Scott Betts wrote:
I'll be seeing it regardless. I enjoy escapism in my movies, and that's all I really expect from Mummy 3. I have the DVDs of the first two, and find myself watching both on occasion. Of the two, I liked the first one better. However, I never get tired of watching Patricia Velasquez fighting Rachel Weisz while dressed in body paint....
Vic Wertz wrote:
Thank you. Paizo is a class company, and while I won't be purchasing as much in the future, I really appreciate the quality of the work done here, and will show my support as tangibly as I can, as time goes on.
Larry Latourneau wrote:
Backstab for rogues shifts the damage die from d6 to d8s, but I didn't see one for the breath weapon.
I'm looking at putting together a dragonborn warlord for my Living Forgotten Realms character...
I've already sold my 3.0 books, but only in the last couple of months. I still have my 1st edition books, Chainmail, Unearthed Arcana, original Blackmoor, etc. I even pull them out occasionally, with my old maps and campaign notes, just to see if there is something useful. Much of the "fluff" of the existing material will stay useful, and there is so much of it that could be converted, if Wizards takes too long getting around to it. I'll probably sell some stuff that I never used anyway, like Savage Species, but the Eberron and Forgotten Realms books I'll keep, as I will most of the rest of the material...along with my copy of Castlemorn and Blackmoor.
David Marks wrote:
A friend of mine had exactly the same problem. He called and raised h*** on the phone. He got an email that says that his mid-July order should arrive tomorrow.
Mine (pre-ordered in February) arrived today.
Final price: $52.00. Would have liked to have had them handy at Saturday's WW DnD Game Day, but it's good to have them in hand.
I suggested this with the Compleat Encounter maps awhile back, and still believe it to be a good idea.
While I believe I'm a prepared DM, I really like the little arrows. I'm a prepared DM with space constraints. I'm not ready to tape everything together. So, for me, little arrows at the corners, fade them a bit if you want (but I didn't find them distracting anyway). Thank you.
Hmmm, 3 years from now? Seems unlikely that half of the new product line will not be available for 3 years....
DDI opens in beta on 6 June, when the new edition launches. The initial rollout will have Dungeon and Dragon online magazines and the online rules compendium. The rules compendium will be updated as new products are released. As they become available, other components like the Game Table and the Character generator will launch. Those will be client-based applications.
Source: Bill Slaviscek, Ampersand column on the Wizards site, 7 May 2008.
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I found that I couldn't allow any non-Wotc d20 material into my campaign due to how unbalanced most of it was. I easily can sink in 6-8 hours of prep time for every hour of play time. I enjoyed it, but it gets in the way of playing more often. If 4e cuts that DM prep time back, and I can still tell my stories, and my players still have fun, then 4e will be a success.
IMHO, 3.5e is fun. 4e is fun. Both are DnD.
Ed Zoller 52 wrote:
Is it me or is 4th edition a WOW tabletop game. Epic creatures, heroic monsters, warlocks, Feat tiers, random healing, buffs, minions, immediate powers, recharge (cool down), etc? I love WOW like the next, but I am part excited/depressed all in one. Depressed in that my collection of 3rd edition stuff will possibly be retired with the countless basic, 1st, 2nd, 2.5 ed, and 3.0 stuff (been DMing along time). Excited because the way it makes the players take a roll, gives players a countless amount of power, and will be a new experience for all. I believe that the move by WOTC is to cater to the new young players (WOW generation) and leave us old-school ,tomb of horrors loving, DM;s and plyers alike in the dust. I am part torn to do Paizo's new RPG (already incorporateed a few things to our campaign) or make a big change and go 4th edition. Probably will buy both, mix and match, and see what works and what does not. Thoughts?
I've never played WoW so I can't compare 4e to that game. I've played AD&D, 3.0 and 3.5 D&D, and a couple of preview adventures of 4e at DnDExp. 4e feels like DnD to me. Sure there are some rule changes, simplifications, and so forth, but the game still plays like DnD. WoTC freely admits that they are using some concepts from MMORPGs in this update. It appears to me that Pathfinder RPG is taking some ideas (some of the changes to the skills, for example) from 4e. Why wouldn't a creative designer want to take a good concept from one experience and move it into the game?
I'm sure that you'd be able to recreate Tomb of Horrors in 4e, just as it's been recreated in 3.5e. While I probably won't be changing over to 4e in my home campaign anytime soon, I enjoyed the 4e sessions at DnD Experience, and I'm looking forward to playing more 4e at GenCon this summer. Additionally, I will be experimenting with things, like the death and dying rules, in my campaign, to see if it improves things.
FWIW, my advice would be to keep an open mind, find an opportunity to play it a few times, and then see what (if anything) you like about this latest version.
Goth Guru wrote:
If you as DM find a good reason to have Lolth or her demiplane for your game, go ahead and create it. It's DnD...you can do whatever you want. Your drawing seems to indicate that you could put it off of Elemental Caos (sic).
David Marks wrote:
Thanks for the comments Wurm! I hope to be able to finish off Escape from Sembia this Thursday or next. It's interesting that you didn't seem to get into a fight with a pack of Hobgoblins like my group did. Maybe it is because you passed the skill challenge? (The Warlock and Fighter in my group had really, REALLY terrible rolls for everything they tried to do!)
My warlock had terrible rolls in the Scalegloom Hall event. The only reason I lasted as long as I did was the Shadow Walk ability.
Were the hobgoblins the bodyguards for the wizard during the last combat? If so, then yes, we encountered them. The successful skill challenge allowed us to see them early and set up for them (I think.) Our DM may have gone off script too...
Chris Perkins 88 wrote:
By creating their Pathfinder RPG, Paizo can't be described as being "caught in the middle." They are staking a claim to territory in which WoTC operates. They are, by putting out their own competing version of the game at least implicitly, criticizing WoTC for its decisions related to its handling of DnD licensing.
But basically I agree that ad hominem attacks have no place in civilized discourse.
I thought I would pass along my experience from DnD Experience back in February/March. I wrote this up right after the weekend ended in the Yahoo Group my DnD group uses. In interests of full disclosure, most of the group is not interested in moving to 4e, primarily due to cost. I personally am more interested in it since this playtest than I was when WoTC first announced it. I've also removed the names of my DnD group's names.
[Group members] and I participated in this year's DnD Experience gaming convention on Saturday. I also played the 4th edition version of DnD Miniatures, which is now called DDM 2.0. [Group members and] I played preview events from a new 4th edition RPGA campaign called Living Forgotten Realms. I had time to play one Delve event and I also wandered around the con to see the demo of the new DnD Digital Initiative character creator and online gaming table. What follows will be some of my impressions and experiences. I very much invite comments from the others as well.
After arriving at oh-dark hundred at the hotel in Crystal City, [Group member] and I found the mustering area for the morning Living Forgotten Realms (LFR) event, called Scalegloom Hall. The 5 hour adventure, written by Mike Mearls, was an increasingly more difficult series of combat events clearly intended to highlight the changes to the combat system. Mearls, in his blog on the Gleemax site, adds that he put in the boss creature (a 4th level black dragon with 280 hit points) to prove that 4th edition is every bit as lethal to player characters as 3rd edition (apparently that's a complaint that he's heard.) That was certainly true in our case.
In the party that participated in the Saturday morning event, I played a 1st level half-elf female warlock named Tira, while [Group Member] layed a male human cleric named Erais. I like the warlock player class and wanted to try it out. I put a zip file of pdfs of all the player classes on this web site. It's worth checking them out because you get a good idea of some of the changes underway. The first couple of events of the adventure were pretty straightforward combat event...kicking kobold butt. I think we were through the first 2 or 3 combats in a little more than an hour. The last 3 combats took the remainder of the little over 3 hours. The third combat encounter opened with the party coming into a large room with 4 sarcophagus placed in a square around a pit of some type of green slime. Along one wall were two platforms with a 10' double door in the middle. Four kobolds were arrayed along the top of the platforms. One of the kobolds was holding a green slimy ball attached to the ceiling with a long rope. It appeared that the ball was intended to be swung at skulls placed along the tops of the sarcophagus, but we never let it get that far. [Group member's] cleric, on his initiative, used his encounter power of "cause fear" to send the kobold holding the ball fleeing. The ball swung to another kobold, who immediately ate a number of ranged attacks, including an eldrich blast from my warlock. At that point, while a few more kobolds joined the fun, the rest of the combat was never in doubt.
The penultimate fight also went badly for the kobolds, but was a bit more interesting for us. This fight featured a wyrm priest (black dragon), his two beefy bodyguard kobolds, 4 elite kobold warriors with firepots, gluepots and stinkpots, and 4 cannon fodder spear carrying kobolds following around a large boulder that presented us with a bit of an 'Indiana Jones' moment as it rolled around the room we were in. The wyrm priest was foreshadowing, but we didn't recognize it at the time. Among his abilities was an acidic breath weapon that required a couple of healing surges from the paladin and the cleric to allow the paladin and the fighter to keep the pressure on the priest and his bodyguards. The rest of the part cleaned up the elite warriors and the boulder fanboys. My warlock was able, eventually, to contribute long range firepower to the priest fight, while the ranger, almost single-handedly, used his bow to take down the first line defenders. None of that really fully prepared us for the final room.
The final room contained a very difficult test, a 4th level black dragon with 280 hit points. It was a large creature who could, among other things, call darkness almost at will, and had an acidic breath weapon that did pretty significant initial and ongoing damage. The DM running this event made a couple of rule decisions that made things harder for us than I think the event intended. The dragon's darkness spell, as decided by the DM, was essentially a 'deeper darkness' spell that couldn't be dispelled by the wizard's at will light spell. That magical darkness made it exceptionally difficult for anybody to hit the dragon, and the high AC and other defences also contributed to us only bloodying (getting it to below half it's hit points) before it finally killed all of us (except for one character that fled the dungeon.) My warlock's shadow walk kept it alive for awhile as it moved about the room in concealment, but my poor rolls meant that I did very little damage to it before it killed me. The poor rolls also contributed to my inability to use my daily ability -- the 'Curse of the Dark Dream', which if it had gotten off, would have contributed 3d8+4 psychic damage, and allowed me to slide it 3 squares into a corner, to prevent it from moving. According to the blogs, parties that managed to critical strike on daily powers, and keep the creature flanked, usually did pretty well. As it was, almost the entire party got hit with the breathe weapon right at the start. We got behind the dragon, and never caught up.
[Group member] and I played some DnD miniatures (DDM). We never did get into the true 4th edition DDM prerelease event, but the DDM league play had 4th edition cards for the Desert of Desolation league, so we were able to get a taste of the impact of the new rules. In a nutshell, the new rules simplify most combat adjudication, without limiting the options for ways to solve combat problems. This was also true of the RPG versions of the rule, once you got used to the different names for similar concepts. One example is the handling of difficulty classes for rolls involving fortitude, will, and reflex. Most straight combats involved rolls against the target's AC. Spells, powers, and exploits usually involved rolls against fortitude, will, or reflex defenses. For example, the warlock's basic attack was her use of eldritch blast. Eldritch blast is an attack at +4 vs Reflex (rather than AC) that deals 1d10+4 damage. Combined with a warlock's curse, the warlock can dish out 1d10+4+1d6 damage as a standard action.
The DnD Insider Digital Initiative includes the digital versions of Dragon and Dungeon e-zines, and the tools. The people doing the demonstrations stressed that they were pre-alpha, and were intended to give folks an idea of where things were headed. I agree with [group member] that the 3d version of the online gaming table might not be really necessary, but by and large, the tools looked pretty good. When completed, and for subscribers, they are to include a full database of the DnD 4th edition rules. Non-subcribers will see a reference to the book and page on which a specific rule, feat, power, exploit, etc are discussed.
One really fun event was the Dungeon Delve. These are 30 minute full out "how far can you get" combat dungeoneering games that usually resulted in total party kills. They are a blast. Here at DnD Experience, the Delves were run using 4th edition rules, so they were another opportunity to test drive 4th edition. The Delves also used the same pregenerated characters as during the LFR events. The action is fast and furious, and you win tokens depending on how far into the dungeon you get. The party I was on, made up scratch from people standing in the line, didn't really do so well. We only got into the second room before time ran out. It was still fun, and I would have liked to have participated in more Delve events. I plan to use Delve events to fill in time available at GenCon this summer.
The final event of the evening was an LFR adventure called 'Escape from Sembia.' [Group members] and I took on the roles of fighter, paladin, and ranger, respectively. Bill the DM was from the Seattle area. Two of the other guys were local, while one was Pittsburgh, I believe. The party meshed well, and the DM was really good, so we had a great time. This adventure was more 'traditional' than the 'Scalegloom Hall' event, in that there were more opportunities to use abilities and skills to advance the story, in addition to the combat encounters. I believe there were 3 combat encounters, and one skills-based encounter, the results of which the DM used to provide the party with a small advantage during the final encounter. The first combat encounter required the party to intercede to protect a contact from being mugged. Once that group was defeated, the combat encounter flowed directly into a non-combat encounter were the DM asked us to describe how we planned to use the abilities of our characters to allow us to escape from the town's authorities. I used the ranger's fey step ability to teleport out of sight, and then used my stealth abilities to slink out of town. The halfling paladin was able to use his halfling feat ability to 'Get Lost in a Crowd' to mingle with bystanders. The dwarf fighter took advantage of the warlock's fiery attack on a brewer's wagon to escape, as did the rest of the party. While escaping through the mountains, a group of undead attacked the party. The cleric learned through outstanding religious recall, as did the warlock, that among the undead the party faced was a boneshard skeleton. Boneshard skeletons explode for burst damage when attacked. The fighter was able to use his 'Tide of Iron' ability to push the boneshard off the trail and down a cliff, where it exploded harmlessly. The DM mentioned that a previous party almost TPK'd with the boneshard, because they hadn't realized that it would explode, and it pretty much decimated the party, when it eventually did so. The final boss combat was a tough fight against a wizards and his bodyguards, including a shadar kai wielding a spiked chain who had the ability to shift 6 squares, and attack three PCs. He lasted long enough to get an arrow in the head from my ranger before he died. The party successfully escaped from Sembia! This event ended at about midnight, and though we all were tired, I think everybody had had a great time.
My take on 4th edition? It's still DnD. It's a fairly significant change from 3rd edition. The DMs, all of whom are NDA'd playtesters, said that they enjoyed the new rule set, and believe the new game will be much easier for them to prepare. The combats were more straightforward, with less overall dicerolling (so I think they came off a bit faster than 3rd edition.) The abilities, powers, and exploits are really interesting, and it's clear to me that a 1st level adventure is a perfectly fun and playable game. As we got more comfortable with the changes to the rules, and the abilities of our characters, the combats got faster. It's not a table top version of an online MMORPG, at least not to me. I think the DnD Insider electronic stuff will be interesting, and I'll likely subscribe, at least for awhile. I'm now really looking forward to playing Delves at GenCon, and I'll be interested to play more 4th edition events there too.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Is that a company policy? Why is that?
Having so many class changes so early doesn't feel very backwards compatible to me. Changing abilities also removes the backwards compatibility, and makes it look a bit like some of what's being incorporated into 4e. For a design goal, it doesn't look like backwards compatibility is going to make it to the end of the design phase.
That may not altogether a bad thing, especially since Paizo has already said that they plan to move over to their new RPG system.
...still haven't seen that many comments by people who actually have played in a 4e event...
One of the folks that I game with played in the same 4e events that I did at DnD Experience. He's expressed concern to me that the non-combat parts of 4e DnD will take a back seat. I've seen this concerned expressed elsewhere, on this board and other fora. I frankly don't see how making the combat part of DnD richer, but simpler to run, adversely affects the role-playing part of the game. It seems to me that roleplaying is up to the group and the effectiveness of the DM who's telling the story. It's true that neither scenario run at DNDExp focused on role-playing, but there was some roleplaying in the Escape from Sembia scenario, and it played pretty much the same as any other DnD roleplaying (non-combat) encounter in which I've participated...particularly at a Con. The way judging a non-combat encounter worked during the 4e adventure was that the DM decided what (or if) to test a skill, set a DC, and the player rolled. If he equaled or exceeded the DC, the skill worked...if he didn't, the skill didn't work. The skills were a bit simplified, but the changes made sense to me. Difference without a distinction....
Early on, I was pretty vocal in my disgust with WoTC for making my over 3 thousand dollars worth of investment in 3.5e material useless once the new edition comes out. Pathfinder RPG doesn't do anything to help with that situation, so I'm not sure why I would go with that as a new edition. Necromancer Games and Goodman Games will be publishing 4e adventures, and they are, other than Paizo, my favorite sources of non-WoTC material, so things are looking up.
I voted that I was undecided or planning on staying with 3.5 but was moving to 4th. In reality, I'll probably play both, and DM both, at least for awhile. Eventually, though, I expect to move to 4e. My initial great deal of angst about the changes have tempered somewhat...mostly because I've now played a little in the new edition.
I'm not one of those who like dozens of RPG systems. I don't have the time to learn more systems, or to play those other systems. More to the point, I'm not willing to pay for more systems.
Paizo will still attract some of my spare cash for their Gamemastery products, which I think are really great. I'll also likely purchase a few more of the Planet Stories books. My purchases of Pathfinder modules likely will stop once they switch over to their new system.
I wish Paizo luck with this effort, even if I cannot and will not support it financially. I say that with some trepidation, because I'm not sure this is really a good idea for them. I think the energy they will be expending in developing their own RPG would be better spent on focusing on their core business.
Vic Wertz wrote:
I skimmed the 201 posts but didn't see many by people who had been to the DnD Experience, and actually played the 4e preview adventures. I did. I played both of the Forgotten Realms 4e preview adventures and a "Delve" event, which also used 4e rules.
It's still DnD. Therefore, I voted that I was undecided before, but now probably will shift over. That shift will take place over time, probably in a year or so...my current campaign will be finished as a 3.5e campaign. My next campaign...probably an Eberron-based campaign...likely will be a 4e version.
James Jacobs wrote:
Each volume of Pathfinder will have 96 pages. It will contain a new Adventure Path: Rise of the Runelords, in addition to several support articles that describe key cities the PCs visit, detail the gods and monsters that feature in each campaign, introduce new monsters, present support articles such as "How to run a castle," and more.
Will each Pathfinder take place in Varisia, or will there be different campaign worlds once a particular adventure arc is completed?
Lara Garrison wrote:
I subscribe to both magazines, have bought hundreds of minis, and my children play with hasbro toys, I doubt I am the only thirty something gamer who can say that. There are enough of us to get wotc to at least take notice.
Actually, I'm a 40 something gamer who can say the same thing (except that I probably have a thousand minis...what can I say, they're like Lays Potato Chips). I've already told WoTC that they have to earn back my trust (and my dollars).
Would it be possible to have downloadable PDFs that present an example set up? I think the later ones include a little picture of what the set up is supposed to be, but the earlier ones don't. It isn't intuitively obvious how some of these are put together...particularly Vault of the Whispering Tyrant.
James Jacobs wrote:
Who was the model for this cover? Does James Ryman have any other work with her in it?
FWIW, I thought the work was spectacular. I don't always like all of Dragon's or Dungeon's covers, but this one was particularly nice. I was a bit bored by Dragon #345's cover for example, but liked #343's cover alot.
As a father of a teenaged young woman, I'm sensitive to the view that today's culture objectifies women (such as pretty much all of hip hop), but this cover didn't strike me at all as pandering to that easy sell. It was a good work of art that linked well with the adventure, which I learned right away because the cover drove me there. Nicely done.
I DM in the Forgotten Realms, so naturally I prefer articles that are FR specific. However, I personally have never been put off by the fact that some idea in the magazines is specific to a non-FR campaign. I just adapt as necessary. Since we were asked to note our preferences, I like the current way the magazines are "themed". I don't need a specific schedule of FR, Eberron, or other content. My only strong preference is that the quality stays as good as it usually is.
I am not a huge fan of the 'Class Acts' section and would prefer a bit more flexibility in that area for Critical Threats, more fiction, more maps of mystery, or whatever.
Troy Taylor wrote:
Check out WoTC's DnD site. They once ran a series of articles called Far Corners of the World. One of the series included a number of magic items suitable for desert campaigns.
I GM a Forgotten Realms campaign and have been for about 4-5 years now. I find FR as vibrant and interesting a game world as Eberron, or any of the others. Where one sees the amazing amount of FR game material as a "glut", others, like myself, see it as an opportunity. I've looked at Monte Cook's new sourcebook(s), Green Ronin stuff, Midnight, and IMHO they are derivative of good ideas that originally appeared either in FR or in Greyhawk. I don't really dislike any of them, but also I don't really find anything compelling there either.
I thought Paizo did a nice job at Gen Con. Great booth, and I really appreciated getting a chance to review Amazing Stories and Undefeated in the attendee bag. Neither of them are available at my FLGS.
I already subscribe to both Dungeon and Dragon, so as a loyal subscriber, I was a little disappointed that there weren't more accomodations made for t-shirts for those of us who already are subscribers. ;-)
Overall I liked the new design. I liked the articles, though I too was a bit disappointed by the Samurai vs Knight article. It was very scholarly, and the author clearly knew what he was talking about, but I too expected something more than "the best man wins." Not being a magazine person, I have no idea what white space means, but I thought the content was exceptional. This was one issue where I found something I can put in my game on almost every page of content.
I look forward to seeing how this evolves.
I played in the Shards of Eberron DnD Open module at GenCon. Felt just like a regular game of DnD to me. Eberron has a pretty complex backstory, and is pretty well fleshed out. Some of the guys in my gaming group are intrigued by things like the warforged and the artificer class, but it really wouldn't take much to bring them into a FR home game. Still a bit agnostic on the setting, but I agree that having a third of the adventures in the new Dungeon magazine devoted to Eberron specifically seems a bit high. I understand the marketing/product tie-in nature of that decision, but I would regret it, if it wasn't accompanied by a sidebar of "here's how this would work in FR..."