D&DNext - D&D 5th edition, a light version of PF in my humble opinion.


4th Edition

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I just signed up for the playtesting of D&D 5th edition, they want to emulate what Paizo did with PF so they can release a version with as few flaws as possible and deliver what the people really want.
I read the material provided, deemed as "confidential" and not for distribution, I don't know if someone else here read the stuff but it seems a lighter version of PF with optional rules and complex negligible mechanics (such as life points recovery) just to give the sensation things have changed.
Any input?

Shadow Lodge

I don't really think so. It seems to me to be more akin to the pre-d20 editions of D&D than it is to 3.X or Pathfinder. And by the way, Paizo didn't invent the concept of playtesting.

Liberty's Edge

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Kthulhu wrote:
I don't really think so. It seems to me to be more akin to the pre-d20 editions of D&D than it is to 3.X or Pathfinder. And by the way, Paizo didn't invent the concept of playtesting.

Agreed. If you read over it a few times it reeks of 2e far more than PF. Removed a lot of the issues 3e installed in the game - most of which PF inherited.

S.


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So it's closer to 2E..... There was a lot wrong with 2E, that's when I stopped playing D&D and started playing Rolemaster and GURPS because they were better games.


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Describing any iteration of D&D as a "version of PF" -- light or otherwise -- is profoundly bizarre.


bugleyman wrote:
Describing any iteration of D&D as a "version of PF" -- light or otherwise -- is profoundly bizarre.

^ Like.

Shadow Lodge

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The 8th Dwarf wrote:
So it's closer to 2E..... There was a lot wrong with 2E, that's when I stopped playing D&D and started playing Rolemaster and GURPS because they were better games.

There's a lot wrong with Pathfinder (and d20 in general) as well.

The Exchange

Having played all the editions through the years, I feel it is more like a hybrid of 2 and 3 and then lightly spiced with other versions.

Definitely one thing we have to understand is that, even in this more expansive playtest release, we're still seeing only part of the system so I'd be loathe to label this 'light' etc., until the full system is in my hands.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Even though I haven't played editions prior to 3.5 (apart from a few best forgotten sessions of AD&D) but even so the playtest does give me an old school feel.

It also seems like a lighter combination of 3.5 and 4e for me.

It doesn't remind me of PF really, only in so much as PF reminds me of 3.5. Even the current skill list for DDN is more reminiscent of 3.5 (Spot, Listen, Search, Use Rope) - though for me that is a bad thing (I wish it were more like 4e's Skill List.

I am liking it though and have my third session of playtesting tonight.

I can definitely see me buying this and it finding a place alongside my 3.5 and 4e stuff.


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Try the new HACKMASTER 5ed, it destroys all contenders.


The "Task Resolution" mechanics are very much D20, as seen in both 3e and 4e. D20 + bonus vs DC, as opposed to the wide variety of systems in 2e. A lot of the rest of it reminds me far more of 2e, at least once the kits-era took off. Base classes modified by the extra features you select. It almost makes me want to call it AD&D, 3rd edition. Though there are things that are unrecognisable from previous versions of D&D, Bounded Accuracy for example.

The 8th Dwarf wrote:
So it's closer to 2E..... There was a lot wrong with 2E, that's when I stopped playing D&D and started playing Rolemaster and GURPS because they were better games.

To be exact, they are games that are good at different things compared to AD&D 2e. Things that you valued more. Someone who wants speedy combat resolution is likely to think 2e is better than Rolemaster.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:
Describing any iteration of D&D as a "version of PF" -- light or otherwise -- is profoundly bizarre.

I hear that Alec Guiness makes a mean Ewen McGregor impersonation!


so far its a mix if 1ed, 2ed, castle and crusades, and a little of 3.X and very little of 4.0

I like where they are going with it.... combining saves and skills into the same sub-system (they are all attribute checks)is a very elegant solution.

I also like the fact that you can have characters of vast level differences play together, and they all contribute.


Bluenose wrote:

The "Task Resolution" mechanics are very much D20, as seen in both 3e and 4e. D20 + bonus vs DC, as opposed to the wide variety of systems in 2e. A lot of the rest of it reminds me far more of 2e, at least once the kits-era took off. Base classes modified by the extra features you select. It almost makes me want to call it AD&D, 3rd edition. Though there are things that are unrecognisable from previous versions of D&D, Bounded Accuracy for example.

The 8th Dwarf wrote:
So it's closer to 2E..... There was a lot wrong with 2E, that's when I stopped playing D&D and started playing Rolemaster and GURPS because they were better games.
To be exact, they are games that are good at different things compared to AD&D 2e. Things that you valued more. Someone who wants speedy combat resolution is likely to think 2e is better than Rolemaster.

Hmmm combat in Rolemaster was very quick for us - intiative, bleeding, limbs lopped off more bleeding, death or surrender.

Rolemaster everything was front loaded into character creation. So actual play was very fast.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Third session of my latest playtest using the Reclaiming Blingdenstone adventure. We had a couple of combats and a good deal of exploration and we also leveled up the characters, all in about 3 hours.

Also neither of the two combats felt like they needed maps and minis, just a description from me as GM. It all worked pretty smoothly and this is coming from someone with one of each of the WotC Dungeon Tiles sets and a Paizo map pack / flip map subscriber!

I think this will be my go to game when I want a lighter / simpler D&D to play whilst 3.5 and 4e will get use when I want more crunchy options.


DigitalMage wrote:


I think this will be my go to game when I want a lighter / simpler D&D to play whilst 3.5 and 4e will get use when I want more crunchy options.

Not so fast...remember what you see is the baseline...

By what I understand there are going to be a ton of options.

Besides I rly like the way they took on fighters...much better then pathfinder fighters.

The Exchange

Currently I'm attempting to '5th Edition' the D&D Rules Cyclopedia.

I'm including the Gnome and Goblin both of whom are throwbacks to the old D&D where elves were both fighter and Wizard (and had to choose which class they were each day). I decided the Classes available were based on the HD type of the Races: Gnomes d4: could be Guild-gnomes(Wizard/Thief) and the Goblins d6: could be Cultists(Cleric/Mystics (a D&D version of the Eastern Monk)).

The Exchange

Nunspa wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:


I think this will be my go to game when I want a lighter / simpler D&D to play whilst 3.5 and 4e will get use when I want more crunchy options.

Not so fast...remember what you see is the baseline...

By what I understand there are going to be a ton of options.

Besides I realy like the way they took on fighters...much better then pathfinder fighters.

I like what they are doing with Wands...the whole Magic item of spell storing is going to open up my 5th edition Rules Cyclopedia where Wizards will download a spell (or spells) into a magic item of spell storing as payment or as a mission-tool it is going to create a game where PC Wizards are going to have to research their own spells 'between adventures' using their own resources to build their own spell-books. That means magic is like a Phone Recharge. Owned by the provider - not by the User.

The Flaw with fighters in D&D Rules Cyclopedia was that Weapon Mastery slots were separate from Skills - while both were increased with experience they were not experience points that increased their power - rather use of slots for further ranks.

I think the future is putting experience into individual skills. Imagine a few thousand exp devoted to fighting with a dagger - so you get a bunch of bonuses to base damage and to-hit rolls. A Wizard with a +3 damage Dagger bonus is going to maximum damage - sufficient to kill a goblin with a single dagger throw. A fighter with +19 to hit bonus gets a near-automatic hit with the rock he just threw and along with a +19 bonus built on a 'kill-shot' skill can take out the overlord with a pebble...as long as he doesn't roll a one or the overlord hasn't committed huge amounts of personal experience to some kind of 'evade missile' skill to invalidate attack by ranged assassins (we all love those moments when the BBEG catches the flying Dagger that came at him while the fellow had his back turned. Yeah that guy definitely had evade missile weapon skill ranks).


Reading further I can see that customization in D&DNext is reduced since all feats (also maneuvers in the case of fighting classes), skills and other customizable options come in blocks (professions, backgrounds, classes and such)


3.5 fanman wrote:
Reading further I can see that customization in D&DNext is reduced since all feats (also maneuvers in the case of fighting classes), skills and other customizable options come in blocks (professions, backgrounds, classes and such)

Which I like since it reduces the need for system mastery.

Which I dislike since it makes it harder to build to a concept, unless that concept matches an existing background/class etc.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Specialities and backgrounds are meant to be easy delivery methods for skills and feats, but it has been stated that you will have the option to choose stuff individually if you like (and for Specialties that is even in the playtest).

So basically you get the best of both worlds, packages & pre-laid out paths of progression for those who don't have system mastery, and complete customisation for those who want it.


DigitalMage wrote:

Specialities and backgrounds are meant to be easy delivery methods for skills and feats, but it has been stated that you will have the option to choose stuff individually if you like (and for Specialties that is even in the playtest).

So basically you get the best of both worlds, packages & pre-laid out paths of progression for those who don't have system mastery, and complete customisation for those who want it.

Which means you need system mastery, because it will always be better to choose individually. If I can take the customization route to fit my concept, someone else can take it to max DPR (or whatever). I don't see a way out of the trap.


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thejeff wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:

Specialities and backgrounds are meant to be easy delivery methods for skills and feats, but it has been stated that you will have the option to choose stuff individually if you like (and for Specialties that is even in the playtest).

So basically you get the best of both worlds, packages & pre-laid out paths of progression for those who don't have system mastery, and complete customisation for those who want it.

Which means you need system mastery, because it will always be better to choose individually. If I can take the customization route to fit my concept, someone else can take it to max DPR (or whatever). I don't see a way out of the trap.

It's not really a "trap" so long as the utility gap between a character created by someone with complete system mastery and a character created by a novice is managed. It's okay for the guy with a lot of system mastery to be a little more powerful than the novice. Someone who dedicates himself to mastery of a game's rules should expect to see that dedication manifest itself as some kind of advantage in play. That's how pretty much every game works. The real problems start showing up when that utility gap gets large enough that the novice begins to feel like he is unable to meaningfully contribute, or when the highly-proficient player no longer feels challenged.

The pre-planned paths are, I imagine, intended for the sake of convenience and new players. It allows you to create a functional character without having to familiarize yourself with all of the game's rules.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Which means you need system mastery, because it will always be better to choose individually. If I can take the customization route to fit my concept, someone else can take it to max DPR (or whatever). I don't see a way out of the trap.

As Scott has stated, Specialities and Backgrounds make it more likely a player who isn't interested in system mastery can make a competent character than if there was no such guidance and the player was just picking feats and skills from a long list.

So, yes Skill Mastery and the option to individually choose feats and skills will likely lead to a more powerful character than one created through Backgrounds and Specialities, however that doesn't mean you need system mastery.

Basically, Specialities etc will prevent newbie and casual players to avoid choices that are mutually exclusive (PF example: Vital Strike & Spring Attack) and more likely to choose stuff that has synergy (in PF taking Combat Reflexes with a feat that gave an attack bonus on AoOs).

It would also avoid a player missing a required feat in a feat chain and avoiding some less effective choices; e.g. a Pathfinder player choosing the Stealthy feat in PF because he wants his ranger character to be super stealthy, but isn't interested in being an Escape Artist, when taking Skill Focus (Stealth) would actually be a better choice (+3 to Stealth rather than just +2).


Its looking good so far and i n the recent L&L artcle they have addressed a few of the complaints from the last packet. Next packet hints at make it seem to resemble Pathfinder in some ways such as the clerics getting a healing pool.

Pathfinder has alot of problems. D&DN is kind of rough/raw atm but they do have the elements of a good game in there.


Scott Betts wrote:
thejeff wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:

Specialities and backgrounds are meant to be easy delivery methods for skills and feats, but it has been stated that you will have the option to choose stuff individually if you like (and for Specialties that is even in the playtest).

So basically you get the best of both worlds, packages & pre-laid out paths of progression for those who don't have system mastery, and complete customisation for those who want it.

Which means you need system mastery, because it will always be better to choose individually. If I can take the customization route to fit my concept, someone else can take it to max DPR (or whatever). I don't see a way out of the trap.

It's not really a "trap" so long as the utility gap between a character created by someone with complete system mastery and a character created by a novice is managed. It's okay for the guy with a lot of system mastery to be a little more powerful than the novice. Someone who dedicates himself to mastery of a game's rules should expect to see that dedication manifest itself as some kind of advantage in play. That's how pretty much every game works. The real problems start showing up when that utility gap gets large enough that the novice begins to feel like he is unable to meaningfully contribute, or when the highly-proficient player no longer feels challenged.

The pre-planned paths are, I imagine, intended for the sake of convenience and new players. It allows you to create a functional character without having to familiarize yourself with all of the game's rules.

The are plenty of games that don't reward system mastery beyond understanding how the game works. It is a design choice. A lot of games do choose to reward it, that doesn't make it a requirement.


thejeff wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:

Specialities and backgrounds are meant to be easy delivery methods for skills and feats, but it has been stated that you will have the option to choose stuff individually if you like (and for Specialties that is even in the playtest).

So basically you get the best of both worlds, packages & pre-laid out paths of progression for those who don't have system mastery, and complete customisation for those who want it.

Which means you need system mastery, because it will always be better to choose individually. If I can take the customization route to fit my concept, someone else can take it to max DPR (or whatever). I don't see a way out of the trap.

and it gets new players into the game quick with the pre-made packages.


Zardnaar wrote:

Its looking good so far and i n the recent L&L artcle they have addressed a few of the complaints from the last packet. Next packet hints at make it seem to resemble Pathfinder in some ways such as the clerics getting a healing pool.

Pathfinder has alot of problems. D&DN is kind of rough/raw atm but they do have the elements of a good game in there.

care to share a link to the artical I would like to give it a read


I suspect this and this are what are being referred to.


Yes its the second link Bluenose posted.


bugleyman wrote:
Describing any iteration of D&D as a "version of PF" -- light or otherwise -- is profoundly bizarre.

This is so true. Since Pathfinder is a direct copy of 3rd Edition D&D with some homebrew rules thrown in. It makes me chuckle when people allude to D&D copying Pathfinder in any fashion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
theroc wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Describing any iteration of D&D as a "version of PF" -- light or otherwise -- is profoundly bizarre.
This is so true. Since Pathfinder is a direct copy of 3rd Edition D&D with some homebrew rules thrown in. It makes me chuckle when people allude to D&D copying Pathfinder in any fashion.

I can absolutely see what your saying, but in truth the people @ Paizo were in many cases deeply involved in the workings of the 3rd Edition. So my choice of words would be a continuation of this Edition, that improved it with the largest playtest I have ever seen or been part of.


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The good things about Pathfinder. Its based on 3.5. The bad things about Pathfinder. Its based on 3.5.


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The biggest problem with D&DX will always be that it is produced by Wizards of the Coast. They do one thing well, and that is create games where people have to keep buying more in order to stay in the game. This works FOR them with MtG. It will be the end of D&D. Paizo has embraced the spirit of the game and its players and continues to produce amazing material without forcing people to buy a new version of it every few years. Wizards of the Coast, unfortunately, have no understanding of the spirit of the game. They understand only the spirit of gain, and their desire to make more money off of such a cool game will be the end of it, I fear. Thank you, Paizo, for picking up where TSR left off! Keep it up!

Wizards, I hope you choke on your mana!

Liberty's Edge

Jeremi Finn wrote:

The biggest problem with D&DX will always be that it is produced by Wizards of the Coast. They do one thing well, and that is create games where people have to keep buying more in order to stay in the game. This works FOR them with MtG. It will be the end of D&D. Paizo has embraced the spirit of the game and its players and continues to produce amazing material without forcing people to buy a new version of it every few years. Wizards of the Coast, unfortunately, have no understanding of the spirit of the game. They understand only the spirit of gain, and their desire to make more money off of such a cool game will be the end of it, I fear. Thank you, Paizo, for picking up where TSR left off! Keep it up!

Wizards, I hope you choke on your mana!

Where T$R left off - that would be producing enough splat books and campaign settings to have enough mass to form a black hole and follow that up by going bankrupt....


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Stefan Hill wrote:
Where T$R left off - that would be producing enough splat books and campaign settings to have enough mass to form a black hole and follow that up by going bankrupt....

I'll take the black hole if it got me FR + Al-Qadim + Spelljammer + Planescape, thanks.

Liberty's Edge

Jeremi Finn wrote:

The biggest problem with D&DX will always be that it is produced by Wizards of the Coast. They do one thing well, and that is create games where people have to keep buying more in order to stay in the game. This works FOR them with MtG. It will be the end of D&D. Paizo has embraced the spirit of the game and its players and continues to produce amazing material without forcing people to buy a new version of it every few years. Wizards of the Coast, unfortunately, have no understanding of the spirit of the game. They understand only the spirit of gain, and their desire to make more money off of such a cool game will be the end of it, I fear. Thank you, Paizo, for picking up where TSR left off! Keep it up!

Wizards, I hope you choke on your mana!

I doubt they will as they got rid of mana burn awhile back. Plus, I'm sure they've got a counterspell in hand in case things get bad.

To have a counter opinion to yours, though, I'm fine with WotC and I like the way 5e is looking and how easy it is to play so far. They've also found the spirit of the game that I'm interested in playing where as I don't really feel any drive to play 3rd edition games any longer (Pathfinder, included).

Liberty's Edge

Arnwyn wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Where T$R left off - that would be producing enough splat books and campaign settings to have enough mass to form a black hole and follow that up by going bankrupt....
I'll take the black hole if it got me FR + Al-Qadim + Spelljammer + Planescape, thanks.

Throw in Ravenloft and me and my black coveted 2e books will be jumping into the event horizon also.

New =/= Better in all cases.


My main question....

Is it tactical-lite? Or do we have the same over reliance on miniatures and stopping to break out a battle mat frequently?


Oh and Planescape/Ravenloft with a non-tactical heavy version would be of great interest.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Sunderstone wrote:

My main question....

Is it tactical-lite? Or do we have the same over reliance on miniatures and stopping to break out a battle mat frequently?

Compared to 3.5, 4e and Pathfinder it is much less reliant on miniatures - if you felt 4e was a "board game" compared to 3.5/PF then 3.5 & PF will feel like board games compared to D&D Next :)

When I ran a play test I ran about half my combats without miniatures or even a drawn out map, simply describing the action.


DigitalMage wrote:
Sunderstone wrote:

My main question....

Is it tactical-lite? Or do we have the same over reliance on miniatures and stopping to break out a battle mat frequently?

Compared to 3.5, 4e and Pathfinder it is much less reliant on miniatures - if you felt 4e was a "board game" compared to 3.5/PF then 3.5 & PF will feel like board games compared to D&D Next :)

When I ran a play test I ran about half my combats without miniatures or even a drawn out map, simply describing the action.

Which version of the playtest? I only actually played with the first and a little bit of the second. The first was much as you describe, maybe even more so. The second seemed a little more tactical and from what I've seen of the later ones they were getting more so as they added rules.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Which version of the playtest? I only actually played with the first and a little bit of the second. The first was much as you describe, maybe even more so. The second seemed a little more tactical and from what I've seen of the later ones they were getting more so as they added rules.

The 13th November pack (the How To Play rules are the same as 29th October pack).

I agree extra rules have been added to give the same effect as AoOs, but done in a simpler way that doesn't rely on squares and exact positioning (basically if you move out of the reach of a foe it gets a Reaction to attack you, but theoretically you could circle one another without provoking as long as you stay in reach).


What they are shooting-for is more a blend of every edition, taking the best parts of each (which, theoretically, includes 4th edition).

I was keeping up with the playtest for awhile, but then I got bored with it. From what I've seen it was more like a blend of 2e and 3e - it may have evolved since then.

Personally, I am looking forward to it. I have high hopes. More competition in an industry always means better products for consumers (and more choices).


DigitalMage wrote:


When I ran a play test I ran about half my combats without miniatures or even a drawn out map, simply describing the action.

In theory we can do that with 3.5/ PF as well. But half the feats and combat rules in the current game rely on exact positioning via squares that pretty much require stopping the game to map stuff out, use battle mats with minis, etc.

I'm hoping that Next (;at least enough to get me to take a look) will be mini-optional. With little to nothing dependent on exact positioning.
Say what you will about AD&D, 2E etc, but it was easier to run and stay in the game without needing a board. We still used miniatures for the important battles but they were purely optional.
If next goes this route, at the very least ill pick up the Core Books.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Sunderstone wrote:
DigitalMage wrote:


When I ran a play test I ran about half my combats without miniatures or even a drawn out map, simply describing the action.

In theory we can do that with 3.5/ PF as well.

Well, yeah, but as you said a lot of stuff from 3.5, PF and 4e relies on exact positioning, whereas in D&D Next it doesn't so much, e.g. Leaving a threatened square versus moving out of reach of an opponent.

So I think you may be happy with D&D Next - really to be sure though, check out the playtest, its all free stuff!


I'm not a "beta" type of guy. I'll buy the final PDF of the PH at least. I'm a little encouraged by your posts. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Sunderstone wrote:
I'm not a "beta" type of guy. I'll buy the final PDF of the PH at least. I'm a little encouraged by your posts. :)

It still may be worth checking out the playtest documents, they are pretty light (the How To Play PDF from the 29th October pack is only 24 pages) and fairly quick to read (this coming from a notoriously slow reader).

Its just a really simple system, using Ability score checks, attacks and saves for pretty much everything (I never understood the need for Fortitude, Reflex and Will saves in D&D when you already had the base ability scores, no other RPG I had played needed that extra level of stats; now D&D Next is in line with my thinking).

Also the Advantage and Disadvantage mechanic is really nice, along with the whole flattened maths / bounded accuracy focus.


Its a little boring in some places but its a playtest. If you look hard enough you can find elements of every edition in there.

Its seems to be heading back towards pre 3rd ed with modern d20 mechanics and being rules light. They also seem to be going for less system mastery although they will never get rid of it all.


DigitalMage wrote:


Sunderstone wrote:
I'm not a "beta" type of guy. I'll buy the final PDF of the PH at least. I'm a little encouraged by your posts. :)

It still may be worth checking out the playtest documents, they are pretty light (the How To Play PDF from the 29th October pack is only 24 pages) and fairly quick to read (this coming from a notoriously slow reader).

Its just a really simple system, using Ability score checks, attacks and saves for pretty much everything (I never understood the need for Fortitude, Reflex and Will saves in D&D when you already had the base ability scores, no other RPG I had played needed that extra level of stats; now D&D Next is in line with my thinking).

Also the Advantage and Disadvantage mechanic is really nice, along with the whole flattened maths / bounded accuracy focus.

I have the December level 1-20 playtest material. Printed it all out (minus the adventures). Over 200 pages. There is a lot of stuff in this one. I'm fairly happy with the rules although you could nitpick about some things. I certainly prefer it to 4E and it's comparing decently to 3.x. They have a lot of playtesting to do though, so we'll see how it turns out in the end.

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