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D&D Next a sign of distress at WotC?


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Gorbacz wrote:
wicked cool wrote:
any indication of a street release date? late 2013?

Considering that playtest period is supposedly to take 2 years and that such stuff gets released on GenCon or else... I'll hazard a guess for GenCon 2014.

Perfect moment for Pathfinder Revised to go head to head against 5E, don't you all think? :P

Perfect would be 2015 after checking 5e and making PF2 even better than 6e could be ;)

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:


WotC will live the next two years on previous edition reprints and dumping all PDFs into DDI (except, of course, you won't be able to use them offline else somebody at Hasbro board of directors will get a stroke. Again.)

Has WOTC said that all the old stuff will only be available through a DDI sub? That would suck.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
CapeCodRPGer wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


WotC will live the next two years on previous edition reprints and dumping all PDFs into DDI (except, of course, you won't be able to use them offline else somebody at Hasbro board of directors will get a stroke. Again.)

Has WOTC said that all the old stuff will only be available through a DDI sub? That would suck.

That's my undereducated guess, considering that they likely won't go back to regular PDF distribution (because it will mean that once again evil pirates will start torrenting their files, never mind the fact that they're happily doing that for the last 3 years) but they want to have the cake and eat it too. Having the books in DDI seems like the most valid (don't confuse with: smart) choice, something akin to Marvel Comics digital service (you can read on-line but you can't download them for offline use).


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

FWIW, you can download the PDFs they make available through DDI. If they're planning on selling the PDFs of 3.5 books I suspect they'll distribute them differently though, since currently you get every PDF released for 4E for $10.

It would be surprising if they suddenly provide all the 3.5 books for that same price.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tacticslion wrote:
Kthulu, you might want to tone down the "Paizo ain't so hot" stuff.

I like Paizo. I do think that their strength is adventures and settings, as opposed to rules, but I do like them. And let's tell the truth and shame the big purple golem...there is some Paizo groupthink that goes on on these forums amongst certain posters. Understandable, as it is Paizo's forums, but it does occasionally get a bit cloying.

Hell, I don't even like 4E...but I don't take it as personally as some of you here seem to. It's pretty ridiculous how much some of the people here vilify them and take any cheap shot they can to marginalize WotC.

Me, I'm excited that there's a 5E coming. If you dislike 4E, like I do, then you should CELEBRATE the fact that there's a new edition around the corner, not bitterly try to run it down at every oportunity. I'll admit, I haven't dug that deeply into the playtest as of yet, but what I have taken a look at, I've liked. I doubt it will become my favorite RPG, but it has the potential to be a RPG that I would like to play.

As for using this forum, the fact is that this is one of the more active RPG forums around for not just the Pathfinder RPG, but for lots of other RPGs as well. I don't know may other forums where you can find active discussions about Call of Cthulhu, Warhammer 40K RPG, Swords & Wizardry, etc. all in the same place.

Qadira

thejeff wrote:

I suspect the "old-school" is over blown, in this sense at least. Yeah, it seems like Gary played that way, but even a lot of the original modules had a bit more motivation than "There's loot there." And a lot of the new ones don't have much more. Some are "There's loot there." Many are "You've been hired to." Of course, it's hard to do much else in a module.

I've been playing (on and off) since AD&D came out and we've never really played "old-school". Nor what I'd consider heavily railroaded. The story was there. There was a threat to deal with and that provides the motivation to go into the dungeons and all the other fun stuff.
As for Conan and all the others, even most of those stories involved more motivation than just the loot and the thrill, though there was a lot of that too. Conan also tended to start each story dead broke, having drunk away the fortune he'd found in the last. That's hard to do in D&D. Hard to pull off when you're walking around with the price of a small city in magic items. Playing a loot motivated adventurer might suit me better if you didn't have to just pump it all back into getting better at seeking loot, either paying for training to level or magic gear.

I have had the idea for a campaign structured like the Conan stories. Each adventure ends with triumph and small fortune. Each new one begins a few weeks/months later with you broke and maybe fleeing for your lives: from the enemy army or the guards or something into the next adventure.

I guess that's the biggest difference between old location-based adventures and newer adventures. In the former you start in one place, know that there's an adventure location somewhere nearby and then get some random rumors about said place to drive you towards the goal of reclaiming all the stuff in that location. Obviously, other types of stories will emerge within the adventure location, but often the promise of adventure should be enough to drive players to go there. However, in newer adventures the story isn't emergent: more often than not, the DM is given a certain number of scenes, if not in a perfectly linear progression then at the very least with a clear chronological order as to which should come first and which scenes affect the others.

I personally prefer the former. I'd rather not play in a campaign where the DM has a ready-made progression of adventures in his mind, which he will then lead us to by the nose, simply because I like the feeling of exploration and being able to run around the place setting fire to chickens (as one does).

As for your example of a loot-motivated adventurer who ends up carrying enough money to buy a small city: you seem to forget that at level 9 it was assumed for the adventurers to retire and to actually build a small city. Or a stronghold anyway. The thing is, playing loot-motivated adventurers suddenly starts making sense when you realize that there's a clearly defined endgame, which consists of founding your own realm and being a lord or a lady. Keeps cost a lot of money, so all that loot that you're carrying around since level 1 is actually your savings that you will, eventually, blow off into buying a motherf!*!ing castle.

Which is yet another thing I like about the old school: the idea that at some point the focus of the campaign shifts from killing monsters to dealing with a small kingdom. Admittedly, the rules for that have been quite lackluster in the old editions, but thankfully I've got ACKS for that now. One of the things that ACKS really drove home for me that just like a good location-based adventure, the endgame of old school D&D, with the players as lords and ladies ruling their own keeps, has ample opportunities for emergent stories.

So, I admit that my presentation of the "old school" was simplified at first, but the main point, as far as adventure modules are concerned, is that old school modules have a lot more room for emergent stories, whereas newer modules seem to have a greater focus on a ready-made meta-plot. Personally, I like setting fire to chickens.


Kthulhu wrote:
3.0 was hardly a "traditional" edition that "reached out to the vets", despite how much 4E-haters want to pretend that it was.

3.0 was a rather intense deviation from prior versions of D&D.

But 3.0 borrowed (stole) heavily from other gaming systems that were growing in popularity at that time. "Traditional" really isn't the right word, but it was absolutely aimed at offering the best at what gamers at that time wanted. It was all about reaching out to "vets", or at least the existing tabletop market base. And this includes the steady stream of new players to the degree that the market has always naturally evolved.

WotC themselves repeatedly proclaimed that the purpose of 4E was to reach out to a far wider audience. That was then, is now, and forever shall be a fools errand.

3E was a non-traditional edition that reached out to the traditional audience.
4E was a non-traditional edition that tried to reach out to a non-traditional audience. Yes, they ALSO wanted the traditional audience as well. But they badly miscalculated both the lack of traction they would get with a "new" audience and also the level of loss they would get with their core fan base.

Shadow Lodge

Kthulhu wrote:
And let's tell the truth and shame the big purple golem...there is some Paizo groupthink that goes on on these forums amongst certain posters. Understandable, as it is Paizo's forums, but it does occasionally get a bit cloying.

Especially when the groupthink turns to "If you don't agree with us, GTFO of this thread"....as happened to me not terribly long ago.

Shadow Lodge

BryonD wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
3.0 was hardly a "traditional" edition that "reached out to the vets", despite how much 4E-haters want to pretend that it was.

3.0 was a rather intense deviation from prior versions of D&D.

But 3.0 borrowed (stole) heavily from other gaming systems that were growing in popularity at that time. "Traditional" really isn't the right word, but it was absolutely aimed at offering the best at what gamers at that time wanted. It was all about reaching out to "vets", or at least the existing tabletop market base. And this includes the steady stream of new players to the degree that the market has always naturally evolved.

Like I've said before, to me, 3.0 seemed like it was designed by someone who had once (or maybe even twice) seen a game of AD&D played. Then again, maybe I should just shut my mouth before the Paizo Defense Force shows up and tells me to GTFO.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Get The Flamingos Ordered. Like, now or else.

Shadow Lodge

pink?

Qadira

Kthulhu wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Perfect moment for Pathfinder Revised to go head to head against 5E, don't you all think? :P
I'd be all for that, but I think Pathfinder "only" lasting five years might piss a lot of people off...
I dunno, it might be funny to watch how quickly some people would backpedal in order to support the messiah of all gaming, Paizo, against the insidiously evil WotC.

If it were me, I'd look at releasing a revised version of the Core Rules at the same time that 5e debuts. I'd reorganise the book using the experience gained during the creation of the Beginners Box. I'd replace a number of subsystems that currently have problems and revise a number of classes. Errata and FAQs would be included. I'd then move PFS games over to using the new rules, and I'd make it clear that future APs would run ok using either ruleset. Essentially, I'd try to provide a game improved with the experience of the last few years, but without obsoleting existing APs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
And let's tell the truth and shame the big purple golem...there is some Paizo groupthink that goes on on these forums amongst certain posters. Understandable, as it is Paizo's forums, but it does occasionally get a bit cloying.
Especially when the groupthink turns to "If you don't agree with us, GTFO of this thread"....as happened to me not terribly long ago.

I certainly hope you're not referring to me, just now. I wasn't telling you to shut up, agree, or get out, only mentioning that the amount that you rag on Paizo-lovers seemed a bit excessive. I do understand your position, though (save, I think it has less to do with shaming the big purple golem and more to do with shaming those who revere the big purple golem to a fault).

brock, no the other one... wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Perfect moment for Pathfinder Revised to go head to head against 5E, don't you all think? :P
I'd be all for that, but I think Pathfinder "only" lasting five years might piss a lot of people off...
I dunno, it might be funny to watch how quickly some people would backpedal in order to support the messiah of all gaming, Paizo, against the insidiously evil WotC.
If it were me, I'd look at releasing a revised version of the Core Rules at the same time that 5e debuts. I'd reorganise the book using the experience gained during the creation of the Beginners Box. I'd replace a number of subsystems that currently have problems and revise a number of classes. Errata and FAQs would be included. I'd then move PFS games over to using the new rules, and I'd make it clear that future APs would run ok using either ruleset. Essentially, I'd try to provide a game improved with the experience of the last few years, but without obsoleting existing APs.

See, the thing is, that sounds very similar to what 3.0/3.5 transition was, and WotC took a lot of heat during that time for it (being a "money grab" and all that, as, obviously our hobby generates "T3H M0N13S!" enough for them to be exceedingly rich and not need more), though I do like the idea, personally. To me, 3.5 fixed a lot of niggling inconsistencies in 3.0 (though it opened up a few more, strangely) and was, over-all, a good thing.

IF Paizo does this, I'd suggest making it a Really Bid Deal (tm) starting next year and having the entire year lead up to it, getting feedback the whole while, but simultaneously strongly emphasizing - especially on the boards and to their current customers - that you don't need to purchase the update. Many people would still complain, of course, but I strongly suspect that repeatedly mentioning that it's unnecessary for current customers would help greatly. It's worth considering, at least, though I'm not sure of its efficacy in the long run.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kthulhu wrote:


Hell, I don't even like 4E...but I don't take it as personally as some of you here seem to. It's pretty ridiculous how much some of the people here vilify them and take any cheap shot they can to marginalize WotC.

If you think this is me, you are mistaken. 3E/3.5 was fantastic. Period. The new edition brought us other good things from Necromancer, Goodman, Green Ronin, etc. I even posted once or twice here or at ENworld that this was another golden age of RPGing. 4E screwed the pooch for reasons I don't really need to go into here. WotC has changed drastically then and most of the good developers (IMHO) are here, @Frog God, @ Goodman etc.

I'm still standing vigilant looking for something less tactical than 3E/PFRPG, the miniatures dependancy is my number one gripe with the game. The time needed to draw/update maps round by round etc. I don't mind the rare tactical battle for an end encounter or an important battle with a dragon, etc. it's just the game is designed around minis and each time I have to stop the game for mapping is extra work and I'd rather keep the game flowing.

If WotC re-releases PDFs of the older editions like AD&D along with their respective module lines, I'll scoop up all of them this time around around. I'll still play PF, but maybe I'll actually run a game again with AD&D or Basic/Expert. I'd like to see a PDF rollout map soon but I wont hold my breath.

All this doesnt change the fact that the current executives/developers @WotC don't leave me much to hope for with a new version of the game.

P.S. as Tacticslion stated, you do come across as Paizo-Hatey at times. Even if you are deep down, it's ok. Everyone has an opinion. I'm not exactly Paizo Defense Force material but I like how they handle the dungeony/dragony parts of the game so I may come across as "PDF" (Paizo Defense Force).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tacticslion wrote:
brock, no the other one... wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Perfect moment for Pathfinder Revised to go head to head against 5E, don't you all think? :P
I'd be all for that, but I think Pathfinder "only" lasting five years might piss a lot of people off...
I dunno, it might be funny to watch how quickly some people would backpedal in order to support the messiah of all gaming, Paizo, against the insidiously evil WotC.
If it were me, I'd look at releasing a revised version of the Core Rules at the same time that 5e debuts. I'd reorganise the book using the experience gained during the creation of the Beginners Box. I'd replace a number of subsystems that currently have problems and revise a number of classes. Errata and FAQs would be included. I'd then move PFS games over to using the new rules, and I'd make it clear that future APs would run ok using either ruleset. Essentially, I'd try to provide a game improved with the experience of the last few years, but without obsoleting existing APs.
See, the thing is, that sounds very similar to what 3.0/3.5 transition was, and WotC took a lot of heat during that time for it (being a "money...

They wouldn't even have to change anything in the actual rules, in my opinion. Simply reorganizing the existing rulebook would eliminate, or at least reduce to manageable levels, the vast majority of issues people have with the system. There really aren't any truly broken subsystems if you can figure out how to put all of the bits of information that are scattered about the book together.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
BryonD wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
3.0 was hardly a "traditional" edition that "reached out to the vets", despite how much 4E-haters want to pretend that it was.
3.0 was a rather intense deviation from prior versions of D&D.

And that's a point I bring up every time I see 3.X/Pathfinder fans acting butthurt that 4E was such a big change. Especially when they preface that butthurt by pretending that 2E to 3.0 was the same kind of gentle smooth transition that 0E to 1E or 1E to 2E was.

Of course, that tends to make me the "Paizo-hater!"

Tacticslion wrote:
I certainly hope you're not referring to me, just now. I wasn't telling you to shut up, agree, or get out, only mentioning that the amount that you rag on Paizo-lovers seemed a bit excessive. I do understand your position, though (save, I think it has less to do with shaming the big purple golem and more to do with shaming those who revere the big purple golem to a fault).

Nah. Not talking about this thread at all, and I don't really see anyone who was really involved in that one here. I dared to express the opinion that maybe pre-d20 editions of D&D didn't suck horribly, and essentially got shouted out of a thread for it.

Which is especially amusing when you consider that they also love to tout the evils of 4E by saying how much more radical of a change it was than any of the edition changes before it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kthulu: cool. Good to know we're cool! (I'm totally a fan-boy, though, and am entirely capable of revering the big purple golem to a fault! :D)

sunshadow21 wrote:
They wouldn't even have to change anything in the actual rules, in my opinion. Simply reorganizing the existing rulebook would eliminate, or at least reduce to manageable levels, the vast majority of issues people have with the system. There really aren't any truly broken subsystems if you can figure out how to put all of the bits of information that are scattered about the book together.

Sure, I get it and agree (though I'd suggest at the least incorporating the errata they've built up, and probably also modifying the stealth skill).

The thing is, fans - and I should know, because I am one - have a tendency to get a little... crazy. We can be quite resistant to change, and any attempt to enforce change can come off as doing so without pure motives.

Now, for me, I'd think it's a great thing, but people, being who they are, might feel forced to acquire something they don't want to. Take a look at the response to the Mythic rules (even though those are over a year away, and are going to have open play-tests for a year to receive feedback and adjust), for a decent idea of how fans handle "change". Hint: often "not well" (people immediately dropping their subscriptions, stating that Paizo just ruined PF, etc).

That doesn't make the fans "wrong", per se - they're attempting to defend something they love. That can, however, tend to mean negative backlash and thus negative publicity, which in turn, drives away potential new customers. Which is bad.

I grant, simply reorganizing the book, which is a great idea, isn't necessarily as drastic as, say, introducing a new subset of (completely optional) rules. But people may well take it that way, or take it worse.

Still, it'd be nice to see. They might want to conduct a survey to ask - in clear, concise tones - if a reorganization for the CORE would be accepted well, especially since none of the rules would change.

One nifty thing they could do is reorganize the way they handle the charts. I don't remember the thread... actually, I just looked it up!

Tacticslion wrote:

One of the things I could see as streamlining the classes is to create more simplified tables.

  • One shows base attack progression for best, moderate and poor.
  • One shows save progression for good and poor saves.
  • One shows feat progression.

(The above three could be a single chart.)

From that point on, all classes simply refer to those charts (or that one chart) to discuss their BAB/saves. Heck, since Paizo tied BAB to hit-dice value (which I'm not a fan of, but oh well), you don't even have to represent the hit dice value of the classes, except to make a note (and special ability) on the barbarian progression called "greater hit dice" (or, for flavor, if you prefer, "incredibly tough") which notes that instead of the normal d10, the barbarian gets a d12 hit dice. Then that's taken care of too.

  • Have one chart that details a full spell-progression, prepared caster. [that's cleric, druid, and wizard]
  • Have one chart that details a full spell-progression, spontaneous caster (and another related chart for spells known) [that's an oracle and sorcerer]
  • Have one chart that details a partial spell-progression, spontaneous or prepared caster (with a related chart for spells known, if it's spontaneous) [that's alchemist, bard, inquisitor, magus, and summoner]
  • Have one chart that details a limited spell-progression, for prepared or spontaneous caster (with a related chart for spells known, if it's spontaneous) [that's the paladin and ranger - there are currently no spontaneous ones I know of].

After that just have the individual classes refer to the appropriate spell progression table.

All other class special traits can come entirely from the class itself. If it's a caster, refer to the table, not whether it's prepared or spontaneous, it's primary stat, and any notable exceptions. Otherwise, just provide a basic "this class gains this bonus" chart for each class. That also allows the chart to be spread out (to avoid one really big line of stuff), but more likely thinner in general, and thus allowing information to take up less space over-all, saving on print space (and thus money).

The biggest deal to handle would be the spell-casting charts, but not needing to reprint the chart every time would be a serious space saver, even in the core rule book - you take care of the cleric, druid, and wizard charts with one, and the paladin and ranger charts with another: you're effectively saving three chart-spaces in the class descriptions. (If you include all the classes, you're saving quite a bit more!)

When you have things like a cleric's domain spell (which the current chart system is very ambiguous about anyway; so many new players ask why, exactly, they have "4+1" spells per day, instead of "5"...) the simple wording, "In addition to it's normal spells per day, the cleric gains one additional spell slot per spell level that can only use to prepare a domain spell." And that takes care of that.

Still, that's just my idea for when they eventually do publish a new set of rules, which is probably quite some time away.

Creating a single set of spell-progression charts, BAB/HD-and-save charts, and the like would save tremendous amounts of space (heck - the NPC classes are only their HD/BAB-save stuff and skill set, so that's a really, really big space saver for them!), and would allow them to insert more stuff into the reorganized CORE, or simply make it sleeker and slimmer (a good thing, in my opinion).

If it was me redoing it, I'd prefer them to redo lots of things (like changing the action economy in a round to standard/move/minor/swift, with free actions being on top of those*, among many other things), but I definitely think they should wait on that until they've run PF for a few more years (for their own sake, as well).

The big question is, "Is reorganizing the CORE wort the time, money, and effort we're spending on it compared to our other projects?" and that I'm not so sure of. I'd like it to be, I'm just not sure that it is, considering everything else Paizo's got on it's plate.

* This is actually a system I'm trying out now in a home game. It allows anyone to take a "full round action" by sacrificing their four actions to do one action repeatedly (like iterating attacks, say), but for each action made with a "smaller" type it normally requires, there's a -5 penalty per step (and free actions cannot be used to make any longer action). This means that a fighter (or other full-attack) could use their iterative attacks by taking a full round action (at -0/-5/-10/-15, like they do now), or they could attack once and move (like they do now), or they could attack twice and, say, take a 15-or-10-ft-step (using their minor action for the move). But this also means that anyone can do that. Add this mechanic to giving skills specified time-units that they use, and you have a clean, universal mechanic for handling skills, attacks, and the like. Similarly, there are opportunity and reactive actions that can be used. Spells require certain amounts of actions (say as an example verbal to use up "free", somatic to use up "swift", and the casting to use up "standard", depending on the spell) Anyway, it's a system-in-progress, and if anyone wants to use it to try out at their home games, do so and let me know how it works in this thread, if you would. Anyway, that's totally off topic, but I just thought I'd throw that out there.

EDIT: when you post there, don't forget to put " Pathfinder " at the top of your post. I explain how to format it in that thread, but if you just copy-paste the following:

[ b ] [ bigger ] [ ooc ] Pathfinder [ /ooc ] [ /bigger ] [ /b ]

... and then delete the spaces in the brackets, that'll take care of it. Sorry for the thread-jack! Now back to your previously scheduled "is WotC distressed" discussion!


Reorganization made so thatthe attack, save and spell progression is intables elsewhere could indeed save space, but I think it sould be mighty inconvenient way to do so. You'd get an equivalent of two and a half page at best IMO, but loose visual reference, that eases comparison of the classes, not to mention making the players turning more pages in the book if they want to level up. Currently the table gives you a clear idea of what does each class gain on each level, but separating it would eliminate that. If it wasn't for multiclassing it would have been more convenient to have ability increases and feats gained from character level (as opposed to class level) rolled into the class table as well, but currently it's better left alone as it is IMO.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Legendarius wrote:
I personally don't see D&D Next as a sign of distress at WotC,

I've never understood why WotC hasn't made an RPG based on the Magic-verse.

Qadira

Mactaka wrote:
Legendarius wrote:
I personally don't see D&D Next as a sign of distress at WotC,
I've never understood why WotC hasn't made an RPG based on the Magic-verse.

Magic-verse? is that Magic: the Gathering? or Spelljammer?

Apparently 5E is to see a return of 4E's use of Healing Surges.


Mactaka wrote:
Legendarius wrote:
I personally don't see D&D Next as a sign of distress at WotC,
I've never understood why WotC hasn't made an RPG based on the Magic-verse.

Probably to keep IPs separate. But it's just a guess.

Qadira

Drejk wrote:
Mactaka wrote:
Legendarius wrote:
I personally don't see D&D Next as a sign of distress at WotC,
I've never understood why WotC hasn't made an RPG based on the Magic-verse.
Probably to keep IPs separate. But it's just a guess.

Yeah, Wizbro has a policy of not mixing their IPs, which sadly means that there will never be an official D&D module for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Total aside here: I'm no brony (that's a lie, I totally am), but I think that, after Adventure Time, My Little Pony is probably the closest thing we have to a D&D animated series at the moment. Many of the key episodes are basically D&D adventures circling around a group of five main characters with different strengths and weaknesses, only instead of elves and dwarves the characters are ponies.

But yeah, the reason Wizbro has never done a D&D supplement for Magic: The Gathering is simply because they don't want to mix their IPs. I guess it makes some amount of sense. Such a supplement would only appeal to Magic: The Gathering players with some prior interest in D&D and to D&D players with some prior interest in Magic. While both of those segments exist, from WotC's point of view they are just minor subsegments of the fanbases of those two games, not enough to justify a crossover product.

That and the b%&~~ing and moaning on the internet would never end, because for some people it'd act as more fuel to the fire of "WotC is doing everything to appeal to the stupid WOW/CCG babbies instead of making a REAL GAME for REAL ROLEPLAYERS (like me)!"

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