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What I REALLY Expect of D&D Next

I was reading this link about where the next version of D&D is going. Let’s call it 5e. Play testing for 5e starts today.

So some background on what I have played: I started with the Blue Book and then played the hell out of 1e. I stopped at 2e, because I was getting busy and didn’t need to learn new rules. I’m playing some 3.5e and now 4e with my kids. I don’t plan to play test 5e. I have other things to do right now…

But here’s the thing that popped into my head as I’m rolling up new 4e characters with my kids:

I’m sitting here with bunch of 1e, 3e, 3.5e and 4e stuff between me and my friends, What the heck is 5e going to REALLY offer to make me spend $100s of dollars on a new version? What is the killer app as it were?

Is a 5e cleric really going to be that different than a 4e cleric that I want to drop that amount of coin? Odds are I’ll start looking for cheap 4e material and explore that.

Let me put it another way, there is no way I would play 1e over 3.5e or 4e. Personally, I like 4e better than 3.5e. So the versions have been getting better. That said, if I had a ton of 3.5e stuff (and a lot of people did who played that version), I wouldn’t have jumped to 4e. There was nothing there to make you want to switch.

A lot of people look at a bunch of stuff that is BS: How much to rollplay, how much combat there should be, how long should combat be, etc. Bottom line, a lot of that stuff is up to the DM’s and the player’s style of play. It can’t be forced by the rules onto the game.

Look D&D has dug itself into a hole. It has too many versions and that’s the bottom line. Clearly 5e is going to be some sort of fusion of 3.5e and 4e to try to get the core of the D&D players together. I understand why they want to do that, but that doesn’t sound like enough to get me to buy the new books anytime soon.

I’m going to give Wizards of the Coast what I think the killer app is for 5e. Come out publically and say that you will NOT change the rules of 5e for at least 8 years. If you do that and successfully merge the 3.5e and 4e rules, you might be able to get people to switch to 5e. You burned some bridges over the years with changing the rules; you need to make a public commitment to 5e.

I’m not planning on getting 5e out of the gate, but tell me up front that this rule set is going to be around for awhile and that could be enough to get me to buy the book and kick the tires from the start. Otherwise it’s just going to be something close to 4e and I’ll just stick to that.

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