Friday, January 13, 2012

So...5th Edition

Well, I'll chime in with my thoughts about the announcement this week from WoTC about the 5th Edition of D&D. It will be interesting to see how they are going to make a game that is going to be compatible with all editions of the game. I don't see how they are going to pull it off since 4th Edition "went off the reservation" with it's game design (Powers, many spells changed to Rituals, Hit Point inflation) which hardly bears any resemblance to anything before 3.5 edition.

I became disenchanted with WoTC's constant fiddling of their 4th Edition rules with numerous errata. To me that screamed poor design and poor play-testing of the character Powers. Sorry, I want a stable rules system that I only need to buy once, not be some WoTC-Zombie that will spend endlessly my hard-earned cash for every rule-book and revised rulebook. I'm not going down that road again.

I'm not really interested in the 5th edition if it is so complex that you need an online character builder software (which you have to pay for monthly) just to fill out a character sheet. I'm not interested in D&D created by Accountants.

If the new Edition supports minis in play, that's okay. But if such tactical combat takes an hour or more to complete an encounter, no thanks. There is much more to D&D than just combat. There is exploration and role-play. The 4th Edition Skill Challenges system was completely lost on me. Why systemize something that should come naturally through role-playing?

The beauty of the older editions is that it is very customizable and allows a DM to make up their own stuff easily. With 3.0, 3.5, it became a time consuming nightmare to prep NPC and Monster stat-blocks. 4th Edition it was a little easier with "XP budgets", but all this was combat-oriented. You still couldn't make your own classes or spells with 4E.

It's interesting that they are doing a public playtest with the community. I guess they are taking a page out of Paizo's playbook. But, didn't they do play-testing before 4th Edition? Probably not as large a play-test as this next outing, but still, look at the monster that was created.

Anyway, I most likely will not buy 5th Edition. I'm happy enough with what I have already.

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