Jan. 12th, 2012

kent_allard_jr: (Dungeon Master)
Wizards of the Coast will soon release a 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. (They're refusing to call it "fifth edition," saying it's the "next iteration" or some other nonsense like that, but we all know what it is.)

From what I've heard, their main goal is to avoid the fracturing of the market that occurred when 4th edition came out. Right now Pathfinder, essentially a 3e variant, has roughly the same sales as 4e D&D, and Wizards would like to bring its committed players back into the fold.

Right now they're talking about a "modular" rule set. It's hard to know its exact meaning in practice, but I think it's an excellent approach. To me, the ideal game system should have something like the Hero System for infrastructure, and Tunnels & Trolls as a superstructure: Super-simple to the casual player, but with with enormous range for customization for those who want it.

My main suggestion would be two-fold:
  1. Every class trait or feature should be purchasable with one or more feats. In fact, the number of feats should be about equal for each class, so DMs could create new ones by taking, say, 20 feats and matching them with sets of powers.
  2. As players advance, however, their feats will be chosen for them based on their class or sub-class, much as powers were pre-selected under D&D Essentials. They'll have the option of replacing the packaged feat with one of their choice, but they won't have to do so.

In essence, this would be using a point-build system for classes, where 1 feat = 1 character point. From the standpoint of the player, though, it would be like 1st edition D&D, where every "thief" has the same abilities. If he wasn't happy with that straitjacket, though, he could customize his character as he wished.

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August 2012

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