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How is it that you directly contradicted yourself from one paragraph to the next? Doesn't that hurt?
That was exactly what I was expecting, too. Gruesome and deadly, but efficient, and it requires no lost colony of uninfected to further develop the serum and a delivery method.
Is the +1 LA worth it for Hengeyokai (the animal shapechanging people) worth it? It seems like if you get a form that can fly or breath water the +1 LA is ok, but if not you are basiclly a Tibbit. I guess for spying/hiding some of the forms are great.
There's also the fact that, notwithstanding the 3.5e update in Dragon, hengeyokai aren't humanoids, which makes them immune to certain common spell effects. (While the 3.5e update makes them humanoids, I prefer to make them magical beasts, since they're animals that take humanoid shape, not vice versa.)
Agreed. I used to really enjoy coming to the Paizo boards, as they were full of informative, imaginative, humorous, and friendly discussions. Now I can barely stand to skim the recent posts on the front page. The character of the community seems to have completely changed, and it saddens me. Whether or not I actually agree with the points anybody's making, it's exhausting to slog through post after post of people b@!*$ing about every little thing WotC does now.
EN World has retained a more balanced and civil community discussion, with people on opposite sides of multiple issues avoiding the degeneration into pointless repetitive rants (uh, mostly). It's hard for me to see these boards as anything but a rabidly anti-WotC whinefest anymore, and I doubt I'm the only one that sees it that way. It's disappointing, because by avoiding these boards, I'm also missing out on all the other fun discussion that used to take place here.
I'll just bite the bullet and get a printer sold in my local Mac store.
Getting back to your original request, auto-duplexing by the printer isn't so hard to find anymore. I bought a Canon PIXMA iP4300 for a Mac a few months ago; it cost about $100, does great color printing, and will handle the duplexing for you.
Cory Stafford 29 wrote:
No mention of Demogorgon, even though he is supposed to have originated death knights.
I keep seeing this criticism, but is something wrong with me that I see the word "Demogorgon" in this excerpt?:
Dragon 360 wrote:
First introduced in Dragon and then adopted by the Greyhawk campaign setting, Saint Kargoth was a noble human knight who, along with thirteen fellow knights, became a death knight after being corrupted by Demogorgon.
Also, as is pointed out in this excerpt, death knights had nothing to do with Demogorgon when first presented. That was a later addition (around 2 years after appearing in the Fiend Folio), one which I'd never even heard about until Savage Tide.
I expect we will see a much greater use of new names, proper nouns, and other means to help keep 4E's fluff safely closed and thus providing distinctiveness to the official D&D brand. WotC is committed to a 4E SRD only because they have to, not out of principle. That is, if 4E remained closed, that'd create a real opportunity for someone to come in and produce a v.3.5-compatible "Wizards & Warriors" game to lure away people who might eventually upgrade to 4E. WotC doesn't want that, so 4E will be open, but I'd wager good money that it'll be done a fair bit more cynically than last time around.
That could be, but between FR, Eberron, Greyhawk, the wealth of 2e settings they could revive, and new setting material, I don't see WotC hurting for potentially valuable IP. I really doubt that the default multiversal structure, whether it be the Great Wheel or something new, really contributes much to that. IOW, while they may make more use of the IP in a new default setting, that doesn't seem like a sufficient reason for or against sweeping changes to the cosmology.
The Devils and Demons article made it clear to me that what WotC is doing with 4E is creating an entirely new IP. The 3E SRD more or less "gave away the store" when it came to 30+ years of accumulated D&D story. With the exception of things like mind flayers, beholders, etc. (which were removed from the SRD after the initial release), pretty much all the iconic elements of D&D are out there for any company that wants to use them to do with as they please. I have absolutely no doubt that someone at WotC (or Hasbro, or both) looked at this and asked, "So what makes D&D, as a brand, distinctive anymore?"
It's an interesting hypothesis, but I don't see how this article supports it. None of the story elements being replaced (the Great Wheel's outer planes, the Blood War, demon princes and archdevils, etc.) were ever released as part of the SRD. They have no need to replace the Great Wheel for purposes of regaining control of their IP; they never gave that away.
Are you doubting that reimagined devils and demons won't make it into the 4e SRD? If so, I guess we can only wait and see.
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
I don't think too many would object to changes in the rules mechanics, provided they are cool and good, other than on the "Man, do I have to spend more money on rulebooks?" aspect. But changing key elements of the fluff is possibly a bigger deal, because it has grown up over time and is part of the D&D scenery.
Judging by reactions, you may be right about that. But for me, it's just the opposite. The cosmology hinted at in the Devils & Demons article sounds like it could be interesting on its own, but I have plans for Planescape campaigning, so I'll be completely ignoring it for that purpose. Granted, combining that cosmology with adventuring in Kara-Tur/Maztica/etc. twists me into contortions, but I'd rather deal with that and keep the Planescape campaign setting material, and the larger history of the D&D multiverse, intact.
What's more annoying is mechanical changes I have to undo (like turning succubi back into demons). As long as the individual creatures are mostly the same (i.e., are fairly direct mechanical translations), I can ignore their new back stories when I plug them into earlier-edition adventures. But major conceptual differences (e.g., marilith become mindless, winged, half-draconic demons that spray acid from their eyes*) mean I'd have to completely recreate the creature. The scope of those kinds of changes is still unclear.
* That is a totally hypothetical example. I have no idea what they're doing with mariliths. Just wanted to clear that up before I saw a "Mariliths are acid-spraying half-dragons!" thread pop up at ENWorld.
There is a matter of trust. Simply put, I don't trust them to be honest with us, because they haven't been honest with us in the past. How long will 4th edition last? I don't know, but I don't really expect it to make it the 12 years they're 'promising'.
Huh? You know, it makes it really difficult to see someone as honest when you expect them to live up to a promise they never made. Unless you can point to a statement I totally missed?
Erik Mona wrote:
That answer applies to two contexts for me: one in which I'm in the planning stages for a large campaign, and another in which I'm playing in a campaign that's been going since 2002. For the campaign I'm planning, if 4e greatly simplifies things for me (which it looks like it will) while retaining enough flavor (not sure yet), I'll switch over. For the campaign where I'm a player, if 4e looks really good, I'll try to convert the rest of my group. I don't expect to make final decisions until around the time the books come out.
It really is. I started noticing that in terms of the amount of background material that the players will probably never discover. The Kaijitsu family history? An escaped hellcat? That's all DM gravy, and a lot of fun to read.
But I was a bit put off by the font size. I appreciate packing in the content, and normally I'm a fan of tight text, but this was a little cramped even for me. I wouldn't mind the main body text being slightly larger.
Michael F wrote:
In the numbers above, I was assuming that the stat block was correct in assigning Bruthazmus a 17 Str, and that he also had a +4-Strength composite longbow for some reason. (Maybe he found it somewhere. Maybe he used to have an 18 Str, but his precious bodily fluids have been sapped by the lovely :-P goblin ladies of the harem. Maybe using an 18-Str bow makes him feel stronger than he is. Who knows, he's a dumb bugbear.)
But yeah, if he's more reasonable and uses a +3-Strength bow, then his attack bonus with the bow improves to +8, while his damage remains 1d8 +3.
"Jack of all trades" should not mean "Useless". The spell-sword should contribute just as much as a wizard or a fighter, but in a different way. Instead a fighter/wizard is a poor substitue for both. Without proper synery between the two classes, usually provided by some hooky prestige class, the player falls behind into a secondary role much better served by a cohort or hireling.
And it's funny that despite all the kvetching about how broken those PrCs were when 3.5e was released, it still seems like the compromise wasn't enough to get a lot of people playing eldritch knights and mystic theurges (thus leading to further experiments like the combo-class feats from the later Complete books, and classes like the duskblade). Getting that multiclassing to work, being attractive and balanced simultaneously, is going to be really tricky.
So, looks like those annoying favored classes are out the window, which is good because my group ignored them anyway. Do you think the new level based race abilities will encourage a 'favored' class in some other way?
In a recent staff blog there was mention of "suggested" classes for races, and that racial abilities tend to work especially well (albeit not exclusively) with features and themes of their suggested classes. It sounds a lot more natural than the favored class hack. (Favored classes are way better than racial level limits, but only because level limits were so monumentally awful.)
This does have effects on his other stats, which aren't all written for 18 Str:
1) Attack bonus for heavy flail becomes +7 (+3 BAB +4 Str).
Alternatively, you could leave his Strength at 17, and make the following changes:
1) Damage for heavy flail becomes 1d10+4.
Lastly, his favored enemy bonus should be +2.
Christopher West wrote:
It is possible, I suppose, that future Maps of Mystery in WotC's online continuation of Dungeon will refer to places on the Lands of Mystery map. I would ask you folks, though: is that something you'd like to see? Or should no further places from the Lands of Mystery poster be mapped? My plan was to leave these cities and dungeons and wilderness places undeveloped, but enough people have been asking for more that I might consider revisiting them. Would that be a good thing, or a bad thing?
Yay for more maps!
I was already planning on using a couple of the individual site maps for future adventures in the campaign I've started for my seven-year-old daughter, and the poster map is just begging me to set the whole campaign in it. Very cool!
Whimsy Chris wrote:
Whimsy Chris wrote:
While I think WotC managed to rebuild the gamer base with 3e, I think they are losing it for 4e. Not because 4e is a bad move, but because their PR is so poor. Of course, I love this game and I hope I'm wrong and I hope Sebastian gets his pie.
Good points, well presented, and you could be right. I, too, hope you aren't, though. :) I'd rather have a new game that's so mind-blowingly good I won't mind converting all the stuff I've already done for 3e. We'll see what happens. <crossed fingers>
The point of all of this was that in the end, the game system, despite its radical departure from almost all of the d20/3.5 concepts, did not materially affect the outcome of the scenario or the playing time. In effect the new rules did a much better job of describing how certain things were possible or occurred, but it did not in the end change what occurred. The only real benefit derived by use of the new system was that it made everyone feel much better about the why of things. This benefit was offset by the loss of standardization and the loss of readily available supporting materials.
But what if those rules became the new standard, and started attracting lots of supporting materials? Would it be worth changing the rules system?
Hypothetical question, of course, with an eye toward evaluating 4e in the context of balancing loss of compatibility vs. improved rules. In your case, you had a new set of rules that seemed to work pretty well. If a lot of other people started playing by the same rules, and support materials were released, would it have been worth converting?
Seeing how 4th edition might shake up the AP, check out Rich Baker's latest blog: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=906386#post13606231
Yeah, the effects on the STAP are one of the first things I thought of. I don't like it, because this change, and what it implies they're willing to do with outsiders and the Outer Planes in general, will make it even more difficult to adapt Planescape for 4e than for 3e (which wasn't actually that hard).
Larry Lichman wrote:
I would bet you're wrong about that. Really, read the WotC folks' blogs, read their posts on the WotC boards, read their posts at EN World. Your characterization of them is totally at odds with what you get from their own words.
Marc Radle 81 wrote:
As I've said before in other threads, I really think not having Dragon to sort of herald the impending release of 4E and give sneak peeks will prove to be a big negative to WOTC that they apparently, amazingly in fact, did not foresee.
How many people that read Dragon don't visit WotC's Web site, at least occasionally? I would bet that WotC has a pretty accurate answer to that question.
Whimsy Chris wrote:
OK, this is going to come off a lot harsher than it's meant, so hold the flames at least until you see where I'm going....
Paizo surprised us with the Dragon/Dungeon print cancellation just as much as WotC, dropping not a single hint when people asked about follow-up Adventure Paths and sequel Dragon articles and the like, despite knowing about it something like a year in advance. They, and the freelance writers they've employed, kept Pathfinder and the GameMastery modules secret until they had several months of product to announce in advance, and were probably already in the midst of brainstorming the second Pathfinder AP. Did they have reasons for not telling us about these things while they were still making fundamental decisions about them? Of course, very good reasons, and reasons no different than WotC's in withholding information until it's ready for release.
Were there "Design & Development" articles discussing whether goblins or orcs, giants or demons would be the main foes in Rise of the Runelords? Was there a poll on what to name Golarion? No, the Paizo folks trusted their creative talents, their familiarity with the rules, and their understanding of their customer base to make those decisions on their own. These aren't participatory decisions on the part of the community, except in the most indirect way. Certainly, they listen to their customers, and that input plays into later decisions, but if you think that isn't happening at WotC, then you're not paying attention to what they're doing. That doesn't guarantee that you'll like what they end up with, but they are trying to make things that their customers will enjoy. That is, after all, how they get to keep working in the gaming business.
A whole lot of the criticism of WotC gets wrapped up in a bunch of anti-corporate resentment, treating the WotC employees as faceless minions of the Hasbro profit-seeking world-dominating agenda. Read the D&D designers' and developers' blogs, read their posts on EN World and the WotC boards. You may not (and probably won't) agree with all their ideas, but it's absolutely clear that they are all gamers, at least as much as any of their customers. They want to make a game that they themselves will love to play, and that other gamers will love to play. They're also sharp, well-educated, and put a lot of thought into what makes games fun, and what makes D&D special. If you feel the need to criticize their work, then criticize them as human beings with interests and lifestyles probably quite similar to your own, people you'd probably game with if you met them under other circumstances, and not as evil, borg-like caricatures of real people.
Let me make clear here, Whimsy, that I don't know what your specific views on the situation are, and that I'm stating general reactions to a lot of the recent, and IMO unnecessarily vehement and unproductive, criticism. I don't mean this as a direct attack on you or anyone else in particular.
As for Paizo, they're a great bunch, undoubtedly. Their stewardship of Dragon and, especially IMO, Dungeon has been outstanding, and there's every reason to expect that same level of quality (or higher) in all their forthcoming products. A big part of that is their regular presence on these boards. In the past, WotC has done a terrible job of using Internet-based community tools as opportunities for direct contact with their customers, and they've suffered for it. Hopefully they've learned, and there's some evidence that they're starting to rectify that. But they are making an effort to keep their customers in the loop with respect to 4e development. Some people are acting as if 4e were already here, sprung from the mind of WotC fully formed. It's not. We've still got nearly a year for WotC to get more specific in their previews, and for you to decide if you're interested. That's about as customer-based a process as I could expect from a company.
Steve Greer wrote:
Consider me chilled.
Steve Greer wrote:
I may be remembering the ushering in of 3rd Edition with rose-colored glasses. I guess the surpise back then was a welcome one whereas this one was already tainted by what a resounding majority consider WotC's betrayal of the gaming world by ending the print run of Dungeon and Dragon magazines. Add to that the fact that many, if not most, of the gaming world (I have no facts to back that up, only what I've seen and read) were mainly satisfied with the current edition of the game and would have gladly shelled out for an official errata book (ironically, we're actually getting one, but it seems like a wasted investment at this point), rather than a whole new rules system.
WotC definitely has a harder case to make for 4e, given the quality of the 3e rules set and the amount of third-party support compared to 2e. As many have said, it's a perfectly legitimate option to stick with 3e, which mostly works, and spend years catching up on all the good material they still haven't had a chance to play with. WotC has to work at overcoming some of that to sell 4e.
And pulling the licenses of Dragon and Dungeon, and ending their print runs, was certainly a blow, especially for the folks on these boards. In retrospect, I can see why they did it, and I expect it'll probably work to WotC's long-term benefit, but it's a painful change.
Bling Bling wrote:
Granted, D&D has its problems, and it's good for the game to evolve to address those problems and maintain its appeal, but I think WOTC could change its tactics so that new editions and the subsequent plethora of supplements don't seem quite so...profit-motivated. When the latest GURPS edition was released, for example, they immediately made all the rules changes available in a single file for free download on their website, so buying the new edition was merely an option for those who wanted a spiffy new book, and older editions retained their value. They did this with previous editions too. Now that's customer appreciation. Hint, Hint, WOTC...
And WotC has had a free SRD online since 2000, containing nearly all the core rules of D&D (and including later additions such as psionics, divine rules, and the Unearthed Arcana variants). That was a risky move for them back then. And one of the first things they confirmed about 4e is that there will continue to be a free SRD and an OGL. As for supplements, SJG doesn't release the contents of their ever-growing library for free, either; in fact, they don't even release the full or nearly-full set of basic rules for free, do they?
If the beef is with backward compatibility, that's a strong reason to consider staying away from a new edition, if you're really satisfied with the current rules and have lots of gaming material for it. But backward compatibility is a double-edged sword.
Steve Greer wrote:
Steve, chill. You don't know what kind of gamer I am, and your anger is getting the best of you. I wasn't making any comment on WotC's past public relations prior to the 4e announcement. What I was responding to was this:
Steve Greer wrote:
I believe the run-up to 4e will be very well-documented in Dragon. There will almost certainly be ads for 4e placed in FLGS's everywhere. If they don't already, I imagine it won't take much longer for anyone who might be interested in 4e to know that it's coming. And I expect a bunch of articles on WotC's Web site providing insight and sneak peeks into new feats, class abilities, monsters, and other 4e-isms. You're criticizing WotC for not having all these things in place, when they've just started and have nine months to go yet.
And as for contrasting the 3e and 4e introductions: the first time WotC talked about 3e at Gen Con was just as much a surprise as this one, and 4e has a plenty long lead-in ahead. They don't seem substantially different in either way.
Was WotC actively obfuscating the upcoming 3e announcement prior to Gen Con 1999? No, probably not. But then, nobody (or at least, hardly anybody) was asking them about a putative 3e back then, so they didn't have to, very unlike the situation prior to this year's Gen Con.
Steve Greer wrote:
Um... are we not getting about nine months' worth of lead-in? Maybe a bit less than with 3e, but well in advance of product launch. And we're starting to see preview articles already, and we'll be getting a lot more than with 3e eventually, due to the increased online presence compared to 1999-2000.
I mean, the lead-in to 3e started with a "surprise" announcement, too.
Patricio Calderón wrote:
Are you familiar with how commerce works? Here, try this:
Company: Look at this car/computer/RPG/salad mixer/toothbrush, it's the best we've ever made!
Consumers: Yay! I'll buy one, since I happen to need/want a new car/computer/RPG/salad mixer/toothbrush!
Company: Last year, we brought you the best car/computer/RPG/salad mixer/toothbrush we'd ever made! Now, we've made it even better!
Happens all the time, it's how the consumer world goes 'round. You don't have to play that game if you don't want to.
However, I forgot about WotC saying that "d20 gives cancer". Guess I'll be tossing my old books a lot sooner than I'd planned. ;-)
Allen Stewart wrote:
Does a for-profit company really have to come out and say that it's trying to make money?
A desire to simplify the basic mechanics of the game and make them more fun is not contradictory with plans to produce support material and make money. It's quite possible to do both, at the same time.
I have ALL wotc 3.0/3.5 books - and I'm quite pissed off, thinking about buying all the books like The Complete "add another description but mean warrior/Mage/Priest/Monster/Spell/MagicItem" for 4.0 AGAIN.
Were you really thinking that WotC would never release another edition of the rules? I mean, if you're buying every single book, and you're going to regret that when those books no longer match the current edition, then you were bound to be disappointed at some time, no matter when the change came or why.
#4: I have seen nothing that makes me think that the DI will support house rules. Every group I have ever played with uses at least some house rules... how are we going to squeeze that in?
You will be able to incorporate house rules, and share them for others to use if you'd like. I imagine that'll be easy for things like new/revised classes, feats, spells, etc., but might be harder for basic mechanical changes.
Patricio Calderón wrote:
You stick in your position? OK, but remember (you work for Hasbro) that people like Real Brain and me have been giving our money to pay your salary and at least we deserve to be treated as customer not as enemies.
Yeah, Sebastian, don't you have more important things to do as CEO of Hasbro than posting on these boards?
Oh man, that's funny.
I'm just saying that this new move furthers this separation between haves and have-nots, marginalizes a demographic of gamers that already have a hard time keeping up with the Joneses and feeds some sort of techno-elitism that quite frankly makes me queasy.
I'm sensitive to that as well, and it would be stupid of WotC to make online access essential to playing D&D (which they've clearly stated it's not). OTOH, you're not suggesting that WotC should avoid utilizing technology that much (most?) of their customer base could employ, should they choose to do so? This is a far more general problem, way beyond what WotC is doing.