D&D 5th Edition

I think there’s been a post or two in another thread, but we probably should have a separate thread about this announcement.

That is why we are excited to share with you that starting in Spring 2012, we will be taking this process one step further and conducting ongoing open playtests with the gaming community to gather feedback on the new iteration of the game as we develop it. With your feedback and involvement, we can make D&D better than ever. We seek to build a foundation for the long-term health and growth of D&D, one rooted in the vital traits that make D&D unique and special. We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play.

D&D has been in steep decline (along with most PnP RPG games) since video games started stealing its thunder. Once video games could replicate the experience of being a sword-wielding badass barbarian, sneaky thief, or energy-crackling mage with enough eye-candy to woo people away from rolling dice and pushing metal figures around on a graph paper map, sales slipped. I don’t think it helped that 4th Ed wasn’t fully embraced by the D&D community, fracturing an already niche hobby.

So, what say you, Qt3 gurus? Too early for a revamp? Too late?

What would you change? How? Are you signing up?

Fifth edition already? This smacks of desperation.

Wizards need to preserve what made D&D unique, like dynamic story telling and interesting mechanics, and just make it more accessible with a high quality online tabletop. D&D 3.5 still kicks most mmorpg and crpg ass in gameplay and story telling potential, it just has an accessibility problem compared to its competitors.

The PR statement sounds like gaseous bs, and it makes me think they don’t understand where they went wrong and what the game actually needs.

It’s been over 27 years since I last played D&D. They could some how create a tabletop system that can be played online if they want to recapture any sort of market for the product. But times have moved on and everyone plays MMO’s and other types of interactive entertainment online.

I never played 4.0, but from what I heard, it was trying desperately to ape WoW, instead of the other way around. There are things you’ll be able to do in a PnP game with a real GM that no computer game will ever be able to duplicate, and that, to me, is what makes PnP games great. If they want to succeed, they need to revisit that, not try to build something that can already be done faster/easier/cheaper on a computer. Encourage the imagination of the GM, empower the players to make characters they’re emotionally invested in, and foster a dynamic world where what the players do/don’t do makes a tangible difference, and you’re good to go.

I’d say the publication of 5.0 is at least a year out if this is where they are. And that would make it five years from 2008.

I agree with this.

Right now the barrier for entry into D&D 4th Edition is huge. It takes a lot of work and quite a bit of financial investment in order to get a game going (shout out to Rob 'O Boston). Wizards needs to bridge the internet with role playing, and unfortunately so far it has faltered on creating a software framework for its game (besides the subscription-based character creator). It seems they’ve attempted to outsource it a couple of times in a way with what Neverwinter Nights tried to do, but it’s time that WotC really put some muscle into an open-ended system with all of its stock materials already included so that DMs can more easily focus on what makes D&D great… which is the DM!

As long as the players and referee are good, PBEM RPGs are better than MMOs or cRPGs at the role-playing part of RPGs.

What I want to try is a tabletop RPG using some kind of virtual whiteboard like the one someone here has, with a projector mounted on the ceiling pointing down (was it DrDel?).

The local newspaper had an article on this the other day. The article mentioned that video games like Skyrim had hurt D&D sales. WTF?

I don’t actually know anyone that ever played D&D. Was it really that big even in it’s hey day. In the 70’s I was too busy getting wasted, listening to music and chasing females for D&D. Although we did play Risk and Monopoly in a friends basement. :)

There is a long story here, and I should note that I’m currently (and infrequently) playing T20 Traveller with a pretty good gaming group and enjoying it.

But. . . D&D should go really old school. I think the barrier for entry is higher now than with 1e. I have never played 3.5e table top and I think we might be doing pathfinder next, and while I’m sort of looking forward to that I’ve soured on 3e somewhat as a whole. This got me to reading certain gaming blogs, and there’s more people out there playing 1e/0e retro clones than I realixed. . .

And there is more elegance in those rules than I remembered. Yeah, Thac0 is a little weird but I think you can adjust to that. True “old school” dungeon crawling requires certain skills on the part of the players that I think are lost to most of the gaming public - my group actually discussed this at length in our last session (months ago, alas).

Not that there haven’t been interesting or worthwhile mechanics in D&D since. But D&D in 4e is almost like a mintatures game. I wouldn’t mind playing a few sessions, but I wouldn’t want to campaign in it. Some of it’s evils are rooted in 3e (wealth by level guidelines, e.g.).

I don’t think Wizards will remotely go in this direction. But they should think long and hard about it.

I dunno if I agree with that. 4th Edition streamlined a lot of stuff, but the essence of D&D is still there and it still depends on how good the players and DM are at interacting with and solving situations that come up. You still have the tools you need to guide the actions you want to take, and it’s still up to you to take those actions in the first place.

Qt3 one-shot group is using Fantasy Grounds 2

Because of my age I was a late 70s 1st edition D&D player. And I can say one thing with absolute certitude: buying my first computer allowed me to get my roleplaying fix without the need of dealing with a roomful of personalities, of coordinating a time and place, etc. In fact, I haven’t played D&D on a routine basis since 1993.

This is how much I care —>

The first thing they need to do is get the gaming license back from Atari, who is doing nothing to keep the franchise profile where it needs to be. If there was a valid videogame series, D&D would be a lot more relevant and that would benefit the pen and paper products as well. If Bethesda can sell 10 million + copies of an RPG, there’s a lot more that can be done beyond a minor MMO and occasional crappy action games.

Which is the fastest time between iterations yet, hence my “desperation” comment.

AD&D 1st Edition: 1977 - 1988
AD&D 2nd Edition: 1989 - 1999
D & D 3rd Edition: 2000 - 2007
D & D 4th Edition: 2008 - ?

There’s also the original D&D line, which ran from 1974 -2000 over the course of several versions, but these versions stayed pretty true to one another.

I have the 4th ed., but barely cracked it. Never played it.

I’ll skip on the 5th ed.

There’s only been one computer game “based” on the the 4th ed., correct? And it was action-based crap, not a true RPG.

It’s a more restrictive toolbox in some ways. There’s a certain homogeneity across all the classes now. Yeah, this class marks and that class gets more AoE. But everybody gets big damage daily powers in some form, and lesser but still moderately damaging encounter powers and of course the least damaging at will. Magic items got lamer.

4e is a step back I think, despite having some interesting ideas.

Qt3 one-shot group is using Fantasy Grounds 2[/QUOTE]

Enh. I reckon the upgrade/revision cycles for most things has sped up over time.

D&D’s biggest problem is it’s a social game with essentially no hooks into modern social networking. There’s no virtual table yet (and the on they’re working on is still fairly crude), you can’t play it on smartphones or tablets, they don’t have good tools for sharing characters or scenarios or maps. D&D needs 4-7 people all coordinating schedules and attention span to work, and they have effectively no modern tools for facilitating that whatsoever.

WOTC promised a ton of online stuff and it never materialized. They need a robust online system that allows for a virtual meeting to do the in person tabletop thing. Allow it to be mod able (npcs, dice towers, rules) and only good things can happen. There isnt a good resource out there afaIk that comes close to this.

They do. Atari is out of the mix except for Cryptic’s Neverwinter. That is the end of Atari and D&D.
I’m deeply wounded that my 6 year running DnD game is not valid. Our ‘minor’ MMO is profitable and has outlasted most MMO’s and was copied by CoH,STO,EQ2,Conan and Champions in at least business model. (I’m only kidding about being deeply wounded, DDO devs are so used to being kicked in the jimmies it doesn’t really bother us anymore. But hey we are still working while other MMO companies are laying off and closing down so whatever…)
I do agree that there could be a more major MMO /single player game or whatever, but it does go beyond that. There is also a major screw up with the film license, and other media too. you think no one has looked at Drizzt as a film? Of course they have. But some minor studio has DnD rights forever and won’t let go. TSR did a VERY poor job with the intellectual property side of D&D.
Also the biggest problem with the franchise from my point of view is it has all the worst of nerd connotation (80’s D&D misconceptions-which still exist), a rabid small hardcore base that is attached to the rulez-which do not translate very well to PC’s, and the most popular part of their franchise…which could go mainstream, is mocked by their own fanbase (Drizzt).The D&D hardcore have 40 years of nerd rage to fall back on. If you think video game fans are rough to develop for…you have no idea.
What is 5th Ed? We don’t know yet other than some small lore details, but the business reasons to move on from 4E and some other past stuff is valid for WotC.

While I agree with that, it’s not necessarily a good thing. I’ve run campaigns (AD&D and Champions) that lasted longer than 4th edition apparently will, campaigns that benefitted from the increasing depth of compatible rules and creatures supplements and also from published adventures. I think somewhere around a decade is a good timeframe to explore a solid P&P rules set before the inevitable reboot.

D&D’s biggest problem is it’s a social game with essentially no hooks into modern social networking. There’s no virtual table yet (and the on they’re working on is still fairly crude), you can’t play it on smartphones or tablets, they don’t have good tools for sharing characters or scenarios or maps. D&D needs 4-7 people all coordinating schedules and attention span to work, and they have effectively no modern tools for facilitating that whatsoever.

Perhaps you should be contributing to the 5th edition–these are all good observations.