This should be an interesting ride.
by , 01-11-2012 at 04:53 PM (4578 Views)
Right. 5e is a go.
I can't really be mad at this news. I wanted to be, believe me. I just purchased Essentials, reluctantly, a few months ago, and there's already a new version being discussed. My book shelf is filled completely with RPG books, and half of them carry the D&D brand on them, across many editions. I'm tired of the buy in, I'm tired of the retreads. And I'm not going to lie: I feel a little irked, since I felt like 4e still had so much ground to cover.
But 4E also has warts, big warts that I can't ignore when I look it in the face anymore. We've all heard these discussed time and time again: Character creation becomes a bit heavy on the paper work. Combat encounters are quite lengthy. Powers seem to distract opportunities for creative maneuvers in combat. The math starts to buckle in higher level play, so on and so forth.
Tack this on with errata after errata, and tons of cool concepts that seem to get neglected (rituals, character themes, etc.)
Yeah, it feels like this engine has been pushed a bit hard off the tracks.
I can't gripe about 5e, at least not yet. The approaches and design goals they want are exactly something I want to see. A modular system, intended for the DM to check list what's in and what's out for his campaign. As an RPG tinker gnome, this sounds right up my alley. Hell, the game I've been working on has turned towards a modular "plug and play" design, so how can I bitch about this?
And of course, the open play testing and community feedback. If they really take advantage of this, it could do wonders of actually tuning a system that incorporates the best of old school and new school play. And for all those peeps lambasting WoTC for "copying Paizo"....get real. There's nothing wrong for copying a design approach when it's proven to work with flying colors. Also, remember that Paizo is currently making a name off a modified version of WoTC's baby.....turn about is fair play.
That said, I am going into all of this with a 10' Pole and constantly checking for traps.
Echoing a Plea
Many of said it, and I'm going to echo it:
If, at any point in your life, you were passionate about D&D, if the game to you is more than a branding but an experience and fond memories, then sign up for the damn Open Playtest.
Give feedback. Be constructive. Regardless of which edition was your favorite; tell them what you love, what you hate, and what you would like to see. The worst that happens is that 5e turns out suck, and we go back to either older editions, retro clones, homebrewed hacks or, hell, a whole different system entirely. But, there is a chance that maybe we'll finally get an edition of the game that feels complete, and we can all sit down at the table for it again.