So What Do I Want D&D 5th Edition to Be Like?

Easy:Kits, Priests with actual faiths, and wonderful, imaginative settings like Planescape, Spelljammer and Ravenloft (to name only a few). Yeah... I never converted to 3e. OLD SCHOOL BABY! (Well, Old But Not So Old That I Mean Original D&D or Advanced 1st School.)

Sure, there are things in 2nd that need some fixing. It wasn't perfect. I'd do away with the loose leaf Monstrous Compendiums, for example, and give the Forgotten Realms better adventure modules, but otherwise... It had just the right level of complexity and customization, and never felt like a video game to me, which later editions always sounded like from descriptions.

Here's to the 5th going back 3 steps before going forward again!

Points to Comments section where readers may unsuccessfully try to convince me that other editions are better and/or vent their empty frustrations about the unworthiness of AD&D 2nd.


Craig Oxbrow said...

No classes, no levels, no alignments, no Elves or Dwarfs, no spell lists, no dungeons. Maybe some dragons.

... I may not be the target audience for a new edition of D&D.

Randal said...

I started with 1st edition, at the tail end, but 2nd was where I spent my formative years. And yes, the kits were wonderful. I remember getting so excited when each brown handbook came myrmidon paladin (converted to 3rd eventually) is still my Main Character. Yes, 2nd had issues, there's no doubt.

When 3rd came out, I remember leaving work to buy the Core books, then drove over to the apartment of my gaming friends and the three of us just read the books for like four hours in relative silence, every once in a while bursting into "whoa!" or "what?" We had a lot of fun with 3rd.

When 4th came out, I was married, kid on the way, barely saw my friends, but we gave it a shot. We eventually went to Pathfinder, so that's about all I'll say about that. I remember our first session was complaining about how stupid saving throws were.

I will not be buying 5th.

Siskoid said...

Craig: Neither am I, frankly.

These days, the games I play tend to classlessness like Savage Worlds, DWAITAS, GURPS and various superhero games.

And I've got so much AD&D2E product from the old days that I wouldn't invest in a whole new system if I ever wanted to go back to D&D.

Randal: We must be contemporaries, that's pretty much when I got in too. I had just moved on to other games by the time 3E came out

Tobias Cooper said...

I agree, I'm an AD&D player quite liked bits of what was done with both 2nd Ed and 3rd but $th (sorry that was actually a typo but so appropriate I'm leaving it!) did nothing for me... can't believe they think people will buy another new edition (*sadly* can believe they think people will buy another edition).
Suspect that this probably spells the end of D&D at least from WoC.

Siskoid said...

I agree that it's too soon for another edition... which makes me think that 4E tanked badly and Wizards needs to get back in the game.

However, I'm not sure I agree that it won't sell. Why? Two reasons:
1. The D&D brand. It's the Kleenex of RPGs. Anyone who wants to get into role-playing will likely want to start with the one they head about, and that's gonna be whatever edition of D&D is on the market. There will always be a new generation for whom Edition X will be their first.
2. If 4E DID indeed tank, it would mean that many gamers did not convert from 3.5 to 4th (because it was too soon, or bad word of mouth). If so, then we're 4 years later, and 3.5ers might actually be interested in a new edition that - in their eyes - gets it right. Probably why they're going the Steve Jackson Games route of open playtests.

I'm not necessarily right, and Wizards may wind up losing business because 4E gamers feel like they've been jerked around on this, and the rest of the world will follow.

SallyP said... have heard OF this...but you may as well all be speaking Greek to me.

Siskoid said...


Έτοιμα συστήματα, ιερείς με πραγματική θρησκείες, και θαυμάσια, ευφάνταστα ρυθμίσεις όπως planescape, spelljammer και ravenloft (να αναφέρω μόνο λίγα). Ναι ... Δεν είχα ποτέ μετατρέπεται σε 3e. Παλαιά σχολείο μωράκι! (καλά, παλιά αλλά όχι και τόσο παλαιό αυτό εννοώ αρχικό D*d ή προηγμένα 1 πρώτο σχολείο.)

Jeff R. said...

My own memories are 2nd Edition, but I'm still in favor of almost every change that happened in 3rd. [Moving and flipping the AC scale so that actual play involved less math, streamlining saving throws, and, above all, free multiclassing and prestige classes. And we got Demons and Devils back.]

I really can't think of a single thing to recommend 2nd over 3rd. (If I were mentally sent back in time to the eighties, my house rules would incorporate just about every aspect of 3rd that I can remember...)

Delta said...

Keep in mind that in the last year Pathfinder sales figures regularly outstripped WOTC D&D. So the real question (business-wise) is whether they can lure back the large number of 3.5 players who forked off from 4E and played the 3.5-compatible Pathfinder instead. I think that's a unique position for them to be in.

Me, I forked off 3.5 right back to OD&D.

Siskoid said...

Good call, Delta.

Jon Hendry said...

I have a very, very, very low tolerance for the art in the 2nd edition core books. The PH, I think, has art that looks like a talented teenage girl's colored pencil work. A bit too soft.

I'd love a new edition of the 2nd ed core books with the art from the 1st edition inserted in appropriate places.

I really hate the 3rd edition core books with their hard-to-read glossy pages with lots of busy stuff in the margins and the text printed over fake "tome page" nonsense.

Siskoid said...

I share your distaste with some of the 2E artwork (at least in the core books... Planescape products are mad awesome).

And you've hit the nail on the head re: 3e. Tiny text over graphics. It gave me a headache just browsing through them.


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