Friday, February 10, 2012

Picking Apart My Picking Apart of Monte and 5E

I figured I'd explain some of yesterday's "rant".

When 5e was first announced, it was billed as a sort of Rosetta Stone of the various D&D systems. It isn't.

First, Monte tells us in reference to 5e "not talking about a bridge so you can play 1e and 4e at the same time". This was Monte correcting the marketing guys. And yes, it pissed me off, because that was the whole selling point.

The correction is that 5e deals with the "styles" of previous editions, which in this case comes down to "complexity". In my opinion, the different editions of D&D differ in more then just complexity but in goals and gameplay. Focusing on complexity will lose much of what makes each edition unique.

Then we have the whole issue of the DM deciding on which rules he's going to run with, and each player gets to decide which rules they want to design their characters with. That is not recipe for a successful game.

How do you balance an 0e styled PC with the powers of a 4e styled PC? Let alone make them both work in a game using 2e style as it's framework. BTW, how are the monsters being stated out? What is their default "style edition"?

Telling me that the default rules is to allow the players to use which ever "style" they want despite what the GM's "style" defaults to just pisses me off right there. Could it me an option? Sure. As the default, where the players will come in with that expectation and I'd have to immediately cut those expectations off at the knees - not a good decision on the part of WotC.

The DM buys the vast majority of the books and supplements in any edition. By empowering the PCs to play with various rules in the same game, the DM will have to know the rules for styles 0e-4e and the players will just have to know the "style" they chose? That's not empowering the players, that's burdening the DM.

WotC would be much better off designing the very best D&D game they can make, aimed at the targeted market that will give them the most success. Aiming to please all players of all editions will leave them pleasing few players of any editions.

I'm still pissed that I wont be able to seamlessly import modules from earlier editions. For me, this could be the game killer right there.


  1. or as DM you could say, "We're playing with this set of rules. I don't care what other add-ons or splatbooks there are, this is the set we are using."

    ...sorta like we do now.

  2. Wow...everybody is starting to figure out what I have been saying for weeks and having people crawl up my ass about it.

    You CAN'T make the game they were pitching. There are too many differences in styles and player types to say that everyone can sit down and play however they want at the same time.

    That's why I was getting pissed at people. They claim not to be stupid or sheep but they can't see that?

    And even though -C is probably pissed at me too I'm not mad hatin' on anybody and he already gave us a Rosetta Stone:


    I have watched the air get sucked out of the OSR over the past 6 weeks over this vaporware system that will never be anything when it's trying to be everything at once.

  3. The Monster stat box is a big question for me, and as far as DM's and Players, WotC and it would seem many WotC fan boys think DM's are evil, wall street, fat cats lording their wealth and power of the 99%.


  4. @callin - yes, I can easily declare what rules and books we are using, but 5e is declaring all is in by default. I don't like rules that will define me as a "dick" DM when I put limits on the players.

    @ADD Grognard - I think Monte could design a very playable, very usable new ruleset for D&D - but by using the "everything AND including the kitchen sink" method, he's is set up to fail

    @Eric - WotC Fan Boi Player's = OWS? yet another reason to fear 5e ;)

  5. @ADD Grognard

    I beg to differ. Haven't you tried the ultimate board game?


  6. Like ADD Grognard, I too am surprised that anyone thought this D&D utopia was going to happen.

  7. one can have hopes and dreams... isn't that how the US elected its current president? ;)

  8. @ Erik- What does that even mean?...

  9. eh, it means I'm straying to close to politics, something I like to avoid on the blog side. It amounts to the same empty promises the vast majority of politicians are known for... promise the world to get elected, then business as usual

    hmm... that does sam pretty close to the 5e platform, doesn't it? ;)

  10. Huh. Another one whose D&D Heartbreaker is going to get even more lost in the shuffle than all the other D&D Heartbreakers.

    The bird has flown. Knock it off with the D&D version of the Clone Saga.

  11. "one can have hopes and dreams... isn't that how the US elected its current president? ;)"

    Fair enough.

    Compromise sucks, don't it?

  12. Ok, let me pose one question...somebody try and get an answer out of WotC if they can.

    Ok, how is the game going to be played when the former 4e player sits there grumbling, flipping through the rules trying to find that spell that is now gone and how will he cast it, even if he did find it, with that knife stuck in his throat by the 1e playing who is tired of listening to his pissing and moaning?

    It's things like that I haven't seen addressed.

    Wait, that's starting to sound like politics...:)

  13. Erik Tenkar, I am a grognard from the early 1980s. I love OD&D, AD&D and get this, Fourth Edition (as well as several other non-D&D systems). I think you are too narrow in your preferences and tolerances. And more importantly my experience with players at countless tables tells me that most players will happily play any fun roleplaying game on offer. Even more so, the idea that the Fifth Edition will allow me and my friends who all have different tastes to play at the same table using the same game is exciting and tantalizing.


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