The Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition rules have been released for almost 4 years and entering into its 5th by the time of this article. Nearly five years of stories, games, and new material fostered by both the official sources at Wizards of the Coast and many third-party publishers (such as Kobold Press, and indie publishers such as Limitless Adventures, Cawood Publishing, Poison Potion Press). The overwhelming success of 5th Edition has helped sparked a colossal boom referred to many has a Tabletop Renaissance. People still love 5th Edition, and the game continues to march strong, but over time, gamemasters and players seek to adapt their favorite rules systems to fit genres and stories they wish to tell. Often times, such reworks require assessing the core rules and determining the qualities to retain or modify. It can be a lengthy process, but I believe that a game that continues to change (or can change) and adapt to fit the needs of the players and its community has the chance to endure longer. We can always talk more about the future of 5e, but for today, I want to showcase a project that is attempting to spearhead us into the future by utilizing 5th Edition’s modular design to fit not one but three different distinct genres of storytelling.

Introducing 5th Evolution by Limitless Adventures

Our friends at Limitless Adventures bring a new Kickstarter into their repertoire, but this time it’s not D&D related. They have been hard at work developing a new product and expanding the 5th Edition rules, that is a “marriage of comics and roleplaying.” You learn more about the Kickstarter here.

I had the opportunity to reach out to Andy Hand of Limitless Adventures to ask a few questions regarding their latest Kickstarter and what backers can expect. Afterward, I’ll be throwing in my two cents on the importance of this project and why it will shape the future for the D&D 5e ruleset.

What is 5Evo or 5th Evolution?

Simply put, 5Evo is 5E rules used in non-medieval fantasy genres.

What was the inspiration behind 5Evo?
A love of comics and DnD. Also, we kept seeing people trying to use the 5E rules to do non-fantasy worlds.

Why did you decide to adopt the D&D 5th Edition ruleset? Did D&D 5th Edition’s modular nature help contribute to your decision?

5E is easy to learn, was thoroughly playtested, and people can be intimidated by learning new systems. If they play 5th edition, GMs will be able to get them to play 5Evo. 

What makes 5Evo different from other systems or settings that utilize the D&D 5th Edition SRD and OGL?

5EVo isn’t high-fantasy. If you want to play high fantasy, play DnD (I do twice a week), but if you’d like to try a new genre, or the ability to mix genres, 5Evo is worth a look.

What makes 5Evo different from other systems or settings that utilize the D&D 5th Edition SRD and OGL?

5EVo isn’t high-fantasy. If you want to play high fantasy, play DnD (I do twice a week), but if you’d like to try a new genre, or the ability to mix genres, 5Evo is worth a look. 

What Can You Expect in 5th Evolution & this Kickstarter!

5th Evolution sports three sourcebooks that conceptualize and manifest three genres: superheroes, 80’s style horror, and World War 2. Each book contains a comic to serve as a visual to introduce readers to the genre as well as the setting. Additionally, each genre sourcebook has a one-shot adventure written to get GMs and players ready to go and play. Finally, the sourcebooks provide monsters, equipment, and characters to create their own adventures in that particular genre.

What makes 5Evo different from other systems or settings that utilize the D&D 5th Edition SRD and OGL?

5EVo isn’t high-fantasy. If you want to play high fantasy, play DnD (I do twice a week), but if you’d like to try a new genre, or the ability to mix genres, 5Evo is worth a look.

How does 5Evo utilize character creation compared to the existing D&D ruleset?

This is where we take the biggest departure from DnD. 5Evo doesn’t use levels. Level work well for fantasy, where you take a very subscribed heroes journey from peasant to king/high priest/archmage/etc, but other genres don’t follow this pattern. Can you imagine a level 1 Hulk? Or a level 20 Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis’s character from Halloween)? All the creatures (be it humans, aliens, monsters, supers, etc) use the monster stat blocks. Why? Many reasons, as I said before, superheroes start powerful and generally don’t increase in power dramatically. Also, classes are wildly unbalanced and end up in tier charts on some forum. Also, there aren’t any clear guidelines for the creation of classes, but there are detailed rules for the making of balanced monsters.

Please walk us through the design process used to develop 5Evo.

It was/is a long process. I really had to dissect every single monster in the MM to and create a table of balanced information and kick out some outliers. This was the only way to ensure our characters and adversaries in 5Evo are extremely balanced and compatible with other 5E products.

What led to the decision to create three different smaller sourcebooks?

We originally wanted five, but we underestimated the time and work involved in creating a single comic book. We want to do several different genres and then let their success dictate which books get follow up issues. Each issue will have a comic, an adventure and additional source materials.

The Future of 5th Edition

Inevitably, there will come a day when Wizards of the Coast will unveil a new edition of D&D. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. There have been occasional mentions of utilizing the modular nature of 5th Edition and refining the ruleset, so it’s compatible with its future self. But for right now, you get to take advantage of new groundbreaking ideas on how to interpret the rules system and expand it. This is an essential step in the natural evolution of a game system, it’s adaptability and flexibility to be molded into something familiar but distinct from itself. I have personally talked about creating a generalized 5th Edition system akin to what D20 Modern did for the D&D 3.5 OGL. This is a sign that the winds are changing soon, and you will not want to miss it! It is definitely worth checking out and exploring for yourself! It might even give you some of your own ideas!

What is the future of Limitless Adventures? Will you still be producing content for both Dungeons & Dragons and 5Evo?

D&D is my first love. I will play that game until the day they peel my corpse out of the Taco Bell booth I die in. We will always write D&D content (as long as there is an OGL of course). As for 5Evo, we have a lot of ideas and we’ll see how it goes. We wanted to steer into open waters and do something new.

So thank you again for reading along, and I hope your curiosity about 5th Evolution by Limitless Adventures has made you somewhat curious about it. Please check them out on their Kickstarter and also learn more about 5th Evolution on their website. I’ve been a big fan of Limitless Adventures (you can find previous reviews here) and cannot wait to see this significant step for them!

You can learn more about 5th Evolution here.
Please check out their Kickstarter here.


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