A Request For Those Who Participate in the D&DN Test

If you are planning in participating in the D&D Next playtest starting May 24th, I have a request to make of you.

Play the game.

And not just play the game to compare it and contrast it with other games, editions or how you think it should be.

Play the game as it's designed to try to see how it works as its own game.
 
That's a very good suggestion/request.
Take D&D Next for what it is and see how it is in itself as a game and not how it compares to previous editions of the game.
But, will anybody do it?
Hmmm. I'm gonna try. I'm not a regular on the forums (mostly a lurker), but I have signed up for the playtest, and hope to start a D&DNext campaign this summer. But I have lots of preconcieved notions of what I want it to do. I'm more of a rules lite gamer, but am excited about the prospect of coming back into the D&D fold after many, many years of playing other games and oop editions.

I guess I could not post my reviews here on the forums if you really don't want me to--but I will prolly on my blog.

I was going to approach it like I did 4e. Which I still admit plays _very_ well, and is a solidly designed, tight (in a good way) fantasy game (imo). I ran a campaign for about 6 months and then decided my preferences lay elsewhere.

Rest assured I am not looking to play D&DNext just so I can bash it. I have high hopes for it actually. Nor would I dare to try and review game play without playing it.

I just think that requesting people to not make comparisons is a little unrealistic. For instance it says volumes to me if a person says that the core rules plays a lot like B/X without race as class, than trying to describe play without that reference. As long as they don't make illogical statements like, "Man this game sucks cause it doesn't play like 1e!" Cry or something to that effect. I wholeheartedly agree that of such complaints nothing good can come.

Also, let's remember this is a playtest. There are bound to be complaints, praise, suggestions, heartache, frustrations, celebrations and all the rest as we try and work together to make the finished product that is D&D Next.  There are bound to be references to play in other styles, versions and editions as we work through it all. I just ask a little leeway and patience. If I feel like my comments are to be censored beyond basic civility then I won't be able to make the heartfelt suggestions I come up with as I play.

Is that approach okay?
"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own." --Gary Gygax
I feel like we should do both, as that will apply better to the market as a whole and will allow us develop the game the how it was ment to be played.
holydoom.weebly.com: Holydoom! A lighthearted RPG in progress. Loosely based on 3.5. 4, and GURPS. Very, Very, Very loosely. Seriously, visit it now. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29086701/I_HIT_IT_WITH_MA_SWORD!_(like_this!):_A_Slayers_Handbook An attempt at CharOp
To anyone who thinks Pathfinder is outselling D&D
While one report may say that FLGS report a greater amount of book sales, one cannot forget the fact that the 71000 DDI subscribers paying 6-10 dollars a month don't count as "Book Sales."
"see sig" redirects here
Oblivious troll is Oblivious
PbP supporter!
General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.

If I am asked to playtest I will definitely try and judge 5e on its own merits or lack thereof I think it’s going to be very hard to set aside our personal preferences but I will give it a shot.

I will play DnD Next, but how can I not compare it?

Its like Mike said in their latest convention, the party was in the dungeon and came across some skeletons and the Cleric could not turn them because he did not have that ability.  How can you give feed back that the Cleric needs Turn Undead if you are not comparing it to anything?

Member of the Axis of Awesome

Show
Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
well it depends on the players.

our group tends to play a lot of difrent role playing systems.
so when 4th came out we just aproached it like we aproached any new roleplaying game that comes our way.

to quote one of our players after one of our first 4th edition games
"i'm not sure it is DnD but compared to the other systems out there it is a very good system"

But in case of 5th i think they also want to know if it would apeal to players of older systems.
not only if it is a good system by itselve.

As I understand from reading these forums, a certain segment of the D&D population doesn't want 5E to be 'its own game'. They might say something like 'It's not supposed to be its own game. It's supposed to be D&D.' They might say that if they wanted a game that is 'its own game', they wouldn't buy an RPG labeled Dungeons & Dragons. Another segment of the D&D population does want 5E to be 'its own game', and argues that the label 'D&D' should apply broadly to an entire class of games.

I also understand that this is a conversation that has played out approximately 16 billion times over the years, and I would be quite surprised if anyone had anything new to add to it. But perhaps they do.
Others say if itsnt actually offering anything to make it new and fresh version why in hell would I stop playing the one I already have.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I will not be playtesting D&D as "it's own game."  It's D&D, after all.  I will compare, contrast, critique it against anything I feel is appropriate to compare, contrast, critique it against.

I will, however, be playtesting it with an open mind.

Celebrate our differences.

Others say if itsnt actually offering anything to make it new and fresh version why in hell would I stop playing the one I already have.



This is one of those conversations that's happened 16 billion times. Here's the approved response.

"Why would you want to make X better? Why not just get Y?"
"Because I like X, but it could be a better X."

Analogy: D&D as a computer system that lets you play games. I have a PC. I want to upgrade the CPU, buy more RAM, a better monitor and peripherals, and get a new graphics card. I go to the store to buy those things, and the attendant tries to sell me a PS3. I don't want a PS3. I want a better PC.
I do not playtest with an open mind. I do not playtest without comparison. I most certainly do not playtest without critique. I do not playtest without bias or opinion.

To do any less is not only dishonest, but ineffective. I will compare, contrast, critique, criticize, and push as hard as I possibly can to turn DDN into a game I want to play. 

I'll fail, of course; but that isn't the point. The point is I'll be able to legitimitely say that the unplayable mess of DDN isn't my fault. Yes, my confidence is that low, even post-Monte. 

I can think of two men who could save this game. Neither of them work for WotC.  
-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
 
"Because I like X, but it could be a better X." 


Labels are subjectives. - you get in to the debate... you fixed feature Z of that X .. but I always thought that Z was cool all fuzzy and broken and without that broken Z, X isnt X any more I am going to call it a Y and go on the web and whine whine whine about it.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

If you are planning in participating in the D&D Next playtest starting May 24th, I have a request to make of you.

Play the game.

And not just play the game to compare it and contrast it with other games, editions or how you think it should be.

Play the game as it's designed to try to see how it works as its own game.
 



Lofty, but impossible goal. The design standard of Next is to be D&D for players of every edition. All the time. To not compare it to 1e, AD&D, 2e, 3.x, 4e, would be disingenuous, at best. It can't be designed as it's own game, because it has to make people playing other editions want to play it too. If it fails on the most basic point of design, and what Mearls has been touting since announcement, then Next hasn't succeeded.

It's not it's own game, it's not trying to be it's own game. It wants you to be able to play a game of Pathfinder, a game of 4e, and a game of Chainmail. Compare it to those things. Be harsh, and criticize if it isn't.
For the core system that we'll see before the month is over, of course. Even though I'm pretty sure the core rules alone will not be enough to create the game experience I want to make, I want a polished core for adding modules on. I will have a very general game design mindset when I look at those rules.

When we start to see the whole system, hell no, I'm with M4kitsu. If it doesn't look like D&DN will do a better job than Pathfinder at creating the game I want then I'm going to tell them that. If multiclassing feels as locked down as 4e instead of as open as 3.5/Pathfinder then I'm going to complain about it. If adding the modules I want drops the balance all the way down to a 3.5 level, I'm going to complain about it.

They are trying to make a product I will buy. The main thing that will keep me from buying D&DN is if I don't like it as much as Pathfinder. Ignoring the one wall that is truly in the way of me making a purchase is not the right way of going about this.
 
"Because I like X, but it could be a better X." 


Labels are subjectives. - you get in to the debate... you fixed feature Z of that X .. but I always thought that Z was cool all fuzzy and broken and without that broken Z, X isnt X any more I am going to call it a Y and go on the web and whine whine whine about it.



Meh. If they're not capable of identifying salient features of the game, they're also not capable of improving it. Because they don't know what's good about it.
 
"Because I like X, but it could be a better X." 


Labels are subjectives. - you get in to the debate... you fixed feature Z of that X .. but I always thought that Z was cool all fuzzy and broken and without that broken Z, X isnt X any more I am going to call it a Y and go on the web and whine whine whine about it.



Meh. If they're not capable of identifying salient features of the game, they're also not capable of improving it. Because they don't know what's good about it.



Well judging from their recent history... I don't have high hopes...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Sign In to post comments