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  #1  
Unread 10th of January, 2012, 01:27
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D&D 5e officially announced

Let the nerdrage begin.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 02:47
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I'm so angry! In my heart.

Actually, I'm quite excited. For reasons I could never satisfactorily pin down I didn't get on very well with 4e. Despite that, it had quite a few really nice ideas in it and I'm super eager to see how they move on.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 02:53
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My feelings also, actually. I really like a lot of the ideas in 4e but I like playing 3e more. Although granted, I was only in one 4e game.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 03:28
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Ditto all around.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 03:52
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So, this was the 4e announcement (back in 2008)

“ August 16, 2007 (Renton, WA) – Whether you storm a mad wizard's tower every week or haven't delved into a dungeon since you had a mullet and a mean pair of parachute pants, one thing is certain - millions of D&D players worldwide have anticipated the coming of 4th Edition for many years. Today, Wizards of the Coast confirms that the new edition will launch in May 2008 with the release of the D&D Player's Handbook. A pop culture icon, Dungeons & Dragons is the #1 tabletop roleplaying game in the world, and is revered by legions of gamers of all ages.

The 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons game includes elements familiar to current D&D players, including illustrated rulebooks and pre-painted plastic miniatures. Also releasing next year will be new web-based tools and online community forums through the brand-new Dungeons & Dragons Insider (D&D Insider) digital offering. D&D Insider lowers the barriers of entry for new players while simultaneously offering the depth of play that appeals to veteran players.

The 4th Edition rules emphasize faster game play, offer exciting new character options, and reduce the amount of "prep time" needed to run the game. D&D Insider includes a character creator that lets players design and equip their D&D characters, dungeon- and adventure-building tools for Dungeon Masters, online magazine content, and a digital game table that lets you play 24/7 on the internet — the perfect option for anyone who can't find time to get together.

"We've been gathering player feedback for eight years," said Bill Slavicsek, R&D Director of Roleplaying and Miniatures Games at Wizards of the Coast. "Fourth Edition streamlines parts of the D&D game that are too complex, while enhancing the overall play experience. At its heart, it's still a tabletop game experience. However, D&D Insider makes it easier for players to create characters, run their games, and interact with the rest of the D&D community."

Wizards of the Coast will release two 4th Edition preview books in December and January — Wizards Presents: Classes and Races and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters. The first live demos of 4th Edition will happen at the D&D Experience gaming convention in Washington D.C. in February 2008. The full scope of 4th Edition books, miniatures, and adventures will be available in the spring and summer of 2008.

Since its first release in 1974, the fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons has taken millions of players on imaginary adventures of epic scale. Today, D&D is universally regarded as the original game that created the roleplaying game category, and the inspiration for generations of game designers. D&D is enjoyed by millions of players worldwide, while countless more remember it with fond nostalgia.

Player's Handbook 4e: May 2008 (Source)

Dungeon Master's Guide 4e: June 2008 (Source)

Monster Manual 4e: July 2008 (Source)
”
The online stuff never really materialised, but I suppose they were on the money with "Faster gameplay". This 5e one is also devoid of any details at all outside of this particular line:

“ We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play. ”
Which seems to hint at it being modular, possibly allowing it to be played like a retroclone with all the bits turned off?
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 04:15
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Maybe they are buying GURPS.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 04:47
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Seems like it's really early for 5E, or am I the only one who feels like it was just a few years ago that 4E was released?
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 04:56
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I don't see anything official saying "5e" I'm thinking a 4.5 or similar.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 04:56
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It was three years ago.

The time between 3 and 4e was quite a bit longer ~8years (with 3.5e to 4e being 5 years)


“ Originally Posted by SinbadEV # I don't see anything official saying "5e" I'm thinking a 4.5 or similar. ”
That seems very unlikely. I think they're avoided saying 5e because they want to call it the Anniversary Edition or something similar. The 3.5e announcement went to great lengths to let people know it wasn't a new edition, this one doesn't at all. It does the opposite.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 05:20
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Yeah, they don't explicitly say "5e" but . . .

“ That is why we are excited to share with you that starting in Spring 2012, we will be taking this process one step further and conducting ongoing open playtests with the gaming community to gather feedback on the new iteration of the game as we develop it. ”
"New iteration" means "new edition", IMO.

“ We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. ”
A game that rises above editions implies to me something that isn't any edition we've seen so far.
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  #11  
Unread 10th of January, 2012, 06:24
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5E does seem early, Link, but 2014 would be 40th anniversary year. Plus, 4E wasn't the massive success WotC was hoping for, and there are a combinations of reasons for that.

The talk is also about long-playtest time period, a la Pathfinder.

Between that and Monte Cook's posts looking for advice, but hinting towards a more "old school" design philosophy, I'm thinking the goal will be to create a game that pulls people from across the editions.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 07:30
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Apparently ENWorld signed an NDA last year but has known about 5E since then.

http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/31...w-edition.html
http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/31...h-edition.html
http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/31...rds-coast.html
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  #13  
Unread 10th of January, 2012, 09:13
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Maybe THAC0 will make a return. Ooo! Or combat matrixes! That would be "old school".
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 10:22
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That's not old school. It needs to go back to being recreating Napoleonic battles with minatures. Those were the days.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 12:34
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I could absolutely live without THAC0 and tables.

Incidentally, I've been looking at quite a few OSR games, but I think my favorite so far is Old School Hack.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 17:10
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I have absolutely no love for 4e, so I'm fine with WotC dumping it and moving on. I'll save my precious rage for the actual product when it comes out.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 17:26
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I feel like 4E got more hate than it deserved, it was the first system to actually feature a reasonable amount of balance at all levels from class to class, and to eliminate vancian magic systems.
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Unread 10th of January, 2012, 23:09
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“ Originally Posted by Linklegacy77 # I feel like 4E got more hate than it deserved, it was the first system to actually feature a reasonable amount of balance at all levels from class to class, and to eliminate vancian magic systems. ”
I think you just pointed to two of the reasons it got so much hate--many people felt that the balance effectively limited the variety too much, and the Vancian magic system was a bit of a sacred cow that many people didn't like seeing slaughtered.

Note: Not attempting edition wars. Just noting what appear to be the general complaints from across the different boards I frequent.

Interestingly, or perhaps not?, ENWorld was a huge pro-4E board in the beginning, but now seems to be pretty well anti-4E now.

Last edited by Mercutio; 10th of January, 2012 at 23:12.
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Unread 11th of January, 2012, 03:37
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Yeah it's weird. Speaking purely from a game design standpoint, the Vancian magic system is nothing but problematic for balance reasons, and just plain not good for the game. Game balance also matters, just look at the history of 3.5: people would complain quite regularly about balance or lack there-of from class to class.

I think people just like to complain =p.
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Unread 11th of January, 2012, 03:50
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“ Speaking purely from a game design standpoint, the Vancian magic system is nothing but problematic for balance reasons, and just plain not good for the game. ”
How, exactly? I don't have strong feelings one way or the other, just curious really.
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Unread 11th of January, 2012, 04:08
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From both my experience and those I've spoken with and the experience of Gabe (from penny-arcade) it seems like 4e was a good toolbox to get people INTO D&D for the first time (or back into it after an absence) but that once you had played it for a bit the seams would begin to show... for those who had never left it was a step backwards and for those who had already moved on it was irrelevant so it served the (essential) purpose of bringing new blood to the table.

(I found an interesting article from someone who has actually played 5th and discusses it. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/arti...ngeons-Dragons (by
discuss" I of course mean "talk about in general, non-NDA breaching, terms")

Last edited by SinbadEV; 11th of January, 2012 at 04:22.
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Unread 11th of January, 2012, 04:13
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“ Originally Posted by Gralhruk # How, exactly? I don't have strong feelings one way or the other, just curious really. ”
Consider the following:

For a game to be balanced, you must gain an advantage for every disadvantage you accept. Having to memorize all of your spells in advance before you know how everything actually plays out is a disadvantage. Therefore, the advantage casters of this sort gain is additional power to balance the fact that they might have the wrong spells. The problem with that is, is they wind up being too strong compared to non-casters and compared to casters who don't memorize spells.

It's a bit more complicated why it doesn't work out in general, but that's the basic principle behind it.
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Unread 11th of January, 2012, 04:35
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They did studies... for a player to think a game is "fair" they need to win more often then they loose, succeed more often then they fail and feel like their "good" choices are rewarded with good things and really only have bad things happen if they essentially purposely do stupid things... this isn't fair or balanced but it's what people expect...

For example I've been playing Dragon Age II and so far everyone I care about has died or abandoned me as the result of choices the game has made me perceive as my own (except for my dog who I only have because of a DLC) and it kinda soured me on the whole thing and I've stopped playing... I might go back and try again but it's a good example of how players expect a game to work... if they feel like they've put in an effort they feel should be rewarded.

Eventually people realize that they are being railroaded into success or are better then the game expects them to be and it becomes "too easy" and they need to move on from something like Final Fantasy and D&D 4e to something meatier... the reward doesn't feel valuable when they realize they don't really have to work for it.

I have no idea why I said all that but I feel like clicking post anyway.
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Unread 11th of January, 2012, 05:17
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“ Originally Posted by Linklegacy77 # Yeah it's weird. Speaking purely from a game design standpoint, the Vancian magic system is nothing but problematic for balance reasons, and just plain not good for the game. Game balance also matters, just look at the history of 3.5: people would complain quite regularly about balance or lack there-of from class to class.

I think people just like to complain =p.
”
I think there's a way to use Vance but control balance a bit better. I've never been a fan of spell points, psionics, or the various attempts to give magic a balancing control like them. I do like the general way the magic works under Vancian systems.

There is much discussion that Vance doesn't apply outside of D&D and gaming fiction, but I'd point to Dresden Files as essentially Vancian magic. I'd like to see a method that mimics the way magic can work a la Dresden Files, and keep it balanced in D&D. That's actually been my feedback so far to the 5E stuff when they've asked for opinions through things like Legends & Lore.

I like the fact that Harry can call essentially any spell up at an instant, but that they can physically drain him. It's neither Sorcerer nor Wizard nor what 4E has for magic. And I think there's a way to do it. I've only really been thinking about this for the last two weeks or so (and ENWorld thread about alternate magic systems got me going), so I don't have any concrete suggestions, but that's what I'd like to see, in general.

tl;dr - Vance, but balanced, with cues from Harry Dresden.
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Unread 11th of January, 2012, 05:42
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“ Originally Posted by Linklegacy77 # Consider the following:

For a game to be balanced, you must gain an advantage for every disadvantage you accept. Having to memorize all of your spells in advance before you know how everything actually plays out is a disadvantage. Therefore, the advantage casters of this sort gain is additional power to balance the fact that they might have the wrong spells. The problem with that is, is they wind up being too strong compared to non-casters and compared to casters who don't memorize spells.

It's a bit more complicated why it doesn't work out in general, but that's the basic principle behind it.
”
What that seems to be saying is that the disadvantage (memorizing spells in advance) isn't enough to offset the advantage of powerful spells. Which may be true, but that doesn't seem to be an argument against Vancian magic as such. I mean, you could just as easily add some other disadvantages (greater casting times, easier saving throws, spell failure chance, greater difficulty casting in combat, lesser spell power, etc.) that would certainly address the implementation.

Vancian magic is really just forcing a caster to memorize fire and forget spells in the beginning of the day. The mechanic itself certainly influences game play, but I'm still drawing a blank on how that affects balance.
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