Transitions... and a question...

Mearls is saying the next topic on Legends and Lore will be “Transitions”, specifically getting the various edition lovers to come together and both enjoy and support D&D Next.  This is to me quite simply the ultimate (and clearly very difficult if not impossible) main goal of D&D Next.


I was a fairly active troll a while ago on these forums wrongly thinking with the right argument against what I perceived as unnecessary revisions, I might make a difference. But it was like trying to stop the waves of the ocean with a squirt gun. I knew that many older kitchen table gamers who only lurked on these forums agreed with my opinions but were choosing to wait and see rather than try and make their voices heard over the very loud and prolific younger gamers.


Though I am not participating in the playtest, (players in my area simply aren’t interested) what I read about the packets on these forums I found more and more disturbing as time went on.


Dice pools, AOO’s, a huge slew of unpopular (amongst my group) 4e rules being brought back, generic weapons, and most importantly the assumption that DM worlds will all likely be very high magic settings with many playable race/class/player options as opposed to the traditional grittier and more dangerous lower magic settings with the fewer options of basic/AD&D, and my faith in Mearls and the team of actually achieving their ultimate goal as I saw it became next to nil.


I had to assume that’s because what I wanted from D&D Next was simply an update of the game I really loved from back in the 80s, instead of returning to the types of fantasy-superhero  RPG’s more like WOW than Tolken that seem to proliferate my gaming store.


I also knew I wasn’t going to be happy with just being “familiar” with the new system, I wanted a return to what I thought made D&D popular in the first place, simplicity and the right of the DM to actually create, improve, and adjust as desired as opposed to having to fight to overcome what I perceive as the modern player’s growing sense of entitlement and setting/rule assumptions that seem hammered into the core of the game (regardless of a few pacifying sentences about empowering the DM and the DM being allowed to use the rules they want.)


Though I HATE the pathfinder rule set and world (too much magic, too fast progression through middle levels and almost all games obliterated by unbalance caused by power-creep and system mastery by 12th level) I’m starting to wonder if it would just be better to stick with it like all the players and DMs in my area are telling me they plan to do, maybe house rule the hell out of it to get it to be the game I actually want to run.


Yesterday, at the table, I mentioned that I was going to check out these forums again, and asked if anyone’s opinions had changed and if they might change from Pathfinder once Next came out, one of the players at our game says…


“The D&D Next forum reminds me of kids watching Tinkerbelle die, it’s like they all shut their eyes and are all clapping their hands saying ‘I believe in D&D Next! I believe in D&D Next!’ and that if they whip themselves into a strong enough frenzy the game WOTC is proposing will be magically better than it really is and people will want to play it more than Pathfinder, but ya see this (and he tapped his hands on his large stack of pathfinder books/materials) Its not perfect but its good enough, so we got no reason to change to D&D Next, I got all I need right here.”


And that to me will be the most difficult transition for Mearls to create, to get people (like my gaming group) who are currently happy “enough” with PF to see a big enough difference and improvement in Next to shell out hard earned money and change back to D&D….


It’s probably too early to say this, but right now, I’m not seeing it… Next is just not the game that I wanted, and so far it does not seem to have enough big improvements over PF to get my players to put away the books they already own…


So to those of you who are actively participating with the playtesting… what about you…?


1)      what was your favorite edition or version of D&D (but don’t tell me why, that seems to get people banned)


2)      Do you think Next has done it? Do you believe that Mearls and the team have successfully overcome your loyalty to previous editions, your enjoyment of PF or other games currently on the market to such a degree that you and everyone you game with would be willing to put everything else aside if the release day was today?     

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
1) I'm a fan of 3.5, and in much the same boat as yourself.

2) Not quite yet, though it is clearly improving with each playtest.  If they continue along this path for another year, and actually come through on a couple of key modules, I could see transitioning to Next from Pathfinder.

The metagame is not the game.

I thought people were speculating that the release date would be pre nov 2013, you believe they will take another year?
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
Dice pools, AOO’s, a huge slew of unpopular (amongst my group) 4e rules being brought back, generic weapons, and most importantly the assumption that DM worlds will all likely be very high magic settings with many playable race/class/player options as opposed to the traditional grittier and more dangerous lower magic settings with the fewer options of basic/AD&D, and my faith in Mearls and the team of actually achieving their ultimate goal as I saw it became next to nil.

That's unusual, somebody who thinks Next isn't retro enough. And honestly, if your complain is that the game has too many options, then your probably going to be unhappy, even with the Next core/basic game. Most modern players want more then just the classic Tolkien races and classes now.

As for Next actually briding the gap, it is too early to tell. The game isn't close enough to done. However, at the moment I'm more worried that 4e fans will jump ship then attracting 3e/PF fans will be a problem. It is very unlikely that any game could be so good as to make me put aside everything else, but I'm usually involved in 2 or 3 games at a time. I expect 1 or 2 of those will switch to Next when it comes out or shortly afterwards, depending on where the campaigns are at the time.

Though I can see most people seem to be staying away from this thread I thought I would give you reply.

1. My favourite edition was 4th Edition and I will tell you why - because I could put an encounter together in 5 minutes and in some cases even on the fly. This is because it had online tools. It actually has nothing to do with the rules - ti is jsut that I had access to something that made my life as a DM so much easier. 

2. Honestly I did not have loyality to any edition - I just want a system where I can put together an adventure in less than an hour with rules that are simple enough for a complete novice to be able to play. This is not because the people I play with people are complete novices - I just want rules that are so simpe that they can sit down and play without huge issues. In the play tests that I have run with this group of people feedback from them has been  favorable and I have a diverse group with some favouring one system over another ( I have some avid 4th edition players, a person strongly for 2nd edition and some who liked 3rd edition more).

I don't think that the idea with D&D Next was ever to try and "convert" anybody and I think that it is a mistake to look at it like that. Instead I think that D&D Next gives common ground so that everyone can identify with it as being D&D.

For your group that are really interested in playing Pathfinder - that is great for them and I am glad that they can run the games that they wanted to in that system. But what I would hope is if they did end up playing in a D&D Next game that they could find enough touch stones to recognize it as D&D and be able to have fun with it. 
the mention of "transistions" was in reference to the transition between the bare-bones basic game, and a more advanced standard game.

1. 5E is my favorite edition.

2. This question is dumb. you don't have to "put your other games aside" to play something else. 
1. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons
2. Hell no, I have played AD&D for 25 years and love the game. I also play Pathfinder, stangely enough we have many of the same experiences. My group rejects the next playtest since the third release. I am at this point not planing on switching or even buying the product. I'm beginning to see Next as the nail in the coffin that sends D&D away into the afterlife. Mike Mearls seems a whole lot like Mr. Magoo to me, blind, sad, and clueless that he's the butt of the joke. I honestly hope I am wrong. As far as attracting back the P.F. players goes, that is Laughable. Why would you turn away from a company that supports ( online for free) and loves it's fans and is winning the arms race to be the number 1 Rpg on the market? Gamers rally around a company that doesn't throw them away every 8-10 years. The former fanbase is very offended by Wotc's dealings with D&D.
1) I'm a fan of 4E.

2) Nope, so far, Mearls and team have not done it. You yourself say that you want improvements. There are not enough improvements and far too much looking back. In my opinion, they could have gone farther with 4E and made a much better game, but even 4E was shackled by "tradition." It is great to look back at where we came from and see what the past has to teach us. However, if you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it. Next is too much tradition, and not enough innovation.

I will never understand the backlash against advancement. If the new edition is so similar to a previous edition that you can simply and easily make the transition to the new edition, wouldn't it actually be easier and more economical to simply houserule in the new ideas you like and just keep playing the edition you already know and love?

We all have our favorite editions. When the smoke clears and Next is released, it is a fair bet that many of us will continue to play our favored editions, and not Next. Next's best hope for a long life is listen to our feedback, but to continue to look to the future. The future of D&D lies in new players, so the game needs to be accessible and modern. Too much adherence to tradition for the sake of a few grognards (defined for this purpose as "old-school gamer") will get in the way of that. We grognards are going to start dying off pretty soon, Wizards should definately be courting the younger crowd if it wants to keep D&D going for the next generation.

For the record, I am as worthy of the grognard title as anyone else. I started D&D with BECMI in the 70's. I have switched with every edition because of advancements in gameplay and design. Sadly, for every advance that Next makes, it also takes two steps back. In order for me to buy into the next edition, it must make significant advancement beyond 4E in gameplay and design.
I thought people were speculating that the release date would be pre nov 2013, you believe they will take another year?

If it takes less than a year to get to the finished product, then I doubt the game will be in a state I would consider purchasing.  They still have several design goals yet to implement, and even then they will have to create content to meet it (additional classes, races, feats, backgrounds, spells/maneuvers, etc), and they will still need to playtest that extensively to make sure it's reasonably balanced.

The metagame is not the game.

I thought people were speculating that the release date would be pre nov 2013, you believe they will take another year?

Mearls' Twitter says 2014 at the earliest.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I thought people were speculating that the release date would be pre nov 2013, you believe they will take another year?



I believe the planned release is for Spring / Summer 2014, to mark D&D's 40th anniversary. There is probably a lot of push from HAsbro to make this happen, so I suspect that the game will still need some degree of polish after release (how much is anyone's guess).

1.  I'm most fond of 3.5, but some of the ideas of 2nd and 4th editions really get my attention (and I houserule them in.)

2.  At the end of the day, if 5th ends up being a simple basic rules core that contains all of these attributes, my group will be satisfied with it:
     -It must be easy to learn and intuitive to adjudicate.  Using ability checks as the essential mechanic is a great idea.  Each player can easily comprehend which abilities do what, for the most part, and plan accordingly.  As a DM, it saves valuable time and brainpower knowing that whenever someone tries something that has a chance of failure, it's an ability check, perhaps modified by a skill die.
     -It must allow enough flexibility to operate equally well in a wide range of settings.  High magic should be favored no more than low magic.  I disagree that they aren't currently doing this, at least with respect to the most basic elements of the game.  Their not including a wealth-by-level scheme excited me somewhat.
     -Its mechanics regarding monsters, items, and so on, should be apparent enough for a DM to modify existing items or invent his/her own.  I would like to see a similar approach to class, race, and spell mechanics, so that designing any of those features could be accomplished easily and in a balanced manner.
     -A "standard setting" should be adopted, if not for the PHB, then at least for the DMG.  Even if not incorporated directly, examples and fluff could be based around it, so that one could visualize a whole-cloth system, regardless of whether it is the one used.  Such conceptuality is a great help to myself and others I've known as players.  We take that small bit of fluff, and we run merrily with it toward the horizons of the dreamscape.

Any other elements are not as important to my group and I, though the MDD rules right now could use some work in our eyes.  Some don't like to roll truckloads of dice every turn.  The combat rules could stand to be a little bit less simplistic, but that's not essential in the core set.  We're loving the half-vancian spell system, with a few spells in need of revision for either balance or fun-factor issues.  In all, I like the directions of most of it, and I most likely will purchase it and run it.

1) I don't have a favorite.  I like 2E for the flavor, fluff, and nestalgia, I don't like it for the inconsistent and sometimes wacky systems involved.  I like 3X for the style, consistency, and classes, I don't like it because of the convoluted mess it is to DM and horrid power balance between classes.  I like 4e for the character balance and the rules evolution, I love it for how easy it is to DM, I don't like it for it's straight-jacket power structure (essentials helped a lot with that).  But all said, 4e wins because I mostly DM.

2) Done it?  Not yet, but things are looking good.  They're experimenting, getting feedback and evolving the system.  It may not be perfect, but if they can stick to their stated goals of rule modularity then yes.  Put other versions aside?  I don't know, but then I move around a lot.  So I have to be flexible.

I would like to add that asking if anyone would give up all other finished systems for one that is still in development, regardless how good it is looking, is a loaded question.  It's like people if they would trade in thier current vehicle for the one that is being built right now.  It's only a frame, so you only have a basic idea of what it will look like, they've shown you a couple of different engines, but you don't know what the final one will be, and they've only shown a couple of the options that may or may not come with the car.
1. AD&D 1E and 2E...nothing since WotC acquired the name.
2. No. Too much of it is not 1E and 2E. 
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft

JayM- so far I havent seen how the complexity of a system can greatly increase the fun unless the non-complexity some how creates unavoidable problems that cant be easily fixed with a house rule or minor adjustment. I’m still waiting for that complex system to come out and show me how it’s a vast improvement on OSR games.


It seems to me the more restrictive sets of rules are designed more to prevent bad DM-ing (which I think a system like 4.0 can do to some extent,) but generally I feel a bad DM is a more easy problem to solve than a “straight jacket” set of rules.


Dragnog- yeah its great for them, not so great for me… to me PF suffers from that locked in issue of powercreep/system mastery. Higher levels of play are extremely difficult to DM as player power levels can range from the pathetic to “I am immune to damage and can kill anything in the book in one round if I win init.”


Trebor- if you have a limited amount of freetime (like everyone except likely the super rich and super poor) you absolutely do have to put something else aside to make room for a new game.


Brightmantle- I would get rid of pathfinder in a second if there was a better product available that people wanted to play just as much as PF for all the reasons I already mentioned…. In essence PF is broken on more levels than can be fixed and as time goes on it only gets worse and worse, I really wish they would come out with a new edition.


But you are entirely right about the Paizo aditude… I love the fact that its 100% free online, and they do really support their fans… unfortunately I think that was a flaw in the initial design as well… the idea being if you give players everything they could ever want you’ll have a successful selling game… it was true, but I think that began the powercreep/too much magic problems.


Malak- again, you’d have to convince me that those advancements your talking about have a direct corallation to amount of fun gained. So far I haven’t seen that. Moar complex, moar new, moar advanced rarely means moar better moar fun.


Btw. IMHO the best most advanced RPG game ever to hit the market is Hero System which began I think in like 1982, but the fact that there is near complete freedom and a solid yet simple system to handle every possible want, need, desire or setting has not won HS massive sales, heck they cant even keep the core books printed.

So it was a hugely successful system but a huge failure in the market. Good to keep in mind. when some body improves on what HS did maybe I could believe that arguement about it being necessary to push the limits of innovation, but so far that dosent hold water with me... its like somebody pointing at a toyota hybrid and saying see! what a cool vehicle they came out with this year! and I point over to the SR-71 blackbird...


Saelorn- if they are really intending this to be the D&D that never needs a new edition… then five or more years of playtesting woulden’t be a bad thing in my mind.


Ish- I agree with most of what you posted, since I’m not playtesting I cant say if they really are or are not following through with the magic-power level thing but I am glad they didn’t get into the “expected” magic item rewards system. I don’t agree that there should be a “standard” setting, “example” or sponsored settings yes, but one ring to rule them all… no.


Ahrimon- great posting and I agree with your overview up until 4e, since I’m mostly a player and that “character with wings of flying jumps off a cliff fltters out about 120 ft and falls like a rock to his death” type of thing just drove me absolutely bonkos,  I never saw essentials so… yeah the straight jacket (good way of putting it) ruleset made it very difficult for me to play and impossible for me to DM.

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
I was a fairly active troll a while ago on these forums wrongly thinking with the right argument against what I perceived as unnecessary revisions, I might make a difference.


Man, this is an awesome way to get off on the right foot with everyone.
1)      what was your favorite edition or version of D&D (but don’t tell me why, that seems to get people banned)

Our houseruled 2e (that has lots of 1e and some 3e in it)

2)      Do you think Next has done it? Do you believe that Mearls and the team have successfully overcome your loyalty to previous editions, your enjoyment of PF or other games currently on the market to such a degree that you and everyone you game with would be willing to put everything else aside if the release day was today?

I can't answer the question as phrased, since "successfully overcome your loyalty" isn't what is happenening here. That implies that 5e is supposed to gain 100% of my loyalty (or at least more than 50%), and that there's some resistance to that.

What's actually happening is that 5e looks like an edition my group will play, no matter what the release date is, because it's demonstrating rules that are rational and that fit our opinions of "reality vs playability". We have three DMs, and one, two, or all three might or might not convert their campaigns to 5e. But if even only one does, the other two won't throw out the system we're using now, nor quit playing in the campaign that does convert.


Does that sufficiently answer your question?

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Oh fine, here ya go:


1)      what was your favorite edition or version of D&D (but don’t tell me why, that seems to get people banned)

I played 3e for years and years and I do like it, but my current favourite is 2e.

2)      Do you think Next has done it? Do you believe that Mearls and the team have successfully overcome your loyalty to previous editions, your enjoyment of PF or other games currently on the market to such a degree that you and everyone you game with would be willing to put everything else aside if the release day was today?

I think that the result you're describing is rather more subtle than that, and I don't actually think that anyone realistic about this is going to consider this to be an option. Mearls has specifically stated that if you prefer a previous edition over his then you should go play it, but he's gonna do his best to give folks what they want.


I think the real message of the current thingie is a recognition that D&D is one among many, not the least of which are its own products. If I had to throw my hat in, I'd say that I would not put everything else aside 'cause there's no reason to. Maybe after playing a while it grows into what I do most, but that doesn't mean 2e D&D or Vampire: The Masquerade or nWoD won't be my next thing either. It's just one more thing to try.


I don't really think that's a failure. I think the question speaks of a very dualistic way of looking at games and gaming.


Mearls is saying the next topic on Legends and Lore will be “Transitions”, specifically getting the various edition lovers to come together and both enjoy and support D&D Next.  This is to me quite simply the ultimate (and clearly very difficult if not impossible) main goal of D&D Next.


I was a fairly active troll a while ago on these forums wrongly thinking with the right argument against what I perceived as unnecessary revisions, I might make a difference. But it was like trying to stop the waves of the ocean with a squirt gun. I knew that many older kitchen table gamers who only lurked on these forums agreed with my opinions but were choosing to wait and see rather than try and make their voices heard over the very loud and prolific younger gamers.


Though I am not participating in the playtest, (players in my area simply aren’t interested) what I read about the packets on these forums I found more and more disturbing as time went on.


Dice pools, AOO’s, a huge slew of unpopular (amongst my group) 4e rules being brought back, generic weapons, and most importantly the assumption that DM worlds will all likely be very high magic settings with many playable race/class/player options as opposed to the traditional grittier and more dangerous lower magic settings with the fewer options of basic/AD&D, and my faith in Mearls and the team of actually achieving their ultimate goal as I saw it became next to nil.


I had to assume that’s because what I wanted from D&D Next was simply an update of the game I really loved from back in the 80s, instead of returning to the types of fantasy-superhero  RPG’s more like WOW than Tolken that seem to proliferate my gaming store.


I also knew I wasn’t going to be happy with just being “familiar” with the new system, I wanted a return to what I thought made D&D popular in the first place, simplicity and the right of the DM to actually create, improve, and adjust as desired as opposed to having to fight to overcome what I perceive as the modern player’s growing sense of entitlement and setting/rule assumptions that seem hammered into the core of the game (regardless of a few pacifying sentences about empowering the DM and the DM being allowed to use the rules they want.)


Though I HATE the pathfinder rule set and world (too much magic, too fast progression through middle levels and almost all games obliterated by unbalance caused by power-creep and system mastery by 12th level) I’m starting to wonder if it would just be better to stick with it like all the players and DMs in my area are telling me they plan to do, maybe house rule the hell out of it to get it to be the game I actually want to run.


Yesterday, at the table, I mentioned that I was going to check out these forums again, and asked if anyone’s opinions had changed and if they might change from Pathfinder once Next came out, one of the players at our game says…


“The D&D Next forum reminds me of kids watching Tinkerbelle die, it’s like they all shut their eyes and are all clapping their hands saying ‘I believe in D&D Next! I believe in D&D Next!’ and that if they whip themselves into a strong enough frenzy the game WOTC is proposing will be magically better than it really is and people will want to play it more than Pathfinder, but ya see this (and he tapped his hands on his large stack of pathfinder books/materials) Its not perfect but its good enough, so we got no reason to change to D&D Next, I got all I need right here.”


And that to me will be the most difficult transition for Mearls to create, to get people (like my gaming group) who are currently happy “enough” with PF to see a big enough difference and improvement in Next to shell out hard earned money and change back to D&D….


It’s probably too early to say this, but right now, I’m not seeing it… Next is just not the game that I wanted, and so far it does not seem to have enough big improvements over PF to get my players to put away the books they already own…


So to those of you who are actively participating with the playtesting… what about you…?


1)      what was your favorite edition or version of D&D (but don’t tell me why, that seems to get people banned)


2)      Do you think Next has done it? Do you believe that Mearls and the team have successfully overcome your loyalty to previous editions, your enjoyment of PF or other games currently on the market to such a degree that you and everyone you game with would be willing to put everything else aside if the release day was today?     




Your post is the reason I thing WoTC would be more successful keeping D&D4E and bringing back support for past editions, instead of trying to unite everything under one banner. Not that I agree with you on your opinions about what is 4E, but DDN look not old school enough to the old schoolers and too much old school for the taste of modern RPG players.
I personally see no reason to end support to 4e. It should be just as valued and supported as those  past editions of the game are. I personally have no problem with the game moving forward, as well as paying homage to it's roots via the cross edition reprint. The question I would pose is: Is this current direction of Next which seems a hodge podge of every edition going to satisfy a very diverse and polorized group of Fans who have been conditioned not to accept one anothers game?
1. My favorite edition is 3.5. I have no problem throwing a quick adventure together in minutes or developing a long convoluted series of adventures over a longer period of time. 4e has been a problem for me because I can actually feel pain watching & helping players make characters. 2nd was my first D&D edition and it has a special place in my heart.

2. D&DNext isn't there yet. I see it as being on its way to becoming a system I can spend money on. If they published it in its current incarnation, then no they would have failed in their goal. As they are making changes as the playtest goes on, than this maybe the system I change over to. 

Mearls is saying the next topic on Legends and Lore will be “Transitions”, specifically getting the various edition lovers to come together and both enjoy and support D&D Next.  This is to me quite simply the ultimate (and clearly very difficult if not impossible) main goal of D&D Next.


I was a fairly active troll a while ago on these forums wrongly thinking with the right argument against what I perceived as unnecessary revisions, I might make a difference. But it was like trying to stop the waves of the ocean with a squirt gun. I knew that many older kitchen table gamers who only lurked on these forums agreed with my opinions but were choosing to wait and see rather than try and make their voices heard over the very loud and prolific younger gamers.


Though I am not participating in the playtest, (players in my area simply aren’t interested) what I read about the packets on these forums I found more and more disturbing as time went on.


Dice pools, AOO’s, a huge slew of unpopular (amongst my group) 4e rules being brought back, generic weapons, and most importantly the assumption that DM worlds will all likely be very high magic settings with many playable race/class/player options as opposed to the traditional grittier and more dangerous lower magic settings with the fewer options of basic/AD&D, and my faith in Mearls and the team of actually achieving their ultimate goal as I saw it became next to nil.


I had to assume that’s because what I wanted from D&D Next was simply an update of the game I really loved from back in the 80s, instead of returning to the types of fantasy-superhero  RPG’s more like WOW than Tolken that seem to proliferate my gaming store.


I also knew I wasn’t going to be happy with just being “familiar” with the new system, I wanted a return to what I thought made D&D popular in the first place, simplicity and the right of the DM to actually create, improve, and adjust as desired as opposed to having to fight to overcome what I perceive as the modern player’s growing sense of entitlement and setting/rule assumptions that seem hammered into the core of the game (regardless of a few pacifying sentences about empowering the DM and the DM being allowed to use the rules they want.)


Though I HATE the pathfinder rule set and world (too much magic, too fast progression through middle levels and almost all games obliterated by unbalance caused by power-creep and system mastery by 12th level) I’m starting to wonder if it would just be better to stick with it like all the players and DMs in my area are telling me they plan to do, maybe house rule the hell out of it to get it to be the game I actually want to run.


Yesterday, at the table, I mentioned that I was going to check out these forums again, and asked if anyone’s opinions had changed and if they might change from Pathfinder once Next came out, one of the players at our game says…


“The D&D Next forum reminds me of kids watching Tinkerbelle die, it’s like they all shut their eyes and are all clapping their hands saying ‘I believe in D&D Next! I believe in D&D Next!’ and that if they whip themselves into a strong enough frenzy the game WOTC is proposing will be magically better than it really is and people will want to play it more than Pathfinder, but ya see this (and he tapped his hands on his large stack of pathfinder books/materials) Its not perfect but its good enough, so we got no reason to change to D&D Next, I got all I need right here.”


And that to me will be the most difficult transition for Mearls to create, to get people (like my gaming group) who are currently happy “enough” with PF to see a big enough difference and improvement in Next to shell out hard earned money and change back to D&D….


It’s probably too early to say this, but right now, I’m not seeing it… Next is just not the game that I wanted, and so far it does not seem to have enough big improvements over PF to get my players to put away the books they already own…


So to those of you who are actively participating with the playtesting… what about you…?


1)      what was your favorite edition or version of D&D (but don’t tell me why, that seems to get people banned)


2)      Do you think Next has done it? Do you believe that Mearls and the team have successfully overcome your loyalty to previous editions, your enjoyment of PF or other games currently on the market to such a degree that you and everyone you game with would be willing to put everything else aside if the release day was today?     





So what stops you from playing AD&D or the BECMI?   Nothing.  BTW, AD&D was FAR from simple if you actually used the rules.

What stops you from trimming out some of the options you don't like from other systems?  Nothing.

That said I don't care about D&D Next or playtesting as I have spent more then enough money  on 4th.  To answer your question though,

1) I like all the versions. Yhe easiest to play according to the rules is 4th, imo, and I like the tactical nature of it.
2) Don't think Mearls's vision is possible. Not only do players not know what they want at them moment what they want in a week as they evolve will change as well.
 
JayM- so far I havent seen how the complexity of a system can greatly increase the fun unless the non-complexity some how creates unavoidable problems that cant be easily fixed with a house rule or minor adjustment. I’m still waiting for that complex system to come out and show me how it’s a vast improvement on OSR games.

I wasn't speaking of complexity in general, just your comment that you didn't like there being so many races/classes/etc. General game complexity is a rather different issue that gets into how structured a game you want and how much you want narration reflected in game mechanics.

Btw. IMHO the best most advanced RPG game ever to hit the market is Hero System which began I think in like 1982, but the fact that there is near complete freedom and a solid yet simple system to handle every possible want, need, desire or setting has not won HS massive sales, heck they cant even keep the core books printed.

Hero is one of my favorite systems also, but simple it isn't. The character design rules are longer then the combined 4e or 3e PHB and DMG together. More over, as a really open ended point buy system, it requires a lot of heavy handed DM intervetion to maintain game balance.


1)      what was your favorite edition or version of D&D (but don’t tell me why, that seems to get people banned)

2)      Do you think Next has done it? Do you believe that Mearls and the team have successfully overcome your loyalty to previous editions, your enjoyment of PF or other games currently on the market to such a degree that you and everyone you game with would be willing to put everything else aside if the release day was today?     



1. I'd have to go with 3E, although I liked certain elements of the other editions. 3E simply allowed our concepts to flourish in virtually any way that we could imagine, and it did so without restricting, homogenizing, or butchering the game world that we had loved for so long. All of our previous character concepts/classes/etc were fully supported in 3E, and it maintained our campaign worlds so we could pick up right where we left off from 2E (an absolutely critical feature of any new edition, given that role-playing campaigns can last for years). Plus, the amount of sourcebook material for our campaign setting is enough to keep us finding new things to do in 3E for many years to come. You can't beat that. 

But my ultimate favorite game is SAGA, and my players would pay big bucks to have a D&D version of that. The talent tree system was by far the best thing that WotC ever did, IMO. It was absolutely brilliant. 

2. No, D&D Next will almost certainly not attract me as a customer, at least not as it stands right now. If the designers were simply taking the best elements of each previous edition (and SAGA) and combining them then I would probably really like it, but instead they are introducing new, controversial mechanics that are much worse than what we had before. It's this corporate "New Coke" approach that is ruining it.
Leadership and class choice should have NOTHING to do with each other, EVER. Conflating the two is simply horrendous game design.
1. Hard to say. I have nostalgic soft spot for 2nd, but believe 3rd in its various incarnations was, on the whole, a better game. 4th edition wasn't a bad game, it just got boring after a couple of years so we went to PF almost 3 years ago and never looked back.

2. A resounding NO.
Jaym- currently pathfinder has something like 300 different feats, many repetitive, some completely useless. each feat alters some general rule, a party of 8 mid level characters means the DM is going to have to keep track of 80 or so rule exceptions or changes... options can be very confusing and time consuming. a simple AD&D character had no skills but a good DM would incorporate bonuses to stat checks based on the character history you had provided. having needed options are a good thing, having unecessary or unbalancing options is a bad thing. (thats one of the reasons I really liked hero's active and actual point systems, gave the DM a good idea of how everything would balance or not regardless of system mastery)

have you read through 6e hero system? rules are as complex or simple as you want them to be, including character creation, talk about modular... and I dont think you need a heavy handed DM to stop optimization, so far its been the most easy I have seen (telling you what powers or abilities must be carefully controlled or outright denied is fairly simple to me)

Jacob... exactly, its new coke for the next generation whereas I'm not seeing many improvements and what is being pushed isnt exciting me regardless of the hype.





So what stops you from playing AD&D or the BECMI?   Nothing.  BTW, AD&D was FAR from simple if you actually used the rules.

What stops you from trimming out some of the options you don't like from other systems?  Nothing.

That said I don't care about D&D Next or playtesting as I have spent more then enough money  on 4th.  To answer your question though,

1) I like all the versions. Yhe easiest to play according to the rules is 4th, imo, and I like the tactical nature of it.
2) Don't think Mearls's vision is possible. Not only do players not know what they want at them moment what they want in a week as they evolve will change as well.
 



what stops me from playing AD&D and BECMI- mainly I live in a small town and there are few gamers, if I want to play or run anything, I have to get the group to go along with it. right now there are two games a week, both Pathfinder and no other gamers with open tables. if I wanted to run AD&D nobody would show for it... so I think marketing, popularity, system loyalty, and player entitlement all stop me from being able to run AD&D.

What stops me from "trimming out" some of the options? just trying to get a group of pathfinder players to use core only is not easy, getting them to accept a lower magic world would also be difficult, then change the xp rules to increase the time players have to spend in middle levels, then change almost every character's higher level (god killer) abilities, then change the ways spells ... no its just way too much work to create something many in my area would refuse to play (since in essence I would be shutting down most optimization). I have thought about it then decided against wasting all that time for no forseeable reason... thats why I was looking forward to next coming out, thinking I could maybe bring people to it as the game I wanted to run but so far it really isnt the game I want to run.

on issue 2) it seems like most of the posters on this thread are agreeing with you, at least currently.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
a simple AD&D character had no skills but a good DM would incorporate bonuses to stat checks based on the character history you had provided. having needed options are a good thing, having unecessary or unbalancing options is a bad thing.

A good DM can make a good game with a terrible system and a bad DM can ruin any game system. That isn't an excuse to have a bad game system. I've played enough AD&D to hate the idea of the DM picking bonuses based on character background, because that always turned into a system where the DMs favorites got more bonuses then everybody else and where the abilities your character had changed over time because the DM forgot that your wilderness scout knew how to swim last time he got dumped in a lake.

have you read through 6e hero system? rules are as complex or simple as you want them to be, including character creation, talk about modular... and I dont think you need a heavy handed DM to stop optimization, so far its been the most easy I have seen (telling you what powers or abilities must be carefully controlled or outright denied is fairly simple to me)

I have not read the 6e rules. I have the 2e-4e rules, none of the later stuff. Unless Hero has changed the mechanics substantially, it does require a heavy hand, because it isn't nearly enough to point out the obvious powers and abilities that need to be controlled, or the obvious tricks such as loading up with non-disadvantages. It is subtle tricks such as buying up one narrow ability above the power curve for the campaign, such as running up OCV or speed, or taking advantage of situations where independent abilities stack to get advantage that isn't paid for in points, or taking advantage of any quirks added to game balance by the specific options/modules used in that game.

Your complaining that Pathfinder has too many feats and pointing to Hero as a better system. Hero is a system that lets people build the feats (powers) they want and thus in practice, has orders of magnitude more.

1) 2e/4e
2) There are elements in each packets that could convince me to change. The small issues seem to pretty much be dealt with, but its the big issues like the implementation of fighters and wizards that as of right now is making it difficult for me to commit to 5e. Fighters are much closer to being acceptable. Wizards are a ways off. I think the game is in a place where I would be willing to play in a game, but it is a ways off from me making the investment to DM it.

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Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke
1)

My favorite edition was second edition, and alot of it was the development of campaigns.

2)  My players are happy with Pathfinder, I am pretty happy with pathfinder.  It might be difficult for me to get them to switch to next. 

What I am most excited about is that the developers will right the ship of the Forgotten Realms. 

If Forgotten Realms is going to NOT be system neutral and require Next rules I would be more apt to switch because it would cut down on my prep time alot.  Problem for me would be if it strays from the earlier 3 editions too much I will not sign on, but then I am in no worse position.

If Forgotten Realms is system neutral, then I will fanatically support it and buy everything for it again because it will be easy to use with Pathfinder or 2nd edition D&D. 

It is going to be a tough call to switch or not.  Pathfinder as you say is not perfect, but the balance is perfect enough for me, and the system is perfect enough for me.  I tend to want the more gamey elements left behind, so if Next can resemble the older editions more I will be more apt to sign on.

With AD&D being reprinted, and Pathfinder running strong, if they do not make the 'good enough' of next better than Pathfinder, I will not be switching, unless it would make running the Forgotten Realms easier.

CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!
Here' a little bit of true info that may make many folks perk up their ears. I purchased Pathfinder and began playing it after the last playtest release. It seemed so "Blah" for lack of a better word that it sent me looking for what Piazo had done with the D20 system. Over all I as Mournblade like Pathfinder, my group has taken it on as their prefered flagship for New school gaming and after 3 sessions- a mini series asked me to run with it. They wont even touch Next, partly because it keeps changeing and party because it does badly what each other system of D&D did well. Next seems a cheap clone to them and they call it "Wonkey". I am waiting for the next playtest hoping for the best and expecting the worst. It is sad.
@Brightmatle: probably not. There is to much diversity in what people want out of this.

To the Op: 4th edition. Reason is simple. Less rule bloat, simple mechanics. I liked the fluff of 2nd edition and the unique ideas of the classes of 3rd, but woncky mechanics and poor system design has never made me want to play this again. Though 4th had more than it's share of problems it at least was in a step towards progressing to something good. Above all else it was an attempt at inventing something new instead of being shackled by traditions that have no real application for modern players.

2. Can't say yet. Until I can see something more solid I cannot pass a judgement as next is not a finished product.


1)      what was your favorite edition or version of D&D (but don’t tell me why, that seems to get people banned)





There's the nostalgia of 2ed, but truth be told system-wise the best is my current 3.5 + Pathfinder hybrid with plenty of house rules to fit the concept of my campaign.
3.5 is great and PF has improved some of its concepts a lot, like skills and multiclassing, feat at every odd levels, CMB/CMD and many such details that aren't much by themselves but in the whole make a lot of difference.
But PF has also leaned toward a immense inflation of numbers. Everything does a hell lot more damage, everyone has a hell lot more HP, everything is a hell lot more powerful. I find that utterly unnecessary so I tried to keep things under 3.5 standards in that sense.

My major problem with with PF is that the gap between the "average" and the "specialized" character in any area is too great, but if I were to pick a single set of rules and stick to it alone (which I never do), it would be PF.
 

2)      Do you think Next has done it? Do you believe that Mearls and the team have successfully overcome your loyalty to previous editions, your enjoyment of PF or other games currently on the market to such a degree that you and everyone you game with would be willing to put everything else aside if the release day was today?     






So far D&DN hasn't impressed me as a whole.
It has some very nice ideas, like Advantages/Disadvantages. That's one hell of a good general system for simplifying things.

People tend to use as argument that a good system is the one who has lots/few rules, or one in which you roll lots/few dice.
To me that matters little.

A good system is one with all-encompassing rules that give players options and diversity without having to open the book every 5 minutes to consult some table or text.

2ed was good in its simplicity, but many of the rules required constant consulting to tables and descriptions.
And a player's options were sort of limited. You had 2 fighters in your group and they'd probably be very similar one to another.

3ed came with a whole bunch of great new options and a unified system of rules.
It's major problem was that although the rules were unified and intuitive, there were still a lot of small variants to them that had you constantly checking the book to see if that gave you -1 in that roll, or +3 in that save.
Pathfinder is the same, just a little improved. 


What I mostly expect from 5ed is what I mentioned as "all-encompassing rules that give players options and diversity without having to open the book every 5 minutes to consult some table or text."

And I know diversity with simplicity it's a hard goal to achieve.


But the Advantage/Disadvantage rule did just that.
Not sure what the rule for that specific sittuation is? No problem! Just interpret who would have the advantage or disadvantage in such sittuation.

It's brilliant. Beautiful.



Most of the rest I've seen so far on 5ed though...  not impressed.
Not enough for a full edition switch, but surely enough to pick some cool new ideas and house-rule into 3ed/PF. 

1)      what was your favorite edition or version of D&D (but don’t tell me why, that seems to get people banned)


2)      Do you think Next has done it? Do you believe that Mearls and the team have successfully overcome your loyalty to previous editions, your enjoyment of PF or other games currently on the market to such a degree that you and everyone you game with would be willing to put everything else aside if the release day was today?     


1) Skills and Powers style 2nd Edition.
2) Next hasn't even tried to overcome my loyalty to previous editions yet, much less succeeded at it.
First, I'd suggest avoiding such adversarial language in the future.  For example, characterizing those who like D&D Next as "loud, younger gamers", is not only rude, but also not accurate.  The obligatory WoW comparison does nothing but distract from your actual point.  Insulting the "modern gamer" serves no purpose.  Worst of all is directly insulting all of us who post on this forum under the defense of "someone else said it so it isn't my fault". 

That aside, here are my answers to your final questions:

1) My favorite edition is (not was) 4E.  Though Next is currently a contender.

2) Has Next done it?  No, because that would mean the playtest is finished.  Do I like what I see for the most part?  Yes, and I can't wait to see more.
To me, the idea of "loyalty" to an edition or game is a very silly thing, unless you are one of the employees of the company.  I play games because they are fun, not out of a sense of loyalty.  I started playing back in 1991 with 2nd edition and it was a lot of fun.  When 3rd edition came out I looked through the books with an open mind and decided to give it a try: it was a lot of fun.  When 4E came out I was sold pretty quickly because I really liked the changes.  I have been playing it ever since and having a lot of fun.
I will buy and play D&D Next if it delivers what D&D has always delivered over the years: a fun game.  So far it certainly seems to be headed in that direction for me.

Now, as to some of the things you said...

simplicity and the right of the DM to actually create, improve, and adjust as desired

Honestly, I'm not sure how much simpler you could make the game.  Even the martial dice: nothing forces you to use maneuvers.  If you want a super simple fighter just roll the dice as extra damage each round.
As for the "right of the DM to actually create, improve, and adjust as desired", I feel like you and I have been playing different games.  In my entire D&D experience, this has always been true.  Every time I DM I create, improve, and adjust as desires, as have all the DMs I have ever played with.
DM worlds will all likely be very high magic settings with many playable race/class/player options as opposed to the traditional grittier and more dangerous lower magic settings with the fewer options of basic/AD&D

I don't understand what you mean here.  How can the game possibly control what DM worlds will be like?  If I want a low magic, gritty, low option game, that is what I will do.  If I want a game in which all the players make human fighters, so it shall be.  As always, you are free to make the game work the way you want.  Are there options for magic?  Of course!  D&D has always had options for magic.  Are there options for high magic settings?  Of course!  Are there options beyond what existed in basic D&D?  Of course!  Does any of this mean you can't run a gritty, dangerous, low magic setting with few options?  Of course not!

I'm honestly confused why you would think otherwise.  D&D, like all games, is best played with your friends (or at least people you like).  And if those people share your opinions on this, nothing stops you (other than you).  If the people you play with don't like those sorts of games, then blaming the system is really missing the point.
I had to assume that’s because what I wanted from D&D Next was simply an update of the game I really loved from back in the 80s

And here we have the crux of it.  Anyone who simply wants an update for their favorite version is going to be disappointed.  That is not a design goal for D&D Next.  But it hopefully will deliver a play experience that appeals to fans of any version of D&D.

This is what I think of whenever I read a post about how great D&D was in the 80's: www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&...

I'd go further, but I'm sure I'd be edition warring.  Just recognize that everything is always better 'back in the day.'  And yes, I'm an older gamer and I played D&D even before advanced.  But I also loved my Atari, and the first Warcraft, and Half Life is the greatest shooter ever and etc. etc.

On these forums we love to talk about uniting the divided player base as the ultimate goal of DDN.  I don't see it.  The ultimate goal of DDN needs to be attracting new gamers.  And yes, current gamers are the best and easiest way to do that, as we are more likely to DM and start new gaming groups, but I think DDN design recognizes that attracting people who are "happy enough" with a current gaming system, likely one for which they own hundreds of dollars of materials, is a nigh impossible task. 

Making a game that can bring in new gamers and show people how roleplaying at a table can be more fun than video games?  That's what they need to achieve. 

1. My favorite edition at the time was 3e; it was so different and so great in a lot of ways.  But, if I were to start a game now (that wasn't a DDN playtest, which is all I'm playing right now) it'd be 4e.  I tend to DM, and 4e just made game preparation easy peasy. 
2. I really enjoy the playtest.  I was very skeptical of how 'old school' Next decided to go.  I'll admit that I was wrong.  They are developing a vancian magic system that I actually like, that could be balanced, and building in character choices that seem determined to be about character and not just math. 

My advise is to try the playtest.  Throw up a craigslist add looking for a group to play the DDN playtest.  I'm sure you'll get one together even if gamers in your area aren't interested.  I'm not sure how you can fully judget a system before playing it.
 Our houseruled 2e (that has lots of 1e and some 3e in it)




I always love reading new ideas for house rules and yours I must admit is a combination I probably haven't seen yet.

Would you mind sharing your house rules so I could take a peek at them?
That is, if you have them on a Doc or Txt or something and it's not too much bother. 
Answer to 1) It is a toss up between HackMaster and Dungeon Crawl Classics... or if I absolutely have to choose something that says "D&D" on the book, then it would be AD&D 2nd Edition and the Rules Cyclopedia duking it out for that top spot.

Answer to 2) No game would ever make us put everything else aside... but if D&D 5e released with the rules basically a polished version of the current playtest packet, the only thing that would prevent immediate purchase is product presentation - we would grab a single product (box set or single book with all 3 parts of the game covered for at least a few levels) on the spot so long as it was affordable, but would skip buying the game if it comes in 3 (or more) separate books.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

1) I love 2e, 3e, and 4e equally because I play them for different reasons. I don't try and mix and match them.

2) Why do I have to "switch"? Can't I just play both? I find this idea of "This thing or the other" kind of silly. I currently play multiple different RPG systems, why would that stop when DDN comes out? People don't have to "switch", they can just play both. But your post gives them False Alternatives, and that's just bad for your argument
My two copper.
 Our houseruled 2e (that has lots of 1e and some 3e in it)

I always love reading new ideas for house rules and yours I must admit is a combination I probably haven't seen yet.

Would you mind sharing your house rules so I could take a peek at them?
That is, if you have them on a Doc or Txt or something and it's not too much bother. 

I wouldn't mind sharing if I had anything like a .doc to share, but we haven't really written anything down. It's evolved from when we started playing 1e, added stuff from 2e when it came out, realised we had as much 2 as 1 and started calling it 1.5, and then added stuff from 3e when it came out. The whole group discusses additions and changes, though each of the three current DMs have a few quirks of his own. At this point, we just kind of "know" what the modifications are.

It's mostly based on adding physics to magic where appropriate, realism to weapons and armour (we're history buffs and researchers), and playability to character options (kits, non-weapon proficiencies) and levelling (3e-style multiclassing and a single xp table for levelling).

Drop me a PM and I'll see if I can put together something for you offline.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

2e is my favorite followed by PFRPG and I want to see if Shadows of Esteren is any good,

i may branch into the Shadows of Esteren to get a Ravenloft like experience. 
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson


Drop me a PM and I'll see if I can put together something for you offline.




Just did that!

Let's move our talk there so as not to flood the post here.