May 30, 2014

5E Friday

The HUGE announcement this week was that the Basic Rules will be free. You can now play the new version of D&D for free (when it is released in July). This leads me to several thoughts...

-The success of 5E will completely rest on the system. People will be able to decide if they like it before they even buy it. If 5E is going to do well it will have to by providing a system people will enjoy using. Has WotC crafted such a system?

-Of course, from what I have seen of the reactions to this news, a lot of people are signing onto 5E that were not before. With the news of the Basic Rules being free people have said they are now ordering the Starter Set and will likely get the "Advanced" books. This is a radical change from "I'll wait and see" to "I will be taking a look at it".

-The positive publicity from this is HUGE. It completely shuts up the people complaining about the prices for 5E. WotC has been seen by some as a money grabbing company. They still are (as every company designed to make money is) but now it is harder for people to say it with as much venom as they did in the past. It's impossible to belittle WotC for 5E when they are giving it away for free.

-What does this mean for the others rpgs out there? Retroclones reduced the barrier to their games by giving the rules away for free. Now WotC has also removed that barrier. Can 5E actually unite the fans of retroclones into one game system. Already I have seen some people eager to apply their retroclone sensibilities to 5E with their expressions of what they will add to the system, much the same as they have done with the retroclones.
Sure the various retroclones have their fans and will continue, but I suspect with a robust 5E that is able to handle the gaming style of the OSR (assuming it can accomplish this) I see a shift to 5E.

-I know I harp on this but...what is the OGL going to look like? Does it even matter if a person can use the original OGL that gave us the retroclones with the 5E rules?
Edit: They have since announced there will be no news about the OGL until 2015.

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