Home » Ancient Posts » Who really needs D&D 5e?    
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Eric Walker

If the modularity is possible then it isn't it great that a player that started plaiyng circa '81, '91 and '11 can sit down at a table and enjoy the same module and games. You guys could be play-testing and evaluating how to get how you play the game to work in the new game or even decide that it doesn't. This post is rubbish, OP is awful


Randall, this is an article I can whole heartedly agree with you on. This is all for the money. If they wanted to make the players of the older editions happy they could start selling material that supported the older editions (using the older rules).

I am an RPGA player and will be playing 5E when it comes out since the RPGA uses the current rules system. I cross my fingers, but am worried. From what I read of yours before you are more of a 3.5/Pathfinder fanboy. I however, am a 4E fanboy and only consolation about 5E/Next is the fact I felt like this when 4E was being developed and was pleasantly surpriseded how it was so much better than 3.5 when I started playing it. Likewise, there is always room for improvement, so I hope for the best.

However, I agree. People are perfectly happy playing the version of D&D they like and were not clamoring for a new edition. I would bet the 1E/originalonal game players are not. This is a game sales sastrategy. When the sales number of a gaming product dip to a certainrtan level, they create a new edition to bring revenue back up. It is only needed to bring the revenue up not because any version is broken.


@instantapathy: The problem is I can't think of too many people who will see 5e as so much better than the edition they are playing now that they will want to switch. Looking at myself, for example, while I am pretty sure that 5e will be infinitely better than 4e from my point-of-view (as I considered 4e the worst version of D&D ever as my interests and style of play was not supported at all), I doubt it will be better than what I am playing now, let along the "considerably better" it would probably take to get me to do the large amount of work that would probably be required to learn the new rules and then to convert my campaign and its house rules to 5e. As many 4e players have pointed out, they have little reason to move to 5e as it looks to return to the more standard model of rules and play that preceded 4e which they often never liked to begin with. The only people I can see really wanting 5e are those players and GMs who simply like "new" or who feel they have to play the current version of D&D because they want/need it to be supported with a stream of new stuff to buy/use.


And Instantapathy brings up an excellent point, but I believe that the wave of people getting into 3.0 consisted of people seeing a slick, new edition of D&D and many of those people had played at one point and then left for one reason or another. That won't happen now as many of the people that bought 3.0 have become disenchanted and play either the retro-clones or have gone back to the actual older material. It would be neat if the reprints outsold 5e, but I am sure there are number crunchers out there that will ensure this doesn't happen (whether it does or not) to protect their own interests.


That's the thing… no one /needs/ a new game of any sort, if they have one that that does what they want. You don't need Mutant's & mastermind's if you have FASERIP marvel. You don't need SAGA Star Wars if you had the d6 version. You didn't need 3e if you had AD&D. But you might want that newer game if it fixes or improves the game you are playing now.

Now, who /wants/ 5e? People who think there are flaws in the game that this might fix. I'm reserved, but worried, in my opinion on 5e because while I find flaws in 4e I think stepping back toward AD&D isn't necessarily going to make the game better. You open up the possibility to bring back flaws (and I admit much of what I consider to be flaws in OD&D seem to be lauded by it's proponents as part of the charm/brilliance of the OSR style things.).

"Just a thought—how funny would it be if their re-release of AD&D outsold 5e? :)"

While that would be ironic, I can't see a real situation where that will happen.


Releasing all content as on-demand product is the new business model that so many industries refuse to run with. It works for Steam games, and many others like it, but old content producers are notoriously unwilling to change – look at the movie production companies and music labels. They'd rather change the law than sell product on-demand. Let's hope the biggest content producers in RPG can get with the DriveThru/RPGNow/IPR/Lulu.com models and sell more product. It's clear the OSR people are starving for it.


@Joe: There would be an ironic justice in that.

@ancient: Right now, I'm wrestling with DoubleClick on work-related crap. Gotta love being an internet serf!


surface/service drat!

And yes, Joe, that would be awesome!:)


@Scottsz: Hey, how's it going?:D
Well, the modular angle might be a good idea, however, from what I have heard (from the developers diaries online) they are saying that a 1e guy and a 4e guy can be at the same table playing D&D, and I don't see that happening without causing more problems than it solves. HOWEVER, if what they really mean is that my group will play 1e with the new material and the group next door will be playing 4e then that makes sense, it is still kind of pointless as they could just release all of the old material, reprinting EVERYTHING as a print on demand surface and make us all happy at once, too.


Just a thought—how funny would it be if their re-release of AD&D outsold 5e? 🙂


@JeffStormer: Creating a new RPG is fine. The new game will succeed or fail on its own merits as its publishers can't discontinue another popular game to try to force people to move to it. Revising a popular game every few years so you can sell it again to the same player base again isn't the same thing, especially if you discontinue the previous version to try to force everyone to the new edition.


Just a thought: the 'modular' aspect should support all older adventure content.

Whether it is the goal or not, WotC will be prepared to have 5E be the last version of D&D and shift their business model to game content.

Dungeon Command and other game channels for the D&D brand are already in place.


Great post. And yes, I think we are done with D&D. It is pointless for WotC to keep rehashing the game and adding complexity. How is making something more complicated efficient? It isn't. I believe that you hit the nail on the head and that there is no point in D&D "progressing" any more. 3.0 was getting bloated, but it was fine, I suppose. Then 3.5 was a totally pointless endeavor that Paizo ran with and totally surpassed whatever it was WotC was trying to do in the first place. The OGL was the greatest thing that WotC ever did, not for them, of course, because we have all of the old games back by people not worried about shareholders that can afford to give away the core rules for free and an army of people out there (even me!) that provide free material for people to use in their games and there is no way that WotC can profit from this either, which probably ticks them off to no end. 😀


Who needs any new RPG? Every hardcore gamer I know is happy with at least one game already. So why not just stop creating altogether?


If you are correct, (and I suspect you are), then 5E may be the last WOTC D&D rpg. It was already published last year that Hasbro almost killed D&D as a product when 3.5 sales slumped & it was only by selling 4E as a multiformat brand (note all the non-rpg "D&D" products of late) that they were given a 2nd chance. I don't know what promises they made this time for 5E, but this is likely their LAST chance. If they can't make $50,000,000 per year with D&D 5E, Hasbro will indefinitely mothball it for sure this time.