June 6, 2014

5E Friday

Still mulling the D&D release info on the next version (notice how I didn't call it an edition) of D&D, specifically the announced adventures...

-It seems to me that the two adventure set (Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat) are almost essential to playing this new version of D&D. With the MM (monsters) and DMG (magic items) coming out after the adventures and at least a month after the PH, the only way to understand monsters and magic items is to see them in the adventures. Are the release adventures "core products"...at least until the later MM and DMG release?

-Why ever did WotC go to an outsider for the writing of their release adventures? I know they have some excellent adventure writers of their own; they could have easily have done them in-house. Instead they opted to pay an outsider extra money to write them. I suspect by tapping Kobold Design they are trying to accomplish a couple of things...
Show that they are willing to work with outside companies. Could this be a sign of a robust OGL..or a way to fool us into thinking there will be one? I fear this could end up similar to Numenera's licensing; very stringent and not friendly at all. 
Piggybacking on the good name of Kobold Press. Kobold Press has done a good job of establishing themselves as a neutral game company of high quality. If they are willing to work with WotC on the newest version of D&D, then everyone else should as well...right?

-I like that the adventures are a two-adventure series. Most of the early adopters of the new D&D will finish the adventures shortly after the DMG is released where upon they will start creating their own settings/adventures or buying the ones WotC releases thereafter. The timing is good as it doesn't require a long term commitment to playing the starting adventures. A group can play the two and then decide if they like the newest version of D&D by then.
 
-In case there was any doubt, WotC is latching onto Forgotten Realms again and making it their flagship setting. The initial release adventures are set firmly in the Forgotten Realms.

2 comments:

Aoi said...

Sure 5e (5v?) bears resemblance to older editions (esp 2e/3e) and is by no means as radical a departure as 4e was (for better or worse). There's enough different going on that I couldn't, say, pick up a 4e adventure and play it in Next without conversions. So isn't it still a new edition of the game in the strictest sense? This may be semantics though... what's the difference between a new "version" and a new "edition"?

- I don't know that the two adventures are "essential" insofar as I could just use the Basic D&D stuff (free pdfs WotC is releasing that contain the rules needed to play) and the play test docs to make my own adventures if I want. That's what my group's doing already. But you're right; it's an timing strategy that does make it more likely people will buy the adventures sort of by default. Same with the starter set.

- on going to outsiders: 4e adventures were, on average, really not great (with a few notable exceptions). They do have good adventure writers on staff or freelance, but they don't use them for that purpose very often. Going to Kobold, who make great, flavorful adventures reliably, was a great move for (at least) the first two adventures of an edition. All the stuff about the OGL may be true, but I think it's more likely that the license Kobold got is special for the purpose of creating these adventure and will be totally unrelated to what the OGL (or whatever) will be.

- agreed that two adventures, especially if those are pretty substantial, is unexpected and maybe a pretty good way to do a series.

- yeah: I can't wait for some 5e Eberron. But the nice part about the Realms is that it is so huge and well-developed that basically there's something not dissimilar to whatever sort of micro-setting you want. I think my players will be cool hanging out in Waterdeep or Neverwinter until then...

Callin said...

The thing with 4E adventures they only got better later and most of the people who wrote them (Logan Bonner, etc) were let go by WotC.