AN OPEN LETTER ABOUT THE COURSE OF 5e

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AN OPEN LETTER TO WIZARDS OF THE COAST AND THE D&D COMMUNITY


Wizards of the Coast has announced that they will start work on the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons (technically the 5th edition of Advanced D&D) this year.  It seems the gaming community at large has harshly rebuked any acceptance of their ill-conceived 4th edition, and WotC has given up on the system after a mere three-and-a-half years. Now that they presumably have learned the errors of trying to engineer a game nobody asked for, they are looking for suggestions from D&D players to find out what they want.


This new edition has presents D&D gamers a new opportunity beyond simply helping to create a new edition of the game. I would like to see this new edition not simply as a reboot for a game system, but a resurrection of D&D gamer unity.


Third edition alienated many 1st and 2nd edition player; many players of the earlier editions saw this new edition as something not cut from the same block. This made two camps of D&D players: those that played 3rd edition versus those that did not. Then along came fourth edition. Now the 3rd edition players got a taste of the bitter pill that the 1st and 2nd players had swallow. They were force fed the new 4th edition game, a system so utter alien that it was not even recognizable as the D&D. A vast amount of them refused to switch over to the new system and kept playing the older edition. Now we have three camps of D&D games, each alienated from one another.


My hope is that WotC will make a game that brings back the traditional aspects of D&D with updates that enhance the game, but keeping in mind the spirit of the original game. If this new edition is a worthy addition to the D&D legacy, maybe players old and new will unite under the same banner. WotC has asked for suggestions on building this new system. I have written down eight that I think will help make a game that all generations of D&D players will like and play. At least, this is how I would start if I were design the game. 


1. Do Not Pander to Children: This might seem to be a counter intuitive idea since teenagers often spend the most time playing the game. And if you can get them young you will have lifelong fans, is I’m sure how WotC thinks. However, if you make a product that speaks to adults and children alike, you got a better product. Kids will be drawn to the product if it good, as will adults. Products marketed to kids will not draw adults and are usually of inferior quality. A good example is the Star Wars IV-VI movies (the original trilogy); these did not pander to children. However, once it was discovered that a large portion of the fans were children that will pester their parents to buy toys, you ended up with the significantly inferior I-III movies. Kids might like them, but they have not staying power, and turn off the adult fanbase. Furthermore, teenagers are usually habitually broke so they will spend less money on gaming materials. Adults usually have jobs and will buy more gaming products since they have more expendable cash.


2. Respect Your Fanbase: A product gets popular because people like an intrinsic quality about it that draws them in, so they buy the products. Changing the quality that makes D&D special will leave the fans feeling alienated. This happened to 2nd edition players when 3rd came out and to 3rd edition players when 4th came out. They looked at the rules and could hardly recognize it as the same game. Many players took a look at these new editions and, feeling no affinity to it, refused to adopt the newer system. It simply was too far remove from what they knew and liked. You might say these fans felt it was a corporate slap in the face to change their game so radically. (I say “their game” because in the end, the game belongs to the players.)


Changes to the game should make for better play, and seemingly arbitrary changes that do to help the game should be avoided. A good example of this is the changing of the layout of the Outer Planes in 4th edition. Most of the planes were swept away for no real reasonable excuse; “daemons” become “demons” because, supposedly, everyone called them “demons” anyway (one of the weakest excuses I’ve ever heard). Fourth edition also got rid of character saving throws as they existed in all previous editions. Why get rid of so an integral aspect of the game that’s been around since its inception? Thoughtlessly tossing it out the game is an insult those that came before. In short: don’t try to make New Coke when your fanbase doesn’t want it.


One final point. I personally felt that in the last ten years, WotC has viewed D&D players not as fans but as a wallet to fill the corporate coffers with their releasing of many unnecessary supplemental books of dubious quality. Readers of Dragon Magazine might remember Roger E. Moore mentioning a number of times in his editorials that TSR was conscious of the fact that people had a finite amount of money to spend on new gaming products. Simply pumping out poor quality material in an attempt to bilk people out of their hard-earned dollars is poor business strategy.


3. Respect Your Tradition: It is fairly arrogant for a game designer to say, “This game system has worked great for 35 years. Let’s dump it and sell its fans a new game that has the same name, but looks nothing like the original.” That is what 4th edition seemed to say. So much for respecting what people liked best about the game. Fourth edition may have been built on a clever, sound game system that would have worked great for some other game, but is alien to the Dungeons & Dragons tradition. I suggest the designers go back to original sources, to the genetic pools of imagination that gave that gave rise to the D&D. Use the original “basic” D&D and 1st edition as the starting point. Go on from there and make something new, but keep it looking like a game D&D of all miens can respect and be willing to play. I see no reason to give into present day fads every few years and alter the game to match them. The game as originally constructed is solid enough to whether nearly 40 years on continuous play, it think it will continue to be a viable system in the future.


4. Start With the Basics: The basic D&D player character classes and races should follow the classic line-up. That is human, elf, half-elf, halfling, dwarf, & gnome and fighter, cleric, magic-user, and thief. This should be the basic format. Every other race and class should optional and not in the core Player’s Handbook. Getting rid of a beloved race gnome and replace it with the tiefling as basic starting races seems to be another ill-conceived move to update the game. Races like tiefling are simply too alien to be a basic race. Once the basics are in place, all new additions would best be optional in supplemental materials to follow.


It might even be a good idea to revive the dual game system. Regular D&D for those that don’t like to tamper with the tried and true and like to keep it simple; an “advanced” version for gamers that like lots of new classes, races, combat rules, and the like. Similarly, if some players wish to have a simpler, faster playing game that more resembles a trading card or MMO game, make an off-shoot version of D&D to cater to them, but do not make the primary game in that style.


5. Find a Good Balance: The D&D game is made up of balance between role-players and war gamers. D&D is not a fully tactical game such as Warhammer, or a mostly role-playing game like Call of Cthulhu. When played best, D&D strikes a balance between the two. Second edition overemphasized roleplaying at the expense of tactical combat. With third edition the pendulum swung the other direction. With 4th edition it kept moving toward tactical combat. A new edition needs a balance between the two sides. Furthermore, there has been a trend in the last ten years to reduce all supplemental material to five basic categories: new spells, monsters, magic items, classes, and powers. This reduction has made D&D a tactical game where players have become obsessed with min/max’ing their characters to their best advantage. For these players, problems are solved with crude overpowering of enemies with their personal powers instead of mental problem-solving and/or role playing. For me, this type of game wears thin quickly.


6. Deemphasize PC Powers: Starting with 3rd edition it seemed that all semblance of character power balance was removed. Third edition and fourth has over-emphasized personal character power. There are simply too many options for classes, spells, powers, etc. A simpler, smaller, and more-useful pool of these would work better. The overemphasizing of powers means many newer player treat D&D like a MMO; in a sense, if you just it the buttons fast enough you will destroy your opponent. Like mentioned earlier, the role playing should be a greater aspect of the game.


7. While I have many suggestions on exact details would make a good 5th edition, it does not seem appropriate to delve into such minutia. I think it best to give a compare and contrast of the strong points and weak points each previous edition of D&D. From there you can extrapolate the most desirable types of rules needed.


1st Edition


Positive: First edition was where most of the classic module adventures were born. These adventures were flexible to fit into any campaign since many were “plotless”. The makers of 1st edition respected D&D tradition and had a good eye for game balance.


Negative: The makers of 1st edition kept too tight of reigns on its development, so growth of the game moved very slowly. They vehemently discouraged tinkering with the rules.


2nd Edition


Positive: Second edition fixed a lot of outdated rules from 1st ed. Role playing was emphasized over dungeon delving. Game worlds were expanded. Information about character classes, races, and monsters was increased greatly.


Negative: Too much role playing. Too many adventures built around game worlds (Dark Sun, Ravenloft, etc.). Few generic, “plotless” adventures. Combat and tactics were almost completely ignored until near the end of its cycle.


3rd Edition


Positive: Streamlined the game by getting rid of some clumsy rules. Emphasized tailoring characters with unique powers.


Negative: Too much tactical combat emphasis. Too much power to characters. Little added for roleplaying. Too many options.


4th Edition


Positive: n/a


Negative: Needless dumping of traditional game aspects. Continued over emphasis of tactics. Adventures that are simply tactical skirmishes instead of a playable story. Over-simplified (e.g. two sentences to describe a monster in the MM). Turning the game into Magic-style card/MMO game.


8. Have a Vision for the Game: Making a game based on public poling only leads to a diluted, weak game. The public will always choose the most mediocre version of the game because they do not know how to design a game. For example, movies that use focus groups to determine what the public wants to see are never as strong a movie made a few people with a clear vision. And are the people that show up to give suggestions really indicative of who is playing D&D? I seemed to know a good many people that play the game, but will never to WotC website to voice their opinion. Find out who is really playing the game, not just the people with strong conviction on a forum board.

What is everyone else's thoughts on what I touched on?  


 

I couldn't disagree more.
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
I agree that some elements of the older editions need to be brought back. But I totally and whole heartily disagree with you no the idea that 4ed was a weak game that pandered only to "kids." 

When 4ed first came out it was on the heels of the Lord of the Rings movies and the Harry Potter books.  People were being exposed to the fantasy genre like never before. Some of these people wanted to get into role playing, because of this. So they made a new edition that was easy to learn. To just pander to old school fans would be to weaken the hobby as a whole. New people bring new perspectives, new ideas, new wants and tastes. In the long run, RPGs as a whole will be more diverse and inspired for this. 

You also claim no good came for "slaughtering all the sacred cows," as it was called when 4ed was in developed. They made non-caster interesting and fun. They showed innovation on ways to separating  combat and utility resources. The last one is important since players need to be both effective in combat, and have something to do outside of combat. Sacrificing one for the other is counter productive. They streamlined resource management, making the number of combats that came before an encounter not the main factor in how hard it is. Lastly, they made being a DM much more manageable with the new xp system. 

2ed AD&D stayed around of so long not because it was perfect, but because TSR was taken over by the Anti-Christ of gaming, Lorraine Williams. And her error is why TSR went belly up. New editions do two things: 1) Improve aspects of the game that are too big for an errata, and 2) Adding new innovations to breath new life into the game. Now 4ed had way too much of the 2nd one. But the innovations that worked will make 5ed stronger not weaker. 

With that said I would like to see the old alignment system, and  a new skill point system. Also more variations in the combat resources from class to class. These factors from older editions can be implemented in a way to keep the game easy to learn. Keeping new players coming into game is still a worthwhile goal that WotC can't overlook. 
1-"pander to children" is unnecessarily patronizing. I don't actually see any point in this other than a personal opinion.

2-"respect your fanbase" couldn't agree more, but let's face it, any large group of people has it's share of well...jerks. Respect and courtesy good, obedience bad.

3-"respect your tradition" Viable point. Attracting new customers costs a great deal more than retaining old ones. This is a solid business principle. There is a reason why certain standards became the standards in gaming, rather than say, a strict percentile or d6 system or even points and levelless skill based.

4-"start with the basics" goes without saying.

5-"find a good balance" ooooh... you went there. Balance, it seems, is subjective. I'd like to see a dissimilar balance, where each class is so different and allows for such a deviation that you can't compare cross class, but others would like reflavored versions of a standard class....be careful where you throw that word around.

6-"deemphasize PC Powers" No. Nononononononono. I am a 3.x GM of a six-seven player group who get feats every level and half plus on hp level up rolls. I can keep them challenged, so the powers of the PCs isn't the issue. There are tools to deal with any group of players and when it comes down to it, DM wins because DM has *all* the toys. If a DM can't challenge the party, they should insitute their own restrictions, and maybe explore other options (not limitted to finding a better group of players if they're that competitive). Don't take away my toys and my players toys because yours can't play nice.

7- obviously I disagree with your evaluations of the varied editions simply from what I've said above. Honestly, I prefer 3.x because by now with the flavor and the simplification of "roll a d20 and add your mod" it makes it a quick game with a lot of creative options. Yes, there are broken peices that need clarification, but we do that in house, since no publisher can be expected to vet every combination of builds.

 I like roleplay. I encourage it. That's my job as a DM and as a player... not a system thing (opinion). I give bonuses for good RP, as do my DMs for what I play in.

I'll admit I don't like 4th because it released with only partial info and all the classes felt identical. Then the FR book came out, and I threatened to burn it on our front lawn if it came into the house. My personal views clouded my judgement, but honestly, I really dislike it enough that I don't *want* to give it a fair chance. I pretty much have an unreasoning loathing for it. I'm comfortable with that. I know I'm being unreasonable. That's fine. Feel free to call me on it.

I like customization and creativity. I can deal with my players and while I do well academically (mature student), I know I'm not the brightest and best DM out there. I'd put myself at average with bonus points for story (I hope). If I can balance for our beyond optimized group, so can most, and with a few tips in the Dm's guide, hopefully everyone else can too.

Punishing people because they excel is foolish. Yes, that's my opinion, but I've never been big on restricting people because they were cleverer than I.
Eh, if 5e turns out to be '2e redux' I'll pass.  I enjoyed 2e, but if I want to play it, I'll find a copy on Ebay and play it.
If the game designers are willing to step out of the box, they could probably achieve a balance among the character classes that still makes each unique and cool to play. (of course "cool" is subjective as well.)
Problem is, what's essential to the tradition varies from gamer to gamer.

A perfect example:  You give changing the layout of the Outer Planes as an example of not respecting the fanbase?

I've *hated* the Great Wheel (or the Dinner Plate, as my group calls it) since the very first time I saw it in the AD&D DMG.  If you really want me to explain why, I will go on at length.  But it's definitely a 'tradition' I'm more than glad to see go.

Not quite sure why D&D has always tried to foist an elaborately detailed cosmology on DM's in the first place, to be frank.  To the point of baking it directly into the rules in many places.  But it definitely helps for it not to be an incredibly bland, artificial one that makes alignment the overriding factor about the *gods*, of all things.
I'm with Darkwolf_Bloodsbane; I disagree with the entirety of this "open letter".
Are you on Google+? So am I: http://bit.ly/z03luM
"I would like to see a resurrection of player unity, under my banner of hating 4e.  Hey, where did everybody go?"

I question the OP's understanding of what makes a game good, and disagree with pretty much everything said in the first post.  The Outer Planes were stupid Gygaxian completionism, as were the Semidemihemielemental Planes of Poop and whatever.  They were not interesting locations, and thus were axed.  Nobody wishes their adventure were actually taking place on the Happy Hunting Grounds or the elemental plane of Salt.

I picked up D&D when I was a child (12, maybe?) with the 1983 Basic set.  It "pandered" to children and anyone else who had never played a role-playing game.  I would like to see the hobby expand the way video gaming has, and backward-looking navel-gazing about the "good old days" is so utterly not the way.

So, uhh, I anti-sign this open letter. 
OP needs to respect the fanbase before telling anyone else to. 


4e's players are just as much a part of this unity as players of any other edition.
My thoughts on what you've touched upon can't be posted due to the CoC.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I, too, disagree with most of the OP.

I'm thrilled to see the 4E haters making their triumphant return to these forums. :/ If you refused to even give 4E a chance at your table, then you're really in no position to give an honest assessment of its pros and cons.

Like every edition before it, it brought some great stuff to the tables of many people. I'm glad the WotC team was daring enough to make the changes they made. Clearly, it was too much at once for a huge portion of the community, and was a "failure" in that sense. Still, it's a hell of a system that absolutely IS D&D, regardless of the personal taste of some gamers.

Take care making posts about "respect", and then listing "N/A" as the good points of 4E. It undermines the rest of your message, and your credibility. These forums are largely populated by 4E gamers. You won't be taken seriously as long as you're making snipes at a system you seem to have never even played.
I tend to agree with OP and Wizards should not search input for the new game from these forums, but from elsewhere. People here like 4e, but the mission of next game will be to please other fans (including you ofc).

I hope that 5e goes toward 2nd ed where rules are simpler and story and RP gets the main focus.
I tend to agree with OP and Wizards should not search input for the new game from these forums, but from elsewhere. People here like 4e, but the mission of next game will be to please other fans (including you ofc).

I hope that 5e goes toward 2nd ed where rules are simpler and story and RP gets the main focus.



That's the aim of the playtest. I hope this next edition is able to reunite the heavily splintered D&D Community. That is undoubtedly at the forefront of their agenda. Let's hope it's a great success. 

While I do think WOTC needs to have a much wider base for bouncing ideas for game play off of and in order to unite the fractured fan base.



It would be a mistake for anyone to listen to the rude,insulting,argumentative message of the OP.



Every addition of the game has something to offer. Everyone should be consulted in the creation of 5E. Even those who left the game and company long ago because the game changed beyond what they liked.



Too many are returning at the momment who seem far more in need of wounding and excluding and insulting others and the game itself than in working together to build a better game.

Also i want to point out that I am NOT a huge admirer of 4E. I have played it(mostly Essentials) but like much older incarnations of the game better.

4E wasn't my idea of the better game HOWEVER,I do realize that is just my opinion and that as a game system it worked fine for thousands!

For people like me who for the most part have left D&D for years to come back now and badmouth others,insult part of D&D's fan base and try to score revenge for perceived old wounds (or not) makes us all look bad.

I'm sure the 4E players love 4E just like us older edition players love our older editions.

So on that note- How about we inject a little more maturity and friendliness and a lot less attitude and divisive and rudeness into our posts?        

Ok lets face facts. 5e is coming. By definition that means that WoTC is not satisfied with the sales/market share they got from 4e. I have not looked into the numbers but I suspect that the new fanbase they generated with 4e was not enough to counterbalance the fans they lost. Now they are faced with a problem. 4e has a dedicated fan base but they need to grow it, not just with new players but by bringing back veterans they alienated along the way. 5e cannot be 4e, the veterans will not embrace it. It cannot be 1, 2, 3.5, because the new players who are happy with 4e will see it as a step backwards. It needs to be an entirely new animal that blends what works best from all the older editions and allows enough flexibility so that players from any era/edition can use the rules to create the style of game they enjoy. Arguing over which edition is best at this point serves no purpose. Lets stop fighting and get to work.
It needs to be an entirely new animal that blends what works best from all the older editions and allows enough flexibility so that players from any era/edition can use the rules to create the style of game they enjoy. Arguing over which edition is best at this point serves no purpose. Lets stop fighting and get to work.



I completely agree. The bickering is a waste of time and energy. Regardless... D&D5 needs to be a whole new beast.
While I agree with the post I think its important to add some positive stuff for 4th edition. IMO it wasnt about the balance of classes but the way it made easier the DM's job.

"Regardless... D&D5 needs to be a whole new beast."

Sure but you cant forget there's a reason for people to buy D&D instead of any of the tons fantasy role playing games out there...

Some people may think is just a brand... but a brand like D&D comes with a tradition and ignore it is just going to make them repeat 4th edition  (which in my opinion was whole new beast.) 
Eh, if 5e turns out to be '2e redux' I'll pass.  I enjoyed 2e, but if I want to play it, I'll find a copy on Ebay and play it.



Yes! I agree. If I want to play 2e, I will take the book out of my attic and play it. 
@ TOPIC STARTER:

I agree with your passion to make the next game great. I just wholly barf at the rest of your sentiment. Respectfully.


I've played D&D since 1st edition.  My group gave 4E a chance.  At first it was fun but after the novelty of the new system/rules wore off, it became more and more tedious, monotnous, and painful to play.  A couple of years later after permanently staining my soul in a negative fashion it was dropped.  I'm not sure that 5e could resurrect my interest in DnD, however I'd take a look at the new system if its core was not based on 4E. 
I Have played D'n'D since 1st Ed, as well. A big reminder to everyone, WoTC can not go back to 3rd ED. bcause Pathfinder is 3rd and 3.5 ED updated and repackage. Next there are a few good things about 4E and Essentials, One: Combat was simplier.


I hope in this next they bring back alignments, because it was key factor choosing how you replayed.    
I couldn't disagree more.



That makes one of us.  I actually can disagree with the OP more.
Eh, if 5e turns out to be '2e redux' I'll pass.  I enjoyed 2e, but if I want to play it, I'll find a copy on Ebay and play it.



Now here is something to agree with.  Wizards is not burning the older editions for heresy when 5e comes out.  If you prefer 2e (or Pathfinder ) to 5e, those games are still there for you.  D20 especially is still available for free online.  Any gamer worth their salt can add new feats/classes etc. to the game and there is enough old D&D material out there to play for many years.

Devs, please give it another good shot at making a new D&D.  4e was a good try that wasn't as popular as many might have hoped.  So try again, but don't feel that tradition binds you.  Try to make the best damn game possible.
AN OPEN LETTER TO WIZARDS OF THE COAST AND THE D&D COMMUNITY



A (literally) bold opening...

a game nobody asked for

Not true, around 2006, 2007 or so it was clear that there were some fundamental things in 3rd edition that could be improved. Many of the 4th edition changes were foreshadowed in late 3.5 material like the Warlock class, Tome of Battle and Monster Manual V.


Maybe you weren't there.


1. Do Not Pander to Children


Interesting. How do you come to that conclusion? Besides, if no products like a Basic Box bring the children in, D&D will not have a future. Oh, and the first generation of gamers is now playing with their children.


2. Respect Your Fanbase


Sounds good in theory, but the fanbase currently heavily disagrees what "respecting their wishes means.


Readers of Dragon Magazine might remember Roger E. Moore mentioning a number of times in his editorials that TSR was conscious of the fact that people had a finite amount of money to spend on new gaming products. Simply pumping out poor quality material in an attempt to bilk people out of their hard-earned dollars is poor business strategy.


Funny that you mentioned TSR. Whether all of their material was high quality is debatable. And they went bankrupt.


3. Respect Your Tradition
... The game as originally constructed is solid enough to whether nearly 40 years on continuous play



Nah, I disagree. I had a session of OD&D. Didn't like it and was happy about all the advancements the hobby had since 1974.

4. Start With the Basics: The basic D&D player character classes and races should follow the classic line-up. That is human, elf, half-elf, halfling, dwarf, & gnome and fighter, cleric, magic-user, and thief. This should be the basic format.


Really? What are the half-elf and gnome doing in there? None were classes back then. Sorry, being snarky here. The point is that whatever your definition of the classic core is, someone else will have a different set, depending on what their "classic" edition is.

Splatbooks will expand this "classic core" sooner or later anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

6. Deemphasize PC Powers: Starting with 3rd edition it seemed that all semblance of character power balance was removed. Third edition and fourth has over-emphasized personal character power. There are simply too many options for classes, spells, powers, etc. A simpler, smaller, and more-useful pool of these would work better. The overemphasizing of powers means many newer player treat D&D like a MMO; in a sense, if you just it the buttons fast enough you will destroy your opponent. Like mentioned earlier, the role playing should be a greater aspect of the game.


I don't think you've ever seen the full amount of options and the meters and meters of splatbooks AD&D had. What you describe is laudable, but it's not something D&D lost over the years. It never had it. Besides, as long as D&D has players, it will be about player characters, since that is what players bring to the table.

1st Edition

Positive: First edition was where most of the classic module adventures were born. These adventures were flexible to fit into any campaign since many were “plotless”. The makers of 1st edition respected D&D tradition and had a good eye for game balance.



Game balance? Have you even played it? Silly.


And what's that bla about tradition? Back then, it wasn't "tradition", it was "the game as it is currently played".


Negative: The makers of 1st edition kept too tight of reigns on its development, so growth of the game moved very slowly. They vehemently discouraged tinkering with the rules.


Completely wrong.


2nd Edition

Positive: Second edition fixed a lot of outdated rules from 1st ed. Role playing was emphasized over dungeon delving. Game worlds were expanded. Information about character classes, races, and monsters was increased greatly.


Negative: Too much role playing. Too many adventures built around game worlds (Dark Sun, Ravenloft, etc.). Few generic, “plotless” adventures. Combat and tactics were almost completely ignored until near the end of its cycle.



Silly. Dark Sun, Ravenloft and the other game worlds were the strengths of 2nd edition. And I have no idea where this "no dungeoneering" idea of yours came from. Maybe you just never played it and you're making **** up. Or maybe it was your DM at the time.


Whatever, I'm getting tired of this.

If the game designers are willing to step out of the box, they could probably achieve a balance among the character classes that still makes each unique and cool to play. (of course "cool" is subjective as well.)



Pretty much exactly this. All these people crying out for 2e to be reprinted makes zero sense to me. Why print books that are already out there (and for pretty cheap)? For that matter, most of the people out there wanting these books to be reprinted (and called 5th edition for some silly reason) already own all the 2e books.

What would WotC gain by reprinting 15-20 year old rulesets?

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

$34.50
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
I, as probably one of the older players posting on this board will say this.  I personally hated 4th edition.  I disliked 4th Ed more than I disliked 2nd Ed.  That being said I will go so far as to say there were a few things about 4th edition I did agree (with increased hit points in forefront).  What I think 3rd edition did was combined the best elements for 1st and 2nd edition and added some flavor.  The got a little wieghed down with rules.  But then 3. addressed all that. Pathfider right now rules as the heir to the throne of D&D and it would be nice if 5th edition learned from the mistakes. I think if you truly want to make this 5th Edition something to talk about then you should truly attempt to take the things that have made each edition of D&D great... Don't try and create a cash cow and trust me you'll make a ton of cash.  Keep your promises. Perhaps finally deliver on the virtual table top...

I consider myself an old school hard core pen and paper gamer, having said this I want people to realize that I am not adverse to change. I am perfectly happy to learn a new rules set if necessary. I really disliked the 4th edition rules set  and, I noticed that you’re going to put out 5th addition D&D rules so I thought I would post and tell you what I want from 5th addition so here we go. Just start over with 5th and pretend anything associated with 4th does not exist thanks.



  1. I want the ability to make my character unique, give me lots of choices building my character. I never want my character to feel like a cookie cutter copy of everyone else’s idea of what the class should be. When I set down to play D&D I don’t want it to play like a video game, I don’t care if the game is perfectly balanced, I want to let my imagination run wild and to go to another place.

  2. Tell me stories give me worlds to DM that have depth and breadth and hart and life. You cannot wright enough campaign settings and modules if you give people a lot of choices you will sell a lot of modules. Wright full campaigns levels 1 to 20.

  3. I want a character and monster management tool with treasure generator that is updated each and every time a new book supplement or module comes out for D&D 5.0. I do not want it to be online only; I do not want to pay a monthly fee to use it. It should be included with every rule book supplement and module that comes out.  I would be glad to pay an additional 30 bucks a book for this software. I want this to be a rock solid piece of software that works every time I go to use it on a physical cd that I own. I don’t want the data sets to be crowd sourced, fan sourced or done by monkeys it needs to work the first time every time. Make my paperwork easy.

  4. I love the forgotten realms you have amazing authors producing books for this setting. I have a wacky plan maybe you could put some of them in a room with the game designers and have them work together on modules. I hear that Ed Greenwood guy tells pretty good stories and can be bought...

Amen Asperdn.... I agree so much with you. As far as that software is concerned I want it to also allow me to ad my own house rules.  Ed Greenwood & Monte Cook, R.A. Salvatore and the list goes on an on
You can close this letter since most of it is wrong. They took a big step with 4e. Completely changing what we know is not a bad thing. This is like complaining about the advent of Netflix. "I've always got my movies at the brick and mortar stores, why would I want to stream or have them delivered."

Saying 4e brings nothing to the table is a lie. The utter ease it has on a dm, the ease of learning and teaching yo new players. Having melee users nit be completely overshadowed by casters etc. Others have said more on this. Again I want to note how easy 4e made it on the dm.
I hate to say this but Wizards can't put the genie back in the bottle, a new edition will not recapture the players that have fled to Pathfinder. It will simply alienate those that have migrated to fourth. Fourth edition is a fine RPG, but it was too much of a departure from the previous editions for many to accept. A fifth edition cannot be all things to all people. It will fail. The people who migrated to fourth will be upset about having to invest more money and those that have already left will continue to play Pathfinder.

Fourth failed to pay homage to the previous incarnations. They blew up Forgotten Realms to make it more Eberron like ... I thought that was why we had Eberron. With perhaps the exception of Neverwinter, they never tried to create imaginative settings. Their entire energy went into creating a dizzying array of powers as if they were creating new cards for Magic the Gathering. They started out trying to evenly balance all the powers to the point where everything seemed the same. Who cares that I'm a Ranger with arrows or a Wizard with spells if we both have powers that are Range 10 and Burst 1 that do 1d8. Would it have been so bad if they had just made a fifth level daily fireball and 15th daily level improved fireball and a 25th daily level greater fireball? Then in an attempt to sell books they nerfed the iconic character classes and races to the point where no one in my group wants to play a human fighter. Everyone has to be a pixie vampire to stay ahead of the power curve. In first edition new classes were introduced, but many were actually less powerful than the iconic base classes. No one played a first edition druid because it was more powerful than a cleric. They did it because they liked the idea of playing a druid. I had many players willing to make that sacrifice.

Fourth edition at first was a great attempt at balanced game play with clear cut rules. If they had payed lip service to the previous incarnations and not thrown away the rich history developed in the campaign settings, it could have worked.