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5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons Announced 309

Posted by Soulskill
from the roll-for-fan-support-initiative dept.
New submitter lrsach01 writes "Wizards of the Coast has announced a 'new iteration' of their Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Early information says the game will be more inclusive, with a basic rule set that 'builds out.' This Spring, WotC will be 'conducting ongoing open playtests with the gaming community to gather feedback on the new iteration of the game as we develop it.'"
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5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons Announced

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  • by GuruBuckaroo (833982) on Monday January 09, 2012 @04:00PM (#38641028) Homepage
    And me still playing First Edition. Sheesh. I feel old (but well invested).
  • by wurp (51446) on Monday January 09, 2012 @04:06PM (#38641130) Homepage

    I'm running a 1st edition game for my 16 year old and five of his friends >:-)

    Shockingly, somehow one of the major factors in me being derided as a nerd in HS has turned me into "the cool dad" now that my kid's in HS.

  • ....not exponential (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @04:17PM (#38641302)

    Actually, the equation Edition(Year) is not described by an exponential, but instead rather well by a polynomial:
    Edition(Y) = 0.0018684 Y^2 - 7.35 Y + 7223.2, where Y is the year

    If we extend the curve, we get the following:
    2018 - 6th edition
    2023 - 7th edition
    2028 - 8th edition
    2032 - 9th edition

    So we should expect vast growth over the next 20 years! Invest now.

    Of course, by the 9th edition out future generations may have fully sentient AI's acting out the roles of in vat-grown bodies on a theme park on the surface of Mars. At least, one could hope...

  • Old Rules Rule (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday January 09, 2012 @04:18PM (#38641306) Homepage Journal

    When I play D&D, my friends and I use to original edition hardcover AD&D rule books. The rules are simple, we all know them, and we all know the books well enough to quickly point at the rule if there's disagreement. We do allow combo spells from the original lists to make new ones, cleared in advance or even on the fly if they're straightforward enough. The players & DM are mostly programmers and lawyers, so we're more interested in the role playing and storytelling than in the rules themselves. And the hunkering down in a man-cave all night to act like 14 year olds.

  • by Macgrrl (762836) on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:50PM (#38643640)

    I've GMd rules heavy and rules light (and rules barely existant) games as both campaigns and tournament modules. There are pros and cons to each side of the coin. Personally I find that in an ongoing campaign, allowing the rules to decide 99+ of cases, with some pre-agreed house rules for the balance tends to result in less friction over time.

    Rules light games rely on GM fiat to determine outcomes, despite attempts to be fair, players will eventually build their own perception of whether they think your rulings are 'fair', and given it's human nature to remember when things go wrong more often than when things go right, they will decide that you are against them (usually them personally).

    The current campaigns I play, we do all dice rolls in the open, including GM rolls. We have house rules, such as if more than half the party dies in a single encounter it's a wipe and we reset and try it again.

  • by PsychoSlashDot (207849) on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:53PM (#38643674)

    I was under the impression that Pathfinder (essentially a licensed fork of D&D 3.5) was outselling Wizards of the Coast D&D these days.

    It is, according to industry measurements. I wish WotC well, but I honestly don't think they "get it" why Pathfinder is doing so well. Obviously it's a combination of a lot of factors, but one of the biggest ones is what you mentioned: the license.

    D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder are under the OGL (Open Game License). It's a very permissive license that allows 3rd parties to effectively reprint and use almost all the rules (and in Pathfinder's case all the rules) in development of other products. Want to take a known monster, amp it up, and include it in the adventure module you're writing? The OGL allows you to do exactly that. Just include the OGL text and keep the attributions correct, and you're good to go. Pathfinder owes its existence to the fact most of 3.5e was open. The www.d20pfsrd.com site is a huge proof to the idea that open rules licensing doesn't kill the product. Aside from campaign-setting lore, names, and artwork, all the rules are available on that web site. And yet Paizo is doing great.

    On the other hand, 4e was published (eventually) under a GSL, which breaks down mostly to "you can't do anything, for any reason, and if you do it, you'll wish you didn't." WotC has maintained very strict control over the 4e rules and no longer even sells PDFs of their books.
    I have no reason to believe that even if WotC does open playtesting there will be any shift in licensing terms. The product will remain closed up and DRM controlled by Hasbro. Well, sorry. No 3rd-party ecosystem, no support... the name "D&D" alone isn't enough.

  • by rk (6314) on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:53PM (#38643686) Journal

    I have GMed a lot in (holy cow) 30 years, and while I appreciate having a fundamental set of rules, I would always blithely ignore them if it helped me tell a better story. Some DMs take an adversarial role, but to me it was always an experience of shared story telling. I provide a greater framework, world, history and map building, provide some challenges with risks and rewards, and let the players fill in the detailed narrative. It keeps me improvising a lot, and it's tiring, but very rewarding. People seem to like my style, because when I call hiatus when real life gets busy, my friends/players start bugging me after a while: "Hey, when can we get back to playing that game?"

    I have an over-arching fairly typical "save the world" plotline, but how to do it is a matter of debate between three major factions, (and a couple of factions that don't want it saved) and the beauty of it is I designed it so I don't know the right answer either so I can't consciously or subconsciously steer the players or give them red herrings. And if the players want to ignore the big plot, after about 25 years in this world, there's about 100 sub-plots (I have a Rubbermaid file tote full of folders for everything going on in this world) they can engage or disengage in, and many times the players come up with nifty plot hooks all on their own that are generally pretty easy to tie into the broader narrative.

    It's good to let go and not control everything when you GM. And I've found that my flexibility has allowed me to transit between rule systems (OD&D, 1st to 2nd to 3.5 to Pathfinder currently) without too much difficulty. Add a bunch of creative players over the years who have added grist to my mill, and it's made it a fun pastime for almost everyone who's played in my group. And that's the primary objective: everyone should enjoy it and have a good time.

  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:59PM (#38643782) Homepage Journal
    The reason you have all these versions isn't huge problems with the game system(s), its that there is a fundamental flaw in traditional RPG publishing. Once you sell someone a set of rules, you have to keep paying the bills and you have a hard time selling just accessories. I think that publishers keep re-writing things so they can keep re-selling core rulebooks to people.

    Microsoft has the same problem. Once they sell you a good word processor, you never really need to buy another one. What features on office 2010 are there that you didn't have on office 97? The core product is EXACTLY the same.
  • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @04:18AM (#38648426) Homepage

    We still use dice, but only because WotC still hasn't delivered us the electronic table for internet-based games they promised us back in 2008. Which really pisses me off, since that's the whole reason I bought into 4th, so I'd be able to play with my friends who had moved away after college. Now they've announced 5th, and the electronic table is still "under development" according to that article, even though all reference to it had been removed from the WotC site, at least as of a few months ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:01PM (#38651706)

    I have a copy of (most of) 0th edition at home (the "little brown books" that came out before Basic).

    And if it's made from animal hide, it's vellum, not parchment.

    I can do better than that. D&D was originally derived from Gary Gygax's "Chainmail" rules, which was designed to let people replay medieval battles with knights, pikemen, etc. Gygax added a fantasy appendix for people who wanted to inject Tolkien-style elements in the game.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chainmail_%28game%29

    I met a guy at work who had a pristine copy of the original Chainmail rules. I browbeat him into letting me take it home and scan it into a .pdf at very high resolution (the entire 50-ish page book took up 250MB). I then burned him a copy on CD and returned the original to him in a mylar bag with cardboad stiffener. Gotta preserve those antiques. Not many of those books running around in near-mint condition.

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