Tobold's Blog
Saturday, September 21, 2013
 
D&D Next in final playtest

Wizards of the Coast released the D&D Next final playtest packet, apparently the last version of D&D Next you can get for free before WotC will try to sell you the books next year. There is just one fatal flaw with that plan: Nothing in that final playtest packet makes me want to buy D&D Next. And I am not alone. After all this playtesting, player feedback, and development, D&D Next still feels like D&D Previous, an incongruous mix of game mechanics from 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition. Designed to please everybody, sure to please none.

I'll just stick with 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons. But I am afraid that Wizards of the Coast will see that there are too many people like me out there, and will try to twist our arms to get us to buy the new edition. They will then probably shut down all online support for 4th edition, the Compendium, the Character Builder, the Monster Builder, and all the other stuff that makes life easier for a dungeon master.

Well, they can't take my books away. But I'm really afraid for the future of my game and Dungeons & Dragons in general. D&D Next looks more and more like a really bad idea.

Comments:
I'm totally new at this, but have you tried Pathfinder? My son and I are really enjoying it.
 
Pathfinder might actually be the better option for those who prefer the 2nd/3rd edition style of D&D over the 4th edition style. I have the rule book, but personally I prefer 4th.

If I'm lucky, Paizo might one day make 4E products, or an improved version of 4E, just like Pathfinder is an improved version of 3E.
 
Been hearing some good things about 13th Age too, that it's an improvement over D&D while keeping the d20 core.

I'm attracted by the story/roleplaying aspects with rules attached - the concept of Icons where player characters are linked from the very beginning with an important NPC or faction in the setting, and The One Unique Thing that makes each PC stand out and be memorable.

Reports are that the combat system is pretty smooth too.

May be worth checking out.
 
Thanks for the shoutout.

If like me you like 4th Edition you will probably like 13th Age. It is not really a replacement, but it is nice if you want a simpler 4th Edition-like game that assumes no maps.

You can also pretty easily houserule 4th Edition. I have removed the emphasis on tactical combat, reduced monster hit points so that combat ends faster, and let players do a lot of creative things not spelled out by their powers.

I think we will see more 4th Edition clones in the future (I am kicking around one myself), as 13th Age is good, but not necessarily better than 4th Edition (in my opinion).
 
I've noticed that people who like 4E tend to not like Next so much, but those who are more OSR have a higher opinion of Next.

I'm mostly curious how the modularity that WotC is working on will be used in the implementation of Next.

 
"If I'm lucky, Paizo might one day make 4E products, or an improved version of 4E, just like Pathfinder is an improved version of 3E."

That's highly doubtful considering Pathfinder was created to be a supported alternative to 4E.
 
That's highly doubtful considering Pathfinder was created to be a supported alternative to 4E.

Why would that make it doubtful? Do you really think Paizo gives a shit about the edition wars? Pathfinder was created to sell a product to players who got left standing out in the rain by WotC when they created 4E. It would only be logical if Paizo does exactly the same again and creates a product for those who are abandoned by WotC when 5E comes out.
 
I don't think Paizo (or any 3rd party publisher) can use the 4th edition rule set. From what I recall, only 3/3.5 editions are part of Wizards of the Coast's Open Gaming License.
 
I think that D&D has reached a point where there isn't much need for new editions. Wizards should make all editions available online for a one time fee. Maybe have a monthly fee option that gives incremental updates (small rule changes, correct spelling errors).
 
I don't think Paizo (or any 3rd party publisher) can use the 4th edition rule set. From what I recall, only 3/3.5 editions are part of Wizards of the Coast's Open Gaming License.

It just isn't called Open Game License any more. 4E has the Game System License. And I've already seen third party 4E products.
 
The 4E license has been around for a long time, but it is far more limited and subject to revocation - unlike the 3E OGL.

Paizo created their own game that has since far surpassed D&D. They're not going to be the D&D Current Edition Minus One company.
 
I'm afraid I have to agree...the GSL for 4E wouldn't allow Paizo to market an alternative "4.75E" like they did for 3.5 with Pathfinder. In fact it's generally regarded as one of the reasons 4E ultimately stumbled, due to the rejection of easy 3rd party support with 4th edition due to the GSL language. Even I, who liked 4E and published for it, got around this issue by using the OGL to create content that was coincidentally compatible with 4E without also getting tied into the GSL language.

D&D 5E looks good to me, but I'm very edition agnostic when it comes to D&D. I've played and enjoyed every iteration of the game to date, and will remain loyal. New editions luckily come out in time for me to want a change, and I'm burned out on both 4E and Pathfinder so 5E is hitting my interest at just the right time.
 
It appears there is already one "D&D 4.5" out there, called 13th Age. So this can't be impossible.
 
I've been debating on giving it a shot and getting back into D&D after a 20 yr hiatus...but they just announced White Box is going back on sale. Looks like I'm going back to D&D 1.0 :)
 
The goal, IMO, should be to serve as a reasonable set of base rules for mix-and-matching things. Have a group of players who prefer different editions? DDN would ideally be the best compromise, and would hopefully provide good guidelines for adapting a character you designed with whatever edition in mind to run in DDN. Of course, you still have to figure out a campaign that will work for the various playstyles, which would depend on finding some common ground: you obviously can't run a campaign that is simultaneously focused both on highly tactical combat and also on abstract TOTM where combat is fairly quick and designed to be only a modest part of the adventure.

But I feel like DDN is a workable set of base rules, and it will hopefully look better to people who want more detailed rules for (whatever) as more books are delivered.
 
I like what I saw in the playtest feels a lot more like old school DnD. 4th was an absolute abortion
 
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