Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is DnD 5e Retreating From Its Goal of Encompassing All Editions Feel in One Set of Rules?

I'm still a bit confused by Mike Mearls' latest article about Wizards in 5e.

I thought the plan was to have a Vancian styled wizard with minor at will powers like a bolt of force (so the wizard isn't useless when his memorized spells are spend - L&L Column from 2/27). Or maybe if he has a different specialty, he might instead get something like Tenser's Floating Disk as an at will.

Now it seems like the at will powers are being bumped up, and the vancian styled spells are getting throttled back.

It and of itself, not a big deal. It's a new edition, I expect change. However, it doesn't fit the initially stated goal of one system allowing for play of the different editions, at least in feel.

I'll make an uniformed guess that the release of the public beta play test rules for D&D 5e at the end of this month will also indicate a change of direction for 5e.

There will be less of an emphasis of trying to squeeze nearly 40 years of previous D&D gameplay experience and expectations into one core rule set. It's an impossible goal if you ask me, and one that has been holding the design team back.

Not that I expect 5e to be a game I will want to play. I've seen very little in Mike's articles that describe a game that fills my desires.

That being said, I have little desire to play Pathfinder (although I would play PF Basic Box in a second - it is really good) but it is the most successful game out there right now.

I am most likely not the audience that WotC needs to target for a successful 5e. Now the question becomes - can they actually design a successful 5e?


  1. Good questions! Though like you, I am not this edition's target audience.

  2. Based simply on intuition I'm inclined to agree.

    I take the magic-user as outlined by Mearls is a leitmotif for 5e - it will be lipservice to older editions and substantively not a game I want to play.

    Moreover, "what would Gary do?" Is poli-speak for how do we do what we want and spin it to make it palatable to older gamers.

    It's a shame because there are just scads of people interested in playing D&D(TM) if it was in a style to satisfy their TSR gameplay preference. The amount of funding generated on Kickstarter alone should be sending them a very clear message that TSR gamers are legion and have an interest in supporting their hobby.

    This just adds further to the argument that they must support multiple editions.

  3. More, there are 'TSR gamers' were had barely started school when TSR ceased to be.

  4. Honestly I say re-release either 1e or BECMI and call it D&D classic. Revamp and update the old modules a bit and sell it. Come on the cost of doing this would be minimal to Wizards with a chance to make a good deal of profit. They can then release 5e as something along the line of D&D Advanced and if they can somehow create a conversion book, they can move some players from 'Classic' to 'Advanced', if they are so inclined.. And Erik I play in two PF campaigns.. and the rules are crunchy as granola but Paizo has done a fantastic job of taking the 3.5 rules to the next level..

  5. Monte Cook left again. 5e is doomed.


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