Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Have a Theory about 5e


Over the course of the last few weeks I've read nearly 7,000 blog posts for . . . purposes that aren't important right now (nailed it), and I've developed a theory about why 5e is enjoying the level of success it's seeing right now as opposed to previous editions. Where many of the previous editions* of the game tended to present themselves as an authoritative version of the game that all of us should attempt to live up to, 5e has been consciously designed to mold itself to our needs. In other words: by making 5e so malleable the Wizards of the Coast design team has created an edition of the game that its consumers have taken full ownership of. 

I've never run across a version of the game that so many people are sculpting to their own needs without seeing the stereotypical backlash that seems to come when someone goes away from the rules as written. If you think that I'm wrong about this, what accounts for the way that people have been reacting to 5e?



* Clearly I'm referring to the more formalized rules and not the free form fun that was Chainmail and Original D&D.

12 comments:

  1. It isn't all out yet. A backlash against an incomplete game would be a little silly. Lets wait for the full core game to actually be available.
    Just for the record I don't buy the "bend the rules to fit your campaign and the game will work fine".

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    1. Really?

      So far I've seen some pretty wide bends that have been working really well across the board. But you're right, time will have it out in the end.

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    2. I like rules tinkering to add to a game or to adjust the focus of the game. At present I'd haepve to take away from the game (and players) to play DnD as i like it in the area of cantrips; the entire concept of ever-zapping spell casting via unending cantrips that scale up in effect with level just isnt DnD to me. Gettiing all your HP back after a niight of rest doesn't do it either. But this right here is about all the complaining you will see from me as I have yet to see the whole game having only really been exposed to the pdfs wotc released and there are alternatives, lots of them that make a drawn out edition war rant pointless.

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    3. Those are certainly issues that can be raised, but the neat thing about this edition is you can change those without breaking the game or significantly altering how it plays (because I have removed both of those very things from my games).

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    4. Have you shared those house rules of yours? I'm too lazy to search at the moment (sorry, drunk) but would be interested in checking them out.

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  2. For this old grog, I think Wizards are doing a fantastic job with this edition so far. Sure, we have to yet see the DMG, but it would have to be one really shitty book to turn people away from this edition. I know we haven't really received any snippets from the DMG, but if Mearls and Co. stick with what they've been saying, and just build on what they've already done, I think it's going to be a banging book.

    Those who haven't enjoyed this edition have been a very small, but not too terribly vocal minority. I think the whole "consulantgate" stuff was rather silly and obtuse. I think the reason the minority haven't said much is because people really, really like this edition so far. Wizards would have to totally fuck up, and though people expected them to, they haven't. This grog is back, and I've never been happier with D&D.

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    1. "I think the whole "consulantgate" stuff was rather silly and obtuse."

      To me the whole reason why the consultantgate thing had any legs at all was because the people attacking Wizards had nothing else to latch on to. All of their major complaints about the social issues were addressed so they didn't have anything other than their dislike for Zak and Pundit which was clearly built around personal issues with each person and not any of the bullshit charges against them (or else SOMETHING would have happened to them).

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  3. I abandoned later editions of the game in favor of OSR style fantasy games, and I'm looking at the game and I bought the Starter Set, and a friend got me the PHB as a gift. I've been tinkering on a 5E conversion of an out of print I.C.E. setting called Cyradon and it has been fun. I have yet to play it, but I think with a few house rules here and there that I could have a lot of fun with this edition.

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    1. I think that's what's really cool about this edition of the game. You can tweak it, houserule it, add to it, and it takes it like a champ. I know a lot of players that want comprehensive RAW, and I would tell them to stick with 3.5 or Pathfinder. If you like playing fast and loose, this edition is perfect for that.

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  4. This edition seems to be designed to do something that Ad&d 2nd edition settled to: Back in the days of 2nd ed. the system was broken enough to warrant a shitload of house rules to make it...work I guess and the end result was that the game you played was *yours*. There are very few games I've heard of over the years (that ran in 2nd ed.) that used the exact same house rules. This edition seems to have embraced the post-2000s indie DIY approach. Better late than never, I suppose.

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  5. Would it be fair to say that 5e is, "less a game, and more a toolbox?"

    --Dither

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    1. In certain regards that's absolutely true. The modularity and ease of adding or removing elements certainly makes it feel more like a toolbox, but it is definitely still its own game with its own feel. It just can be easily molded to your own tastes.

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