The Main Problem of D&DN. And A History Lesson

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As far as I am concerned the edition wars should be over. D&D lost and I am not sure who won. Edition wars are nothing new and the first one predates 2nd ed. I suppose there may have been one with D&D vs AD&D but D&D players for the most part moved to AD&D and D&D was canceled because the market favored AD&D over D&D. The nasty edition war however relates to events that happened behind closed doors at TSR in the mid 80's which lead to Gary Gygaxs and Frank Mentzers departure from TSR and the people involved claim they were vindicated when Lorraine Williams ran TSR into the ground which lead to WoTC buying TSR. It is interesting what one can learn from hanging around Grognard sites with allegations of marital infidelity and cocaine use, nepotism along with gold plated taps at Lake Geneva. Modern forum warriors have a lot to learn when the knives really do come out. Even if one does not like WoTC they seem a paragon of corporate responsibility by comparison.


Anyway it seems clear that the D&D fan base has become very fragmented in recent years and it predates the arrival of 4th ed as the OSR (Old School Renaissance) movement started to pick up steam during the 3rd edition era. The grognards (not meant to be offensive, they seem happy to be called that) basically reject everything after AD&D as not D&D (sound familiar) with the hardcore ones rejecting 2nd ed and even things like Oriental Adventures and Unearthed Arcana as for not being the one true way. For the most part there have always been a few grognards around and I personally played 1st edition with some back in the 90's. I have never run 1st ed but I have played it and yes I enjoyed it even if I liked 2nd ed at the time. I also enjoyed BECM as well although I moved to AD&D for more options/complexity. However the grognards seem to be striking back rather than fade off into the night like WoTC seem to have assumed. It also seems that WoTC has realized they exist with reprints of the 1st ed core books + Unearthed Arcana. They are also releasing a $150 boxed set of D&D that existed before 1st ed and that boxed set has Men and Magic and the very early 1974-1977 or so era reprints in it. Back in the day they cost around $42 and adjusted for inflation the modern reprints are actually selling for slightly cheaper than what they cost back in the 70's.


The reason for that is probably things like this.
www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php...


That is a list of some of the grognard type products available now. How about TSR and the Gygax name? Ancient history right? Well someone cast raise dead. Gygaxs sons were early D&D playtesters and they have recycled the TSR name.
www.rpgnow.com/product/111516/Gygax-maga...


Note an early resemblance to 80's era Dragon magazine. This magazine is also available in print (issue 1 has sold out) and it is the number 1 selling item on RPGnow.com over the classic D&D PDFs WoTC put up a few weeks ago. The Gygax name still has some weight.


Earlier on I also mentioned Frank Metzer who left TSR with Gary in the 80's. For those of you who may not be aware of it all of the Pathfinder books have a tribute to Gary and Dave in them. Frank however worked on the BECM version of D&D. The man has not worked on D&D in decades. Up until now.


www.kickstarter.com/projects/froggodgame...


Frog God games is a 3d party publisher who have thrown their weight in behind Pathfinder. That kick starter is over 100k. Its not just Paizo who can resurrect designers from D&D's almost 40 year history. Franks name carry's weight among grognards and even the ones who hate 3rd ed seem to like Paizo as they show respect to Dave, Gary and Frank who are the holy trinity of grognardia (Mike who?).


The 4th ed fans have also been mentioning 13th Age on the forums. I do not know to much about 13th Age but Samrin was kind enough to post a link last night.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/fireopalmed...


A $70 000 kick starter for an expansion is quite impressive. The map looks very well done as well. I'm not sure if I will like 13th age but I have put it on my radar so to speak as it could be worth a look. I personally have certain expectations for D&D but 13th Age isn't D&D so things I did not like in 4th are fine in other games- SWSE for instance.


I personally have never really looked at the D&D clones except for Pathfinder. I have been vaguely aware they have existed and have posted on the forums that I would pay money for a 3rd/4th ed hybrid using elements of SWSE or I would pay money for a d20 version of 2nd ed with better mechanics. A few days ago I downloaded the Myth and Magic players guide and forked out money for hexographer.


Myth and Magic d20 2nd ed basically. This one is really pulling at the old heart strings.
www.rpgnow.com/product/100492/Myth-%26-M...


And hexographer. If you ever liked the 80's era D&D maps. There is also a free version.
www.hexographer.com/free-version/


In conclusion to end my long ramble this is whats missing from D&DN. Where is the D&D legacy, the respect, the appeal of the game. Mechanics are just one aspect of D&D. Where is the "it" factor of the game, the oomph of whatever drew you to the game in the 1st place whether it was Gygax's writings, the corny pictures, the d20 mechanics or the balance and appeal of 4th eds powers. Why would you pay money for D&DN over an earlier edition of the game or a clone? What is D&DN's appeal? Simple I have that. Balance, we have that as well. d20, already got it. All of the above in one game? Maybe but I already house ruled 2nd and 3rd ed long ago. The D&D fracturing has lead me to wonder things in the last few weeks. Do we actually need the d20 mechanics, do they need to do a reboot back to 4 classes, should they rerelease AD&D 1st ed as the new D&D flagship along with the out of print classics and new adventures and materials as AD&D 1st ed did not have that much in splats. If the warord class goes bye bye how about things like the Sorcerer, Assassin, Barbarian? Brings me back to the idea of 4 classes. Is "less is more"a better way of doing things?


D&DN is not bad as such but so far it is a bland paint by numbers beige version of D&D. Bounded accuracy? No thanks I'll tweak the numbers in 2nd ed and get the same effect. I like 2nd ed I like 3rd ed and right now I'm not even convinced D&DN offers anything better than BECM and 1st ed AD&D. And that is D&DN main problem. Whatever it was that attracted me to D&D in the 1st place, D&DN does not have it.


I agree with all of that, and would add to it that Next is being designed around a false premise: that there is a core D&D experience we can all agree on. From the earliest developer articles, they have emphasized two things, those being 'feel' and 'a modular D&D for everybody'. Where they've gone wrong, from the very start in fact, is in making the false assumption that there is one core D&D 'feel' everybody can accept. In making that assumption, they've made the base skeleton and foundation of the basic/standard game to focus on one specific 'feel', which by placing too many and too strong design assumptions on the fundamentals that it undermines the ability of modularity to deliver something different. Those who disagree with or don't want WotC's 5E version of D&D 'feel' are going to end up with a game that isn't worth playing. In the absence of a unanimous D&D 'feel', the goals of 'feel' and modularity are essentially at odds. 
...whatever
 They are probably gogin to lose the hard core edition warriors regardless. They should probably just stat a goal and stick to it. Pick an edition and fix it or reboot the franchise with 4 classes.
Why choose D&D next over a retroclone?  For the same reason why people stick with D&D once they've started playing,  for the settings and content (Read magic items,  monsters,  spells,  etc).

D&D's strongest selling point has always been it's interesting settings,  and the wide variety of content it has.  It's the one thing most retroclones lack,  sure they have adventures,  but they don't have the variety of critters,  magic items,  cosmology,  etc,  even lacking the variety the settings provide at times.

Solid secondary product generally helps people to overlook issues,  people are more willing to houserule out some annoyance if it gives them access to some really interesting "fluff".

That said,  I agree with TCO,  their base assumption isn't true and it's going to end up not pleasing the people it was targeted at.  I've said it previously,  I think they should've had official variants based on some very fundamental base set of rules.  We can all agree on their being 6 stats,  and we can all agree that there should be swords,  axes,  etc.  We can even all agree on spell lists,  we just disagree on their mechanics.  Use that base and create variants from there.

The way they're going now with the modularity is just going to lead to so much negotiation just to even start a game that people are going to shy away from the setting.  No one wants to have to negotiate every mechanic just to determine what kind of game they're playing.

They need to pull back and rethink this,  there is a better way to approach 5th edition.
 They are probably gogin to lose the hard core edition warriors regardless. They should probably just stat a goal and stick to it. Pick an edition and fix it or reboot the franchise with 4 classes.

If they had the option of just setting a goal and sticking with it, we'd never even have gotten the Essentials change in direction, we'd be on the PH5 and DMG 4 and MM6 by now, with 5e a possibility in 2015...

The thing is, D&D was a fad 30 or so years ago.  WotC must have thought they'd caught the inevitable 'come back' with 3e's "back to the dungeon" motto in 2000, and figured that, with 4e, it was time to move on and establish a new fan base.   But, the come-back was delayed and it was OSRIC and Hackmaster and the like that caught the wave, and it crushed any hope of D&D moving forward and resonating with new players anytime soon.  So, they're desperately trying to latch onto the trialing edge of the phenomenon, first with Essentials and it's Retro "Red Box," now with a new edition that's anything but new.

They're starting at shadows in the market instead of focusing on making a quality product, and it shows, both in the commercial failure of the line and the state of what they're trying to replace it with.

20 years from now, the whole thing should make a nice business school case study.



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!

Good post. I get the sense that, if they elected to do so, they could keep the 4e crowd or win back the 3e crowd at the cost of the 4e crowd, but they wont get both. On their current course, however, I think they're gonna lose both.
Good post. I get the sense that, if they elected to do so, they could keep the 4e crowd or win back the 3e crowd at the cost of the 4e crowd, but they wont get both. On their current course, however, I think they're gonna lose both.

Which might not hurt (the bottom line) if they get enough of the classic D&D crowd - y'know, the ones who are snapping up retro-clones and re-prints like crazy.  

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!

Good post. I get the sense that, if they elected to do so, they could keep the 4e crowd or win back the 3e crowd at the cost of the 4e crowd, but they wont get both. On their current course, however, I think they're gonna lose both.


I agree, but would add that if the situation is that the wont get the 3E crowd and the 4E crowd in one game, they shouldn't be designing just one game.
...whatever
The D&D/AD&D edition war split our gaming group in half.  After a vote to determine which edition we would play - the losing half (the D&D players) left the group and never returned.


Editions wars are nothing new.


Carl   

They're starting at shadows in the market instead of focusing on making a quality product, and it shows, both in the commercial failure of the line and the state of what they're trying to replace it with.

20 years from now, the whole thing should make a nice business school case study.




I disagree.  They aren't starting at shadows,  they're trying to adapt the highly successful Magic the Gathering plan to D&D.

Magic the Gathering has the same problems D&D has,  it has...

-Edition wars (Type 1, Legacy, Modern, Standard, Commander)
-Games based on product no longer available
-Lapsed players
-Barrier to Entry (Large number of rules to learn,  high cost of investment)

Yet they've managed to turn the product line back into a huge success,  selling out of product regularly. 

They're applying many of the same techniques they used there with D&D.  Rereleasing old product,  expensive premium products,  decreasing the barrier to entry through introductory products rather than simple products.  The first two let them regain revenue from those who prefer the older editions.

They're trying to use the Mtg technique of having variants of play with a common rules base and options attached to D&D.  All of the different formats of Mtg share a common rule base,  and add options like which cards are permitted,  how many,  etc on top of that.

The problem is,  Mtg had only one major deviation in rules,  and the new direction was widely regarded as a good decision.  D&D doesn't have that luxury,  and the competing systems don't appear to have an elegant fusion.

They can still pull this off though,  and end up successfully applying the Mtg business plan to D&D,  but they  need to accept that they can't fuse the two major competing systems together and have a split set of rules.
I agree with all of that, and would add to it that Next is being designed around a false premise: that there is a core D&D experience we can all agree on. From the earliest developer articles, they have emphasized two things, those being 'feel' and 'a modular D&D for everybody'. Where they've gone wrong, from the very start in fact, is in making the false assumption that there is one core D&D 'feel' everybody can accept. In making that assumption, they've made the base skeleton and foundation of the basic/standard game to focus on one specific 'feel', which by placing too many and too strong design assumptions on the fundamentals that it undermines the ability of modularity to deliver something different. Those who disagree with or don't want WotC's 5E version of D&D 'feel' are going to end up with a game that isn't worth playing. In the absence of a unanimous D&D 'feel', the goals of 'feel' and modularity are essentially at odds. 

Yes! Now give us our 1e...The World of Greyhawk back and we will be happy.Wink


I disagree.  They aren't starting at shadows,  they're trying to adapt the highly successful Magic the Gathering plan to D&D.

They've been doing that for some time, though.  Cook alluded to it in "Ivory Tower Roleplaying," M:tG hooks players by providing "rewards for system mastery," and, I suppose keeping the system constantly in flux, so mastery is always a goal you buy towards without ever reaching.  3e was blatant with its trap options and rewards for system mastery, 4e was constantly morphed by errata.  



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!

If they had the option of just setting a goal and sticking with it, we'd never even have gotten the Essentials change in direction, we'd be on the PH5 and DMG 4 and MM6 by now, with 5e a possibility in 2015...




Yeah, they came to their senses.



What they should have done was to let 4E continue while developing "D&D Classic".
...whatever
Good post. I get the sense that, if they elected to do so, they could keep the 4e crowd or win back the 3e crowd at the cost of the 4e crowd, but they wont get both. On their current course, however, I think they're gonna lose both.

Which might not hurt (the bottom line) if they get enough of the classic D&D crowd - y'know, the ones who are snapping up retro-clones and re-prints like crazy.  





You mean great retro-clones like this....   www.goodman-games.com/5070preview.html







I would rather see something wildly different than what I currently see in DDN.  Minor tweaks and simplifications of a D20 base are not enough.  

If I were leading this program, I would be looking at each and every abstractioon and saying: "is this the best way to represent this"
It means that you keep things like spells, but you look at each one and ask "how is this best reflected by mechanics"
You go back to the drawing board, you look at lore and feel and tropes and literature and film.  These things are the egg from which D&D was hatched.  When a wizard is wielding magic, is he physically drained afterward?  Can he react to an incoming attack with magic?  Are there spells that show him channeling wild powers over periods longer than 6 seconds?  Can a fighter block a magical attack with a shield?

How do you represent combat fatigue better.  How do you make combat more dramatic without bogging things down?  Sure, you can make it simpler, less dramatic or dynamic, and also speed it up.  But you lose something with that method.

I get what they are doing.  They are trying to clear the blackboard and get back to basics, but they aren't doing enough to really refine those basics.  Simple is not better it is just simpler.

Look at the narrative of a D&D game.  Look at the actions that players are attempting. How can you give them ideas through mechanics?  How can you enable and even push better roleplaying through rules and options?  How can you empower each player and each DM to feel unique?  How do you best represent a fantasy world with fantastical combat and challenges.  

If you really think that these older system that DDN is working with are the best representations, then you should go play an older edition of D&D.  There is no value in trying to tune up older systems that people have fixed with houserules ages ago.  You will grab very little attention doing so, and you will likely just create rifts by messing with them.  (See Bounded Accuracy).  

I dunno... it just seems like a terrible effort and a terrible result as a consequence of terrible design goals.  Go make a game that best represents what D&D is about.  Make systems that create the best narrative effect.  Check the balance later, and tune it up from there, but don't start with it as a premise.  Make the game exciting and fun first... deal with everything else, every edition warrior, every niche desire, every balance problem and every design complaint later.  If its good, and I mean really good.  People will buy it.  It could be totally different.  It could be radically new.  As long as it keeps the soul of D&D.  The soul of D&D is not math, and when you build a game with Math at the forefront of your mind, you are going to lose a lot along the way.  We will know just by looking. 
Good post. I get the sense that, if they elected to do so, they could keep the 4e crowd or win back the 3e crowd at the cost of the 4e crowd, but they wont get both. On their current course, however, I think they're gonna lose both.

Which might not hurt (the bottom line) if they get enough of the classic D&D crowd - y'know, the ones who are snapping up retro-clones and re-prints like crazy.  




 I don't think they're gonna get them either. We are now looking at a retro clone ourselves. They will get some AD&D, 3rd ed, 4th ed and the unknwon quantity will be the new players.
I disagree.  They aren't starting at shadows,  they're trying to adapt the highly successful Magic the Gathering plan to D&D.

They've been doing that for some time, though.  Cook alluded to it in "Ivory Tower Roleplaying," M:tG hooks players by providing "rewards for system mastery," and, I suppose keeping the system constantly in flux, so mastery is always a goal you buy towards without ever reaching.  3e was blatant with its trap options and rewards for system mastery, 4e was constantly morphed by errata.  



I don't mean mechanics/gameplay though,  I mean the business plan.

-Support for variants of play through optional rules
-Support for variants of play through official releases of out of print product
-Premium products for highly desired products (OD&D rerelease)

I'm guessing we'll soon see the other intiatives announced like Online Play,  revisiting beloved old settings,  retooled organized play.

They're kind of stuck on that first point though,  it worked for Mtg since it only really has one widely accepted ruleset,  but with D&D,  they have a major problem.   
I think WotC has an unfortunate handicap in going online, as shown during the 4E era, called being geographically located in the shadow of Microsoft. Being located in the Seattle era, the D&D software people have seemed to be a stream of ex-Microsoft people. That's why the 4E tools were bafflingly based on things like Microsoft's .net framework and Silverlight. This is 2013, and Microsoft is even older news than it was when WotC was bungling DDI.
...whatever
I think WotC has an unfortunate handicap in going online, as shown during the 4E era, called being geographically located in the shadow of Microsoft. Being located in the Seattle era, the D&D software people have seemed to be a stream of ex-Microsoft people. That's why the 4E tools were bafflingly based on things like Microsoft's .net framework and Silverlight. This is 2013, and Microsoft is even older news than it was when WotC was bungling DDI.



I agree they have a handicap,  but I think it's even more fundamental than that.  Look at MTGO's history...

Version 1.0 - Developed by an external studio,  Full featured,  able to support very wide varieties of play,  stable.

Version 2.0 - Developed in house,  crashed on launch and stayed down most of the time for months,  had no backup plan to roll back to 1.0 despite that being a very basic element of online software releases,  when it finally came back up some varieties of play were gone,  and it was highly unstable.

Version 3.0 - Developed in house,  crashed on launch and stayed down for a significant period of time,  had no backup plan to roll back to 2.0 despite what happened the last time they released a new version,  major component of online play removed and to this day not reimplemented (Years later),  stable-ish after a bunch of patches. 

WOTC's software engineering department does have some fundamental problem,  but I think it goes much deeper than just living in the shadow of Microsoft.  It seems to me they have a major issue in terms of project management and perhaps a serious lack of solid technical leads.  What I've seen from them thus far indicates very amateurish efforts. 
Good post. I get the sense that, if they elected to do so, they could keep the 4e crowd or win back the 3e crowd at the cost of the 4e crowd, but they wont get both. On their current course, however, I think they're gonna lose both.


Well, one problem for them is that the ship on the second of those goals has sailed and Paizo, not WotC, is steering it.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
One thing I have seen from ex-wotc folks or folks very close to the situation is a major difference between wotc and companies like paizo is that wotc is run by the suits for the suits while paizo (and others) are run by gamers for gamers.
 
 I don't think they're gonna get them either. We are now looking at a retro clone ourselves. They will get some AD&D, 3rd ed, 4th ed and the unknwon quantity will be the new players.

Sounds like a longshot to me.  But, I've been wrong before.

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!

 I don't think they're gonna get them either. We are now looking at a retro clone ourselves. They will get some AD&D, 3rd ed, 4th ed and the unknwon quantity will be the new players.

Sounds like a longshot to me.  But, I've been wrong before.



Considering how bad their design currently is I doubt that they will pull in many new folks.

Throwing a bunch of crap against the wall to see what sticks still leaves you with crap.
 

WOTC's software engineering department does have some fundamental problem,  but I think it goes much deeper than just living in the shadow of Microsoft.  It seems to me they have a major issue in terms of project management and perhaps a serious lack of solid technical leads.  What I've seen from them thus far indicates very amateurish efforts. 


I couldn't agree more and just want to add one more step to your argument.

After hearing everything you've said, the obvious response is "why not outsource it, then?". However, you need look no further than the boards you're posting on to see how that's likely to go. If there's one thing about WotC that's worse than its collective software engineering skills, it's their taste in third parties to outsource software projects to. (Exhibit A is, as I've said, OneSite. Exhibit B is Infogrammes/Atari.)
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Point of Order:  THey didn't 'choose' Atari.  Atari bought the electronic division of Hasbro games and along with that got the license to the electronic versions of all games made by Hasbro.


D&D just happened to be a part of that deal - not a separate outsourcing decision.


Carl
A thread with no ediiton warring guys and we unified the fanbase;) 
No! DDN is the best!
Well one thing they should use more is all the IP they own.
For many there is great apeal when you drop names like planescape, dragonlance and forgotten realms.
Maybe I'm the only person in the world who feels this way, but I like what they're trying to do with DDN.  Having played every edition from the Basic and Expert parts of BECMI all the way through to 4th (pre-Essentials), I've seen things in every one that I've liked.  So, the idea of trying to take the "best" parts of each edition, combining them into a whole, and introducing some new mechanics to speed set-up and play appeals to me.  So far, what they have put together looks like it will come close enough to what I want from D&D that I will be happy with the finished product.

The main problem is that what is "best" about each edition is very subjective, and is the cause of the edition wars.  Another problem is that sometimes the ideas from one edition, not matter how good, just will not work with those from another, and the developers have to pare down all the possible mechanics to those which they think will give the best "feel" of each edition, while getting them to work together as a coherent whole.   This means that those who have more than a strong dislike of every edition but one will not get what they want in the new edition.  For the rest of us, I hope that the modularity, harkening back to the BECMI days, will allow the creation of a game that will be "close enough" to each group's playstyle that it will unite those who want to be part of the same community.  I, for one, look forward to the modules adding elements from each edition that I can pick and chose from to create the game experience I'm looking for.  Will all of that be available at release?  I doubt it, even though I see the first of the finished product not coming until the Christmas shopping season of 2014.  We have a long way to go, from what I see in the playtest material, just to get to a coherent, workable system.

Though it is important to voice your opinions on what you like and what you don't like in relation to the direction DDN is going, one thing everyone has to keep in mind is that sometimes what they want just isn't possible exactly the way they want it in the core rules without making other playstyles impossible.  Offer up suggestions of how to add in the elements you like without completely invalidating what currently exists in the playtest, then wait and see what happens.  If the developers can, with modularity, make the system support the playstyles from across the editions, you'll eventually get what you want.  Until then, have fun playing D&D, no matter what edition you prefer.  I know I will, with any edition in which I can find a game to play.
In order to pull it off they need to be able to take risks, but with the majority of developers being fired or moving on, there is definitely a feeling of job protection mode and taking the safe path, i.e. don't repeat 4E.
If they had the option of just setting a goal and sticking with it, we'd never even have gotten the Essentials change in direction, we'd be on the PH5 and DMG 4 and MM6 by now, with 5e a possibility in 2015...




Yeah, they came to their senses.



What they should have done was to let 4E continue while developing "D&D Classic".


This probably would have been the smartest thing to do.

Which means of course, Wizards would have never done it.
Hindsight is 100 percent, but there is always a time for change of course.
A thread with no ediiton warring guys and we unified the fanbase;) 



Yes,  but ironically,  I think we unified the fanbase in agreeing that the fanbase can't be unified.

That said,  I'm contemplating the implications of this.  I suspect we need to find a way to establish an open discussion with the Developers,  it seems to me that there's a conversation that really needs to happen between Players and Developers here.   
Yup Gatt, Paizo had that converstion with the payerbase back in 2007. They asked them point blank 3.5 or 4th ed and that was before 4th ed came out. Hell let the fans submit a warlord class, pick the best one sighn a contract and get some free D&D books of your choice (AD&D reprints, 4th ed, D&DN whatevers in stock). If the 4th ed module is to hard to do once again farm it out to the fans. Paizo has been doing it for 5 years or so with RPG superstar.

 Our group is having an interesting discussion right now on what to do and it looks like a concensus is emerging. Wallets have come out, money has been spent. 
I think D&D Next has the potential to be the simplest, easiest version of the game yet which could bring in many new players! Hasbro doesn't make GI Joe's and My Little Pony for people that played with them 10 years ago, they reinvent them for the current audience. To me, Bumblebee will forever be a VW bug, but my son only knows him as a Camaro. All of those toy lines disappeared for a while, but came back when the kids of the 80s started having kids of their own. Now D&D is looking to reinvent itself and allow those 1st and 2nd edition folks to come back and introduce D&D to their kids. I'm one! My son and I are looking forward to D&D Next! I am sure Hasbro has a good grasp on what they are doing.
Good post. I get the sense that, if they elected to do so, they could keep the 4e crowd or win back the 3e crowd at the cost of the 4e crowd, but they wont get both. On their current course, however, I think they're gonna lose both.

Which might not hurt (the bottom line) if they get enough of the classic D&D crowd - y'know, the ones who are snapping up retro-clones and re-prints like crazy. 


   Do we have any figures for that?  The field is full of claims by flacks.
I think D&D Next has the potential to be the simplest, easiest version of the game yet which could bring in many new players! Hasbro doesn't make GI Joe's and My Little Pony for people that played with them 10 years ago, they reinvent them for the current audience. To me, Bumblebee will forever be a VW bug, but my son only knows him as a Camaro. All of those toy lines disappeared for a while, but came back when the kids of the 80s started having kids of their own. Now D&D is looking to reinvent itself and allow those 1st and 2nd edition folks to come back and introduce D&D to their kids. I'm one! My son and I are looking forward to D&D Next! I am sure Hasbro has a good grasp on what they are doing.



I'm not convinced though Strider,  I'm sure they have a good grasp on what they want to do,  but I'm not sure they have a good grasp on how to do it.  I think they're married to this concept of unifying everyone under one set of books,  and I'm seeing *alot* of reasons why it won't work. 

Unfortunately,  a good number of the problems I see right now are problems that won't be exposed until it's put in player's hands,  and problems I *really* think the developers won't see because they're too invested in the project.

Plus,  TBH,  D&D's market was never kids.  It was always teenagers and up,  today some of the market is north of 50 and still active. 
Good post. I get the sense that, if they elected to do so, they could keep the 4e crowd or win back the 3e crowd at the cost of the 4e crowd, but they wont get both. On their current course, however, I think they're gonna lose both.

Which might not hurt (the bottom line) if they get enough of the classic D&D crowd - y'know, the ones who are snapping up retro-clones and re-prints like crazy. 


   Do we have any figures for that?  The field is full of claims by flacks.

Just some successful kickstarter projects.  But then 13A kickstarters were wildly successful, too, and so were some WoD aniversary reprints.  :shrug:

And, it makes sense, the 'comeback' of the D&D fad was overdue to boost D&D to old heights, and retro-clones seems to be where it actually manifested.

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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The problem is,  Mtg had only one major deviation in rules,  and the new direction was widely regarded as a good decision.  D&D doesn't have that luxury,  and the competing systems don't appear to have an elegant fusion.


It doesn't help that D&D has to compete directly against its own past versions run by other companies with their own staffs and sometimes with different profit goals (ie. some companies want to make a modest profit, while WotC wants to meet a very specific profit target).

While MtG has different and sometimes competing formats, WotC controls all of the most important versions and controls the main central rules, which they can and have changed as necessary (the biggest change of course happens a number of years ago, but certainly that wasn't the last change made to the rules). The biggest difference of course is that the individual elements of MtG have no changed on a fundemental level since its inception. If you threw a random, modern card from the latest core set (M13) back in time to Alpha, chances are it would be recognizable and playable all those years ago. The fact that this is possible shows how solid a base that original MtG game and set were to the modern game even as design philosophies and actual game rules have changed and tweaked, sometimes heavily.

By comparison, D&D did not have such a solid base. Probably due to its origin as a wargame that evolved over a few years in a series of modules into something different. Maybe the backgrounds of the authors had an effect in the rules they created (just like Richard Garfield's had an effect on how he created MtG) or why certain limitations were introduced in the first place, which led to fairly wide changes in rules as the years wore on.

I've always wondered how old adventures would do simply reprinting the origina story / adventure under new rules. I don't own most of the 1e adventures, but if some of them were interesting enough, why not just remake them under the present rules of the time (3e earlier and then 4e)? I mean, not just create a homage to it, like Return to Undermountain or Return to the Tomb or Horrors, but the actual original adventures or series of adventurers if sizes have changed. Some of them are surely duds, but they can't all be.
Good post. I get the sense that, if they elected to do so, they could keep the 4e crowd or win back the 3e crowd at the cost of the 4e crowd, but they wont get both. On their current course, however, I think they're gonna lose both.

Which might not hurt (the bottom line) if they get enough of the classic D&D crowd - y'know, the ones who are snapping up retro-clones and re-prints like crazy. 


   Do we have any figures for that?  The field is full of claims by flacks.

Just some successful kickstarter projects.  But then 13A kickstarters were wildly successful, too, and so were some WoD aniversary reprints.  :shrug:

And, it makes sense, the 'comeback' of the D&D fad was overdue to boost D&D to old heights, and retro-clones seems to be where it actually manifested.




I'm waiting for the 'spiritual successor to 4E' kickstarter. Get a couple of names from the 4E era who were let go, and use the OGL to do the heavy lifting. At the rate 5E is going, chances are good it could hit the market first and take most of the 4E market before 5E launches. With all the praise 13th Age gets, I'm sure there'd be interest. I'm sure most of the 4E crowd would be more interested in the mere idea of this than Next.

...whatever
I'm waiting for the 'spiritual successor to 4E' kickstarter. Get a couple of names from the 4E era who were let go, and use the OGL to do the heavy lifting. At the rate 5E is going, chances are good it could hit the market first and take most of the 4E market before 5E launches. With all the praise 13th Age gets, I'm sure there'd be interest. I'm sure most of the 4E crowd would be more interested in the mere idea of this than Next.

13A is as close as you're going to get, Hiensoo was /the/ 4e guy.

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!