People who have been playtesting DnD Next, what are your opinions?


4th Edition


Hello, all!

I'm going to be starting a new game once I move in a couple months, and I'm looking at DnD Next to see if it's the system I should use. (The other choices would be 4e, Pathfinder, or possibly 3.5, which I'm much more familiar with.)

To those of you who have been keeping up with the playtest, what do you think of it? I got the first playtest packet, and tried it out, but it just didn't strike a chord with me (although the description of the developers' end goal seemed interesting). I haven't kept up since then, and I'm sure it's changed quite a bit. So here are some specific questions:

1. How much of the playtest have you played? (Some of it, all of it, only the beginning, only the end, etc.)

2. What edition/s did you play before this?

3. Would you say Next seems more fun, as fun, or less fun than the other edition/s you played?

4. How well would you say they've accomplished their goal of trying to blend the early-edition experience and the later-edition experience?
Would you say that DnD Next seems to encourage roleplaying more than combat (on par with, say, 3rd edition) or combat more than roleplaying (like 4th edition)?

I guess that last question is the most important of them. 4e is my favorite edition, since I very very much enjoy the combat system, but in my opinion, it made it difficult to encourage roleplay (since so much of the game was based around combat, and out-of-combat abilities were either costly, useless, or non-existent). And in this campaign I'm going to be running, I very much want to encourage roleplaying.

So let me know what you think! I am getting kind of excited about learning a new edition (despite my misgivings at first), but I really want some opinions before going through the trouble.

Thanks!


1. PLayed since the 2nd packet.
2. At the time we were playing Pathfinder, played BECMI-Pathfinder.
3. Packet 2 was fun at low levels. Follow up packets were meh to this is 4.5.
4. Meh for blending earlier editions stuff apart from a vagure goal of being simple (its not that simple). Compares well to 3rd and 4E in complexity I suppose.


UltimaGabe wrote:

Hello, all!

I'm going to be starting a new game once I move in a couple months, and I'm looking at DnD Next to see if it's the system I should use. (The other choices would be 4e, Pathfinder, or possibly 3.5, which I'm much more familiar with.)

To those of you who have been keeping up with the playtest, what do you think of it? I got the first playtest packet, and tried it out, but it just didn't strike a chord with me (although the description of the developers' end goal seemed interesting). I haven't kept up since then, and I'm sure it's changed quite a bit. So here are some specific questions:

1. How much of the playtest have you played? (Some of it, all of it, only the beginning, only the end, etc.)

Just the beginning.

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2. What edition/s did you play before this?

2e, 3e and 4e.

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3. Would you say Next seems more fun, as fun, or less fun than the other edition/s you played?

It's fun in short doses. Alas, the skill system is messed up and will continue to be. Game balance has serious problems that won't be fixed, just see "the ghoul incident". Monsters are generally weak.

If you're a fan of 4e, you won't like it. It's simpler than 3e, but probably less balanced (except the spells).

Generally. I was really impressed by the black dragon :)

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4. How well would you say they've accomplished their goal of trying to blend the early-edition experience and the later-edition experience?

Kind of. It's more balanced than 2e, so if you're a fan of it, you might like it.

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Would you say that DnD Next seems to encourage roleplaying more than combat (on par with, say, 3rd edition) or combat more than roleplaying (like 4th edition)?

Only a little. There was a background feature that seemed useful, but otherwise it's just like 3e and 4e. (IIRC they changed it, but maybe they only changed the name.)


Overall I enjoyed the time we spent playing Next during the playtest.

1. Probably played the first 2/3 of the test window. I only played, never DMed. We only ever played virtually, in sessions of 2-4 hours.
2. All of them except for original, to include playing Pathfinder.
3. About the same amount of fun. There were no show stoppers where our group just got sick of it or anything. We liked some of the newer mechanics like advantage. The simple character creation more like the old Basic game was refreshing. Liked the speed of play.
4. I think they've done well at blending the earlier style and simplicity of the game with some of the newer elements like a common core mechanic. It definitely works well for theater-of-the-mind type play. If you really love the tactical elements of 4E you'll probably need to wait for the tactical options to be released since the base game to me doesn't feel overly tactical. I wouldn't say it encouraged roleplaying a lot more than combat, any more than any earlier edition of the game, although it had built in background and specialty hooks that certainly added to that. It also didn't get in the way of roleplaying.


UltimaGabe wrote:
1. How much of the playtest have you played? (Some of it, all of it, only the beginning, only the end, etc.)

Several sessions of all the versions.

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2. What edition/s did you play before this?

B/X, BECM, 1e, 2e, 3, 4e.

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3. Would you say Next seems more fun, as fun, or less fun than the other edition/s you played?

More than some, not as much as others.

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4. How well would you say they've accomplished their goal of trying to blend the early-edition experience and the later-edition experience?

Badly. It's doing it's own thing within the general bounds of D&D, but it doesn't play like older editions and it doesn't have the options of newer ones (yet; that may change with more splats).

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Would you say that DnD Next seems to encourage roleplaying more than combat (on par with, say, 3rd edition) or combat more than roleplaying (like 4th edition)?

In theory the Traits and Bonds system should encourage more RP. Proof, Pudding, Eating, however. Till the rules actually appear and get played with, it's hard to tell.

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I guess that last question is the most important of them. 4e is my favorite edition, since I very very much enjoy the combat system, but in my opinion, it made it difficult to encourage roleplay (since so much of the game was based around combat, and out-of-combat abilities were either costly, useless, or non-existent). And in this campaign I'm going to be running, I very much want to encourage roleplaying.

So let me know what you think! I am getting kind of excited about learning a new edition (despite my misgivings at first), but I really want some opinions before going through the trouble.

Thanks!


1. The beginning, and the end, not the middle
2. BECMI, 3rd, PF
3. Yep. Fun. Big numbers, tactical move etc no longer there. Things are more mobile
4. Hope so. Too early to tell

Paizo Employee

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1. How much of the playtest have you played? (Some of it, all of it, only the beginning, only the end, etc.)

Started strong and tapered off as they moved forward.

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2. What edition/s did you play before this?

Rules Cyclopedia, 2nd Edition, 3rd, and a little 4th with Iron Heroes and Pathfinder on the OGL side of things.

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3. Would you say Next seems more fun, as fun, or less fun than the other edition/s you played?

I GM almost exclusively, so most of my thoughts on an edition are formed by their monster design. I'd say 3.x/Pathfinder's monster design is cluttered, 4e's presentation is better but the monsters have more moving parts than it needs, and earlier editions are at the right complexity level but didn't do enough to distinguish monsters.

Next's monsters are basically older monsters with some out-of-place 4e bits inelegantly stapled on. They might fix it by the time the Monster Manual comes out, but it's not something I'd buy without seeing that first.

Getting every new playtest packet and not seeing progress on the monsters (even as new monsters were added) quickly drained any enthusiasm I had to GM Next.

On the player side, my players really liked how it started quite simple, but it got more and more complex as the playtest went on. I'd say it started a bit more complicated than Rules Cyclopedia and ended up somewhat less complicated than Core Pathfinder or 4e.

And there's some amount of rules stuff that we know hasn't been revealed with Next, so it's more complicated than I'm saying there.

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4. How well would you say they've accomplished their goal of trying to blend the early-edition experience and the later-edition experience?

One of the unrevealed things I mentioned is the "tactical module" which will, in theory, allow groups to have a 4e-like experience. Last I heard it wasn't even certain it'd be out in the core books.

It doesn't feel like an early-edition experience anymore. There are too many fiddly moving parts, but still not enough to create a Pathfinder or 4e level of character-building.

You can opt out of feats (trading them for attribute boosts), which is pretty cool, but about the only thing I can come up with that speaks to that goal.

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Would you say that DnD Next seems to encourage roleplaying more than combat (on par with, say, 3rd edition) or combat more than roleplaying (like 4th edition)?

I think it might do okay on this front. Combat tends to run quite fast and doesn't have anything resembling 4e's tactical depth, so it doesn't draw the same level of attention at the table.

If you use a lot of skills... I'm not really sure what you'll think of the skill system. I haven't used the current one a lot, but my experience is that the bonuses get drowned out by the d20.

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I guess that last question is the most important of them. 4e is my favorite edition, since I very very much enjoy the combat system, but in my opinion, it made it difficult to encourage roleplay (since so much of the game was based around combat, and out-of-combat abilities were either costly, useless, or non-existent). And in this campaign I'm going to be running, I very much want to encourage roleplaying.

If 3.x/Pathfinder works for what you want and you already have the books, I'd say use that. You could probably also salvage 4e by only running the big set piece battles it shines with anyway.

Unless your players are really excited about Next, I'd suggest waiting it out to see what things look like after the core are released. There are still too many unanswered questions for me to suggest anyone jump in.

Well, I hope my rambling helped and good luck on your game, regardless of what system you run it in :)

Cheers!
Landon

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