Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My 2 Cents about 5E

There's a lot of noise right now about the 5th edition of D&D. Some like it, some don't. The usual. What made me write this were some concerns I read somewhere about how the OSR and small publishers will be affected by this, now that the Coast Wizards are embracing older editions of their game and all that.

Yeah. Well. It shouldn't have that much of an impact, in my opinion. Why? Because it's not about the product. Never was, really. As soon as a DM buys/downloads/whatever some rulebook or another with the intention to use it, he will (has to?) make it his own. And if I look at my blog roll, I see it's happening already. People are posting their first house rules and ideas.

What I'm trying to say here is, there is nothing to worry. If anything, I believe the OSR is still ahead of the curve in that it's full of people that read, write, create and search to build their own holy grail of a "perfect" game.

This fifth edition is just another map to get there, so to say. Because buying a game doesn't make you understand it. Making it your own will.

The fact that 5E easily connects with older editions (and clones, at that) just helps getting more people searching for an answer what this game means to them and how they might use it. And that's a good thing. But the people are what D&D makes work, not a product. A DM recruiting new players gets new folks interested and involved for a long time, not some marketing scheme that will tell you the opposite at the very next opportunity.

So 5E is the New Shiny right now, but shouldn't be seen (or promoted) as the New Standard. It's just another doorless door for those questing for a better game.

My 2 cents, anyway.

Also: in no time we will have buzz about 6E ...


  1. That's a lot of good sense, a very valuable two cents. I think you're bang on too about how close sixth edition is.

  2. Porky! See? The buzz started already and we have front seats :)

    Good to see you back and running, by the way.

  3. This really might well be one of the springs that leads into what in a just few more months could become a raging torrent of discussion. It's inevitable there will be general talk of a sixth - we just don't how far off it is. Live by the sword, die by it; by the edition too? It may be the regular edition concept is supposed to be kept largely behind the curtain, understood but unconsidered, but too frequent an update and too many in all could reveal the nature of the process a little too clearly. At what point does a regular edition cycle becomes a net burden for the given producer?

    1. I guess the rules have to emancipate themselves from the producer at some point, like it had to be sometime in the past with chess or skat (to give but 2 examples). I don't know if we will live to see that happen, but I believe the OSR is a glimpse of what could be/what's to come ...

      It's like with Schrödinger's Cat: maybe the game is already dead, we just don't know it yet. Or it lives long and prosper. Until they announce the sixth edition, that is :)


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