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Rachel Ghoul

Yeah, might be a duck, except if it's actually a goose.

This article explains pretty well, I think: http://vorpal-thoughts.blogspot.com/2012/01/d-4e-is-wow-clone-really.html


@Rachel Ghoul: looks like a duck, sounds like duck, acts like duck… Might be a duck. I'm liking the OSR scene, so I'm not worried to much about 4E any more. If DnD Next is an improvement, I might pick up the core rules.


I agree with Randall; as long as the *base* combat system is simple, it can easily be complexified for people who like it that way. Going the other direction would be much harder.


@Philo Pharynx: True, many people do enjoy long combats, but many more seem not to. As I recall, many 3.x players hoped that 4e would have shorter combats, but WOTC decided that these players really did not want shorter combats, they wanted more interesting combats with more things to do in them. This time, they seem to be listening to what players are saying, rather than what they think those players really want.

@Rob Griffin: IMHO, it is always easier to add complexity to combat with optional rules and modules than it is to try to remove complexity if you start with it — or at least it is with today's interrelated rules. It was not so hard with the independent subsystems of games like AD&D 1e.


Perhaps the best we can hope for from Next (from an OSR perspective) is what they are terming the "modularity" of the rules system.

There could be a very basic game system which has old school D&D bones, upon which can be added layers and layers of complexity. Perhaps this would even allow players to use Next to run games from any Edition. That could make it interesting, and get people playing D&D more.

Philo Pharynx

This should be corrected. The article actually said that the typical player IN THE 5E PLAYTESTS likes quick fights. Given the state of the playtest, it self-selects for people who want a stripped down rules system. Many people who prefer more crunch options are checking into the playtest now and then, but aren't faithfully following it. For them, the playtest is asking them to play in a non-favored playstyle for an extended time.

Would you be willing to play 4e for a year if they said that by the end there would be an option to play it like something retro? Maybe some people would, but most would probably spend the time playing something more to their taste and looking in on their progress from time to time.

And this is not a small contingent of gamers. Third edition changed the face of the gaming industry and is still incredibly popular in the form of Pathfinder and countless d20 based games. While Fourth edition was not nearly so popular as third, it was far from a failure commercially. Any game company except WotC would have killed for their sales figures.


This is just so…"duh."

My new game has even SHORTER combats than traditional D&D…really gives players more time to "adventure."
: )


4e IS a clone of WoW. My newbies constantly compared it to that. Though I think the giveaway here is that 4e talked about encounters in terms of squares. 4e didn't just ape WoW in terms of combat: they aped WoW in terms of endless expansions and peripheral requirements.

It also made it tough (in my mind) to house-rule. 2nd ed and even 3rd was simple, and we often played without ever referencing a PHB

Wayne R.

I played through the 2e era and with Player's Option: Combat & Tactics all we really used was the critical hit charts, which were like a lighter Rolemaster type of system. Even with the advanced individual initiative system (1d10 + weapon speed or casting time, lower goes first) it was faster than any 3e combat.

Rachel Ghoul

Gee, you don't say. Well. This is the first thing to really grip me about 5e in a while, though some of what they're doing with Clerics and Paladins is sort of interesting to me.

see 4E and its copying WoW
Really? This ridiculous chestnut?

Thomas Baumbach

I believe it was a direct response to the success of the player's option lines that indirectly lead to expansive combats.

In the early 3e days, combat didn't really take any longer than it did in late 2e; it wasn't until 3.5 that high-level combats got out of hand. But 3.5 was the natural evolution of 3e, which–at least to me–drew its inspiration for level of detail (as far as representing your character on the page with mechanics) from the player's option and handbook lines.

TL;DR: The increased demand for character options indirectly lead to prolonged combats.


I'm throwing the BS flag on the whole "We just realized this" drivel. I think they saw the rise of CRPGs as the way people wanted to go and changed course accordingly (see 4E and its copying WoW, which copied DnD). No way they went through 2 editions (plus revisions) and didn't notice combats were huge and no one liked them. I would be more inclined to believe them if they said corporate hq waaay above them said go that way (or else!).

It was my severe dislike of 4E that got me into retroclones and I don't see myself going back anytime soon.