Thursday, March 14, 2013

Looking Back at My D&D 5e Predictions From January 2012

You can see my original predictions for D&D 5e / Next here and here, but I'm going to copy them below in any case and make some comments now that the Beta is kinda sorta "open" and we have 14 months of updates to look at.

Tenkar's Tavern's Bold Predictions For Dungeons & Dragons 5E

No, I'm not the Amazing Kreskin, nor do we have him working here at the tavern. We do, however, have a scrying pool in the basement. It's filled with runoff from the privy above, so you know what it's full of ;)

Anyhow, here's my 5E predictions:

1 - Boxed Sets - Because boxed sets can actually get retail shelf space in places like Walmart and Target. (Book stores and Hobby stores are so 2002) B/E/C/M/I type set, with one time codes to activate your boxed set via the DDI codes packaged inside, with "bonus material" only available online. (I don't think we know the format it will release in yet)
2 - Expect some really onerous DRM for the online DDI/Whatever they're gonna call it. Because that's going to be the only way they'll put stuff online beyond what they do now. (I fucked this one up. Props to WotC for releasing the PDFs and the Collectible Reprints)

3 - D&D VVTT - The Vaporish Virtual Table Top - Wasn't this promised with the release of 4E? They even had this awesome die roller video (lifted from Fantasy Grounds). You were supposed to be able to buy digital figures and such. Would have been a nice money maker. I haven't checked on the VTT Beta in a while, but I suspect it's going to get a heavy push in 5E. Full release of the D&D VTT will come with 5E. Expect a fee system on a monthly basis, to get some of that World of Warcraft gold. (Dead. Done. Returned to sender. Maybe they'll license Roll20 ;)

4 - A return to "RolePlaying" - shorter combats, less need for battle-maps (but a robust system for those that like battle-map encounters), more unique character building, stats that actually mean something, rolling for Hit Points, etc. Still, expect a rule for everything and everything has a rule. Which sucks for roleplaying. (Definitely seems to be the case. Next is closer to 3e than 4e, and speeding up the game is certainly a stated goal)

5 - Even more "Organized Play" - Organized Play gives you repeat customers and brings people into their local game stores, which means more sales (at least one hopes so). If they can charge a small yearly fee, they will. I'm sure different fees will be part of a forthcoming survey. (Future still hazy - Try again later)

Alright, the fumes from the scrying pool have become a bit much. I'll return with more D&D 5E predictions from Tenkar's Tavern's Privy-fed Scrying Pool after I disinfect myself. Talk about still waters, it almost looks like mud...

Tenkar's Tavern's Final Dungeons & Dragons 5E Predictions

Planescape - Because You Know Monte Wants To
The city authorities have informed me that a privy fed scrying pool in the tavern's basement is against the health code - who knew?  So, before we drain the pool for good, here's a few final Dungeons & Dragons 5e predictions:

6 - The "very core" of the system will probably be released in some sort of "SRD", but the bits and pieces, the optional rules included with 5e that allow you to tweak it into an infinite number of play styles - those specific rules will be covered under a separate license.  Yeah, doesn't make sense to me either, but I am looking in a shit filled scrying pool ;) (looks like they are retreating from their "One System, All Editions plan)

7 - A return of Planscape, either at release or shortly there after.  You know you want it.  I'm sure Monte does too.  Besides, multiple planes is an easy way to feed multiple play styles. (Who would have guessed it would return in spirit, thanks to Monte's Numenura RPG and the spiritual successor to the computer game Planescape Torments)

8 - A new D&D powered MMORPG - Dungeons & Dragons Unlimited is going to be TWO editions old when 5e releases.  Time for a revamp /  reboot / reinvention. (Neverwinter The MMO is going to Beta already)

9 - Fiction - Whatever world they decide to run with (Greyhawk anyone?), it's going to spawn a new series of books.  There will be at least one coinciding with the release of 5e. (they already announce the plan to use the Forgotten Realms Fiction to explain the changes)

10- No "Edition Wars" - at least, not as bad as the last round.  No one will be pissing on 4e because a new edition is coming out.  Not even at WotC.  They are looking to unify, not divide. (amazingly enough, this seems to be the path WotC is taking)

10A - Gnomes - they're not going to fuck the gnomes like they did with the release of 4e.  Not that I particularly like them, but they are part of what most gamers see as the core D&D classes. (i don't recall gnomes in my playtest materials, but I haven't read the shit in 6, 8 - 9 months or more?)

10B - Player Races in General - back to the core.  Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Gnome, Half-Elf and maybe even Half-Orc.  The extra 4e races will follow up in a supplement shortly after release. (er, damn - I really should have payed more attention to those playtest packages...)

Alright, draining the pool.  I've hired some kobolds to cart out the waste and give it a scrubbing.  Also hired an angry halfling ranger to keep them in line and out of the pub's kegs!

Well, about as accurate as any other fortune teller I think ;)


  1. Since WoW and other MMOs have made them a viable PC race in the minds of many gamers, I'd be happy if they just replaced "Half-Orc" with "Orc."

  2. Your closer on prediction #5 than you realize. I have been told by those who do the organized play/Encounters program at the FLGS that the new modules include DDN material to use them with D&D Next.


  3. I think edition wars are unavoidable. I certainly hope there are some good virulent contentious battles coming to keep things interesting.

  4. Considering that they haven't yet released anything more than a few flavors of elves, dwarves, and halflings, and a single very boring flavor of human (disclaimer: races are the one part of the D&DN design I currently can't stand), I don't think there are any clear signs on the races that will be in the book at the time of release.

    Personally, I expect to see half-elves and half-orcs (or possibly just orcs, as Joshua Burnett suggests above) make it into the actual release. I'd be mildly surprised if gnomes, tieflings, or dragonborn did, but I'd be pretty happy to see any or all of these races. Gamers are never going to agree on which races should be standard, so... what the heck, a healthy range of options in the initial release would be good. They've talked quite specifically about not wanting to flood the game with crunch, and that includes additional races.

  5. I anticipate they'll release the core races. And then add either the Tiefling or Dragonborn into that core group. Personally, I'd just simply prefer to see them release at launch. Human, Halfling, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Gnome, Dwarf, Tiefling, and Dragonborn as the standard core races. Then add in the others down the road, as additional fluff.

  6. @William: Dragonborn and tiefling have as much place in any core D&D set of rules as lady gaga has in classical music.

    Point 9 - I seriously hope they are not going to devastate once again the Forgotten Realms because, well, quite frankly the Realms don't deserve that.


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