Posted by : David Guyll August 16, 2014
That game would be...an actually decent successor to 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.
4th Edition has it's problems. No, I'm not talking about the trollshit, uninformed, arbitrary claims of class "samey-ness", superheroic characters, "magical" fighters, video game button mashing, the "always perfectly balanced so that the characters can win without being killed or even really challenged" encounters, or all that other crap that was disproved over six years ago.
I'm talking legitimate problems, like how combat can take too long to setup and get through (especially the "trash fights"), characters can accumulate too many things to keep track of, the default power structure is not ideal for conveying/evoking the fiction/narrative behind each class, some class concepts are pointlessly rooted in the past (like bards and clerics), pseudo-Vancian magic is a thing, the +1 bonus every two levels is fucking pointless, skill challenges need some refinement, and so on.
Yeah, a lot of those things can be easily houseruled away (in particular the hit points, half-level bonus, and combat setup), but some of the other stuff (power structure and accumulation) would take a lot more work, especially if you wanted to get it right, and that's what I was hoping to see out of 5th Edition. Not a pointless regression to the past for it's own sake, but a game that took 4th Edition, stripped out the bad shit, and continued to innovate and evolve the game.
Which of course is not what we got. We got something "classic". Something that stuck to the traditions of editions past, good or bad (I mean they shoehorned in Hit Dice for fucks sake). Something that was familiar in all the bad ways. Something that was different enough—but not so different as to scare away the traditionalists and grognards, mind you—to get you to buy all new books for a game that you basically already own.
Me? I can tack on a botched "roll two dice and keep the best/worst" system and houserule in a shallow implementation of FATE's aspects (we actually gave that a shot during our 4th Edition run of Sundered World). I don't need to pay a company with two teams of "designers" over a hundred bucks for the privilege of playing with some antiquated rules from a previous edition that I already paid them for, even if they did dress it up with new art.