What I would want to see is an even more modular structure. Take the PHB and break it down to:
(a) core rules booklet (movement, combat, etc..)
(b) booklet per race
(c) booklet per class
Each booklet should be in smaller format (A5?), hard cover.
This way if I want to play my human wizard I should buy 3-4 booklets instead of the entire PHB. Pricing should be refactored naturally.
I can then bundle these smaller (both in size and thickness) booklets to my game. I'm thinking on a nice looking special edition leather binder/bag
I've been playing D&D for 25 years, WoTC: make my dream core true
Modular is one thing, but you're going to have to have /something/ in the core book. If you break out races, you'll at least have to have humans. If you break out classes...?
Not necessarily. The core booklet will be just the framework. If you choose to play a human, buy the core booklet and the human booklet. If you choose to play a human wizard, add the wizard booklet and you'll end-up with three booklets that together form your own custom rule-set. Well.. that's my vision, for what its worth
Why not have the core races in one booklet, and add more as are necessary? After all, the PHBs didn't have more than a page or two on each race, and a page on each paragon path.
I can see each class having it's own booklet, what with spells and stances and all, but there should also be a core rulebook that has the centralized stuff (movement, actions, feats, skills, etc). Sure, the class booklets could have more feats in them that are class specific, but races would probably have to be grouped into a booklet of it's own, or as part of the core rulebook.
I had that same idea but... eh.. I'm a completionist. I'd want to own every combination.
What happens if I want to get the dwarf book, but it's so popular, it's always sold out? And the shelf at the store is filled with hundreds of elf books?
I have here the Players Handbook Races: Dragonborn. It's 32 pages. Should all books be that big? 8 races would give you 256 pages, and the PHB with ALL the character info is about 320 pages.
Now consider the cost. That 32 pages is $9.99. To get 8 races, you're looking at $79.92! That's without class info! Or rules!
The other issue is wait time for everything to come out. They all can't come out on day one.
I think this idea spilts the hairs too finely.
Firstly, I don't want a booklet to tell me how to play a human, unless its going to have some insights on how to improve my real life. I've been playing human for near 40 years and doing an okay job.
The core book should be just that, the core. I've always liked the idea that all you need for DnD is the core three. So for the phb I would put your core elf, dwarf, etc etc. Then the elf book should include the other flavors of elf, plus elf centric weapons, elfland centric monsters, maybe an elf centric class or build. Similar to something we saw in 2nd. (if going this route)
But you do not want to essentially hold a few starting classes and races hostage either by requiring extra cash or even waiting for their turn in the printing schedule.
How about this:
Men & Magic (Vol. 1) details what characters can be played, potentials, limitations, and various magical spells.
Monsters & Treasure (Vol. II) describes the beasts and creatures which will be encountered, as well as the kind and amount of treasure they are likely to guard, including magical items.
Finally, The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures (Vol. Ill) tells how to set up and actually play the campaign. It is presented last in order to allow the reader to gain the perspective necessary — the understanding of the two preceeding booklets. Read through the entire work in the order presented before you attempt to play.
@Austinwulf, @iqwinn, @Webster - Makes sense, but I'm a minimalist so having a bunch of races and classes I don't relate to is just a waste of pages and flipping time.. the notion building my own custom phb is very appealing.
Now I do agree that the release should be synchronized. Again, this is not saying we get that much more content. Just breaking it down to smaller booklets. Also, pricing should be well thought-of to allow good cost/value balance for the average player.
Also, I would appreciate a smaller-form-factor. I always found the books a bit over-sized. I want something I can hold more comfortably and that spares some desk real-estate.
@imperialus - What about the women? Nice concept though, but not modular enough for me..
Generally, the D&D CORE PHB is roughly 315 pages (3.x and 4e) while the PHB equivalent for Pathfinder (Core Rulebook) is close to 600 pages (includes campaign development). Since we are starting from scratch, does the PHB need to be the same as every other one done?
For example: Add as many races as possibly that exist today, and increase the number of pages and price. Or even maybe create a PHB 3-pack that includes separate books for:
Its an opportunity to change us from a “Here we go again” format.
Who says a CORE PHB cannot offer players (new and seasoned veterans alike) more variety? Doesn’t this promote more than any other game system? What’s the WOW (no, not WoW) factor?
Add races and classes was always a draw, I felt, to buying the next new book. Remember how much buzz lead up to phb2 and phb3 while we waited to see what race and class we would get, and then to see what their mechanics would be?
As much as I like the idea of front loading as much as you can from the start, I think it hurts the products ability to sell more books later. Maybe in a smaller, cheaper to print format, new races books(or pdfs) would be more apealing and keep the product line flowing.
And they have to sell pdfs. Its 2012. Yes, people will pirate. However, those who would wouldn't pay for your product anyway. I'd be happy to pay a reasonable amount for something that rather than fill a book shelf I could store on a laptop or eventually a tablet I could take to games.
And if dnd 5 doesn't have a table ap for running things, they had best not even bother with the game imho.
That strayed a bit.
The sizes of the current books are fine, with good sized print for those with bad eyes like me. It also gives more room for artwork. The smaller size (A5 was suggested) will be sufficient, so long as the print size does not force older guys like me to have to get magnifying glasses, even if they get a little thicker.
I like the idea that the core rulebook should cover the basic races (dwarf, elf, half-elf, halfling, human). It should also cover weapons and armor, preferably with detailed info on the weapons as well as drawings. The basic feats should also be covered (again, assuming that there will be feats). It should also cover the basic classes: cleric, fighter, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, wizard. Additional races and classes can be covered in Core Rulebook 2. Each race and class can then get a thinner booklet that would expand upon the appropriate subject. Naturally, there would be some repitition (ie, a feat that benefits a human fighter would be covered in the Human expansion book as well as the Fighter expansion book).
Another thing that I hope for, as I may have already stated elsewhere, is to have the 5e Character Builder available in online AND offline editions. I really liked having the offline edition, esp. when I'm visiting relatives who have no internet connections. It's part of the package for which I pay my dues.
The first three books must contain enough information to play the game in a meaningful way.
All books should be hard cover. (I am 40 years old. I have no time for cheap materials), but I would also like to buy e-books for my ipad.
Expansion books such as "complete cleric" and "complete dwarf" should focus on adding new classes and new feats and optional rules.
@edwin_su - exactly! - 1 core booklet and 1 booklet/book for each class.
Let me build my own PHB. Let me choose which parts I want in my PHB and send me a printed version (similar to the digital album production tools out there)..
But I do prefer the booklets concept better.. having smaller, targeted content based on my gaming preferences.. @halvgrim - hard-cover of-course
I like the idea of having 8.5x11 hardcovers for the core books (PHB, DMG, MM, maybe RC to start) and Essentials-sized paperbacks for add-on modules (Complete Fighter, 300+ pages of Fighter options for those who want 3.5/4E-style customization.)
The whole point of making the game modular is to get everyone to buy the same books regardless of taste. The point is to make the brand profitable despite the massive division of taste present in this fanbase. I expect each product to have a number of modules geared towards different types of play. I expect you to have to purchase some modules you don't like to get the modules you do. I expect add-on modules to be grouped by common theme, and each theme to present a number of variations designed to appeal to groups with different tastes. From the point of view of business, that is the only way to make all of this work. Otherwise WotC will be producing products that compete against themselves.
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