How does WotC overcome the idea 4e and presumably 5e isn't the 'real' D&D

This thread addresses the main problem 5e will have to overcome. I will illustrate it from the quote I came across at the Paizo boards.

another_mage wrote:

There are very many people for whom Pathfinder is the only continuation of the game they knew as D&D.
This means that in the space of mindshare (i.e.: what people think/feel/believe), Paizo has a substantial moral claim to the D&D brand as well.

How much would it be worth to have a non-trivial portion of the market believe that your company is the only one making the "real" Coca-Cola, even if another company actually owns the name?

So I'm not going to chastise anybody for calling it D&D, because consumer mindshare is where the edition wars are fought--for keeps.
 



Put aside your rage at these statements. I think most people, even if they don't like it, have to admit it's true. Next question is  how does WotC overcomes this very real perception?

How does a company deal from an artistic standpoint, with the fact that a significant portion of its former fans no longer view its product as 'the real thing'? From a 4e fan standpoint remember that if 5e does not pick up a significant percentage of people who don't look at 4e as 'real D&D' or draw new fans (something I that didn't work so well for 4e) or worse, splits the fanbase again, there might not be a 6e.
Or, the entire fanbase could get over the idea of there being "One true D&D, with all others being pretenders to the throne".

You know, shut up roll some dice and have fun.
I_Roll_20s @twitter. Not always SFW. I may prefer 4e, but I will play and enjoy almost any edition, and indeed almost any table top RPG, with my friends. Down with Edition Wars. Shut up and roll your dice. :P
There will be a percentage of people who will go to stores and conventions when Wizards do their 5e Playtesting. They will play 5e and figure out if they like it or not.

I have a friend that will probably stick to Pathfinder, not because of any feeling that it is the true D&D. But because it is so similar to 3.5e that he finds it comforting. Anything different he dislikes. And he's played 3.5e for a long enough time that he knows every secret of it's character building.
Ant Farm
For me, the problem with 4e wasn't as much it's mechanics (though I did have some problems with that) it was that the assumed setting, though it had many good points, in other ways was so very different then that of earlier editions. If I have to essentially rewrite portions of the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual to be able to play Greyhawk, there's something wrong.
For me, the problem with 4e wasn't as much it's mechanics (though I did have some problems with that) it was that the assumed setting, though it had many good points, in other ways was so very different then that of earlier editions. If I have to essentially rewrite portions of the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual to be able to play Greyhawk, there's something wrong.



What is stopping you from using an older sourcebook as reference for Oerth?
I_Roll_20s @twitter. Not always SFW. I may prefer 4e, but I will play and enjoy almost any edition, and indeed almost any table top RPG, with my friends. Down with Edition Wars. Shut up and roll your dice. :P
Put aside your rage at these statements. I think most people, even if they don't like it, have to admit it's true. Next question is  how does WotC overcomes this very real perception?

How does a company deal from an artistic standpoint, with the fact that a significant portion of its former fans no longer view its product as 'the real thing'? From a 4e fan standpoint remember that if 5e does not pick up a significant percentage of people who don't look at 4e as 'real D&D' or draw new fans (something I that didn't work so well for 4e) or worse, splits the fanbase again, there might not be a 6e.


It seems that two things would need to be present (and please note that I am not saying these need to be exclusively present, but they need to be there, front and center): (a) legacy features and recognizable mechanics that could be found more or less from 1975 with the Greyhawk supplement to 3.5e, and, just as important (b) someone who has been away from the game for some time needs to be able to sit down and already more or less know how to play. We've all dealt with little changes here or there, but what makes people say that any given iteration is D&D is rooted, I think, in whether or not the game as they have learned to play it (note, not in the style they learned to play) is still there. This needs to be more concrete than "fantasy adventures of heroism/swords & sorcery" since you can play lost of games that do that and are not D&D.

To be fair, the challenge, and I hope the design people can pull it off, is that we also want a game that people introduced to the D&D brand with 4e, or had played D&D before but found in the playing of 4e what they had long been wanting, can still recognize and know how to play.
For me, the problem with 4e wasn't as much it's mechanics (though I did have some problems with that) it was that the assumed setting, though it had many good points, in other ways was so very different then that of earlier editions. If I have to essentially rewrite portions of the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual to be able to play Greyhawk, there's something wrong.



What is stopping you from using an older sourcebook as reference for Oerth?



Nothing, but that has nothing to do with my problem.
4e IS D&D.

D&D should be kinda, or IS kinda setting neutral to a point - why it have to service more GH than PoL, or such? D&D is more a set of rules first, the worlds after.
To be blunt, WotC can overcome this by outselling and outshining Paizo in a visible and dramatic manner. Remind Paizo that they can outspend, outproduce, and frankly out D&D them, even with the OGL.

Getting space in the New York Times and several internet venues was a good start, reminding Paizo that they lack clout in the mainstream media. Announcing a new edition while Paizo is reaching new heights is a good way to redirect the conversation from "Paizo is outselling WotC" to "WotC is making a new edition. How will Paizo react?".

Stating that they're going to support all editions (however far-fetched this might be) puts Paizo in a niche corner. Before, Paizo said that they were upholding oldschool D&D because 4ed had gone too far. However, if 5ed supports 1st, 2nd, and 3rd edition playstyles, that makes Paizo look out of step. Instead of people saying "Way to go Paizo! Thanks for supporting the best edition!", it becomes "Paizo, why do you only support 3ed playstyles?" 

Reprinting the 1st ed Core books and getting Ed Greenwood to release his Forgotten Realm campaign notes makes WotC look like it's getting back in touch with its roots. Whatever IP isn't available through the OGL is a potential nostalgia tool for WotC to leverage to older players. WotC could make a 5ed version of "Age of Worms" and piggyback off the goodwill Paizo created for those adventures.

Frankly, Paizo has been able to claim the "real" D&D crown because, during the 4ed era, WotC wasn't really concerned with fighting for it. However, I think that Paizo has awoken the beast and their success has inspired WotC to try many of their own tricks, the first of which being the open playtest. I think the tables have turned on Paizo. Before, Paizo positioned itself in the market to fulfill a need the big companies weren't fulfilling. Now, it seems that WotC wants to squat squarely on what Paizo has gotten rich off of, and is willing to fight with its full arsenal for the money of every D&D player alive.   

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

I guess you can’t overcome the truth for a lot of reasons 4e is not D&D at least not the D&D I grew up with and love. When push comes to shove pathfinder is really the new D&D for many fans, mostly because 4e tried to do too many new things too fast in terms of both rules and setting. I really want to see wizards succeed in producing 5e but I think the game designers are too caught up in how great they think the 4e mechanics are. The recent Vatican magic comments are another example of a rules change that makes both the 4e fans and the 3e fans angry. I want a Vatican magic system with spell power progression not fixed damage. The existence of this system even as a modular option or just for some classes really bungees most 4e players. For the most part I feel fairly ganged up on by the 4e crowed here, but I am going to keep trying to make constructive comment’s where I can I would love to save this game. I think the number one thing that wizards could do to make this game feel like D&D would be a set of gray hawk modules.

The answer to the OP's question is very simple:

They convince people that the new edition is the real D&D by saying "It's just like every other edition of D&D you've ever played, and most importantly it's nothing like 4e!" The self-contradiction here should be readily apparent. So far, this is working as intended.

They convince 4e fans that the new edition is the real D&D by building a game that is empirically a better game than 4e.  So far, they are failing utterly.




I really want to see wizards succeed in producing 5e but I think the game designers are too caught up in how great they think the 4e mechanics are.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA~ oh my goodness that's precious! You're adorable, Asperdn. 

Mearls hasn't had a kind word to say about 4e in almost two years, and anyone who had a guiding hand in the creation of 4e has been fired or has left WotC. 

And Cook? Cook stuck with publishing OGL, SRD-compliant product after 4e released, so I think his opinion on 4e is pretty clear.
-m4ki; one down, one to go

"Retro is not new. Retro-fit is not new." --Seeker95, on why I won't be playing DDN

|| DDN Metrics (0-10) | enthusiasm: 1 | confidence in design: -3 | desire to play: 0 | Sticking with 4e?: Yep. | Better Options: IKRPG Mk II ||
The Five Things D&D Next Absolutely Must Not Do:
1. Imbalanced gameplay. Any and all characters must be able to contribute equally both in combat and out of combat at all levels of play. If the Fighters are linear and the Wizards quadratic, I walk. 2. Hardcore simulationist approach. D&D is a game about heroic fantasy. I'm weak and useless enough in real life; I play RPGs for a change of pace. If the only reason a rule exists is because "that's how it's supposed to be", I walk. I don't want a game that "simulates" real life, I want a game that simulates heroic fantasy. 3. Worshipping at false idols (AKA Sacred Cows). If the only reason a rule exists is "it's always been that way", I walk. Now to be clear, I have no problem with some things not changing; my issue is with retaining bad idea simply for the sake of nostalgia. 4. DM vs. players. If the game encourages "gotcha!" moments or treats the DM and players as enemies, adversaries, or problems to be overcome, I walk. 5. Rules for the sake of rules. The only thing I want rules for is the things I can't do sitting around a table with my friends. If the rules try to step on my ability to roleplay the character I want to roleplay, I walk. Furthermore, the rules serve to facilitate gameplay, not to simulate the world. NOTE: Items in red have been violated.
Chris Perkins' DM Survival Tips:
1. When in doubt, wing it. 2. Keep the story moving. Go with the flow. 3. Sometimes things make the best characters. 4. Always give players lots of things to do. 5. Wherever possible, say ‘yes.’ 6. Cheating is largely unnecessary. 7. Don't be afraid to give the characters a fun new toy. 8. Don't get in the way of a good players exchange. 9. Avoid talking too much. 10. Save some details for later. 11. Be transparent. 12. Don't show all your cards. Words to live by.
Quotes From People Smarter Than Me:
"Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging..." -Foxface on Essentials "Servicing a diverse fan base with an RPG ruleset - far from being the mandate for 'open design space' and a cavalier attitude towards balance - requires creating a system that /works/, with minimal fuss, for a wide variety of play styles, not just from one group to the next, but at the same table." -Tony_Vargas on design "Mearls' and Cook's stated intent to produce an edition that fans of all previous editions (and Pathfinder) will like more than their current favourite edition is laudable. But it is also, IMO, completely unrealistic. It's like people who pray for world peace: I might share their overall aims, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to succeed. When they talk in vague terms about what they'd like to do in this new edition, I mostly find myself thinking 'hey, that sounds cool, assuming they can pull it off', but almost every time they've said something specific about actual mechanics, I've found myself wincing and shaking my head in disbelief and/or disgust, either straight away or after thinking about the obvious implications for half a minute." -Duskweaver on D&D Next
First off, I will say that I missed most of 3rd and 3.5 edition of D&D while they were on going.. I got back into D&D with 4th edition, but have since also started playing Pathfinder too.  I agree that Paizo just capitalized on the OGL and the tradition of 3rd and 3.5 editions... they revised, streamlined, and then added to 3.5 while WOTC went out and tried 4th edition.  

I think WOTC was trying to make 4th edition beginner friendly... I think they realized that 3.5 was getting too big and too overwhelming for brand new players and was being monopolized by veterans of the game and that as another group of gamers reached the age where they might start playing D&D, a new edition with simplified entry into the game might work.  I also feel (for better or worse) that WOTC tried to copy World of Warcrafts and an MMO style and ended up making 4th edition as much of a table-top wargame as any edition of D&D or D&D like game had ever been... and I think they (WOTC) thought that making table-top wargaming, D&D, and the D&D miniatures line would all tie in nicely together... and they were wrong... for different reasons (everything from people sticking to 3.5/pathfinder, lack of miniature selection forethought and production, and the natural turn that 4th edition made to take the roleplaying out of the combat encounter)...

and now I think WOTC and 5th edition look to recover from those mistakes and make a game that veteran gamers will like, that new gamers can also start to play, and that won't suffer from being more of a table-top wargame than an RPG.

D&D has too much useful and classic tradition that could be used to make the next edition exceed where 4e didn't and I think the biggest mistake 5th edition could make would be to try to make a new campaign setting, lose all of the heritage, and lose more of the gamers who have stuck with D&D (or at least have paid attention to D&D) since 1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions.

Also, it isn't like Pathfinder is a perfect game... it is still a bit unwieldly at times, there are plenty of parts to the game that I would prefer to be more streamlined, and it can degrade into a table-top wargame style of play at times, and all of those things allow for a potential 5th edition of D&D to improve on a classic RPG and recruit new and old players to the side of WOTC... nothing improves the quality of a product like some competition from another product so I for one am glad to see Paizo succeed and hope WOTC can use that to fuel their creative fires and make a great game too.
Quite honestly the only way they can overcome the perception that the current edition of D&D is not "the real D&D" is to come up with an edition which is consistent with the look and feel of "real D&D" and by "read D&D" I mean 1st ed. AD&D, 2nd ed., 3.0/3.5 & Pathfinder.

4e? It marketed itself as "not your daddy's D&D" and daddy agreed.  Very few of the old fans wanted anything to do with it and a lot of the new fans didn't care for it either.

Much of marketing is meaningless.  Getting an article about it in the NYT?  Not a hard trick when you fly out the reporter and put them up, but it should also be remembered that, with the exception of its bestseller list, the NYT doesn't have much credibility with fantasy fans.  Anyone read Ginia Bellafante's inane review of "Game of Thrones" when it premiered on HBO?  Yeah, that NYT.  The Gray Lady is obviously senile, and moreover looking really silly now that GoT was not only nominated in multiple categories including best drama for the Emmies and Golden Globes, and had Dinklage win the best supporting actor in both.

Which is a long roundabout of saying marketing and advance reviews won't add up to anything if the game isn't any good, and moreover isn't backwards compatible with everything that came before, including the unlovely stepchild 4e which some players are fond of, if just not most.
I think one thing 4e did right was make the DM's life easier.  I think it was the character/magic/magic item rules that turned people off from it.  Not all of course.  I started out a strong advocate for 4e.  I ran a lengthy campaign in it.  Eventually I realized that while much easier to run it just wasn't as much fun.  At least to me.  I'm all for different strokes for different folks.  

While I prefer to run campaigns in my own world, I do believe that wizards should have an immersive world that is very well developed.  Good DM's like me can port the modules that get written.  Those that want everything spoon fed will be much more energized if they have good support world wise and module wise.   Those in between will use what they want and discard the rest.  

 

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Success for 5e, in short, doesn't rely on being true DnD, it relies on being a nigh-objectively better game, and one that's different enough that you have to change systems rather than just adopt key elements into the old ones, AND one that appeals to outsiders, AND AND one that still "feels like" DnD.


This is how I see it as well. I've written about IPs that need to stay true to their nature in the past, and how important that feel is to a successful sequel.

For D&D, however, there is no real true nature, in my opinion. The campaign settings have them, but the key element of the base game is that it is the archetypal fantasy roleplaying game.

That's what D&D needs to be best at to be successful. It needs to be the strongest and most accessible fantasy roleplaying game. For 5th Edition to be a success, I think trying to appeal solely to its legacy is a bad idea. What 5th needs to do is be such a great game that it draws in a whole new generation. Otherwise it's just going to continue cannibalizing from its own fanbase, which keeps getting fractured further and further.

It should have other iconic elements as well, but I don't think any one thing is important. It needs a selection of some of D&D's most iconic elements, but it can be any combination of those elements. I'm not even saying it has to get rid of anything, especially if it has proven to work, just that the whole picture is more important than, say, Charisma still being called Charisma.
There are very many people for whom Pathfinder is the only continuation of the game they knew as D&D. 

Next question is  how does WotC overcomes this very real perception?

The first step is understanding the emotion that Paizo tapped into to pull of this little coup.  With every rev-roll there has been a sub-set of fans who were reluctant to accept the new ed.  Some just hated change.  Some didn't want to see their $ 'investment' in D&D books become obsolete.  Some didn't want to see their intelectual/emotional investment (or pride) in 'mastering' the system invalidated.  Some simply didn't want to face the learning curve of a new system.  Some were simply nostalgic. 

All of those reasons share two things:   They demand that the game not change - not for the worse, not for the better, not for the sake of change.  And, they're basically selfish.

Most hold-outs were eventually brough around by the stagnation of the old ed for the lack of any new material being brought out.  All the new shinies were for the new system, and eventually the lustre would beckon and avarice would draw most of the holdouts to make the change, with the remaining ones fading into obscurity for lack of anything much to rant about in their now-stagnant, unsuported edition.

The OGL changed that.  It allowed 3pps to 'clone' 3.5 and keep the hold-out trolls fed with new material for the old ed.  In the process, winning a lot of customer loyalty from that irrascible fan base.  Paizo's D&D clone emerged victorious, so it was the beneficiary of the emotional rejection of 4e.

It's worth noting that 4e -> 5e can be expected to follow the old pattern, not the one Paizo cashed in on.  The GSL is much more restrictive than the OGL, meaning that WotC can stop anyone from 'cloning' 4e.  The inevitable 4e hold-outs will convert or fade away over time.

So, there is no need to cater to 4e or AD&D or earlier holdouts.  The only necessary priority is to bring back the 3.5 holdouts.  That can only be done by bringing back 3.5 - by preserving the nostalgic feel, the $ investment, the system mastery of that ed.  5e would have to be essentially mechanically the same as, and fully compatible with 3.5, to start.  It would also have to relentlessly hammer the D&D trade-marks and IP to overcome the loyalty won by Paizo by emphasizing that Pathfinder can't claim to be D&D.   That would mean bringing back every D&D setting in 3.5-compatible form.  That would mean expanding on the races and monsters that are D&D IP - like Ilithids.  Ilithids as a broken high-powered PC race, for instance, in an Ilithid-centric campaign setting.  It would mean organized play that harps on the 'strengths' of 3.5 (like heavily rewarding system mastery).  So, competative 'tournaments,' Lair-Assault-like powergaming exercises, PvP free-for-alls. 

The 'all things to all players' line is fine as a marketing smoke-screen, but at bottom, 5e has to be 3.5 to succeed.  Going open-source put WotC back in the industry leadership position, but it's also locked in the shape of the game that will let them keep that lead for the foreseable future.  Much like being the 'first RPG' did to TSR.  TSR got to play industry 'leader' for 20 years or so, but only at the price of being unable to innovate or substantially improve their line.  Eventually, it caught up with them.











 

 

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There's only D&D.  No one outside of D&D fans know what Pathfinder is.  No one outside of D&D fans know the names of any other TTRPG.  D&D might not be your favorite, it might not be the game your playing now.  But there is only D&D.  A quick explanation for WoW would be D&D online.  I don't love 4E, but I love D&D.  If I joined a Pathfinder group tomorrow, I'd be playing D&D.  I don't say GM, I only say DM.  Is there a PM? 

I think WotC has to make D&D more like TSR D&D.  Everyone who thinks 5th Edition War talk has anything to do with WotC product doesn't understand what WotC is saying.

D&D is dead.  Long live D&D.
I see a lot of old school people come on and talk about how D&D needs to change back to something that no longer resembles 4th edition in any way. I have been playing since 2nd Edition AD&D, and frankly, I am of the opposite opinion. If the new D&D doesn't look like 4th edition to me, I'm highly unlikely to switch to it. Oh sure, I've signed up for the playtests, and I'll give it a try, either way, but the things I am hearing about it are not making me feel like I'll be switching. Perhaps it's far more modular than they are letting on, but a lot of the things that are deal-breakers for some old school gamers (vancian casting, AEDU structure, powers, and certain other things like power sources) are deal-breakers for me, as well... just in the other direction. If I don't have powers, or most of the power sources from 4th edition, I'm just going to keep playing 4th edition. I am sure I am not alone on this. For me, at least, it's not about system mastery (though that's there), or about irrational fear of change. It's about tone. 4th edition is both easy to run, and supports the stories I want to tell. I hope that they are able to make a D&D that can satisfy both me and the people on this thread, but I'm not holding my breath, anymore.
Likewise, I got started with the Basic red box in 1983, but I don't feel beholden to something just because some past version of the game did it that way, and at this point I honestly don't care whether or not someone's ideology leads them to label an edition as "true D&D". I care about whether it's a game system I'd care to use or play under, and wallowing in the past, as Next seems intent on doing, will not achieve that.
There is a fundamental difference in philosophy between 4E and earlier editions. It is not about mechaincs, or Vancian magic (which is an abomination for me).
In 4E, you are heroes. Earlier you became heroes. I can understand fans missing that, you started as a lowly apprentice, with 1 spell a day, and even that one quite useless (what does 2-5 damage matter?). Slowly you became efficient, than incredibly powerful. Just what any geek dreams of, one day being able to knock out the jock.

The concept is great, but it just does not work in real life, at least for me. Noone I know has ever advanced more than 6 levels with one character, and the average is around 2. Also we always started on level 1, that just made it worse. A wizard probably starts to be playable and valuable with Fireball, (level 5), a fighter with the second attack per round (6 BAB, level 6). A game should be playable every level, and 4E gave me just that.
Having maximum hitpoints less than the average damage of the most common weapon is just insane (Wizard vs Longsword).


In second edition I had a Samurai level 1-3. A Bard 1-2, Wizard 1-4, another Samurai 1-6, a Chavalier 5-6, a Cleric-Mage 7-8. A cleric 20-26.
In third edition I had a Wizard 1-4, a Druid 1-2, a Cleric 4-9, a Fighter-Cleric 1-3.
In fourth I had a Swordmage 1-3, a Fighter 1-2 and Paladin 2-3.
This is quite some experience in the lower levels, and I have to say earlier DnD games were much less enjoyable in the 1-5 level range. One of the reasons I loved Dark Sun was that we started at level 3

I think 4E is for casual players, playing once a month or so. Pathfinder is targeted for the fanatics. I do not see how a singele product (5E) could satisfy both types of audience.
This is an interesting discussion you all are having. 
I see there are a lot of great points made here. 

This is the first time I have posted or been here on wizards for quite some time. (had to create a new profile. lol)

I'm going to list my gaming groups current individul views to maybe help give a small and humble example of some of our opinions to help give insight

My view:  When 4E came along I thought it was going to be cool.  our groups plan was to play both our existing 3.5 FR game and to start a 4E game.  sound familiar?  I'm the primary DM in our group and when I realized that they where going to "Change" the forgotten realms, I got pretty upset.  I understood that some DM's and Players abused the NPC's in the Realms and that the world was heavily bloated with info.  I think that FR intimidated some folks and for whatever reason Baker and crew literally destroyed it in most realms fans eyes. 
It hurt.  real bad.  "Water under the bridge?"  more like blood.

I've played and DMed since 1992, and if a DM wants to use an NPC for a "power play ego trip"  he's going to do it even if he creates said NPC from scratch.  Why wipe out tons of literature and creations because of people who are disruptive players, or DM's who dont understand how to make a game about the PCs?  who knows.

Anyway this along with the fact that I had pretty much completed an extensive 3x set of books got me off on the wrong foot with 4E.

One of my players decided to DM the 4E game, and I had a chance to play.  I will admit, that I had a lot of fun with my 4e character.  Oh don't get me wrong there where game mechanics of 4E that I thought where poor, but that has been the case imo with all of the editions.  I won't rehash all of the editions and Pathfinders mechanics here, but our group pretty much decided to stick with 3.5 and PF.

However here is my admission from the heart:  If they would have trimmed about 20-25% of the fat of the FR instead of KEEPING only 10% I would have converted to 4E.  lol  I really like the massive combinations of character builds for bothe PCs and NPCs in 3.5, and find the skills in 4E poorly done, but I would be DMing 4E right now if it wasn't for the Realms issue.

Will I give 5E a try?  Yes.. IF.. They make a game that is smooth, taking the best concepts from all the editions, and a revitalization of FR.

Player #1:  He will be very hard to convince to jump on the 5E bandwagon.  I've been trying to push him to a "wait and see" positive hope, but he basically said Wizards is going to have to hit one out of the park for him to give up Pathfinder. 

Player #2:  She might not overly enjoy starting a new edition again.  (Been playing PF for only a short time)after spending time getting proficient in 3.5), but if Monte' and the crew deliver a easy yet option heavy game as promised, she will convert over if our group does.

Player # 3:  This guy is the epitome of a roleplayer.  Oh he can number crunch with the best of em, but he's a border line actor at heart, so if the game is Story riddled, and promotes actions that are as far removed from a table top version of WOW, he will jump on 5E pretty quick.

Player # 4:  Um..Mr. Positive will play any edition that the rest of us want.  He likes em all.  LOL 

Player # 5:  IF 5E has lots of PC options for heavy build concepts that span the collective of all the editions.  He will be happy.  He's our resident Power gamer. lol.  (I keep him on a leash though.)

Anyway I apologize for the ramblings, but I believe that our group will convert over IF:  they somehow fix the Realms, and there are a smattering of smooth options for both the DM and the PC's, yet not so complex that it gets bogged down with game mechanics like a newbie did with 3.5.

Can the RD team take the best of all editions, and wrap it in a nice package, with loads of coolness?  Hope so.  If not ..  We have enough book material and game knowledge of the Realms and Galarion to play for 15 -20 years without spending another dime. 

But if it is as advertised.  WotC will make about 1k from us over the next ten years.

IS 4E and 5E DND?  (comming from a 3.5/PF player?  .......Yes of course they are....  Tongue Out 


Peace.
In the vein of detailing our gaming groups (which I think is helpful, and shows a broader specturm than just our opinions), here is what mine looks like:

There's me (the DM), who loves 4th edition (both for the ease of preparation and the focus on certain areas of story)

There's my old D&D friend, who is a diehard Planescape fanatic, reluctantly switched to 3.5, since it supported his view of the planes, and only plays 4th edition because that's what I run. When I first asked if he had heard about the new edition, he responded with venom in his voice. He still runs a 3.5 game (NOT Pathfinder), and, while he is willing to playtest it if we are picked, he is not particularly interested in switching over, otherwise (and buying more books and learning new systems). He will be a hard sell, but if it hits the right notes (Planescape support, more focus on story), he might come around.

There is my wife, who is fairly rules-light, and is primarily interested in the story (and how she can highjack it). She plays in both my 4th edition game, and in my friend's 3.5 game. She prefers the ease of play in the 4th edition game (she likes playing spellcasters, and they are WAAAY easier to handle in 4th edition). The new edition would have to be very easy for her to grasp for her to want to switch (and the rest of us would have to want to switch, as well, as she would never pick to switch to something new if it were only up to her).

There is the new guy, who plays a paladin, and can barely remember to holy strike things, much less use any encounter powers. Since 4th edition remains a mystery to him well into the paragon tier, I think he would have little problem switching to another system, as he would likely not even notice. He just wants to be a big guy in armor and hit things. I'm sure he'd be fine, either way.

There is the power gamer guy, who wants to build super-awesome characters, and is kind of a wacky roleplayer. A new edition would probably leave him ambivalent. He's been a long-time player, and is interested in new things, but a new edition would leave him with a dearth of options at first... and fewer things to exploit for power.

Then there is the power gamer's girlfriend. She is also new to the game, but has someone to help her build characters and help explain things to her. She started as something of a lurker, but has come out of her shell somewhat, and rather enjoys the current story. If the new edition doesn't switch easily, she would probably rather stay with the story we are already telling (as would... probably everyone else at the table). Having finally gotten a character she enjoys (a seeker, as it turns out), she would probably like to stay with a similar style of character (and since seekers are unlikely to be in the next edition, that would require going some other way... perhaps a ranger). Since she is not very rules-oriented, but has someone to help (who would quickly figure out the new system), she probably wouldn't mind switching, so long as other people wanted to switch, and she could make a fun character.

It's kind of a mix there, honestly. I think that's illustrative of what WOTC needs to deal with, though...
I think a post, above, hit the nail on the head in saying WotC has to go after the 3.5 players.

I should note that 3.5 is not my favorite edition of the game, so this doesn't exactly give me much joy, but I think it is the reality. That doesn't mean 5e is going to be a 3.5 clone, but I think you'll see a lot from that edition in 5e when it comes down to firm choices made by the designers. The modular aspects will allow players to recapture other editions, but when push comes to shove in game design, 3.5 is the logical target from a business standpoint. As noted above, when other editions came out, the majority of people eventually switched, even if they preferred an earlier edition. There is an allure to playing an actively developed game, with new material being published. OGL changed that and allowed people to stick with 3.5 and continue to benefit from quality new products for their game of choice. WotC can get rid of GSL with the stroke of a pen, leaving 4e players in the same position as 1e and 2e players when those editions were discontinued.

Clearly, Paizo is the chief competitor to WotC. Just as clearly, WotC wants those Paizo/3.5 players. I think they'll do what they can to make the game modular and appeal to players across the board, but when it comes time to make a firm choice about one direction or another, I suspect they'll choose something that 3.5 players will find enticing. 
That doesn't mean 5e is going to be a 3.5 clone, but I think you'll see a lot from that edition in 5e when it comes down to firm choices made by the designers. The modular aspects will allow players to recapture other editions, but when push comes to shove in game design, 3.5 is the logical target from a business standpoint.



From what I've read, the core of 5th Ed sounds like OD&D (which makes me happy as a pig in...well, ya know).
From what I've read, the core of 5th Ed sounds like OD&D (which makes me happy as a pig in...well, ya know).



If that's true it's only a matter of time until the C&D letters go out to all the OD&D clones.

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

Hmm, how can Wizard overcome the idea that 4th edition is not D&D?


They don’t have to, they own the brand name and can label a GURPS clone D&D if they feel like it. 4th edition is D&D. Period.


I started playing D&D with the… I don’t even know what it’s called! It was a red box with a massive red dragon on the cover. Then there was the dark blue box and then the cyan box. Most of you guys probably weren’t even born. *sigh*.


Transition from those boxes to AD&D 2nd edition was really easy. I only had to understand the concept of race and multiclassing. Fighters were still boring, so were thieves, casters still felt the same and all my spells were still there.


Transition from 2nd edition to 3rd edition wasn’t as smooth but still pretty smooth.  The combat mechanics were a bit different, but they weren’t that different. The out of combat rules were complex and we completely ignored them. Fighters were still boring, thieves a bit less, caster still felt the same and all my spells were still there.


3rd edition to 3.5 was a breeze and not worth commenting on.


And then there was 4th edition. Transition was very smooth. The rules and mechanics were similar and the classes were redesigned so that a teenager with an average IQ can play the game after 15 minutes of explanation. Fighters were a bit less boring, thieves continued being a bit more fun, and casters were downgraded to ‘just as fun as a fighter’, … But more importantly, I thought: where the F%@K did my spells go?!?


 


Over 1/3 of the PHB in 2nd edition is spells.


Over 1/3 of the PHB in 3rd edition is spells.


Over 1/3 of the PHB in 3.5 is spells and magic.


10 (20 with rituals) pages of the PHB in 4th edition are dedicated to spells and magic.


Did WOTC really think nobody would notice that one third of the PHB was missing? How can people even wonder why some people say 4th edition is not D&D when half the PHB is different?

I don't have an answer to the OP's question. But I'm sure that 1/3 of the PHB missing has a lot to do about it.  


Hmm, how can Wizard overcome the idea that 4th edition is not D&D?


They don’t have to, they own the brand name and can label a GURPS clone D&D if they feel like it. 4th edition is D&D. Period.


I started playing D&D with the… I don’t even know what it’s called! It was a red box with a massive red dragon on the cover. Then there was the dark blue box and then the cyan box. Most of you guys probably weren’t even born. *sigh*.


Transition from those boxes to AD&D 2nd edition was really easy. I only had to understand the concept of race and multiclassing. Fighters were still boring, so were thieves, casters still felt the same and all my spells were still there.


Transition from 2nd edition to 3rd edition wasn’t as smooth but still pretty smooth.  The combat mechanics were a bit different, but they weren’t that different. The out of combat rules were complex and we completely ignored them. Fighters were still boring, thieves a bit less, caster still felt the same and all my spells were still there.


3rd edition to 3.5 was a breeze and not worth commenting on.


And then there was 4th edition. Transition was very smooth. The rules and mechanics were similar and the classes were redesigned so that a teenager with an average IQ can play the game after 15 minutes of explanation. Fighters were a bit less boring, thieves continued being a bit more fun, and casters were downgraded to ‘just as fun as a fighter’, … But more importantly, I thought: where the F%@K did my spells go?!?


 


Over 1/3 of the PHB in 2nd edition is spells.


Over 1/3 of the PHB in 3rd edition is spells.


Over 1/3 of the PHB in 3.5 is spells and magic.


10 (20 with rituals) pages of the PHB in 4th edition are dedicated to spells and magic.


Did WOTC really think nobody would notice that one third of the PHB was missing? How can people even wonder why some people say 4th edition is not D&D when half the PHB is different?

I don't have an answer to the OP's question. But I'm sure that 1/3 of the PHB missing has a lot to do about it.  




The 4th Ed PHB made it so all classes had a chapter of powers/spells (I got as far as halfway through the cleric powers before my eyes started to water).
I started playing the red box and migrated to DM'ing AD&D 1e.  That was high school.  I'm old now.  :-).   I think I would like 3e as a system.  I'm not against though some more balance work done on spells, magic items, etc..   I would remove magic item creation though.  I'd put in a much much harder system more akin to 1e.   I would make 3e more gritty too but not all the way 1e gritty.  (See my other topics on gritty).

 

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The 4th Ed PHB made it so all classes had a chapter of powers/spells (I got as far as halfway through the cleric powers before my eyes started to water).



With wizards and clerics mechanically identical to other classes it really didn't make sense to do it any other way. It's still wierd to play D&D without Mage Armor, Detect Invisibility, ESP, Finger of Death, and the other 300 classical D&D spells I didn't mention that weren't part of 4th edition.

If you enter a room full strangers playing some RPG and one of them mentions "fireball" and you see him grab a handfull of d6, any pre 4th edition D&D player knows they're playing D&D.

If you enter a room full of strangers playing some RPG and you hear "Crushing Titan's first" or "On Pain of Death", only 4th edition players know what they're talking about.

To most pre-4th players, fireball means 10d6 and bat ****!
   
Vocabulary matters. If you're favorite weapon is a katana or shurikens, you're in medieval Asia, if it's a bastard sword, you're in medieval Europe.
In my mind, 4e is more a re-imagining of D&D than it is a continuation of previous games.  For the first time in a very long time, the lore feels fresh and new to me.

I hope DDN can carry on the legacy of D&D while at the same time keeping the re-imagined aspects of 4e that I've enjoyed so much.  For instance, I hope they don't jettison Deva in favor of Aasimar; I hope a balance between the two concepts for a D&D race can be reached.

I've enjoyed following the lore of D&D from edition to edition.  Before now, I've never considered the possibility of a disconnect.  It's tricky I think:  Balancing continuation and re-imagining.

 
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As some one who has played in a variety of campaign worlds, I'm not overly concerned with the lore making sense, if I don't like that aspect, I can always reimagine my own setting.  What I think makes 4e feel wrong is it didn't try to update D&D it created a whole new game.  It's an RPG and it's fantasy...If I were looking at it outside the influence of my expectation for D&D, I probably wouldn't have been so disappointed, but as it is, that boxed in, board game feel isn't what I'm looking for with D&D.  I want that rich context that inspires and challenges me to create something of my own and where the rule books offer a framework and suggestions rather than an explicit list. 
I'm not afraid of loosey goosey rules where there's a little bit of a negotiation between me and my characters and we might flub things a bit if it adds to the feel of the thing.  If I want structure I'll choose a board game, but D&D to my mind has always been something apart...

However, I can't honestly say there's for sure a way to capture that and convince an older genereation to buy it.  Most of us have the tools we need to make our home sessions what we want them to be in terms of books and suppliments.  That being said, I would have kept buying adventures, and FR books for several more years if they hadn't died out when they did.  It's a huge investment though.  Most of us can't restock every couple of years when a new edition comes out.  The future might be giving up on us dinosaurs and giving the kiddies what they want... :/ 

But I really hate this disposable source material trend.  For myself, things I would spend money on are digital tools and databases to make my work as a DM easier, there are some online, but they don't have permission to use much of the material that I value most.  I'm not sure it's important enough to me that I would pay a monthly fee to stay connected, but if sharing things with my players online was easy enough... 

Here's what I REALLY want from WOTC: I want my Players to build their characters on-line using options I preset-with lilttle check boxes.  Then I can access the info, and put it into my campaign 'box', build and organize encounters and adventure notes, add maps and player hand outs that I can forward to my people...I wouldn't personally want something to play entirely online, but with what I'm picturing it could be done maybe.  Anyway, I could buy real books, and use a code to access that info in my online tools (at no additional cost, I already bought the book which is going to be crazy expensive anyway) or I can download the suppliments in a PDF for a nominal fee and upload the info to my database.  There would be a tool that would allow me as the DM to break the rules, create my own campaign setting with races, deities, classes, maps, and I want to be able to eat my cake too!Something comprehensive, easy to use, update, and share, and hey, wouldn't this be cool, actually supports more than one edition.  Why try to force your customers to choose between two viable products?  It just seems backward.  

...Yeah, I must be a genius, don't suppose anyone wants to pay me a million bucks for that idea...? yeah didn't think so.   
4e IS D&D.

D&D should be kinda, or IS kinda setting neutral to a point - why it have to service more GH than PoL, or such? D&D is more a set of rules first, the worlds after.



More a set of rules? I guess if thats all that it amounted to then by and large the rule books of any game thats similar must be "D&D" then? Our group tried D&D 3.x for 2 years...then 4e for 2 years ....we didn't get "it" from those editions as we had from 1e/2e ....so we're back to playing 1e/2e meld. Some may say the rules is what makes it D&D ....but typically those people would focus on the rules (which is typically not the main perview of the players....excepting character building). Its more than likely a combination of challenges, world setting (and flavor) and "feel" of how the mind's eye genrates the cinematics of a given situation. You'll have support elements as well that include artistic interpretation, game mechinics and racial/creature interactions ....how available supplies are (such as magic gear /spells/rare substances). So there will be a genral blend of effects that lend to the overall "feel" of the game. My players especially love the idea that there are things in the world that can cause instant death, you can't construct the "big gear" in the game (it must be heavily traded for with like-power-scale gear, or found in adventures etc.), all things on the market are not open for character purchase, you need to pay for training, level drains do occur from time to time etc. That every one doen't have a vast pool of HPs, only very massive battles take long (as in maybe an hour to play). They enjoy there being only a few races to choose from......they enjoy having restrictions to classes and level limits. Now the later editions could have those elements, but for some they just won't as they've been modified to not effect the characters as heavily so the feel of the game becomes very different and the players/DM will notice those effects immediately if they've been privy to playing for some time through all the editions.
Yeah, I have to agree that the rules aren't the important part, like I said, they provide a frame work.  I happen to prefer 3e over 2e, I really likehaving things open-ended and flexible. 
However here is my admission from the heart:  If they would have trimmed about 20-25% of the fat of the FR instead of KEEPING only 10% I would have converted to 4E.

Maybe you can explain to me:

If you pick up the 4E PHBs/DMG/MM and the 3.5E Forgotten Realms material... what doesn't work?

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Over 1/3 of the PHB in 2ndedition is spells.

Over 1/3 of the PHB in 3rd edition is spells.


Over 1/3 of the PHB in 3.5 is spells and magic.


10 (20 with rituals) pages of the PHB in 4th edition are dedicated to spells and magic.


I count 11 pages of Cleric spells, 9.5 pages of Paladin spells, 9.5 pages of Warlock spells, and 12 pages of Wizard spells. Plus ten pages of rituals. Prior editions put them all in one list, so I'll add them together and get 52 pages. (And there are a smattering of spells in other locations, such as epic destinies.)

That's 1/6 of the PHB dedicated entirely to spells for casting classes.

A similar amount of space is dedicated to giving non-casters the same sort of flexibility.

Did WOTC really think nobody would notice that one third of the PHB was missing?



I suspect they did NOT expect many people to notice that something so obviously present is missing.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose

I guess you can’t overcome the truth for a lot of reasons 4e is not D&D at least not the D&D I grew up with and love. When push comes to shove pathfinder is really the new D&D for many fans, mostly because 4e tried to do too many new things too fast in terms of both rules and setting. I really want to see wizards succeed in producing 5e but I think the game designers are too caught up in how great they think the 4e mechanics are. The recent Vatican magic comments are another example of a rules change that makes both the 4e fans and the 3e fans angry. I want a Vatican magic system with spell power progression not fixed damage. The existence of this system even as a modular option or just for some classes really bungees most 4e players. For the most part I feel fairly ganged up on by the 4e crowed here, but I am going to keep trying to make constructive comment’s where I can I would love to save this game. I think the number one thing that wizards could do to make this game feel like D&D would be a set of gray hawk modules.



I suspect a lot of folks are gonna agree with this.  I remember when I first read through the PHB, and this is, in fact, what I thought, too.  But then I actually TRIED 4e, and the fact is that it does play just like D&D.  Granted, there are lots of new mechanics, but at the end of the day, mechanics are not the game.  The story that I tell my players and the way they react to it... THAT is the game that I grew up with.  It's still just me and my friends roleplaying.

I won't be upset to see some of the old mechanics back, but getting away from simple Basic Attacks for every class but the Wizard and Cleric was a good way to go.  And the new magic systems were a decent way to fit the other classes into the new, more-balanced system.  

If the new system then re-introduces some old mechanics into what is now a balanced system, then I suppose that will be an incremental advance, and we'll all be reasonably happy.  What I hope they don't do is basically just give in to nerd rage and scrap what works really, really well in the new system.  And it's all those choices for all the other classes that makes 4e really hum.

My $.02. 
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I think if fighters have encounters and dailies baked into the game from ground zero then it would get off the ground.  If it's a module that 4e players can use and 3e and back players ignore then it has possibillities.   I hope they devise a system everyone can like.  Since I'm hoping for a grittier 3e, you can see that 4e's approach is not what I'm hoping for.  I want a mix of 1e and 3e with a smidgen of 4e.  I liked the monster ease of use in 4e.

 

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Hey guys,

I'm closing this thread down for now. Statements like "4th edition (or 3.5) isn't D&D" are the types of things that Trevor specifically asked us to avoid to prevent edition wars.

I'll make sure he's aware of the thread so he can give some input, and maybe we can reopen it later.

Thanks,

Monica
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