It’s been about a year since WOTC announced that they were working on 5e (aka D&D Next). D&D Next Originally promised as some type of modular system when everyone could play the edition/types of D&D they wanted. I was skeptic then (see D&D 5th Edition Announced, What Will It Take to Get Old School Players to Convert to 5e?, Who really needs D&D 5e?, D&D 5e Playtest Issues: Hit Points & Healing, ansd more, I’m sure), and I’m still skeptical now.
The first playtest set seemed like WOTC might actually be on the right track, but each additional playtest set added more brand new rules and ideas that had never been in D&D before. The idea of modular rules where those who liked OD&D could play with OD&D like rules while those who like 4e could play with 4e-like rules seemed to quickly disappear in favor of adding lots of stuff to the the rules that would keep late 3.5 and 4e players happy. My interest in 5e quickly waned as it became apparent that 5e was unlikely to be a game I would be interested in playing, yet alone a game that would be so much better than what I’m playing now (OD&D/Microlite74) that I would be willing to go to the work of converting my campaign world to it.
Here we are a year later and there is a new “manifesto” from WOTC. Modular D&D is still gone, unfortunately, but now there will be three versions, Basic, Standard, and Advanced. Mike Mearls explains this plan in three posts: Basic, Standard, and Advanced. This sounds somewhat promising, but so did the modular idea from last year at this time. Will this idea survive the crush of late 3.5 and 4e players who seem to dislike this almost as much as they disliked the modular idea of a very simple core game with lots of optional modules so each table could build the game best for them? I am not going to hold my breath. However, I will say that this new plan has moved me from 99% doubt that I’d play 5e to about 70% doubt that I’d play 5e. The basic version might not be too bad and I like the idea of lots of modular advanced rules. However, I still stand by What Will It Take to Get Old School Players to Convert to 5e? post. If D&D 5e Basic can’t meet most of the requirements in this post, I might buy it, but I’d have no reason to convert my campaigns to it. What about you?