Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Do We Need 5E to Bridge the Different Editions?

D&D 5e is being billed as the Rosetta Stone for the different versions of Dungeons & Dragons. Is that what we need from it?

Yesterday's post asking readers (both on the blog and Google+) what they wanted and did not want in 5e generated some heated responses, especially on the G+ thread (250 comments - holy carp!).

It obvious that we know what we want, and what we dont want, in an RPG. Can a single game offer everyone in the hobby an experience that suits their tastes? Should one even try to bridge those gaps?

Monte's article on what each edition boiled down to was, in my humble opinion, a load of horse crap written by a marketing guy. Each edition has it's own feel, it's own personality that goes beyond mere rules. To think that you can capture such from each edition and combine it into a working whole, let alone a working whole that the majority of D&D players from all editions will flock to is a fools errand.

I think Monte, in his heart, knows that. He can either embrace the rules from 0e through 3e, or build them with 3.5e and 4e. He may be giving lip service to being all inclusive, but I suspect "certain restrictions will apply."

We don't need a new edition of D&D that tries to be everything and pleases no one. We need a game that respects the history of the brand.

None of us, from the Grognards through the fans of 4e NEED a new system. No one is obligated to play it, let alone but it.

If they want us, any of us, they need to decide which segment of their historical base they are looking to please, to bring back to the fold.

Judging from the success of Pathfinder, I think they've identified their target. Lets see how accurate they are in pulling it off.


  1. I honestly won't knock people for playing 5e (the same way I don't knock peeps for 4e.. I don't enjoy it and have no interest in playing it, but that's just me. You play what makes you happy).

    I think part of the problem here is (and I'll admit this grates me a lil) that WotC wants to be THE system. All the interviews I've read are always expounding how the importance of DnD, how awesome DnD is, and that TSR and WotC have always lead the way... Is there truth in that, absolutely? However there are now TONS of publishers that put out quality products (I know you're wanting to publicize your stuff but don't act like there aren't others out there).

    There doesn't NEED to be the one system. I play several different systems depending on the game I want to play. If it's Sci-fi, betcher ass it is Traveller. If it is pulp or I need a quick generic system it is Savage Worlds. Brutal quick and old school 1e or Castles and Crusades. If I want more crunchy I have Pathfinder.

    There is one other factor that I think is important as well that would be lost if people settled for the "one system to rule them all" and that's knowledge. I've learned quite a bit from reading various system rule books. This year I've read a ton and I've picked up some cool tricks or a different way to look at something. I doubt that WotC could offer all that in 5e, but I may be totally off base on that as well.

  2. Hey hey Tenkar! No need for a new system, anytime I see something new trotted out I get cynical about another run at my cash. While I respect much of Monte Cook's work, one system to please them all is impossible. Make a game that is fun to play and leave it the hell alone for a decade or two.

  3. @Padre - spoken like a true fan of DragonQuest ;)

    Safe to assume you are settled into your new digs? Welcome back!


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