustrate my point, not the point of my message itself.

If anyone does want to pursue a discussion on what compatibility means to them and others please feel free to start a new thread and PM me the link (yay for PMs!) and I will happily join in the debate there. I imagine my interpretation of compatibility will be in the minority though :)


houstonderek wrote:
Considering 5e hasn't been released, there isn't much to discuss, really. Wild speculation isn't any more entertaining than reliving 2009, really ;-)

Actually, I beg to differ. It isn't that there is nothing to discuss...it's just that people interested in the discussion have given up this thread for dead.

Shadow Lodge

I honestly do not recall 4E PDF products at all. I am pretty certain the PDF thing happen just before 4E even came out, but I could be wrong. I'm pretty certain it did actually happen before 4E, as I vaguely remember those 4E article books (4E presents?).

Grand Lodge

Beckett wrote:
I honestly do not recall 4E PDF products at all. I am pretty certain the PDF thing happen just before 4E even came out, but I could be wrong.

From this web site (Maximum PC), it looks like WotC pulled their PDFs on 04/09/09 (with 4e being released on 06/06/08)...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Removed a post and replies to it. Fighty bits get vacuumed. This is known.


bugleyman wrote:
Anyone plan on actually discussing 5E here, or are we conceding yet another thread to the edition warriors?

Sure, I'm game to do that. I playtested D&D Next a few weeks back (there is a separate thread on that somewhere around here...).

Before I start my gaming background so you know where I am coming from. I played Basic rules from the Red box (circa 88 & 89), 2E (including the options and skills books released later in that edition), 3.0, and now I run 3.5 (with a sprinkling of Pathfinder rules). I have never played 4E mostly because I have the entire 3.5 collection and I like that rules set just fine. I have played and run several other gaming systems besides D&D and I have been playing RPG's for 23 years.

From what I saw there does not seem to be much backwards compatiblity it seems they are doing something "fresh". I say fresh because things are similar and yet different.

I like some of the new things I have seen which I can't get into in detail but it does hearken back to 2E somewhat. (In fact I did something similar for one of my games so I found that pretty interesting.)

There are some tweaks I did not like and in my feed back to WOTC I mentioned those things. I only played one session though so I did not get a chance to try out all of the new things released in the sample packet.

They should be releasing more packets over the next several months so I will update my other thread as they do so.

MY OPINION on D&D Next - fun and easy to play but I need to see more before I say it is the ultimate combination of all prior editions. Of course it is impossible to do that anyway as someone will complain about something, it's human nature.


Dennis Harry wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Anyone plan on actually discussing 5E here, or are we conceding yet another thread to the edition warriors?

Sure, I'm game to do that. I playtested D&D Next a few weeks back (there is a separate thread on that somewhere around here...).

Before I start my gaming background so you know where I am coming from. I played Basic rules from the Red box (circa 88 & 89), 2E (including the options and skills books released later in that edition), 3.0, and now I run 3.5 (with a sprinkling of Pathfinder rules). I have never played 4E mostly because I have the entire 3.5 collection and I like that rules set just fine. I have played and run several other gaming systems besides D&D and I have been playing RPG's for 23 years.

From what I saw there does not seem to be much backwards compatiblity it seems they are doing something "fresh". I say fresh because things are similar and yet different.

I like some of the new things I have seen which I can't get into in detail but it does hearken back to 2E somewhat. (In fact I did something similar for one of my games so I found that pretty interesting.)

There are some tweaks I did not like and in my feed back to WOTC I mentioned those things. I only played one session though so I did not get a chance to try out all of the new things released in the sample packet.

They should be releasing more packets over the next several months so I will update my other thread as they do so.

MY OPINION on D&D Next - fun and easy to play but I need to see more before I say it is the ultimate combination of all prior editions. Of course it is impossible to do that anyway as someone will complain about something, it's human nature.

Thank you for chiming in (though please be sure not to violate your NDA!).

Here's a (possibly?) safe topic: Art direction. I would love to see a return to 2E era art over 3E and 4E (I'm personally not a fan of WAR's style). More vistas, settings, etc., less emphasis on equipment and general badassery.


No art was included in the packet :-(

Don't worry about the NDA, my posts are very generic and don't even include data that is already public knowledge because of the NDA. :-)Just in case.

I am interested to see how they handle the Forgotten Realms time jump (which I was NOT a fan of)in D&D Next. I don't think they can go back in time (especially when all of the fiction has taken into account the time jump). I wonder if they will treat it the same way they treated Greyhawk in the 3.5 core book with the FR Gods being the generic Gods but there being very little flavor for Greyhawk.

I have already pre-ordered the release of the Realms book which gives a glimpse into Ed's home FR campaign setting so perhaps they will do something based off of that.

Liberty's Edge

bugleyman wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Considering 5e hasn't been released, there isn't much to discuss, really. Wild speculation isn't any more entertaining than reliving 2009, really ;-)

Actually, I beg to differ. It isn't that there is nothing to discuss...it's just that people interested in the discussion have given up this thread for dead.

a) you, of all people, never have to beg to differ with me, you have carte blanche ;-)

B) ewwww! you made me go to the varney place! ewww!

Silver Crusade

Beckett wrote:
I honestly do not recall 4E PDF products at all. I am pretty certain the PDF thing happen just before 4E even came out, but I could be wrong. I'm pretty certain it did actually happen before 4E, as I vaguely remember those 4E article books (4E presents?).

WotC's decision to pull all legal PDFs from the net, dealers, distributors, etc-- and to stop releasing any material in PDF format...

Happened right around the time that WotC released the 2nd 4E Player's Handbook. I remember since that was during the time when I was still playing 4E (with the gaming group I quit about 4-5 months later, because of my distaste for 4E)-- and I was rather annoyed, since I overwhelmingly prefer PDF files over physical books for my game materials (easier to carry around a laptop, than a backpack full of books-- especially on deployments, since this WotC decision occurred before I retired).


WoTC produce more PDF material than printed material. For $10 you can download thousands of pages, they just won't store it for you.

According to Digitalelf's link above, pulling the PDFs was 15 months after the release of 4E.

And to keep bugleyman happy - I would speculate that D&D:Next is going to follow the same digital-heavy approach. The DDI seems to me to be a cornerstone of their approach at the moment.

Silver Crusade

DigitalMage wrote:


Finn K wrote:
I think the evidence is almost undeniable that either WotC's real motive in pulling PDFs was to try to cut off access to previous editions of the game, or that WotC committed an action bordering on the criminally-stupid in failing to understand how their stance would be taken
I think its maybe a little of both, but given the fact that they also pulled their 4e PDFs and it coincided with a big lawsuit re D&D books being pirated I speculate it was more to do with the piracy fear(however stupid their reaction was).

You're probably right-- thus the "criminally stupid" comment in my post, regarding their decision... Piracy increased instead of decreased since their decision to pull PDFs, and WotC is no longer seeing any money for PDF sales.

DigitalMage wrote:


Poor choice of words on my part, so apologies for that. What I meant was that I didn't want to turn this thread into a debate on compatibility - which is what I was starting to do by responding to those who commented on my posts. Basically I was trying to avoid the discussion going completely off topic (apologies bugleyman!)

My use of the compatibility issue was an example to try to illustrate my point, not the point of my message itself.

Apology accepted. (I know I've been guilty myself of "poor choice of words" more than a few times on Paizo's boards, so I will not hold that against you or make a grudge out of it :) ).

I see what'cha mean about not wanting to derail the thread, but the compatibility issue-- what it means, what it doesn't mean-- what the consensus/compromise and-or irreconcilable positions answer(s) is(are)-- is (IMO) one of the most interesting questions brought up on this thread (and is, IMO, relevant indirectly to the 5E discussion-- since there's already large questions about 5E/Next's "compatibility" with material from prior editions). Fortunately or unfortunately-- and I've seen it in other people's posts and other threads already-- sometimes the most interesting, debate-worthy, potentially controversial issue one brings up, is precisely the comment/thought that the post's author considered a "throw-away example" or tangential issue that wasn't going to draw so much attention.

DigitalMage wrote:


If anyone does want to pursue a discussion on what compatibility means to them and others please feel free to start a new thread and PM me the link (yay for PMs!) and I will happily join in the debate there. I imagine my interpretation of compatibility will be in the minority though :)

Gimme about a week-- I'm dropping on threads right now to read and comment while taking short breaks from the massive loads of essays I have to write this week. Next week-- 1 set of classes will be done, and I'll be in the 1st week of a new term (and therefore will probably have more time), so if I remember, I'll see about starting such a thread and dropping you a line on where it is. Alternately, if someone else starts the thread sooner-- I'll lean in on my breaks from essay construction. :)

Silver Crusade

Steve Geddes wrote:

WoTC produce more PDF material than printed material. For $10 you can download thousands of pages, they just won't store it for you.

According to Digitalelf's link above, pulling the PDFs was 15 months after the release of 4E.

And to keep bugleyman happy - I would speculate that D&D:Next is going to follow the same digital-heavy approach. The DDI seems to me to be a cornerstone of their approach at the moment.

Steve--

When I still had a DDI subscription, right after WotC pulled PDFs from general sale everywhere, I saw very little PDF material and just about everything on DDI was online only, must be logged in to read... sure, you could copy/paste a lot of stuff, and maybe download a few things-- but most of it was not in download format, apparently intentionally (so that you'd have to keep paying for your subscription to retain access to the rules and other materials).

If that's changed, and now you can download all the rules and stuff... great! But it doesn't seem to fit their business model.


I can understand people who want the core books in PDF format being disappointed - I didnt mean to suggest that they provide PDF copies of the books. I was just responding to "WotC's decision to pull all legal PDFs from the net, dealers, distributors, etc-- and to stop releasing any material in PDF format..."

You can't download the books. However, WoTC are producing a substantial amount PDF-only content (including rules and flavor material not in the books) which you can save and print. I dont know much about the early days, but it appears to me that the Dragon and Dungeon content has been increasing over the last couple of years, both in quality and quantity, compared to what they were producing early on.

I also wan't arguing it's a good thing (it's one of the main reasons I'm likely to be disappointed by D&D:Next), but it does seem to me that people who arent DDI subscribers are not always aware of just how much material is made available via PDF.

Silver Crusade

Steve Geddes wrote:


I also wan't arguing it's a good thing (it's one of the main reasons I'm likely to be disappointed by D&D:Next), but it does seem to me that people who arent DDI subscribers are not always aware of just how much material is made available via PDF.

I'll keep that in mind. It does sound like DDI has changed a lot, probably for the better, since my subscription lapsed a couple'a years ago (2010).


Finn K wrote:
Piracy increased instead of decreased since their decision to pull PDFs...

Citation, please.

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