Strange....I always wonder why people think WOTC has an aggressive publishing schedule.
Have people forgotten how much STUFF TSR used to pump out?
A poster on enworld actually put it into a graphical format...
WOTC is on the LOW end of producing material for D&D. They put out one book a month and an adventure about once every 2 months.
To me, that doesn't seem aggressive especially compared to the heyday of TSR in 2e when you literally had a new product every WEEK...
Geez, even though I was the DM and used my friend's 1e DMG, I don't even remember this...Might be because I went and bought my own 2e DMG and that I don't remember anything like that...
You know, that's an interesting point...
What type of 3PP _WAS_ the most successful? I'm thinking it was the crunch such as alternate rules/classes etc.
All of which the character builder cuts off at the knees....
I actually disagree with this...
I've always been of the belief that say rules for modifying monsters and stuff like that (crunchy DM material) is actually the LEAST useful stuff around...
I honestly believe that it doesn't matter if you have a GREAT mechanicallly built world if you don't actually have an engaging storyline/plot since frankly, the PLAYERS aren't (and should NOT IMO) see the mechanical underpinings of the world.
That's always why even in 3.x I ignored the rules on monster building since a) most monsters aren't going to last that long and b) vast majority of players aren't going to say "can I see the stats on that monster"?
DMG2 has introduced a roleplaying mechanic a la what you see in WoD. Basically, if you act OOC or ignore your motivation, you are considered "DISTRACTED".
A DISTRACTED PC suffers from one or more (or even all) of the following
Until either the character reverts to his behaviour or it is seen as a logical growth of the character, the penalties apply.
Personally, I'm not sure how I feel about this in D&D....In D&Ds history, the only true roleplaying mechanic was the paladin code of conduct/ divine characters code of conduct (doing a Chaotic Evil act if you were Neutral Good didn't affect your character at all other than a possible change in alignment)
I've always done a Spockbrow with regard to such roleplaying mechanics so what say you? Yea this is a good thing for roleplaying or Nay, such mechanics actually hinder roleplaying.
Allen Stewart wrote:
Ok, I'm curious...What DO you think a DMG should contain? I've always been of the belief that the biggest problem in DnD has been finding DMs.
As long as I've been playing, finding players has never been a problem. Finding someone willing to DM? Definitely an issue.
Frankly, tables and charts to roll up "how to modify monsters/rules" don't actually help encourage people to take that step from player to DM IMO. All of those stuff I always considered useless since if the DM can't even tell a good story that captures the imagination of the players, what good is it if they can stat out the population breakdown of their country?
Ah but you're talking "effectiveness" and not design. Both the PHB 2 and the MM2 show how WOTC have learned how to build "better" classes (no V-shaped ones, no ones there as boring as say the ranger -"twinstrike all the time" and the actual range of effect - big difference in effectiveness between an infrnalock and an archer ranger - not so much between sorceror and barbarian) - In short the PHB 2 classes seem cooler.
Similarly, the MM2 monsters especially the solos and minions show what WOTC has learned and they refined it. It's subtle things like ensuring that solos transform at the bloodied level to give the fight another twist to keep it interesting and minions who at later levels still provide more of a threat.
As for WOTC's release schedule, it actually isn't more than 3.0 or 3.5 early years. What I think makes it more noticeable is that there all HARDCOVERS whereas most of th stuff WOTC released in the early 3.0 years were softcover.
Well, remember, there was a LOT of schlock in the early days.
What would you guys consider good products in the initial 2 years of 3.0 (not after 3.5 where basically everyone had a handle on the rules and understood them). Everyone remembers the good stuff of 3.x but most of the good stuff came AFTER 3.5 was released.
Hell, we see the same thing with WOTC. I consider the PHB 2 classes superior to the PHB 1 classes and the same thing goes for the Monster Manual.
Picked up DMG2 and this is the best "how to be a DM" resource I've ever seen in D&D (and I've been playing since 1e/Dming since 2e).
I thought the 1st 4e DMG was a great guide for "new to DMing" and had great advice for even oldhats but this one even goes further ahead.
If you're a DM, my buying guide is now, PHB1, DMG1, DMG2, Insider account and then maybe a Monster Manual (I'd go with MM2 first)
Hell, I even recommend it for previous editions DMs.
It's more of a case that many a 4e fan is lazy like me. If I can't incorporate your class into the character builder or I have to type up your monster into the monster builder, I'm afraid I'm less likely to use it.
It's just that the DDI service cuts down so much on my time prepping for a game that the product the 3PP provides has to be something I can't easily get via DDI.
Adventures are a prime example for one and actual nice counter are another.
The funny thing about DDI is that WOTC could've easily stuck with the OGL for 4e and still have the effect it did on OBE since presumably an OGL model wouldn't mean that WOTC would feel obligated making their character builder open to everybody....
Seriously, this might actually be possible.
The Discovery KIDS channel is now 50% owned by Hasbro and starting in 2010, Hasbro will produce new content for this channel based on their properties (at first, it was thought it would be the old SUNBOW cartoons like GI Joe & Transformers but Hasbro has said only NEW content).
Hasbro might be willing to produce a cartoon based on one of the properties that WOTC manages or even an amalgamation of one (A heroscape/D&D cartoon could work for example)
I always thought WOTC back during the 3e days were dropping the ball by not using more D&D properties in their other ventures.
A D&D Heroscape and a Castle Ravenloft boardgame are great ways to get people's toes dipped into the D&D pool. Just as importantly, as I understand it, Heroscape is a top seller in Toys 'R Us and other chains and having D&D back in non bookstore big chains is a GOOD thing.
This is a win win for the hobby as I see it (especially given that with the recession, Hasbro actually pointed out in their quarterly statement that their revenue from boardgames has actually gone up)
That's why I love the 4e DMG. The 1e/3e DMG might be a better DMG for creating a world (let's ignore the 2e DMG...I as a 2e DM didn't use it after I found a 1e DMG in the back shelves of my FLGS) but for actually teaching a player how to actually run a game?
Unparalled success IMO.
I can give the DMG to a player who wants to become a DM and actually expect him to know what to do.
re: Forgotten Realms
I see the 4e FR as basically the "reboot" of the franchise that any long term media property gets. I think for any long term franhise you need to start anew.
I always thought somebody at WOTC had an ephiany (sp?)
"wait a minute, it doesn't matter how many players a D&D game has...What matters is how many DMs we have"
From when I started DMing in the 2e days, I have NEVER had a problem getting players. When I went to my FLGS, there wre ALWAYS posts stating "player looking for a game to join" that could be up there for several weeks if not months but a posting saying "DM looking for 1-2 players" wouldn't even last a couple of days much less a week.
Finding someone that wanted to DM? Eh that was always a little bit tricky.
I think 3.x and all the options were great for the players and how the rules were basically "equal" for both the DM and the PC was a great initial idea but I think after a while, designers came to the observed conclusion that this might not be such a great deal for DMs.
My group for example, at the beginning (roughly 9 mths ago), they were (slightly) opposed to 4e, but I kinda blackmailed them by saying "ok, we'll play one week 4e and the nezt, somebody else will DM 3.5 and we'll alternate"
That actually changed now that I get to play both weeks as a playr and I got two new 4e DMs. (One tried for a month as a 3.5 DM, but he gave up)
I know people like to mock 4e as dumbed down and for not "hardcore" gamers but looking at it from my prespective, it is a definite success.
Hasbro will never sell a license.
As a former stockholder, Hasbro's policy is to shelf a gameline for several years, then bring it back out several years later.
Transformers and GI Joe are good examples of this. Transofmers after the G1 toyline sputtered out, was a strikeout with the G2 (several toys for this line never got produced as it was so unsuccessful that Hasbro simply cancelled the line) and didn't see a resurgence until Beast War/Beasties.
As for WOTC not showing up in Hasbro balance sheets,
WOTC is small change...
(Interesting that Hasbro is still only number two. Barbie and Matchbox cars are still too much for Hasbro to overcome)
Players tend to accept more powerful options than the reverse.
I mean, take a look at the tone of the thread. WOTC is being blamed for making more powerful options in the form of splatbooks but do you know something really funny?
On average, a splatbook class or PrC doesn't compare in power to the core rules themselves. Sure, we get crazy ass things like the Planar Shepherd and the IotSV but over the lifetime of 3.x, most of the new PrC/full classes blew chunks.
Neither the shadowcaster or the beguiler are matching a core-only wizard and even the much maligned core-only barbarian can outdamage a warblade....
But people fail to see that...They only look for the most broken things and then complain that the designers are doing power-creep.
Matthew Hooper wrote:
I think it was because those adventures were written on the underlying assumption that FGHTERS could do the adventure by themselves with support of clerics healing.
Wheras now, the assumption is that SPELLCASTERS are required for any decent/non trash mob encounter.
Example: Against the Giants module, I distinctly remember my fighters being able to handle it even though they were below the level range and that's because of their gear.
Whereas nowaday, any EL+2 or higher actively requires the addition of a spellcaster....
Er, this wasn't true in 1e/2e unless your DM was ignoring a couple of points.
1. Spell acqusition was HARD. You only got 1 spell per 2 levels as chosen by the DM (specialists got to choose one bonus spell per level but it had to be their speciality).
However, the chance to learn spells AND the actual acquisition of spells was not something a player could count on. There WAS no certainity that players would come across spells like Fly, Fireball etc and spell research was a true pain the ass (why do you think captured spellbooks were like gold to wizards back then....)
2. Could easily create magic items or buy magic items. This affected wizards more heavily since the treasure tables were slanted towards the melee classes and thus you couldn't get around your limited slots.
Scenario: You come across a locked door. What do you do?
In 3E, just bust out a scroll of KNOCK and you're good to go. Even by 5th level, a scroll of knock is neither onerous in xp or money...Contrast that with a 1e/2e mage (scroll creation was restricted to 10th level casters -potion was 8th).
You certainly didn't have spare scrolls of knock lying around. Neither would you likely have the spell memorized (you only had 3-4 slots and you were going to waste one on KNOCK?) or that you would even KNOW the spell in the first place....
Er, the wizard isn't actually optimizing. For a wizard player, boosting your INT is really, the only thing you need to worry about....
power-creep is inevitable with the cutomization that people want.
The simple fact is that I doubt the designers considered what would happen if a player took Class A, a couple levels of Class B, a few levels of Prc Y and topped it off with Prestige Class Z.
It's analogous to why polymorph became more and more powerful over the course of 3e. More options = More power.
You can basically close your eyes and randomly pick warblade manoeuvers and be assured that you, while not optimized, will not totally suck.
Let's just say we don't want to do the same thing with a fighter.
Conversely, the ceiling on manoeuvers (the explicit action breakdown) meant that they couldn't get too crazy more or less whereas cherrypicking feats and piling them all on can lead to some weird ass fighter.
There are some eyebrow raising manoeuvers such as the riger-claw "do damage equivalent to your jump skill roll" and a couple others "Iron Heart Surge, I'm looking at you" but basically the book is one of the better designed an balanced splats from 3e's lifespan.
Core-rules only barbarian can outdamage a warblade. Been proven multiple times on the WOTC CO boards.
What makes the Bo9S characters so uber is that a) they aren't one trick ponies in actual use, b) they can more easily work around their limitations such as weak will saves and c) they're able to move and put out compareable damage to the full-attacking fighter or barbarian.
As for the rest of the classes, only the archivist and the artificer can match the power of a core-only wizard, druid or cleric.
Beguiler and Dread Necromancer are more flavourful and fun to play thanks to their class abilities but in terms of flexibility and power? No way, no how, wizard still rules supreme.
Duskblade was the first good base fighter-mage class that WOTC produced.
As for the races, if you're using LA method, unless it's a melee class with overpowering stats, it's not worth it to get any race with a LA higher than +2
Only non-core race that is LA+0 that is "better" than the core race equivalent is the Ghostwise Halfling.
What I think their talking about though is the PRESTIGE CLASSES. When 3.0 came out, I don't think WOTC intended for multiple prestige classes and the fact that many of the spellcasting ones not only give full spellcasting but also class features (almost always stronger than the wizard's feats and certainly better than what you have as a sorceror) made the core classes "dip" classes. Similarly, for the fighter, many of the prestige classes offered abiliteis stronger than the feats that a fighter could keep single-classes.
But that wasn't so much as with regard to power but the fact that many of the core-classes had dead levels where you didn't get anything. Which is why the ROGUE is usually held up as an example of a good designed class.
"Hot items" and "randomized packs" are licenses to print money for WOTC and the retailers. They don't have to order/build a specific mini but a retailer for example, can simply buy X boxes of the Bloodwar expansion.
Said retailer KNOWS he's going to sell out all X boxes since until each pack is cracked, nobody knows the contents of the pack.
With a non-randomized mini, the retailer doesn't have the assurance. He has to guess how popular each mini will be.
Another reason for the price increase IS the fact that it is moving from totally randomized.
WOTC and the actual sellers now have to predict what will be a "hot item" and thus, there's a good chance that they will either underestimate or overestimate demand on a mini.
Either situation loses them money.
Whereas the randomized packs meant that WOTC didn't have to worry about that at all.
Ranomized packs will always be cheaper than non-randomized packs
The reason why most people erroneously believe warblades "shoot fireballs" is that most people read
1. warblades get manoeuvers
Of course, the fact that warblades and crusaders don't have those schools kind of gets lost in the mix....
I was wondering when someone would point this out.
Fighters are arguably the MOST complex class to run (sorcerors running second) since their core abilities are independent of the chassis of the class itself.
A player has to determine what are good feats and also "think ahead" to determine what will be better feats in the long run.
Clerics and wizards conversely, even if they screw up their spell selection one day, there's always tomorrow, whereas the barbarian and rogue, their main power is hardcoded into the class. Players only choose to modify these but not change significantly unlike their compatriots playing the fighter.
FIGHTERS ARE NOT SIMPLE.
It plays faster in 4e.
I attribute this to a simple switch.
It is a simple switch, namely the 1-1-1 rule instead of the 1-2-1 rule but the increase in speed is noticeable....
You would think that counting 1-2-1 would be easy and you're right, it is.
It's counting 1-2-1 when the pizza man comes around or you're counting from a different position or there is difficult terrain....
Such a big switch in speed that it really blows my mind...
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sorry, thread drift.
T was arguing that ToB was unbalanced and provided us with an example.
The problem being that the reason why the example was broken WASN'T because of ToB IMO, but because of Wraithstrike and the old Arcane Strike feat. Pre Jade Pheonix, I've seen similar shenanigans involving gishes and Wraithstrike.
T, I'm confused.
Looking at the character, the problem seems to come from two points.
1. The Arcane Strike feat
Unless I'm reading something wrong, wouldn't you get similar level of crazy damage with any decent non-Tob gish build?
If the problem is the feat and the spell, why blame ToB?
As for the argument here, Numbers are not the answer. Damage has never really been the problem...Applying it and being able to do something BESIDE it, that's where the problem is.
There are two problems with this economic system.
It goes against the "player options are good" that Paizo has pitched their tent on.
Being able to customize your magic items without jumping through hoops is seen as a good thing. You're basically going back to the tried and tested 1e/2e model of magic items
Another problem is that it favours spellcasters heavily. Almost all of the most requested/wanted magic items are items that can be duplicated by spells. Just like Disjunction will make a fighter cry but just be a speedbump for a wizard,
I tend to disagree with Polaris in that I find 4E is more focused on option in-game than out of game character builds.
I see the complexity more along the lines as between the difference between CONSTRUCTED & LIMITED.
3E is more akin to Consructed where most of the "success" is determined pre-battle. You have a much wider selection of cards to choose from in say a BLOCK environment and there are so many combinations you can make to construct a deck. However, when it comes to actual play, your options each round shrinks very much (for non-spellcasters)
4E is akin to Limited. Most of the choices are such a small selection compared to making a CONSTRUCTED deck. However, when it comes to actual play, Limited decks are MUCH more varied and no two battles will play out the same. Play skill is more important.
I think one of the reasons why people are getting so different results in combat is the same reason why Limited is much harder to teach and master.
It's relatively easy to have much success in Constructed and it is easier to teach those skills across the net. No so much as Limited where the only way one can get better is by simply playing more and more.
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Which is what I think many of the detractors have a point with.
It's NOT fighter vs spellcaster or even fighter vs monster in a CR encounter.
It's how much does this class contribute in BOTH combat and non-combat encounters.
A party consisting of just the core spellcasters literally has no weak spots. Even throwing golems isn't a problem since the chassis of the spellcasters provides them with enough options that even directly facing a golem isn't a loss.
Even at epic when pretty much every monster seems to be 100% immune to spells and has a counter for every tactic, a high level spellcaster can still summon in some monsters, buff the hell out of them and go to town.
In non-combat scenarios, spells like Charm Person and even Tongues offers a spellcaster a solution to the problem. With the addition of magic scrolls and wands, it really is hard to conceive of a scenario where a spellcaster is hopeless (maybe a poorly built sorceror?)
And the fact that ALL of these solutions come from internal sources built into the class and it makes spellcasting just plain cool.
Contrast with the non-spellcasting classes. Let's say today your DM wants to play an undead heavy theme, well, if you're a rogue, you're kind of boned there.
A flying monster? Did you remember to structure your feats to make use of ranged combat? Nope, tough, you're own fault even though the spellcaster doesn't have that problem.
What if it comes down to a non-combat social encounter. Did you assign points to your social skills? Nope?Well, too bad, you can't contribute.
THAT's what the complaint is about I think
I actually agre with those that say you shouldnt judge spellcaster versus melee.
The game isn't designed for that...
A better comparison would be
Take a typical campaign set of adventures (say a Paizo Adventure Path)
Can a party consisting of core only druid, cleric, sorceror and wizard complete it or at the least be somewhat sccessful.
Do the same with a party consisting of a barbarian, fighter, rogue and a paladin or ranger with the same adventure.
I somewhat suspect the former will actually have no trouble whereas the latter is going to be somewhat screwed.
Samuel Weiss wrote:
Arent you also forgetting DuelMasters? If Hasbro actually goes out of its way to mention it in a general release as to the health of the company, it HAS to be doing gangbusters.
Then of corse, theres the fact that even with the axeing of a novel lines, it still is a license to print money.
My WILD guesses for Main sources of revenue for WOTC as of 2008
Larry Latourneau wrote:
Maybe I am wrong, but my quick take is that he is equating Pathfinder (and therefor Paizo as the publisher) as being PDF focused, which would hurt the retail outlets as they would essentially be competing against the publisher for market share.
If my take is correct, I can't say I agree. Offering PDF does not make a publish 'PDF-focused'. While some may purchase the PDF version only, there are many who will always prefer a hard copy of the material. Myself, I prefer to have both. I have all of my PDFs setup so that I can actually access them pretty much from anywhere. They make good reference material. But when it comes to game day, the computer goes away adn we are all pen and paper.
You assumed "many" but just how much is many? Still, it wouldn't be that bad
It's not helped by the fact that Paizo is _ALSO_ an internet store. If WOTC did the same thing and sold their products directly, how many of us wouldn't be arguing that WOTC is fundamentally undercutting the brick and mortar FLGS.
The equivalent would be if starcitygames came out with their own trading card game AND also started selling it (you should go to any of the retail meetings WOTC has had concerning M:TG. Retail store owners DESPISE starcitygames et al with a passion)
There are 3 types of buyers.
Those that only buy the PDF, those that buy the PDF and the book and those that only buy the book.
OF those that buy the PDF, an argument can be made that it is highly dependant on price and as such, the more expensive the hardback is in relation to the PDF, the more the likelihood they would purchase the PDF.
Again, I can't see a retailer WANTING Pathfinder to even come close to D&D since when WOTC does a release, they aren't competing with the publisher itself.
Why would RETAIL outlets support a PDF-focused publisher over an established store-first publisher?
They wouldn't be interested in cutting their own throats....
Jagyr Ebonwood wrote:
The idea that it is better to lose iterative attacks in the hope of doing damage to two targets instead of one.
"Spiral of Death" is the name for any mechanic a la Star War/Alternity where whenever you take damage, your actions are penalized. As you become hurt, it becomes easier to be hurt thus leading back to getting hurt and wash, rinse and repeat.
If given a choice between two monsters, it is better to focus all your fire on one monster and then move on to the other since the monster's effectiveness doesn't tail off unless they're dead.
Ex: Monster A and B can take 7hits (7H) before succumbing and each does 1H.
Your character can do 1H in damage per round. Either switching between monsters or focusing on one will take the same amount of time to get rid of both 14 rounds. However, in the former scenario, you're taking 27H in response during those 14 rounds whereas the latter, you only take 21H