There’s speculation on ENWorld about whether a D&D 5th Edition is in the works already. I contemplated what this would require. Seems to me that they’d want to wait until they could make every part of the game collectible. The optimal 5th Edition would need to:
- Require collectible minis
- Require collectible cards
- Require collectible dice
- Require a monthly electronic subscription
- Eliminate the Dungeon Master
By my count they’re already at 3/5 of those figured out. They have collectible minis, and you just declare them to be required like in Warhammer. They just added the cards, and they’ve had the subscription.
If they dust off the old Dragon Dice and make it so you use the collectible dice instead of standard ones, you have the dice. I hear WFRP 3e does that to a degree, using a bunch of custom dice. And they’ve been working on reducing the role of the DM over the course of 4e, and they have designers familiar with some of the new GM-less indie RPGs I bet – you could just obsolete the DM. For adventures, just extend the Encounters format, even mixing that up and making it collectible or driven from the electronic subscription – “I just got Tweeted a bonus room!”
And then just do a quick run-through of the rules to stomp out all remaining vestiges of in-character roleplaying, and you have the perfect game. Every single aspect of it would require continuous spend. And there would be no need for imagination, immersion, originality, invention, or other dirty and unquantifiable factors in the player base. It would be trivial to convert into computer gaming properties at that point too.
The perfect game.