Homebrewing on the Forums

Great thing about Next, at the moment?  Massive amount of homebrewing.
Terrible thing about Next, at the moment?  Massive amount of homebrewing.

Why terrible?  Because some of this stuff is so good that I'm kind of doubtful the actual materials will be able to live up to it. 

Also, because it leaves me following like a thousand homebrewing threads, instead of the far more important "yelling-at-each-other-about-differences-of-opinions" threads that the forums are for.

Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Conclusion:
Homebrewing leads to developers seeing what players want out of a class. Debate sparked by Homebrews could shape the next Paladin or Ranger. On the other hand there are still a lot of kinks in the current classes and combat on the whole.
Ant Farm
Yeah, I'm kinda blown-away by a lot of the stuff that I'm seeing. Home-brew as it relates to game-design is not my bag at all, so I'm pretty amazed at the stuff that I'm seeing that is really really good.
Although it is fun to homebrew and it is great to see that spirit being emphasized  in the new game - I'm not entirely sure how useful it really is to them.


I could see an argument for adding an additional Forum:  5N Homebrew where people post their cool additions to the game (as opposed to discussing improvement for existing rules) just to help the developers weed out the stuff that really isn't that useful to them at this time.

Carl   
Although it is fun to homebrew and it is great to see that spirit being emphasized  in the new game - I'm not entirely sure how useful it really is to them.


I could see an argument for adding an additional Forum:  5N Homebrew where people post their cool additions to the game (as opposed to discussing improvement for existing rules) just to help the developers weed out the stuff that really isn't that useful to them at this time.

Carl   




it is incredibly useful because if I can easily homebrew into the existing system then they are achieving a design goal.  If it starts to become difficult to home brew things then they are treading on their design goals.
Although it is fun to homebrew and it is great to see that spirit being emphasized  in the new game - I'm not entirely sure how useful it really is to them.


I could see an argument for adding an additional Forum:  5N Homebrew where people post their cool additions to the game (as opposed to discussing improvement for existing rules) just to help the developers weed out the stuff that really isn't that useful to them at this time.

Carl   



The line between creative improvement of existing rules and homebrew is a rather blurry one.

I find the armor list boring and have some ideas on how to make a better one and add some detail to the rules. Would that be constructive criticism or homebrewing? Both probably..

If one cuts all the homebrew out of this forum it will be only criticism of existing rules but no suggestions on how to make it better.

I am rather new here. I don't know what realtion the developers at WotC have with this forum, if they read it with interest or if they ignore it...  but, if they do read it, I suppose the homebrew parts will appear to them just as they appear to us. that is, we like some ideas and we dislike or ignore others..

Seeing peoples suggestions should also enable them to somewhat judge what different directions exist here (not that this forum is entirely representative of D&D players everywhere..).

From my perspective, if we want to make this forum valuable to the designers of DDN, we should take note of what they say and what they want with the game and how existing rules are intended to work and why, and then steer our homebrew in the same general direction if possible. Then at least it will not be completely off topic..   although posting some different ideas once in a while can't harm that much..

It seems they are explicitly starting threads when they want comments on particular matters.. probably to know where to find the information without having to sift through the entire forum..   but I dunno.
Also, if they are indeed reading the blogs and what have you, they not only see what players want, they actually may look at what someone has done and say "I like A and B out of this homebrew class, but it doesn't quite work with the system, so we will tweak it and release C and D."

For example, all the Monk posts lately had me do a blog on what I want to see out of an unarmed, unarmored combatant. Homebrewing is a form of discussion, although the reader is in passive mode.

If this is to be the easiest to homebrew edition, the fact that people are homebrewing the playtest shows there is a bunch of promise in that regard.
Since one of the goals of 5e is ease of homebrewing, I think the homebrewing threads are great, and show the designers that they are meeting at least one of their major goals.  That doesn't mean that any of these homebrews will see the light of day in the finished product.

We have to remember that the playtest goes through some pretty major revisions each time.  So the stuff we're homebrewing now may not really fit in the yet-to-be-released playtest packet being written.  I think the community managers do give the developers reports on stuff going on in the forusm, but Mearls, Schwalb, Perkins, et al. don't have the time to rifle through the forums looking for diamonds in the rough.  They have to rely on reports being sent up the chain.

Which isn't to say we should stop making homebrew threads.  They are very useful, at least to the other playtesters.  If someone in my playtest group said they wanted to play a barbarian, I'd probably head over to the barbarian homebrew thread and take a look at what other people have already tried.  I just wouldn't be very hopeful that the developers are going to adopt any of the ideas therein.
It also denotes ownership of the game. Let's face it, homebrewing takes time and effort. If people didn't like the game enough to want to own it, to mold it to something, they wouldn't spend the time and effort to homebrew. If people are owning the playtest, then it bodes well for the project as a whole.

As Wrecan said, I doubt much of anything homebrewed will make it into the game, even my own stuff. It's a nice thought though. Even if something homebrewed here was already built in house in a different format, even if that person had nothing to do with the decision, someone can look at it and think "I had a little to do with that." Even with the dragon eye views with the little poll results on what we think of monsters make me feel in part that I have a hand in this game. If I say I want a course haired minotaur with cloven hoofs and bovine legs, and that's what the final design is, I can feel that I had a say. If they choose not to because everyone else wanted something different, I still had a say.

Even with the dissension throughout these forums, I get a feeling of a congealing playerbase. I think as a whole people want this to succeed, and much of the frothing at the mouth reactions is a result of the passion people are feeling towards this project.
@greatfrito: A distorted sense of self-worth - and a self-righteous attitude keeps me safely grounded in the "different opinion" war threads. 

So I'd work on those two skills.

===

Homebrew is salvation for D&D gamers.

Homebrew is ALWAYS a good - so long as it supports the table as a whole. 

I think too many are too stuck in their left brains - which makes them want the rules to match their homebrew. 

My table =/= your table.

D&D should support more homebrew - I'd so much rather see charts to make "Races" "Classes" "Magic Items" etc... than anything static (though traditionally familiar classes could be pre-made by WoTC. The Shadowrun products do this - there's a character builder and pre-made professions that fit the world and playstyles of that world perfectly for people who are new, uncomfortable with all the variables, or just want a stable balanced class).

"That" would be the "most modular" system.  
I found the lack of house rules for 4e to be the most disapointing part of 4e for me.   I came to these forums thinking that the community would be supportive of house rules that cater to my particular play style, but I was rebuked at every post I made.  Of course, at that time any suggestion that 4e needed a house rule was a taboo subject.       For that reason, I'm very happy that 5e will be encouraging house rules.

I just hope that the house rule forums don't bet buried and are never posted on. Hopefully, the 5e forums will have a top level forum for homebrewing.      


I like the fact that D&DNext is going to encourage house-ruling, and make it simpler to achieve; but, I don't think it is a good idea to use much house-ruling during the playtest. House-ruling, during the playtest, will take focus off the rules that need to be tested; that's why we're testing them.

How can someone give useful critique of rules that they haven't used? How can you give valuable feedback on the game, if you aren't playing it "as is"?
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