Next Edition Of Dungeons & Dragons Will Be Written By The Players

In the nearly 40 years since the release of the original edition of the Dungeons & Dragons pen-and-paper role-playing game, various publishers have released many different versions of the game, pleasing new players and alienating old ones on a fairly regular basis. Now Wizards of the Coast is working on the next edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and they want to please all of the elven people all of the time.

While I first started playing D&D with the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, I consider myself a AD&D 2nd Edition player, with my dice varied and my Warrior decked out with a Swashbuckler kit. I turn up my nose at 3rd Edition D&D players, and there's something seriously wrong with those that have moved on to 4th Edition.

These are my personal preferences, of course, but they are preferences shared by thousands of dungeon explorers that believe their version of the game was the best.

Wizards of the Coast believes they can make a new (5th) edition of the game that fits everyone's play style, whether they throw 20s or a handful of six-siders. The company made its intentions clear in an official announcement today.

"We seek to build a foundation for the long-term health and growth of D&D, one rooted in the vital traits that make D&D unique and special. We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play."

Can this possibly happen? Can Wizards teach the dice-throwing world to sing in perfect harmony? I'll believe it when I see it.

I might see it sooner than later, however, as Wizards is actively recruiting play testers to provide testing and feedback on the next edition of Dungeons & Dragons, planning events throughout the year to help fine-tune this new-old experience.

"By involving you in this process, we can build a set of D&D rules that incorporate the wants and desires of D&D gamers around the world. We want to create a flexible game, rich with options for players and DMs to embrace or reject as they see fit, a game that brings D&D fans together rather than serves as one more category to splinter us apart."

At least they're paving the road with good intentions. Where it leads is anybody's guess. Want to go along for the ride? Sign up here.


Comments

    I was one of the founding members of QUT's gaming guild several years ago. We were all fans of 3.5, and were excited for 4.0.

    Then 4.0 came it, and it was terrible. It's quite obvious that wizards made many of the changes they did so that D&D could translate more directly into a video game.

    3.5 is a pen-and-paper role playing game.
    4.0 is a board-game.

    With that in mind, I hold little enthusiasm for v5, but a small kindle of hope remains.

      Yeah, this.
      I am a 3.5 player / DM and couldn't imagine anyone who played any of the versions prior to 4 wanting to carry on playing it.
      My guess is that Wizards will go down the Pathfinder route and simplify some of the more 'complex' rules, turn undead, grapple etc

      I started with D&D, just regular old D&D, the one before Ad&D. I then moved through each edition with excitement up till 3rd edition when I just didn't have time anymore with a busy career that involed LOTS of travel and starting a family.

      I thought 3rd edition was really great amd fixed so many of my gaming groups gripes over the years. The whole system seemed really elegant and smooth.

      Being out of the loop, it sounds like they really botched 4th edition.

    Always wanted to play DnD, but never had anyone to try it with.

    And i don't want to go to the gaming guilds.. i don't want to sit around smelly overweight weirdos...

      I'm a smelly overweight weirdo, but you're welcome to join our next group (since I'm sure w'er about to be killed in about 3 weeks)
      And yes I am THAT Zac

    I'm a 4th Ed player, and I like the version for it's accessibility, relative simplicity, and power. You start as a heroic character, not "some guy with a sword" or "mage's apprentice with 4hp". 4th can be a place for telling great stories with lots of player agency, rather than a boardgame, if you DM it to be so.

    Things they should keep for 5th Ed:
    - Tieflings and Dragonborn being core races.
    - At-Will powers.
    - Ease of character creation.
    - DMG2.

    Things to drop from 4th to 5th:
    - Not having Bard and Druid as core classes.
    - Book power creep.
    - Essentials line.
    - Miniature focus.

      I've played all of them (my group just actually dug up and played the original Tomb of Horrors last month), and I consider myself pretty flexible when it comes to editions.

      I've played years of 3.5 and over a year of 4th and have to say 4th definitely has nice, fun streamlined combat, but sacrificed a lot of roleplaying elements for it.

      For instance my Tiefling warlock, clearly a very fire based spell castery type, in combat I could do all sorts of things, but at one stage I wanted to run around starting small fires to smoke out a village. There were no rules covering any kind of spell or ability I could use for such a thing, so the DM just said yeah regardless of the lack of rules you can start fires.

      We also found ourselves constantly saying 'ok sleep for a day' much more than in 3.5 so that everyone could get their daily powers back where previously the fighting types only needed healing and the casters could get generally get through a day with spells in reserve.

      4th ed also doesn't lend itself as well to ongoing battles, imagine trying to do the whole Helms Deep kind of thing, the DM would basically have to say 'now the orcs are waiting 5 minutes before attacking again' so that everyone could get back encounter powers. Again previously the casters would just have to ration spells over the entire thing. There's also a nice trade of in 3.5 when you can only cast say 3 5th level spells in a day but have 12 to pick from, should you use some fireballs? Maybe try to teleport away? Perhaps what you really need is a wall of ice or some explosive runes.
      Daily powers take that away from you because you know you can cast each spell once so you always cast each spell once.

      Wow this post got longer than expected.

      Anyway I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do with 5th ed. One of the Magic: The Gathering developers (Tom LaPille) recently moved into D&D R&D, and I'm interested to see what his experience brings.

      Wizards are quite good at actually listening to their player base. I'm sure
      they'll try to bring a lot of both 3.5 and 4th ed into it and hopefully they can make it blend.

    I have a white boxed edition plus various first editions. Dungeon etc. various board games talisman etc - does anyone know how to get this stuff valued for insurance???

      You can take a look at acaeum.com, but the data there seems to have gotten a little stale.

    I suspect they're trying to win back some of the Pathfinder crowd who left when Wizards of the Coast jumped to a new version so soon after 3.5 was released. Paizo decided to create Pathfinder - a 3.5 compatible system that remains under the Open Gaming License, and can utilize all the 3.0-3.5 books. Those books are expensive man.

    IMO - AD&D 'died' after 2nd Edition.

    My friends and I hated 3rd Edition and everything thereafter, so we 'modified' the 2nd Edition rules to suit our needs and played with those.

    I no longer consider "D&D" to be 'Dungeons & Dragons" - it's as some other posters have intimated, all about miniatures.

    Take AD&D. Fix the THAC0 wierdness, replace with a system that makes sense to people without a Ph.D in Mathematics. Done.

    I'm going to show my age here. I grew up playing the original D&D and only moved onto AD&D 2nd edition late in highschool when we'd play from about 7pm on a Friday night until the sun came up the next morning.
    Unfortunately we're all older and live further and further apart making gaming just a dim memory.

    I was interested in 4th ed until I learned that PCs wouldn't have full-round attacks anymore and wizards basically didn't need a spellbook. Plus our group had thousands of dollars of 2nd/3rd ed books and didn't see a point in 'updating'.

    Loved everything about AD&D 2nd Edition except the opaque rules. It was, at the least, a ROLE PLAYING game. The authors clearly left instructions and inspiration for role play everywhere in the books. 3rd edition felt like just a ROLL (dice) playing game; 4th edition looks like an MMO. I want to *role play* in my Role Playing Games. I was glad that 3rd edition rules at least were more sane and consistent than 2nd ed, but all the soul and spirit left. 4th edition? I'll leave MMOs to be on computers, thanks. I want role play, not tactical jobs. Who the hell chooses to be a Main Tank as their career? You choose to be a Fighter (we call it 'soldier'), then get assigned or choose where you fit in an army (IF you want to join one). And I'd like to be a Wizard, not a Controller (whatever the HELL that means) as MY profession. Anyone else feel this makes sense? What does everyone else want in their RPGs?

    My interest in Dungeons and Dragons died out when they released 3rd edition. With this 5th edition it seems like they've just given up completely.

      How are they giving up? They have specifically said they are trying to cater for everyone's needs, and are redesigning the game so everyone can play it. You must be a serious over-achiever if this looks like giving up to you

    If I say the problem is that people are playing to the rules too literally, then someone will say 'what are the rules for if not to play to', and it'll keep going back and forward like that for ages.

    So instead I'll say that perhaps the way that certain people play isn't necessarily suited to 4th Edition and by the same token, some are. Problem solved. Go back to your homes, people.

    I am 15 years old and the only edition of D&D I have ever played is 4e, but to a lot of people's surprise I do not think it is the best edition. I like 4e, but it has way too many rules that can be just as easily resolved by a GM. I have a LOT of hope for 5e, because I have read lots of OD&D vs AD&D vs 3.x vs 4e "edition wars" arguments (without participating in any) and I see flaws in ALL editions. 5e will be published in a modular format, so if I see something I don't like (eg. Teiflings, Dragonborn or Miniatures based combat) then I don't have to use it at all. Granted, I tried not to use them anyway, but now that is a lot easier.

    As much as I'd like to be skeptical, making the game as open as possible is pretty much the right course of action, and it sounds like Wizards actually understand that.

    Pretty rare for a dev to actually understand the problem with their game. If I played DnD I'd have high hopes for this.

    But I don't need rules to roleplay, so, I'll just keep on my way~

    I think a lot of roleplaying opportunities in D&D games come from the DM. When I started out with tabletop 3.5 D&D, I had a DM who wrote the adventure story and all its characters from scratch.Every other DM i've played with have been using official Wizards adventure books. With an original story, there was plenty of flexibility for unexpected twists and turns due to wildcard players (Ooooh, the memories!).

    What 3.5 had going for it which 4th ed doesn't, are all the cute non-combat spells which could be used in combat or to solve puzzles in an unexpected way.

    4th ed took those endearing abilities and spells away which was really disappointing. I could no longer cast a spell to increase my skill in a cross class skill performing (violin) by 10, to impress a certain important NPC,

    Whoever works on 5th ed, I hope you guys do a good job to embody the spirit of the D&D world, in all its glory and non-combat flexibility of days gone by.

    Essentially I just went to Pathfinder, seemed to fix the flaws in 3/3.5 and had rules for attempting the stuff I wanted to do.

    4th edition seemed like a combat simulator rather than a D&D game.

    As for what llama1996 said, Rule 0 I have removed things that didn't fit my vision from every RPG game I've ever played, yes I discussed this with the players but I really hated the Monk class in D&D 3.0 it just seemed so out of place. Monks in European fantasy are not Shaolin Martial artists but a religous sect. Hence they where removed from every D&D game I ran/played in by unamimous vote.

    I'll take a wait and see approach to 5th edition but I'm pretty happy with Pathfinder.

    Oh and I started in 2nd Edition AD&D. I do not miss THAC0 one bit. It was really an intimidating equation for new players to understand. Where as 3.x is D20+Bonus-Penalty vs AC. But I do miss 2nd edition Athas.

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