Thursday, February 6, 2014

So.... 5th Edition.

Warning:  ranty but honest.

5E is not something I've weighed in on before on the blog, and I figured it's high time I did so, since playtesting is well over.  I just decided to study some of the rules while in the bathroom (yes, I do a lot of reading in there because I have Crohn's disease - look it up and you'll understand why).  I've decided it probably isn't for me.  It still has too much of that... I don't know what... for me.  It just isn't what I want.  I like that they got the whole AC inflation thing handled, and it looks way simpler than 3E, so that's good (even though I am a fan of 3E, it's a real sumbitch sometimes).  I might even nuke attack progressions in my old school game.  I just have a feeling that it's going to be as bland as I found 4E to be - no offense to the fans of 4E.  I just knew I wasn't going to enjoy that whole thing.  It's why I went and bought Swords & Wizardry instead and went backwards in time.  I'll reserve my final opinion for after the ruleset comes out (but I'll be damned if I buy them right off the rack this time).

I have no brand loyalty to Wizards.  Paizo, however, is so good at what they do it's astonishing (it is no secret that I love Pathfinder because Paizo took the system they were best at writing for, tweaked it, and made it even better).  Every time D&D as a brand drops the ball, Pathfinder goes to pick it up.  Think about it - did you really think you'd see an 80% to 20% mix of Pathfinder to D&D product on the shelves at your local chain bookstore?  That's what it is here in northeast Ohio (I mean Alaska! - not really but it seems like it lately).  Paizo really put a dent in Wizards' business plan.  It's not that the rules are more fun - any game can be great fun, and that includes 0E, 1E, 2E, 3E, 3.5E, 4E, 4E's revision, 5E (jeez, that's a few editions)....  Paizo just does it better!  They have their finger on what PF fans want.  I haven't heard too much grumbling about the rate of supplemental material.  What I think Wizards needs to address is this:  the obvious planned obsolescence of a ruleset (see above reference to 0E, 1E, 2E, 3E, 3.5E, 4E, 4E's revision, 5E...).  They've somewhat addressed this by producing a few new things for 1E, reissuing old rules, making things available in PDF and whatnot, but they've really got to get that obsolescence thing under control.  The perception is that it's planned.  And according to what I've heard and read, it seems to be the truth.  I just wish they could innovate within the rules for more than half a decade - there is quite a bit of room for it in all editions, and truly identify what D&D fans want.  I dare them to produce new adventures for old rule sets or support a new ruleset for more than five years.  And I triple dog dare them to re-release the Rules Cyclopedia (in print).


  1. They did re-release the Rules Cyclopedia, as a PDF only though.

    It seems that the re-publishing model is that what ever gets a special reprint edition (like all the core rules) does not get a PDF and visa versa.

    1. I know, I was being selfish and going to war for a print version. I'm glad it's in PDF, but that is one of the best rulebooks EVER.

    2. I didn't buy it when it came out. I was getting out of D&D at that point. I had to pick one up later from eBay. But yeah it is a pretty awesome book.