The Possible Deal Breaker For Me: How Much Poor Design Will Be Up To DM Fiat To Balance Ad Hoc

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Let me start by saying that I am the forever DM of my group. 9/10 DMing falls on me because I have to most free time of the people who know the rules well enough to handle the job. Not just for D&D either, all of the RPGs my group has played.

For me what eventually killed 3.5 was about half way through its life span a combination of things happened: Half of my players had attained system mastery and half didn't want to put in the effort. This combined with inherent balance issuse ment I spent most of my time trying to compensate for this with creative encounter design leading to more book keeping than any other game I've played including RIFTS, going out of my way to make the less effective characters feel important and arbitrating interplayer disputes caused by the disparity. In my opinion that is inexcussable, because WotC didn't value balance enough at the time it more than double my work load as DM and I eventually stopped enjoying the job, yes job because thats how I thought of it so I stopped playing. I had better more important and enjoyable things to do with my free time now that I was not in high school than keep a broken system running like an overworked mechanic.

I didn't start DMing again until my group came around to the idea of 4e. The entire "Know your role and shut your mouth" approch to character design meant people didn't have overlapping abilities so they didn't inadvertantly compete with one another and the limited freedom ensured it was more difficult to make a useless character. In a group of freinds split between people good at math and lanagaue (I for example work with contract law for my job, understanding every possible interaction between several game mechanics is small fish in comparison) and people who can't be bothered to read the entire core book the entire way through this was absolutely manditory for party stability and overall stress and work load reduction on my part as DM.

Now a lot of what I am hearing about 5e confirmed or speculation is making me extremely wary because "making the game appeal to players of all editions" in my mind means a return to more freedom for suboptimal players to making ineffective characters because they are allowed to. I don't have the time or energy to correct imbalances within a party, learning to write a story that can survive contact with the types of abilities spell casters had in 3.5 without it seeming like a railroad or contrived was difficult enough, doing it while also trying to make someone the party doesn't otherwise need still feel important isn't worth my time. I am also strong opposed, at least within the context of my group to punishing system mastery by making effective players tone down their charaters for the sake of weaker players because like I said, at least within the context of my group its entirely an issue of the weak players being to lazy to spend the time learning the rules better, they could but just don't want to and feel entitled to having people conform to their level.

Is there any word on the ways the statment "making the game appeal to players of all editions" is being implimented?
In my games players have always been Exceptional individuals, not Exceptions to the internal logic of the game world.
Is there any word on the ways the statment "making the game appeal to players of all editions" is being implimented?

Nothing concrete. 

We've heard a lot of nebulous talk about modularity and being able to replicate the "feel" of any edition (what he's actually talking about is complexity, though) the player wants, but then at the same time we've heard that classes are basically being broken down into "braindead simple", "moderately complicated", and "Vancian", which implies to me that you cannot play a simple Wizard or a complicated Fighter. 

The problem is, all we have is hot air and promises, none of which are proof that the designers can accomplish a tenth of what they've apparently set out to do. As it stands, however, based mostly on the class design seminar from DDXP, I'd say the basic flaws of 3.x are being purposefully returned to the game (because that's what D&D "feels like", according to Cook), and the level of DM-fiat required to not only balance the game, but to even make the rules work in the first place is going to be at an OD&D/2e level (very high).

So, I'd say stick to 4e. That's my plan. 
-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
The first seminar gave me the same impression, and has made me feel that unless they put a miracle I will stay with 4E.

If they have that miracle, they should have opened with it. I can't believe they are marketing D&D Next worse than they marketed 4E, but they have. They aren't selling the system to anyone, they are making people suspicious from the start.
My thoughts on what works and what doesn't in D&D and how D&D Next may benefit are detailed on my blog, Vorpal Thoughts.
So why didn't you just ask the weak links of the 3.5 group to drop out of the game?
You obviously disdain playing with them....

Did 4e, with it's more limited choices, really make your bad players any better?  I don't think so. 

Why didn't you simply stop DMing & hand the chore over to the next best person (& let THEM worry about the fine details/improve)?

What happens to your group when you aren't DMing?
The first seminar gave me the same impression, and has made me feel that unless they put a miracle I will stay with 4E.

If they have that miracle, they should have opened with it. I can't believe they are marketing D&D Next worse than they marketed 4E, but they have. They aren't selling the system to anyone, they are making people suspicious from the start.

The problem is DDN isn't being marketed to 4e fans. They don't (think they) have to--we're still playing D&D, after all. DDN is being marketed to all the 1/2/3/3.5/PFe fans who aren't playing D&D anymore, and the general reaction I've seen has been from them has been cautiously optimistic.

Most 4e fans I've spoken to are of the opinion that they'll happily switch so long as the new edition actually makes the game better, but very few of them have any hope that it will. Some did at first, but Wizards has done a very thorough job of crushing their hopes in the last month. 

I think they broke the news about DDN too early. They should have waited until they had something to actually show people. Something they could point to and say "see? We're making the game modular and fun for you no matter what edition is your favorite, and here's how we've done it." Without proof that they can back up their claims, all they're doing is blowing smoke and trying to distract us by parading Cook around going "Look look! We got this guy! Isn't he awesome? He's awesome! He's going to do awesome things, we promise!"

It's kind of pathetic, really. 
-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
3E pretty much had the same effect on me DMing.  The group I play with are friends, so it isn't a matter of asking some not to play, but we had rather differing play styles.

One player seeks to full on break the system.  Then at the other end you have a player who just licks hitting things and charging.  You can see with 3E who si going to have the fun here - and it isn't the second player or me as DM.

It turned into rediculously overpowered spell caster and his torch beared, who, to actual have any fun, rolled for one of the summoned minions that the spell caster summoned.
I think a lot of 4E players are prematurely coming to the conclusions that their hopes will be crushed.  Understandable given any amount of historical reference, but it might be a bit blinding.

I can't say I have any knowledge of the inner workings, but when they say they'll have varying levels of class complexity, what I hear is:

Simple
Martial -- XX Class
Divine -- XX Class
Arcane -- XX Class
etc

Moderate
Repeat

Complex
Repeat

Such that there will be classes of all types at each level of complexity, rather than complexity focused into one type of class.  Perhaps the classes at the higher levels of complexity will even have the ability to go from 100% Combat (or any other % from the pillar structure) to 60% Combat, 30% Social, 10% Exploration, or some other such customization.  Thereby achieving a more inclusive environment for everyone.  People who don't have the time or desire to mess with optimization pick a pre-optimized simple class.

Also, your particular situation seems unhealthy.  That you have players that you feel catering to them is punishing to others means your playgroup should probably have a talk about each person's goals from play, and what each person can do to help everyone else reach their goals.

Somnia, the Evanescent Plane -- A 3-set Block
Set 1 — Somnia
Set 2 — TBD
Set 3 — TBD
Planeswalker's Guide to Somnia

Build Around This
A weekly MTG Cards and Combos forum game.
Build Around This #1 - Sage's Starfish Wish
BAT #1 was built using the Legacy format with Spiny Starfish, Sage's Knowledge, and Make a Wish. Winner: Dilleux_Lepaire with Fishy Starfishies. Runner-Up: JBTM
I played 3.0/3.5 and still remember the problems and fixes you had to do to patch the game to a playable form. Some of it was fun for example in my group nobody was a cleric so the party would conveniently find a imprisoned healer in every dungeon willing to heal the party after being freed. The players started to assume that they kept finding the same guy. 4.0 was a gift to the DM. We may have very well sacrificed freedom for balance but after playing 4.0 I'm not sure if I'm ready to spend countless hours creating NPC's or situations my players may or may not have any meaningful interactions with.

For me what eventually killed 3.5 was about half way through its life span a combination of things happened: Half of my players had attained system mastery and half didn't want to put in the effort. This combined with inherent balance issuse ment I spent most of my time trying to compensate for this with creative encounter design leading to more book keeping than any other game I've played including RIFTS, going out of my way to make the less effective characters feel important and arbitrating interplayer disputes caused by the disparity. In my opinion that is inexcussable, because WotC didn't value balance enough at the time it more than double my work load as DM and I eventually stopped enjoying the job, yes job because thats how I thought of it so I stopped playing. I had better more important and enjoyable things to do with my free time now that I was not in high school than keep a broken system running like an overworked mechanic.



Wow!That's how DMing SHOULD work IMO. And I am 100% on your side. DMing got too complicated with 3.5 - but not only because of what you mentioned. There are other problems, too. Like: Designing an encounter or a challenge for several hours, to make it really interesting ... only to see that one correctly placed spell turns it into nothing in one round.


In 3.5 I had .... many characters that ended up on the low end of the food chain, and maybe two that ended up on the top of it. And mostly I had the feeling, that the DMs I had cared little about either of it happening. They said: It's the players responsibility, but even when asked offered little to no advice on how to improve the situation. And I had only DM who really tried to make things work ... with often mediocre results.


Tried it myself for a while, but even wrapping my head around all the spells, feats and equipment you'd inevitably need to know, since 3.5 usually doesn't list all the mechanical aspects of a monster in one summarized statblock ... was simply too time consuming.

@FirstTurnKill:

Here's the problem with that: Let's say I want to play a warrior, the archetypal blademaster who can pick up anything with an edge and turn the act of murdering monsters with it into a work of art. Let's say that the Fighter is the only class that allows you the level of weapon-mastery and flexibility to achieve this. Now, let's say that the Fighter is the "Simple Martial" class. However, I'm an experienced player who likes detail and customization and options like the Advanced classes offer. The "Advanced Martial" class, the Chevalier, however, is built around mounted combat, battlefield challenges and wielding spears and lances, which isn't what I want to play. 

So, do I get the type of character that I want, and be bored with its lack of options, or do I get the level of complexity I want, and be frustrated because I can't play the character like I want to? 
-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
@FirstTurnKill:

So, do I get the type of character that I want, and be bored with its lack of options, or do I get the level of complexity I want, and be frustrated because I can't play the character like I want to? 


Ideally I'd like to see very, very root classes come with multiple complexities themselves (i.e. Fighter, Thief, Wizard, Cleric, maybe one or two more).

Ideally ideally, I'd like to see the modular complexity be applicable to most classes (though this could get very difficult to pull of, design wise).

Ideally ideally ideally, I'd like to see class creation be fairly simple to do.  That way, you and your group can house rules in whatever new classes you want on the fly.  This last part though comes more from my preference that the core books should focus on instructing how to mechanically create things, then providing examples, then letting you create.

I'm not sure if any of the above will actually happen, but I can imagine that the first would be easiest to pull off.


Ultimately, you (and I) may never be perfectly satisfied, but I can certainly see how their goal of varied levels of complexity is more likely to be useful for more people (i.e. people who thought some classes in previous were too complex, and people who thought some classes weren't free enough).

Somnia, the Evanescent Plane -- A 3-set Block
Set 1 — Somnia
Set 2 — TBD
Set 3 — TBD
Planeswalker's Guide to Somnia

Build Around This
A weekly MTG Cards and Combos forum game.
Build Around This #1 - Sage's Starfish Wish
BAT #1 was built using the Legacy format with Spiny Starfish, Sage's Knowledge, and Make a Wish. Winner: Dilleux_Lepaire with Fishy Starfishies. Runner-Up: JBTM
@FirstTurnKill:

Here's the problem with that: Let's say I want to play a warrior, the archetypal blademaster who can pick up anything with an edge and turn the act of murdering monsters with it into a work of art. Let's say that the Fighter is the only class that allows you the level of weapon-mastery and flexibility to achieve this. Now, let's say that the Fighter is the "Simple Martial" class. However, I'm an experienced player who likes detail and customization and options like the Advanced classes offer. The "Advanced Martial" class, the Chevalier, however, is built around mounted combat, battlefield challenges and wielding spears and lances, which isn't what I want to play. 

So, do I get the type of character that I want, and be bored with its lack of options, or do I get the level of complexity I want, and be frustrated because I can't play the character like I want to? 



Turn it all around, let's say my girlfriend really wants to spend more sundays with me, so whe starts playing. She really likes Harry Potter, so she wants to play a Wizard. But she doesn't want a complex class, nor cares for system mastery.

Are the designers telling me that she's screwed? That magic as the only true subsystem is only for the elite few that grasp the system mastery? Why isn't there a simple mage variant?
Ideally I'd like to see very, very root classes come with multiple complexities themselves (i.e. Fighter, Thief, Wizard, Cleric, maybe one or two more).

Ideally ideally, I'd like to see the modular complexity be applicable to most classes (though this could get very difficult to pull of, design wise).

Ideally ideally ideally, I'd like to see class creation be fairly simple to do.  That way, you and your group can house rules in whatever new classes you want on the fly.  This last part though comes more from my preference that the core books should focus on instructing how to mechanically create things, then providing examples, then letting you create.

I'm not sure if any of the above will actually happen, but I can imagine that the first would be easiest to pull off.

I have two things to add to this, other than that I agree completely on the points of Ideally1 and Ideally2.  The first is that I consider Ideally2 the absolute minimum acceptable standard for DDN. In order to meet their claims of total modularity and the ability to appeal to all player types, the design team must accomplish this. The second is that I consider Ideally3 largely unnecessary, if and only if the classes presented in the books, and the options to support those classes, are sufficiently robust, as they are in 4e (but please note 4e didn't start this way. In my perception, it hit the point of "sufficiently robust" around PHB3), such that I can build whatever concept of character I want with extant material. 


Ultimately, you (and I) may never be perfectly satisfied, but I can certainly see how their goal of varied levels of complexity is more likely to be useful for more people (i.e. people who thought some classes in previous were too complex, and people who thought some classes weren't free enough).

This is most of my problem with their goals, actually. I know I'm rather one extreme end of the player spectrum, and I know that this far out on the bell curve, the data aren't a line so much as the occasional dot. I also know that my end of the spectrum is far less populous than the other extreme end. However, I find 4e suits my preferences very well (which is also why it didn't sell, unfortunately), and I do not think that any game designed to serve the majority need (who largely exist at the opposite end of the spectrum) will interest me much.

When Mearls and Cook talk about "appealing to everybody", they are by necessity leaving off the far top-end of the spectrum, because there comes a point where you must break away from the "simple" elements in order to achieve the complexity those players desire. 

Turn it all around, let's say my girlfriend really wants to spend more sundays with me, so whe starts playing. She really likes Harry Potter, so she wants to play a Wizard. But she doesn't want a complex class, nor cares for system mastery.

Are the designers telling me that she's screwed? That magic as the only true subsystem is only for the elite few that grasp the system mastery? Why isn't there a simple mage variant?

Basically; yes, the designers are telling you she's screwed, because the Wizard is an "elite" class intended for experienced players who want more complexity (assuming they don't despise Vancian magic as much as I do). 

You're not really presenting a reverse situation here, just the same problem I described from the opposite viewpoint; the issue is essentially the same. 
-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


Basically; yes, the designers are telling you she's screwed, because the Wizard is an "elite" class intended for experienced players who want more complexity (assuming they don't despise Vancian magic as much as I do). 

You're not really presenting a reverse situation here, just the same problem I described from the opposite viewpoint; the issue is essentially the same. 



I apologize for my bad example then, I wanted to reverse the situation to show the exact same problem but from a different perspective. In othe words, I see the fact that the Fighter is "the simple class" and the Wizard the "complex class" as two fold.

For one, I am good at system mastery, I want lots of customization and Player Options, I also like martial characters and playing Fighters, so it appears I am screwed.

My girlfriend is not contemporary to RPGs, doesn't like lots of math going on and does not want to master a system in order to play a game. She also likes magic and Harry Potter, so she wants to play a Wizard. She's screwed as well.

Complexity should not be what defines a class or a power source. We need and want simple Wizards, just like complex Fighters.

That was the intent of my previous post, I apologize again for choosing my words poorly.



I know I'm rather one extreme end of the player spectrum, and I know that this far out on the bell curve, the data aren't a line so much as the occasional dot.


Eh, I'm far enough (which is far indeed) on the other side of the bell that it's pretty sparse here to, so I get it.  I don't have a lot of dealbreakers though, as I'll likely continue to play sessions of my prefered edition with a group on the side of playing with whatever D&D is core, I just hope that whatever D&D is core can actually have at least a modicum of the customization they are hyping.

Interestingly, the way I've been reading how you play D&D is very much like the way I used to play White Wolf games (which I haven't played in years and would like to).  And only through the discussions on this forum over the past few months did I really come to understand how different those playstyles are (though I knew they were different).

Somnia, the Evanescent Plane -- A 3-set Block
Set 1 — Somnia
Set 2 — TBD
Set 3 — TBD
Planeswalker's Guide to Somnia

Build Around This
A weekly MTG Cards and Combos forum game.
Build Around This #1 - Sage's Starfish Wish
BAT #1 was built using the Legacy format with Spiny Starfish, Sage's Knowledge, and Make a Wish. Winner: Dilleux_Lepaire with Fishy Starfishies. Runner-Up: JBTM
I apologize for my bad example then, I wanted to reverse the situation to show the exact same problem but from a different perspective. In othe words, I see the fact that the Fighter is "the simple class" and the Wizard the "complex class" as two fold.

For one, I am good at system mastery, I want lots of customization and Player Options, I also like martial characters and playing Fighters, so it appears I am screwed.

My girlfriend is not contemporary to RPGs, doesn't like lots of math going on and does not want to master a system in order to play a game. She also likes magic and Harry Potter, so she wants to play a Wizard. She's screwed as well.

Complexity should not be what defines a class or a power source. We need and want simple Wizards, just like complex Fighters.

That was the intent of my previous post, I apologize again for choosing my words poorly.

No need to apologize; you actually gave a very good example. We're both taking issue with the same aspect of the system: that some classes have more built-in complexity (math, options, whatever) than others. We agree that such an approach to D&D is an unacceptable flaw, and we also agree on what the proper solution to that flaw is. 

I just hope someone at Wizards is listening. So far, I doubt it.


Eh, I'm far enough (which is far indeed) on the other side of the bell that it's pretty sparse here to, so I get it.  I don't have a lot of dealbreakers though, as I'll likely continue to play sessions of my prefered edition with a group on the side of playing with whatever D&D is core, I just hope that whatever D&D is core can actually have at least a modicum of the customization they are hyping.

Fair enough. As you might imagine, I have relatively little experience with how the "other side" lives. 

I don't have a lot of dealbreakers either (five, actually; see my sig if you're curious), but I have a bad feeling that what I consider to be unacceptable flaws are exactly what the designers see as strengths. They claim they can build an edition to satisfy everyone; I say I'm proof they can't. There is no perfect solution to anything, and someone always gets left out in the cold. I already know that's me this time around, but I'm fine with that; I haven't liked anything Wizards has done in the last year and a half, so the direction DDN is going is no surprise to me. I knew what was coming the moment I opened a copy of Heroes of the Fallen/Forgotten Lands/Kingdom, and so far my predictions have been more or less dead on.

I'll follow the progress, I'll read the blogs, I've signed up for the playtest, because I have a great deal of emotion invested in D&D, but none of that changes the fact that I have been bitterly disappointed so far, and I don't expect that to change. All that's left for me to do, really, is finish collecting the 4e books I don't already own and be on my way. 

Interestingly, the way I've been reading how you play D&D is very much like the way I used to play White Wolf games (which I haven't played in years and would like to).  And only through the discussions on this forum over the past few months did I really come to understand how different those playstyles are (though I knew they were different).

That's very interesting, particularly considering how magnificently miserable my experience with White Wolf games has been. I'd love to hear your expanded thoughts on this, if you're so inclined (perhaps as a PM so as to not clutter the thread).

-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
I'm surprised you guys have gotten the impression that each class is either 'simple' or 'complex' and there is no intra-class modular complexity. I've gotten the exact opposite impression from Mearls quotes like this:

"Players can pick their own style and complexity within a class. Think of it kind of like having a $10 budget to spend on lunch. Some people will go to a restaurant and buy a $10 lunch special. Someone else might spend that $10 by ordering a few different things off the menu, rather than a special. Someone else might take that $10 and go to the grocery store to buy all the ingredients for a recipe they like. The idea is to put everyone on the same scale, but then allow people to burrow into the level of detail they want." (Emphasis mine, and I got this from EnWorld's 5e info page.)

I suspect that there will be a complex fighter with, if not powers, at least lots of choices for different maneuvers and class features, things like that. I'm confident of this also because a developer said that the fighter class was the very hardest to design, and I can't imagine why that would be unless they were really trying to allow fighters of all different complexity.

The existence of a simple wizard is a bit more difficult; it seems like the wizard class specifically will be strictly vancian. Still, I am sure there will be a much simpler (if not quite simple) archetypical arcane class (probably the sorcerer, and maybe the warlock), perhaps one that works on spell points. Maybe you want the class called the wizard to have a simple version because it's really the classic class, and I can understand the impulse, but surely having the option of a simple-ish arcane caster under a slightly less archetypical name isn't too much of a compromise.


As for the OP's problem, I'm sure that 5e is gonna try not to have horribly suboptimal options. My understanding is that Wizards is gonna at least try to make a simple character just as effective as a complex character, or at least nearly as effective as an optimized complex character. Now obviously they won't succeed completely, and whether they succeed reasonably well depends on specifics, but I don't think the problem exists at the level of principle.

So why didn't you just ask the weak links of the 3.5 group to drop out of the game?
You obviously disdain playing with them....



They were my firends and since most of us were busy D&D was one of the times we could all actually get together at the same place and time without worrying about everyone having the money to go out and do something. 


Did 4e, with it's more limited choices, really make your bad players any better?  I don't think so. 



Nice assumption. It did solve the issue. The smaller gap in power between different builds prevented them from feeling useless and it was the feeling of uselessness that was more detramental than actually being useless. It like you don't even understand the root of the problem.


Why didn't you simply stop DMing & hand the chore over to the next best person (& let THEM worry about the fine details/improve)?

What happens to your group when you aren't DMing?



I did stop DMing. I really get the impression you just want to argue and were selectively reading everything I said. 

If I am not DMing there is no campaign of D&D or any game, I already said that so once again I feel you selectively read my post and are just rying to argue. Out of my group of friends who know the various systems we like enough to handle GMing I am the only person who has the time to do the book keeping. I only work 30 hours a week, some of my friends regularly work 50 hours. This has the result of my group playing more systems designed for GMs and not players than the other way around.
In my games players have always been Exceptional individuals, not Exceptions to the internal logic of the game world.
Without proof that they can back up their claims, all they're doing is blowing smoke and trying to distract us by parading Cook around going "Look look! We got this guy! Isn't he awesome? He's awesome! He's going to do awesome things, we promise!"

It's kind of pathetic, really. 



The worst part about that statement is between the two main designers we do not have a competent writing team. They are not awesome, they are background writers at best.


The only one of that entire team that I have any good opinion of at all is Cordell, and mostly because he's still got some good karma left over from the Expanded Psionics Handbook. The rest of them? Well, I get censored by a moderator every time I mention my opinion of D&D's designers of past and present, and that should tell you all you need to know.
-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
I am also strong opposed, at least within the context of my group to punishing system mastery by making effective players tone down their charaters for the sake of weaker players because like I said, at least within the context of my group its entirely an issue of the weak players being to lazy to spend the time learning the rules better, they could but just don't want to and feel entitled to having people conform to their level.


I feel your pain, but try to keep in mind that playing RPGs does not mean the same to all people.

My group is composed of 6 players and myself. One of the players is a guy I might term a "rules lawyer" because to him fun in play equates to rules mastery. He feels that if he can glean an advantage by finding an obscure loophole or exception, then he should do his best to do so.

Others in my group are very much "social gamer" types and have no interest in reading rulebooks. They want to get together to have fun, to enjoy adventures together, and to have some great social time. I could give them reading assignments but that isn't their "thing" and they would much rather just show up and enjoy a game. Maybe that's being lazy, but to them gaming isn't a job it's a fun thing to do when we have time to get the gang togeher.

So, how does one design a came to cater to all fans, not just one or the other? If you design a game too complex then the first guy is really happy and the others don't want to play. If you design a game too simple then the first guy doesn't feel challenged. This is not just an issue of game design, but also one of group dynamics and the game group needs to discuss what makes gaming fun and what sorts of expectations are there for everyone.

My solution would be a simple core rules set with add-on supplements so I could decide how complex I want my rules to be. That's the design part of the equation.

For the social part, I've spent a long time working with the one guy to encourage him to play more like the others because that provides the maximum fun for my particular gaming group. It's either change his style or leave the group, and he chose to (mostly) change his style. When the group encounters something they haven't seen before, often the one player will pull me aside and say "it's XX, isn't it" and he doesn't tell the others. He has found a different way to enjoy the game.

So, bottom line is that I get nervous when someone suggests a way to design a game that will cause some players to love it and others to hate it. That's where edition wars got started in the first place and I don't see that we gained much from that. The clever game designer and clever GM finds ways to make everyone enjoy the game somehow, not just a few.
Marv (Finarvyn) Master of Mutants (MA and GW) Playtesting D&D Next and liking it! OD&D player since 1975
 DDN is being marketed to all the 1/2/3/3.5/PFe fans who aren't playing D&D anymore, and the general reaction I've seen has been from them has been cautiously optimistic.



Wow, I did not realize I was not playing D&D since I play 1E and PF. I hate to say it, but now you know how those of us who liked and preferred older editions felt when 4E came out.  

I am wary of 5E as well, but jeez man, take a chill pill and stop hate spamming the boards.  
 DDN is being marketed to all the 1/2/3/3.5/PFe fans who aren't playing D&D anymore, and the general reaction I've seen has been from them has been cautiously optimistic.



Wow, I did not realize I was not playing D&D since I play 1E and PF. I hate to say it, but now you know how those of us who liked and preferred older editions felt when 4E came out.  

I am wary of 5E as well, but jeez man, take a chill pill and stop hate spamming the boards.  



What's funny is that I've been doing this for over 30 years and 4E was the 1st edition that totally alienated me... That being said I can give credit to 4E for what it is.  I think as a tactical game it excels... as matter of fact I don't think their is anythng better.  It just did not fit the style of play for my players or myself.  I too am fairly optimistic about 5E.

On to my next point people.  Know your players.  I just moved across country and I've been in Arizona now just about 7 months. It took time and a few hurt feelings (probably), but I finally have some people to game with.  We all agree on the type of game we want to play in.  I am the DM, so we've also agreed on the system and play-style and the fact that rules are nothing more than a guide line.  My word as the DM is law, we don't argue abut what's inthe books... players come to me and we create exactly what they want and we are all quite happy with the out come our gaming experience. 

So I hope WotC and Hasbro get it rigth this time and bring the our shattered community back together. End of the day we all want the same thing... We Want Our D&D Back!!!!
     

DDN is being marketed to all the 1/2/3/3.5/PFe fans who aren't playing buying D&D anymore



, and the general reaction I've seen has been from them has been cautiously optimistic.

WotC is promising to produce a game that, for the 4E fans, will be 4E only enough better to persuade them to shell out more money - and, simultaneously for the Pathfinder fans, Pathfinder only enough better to persuade them to also shell out more money - and, simultaneously for the people who've stayed with 1e or 2e, be those editions only enough better...

... and allow them to all play together in spite of the fact that much of what the 4E fans most love about 4E is also much of what the Pathfinder fans dislike about 4E.

Optimistic that this promise will be fulfilled? Absolutely not. They are promising to build a house which is solid red and also solid blue, so that people who like either color can all live in it together happily. But it isn't possible for a house to be solid red and also solid blue.

Modular? Well, suppose that with the right choice of modules you can put together something that is 4E only better. So you want to start a game at your local FLGS. You go down there to put up a listing of "Game looking for players" and you say "5E" (or whatever it's called). You get five people at the first meeting, and it turns out that three of them want Pathfinder only better, one wants 1E only better, and one doesn't care - because he's a complete newbie. That's a bust. So you take down that listing and start writing up another that says "5E with these modules..." and when you've about run out of room on the page you throw it out and start writing up another that says "4E".

"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
DDN is being marketed to all the 1/2/3/3.5/PFe fans who aren't playing buying D&D anymore


Ah, yes. That is correct.
-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
DDN is being marketed to all the 1/2/3/3.5/PFe fans who aren't playing buying D&D anymore



, and the general reaction I've seen has been from them has been cautiously optimistic.

WotC is promising to produce a game that, for the 4E fans, will be 4E only enough better to persuade them to shell out more money - and, simultaneously for the Pathfinder fans, Pathfinder only enough better to persuade them to also shell out more money - and, simultaneously for the people who've stayed with 1e or 2e, be those editions only enough better...

... and allow them to all play together in spite of the fact that much of what the 4E fans most love about 4E is also much of what the Pathfinder fans dislike about 4E.

Optimistic that this promise will be fulfilled? Absolutely not. They are promising to build a house which is solid red and also solid blue, so that people who like either color can all live in it together happily. But it isn't possible for a house to be solid red and also solid blue.

Modular? Well, suppose that with the right choice of modules you can put together something that is 4E only better. So you want to start a game at your local FLGS. You go down there to put up a listing of "Game looking for players" and you say "5E" (or whatever it's called). You get five people at the first meeting, and it turns out that three of them want Pathfinder only better, one wants 1E only better, and one doesn't care - because he's a complete newbie. That's a bust. So you take down that listing and start writing up another that says "5E with these modules..." and when you've about run out of room on the page you throw it out and start writing up another that says "4E".


This exactly, and well-said. 

  Yes... we should wait until it comes out and we should actually see the game before we make a judgement... but you are right that there is virtually no way that all camps can be pleased with the outcome.

It CANNOT be all things to all gamers.  Just like there is no restaurant that everyone likes, there is no movie that everyone likes and there is no music that everyone likes.  There WILL NOT be a D&D that everyone likes.  One of these camps will be disappointed in the outcome of D&DNEXT.

At this point, we are all just wondering which side it will be.  


And warrl... I have wondered the same thing about the public play programs like Encounters... if it really is so modular, how would you know what kind of game to expect when you show up to play? 
What I think they're going to do is build a system so that Pathfinder fans can play D&D and get what they want. And 4E fans can play D&D and get what they want. Not in the same groups, no. But in the same game.
What I think they're going to do is build a system so that Pathfinder fans can play D&D and get what they want. And 4E fans can play D&D and get what they want. Not in the same groups, no. But in the same game.



And I would actually be ok with that if 4E would continue to be supported both online and with new releases.


WOTC already has the 4E players in camp... they are just missing out on the Pathfinder buyers and would like to win them back to the fold.  But why woo those players back and run away your "loyal" customers?


Again... all of this said on speculation that the new edition cannot please both sides.  My honest opinion is that ANY edition will only further split the camp into yet another smaller piece of the pie.  It would take an incredible game to bring everyone back together at this point.  Think about it... when D&D first came out, there were no other choices.  If you played the game, you played the same game as everyone else.  Then a new edition came out.  Many updated but some did not.  Then another edition... some moved on, some did not.  Repeat the process... same result.  Each new iteration of the game only introduces one more choice of many as to which version you and your friends might play.  


It's like cable tv...  when I was growing up, we only had four channels to choose from and those networks had a big piece of the pie.  Now there are hundreds of choices for viewing and the big networks have had to learn to get by with a smaller market share.  Same with radio stations when I ws younger.  We had one pop station, one rock, one country and the public/college station that played classical music.  Nowadays, you have two or three sub-categories of each genre, all fighting for a diminished market share.


D&DNEXT will face the same sort of thing.  With all the iterations available, we will not all be playing the same game anymore.    
Why isn't there a simple mage variant?

Sorcerer.

I don't see the community being reunited. I have a feeling 5E will be its own thing and resemble itself more than any previous edition. The Old School people are virtually impossible to please, and I expect almost all of them to stick with what they have. Pathfinder has a lot of fans who rabidly support Paizo the company, and whatever happens with 5E I foresee an ongoing Pathfinder community. In addition, given what we've seen so far, I expect a large or at least significant section of the 4E base to stick with 4E.

All 5E does is to add another faction. 
...whatever
WOTC already has the 4E players in camp... they are just missing out on the Pathfinder buyers and would like to win them back to the fold.  But why woo those players back and run away your "loyal" customers?



This argument?  About 'loyal' customers?  Yeah, it isn't one.  And here's why: those 3.5/PF fans you're talking about?  They were loyal to D&D right up until 4e failed to satisfy them.  Some, like me, were loyal to D&D from TSR right on up to Essentials.  So, when you talk about 4e players as 'loyal' customers you're basically saying 3.5/PF/2e/whatever players aren't and you're totally ignoring the fact that there's plenty of us that were loyal to the company for decades (yeah, plural) rather than less than one and maintained that loyalty throughout not only edition changes but changes in ownership as well.  It's an incaccurate representation of the situation and is the sort of dig at folks that don't play 4e that we don't need.

And us 'loyal' 3.5 customers (and we'll conveniently forget about how many other iterations of the system our loyalty may have spanned for the moment) got 'loyally' screwed over when 4e came out.  That game was based on what the people that disliked 3.5 wanted (as was 4e Forgotten Realms) so the loyal buyers were ignored.  What makes you think WotC won't do that again?  ;)
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

WOTC already has the 4E players in camp... they are just missing out on the Pathfinder buyers and would like to win them back to the fold.  But why woo those players back and run away your "loyal" customers?

This argument?  About 'loyal' customers?  Yeah, it isn't one.  And here's why: those 3.5/PF fans you're talking about?  They were loyal to D&D right up until 4e failed to satisfy them.  Some, like me, were loyal to D&D from TSR right on up to Essentials.

Well then, you weren't really that 'loyal,' were you.  You were loyal while the game gave you what you wanted, and you left the moment it didn't.  That's not loyalty, that's self-interest.

Any longtime D&Ders who adopted 4e (and then Essentials), OTOH, can claim to be 'loyal.'  (So far).

I don't claim to be a loyal customer.  Not even a little bit.  Not only will I try any other RPG I can find, I only play D&D when it doesn't suck.  I left the game in disgust back in the 90s because it hadn't just stagnated, mechanically, but burried itself under loads of crap.  Terrible.  I came back with 3.0 because it sucked a lot less than 2e (at first, anyway).  I adopted 4e because it, too, was a marked improvement.  

I rejected Essentials for the same reasons:  it didn't make 4e better, in fact made it worse, why should I play it?

I'll adopt or reject 5e on the same basis.  

That makes me a tough audience to target.  Quality isn't easy.

The grognard and the loyalist, though, are easy.  You keep the loyalist just by showing up, and the grognard by never changing anything.  


So, when you talk about 4e players as 'loyal' customers you're basically saying 3.5/PF/2e/whatever players aren't

That would be factually correct at the moment, yes.

Though, as I illustrate, not all 4e fans are 'loyal' customers, either.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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Making a game you don't like does not equate to some horrible betrayal.

It's a damn elfgame, come on now.
But WotC obviously did break a certain trust or didn't meet expectations. Fans expected certain things of WotC when it came to DnD or expected certains things to be in DnD, others were to be excluded. WotC didn't deliver and fans had the right to be disappointed and change brand.

Absolutely true.

As much as WotC understandibly misses their money, I can't say that I miss them at the table.  And, I'm not at all convinced enticing them back will make anyone happier (even WotC bean counters).


Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Well then, you weren't really that 'loyal,' were you.  You were loyal while the game gave you what you wanted, and you left the moment it didn't.  That's not loyalty, that's self-interest.

Any longtime D&Ders who adopted 4e (and then Essentials), OTOH, can claim to be 'loyal.'  (So far).



Well, I was loyal up until about four months ago.  That gives me 21 years of spending my money on TSR and WotC products.  And I'm still here doing my best to contribute my thoughts as to what would make 5e a product I'd buy.  ;)

Meh, I'm just sick of seeing '4e fans are loyal and people that don't like it aren't'.  What does saying that accomplish?  It's like whoever is saying it thinks they've the only right to speak about what 5e should be.  It ... annoys me. 

The grognard and the loyalist, though, are easy.  You keep the loyalist just by showing up, and the grognard by never changing anything.  



Funny, then, that change is what grognards are after in WotC's approach to 5e.  Kinda makes ya wonder exactly who the grognards are right now, don't it?  ;)

Not every 'grognard' wants 5e to be a 1e/e2/3e clone.  This 'grognard' - if you could call me that - wants an entirely new game that has some nods to the past editions, too.  Including 4e.  I'm happy, for example, that the Warlord seems to have made it in some form.  Anyhoo, it seems to me that the folks fretting over what may or may not be dropped from 4e have earned that name more than fans of older editions have.  Cuz, again, we want change

That would be factually correct at the moment, yes.



Except that in order for it to be correct you have to forget that a lot of those people are here right now lending their voice to the debate about what 5e is going to be.  Instead of saying 'no, this should be handled like 4e' or 'why do we need a new edition', they're talking about what they'd like to see changed and improved for the coming edition.  That strikes me as loyal.


Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Well then, you weren't really that 'loyal,' were you.  You were loyal while the game gave you what you wanted, and you left the moment it didn't.  That's not loyalty, that's self-interest.

Any longtime D&Ders who adopted 4e (and then Essentials), OTOH, can claim to be 'loyal.'  (So far).



Well, I was loyal up until about four months ago

. What happened 4 months ago to change all that?

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Well then, you weren't really that 'loyal,' were you.  You were loyal while the game gave you what you wanted, and you left the moment it didn't.  That's not loyalty, that's self-interest.

Any longtime D&Ders who adopted 4e (and then Essentials), OTOH, can claim to be 'loyal.'  (So far).



Well, I was loyal up until about four months ago

. What happened 4 months ago to change all that?


That day 4 months ago....everything changed.
What I think they're going to do is build a system so that Pathfinder fans can play D&D and get what they want. And 4E fans can play D&D and get what they want. Not in the same groups, no. But in the same game.

They already can.

The thing is, right now WotC is not getting money from the Pathfinder fans, but is getting money from some of the 4E fans.

After D&DNext comes out we can expect that most of the Pathfinder fans will continue to not give WotC money, and more of the 4E fans will also stop giving WotC money.

"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
What I think they're going to do is build a system so that Pathfinder fans can play D&D and get what they want. And 4E fans can play D&D and get what they want. Not in the same groups, no. But in the same game.

They already can.

The thing is, right now WotC is not getting money from the Pathfinder fans, but is getting money from some of the 4E fans.

After D&DNext comes out we can expect that most of the Pathfinder fans will continue to not give WotC money, and more of the 4E fans will also stop giving WotC money.


I think they are banking on a lot of 4e fans continuing their DDI subscriptions. All they need is to bring in more previous edition fans and new customers than there are (current) 4e customers that don't use DDI, and they've come out ahead. More importantly, they want those people hooked on DDI as well to bring in a steady revenue stream instead of hoping they can keep up booksales.

I think some Pathfinder fans will convert, some older editions fans, fewer 4e fans, but I also think most current DDI customers will remain as DDI customers.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.

well. I for my case will only continue using the DDI if either:


5e does work for me. So far I am aout 50/50 from what I hear. It all depends on if I am really able to play a 4e-style game with 5e r not.


Or:


If I still have a 4e group and 4e content is still accessible. I'd still... not be happy about having to pay the same price as the 5e fans for tools and a databse, that is not being updated anymore, but oh-well. I can live with that. It'll probably only be for a limited time anyway.


But if the 4e content is taken away AND 5e doesn't work for me ... why continue?


well. I for my case will only continue using the DDI if either:


5e does work for me. So far I am aout 50/50 from what I hear. It all depends on if I am really able to play a 4e-style game with 5e r not.


Or:


If I still have a 4e group and 4e content is still accessible. I'd still... not be happy about having to pay the same price as the 5e fans for tools and a databse, that is not being updated anymore, but oh-well. I can live with that. It'll probably only be for a limited time anyway.


But if the 4e content is taken away AND 5e doesn't work for me ... why continue?




Pretty much this. However, there's a a rumor/tentative acknowledgement that support for the 4e Online Tools will continue in 5e. Thread is somewhere.

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Defenders: We ARE the wall!

 

I've replaced the previous Edition Warring line in my sig with this one, because honestly, everybody needs to work together to make the D&D they like without trampling on somebody else's D&D.

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.

It's kind of pathetic, really. 



Now you do know how 3.5 fans felt while 4E fans were rejoicing.

People haven't seen how modular this game will be, just basic, and are already complaining it won't fit theyr beloved X edition. Just check other boards, check Paizo's... people are just reacting to unknown.