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Author Topic: D&D 5th edition announced  (Read 2063 times)
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kadnod
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« on: January 09, 2012, 02:49:27 PM »

http://http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/arts/video-games/dungeons-dragons-remake-uses-players-input.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2

Posting from phone.  Too old to figure out how to make link small.  Sorry!
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 03:25:28 PM »

Not really a surprise, other than to realize that it's been almost 4 years since they released 4th edition.

This latest edition hasn't gone over well and my FLGS owner isn't going to be happy that there's a new edition in the works and he'll be stuck with the glut of 4th edition books.

Overall, I've never been a D&D style of RPG gamer, too many mechanics just for the sake of mechanics, just so that they can release a book that slightly alters the mechanic for later on.

Not sure what they could do to make the industry better as a whole though. They had kind of a start with their online initiatives, but if I recall, most of those were slow to get to maturity. Heck, I don't ever recall hearing that their virtual tabletop ever got out of beta.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 03:34:14 PM by Turtle » Logged
Arkon
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 04:04:07 PM »

The Virtual Table Top is still in beta, although it is opening up quite a bit now.  It is a decent start at a virtual game environment.  I personally really enjoy 4th edition, and will be interested in seeing how 5th edition develops.
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TiLT
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 04:49:06 PM »

It's too early for a new edition in my opinion.

4th Edition sacrificed a few sacred cows that had long overstayed their welcome and made GMing a LOT easier. It made monsters feel different (try fighting an orc, a hobgoblin and a lizardman in 3rd edition and see if you can tell them apart without being told their names) and made combat truly interesting. It made every single class viable and considerably reduced the bling-factor by limiting magic items in numerous ways. For me it's the ultimate version of D&D, and I think going back to previous editions would be painful. I can't really imagine much that would make D&D better for me right now, but I'm willing to be surprised.

Still, I believe this will be a smoother process now than last time now that we have D&D Insider well established. If they continue the current model most subscribers will quickly start rebuilding their library for the new edition without having to run out and buy books (beyond the core books, that is).
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kadnod
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 01:32:36 AM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 09, 2012, 04:49:06 PM

It's too early for a new edition in my opinion.

4th Edition sacrificed a few sacred cows that had long overstayed their welcome and made GMing a LOT easier. It made monsters feel different (try fighting an orc, a hobgoblin and a lizardman in 3rd edition and see if you can tell them apart without being told their names) and made combat truly interesting. It made every single class viable and considerably reduced the bling-factor by limiting magic items in numerous ways. For me it's the ultimate version of D&D, and I think going back to previous editions would be painful. I can't really imagine much that would make D&D better for me right now, but I'm willing to be surprised.

This echoes my own feelings about 4e. I still have a soft spot for the wackiness that was AD&D, but 4e does so many things so very well.  I'd recommend it to any gamer who isn't totally opposed using minis and maps for combats.  It had some growing pains, particularly with the online tools, but ended up being a great game that's easy to learn and fun to run.
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 03:02:13 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on January 09, 2012, 03:25:28 PM

Overall, I've never been a D&D style of RPG gamer, too many mechanics just for the sake of mechanics...
My sentiments as well. When compared to the simple but elegant nature of the 4th gen RPG's, D&D pales in comparison. I say that despite having been a serious fan of AD&D back in the day. I do agree that 4e is a bit more streamlined than 3.5. That said, that's far from the consensus of PnP gamers - just look at the run away succes of Pathfinder (D&D 3.75) to see the other side of that argument. My biggest problem with it, and in fact any WotC PnP, is the writing style and layout of the guides. IMO far too much fluff and poor quality technical writing.
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Not sure what they could do to make the industry better as a whole though. They had kind of a start with their online initiatives, but if I recall, most of those were slow to get to maturity. Heck, I don't ever recall hearing that their virtual tabletop ever got out of beta.
Its going to take some effort to catch Fantasy Grounds II and all of the 3rd party support initiatives it's generated. D&D does have a huge install base though, so its still doable. I think the biggest factor against WotC though is ironically their own success due to being the grandfather of PnP's. Its played in LGS's more than any other RPG -heck just about every LGS in my city has a table running every other weekend- and I can't really see many of its crowd choosing to play online when they can get a local game.

Quote from: kadnod on January 10, 2012, 01:32:36 AM

I'd recommend it to any gamer who isn't totally opposed using minis and maps for combats.
Whereas I would never recommend it to that crowd. IMO there's far better 4th gen PnP's for players more accustomed to tabletop combat and playing with figs. Due to the franchises interia -hey its a jugernaut with an 800 lb gorilla driving it slywink - I expect this new edition will sell well. I do think Pathfinder will continue to eat into their fanbase though.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 04:03:27 AM by kronovan » Logged
Arkon
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 03:41:45 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on January 12, 2012, 03:02:13 PM

My sentiments as well. When compared to the simple but elegant nature of the 4th gen RPG's, D&D pales in comparison. I say that despite having been a serious fan of AD&D back in the day. I do agree that 4e is a bit more streamlined than 3.5. That said, that's far from the consensus of PnP gamers - just look at the run away succes of Pathfinder (D&D 3.75) to see the other side of that argument. My biggest problem with it, and in fact any WotC PnP, is the writing style and layout of the guides. IMO far too much fluff and poor quality technical writing.

I have tried reading through Pathfinder, and it has never caught my interest like D&D.  It should be noted that I abhorred D&D 3.0 and 3.5.  I loved 2nd edition, and I love 4th edition.  I enjoy having all of the fluff in the D&D books, and am not sure I have ever noticed poor technical writing.  I find 4th edition to be very elegant and open to creativity.  

Quote from: kronovan on January 12, 2012, 03:02:13 PM

Whereas I would never recommend it to that crowd. IMO there's far better 4th gen PnP's for players more accustomed to tabletop combat and playing with figs. Due to the franchises interia -hey its a jugernaut with an 800 lb gorilla driving it slywink - I expect this new edition will sell well. I do think Pathfinder will continue to eat into their fanbase though.

I had never played much with minis/grid, but I love the tactical aspect of combat in 4th edition.
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kronovan
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 06:36:34 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on January 13, 2012, 03:41:45 PM

I enjoy having all of the fluff in the D&D books, and am not sure I have ever noticed poor technical writing.  I find 4th edition to be very elegant and open to creativity.
Well I guess it depends on what your tolerance for fluff is and what you define as poor technical writing, elegance and openess to creativity. Personally, other than some moments of elegance I don't find the D&D 4e guides any of those. As to technical writing, its not just a matter of crossing T's, dotting I's and using proper grammer, the sequence and ordering of concepts and use of concise and succinct language are equally important. Which IMO are areas where WotC game guides fail misserably. Case in point; the number of pages in the 4e player guide dedicated to character creation as compared to some other common PnP RPGs.

- Shadowrun 4e - 58 pages.
- FATE (actually included at the beginning of every settign book) 88 pages.
- Savage Worlds - 30 pages.
- True20 (very similar to D&D) - 57 pages.
- D&D 4e - 196 pages!

Seriously, 196 pages just for abilities, races, classes, skill and feats! Good god, if ever there was a company that needed to apply the concept of Occam's razor to their books, Wizards of the Coast is it! As to openess for creativity, again I guess it depends on your definition. From my perspective, after reading those 88 or less pages in FATE, Savage Worlds or True20 I can apply them to a diverse variety of settings ranging from High Fantasy like D&D to Futuristic hard SciFi. Can I do that with those 196 pages of 4e - nope.

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I had never played much with minis/grid, but I love the tactical aspect of combat in 4th edition.
Again it comes down to definition. While I wouldn't deny that 4e does a decent job of letting players bring their individual D&D or Reaper Minis to the tabletop, I wouldn't go as far as categorizing it as a system well suited to tactical combat. IMO to qualify as that the PnP's rules really needs to support large scale battles, even if its only involving the equivalent of smaller modern day platoons.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against anyone that likes D&D and I'm grateful it gets RPG'ers through the doors a LGS's so they can possibly discover other PnP's. What I take exception to though, is the notion that it's streamlined and new player friendly, which it clearly isn't  - I have the same sentiments about Pathfinder. With the amont of quality High and Dark fantasy settings available out their for simpler PnPs, combined with the number of top rate fan conversions for existing D&D settings, I wouldn't recommend D&D 4e, or the upcoming 5e, to anyone but the converted.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 06:56:17 PM by kronovan » Logged
Isgrimnur
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2012, 07:28:22 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on January 14, 2012, 06:36:34 PM

Good god, if ever there was a company that needed to apply the concept of Occam's razor to their books, Wizards of the Coast is it!

I do not think that means what you think it means. If anything, I would posit that 196 pags makes it so that D&D is prone to fewer assumptions than the others.
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kronovan
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2012, 07:55:32 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on January 14, 2012, 07:28:22 PM

Quote from: kronovan on January 14, 2012, 06:36:34 PM

Good god, if ever there was a company that needed to apply the concept of Occam's razor to their books, Wizards of the Coast is it!

I do not think that means what you think it means. If anything, I would posit that 196 pags makes it so that D&D is prone to fewer assumptions than the others.

Nope, I own all the books I listed and the pages -upon- pages of extra content in the 4e guide doesn't make those sections clearer in comparison or avoid more assumptions. Which is quite amazing since almost all those other PnP's feature more skills, with about the same number of Feats, or Feat equivalents. They do have fewer classes, and 1 no classes at all, but there's no way in hell that accounts for the minimum difference of 110 pages between them and 4e. As well, the 1 PnP that doesn't feature classes has class equivalents provided via a different system feature. Fluff bloat, redundancy and run-on paragraphs are what I'd put down as the main culprits for the 4e book.

Whenever I ask the LGS owners in my city that run D&D tables, as to whether they thought D&D in its current state would flop if it was just being debuted on the maket now, the answer has been a unanimous "yes." The quality and standards in PnP's have changed that much.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 08:05:25 PM by kronovan » Logged
TiLT
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2012, 08:34:53 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on January 14, 2012, 06:36:34 PM

Seriously, 196 pages just for abilities, races, classes, skill and feats!

And those abilities are everything a player needs to play the game. There are a few things the DM needs to keep track of, but for the players, every bit of information they need is on their character sheets. Want to use a basic attack (which may vary according to class to make everyone feel more unique)? The rules are on your sheet. Want to use a power? The rules (AND flavor text!) are on your sheet. I've never had an RPG run as smoothly as D&D 4E, and it's the only one I GM where the players don't need printed handouts with rules summaries.

In other words: The length is there for a reason. It's not a generic set of rules you can apply to anything. They are a bunch of special rules for everything a player character can do in combat (with little focus on anything else, keeping the roleplaying as slick and custom as you want without bogging that part down in rules), and when those rules are set, the player has full knowledge of almost everything he can do. The little that the character sheet lacks is printed on my DM screen for easy reference during gaming, and I pretty much only refer to it for status effects.

In every other RPG I play I find that the players don't use the options available to them, however sparse they may be, simply because it's hidden in the rulebooks and not easily available to them without looking things up (things they may not even be aware exist in the first place). The brilliant thing about 4E is how it puts the rules exactly where they need to be: In the players' hands. Sure, that means a long character creation section in the main book, but that's a silly comparison to begin with. If you sat down and read the entire class chapter of the Player's Handbook, you more or less missed the point. Those are the rules of the game, but you only need them if a character needs them. They are 110 pages of rules you'll never need to look up and never need to read through unless you're obsessed with knowing everything. I never read through that section.

Let's put it like this: If the class chapter of D&D 4E Player's Handbook counts as character creation rules, then you'd damn well better count the spell chapters in previous editions as the same, and if any of those other game systems you mentioned contain spells/psionics/powers, you'd better include those too. Because that's what this is, and presented in a much, much slicker and handy way than any of those.
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kronovan
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2012, 10:13:12 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 14, 2012, 08:34:53 PM

And those abilities are everything a player needs to play the game. There are a few things the DM needs to keep track of, but for the players, every bit of information they need is on their character sheets.
Meh, I'd say you're vastly overrating 4e. All of the RPG's I run have well defined character sheets and  grimoires and my players rarely dive into a rule books. The latter may be true of an overbearing and overbloated universal system like GURPS, but with the simpler 4th gen systems its just not the case.
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The length is there for a reason. It's not a generic set of rules you can apply to anything. They are a bunch of special rules for everything a player character can do in combat (with little focus on anything else, keeping the roleplaying as slick and custom as you want without bogging that part down in rules), and when those rules are set, the player has full knowledge of almost everything he can do. The little that the character sheet lacks is printed on my DM screen for easy reference during gaming, and I pretty much only refer to it for status effects.
Again, true for of all the other quality PnP's too and I don't see anything with 4e that distinquishes it. If anything new D&D players get overwhelmed by wading through all that content until they find what they want. Even worse they later feel railroaded by their class choice. Its fine for the player that experienced with a previous edition of D&D, but poor IMO for players with no previous exposure.
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In every other RPG I play I find that the players don't use the options available to them, however sparse they may be, simply because it's hidden in the rulebooks and not easily available to them without looking things up (things they may not even be aware exist in the first place).
This could be a fair criticism of True20 which, depending on setting, can have a fair number of moving parts - still simpler than D&D IMO. However its far from true for Savage Worlds or FATE, which quite honestly players have 90% of the rules after the 1st few gaming sessions. And that's with NO reading of the rules whatsoever. The sames also the case for Green Ronin's Dragon Age PnP.
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The brilliant thing about 4E is how it puts the rules exactly where they need to be: In the players' hands. Sure, that means a long character creation section in the main book, but that's a silly comparison to begin with. If you sat down and read the entire class chapter of the Player's Handbook, you more or less missed the point. Those are the rules of the game, but you only need them if a character needs them. They are 110 pages of rules you'll never need to look up and never need to read through unless you're obsessed with knowing everything. I never read through that section.
Again, true for a player familiar with the system or a previous version, but IMO not for a brand new player. They still have to wade through a lot of fluff to find the class content they want.
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Let's put it like this: If the class chapter of D&D 4E Player's Handbook counts as character creation rules, then you'd damn well better count the spell chapters in previous editions as the same, and if any of those other game systems you mentioned contain spells/psionics/powers, you'd better include those too.
Fair enough, I'll add the additional pages for 3 or those RPGs (FATE is quite a bit different so it difficult to draw a direct comparison) :

- True20; an additional 27 pages
- Shadowrun; an additional 39 pages
- Savage Worlds; an additional 18 pages. Heck even if I include the 27 pages from the SW Fantasy Companion, which repeats a number of the power/spells, it's still far less!

Add those numbers to those in my previous post, its still a far cry from the number of pages in 4e.

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Because that's what this is, and presented in a much, much slicker and handy way than any of those.
To each their own I guess; I'd say any number of the top rate setting books available for those other RPG's provides a much slicker presentation.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 10:20:02 PM by kronovan » Logged
kadnod
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 09:53:25 PM »

Lead designer bails!  Difference of opinions! Cats and dogs, gaming together!
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2012, 09:56:42 PM »

playtesting is now open.
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