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Role Playing (Games) Games

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 nitehawk214 (222219) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:56PM (#38640958)

    1974 - First edition
    1989 - Second edition
    2000 - Third edition
    2008 - Forth edition
    2012 - Fifth edition

    • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:58PM (#38640998)

      2013 - SQL edition (based on Forth misspelling)

    • by GuruBuckaroo (833982) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:00PM (#38641028) Homepage
      And me still playing First Edition. Sheesh. I feel old (but well invested).
      • by wurp (51446) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:06PM (#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.

        • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:18PM (#38641310)

          And being the cool dad has turned your kids into nerds :-p

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:29PM (#38641492)

            As a high-school parent, doing anything that insures your teen's celibacy (like D&D) is advantageous.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by gorzek (647352)

              I think you missed the memo. Being a nerd is cool now. Turning your kids into nerds means they're gonna get laid more, not less.

              Obviously, the solution is to make sure your kids are jocks and as non-nerdy as possible.

        • Nerd, no. Devi worshiper, yes :)

          I grew up on the game and my best friend bought all the books (1st edition rules, the monster manual, etc) so we played a lot.

          The problem was that he wasn't a very good storyteller, so one day, someone made the sly remark for him to start using one of his precooked modules.

          And when he did -- it was the most fun we had ever experienced. In retrospect, it was far better than any computer game if have played since. It's pretty awesome that your sixteen year old and his friend

        • by Richard_at_work (517087) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ecirpdrahcir.> on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:24PM (#38641410)

          I never did get the "rigidity" a lot of AD&D hard core players had in their material - if it wasnt in the book, its not allowed, if it isnt done on a dice role, it isnt allowed etc. I walked away from a lot of groups between the ages of 16 and 22 or so because of that.

          Some of the best role playing I have ever done was with a DM who didn't use any books, didnt use any dice, and jotted rough layouts on paper when they were needed - everything came out of his mind, he made the decisions and the story.

          So, what I think I am trying to say, is that I agree with you in sticking to the 1st edition - and I hope you stick loosely to it ;)

          • No kidding.

            I for one spent too much time gaming with pinheads, especially pinheads I didn't really like.

            Here's a rule I have now about gaming, if you don't want to hang out with the people you game with outside of the game, you shouldn't be gaming with them at all.

          • See, I played in plenty of games where the DM just made crap up on the fly and they were terrible.

            I always liked a DM that hewed pretty close to the rules but was flexible enough to allow the players to do what the players did. He also rewarded good role playing rather than good roll playing.

            • by rk (6314) on Monday January 09, 2012 @05:53PM (#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 Macgrrl (762836) on Monday January 09, 2012 @05:50PM (#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.

      • And me still playing First Edition. Sheesh. I feel old (but well invested).

        First edition? Wouldn't your chits have worn out by now?

        • Unfortunately, I lost my blue-box B2 - Keep on the Borderlands, complete with D&D (not AD&D) Rule Book to the Flood of '93.
          • by tunapez (1161697)

            Haha, the Great Septic Pump Fail of '86 took all our D&D, Star Wars and Atari paraphernalia out while we were visiting our dad(divorced).
            Mom threw everything out before we returned. Sigh.

      • I wanted to start a 1ed game but we couldn't find enough player's handbooks, and ebay wanted too much. I understand they used to sell pdf's of the 1ed books but that practice must have let too many people enjoy the game without buying new books every year because they are no longer available.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You forgot edition 3.5, with all new rulebooks in 2003.

      • by Talderas (1212466)

        To be fair, 3.5 fixed a lot of problems with 3rd edition, and is essentially a few rules tweaking with some major class overhaul. 3 and 3.5 are compatible with each other, for the most part. IIRC, the only books that were republished for 3.5 were the PHB, DMG, and MM. None of the supplment books released for 3.0 were reprinted.

        And that makes sense. If you make a lot of changes to the core books then running the changes in the new print cycle is a good idea.

    • by chilvence (1210312) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:01PM (#38641040)

      They can only wank people about so much before they get the picture though. I used to love how geeky all the dnd books were, now I wouldn't think twice before pirating them, if I even cared enough to keep up to date with what is so obviously a milking game.

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:01PM (#38641048) Homepage Journal

      They had to replace the Forth edition. It is an RPG people, RPN has no place in it.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Ah, that takes me back. I was such a pathetic nerd as a kid that I used to buy all the D&D guides and modules and read them even though I didn't have any friends to actually play it with. If there were any other kids at my school into D&D back in those early days, they certainly would never have publicly admitted it. I remember watching the movie Taps [wikipedia.org], and seeing the scene where the cadets are playing D&D and being so jealous that they had other people to play with.

      Needless to say, I got my ass

      • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:11PM (#38641196)

        Ah, that takes me back. I was such a pathetic nerd as a kid that I used to buy all the D&D guides and modules and read them even though I didn't have any friends to actually play it with. If there were any other kids at my school into D&D back in those early days, they certainly would never have publicly admitted it. I remember watching the movie Taps [wikipedia.org], and seeing the scene where the cadets are playing D&D and being so jealous that they had other people to play with.

        Yeah. When other geeks would complain about only having their geek friends at school for company I was always like wow, I'm so jealous of your life. The only place I found fellow geeks was on the local BBS'. Yes, there were a number of us in the same area code but we didn't go to the same schools.

      • You make me feel very lucky then. A few of my D&D playing friends and I managed to convince a teacher at our middle school to sponsor a D&D club. He didn't care a bit about the game, he just did it because he was a good guy. So we met once a week and played for a few hours after school while he graded papers. It was good fun and one of my favorite memories of school. We even got our nerdy picture in the yearbook. :-)
      • by nomadic (141991)
        I had people to play with, and believe it or not I may have had more fun reading the rulebooks and sourcebooks. They were pretty fun.
    • 1970 - Waterfall
      2000 - Iterative
    • by arcite (661011)
      In that case I'll wait for the 6th edition so they can get the bugs out.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      AD&D still best edition. Things went downhill with 3rd edition and each iteration has just made it worse. Class systems are archaic enough already and if you're going to stick with them you need to make them simple and not try some weird hybrid approach with feats and skills.

    • by Biff Stu (654099) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:15PM (#38641242)

      OMG! It's just like Firefox!

    • I'd say it is pretty obvious why they jumped so rapidly from 4th to 5th. Basically the 3.5 to 4th edition involved too many drastic simplifications to the game. (now admitted I'm a youngin so I can't really say much on 1st to second transition, but I have read over the 2nd ed rules), 2nd to 3rd while adding more rules they also added more in the way of character options, multiclassing etc.. became more streamlined etc... players liked this, 3.5 to 4th... was a rapid reduction of options, multiclassing remov
      • The OGL is a trademark-license. It basically allows you to place "D20-comaptible" to your material.

        Since game rules are NOT COPYRIGHTABLE it does not grant you anything new -- you already had the right to release add-ons without any OGL whatsoever.

        Apart from the trademark-grant, the OGL is a sham.

    • by medv4380 (1604309)

      1974 First edition
      1989 Second edition
      2000 Third edition
      2008 Forth edition
      2012 Fifth edition

      2016 Sixth edition
      2020 Seventh Edition
      2023 Eighth Edition
      2026 Ninth Edition
      2029 Tenth Edition

      • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Monday January 09, 2012 @05:59PM (#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 tilante (2547392) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:29PM (#38641506)
      Umm, actually...

      1974 - Original D&D
      1977-9 - First Edition AD&D
      1985 - "Unearthed Arcana" - extensive changes and expansions to AD&D - arguably "AD&D 1.5"
      1989 - Second Edition AD&D
      1995-6 - "Skills & Powers", "Combat & Tactics", "Spells & Magic" - arguably "AD&D 2.5"
      2000 - Third Edition AD&D, "A" is dropped for marketing reasons
      2003 - 3.5 Edition AD&D
      2008 - 4th Edition AD&D
      2010-1 - "D&D Essentials" - arguably "AD&D 4.5"

      However, during the 80s and early 90s, TSR also kept developing "D&D" as a separate system, separated for legal reasons. This version is often called "Basic D&D".

      1977 - First Edition BD&D
      1981 - Second Edition BD&D
      1983-5 - Third Edition BD&D
      1991 - Fourth Edition BD&D

      Thus, new D&D rule sets came out the fastest during the late '70s and early '80s, but the average time period between new rule revisions has been 5 years or so. AD&D now moves faster, thanks to the dropping of the "BD&D" line in the '90s. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition AD&D were all announced 2-3 years before they actually came out. I'd expect to see 5th edition actually coming out late in 2013 at earliest.

    • 2008 - Forth edition

      The condensed version, or the unabridged?

    • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Monday January 09, 2012 @04:29PM (#38642384)

      2009 - Pathfinder

      Pathfinder (which was created by Paizo, the guys who used to do D&D Magazine) is called "D&D 3.75" by a lot of people in the community. It seems to take all of the good stuff from 3.5, get rid of a lot of the bad stuff, and keep the game very interesting without dumbing down any of the rules.

      Pathfinder is what should have happened to 4.0.

      In all honesty, can't they just make plenty of money off of campaign settings and miniatures? I don't really see the need to reset the rules every few years. You'd think they would have this shit down after 35+ years of D&D. =|

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:02PM (#38641060)

    Wizards of the Coast has announced they need more money because everyone who plays d&d has already bought all their old books.
    So now it's time to obsolete everything again and make them start over.

    • by bhcompy (1877290)
      What? Do they go through and burn all the books? We're still playing Rolemaster 2nd edition. The latest stuff(Silly System, 3rd and 4th ed) is awful. Sometimes you just gotta stuck with what works
      • We're still playing Rolemaster 2nd edition.

        Probably because you're still working out point assignments to create your characters.

        I keed, I keed.

    • Yeah... This is what I said when 4th ed came out.
      Just as true now as it was then.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Monday January 09, 2012 @04:21PM (#38642258)

      In other news, Wizards of the Coast is acquired by Houghton Mifflin. A statement by the company said they were proud of Wizards for putting out new editions so often but that if they shuffled around some tables and charts they could get a new edition out every year.

  • by arcite (661011) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:04PM (#38641108)
    I'm just finally mastering the 2nd edition rules.
  • Money (Score:5, Funny)

    by 0101000001001010 (466440) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:09PM (#38641164)

    Don't they realize that the more often they change the ruleset the more often players have to spend money buying new books?

    Oh...

    • by Carewolf (581105)

      No, they realized people are getting more and more retarded, so the dumbing down they did in 4th edition is no longer is no longer enough, they need to dumb it down even more. Or as they call dumbing down at their office: Make it more inclusive

      Also retards are more likely to just 'upgrade' even if the new version is another downgrade.

  • I think despite what many say it is actually quite fun the only real issue is that combat takes way way too long. Fun that there is so much to the tactics and such but annoying when two fights take up an entire nights game.
    • by lpp (115405)

      1ed AD&D gamer here from long ago. Never picked up anything more recent than the old Unearthed Arcana book and its peers. I keep hearing that combat in 4ed is very long. Can you explain why that is? I mean, it seems simple enough to me. Round 1, figure out order, declare action, resolve. Repeat until combat concludes. What changed from this pattern?

  • WoW (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:11PM (#38641194)

    A lot of people's complaints of 4e is that they basically made a pen and paper version of WoW. Hopefully 5th edition is more like 3.5e which is where they really got D&D right (IMHO IMHO).

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      A lot of people's complaints of 4e is that they basically made a pen and paper version of WoW. Hopefully 5th edition is more like 3.5e which is where they really got D&D right (IMHO IMHO).

      No joke. Just re-release OD&D with a reverse THAC0 and everything'll be cool. Keep it simple!

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      That is my complaint as well, that and the fact that classes really don't mean as much.

      Call me old, but one of the things about First Edition is that you had to be a REALLY good player, or else you would die, die fast, and die permanently. +1 swords were not dug out of trash barrels, they were usually something obtained at the end of a module, and only if the hidden treasure trove was found.

      There is something about old-school DM-ing. With the advent of MUDs and MMOs, people have become attached to their c

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how much of this revamp is being driven by Pathfinder and the other Open Gaming License games. As with F/OS (second S dropped intentionally) goodness, you can download the Pathfinder rulebooks for free, and only pay for them should you want the nice full-color hardback.

    Much easier to get people into a game if they don't have to buy two or three $50 books just to start.

  • It's a pretty obvious game to the cynical old grognards like me. It started when TSR was sold to WotC, and then WotC was bought out by a megacorp.

    Now that Hasbro owns the trademark, all they're interested in is more sales.

    My group's been together for over 20 years, and we stopped buying books after 2nd edition. We still play using "2.5 ed" rules, and we don't have any problems finding new members every now and then.

  • Based on a lot of the different articles I have read today from Forbes, NY Times, Escapist Magazine and so on it seems that this version may be going with a GURPS philosophy -- Here is your basic game. You have more than enough information to design characters and play the game. But then...

    Oh, you want to play a more miniatures based, combat-oriented style of play? Here is the miniatures rule book/module and here is the epic combat rule book/module and off you go.

    Oh, you want to mix magic and psionics in on

    • by forkfail (228161)

      Traveler [wikipedia.org] tried a modular approach, and fell apart because of it. 30 different short rule books just didn't do the trick.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:17PM (#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 @03:18PM (#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.

    • 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.

      You're doing it right. But you already knew this.

  • But is it fun? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by alexo (9335)

    Used to play and DM 1st and 2nd edition a couple of decades ago.
    Then life (often spelled with a 'w') happened and I sort of drifted away from it.
    I participated in a handful of one-time meetings where they used the 3rd edition (or possibly 3.5) which seemed to be a mostly welcome evolution of the 2nd.
    I tried running an adventure for my kids based on 4th edition once but it felt like a completely different system, and not in a good way. More like a computer game.
    What's the 5th edition like?

  • Started with D&D, moved over to The Fantasy Trip and played that for a number of years. Hell, I helped out some friends who started Jersey Devil Game Company. Used to beta test games, and then help with shrinkwrapping and distribution. I even started designing the computer version of Silo 14 (one of their games). Those were the days (sniff!)...
  • I hear D&D 12 is basically just tweaks to the roster, er, monster manual and fixing some bugs; but D&D 13 is supposed to be built on a whole new engine! Supposedly they're finally introducing 7-sided dice, which the community has been trying to get for ages.

    If only there was a way WotC could prohibit the use of old versions; sadly, no central server is required to get together and play with other people, so they can't turn it off and force you to upgrade every other year.

    (Hmm, the premise of my sarc

  • It's designed to be flexible - to let the Dungeon Master House Rule. But they give little guidance of power balance. There is always a tendency to come out with new, slightly more powerfull stuff, or worse yet, 'combos' of rules created by two different writers that were never tested together. DM's are not experts (no matter what they think). They need to not just know what rules are optional, but ALSO what new rules are high powered, what are on the weak side, - both the normal stuff and the optional s
  • by cyberchondriac (456626) on Monday January 09, 2012 @04:29PM (#38642374) Journal
    When I was younger, I could just never get into D&D, even though shortly after high school I had a friend who was really into it. Years later, after computer gaming and FPS'ers were big, the idea of rolling dice to determine the outcome of a battle still didn't sound appealing to me..maybe even less so.
    Now, many, many years later, being a fantasy/sword 'n' sorcery fan, I'd be willing to give it a shot, but the wife would probably pack up and leave. She's got a grudge against D&D, as her ex used to play it all the time and ignore her or something. Ah well. Maybe I can get away with reading the manuals, just to keep the peace while satisfying my curiosity.
  • I started my daughters (17 and 14 now) on it a couple years ago and they seem to enjoy it. The gf is also big on it. The rules are simple, a PHB is enough for them. I don't give them access to the other books. It turned out to be a much better playing experience than I expected. Thinking of inviting more adults to join in now.

    MD area, north of Baltimore.

  • by AAWood (918613) <aawoodNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:43PM (#38644426)

    I won't be buying any of the 5th edition stuff, for the same reason I didn't buy 4th or 3rd or... well, I do have some 2nd edition, but anyway.

    I've wanted to play D&D since I first heard about it over 20 years ago, but the core problem has always been simple: I don't know anyone who plays D&D. I don't know how to find anyone who does. I've tried all the methods I can think of, found a few online group-finding sites and the like, but no go. I DID stumble across a 2nd Edition group not long after I left school who I played with for a handful of sessions, but then I moved away and lost touch. There aren't even any tabletop gaming shops here anymore; the last that stocked anything like D&D closed a couple of years ago, and just sold the books, no starter sessions or noticeboards or anything of the sort.

    What I want from D&D right now is twofold; firstly, a decent, official, centralised, and above all *global* (I'm not in the US) grouping system to find people to play with. Maybe even go a little on the social networking side and let players say a little about themselves, their playstyles, and maybe even their characters if they have any they like to stick with. Secondly, a decent, official method of playing the games online; at the very least a chatroom with a map screen with tools for the DM to build it up quickly and easily, along with a LFG system and a friends list to help forming regular groups, preferably support for microphones/webcams, characters/enemy abilities/stat tracking, session saving, and while we're at it an easy way to print off the state of play for if you ever wind up with a great group, and decide you want to take it off the screen and get round a table, as Gygax intended. You don't have to expose all the rules of play if you still want people to buy the books, or heck, have each book contain an authorisation key to lets you use the features/skills/whatever that that book contains.

    If either of those features already exist, then what I need is for them to be more public, because I've looked and haven't found them.

  • by shaitand (626655) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @10:16AM (#38651064) Journal

    3.5 was the last incarnation of the traditional game that wizards released. They created a new game to attempt larger market share and kept the name. If you want the newest incarnation of the traditional game see PATHFINDER. They can't call it D&D but that's what it is.

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