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Author Topic: D&D Next is released today!  (Read 3308 times)

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Offline SkynetTopic starter

D&D Next is released today!
« on: July 03, 2014, 07:01:26 PM »
Well, the Basic Ruleset technically.  You can download it for free here.

I'm skimming through it right now.  I don't know how much of it is going to be present in the "Core Books," but it's giving the vibe of a crossover of sorts.  Incorporating traits of later editions with customization of traits for races, skills, max hit points at first level, and 3rd Edition-esque tables.  As well as some references to older settings such as Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance.

Also, this caught my eye.  A call-out that gender isn't a binary:

Quote
You don't need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender. The elf god Corellon Larethian is often seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example, and some elves in the multiverse are made in in Corellon's image. You could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character's sexual orientation is for you to decide.

Quite a few trans* players are happy about this inclusion, although I've heard a few point out its awkwardness (use of "hermaphroditic," for example).
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 08:32:07 PM by Skynet »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 11:57:48 PM »
Thanks, man.

Offline Blythe

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2014, 12:01:24 AM »
Huh...this is certainly different. Will have to take a look at the D&D Next rules and see if they are interesting.

Offline Ashton

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2014, 10:35:34 AM »
Didn't really look like an improvement to me, just by skimming it.  They're trying to make it more condition-centered (which is not a bad plan for some games, and not even a bad plan here necessarily) while severely standardizing/weakening most other things (BAB > proficiency is one huge one), and it's basically just D&D 3.75 at this point. I guess they're done attempting to make D&D the tabletop MMO with 4.0.  My opinion might change depending on what's in the PHB that isn't in that little game info page (it lacked feats altogether, for one), but it really just looks like they're hoping people who loved 3.5 will come back and play their 2014 version of 3.5.

D&D had a great surge of popularity when it ditched THAC0 for the 3.0 system, but as of yet it looks like they still can't find another way to take it.. which is a shame, since clearly they tried and failed with 4.0, and now they're trying to play it safe by going back to what worked before.  I don't see why anyone playing 3.5 or Pathfinder would choose to ditch either system to begin investing in Next when it's the same stuff, just changed slightly to make it incompatible and slightly less powerful (in most cases).  They really need to come up with something new:  Get rid of levels and make it an XP-based system solely, that's a good place to start.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2014, 12:20:21 PM »
Ashton, as someone who was in their Beta test, it actually plays closer to AD&D, than 3.x.  There's an emphasis on 'making $#!@ as you go', which was what D&D had been about since its inception.  Also, Next is designed to be most compatible with most major editions of D&D.  (Hence the nomenclature of Next, rather than 5th.  A new edition implies the older ones are no longer usable, or obsolete, Next main goal is to make all forms of D&D useful, except maybe 4e.)

Offline Ashton

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2014, 12:36:23 PM »
I haven't played AD&D in over 13+ years, so any similarities to that system are probably lost on me.  While it might intend to be compatible, the fact that feats are optional, stats are limited in their growth, that magic items are not the same, and that skills/attack bonus/save bonuses all derive from the same static proficiency bonus (which is included in individual class level lists, but is actually static it appears?) means that it won't be *that* compatible.  But certainly, they have tried to make it similar to 3.5, because that's where they saw the most growth.

It's entirely possible it's different for you and a lot of others who play D&D, but simply put, there are *much* better systems if you're looking for something rules-light.  D&D is the system you play if you want some detailed combat mechanics and are numbers/fighting-heavy.  If you want to just RP, there's WoD, 7th Sea, and systems like those things that are made from a less-is-more standpoint when it comes to rules and numbers.  I don't see D&D doing well trying to imitate them, at least not by just dumbing down 3.5 a little more.  It's a change, sure, I just don't think I'd agree it's enough of a change, and the more compatible they are with everything from 3.5, the more they are saying, yes, bring all those 3rd party books that were even more rules-complicating than the base game and putting them back into their simplified system.  Why would you want that if you're trying to veer from it?  I just don't see it, myself.

But I didn't play in any betas, and all I've looked at for it is the free pdf there.  You might know some things I don't, but I remain skeptic.  For those I know still tabletop gaming and using pathfinder, I don't think they'll switch from pathfinder to Next, just like they didn't switch from pathfinder to 4.0 (played one campaign in it, then went back to PF).

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Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2014, 02:02:34 PM »
I am really interested to see the final product. I was another of those folks that participated in very early Beta testing and to me it felt like 3.5 and 4.0 had a baby. I could see aspects of both systems, like they were almost blending the two. I didn't really see this as a bad thing as there were some things I did like about 4.0 (albeit very few things), but it was hard to really gather an opinion from Beta alone. I have never played AD&D, so I can't really offer an opinion there... but I would very much like to read through the PHB and see how it compares to 3.5.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2014, 07:50:51 PM »
Forget this one go to Amazon, find a 1980-90ish small press fantasy game like Quest of the Ancients ,cost me $4.65 cents plus shipping, or core books for DnD 1st or 2nd Edition or the Rules Cyclopedia and play/run those. Or Pathfinder is popular.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2014, 12:36:06 AM »
As someone whose been in the beta, and has all the PDFs to date, it's a good attempt, it tries to modular as the stated goal, you can swap things in and out of whatever is your favourite edition for the most part.  Most, because 4e has more or less been disavowed.  But seeing as it's the most reviled edition, I guess it's no great loss.

It goes back to the original spirit of D&D.  Make $#!& up as go along and run with it.

I like it.

Offline Sel Nar

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2014, 01:20:50 AM »
Quote
Once upon a time Wizards of the Coast made a new edition of their wildly popular tabletop RPG series, Dungeons and Dragons. They called it 4th edition and it was a huge departure from everything that came before it. People were furious and rebelled. It was the worst thing that had ever happened.

Learning from their mistakes, Wizards made a brand new edition, more faithful to their origins, bringing them back to their roots. People were furious and rebelled. It was the worst thing that had ever happened.

The more things change, right? I've been playing around with all the varied editions of D&D since forever and a day ago, only recently got into 4E due to a friend's request (plus she gave me all the books), and, honestly? D&DN feels, to me, like an attempt to refine the 'crunchyness' of 1st through to 3rd Ed, only with less penalties to the player for doing something nonstandard.

So, as shocking as it is for a noted, 'I hate everything' grognard, like myself, to say this, I say it regardless; I don't see why people are raising a fuss about whatever edition it is. Just play what you like.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 12:42:38 AM »
Sorry, while I like the step back it was the personal experiences with wizards and there attitudes when 4e came out. I got my forum account deleted for politely asking about the 'PDF purge' and d20 modern's quiet little death and there attitude towards several of my FLGS owner friends AND their intensely bad customer service to me while on deployment makes it hard for me to be fair in my assessment of 4e and any desire to do more than casually skim over DNDnext.

I do THROUGHLY applaud their efforts to proof test it with the fan base and react to feedback.  Maybe one day I won't be bitter to what was done to the Realms and can go back.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 01:12:43 AM »
I do THROUGHLY applaud their efforts to proof test it with the fan base and react to feedback.  Maybe one day I won't be bitter to what was done to the Realms and can go back.
Given that Ed Greenwood and R.A. Salvatore, who happen to agree with you, are back on board, soon we'll have the Mary Sue adventures of Elminster banging ever single female 'apprentice' and Magic Goddess(es) and the emo adventures of a twin slinging androgynous Drow, once more.

(Yes, I'm VERY bitter.)

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Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2014, 01:34:44 AM »
soon we'll have the Mary Sue adventures of Elminster banging ever single female 'apprentice' and Magic Goddess(es) and the emo adventures of a twin slinging androgynous Drow, once more.

You haven't been through the adult fan-fiction archives recently, have you?


Oh - you meant the canon stories.  My bad!  ;D

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2014, 02:59:12 AM »
Given that Ed Greenwood and R.A. Salvatore, who happen to agree with you, are back on board, soon we'll have the Mary Sue adventures of Elminster banging ever single female 'apprentice' and Magic Goddess(es) and the emo adventures of a twin slinging androgynous Drow, once more.

(Yes, I'm VERY bitter.)

They DRAINED the Inner Sea.. made everything a world of darkness..and blew up Thay. I was appaled. And saddened.

I was more bitter from the way the Wizard Customer service folks treated me..and the Hasbro/Wizards sales folks sneered at the 'geeks in their mom's basement'/'smelly comic shops'  in regards to sales planning. (they gave Walmart a HUGE markdown on the initial release of 4E with an option to sell back at full paid value.. I understand doing the same with Amazon..but seriously..Walmart?)

And the PDF purge was the last friggin straw.. I was stuck on duty and on deployment during the suitable length of time (48 hours)  and was unable to recover my purchases. And their attitude on their forums.. blanket bans for questions.. (not trolling.. simple questions) was mostly the last straw.

Online Dhi

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2014, 03:58:52 AM »
Cool, thank you Skynet! I thought this was coming next week for some reason. My group is planning to stick with 4E, but I'm interested in giving the new system some kind of shake just to get a feel for how it plays out.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2014, 01:38:35 AM »
(...but seriously..Walmart?)

This actually is because of Walmart's business practices, and has likely very little to do with WoTC.  Walmart is such a market force that they do and will dictate to other companies what they will sell the products for.  And unless the product makers want to sell at somewhere else, at higher prices, they will abide with Walmart's pricing, or literally lose out on profits, meager as they are.

And the PDF purge was the last friggin straw.. I was stuck on duty and on deployment during the suitable length of time (48 hours)  and was unable to recover my purchases. And their attitude on their forums.. blanket bans for questions.. (not trolling.. simple questions) was mostly the last straw.
The bold sounds more like the early Paizo forums.  But then, forums in general, especially RPG product ones, tend to attract the worst of the worst.  And yeah, the WoTC forums are pretty bad in general.

Truth be told, whatever your reasons are, are just that, your reasons.  I personally never had any issues with WoTC, but I had plenty with Paizo.  I still bought the PFRPG core book and Ultimate Combat.

As for what they did to the Realms, anything was better than having to do mental circles around the novel canon.  Yes, yes, you can ignore the canon, except when the product books that you buy are written with the canon in mind.  For hypothetical example, let's say you like the King of Cormyr, but in the novels he's dead.  But you never read the novels, and never cared to, so you buy the Cormyr book expecting that he's still alive.  But no, he's dead and his daughter is charge.  Which immediately changes the dynamic you were planning to go for.

Well, you know the King well enough to wing it.  But then you decide to buy the Zhentarim book, which is after that particular incident, and find that everything is written with the Queen in mind, who, if memory serves was quite different than her father.  Now, the issue becomes how much effort do you need to do to switch everything back to what you think would happen, or simply suck it and change your campaign.  Now, for some of us, that's easy.  For others, like me, just simply not that smart to do so.

What's worse is in Elminster's, and his circle of friends' case, they have pretty much done everything!  He's got all the spells, he's level 45, CR 39, most of the Seven Sisters are still alive, and being mages or magic users, are also in the high 30 level range.  All the possible places to explore, they've already cleared out.  And all the magical items you find in there?  Well, they all come from Elmy's immense cache of magical toys, every so often he will sneak into 'dungeons' and leave 'gifts' for the adventurers to find.  Like some fantasy realm Santa Claus.  Yes, kids, the Forgotten Realms is nothing more than an amusement park for your players, because every major threat that pops or popped up, Elmy and Crew (Which includes the not-so-friend Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun of Waterdeep, well, if they hadn't killed him for plot reasons, not that anything realmwise would have actually hurt him) can or have already dealt with it!

That's what Ed Greenwood turned it into.  By the by, the whole Elminster leaving treasure in dungeons for the 'adventurers' to find and feel speshul was something Mr. Greenwood once mention in an interview.  This is what people want to go back to?  Where every epic level character had a flavour of arcane magic, or was a full on wizard?  Most of the 'high level' non mages never broke 3e's level cap of 20.  The highest that I remember was the Drizzle and he was about...  16?  17?  3 Levels of Fighter, 1 of Barbarian, and 12 (or was it 13?  I forget, I don't have that book anymore.  Damn bed bugs) of Ranger.

So really, turning the Inner Sea into a pool of Shadow (which by the way is pretty damn awesome, when you think about it, more mysteries for players to solve!) and 'blowing up' Thay?  You know, Thay is still there, in fact for the last three Encounter seasons, they've been the ultimate badguys in all of it.  And right now, we're dealing with a plan of Szass Tam's.  Hell, there's apparently a civil war brewing in it, which is kinda realistic, when you have that many folks with arcane power and willingness to use it.  So I have no idea what you mean by that (really I don't.  Are you upset about their fixation on Necromancy?  Which, if I remember rightly, was something that happened at the end of 3e...  But I'm not sure.  I'd honestly like to know what you mean by that.)

And finally, a World of Darkness, I'm not entirely sure what you mean?  Are you talking about the whole 'Points of Light' idea?  Where you have small bastions of somewhat civilized lands (Like Neverwinter, Waterdeep, Cormyr, Sembia and other locales) and surrounded by swathes of 'darkness' which are ruins and dungeons and small pockets of evil for your players to explore and deal with?  Kind of what D&D has technically always done (which I admit confused me no end when they said the 'Points of Light' was their goal.  I mean, that's what D&D has always been about, right?  Seriously, how many official pre-3e adventures start off with the players in a local area, like a village or a city, that had some dangerous ruins or encampment nearby that the players had to clear out?  That's pretty much what they meant by points of light, so why was it important all of a sudden, when that's the name of the game, since 1974?  Whatever.)

Also, I'm pretty sure than any of the settings that Paizo put out is pretty much 'Points of Light' in theme, after all, we're here to adventure and smite 'Evil' in the face!  At least I am.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2014, 11:34:28 AM »
I'm a bit miffed because there were a LOT of campaigns going on in the Realms..and yeah. every GOOD GM I know scripted things so that Elminster (and his helpers) were handling 'big problems' elsewhere when the players happened along. Old Realms was a torrent of 'known spots' so the GMs (of whom I was one) had spots we liked to use. Calisham, Tethyr and parts of Cormyr.

One of the BIG problems was changing over. A century pretty much ensured if you weren't carrying over player characters unless you were a dwarf/elf. The whole change over galled a lot of players in my groups as well.

As for my issue with the Wizard's boards... did Paizo ban you without warning for the 'Hey, I was curious about the d20 Modern Line.. you guys haven't posted/published anything in about six months. What is going on?" or "While I realize that you guys are the property owners, I know of three guys (besides myself) who can't download all their content from the sites before the 48 hour deadline. I'm currently posting on a dial up line and can't possibly download the 30+ remaining pdfs in time"

The less I say about my personal experience with 'Customer Service' at Wizards the better. I KNOW my experience was a while back (2000) but the sheer break with everyone else at the time stuck with me for the better part of a decade. (They do better than Pallidum did at getting the orders right.. but when they get it wrong.. they treated me like a crook while Pallidium sent me a hat, shirt and SIGNED copy of the right book..)


Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2014, 10:30:41 PM »
I'm not going to argue about Forum experience because frankly, yeah the WoTC Forums can suck big, black donkey balls.  They don't ban on a whim anymore, but the community in general isn't E's.

I can see your point about the change over, I agree, it would be a bad thing for an on going campaign, so yeah,  I can totally agree there.

As for the Elminster thing, you know dealing with the 'real' problems for the realms, some players may feel like errand boys or girls (even at level 10 to 20), and really, if Elmy is as powerful as the book states, he could easily spend a weekend (literally) and clean up the Zhentarim and Thay, permanently.  At least by game rules as written.  So for some of us it didn't matter how good you are, these are questions we cannot reconcile.  And it has nothing to do with the GM's ability, but what the game setting gives us.  If your players are OK with that, then fine.  But mine were not.

As for the PDFs thing, they've more or less retracted that.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2014, 10:34:36 PM »
Didn't most of the WotC community migrated to ENWorld after Wizard's forum software took a nosedive in user-friendly interface?

Online Dhi

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2014, 10:59:04 PM »
The few times I've been back to EN World after the rape controversy fallout, I've been met with obnoxious ads, broken layouts and the same slow load times that plagued the site for a decade despite almost annual server fundraiser drives.

It's hard for me to imagine the young Wizards boards crowd adopting the EN World culture, which was hostile in a completely different way, not youthful and spirited, but instead dark, festering, and clawing at the eyes of beauty. Seeing that Circvs Maximvs still exists, it's almost impossible for that culture to have changed.

Oh, but on topic: Next looks worth a full read! It's not the rollback to 3.5 I thought it was going to be. Interested to see how saving throws, which were a sore spot throughout playtest, end up in the finished product.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2014, 11:44:56 PM »
Saving Throws are basically your stats.  So a Strength Based saving throw might be for bursting out of a rope.  Constitution Based would be to resist poison, a Charisma one would be against being Charmed and the like...

Which, for some people maybe a bone of contention.

Online Dhi

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2014, 11:52:59 PM »
Right, I know how they work- that was in the playtest and it's in the Basic document. What isn't clear, since they chose to omit any creatures, is how often PCs will be called to make saving throws, the DC scaling for weaknesses impossible to shore up, and how costly those inevitable failures will be.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2014, 03:03:07 AM »
Problem is, we won't know until...  Sept?  Or whenever the Monster Manual drops.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2014, 12:21:54 PM »
Sorry they lost me as a customer after the 3.0 oh we screwed up here is 3.5 now fiasco. I did play this version at the local game shop run by someone from the company and I did ask questions like why by this with Pathfinder out there which is a good system or better old 1st or 2nd edition rules  or any one of many other systems OOP. There are a lot of options to play DnD or something enough like it not to mention systems not DnD with interesting mechanics or available free. I just don't see why they can't find a set of rules and stick with them for even two decades. He was not amused. My take I LIKE NEXT but don't see any reason to buy it.

I LIKED 3.0, seriously they stuck with that this long and supported it while releasing NEXT I would likely be a customer but they burned me once, I saw no reason to stay with them.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: D&D Next is released today!
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2014, 01:29:24 PM »
Sorry they lost me as a customer after the 3.0 oh we screwed up here is 3.5 now fiasco.

Really?  Because Pathfinder pulled the same stunt, and people are OK with it.  Every book you bought of Pathfinder invalidates anyone's 3.x library.  And no, I'm not being mean, or snarky, or otherwise trying to piss on a parade, it's simply the nature of the business.  To keep people buying the books (like Ultimate Magic, Combat, Equipment, the Bestiaries...) you need to make new books, and every book that Paizo comes out with, pretty much kills any use you may have with your older books.  It's just pure business sense, and don't mistake it, this is a BUSINESS first and foremost for Paizo, WoTC, Neca, Catalyst Labs et al.  They may be doing it because they want and love to, but they're charging you because they need to feed their families.

You're right, they did change the edition.  But it was in response to YOU (the general, not you specifically, Ruby) as a customer.  Because the complaints and errata got so large it was getting bigger than any of the core books.  SO they decided to remake and implement the changes.  And you should have seen/read Monte Cook flip a table over that.

See, part of the issues was that there were feats that were traps -bad choices-, spells that broke things so hard, and things that would require the GM to house rule, drop or change, and there's a subsect of DM's out there that categorically refuse to do so, for any reason.  And as such you get silly things like the Rogue and Fighter being considered bad classes because they can't keep up with the mathematics of the system, and that the best party to play the game as written is Two Clerics, Two Druids and a Wizard.

But what really gets up my craw is how people praise Pathfinder, even so much as blindly calling it 3.75 (Which implies is an even smaller step into changing the game for the better, which is the goal the here, to IMPROVE the game's playability and fun factor for as many people) and at some points, even claiming that Paizo was the second coming, or the Saviour of D&D (I am not kidding.)

When the cold hard reality is that Paizo simply pulled the EXACT SAME STUNT that WoTC pulled with 3.0 to 3.5, but instead of calling it 3.75, they called it Pathfinder.  And yet, they're universally loved for making all your WoTC books invalid and useless.  But WoTC gets absolutely reviled, and treated like they brought hell on earth for trying to improve their game.  Not Paizo, they are GODS among gamers for doing it.  Marketing, that's all it was, and people bought into it.

I don't hate Paizo, they saw a business opportunity and took it.  And have been laughing all the way to the bank with it, and you know what?  Good on them!  They're smart, and I hope they stay in business for decades to come!  But really, people, they didn't 'save' D&D they just made their own version, making a third edition of the 3.x line, just like WoTC did a second edition of the 3.x with 3.5.

And for the record, I was one of those who bitched and moaned about 3.0 changing over to 3.5.  And man, was I bitter!

Now, as for the PDF on the Wizard's Site.  It's FREE.  They're not gaining a single thing from anyone getting it.  You don't even need to sign into the website to download it.  So go ahead, see what it's all about.  However, if you're afraid that it might change your mind, and make you feel obligated to get the other D&DN books?  Well, I can't help there.