Dungeons and Dragons has had its claim on the title of the most popular tabletop roleplaying game for years, and 5th edition, or 5e, has made that hold much tighter. Fans of the game have loved the innovations and accessibility of it over previous editions.
As we near the sixth year of 5e’s lifespan, it seems we are due for a new edition based on the previous two edition releases. The highly anticipated 6e has a lot of potential that fans are excited for, and it also comes with some things that have fans worried. New players and veterans alike have some thoughts on what 6e should look like, and now those thoughts have been magically transformed into these entries.
10 Want: Montagable Fights
Fights seem to be the bane of many players’ time during a regular Dungeons and Dragons session. They can be extremely lengthy and absolutely drain the party’s energy. Unless someone cuts the boredom with a funny move or a goof, it is a whole lot of sitting and checking in with the DM.
One improvement that has been suggested is montage-like fight scenes. Rather than go through 6 sets of goblins, using initiative rolls, and wasting time, you could have a roll-off system where a battle is determined by one roll of the dice, rather than 11.
9 Worried: Not Being Playable By Just Anyone
One of the biggest draws to 5e was the fact that just about anyone can learn it with relative ease. This is one of the main reasons that D&D has been able to reenter the public consciousness on positive terms.
The current edition has paved the way for more participants, but a new system with more specific and specialized requirements would do more harm than good. There will always be gamers, but the average person jumping in should be welcomed, not turned away.
8 Want: Differentiating Resource Models
The idea of time in a campaign can be interesting, because you can have a party have to wait for a few minutes to jump into action, or a few days. One of the issues that comes up related to time are the resting periods, which seem to be whatever the DM says can or can’t work in practice.
The guidelines are very specific about what happens during rests, but that wording also harms the way the game is played. There are countless ways to change this up, typically found in fan-created works or house rules, but it would be nice to see different levels included in the core game.
7 Worried: Moving Away From Different Setup Styles
Space and movement is a big part of the game, but 5e allows players to be pretty lax about exactly where something is at any given time. This is because theater of the mind has become much more prevalent over mini-figures and grid maps.
The next edition needs to keep in mind that the mind is a powerhouse. Instead of going back to rules like Pathfinder had where spacing was a much bigger deal, fans are worried that this common way of playing will be unattainable.
6 Want: Official Monster Races From Go
The Player’s Handbook has three monstrous races in it; Dragonborn, Tieflings and Half-Orcs, if you count them. While about a dozen monstrous races have been officially published, it took nearly a year before any other races were released.
Players want to play as monsters; this has been proven over and over. Goblins, Bugbears, Kobolds, and Orcs are common entry-level enemies, so it stands to reason that they’d be playable early on. It’d be especially nice to be able to play them at Dungeons and Dragons events, which cannot be done for many extended races currently.
5 Worried: Splitting The Players
A major worry is something that occurred when 5e was released, and to a lesser degree 4e. When 5e was first taking off, fans who had been playing 3.5e for years had to deal with changes, so there was a split in players. Some stayed in 3.5e and some moved onto 5e.
Depending on how 6e is formatted, with many expecting it to split players into the same two categories, 5e and 6e players. This is something that Wizards of the Coast has noted before, so it is at least on the radar of worries for fans.
4 Want: Well-Defined Skills
A player wants to jump across a ravine and the DM asks them to roll an Acrobatics or Athletics check. That makes sense, but when you get into the more niche checks, you start running into problems. The only two skills that have been given clear definitions are Perception and Investigation since they are the most used.
These other skills, like medicine, history, and survival, are just thrown in by DMs in places where they think they would go. It would be nice to have the skills given a bit more in-depth explanations. Fans have been doing this for years, so acknowledging it would be an improvement.
3 Worried: Absorbing Popular Creations
Online resources like Dungeon Masters Guild have been the backbone of Dungeons and Dragons, because it offers players so much more content, rules, explanations, and plenty of other implements for the game. With Wizards of the Coast recognizing these smaller creators, in both negative and positive ways, the company can clearly see what can be popular.
The worry is that they just start absorbing the best items and keeping it as their own. It is just bad business practice, yet it is something that can be done legally without repercussion.
2 Want: Balanced Classes
At level 15, a Wizard and a Fighter should be on the same footing, but as anyone can see, this just isn’t the case. The classes start off fairly balanced in the early stages, in terms of action economy and general power, but at higher levels, classes like Fighter, Warlock, and Ranger get left behind.
There is never going to be a perfect balance when it comes to character classes, but there should feel like each class is leading to something. Also, just in general, a proper fix to the Ranger class would be grand.
1 Worried: Being Too Different
Obviously, the biggest worry about switching to a new edition is that it is going to be a completely different feeling game. New rules, class balances, and cool upgrades will make some people feel excluded, but there are some improvements that need to be made, even though the chances of over-correcting are high.
People have fallen in love with the game based on experience, so changes to the experience can be jarring. They don’t have to be such a different beast however. As long as 6e doesn’t look and feel exactly like Shadowrun or Pathfinder, it should be okay.
A new edition of Dungeons & Dragons is hopefully coming soon, and here's what fans want and don't want out of the latest version.