Monday, January 9, 2012

Big Whoopin' Surprise: 5e

That Wizards of the Coast was working on 5e was no news.  That they have announced it, is.  Most of the revealed direction is pretty predictable if you have been reading Mearls' and Cook's web postings.  Clearly, they want to broaden their customer base by recapturing players of Pathfinder and older editions.  It looks to me like they are trying to move in the direction of an Open Playtest, but are not willing to commit themselves to the behemoth task that a truly open one would entail.

In all of the media coverage of this so far, the lack of mentioning Paizo's connections to the developments seems pretty ignorant or disingenuous in the reporting, making the coverage look more like ads for Hasbro than true reporting.  (Chalk up another victory for business and another defeat for knowledge in the game of journalism.)  Articles linked below.

WOTC's annoucement.
NYTimes article.
Forbes article.


  1. I saw what you did there with the cover choice, PhDiddy.

  2. Anonymous Bending Robot: I have a limited number of images to chose from, since I will only use something from the D&D Fan's toolkit.

  3. I hasten to add, however, that I am thankful for their offering anything at all for fan use.

  4. WotC quickly "perceived" that Dancy's push for the OGL was a threat to their bottom line, hence the craptacular GSL under 4e and now nothing under 5e. WotC decided long ago to provide no spotlight/support for 3pp, but the game-buying public were still treating WotC positively for "being open." By having no OGL/GSL in 5e, WotC's intentions should finally be clear to all but the most deluded WotC fanboys.

    The OGL works, but it also means publishers have to stay innovative and provide quality products at a reasonable price point. If you are WotC, putting out tons of bloatware and expecting your customers to pay for the privilege of beta-testing, someone (like Paizo) will eat your lunch and drink your milkshake. See also: WotC's douchetacular decision to pull all legitimately-purchased PDFs.

    tl;dr: Long live the OGL, Paizo, and Pathfinder.

  5. If you are a retailer with a shelf full of 4e/Essentials, what are you supposed to feel about your relationship with WotC now? If you are a struggling game shop who has to keep buying slow-moving 4e/Essentials to keep getting MtG stock, what are you feeling about WotC now?

  6. I'm just happy I don't have a dog in this particular fight. Oh, and that Ryan Dancy was so foresighted as to craft the OGL so as to be irrevokable. I am awaiting the eventual fate of the GSL.

  7. I have to echo a few others' comments that I hope WotC is successful in this endeavor. Regardless of how I felt (or more accurately, *didn't* feel) for 4e, D&D is the name brand associated with the RPG hobby. If it completely goes away, it will be a loss for all of us.

    That said, I am happy with the Pathfinder RPG rules. I like running and playing it, and I find that the rules allow me to write the kinds of material that I enjoy producing. It suits me just fine to have Paizo stay at the top of the list of RPG publishers for a very long time to come.

    Sorry...had to correct a mistype.

  8. I'm pretty happy with Pathfinder, and more importantly I no longer have ANY faith in WotC as a company that cares for it's fans...

    I do like that in one of the articles Mearls (?) admitted to making the game too much like an MMO... That really justifies a lot of things I got shouted down for on ENWorld when the game was released.




  10. Yeap. This is just background noise for me. I'm pretty settled in to my gaming habits now.