Douglas Milewski (dacuteturtle) wrote,
Douglas Milewski

5th Edition

D&D is now headed into its 5th edition. Alas, 4th, I hardly played thee.

Really, I hardly played it. I would have loved to play it more, but my group just didn't get into 4th.

I understand about the reboot. It's all about money. This isn't a cynical observation. The business that owns D&D is not seeing enough profit, so the suits are doing what they do best and monkeying with the business unit again. The job of a suit is to be dissatisfied with a business unit and rearrange it to make more money.

'Tis a shame for 4th.

From the DM's perspective, 4th is the best system that I've ever touched. I could whip up a game in no time.

From the player perspective, which is the one that matters most, the system came out so-so. I still consider the system far better than 3rd, but the character system did not feel like D&D, and that is what matters to most players, who are the bulk of the people spending money.

Where did 4th go wrong? I don't know. Lots of folks will claim to know, I think. I think the recession had a big impact. Those who hopped to Pathfinder felt like they were adding to an already large investment, while those hopping to Fourth saw themselves going to a new investment. Perception, here, is everything. When money is tight, you conserve, or you do what looks like conserving.

The tabletop market is also shrinking. The industry needs to figure out how to pick up the kids from the MMO market. I think the best way is to have a free core, like a free MMO. The trick is figuring out how to pay for the game past then. I think subscription could be good. Pay per class for online tools? If you could get the Rogue tool for $5, getting into the game could be pretty cheap. The tool here is perception. The cost must be perceived of as cheap. $5 may seem low, but once you buy all character classes, you've spent $45. That's more than a paper book.

My bet is that the next edition will have a strong electronic component.

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