4dventure


4th Edition

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Friday, 4:12 p.m.: D&D Q&A
by Chris Thomasson

"There's still some uncertainty about Dragon and Dungeon moving online, but the only downside I hear is that people will miss the portability. It's certainly true you'll need to print an article to take it to the can with you, but there are so many positives about this change."


Stebehil wrote:

Well, just to throw in some more speculation: The bard as class could be thrown out - if the other classes allow a more modular build anyway, what´s the point of having a "jack-of-all-trades" class ?

As for the cleric: It is one of the foundations of the game that there are arcane and divine spellcasters, however these are called. So, I guess we will see both of these in the future. I don´t think of the cleric as "not sexy" - although I would like to see some modifications to individualize them more.

Stefan

I'm really curious to see what they do with the cleric. Currently the Cleric has two main jobs, heal the party members and buff the party members. Thats its main position in a party.

However both of these seem to be at least somewhat on the chopping block. Somewhere in one of the announcements there was a statement that they want to try and dispense with the buffing crown style of gaming that has become the norm. You know where the cleric fires off buff after buff trying to enhance the rest of the party.

Now I have no doubt that there will be buffs in 4th edition but if they are trying to scale back on this aspect it would seem likely that they will do things to reduce the effect of the party placing 12 buffs down prior to combat and then having it so that everyone is trying to work out how long each buff lasts and what happens when it runs out. Form an 'ease of play' stand point this makes since.

At my table we use a verity of methods to try and deal with the massive book keeping involved in slews of buffs but its not easy or elegant. My players often spend as much as a half hour of game time discussing what buffs they will throw up before opening the door with ominous noises coming through it and spend more time trying to arrange the buffs in optimum order so that they don't find that their first buff runs out when the cleric spends his 9th round prior to combat casting the 9th party buff.

The second thing the cleric does a lot of is heal - but that role is being heavily reduced in many recent products. MIC in particular is loaded down with healing items that any one can use. Presuming that this is intention and is a sign of a trend, and I think it is, here again we see the clerics job of being the party medic being heavily scaled back. Maybe he'll be the best medic around but much of the time the other players will be perfectly capable of taking care of their own healing.

So what does this leave to divine magic? if its not the sole source of healing power and its not about endless party buffs well then what is it about?

No don't get me wrong - I think clerics as they stand are cool but I don't necessarily think that huge amounts of buffing is the most exciting activity in the game nor do I think that the clerics role as medic for every nick the party suffers is really the way to make the game as fun as it can be for the cleric player. If we loose this aspect of clerics then I won't shed a lot of tears ... but I'm damn curious to see what the role will be if not this?


Evilturnip wrote:

Up your nose with a rubber hose, gramps. Us kids weren't touching your lawn, because it has an old man smell.

I've got my own lawn, covered with lawn-warforged instead of lawn gnomes.

My wild speculation machine hints that Eberron will be the core setting for the 4e core books.

Hmmm...well Forgotten Realms is slated to have the first campaign book out ... but they never did say what core would be.

I'm of the opinion that the should dispense with the idea of core altogether but thats not even speculation just my opinion.


Another thing that bothers me is the "oh, there's a code in the book that'll unlock more stuff and an e-version of the same book too..."
Yeah, but how are you going to ensure that people don't just copy that code from books on the shelf?
Shrink wrap them all? Yeah, that's going to be very popular when people can't see what they're actually buying.
How about used books? I go buy a used PHB, but the code has already been used so I can't access all the snazzy features myself.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Evilturnip wrote:
My wild speculation machine hints that Eberron will be the core setting for the 4e core books.

Hmmm...well Forgotten Realms is slated to have the first campaign book out ... but they never did say what core would be.

I'm of the opinion that the should dispense with the idea of core altogether but thats not even speculation just my opinion.

Again, it's already been stated that the core books are going to be setting neutral.


I dont agree that there was lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth when 2nd edition came out. When it came out we had no idea about how the system would change. There didnt seem to be much lead in time. AFTER it arrived many (myself included) ignored the rule changes and kept on with 1st edition- they were extremely compatible so I could just buy a module and play it with minor changes.

When 3rd edition came out it was at a time for me (and I think the industry) when D&D was struggling. It needed a boost to get people interested again. 3rd edition did this and I am grateful for it.

My recollection is that 3.5 did have some wailing and gnashing of teeth due to the cost factor.

4th edition is feared becasue while there are obviously things that can be improved and cleaned up most core 3.5 works and works well. I think the 4th edition apologists like to say that "everybody said 3rd edition would be a disaster and look what happened" but this is a historical rewrite. To me it doesnt feel like 3/3.5 has real need of change and for this reason 4th may be premature.

I acknowledge the commercial reasons for creating 4th edition but IMO that is a bit of a cop-out. Paizo seems to have a growing supporter base and plenty of new ideas to create money. I would think real campaign support with quality product (adventures) would keep the coffers ticking over.

I am also concerned that it is being espoused as a more 'modular' build your own style character creation as I think this leads to those who want to powergame creating characters even more likely to make others irrelevant if they cant be bothered spending hours working out the glitches. I have a powergamer in my group and no-one wants to be a character in the same niche as him- they just end up being second rate. I also thought book of 9 swords was rubbish.

I have no faith in the designers creating balanced modular builds -they couldn't get it right in the PHB and they demonstrated complete inablity to maintain balance throughout the splatbooks.

It doesnt really effect me - I like the idea if some online stuff- though I dont really understand it all. I have just started playing SC and have AoW, ST and Pathfinder in reserve so I can stick with 3.5 for about 10 years gaming- so I suspect I will be missing 4th and checking back in on 5th.

As to which charater class they get rid of I vote Barbarian. It is a cultural type not a class, it is overpowered and it is muscling in on the Rangers territory of wilderness warrior. I am disappointed that they are getting rid of any race- they are iconic, 1st edition and should be kept - they got rid of half-orcs and monks in 2nd edition so maybe they have a rule that in even numbered editions they dont have monks and half-orcs?

Liberty's Edge

Werecorpse wrote:
I dont agree that there was lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth when 2nd edition came out. When it came out we had no idea about how the system would change.

Same here. I remember when 2nd edition came out; I was a ninth grader and everyone I knew was very happy at first glance. I remember that I was very excited and especially so for the updated interior art in the three books.


GentleGiant wrote:

Another thing that bothers me is the "oh, there's a code in the book that'll unlock more stuff and an e-version of the same book too..."

Yeah, but how are you going to ensure that people don't just copy that code from books on the shelf?
Shrink wrap them all? Yeah, that's going to be very popular when people can't see what they're actually buying.
How about used books? I go buy a used PHB, but the code has already been used so I can't access all the snazzy features myself.

You can put the code under a tab or some such. It won't stop some from stealing it but then some could unwrap the shrink wrap and steal the code that way too.

Not sure what they'll do about 2nd hand books though.


Nothing gold can stay. Having Dungeon and Dragon mags online is a good idea I think. I mean, it will keep me in shape running up and down the stairs each time I want to look at the magazine from the gaming table. And I'll have to get a second job if I want to afford the ink cartridges that I'd need if I wanted to have hard copies of everything on hand, it builds character! Plus the quality will be a lot worse since it is copier paper and a laser printer instead of glossy magazine paper. Paper clip or detailed spine with titles of articles and adventures for easy look up? It will build the memorization part of my brain (now which one was issue 160?)


The thought occurred to me that the code might be on a cd/dvd in the book. That wouldn't keep people from stealing the disk but at least it would be easier to tell if someone had.

Liberty's Edge

Who knows, but speculating is fun. The bookseller could supply you with the code at checkout; online retailers like Paizo and Amazon could supply it to you in your Digital Library section or as a separate email after you pay for the book. WotC could put otherwise worthless codes in the books and then require you to register at the site as a means to remit the code. I think there are many, reasonably secure methods without resorting to shrinkwrap...though SW books go for more to collectors, and real collectors would then buy two copies--one to open and one to archive.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ya know, I'm not really all against a new edition to help clean things up, but this is crap. Seriously WTF?

I remember when D&D came out it was a "product of/for your imagination", not lets try to make everything like WoW and DAoC. I dont mind digital information, but it seems now the game will be totally grid and tactical and hardly ANY roleplaying to be had. Everyone is gonna have a min/maxed, munchkin-type PC. By the way did you notice who the three 4e designers were...oh yes 2 who created the biggest munchkin books and the lead mini's game designer. Yeah THAT makes me feel better!!!

(sigh)

Thank god I havent bought anything from Weasels of the Coast since PH2 came out.

I guess if WotC is going to head this route, well I guess I'll just subscribe to WoW and play that....

No sense complaining about it now as it is already in motion, but WotC will NOT ever get another penny from me, and if/when Paizo changes over as well, i wont send them any more of my money either.

Liberty's Edge

DmRrostarr wrote:
...but WotC will NOT ever get another penny from me, and if/when Paizo changes over as well, i wont send them any more of my money either.

Remember the Big Picture, and that WotC is the industry leader. Also, remember that many great new books and articles are slated for release in the next year, and they're written by many Paizo favorites, like Logue and Jacobs...

In fact, the latest release by WotC is written by three Paizoites...


Andrew Turner wrote:
and they're written by many Pazio [sic] favorites, like Logue and Jacobs...

It's not really like they had a choice. They need to eat too.

Denial:

No fricking way did they just announce 4th Edition! NO WAY

Anger:

I hate WoTC. HATE HATE HATE! Boycott!

Bargaining:

Maybe 4th Edition will be an improvement. They might not grind it into the dirt. Maybe Dragon online won't suck as bad as it sounds. It was stolen from the slush pile after all...

Depression:

Meh...I'm just going to stuff all my gaming materials into a trunk and play WoW instead.

Acceptance:

Yeah, I guess I'll buy the books when they come out. What choice do we sheep have, really? All the new supplements will be 4th Edition.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrew Turner wrote:
DmRrostarr wrote:
...but WotC will NOT ever get another penny from me, and if/when Paizo changes over as well, i wont send them any more of my money either.

Remember the Big Picture, and that WotC is the industry leader. Also, remember that many great new books and articles are slated for release in the next year, and they're written by many Pazio favorites, like Logue and Jacobs...

In fact, the latest release by WotC is written by three Paizoites...

Like I said....anything with 4e will NOT get a penny from me. Paizo favorites or not(and they are not my favorites), 4e will be a waste of time and money. Just gonna do what many of the 1e and 2e players have done and just continue with homebrew and similar types. I have more than enough books to get me through doing 3.5 til I die.

Its one thing to be bitter about change, and I wasnt bitter at all when 3e came out as I was out of D&D for a about 4 yrs, and then 3e came and I was like, "ok D&D has been updated, I'll check it out. I tried it, I liked it, and I found people interested in 3e. I was cool with that, but this introduction to 4e that will NOT be compatable with 3.5, just blows my mind. Now, if 3.5 and 4e could be compatable, I'd be a little more open to it....but until THAT day comes, I'm not gonna be one of their "demographic".

Liberty's Edge

DmRrostarr wrote:
... Now, if 3.5 and 4e could be compatable, I'd be a little more open to it....

I would imagine that the fluff books would not be necessarily invalidated by a mechanics update. For example, I'm sure I'll get as much use out of my 3.5 Unapproachable East and be able to use it (less the stats) with the next edition. Once I learn the new system, I'll just do my own stat block updates when necessary.

If I really have any angst toward WotC regarding 4e, it's the same as I have still toward Microsoft and the Xbox..."a new Xbox?/4th edition of D&D? That's possible, certainly, but years away." And there it is, 9 months later...

A smart thing to do, and maybe my business sense is off, but I'd say a smart thing to do would ensure that the 3.5 books are at least somewhat compatible with the 4e books--that way you won't have the WotC disto centers packed with unsalable merchandise, and outlets and booksellers won't be forced to liquidate old 3.5 books at 75% discounts!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Pete Apple wrote:
My conjecture would be Gnome and Half-Orc. I.E. not in the LOTR. We're looking to hit the mass market here, so Gimli and Orlando Bloom have to stay.

<Old Curmudgeon>Half-orcs were in the Lord of the Rings books. Don't kids these days read anymore?</Old Curmudgeon>

Can I be an old curmudgeon in my 30's? Considering that RPGs have only existed for about 30 years, and I've been a gamer for about 25 of them, I suppose I can.

Pete Apple wrote:
I, personally, would enjoy the Gnomes being put back into the MM as true Fey (see Pathfinder's treatment of them) to give them some flavor back. Instead of the default "oh I want to play a short illusionist".

I agree that the gnomes suffer from the gearhead/prankster treatment they receive. I would like to see them become more Fey or Shadow oriented.

Pete Apple wrote:
Similar for the half-orc. They're half-monster, by garsh, they ought to be in the MM! People aren't going to like you!

Mechanically, they're the weakest PHB race, but from a roleplaying perspective, they can be a lot of fun. They have the "outcast" shtick, even if you don't want to play them as crude, uncivilized brutes. Also, they are one of the "original 1st Ed." races.

I understand that WotC is trying to expand the D&D market to draw in the EQ/WoW crowd, but I'm a bit concerned that they will go too far down the hack-and-slash/miniatures orientation route where "power-ups" are the main focus of "character development." The last run of 3.5 supplements doesn't make me confident, though. I'm still taking a "wait and see" attitude. As far as modular character-building goes, HERO system is still the best, IMO.


I'm just gonna say it....flavour-wise, D&D died with second edition AD&D.


Pete Apple wrote:
Similar for the half-orc. They're half-monster, by garsh, they ought to be in the MM! People aren't going to like you!

That is a dangerous statement... Seeing as how the core race(s) that are being dropped are being done so for Tieflings.

Dark Archive

Moving towards a more wow-like sysytem is a big mistake. D&D has always been it's own thing, and to move it online seems strange. I can see some +'s and some groups will be able to get together from miles away, but why not hook up in MMORPG's instead(everything is calculated, pretty graphics, etc..). Especially from a kid's perspective online D&D will look like an old text-based game to them. You know they will be selling digital minis for your digi-rpg game soon as well so brace yourselves. *I just need to order 2 or 3 more digi-minipax and maybe I will get that Bullywug for tonight's game!

Scarab Sages

Takamori wrote:
I'm just gonna say it....flavour-wise, D&D died with second edition AD&D.

Perhaps, but I didn't want vanilla any more. It was nice to have some rocky road.


Moff Rimmer wrote:
Takamori wrote:
I'm just gonna say it....flavour-wise, D&D died with second edition AD&D.
Perhaps, but I didn't want vanilla any more. It was nice to have some rocky road.

;P

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
mwbeeler wrote:

Denial:

No fricking way did they just announce 4th Edition! NO WAY

Anger:

I hate WoTC. HATE HATE HATE! Boycott!

Bargaining:

Maybe 4th Edition will be an improvement. They might not grind it into the dirt. Maybe Dragon online won't suck as bad as it sounds. It was stolen from the slush pile after all...

Depression:

Meh...I'm just going to stuff all my gaming materials into a trunk and play WoW instead.

Acceptance:

Yeah, I guess I'll buy the books when they come out. What choice do we sheep have, really? All the new supplements will be 4th Edition.

*lol*!

I guess all of us are in different states of sadness, as you implied... ;-)

Greetings,
Günther

Sovereign Court

Dragonchess Player wrote:

<Old Curmudgeon>Half-orcs were in the Lord of the Rings books. Don't kids these days read anymore?</Old Curmudgeon>

Can I be an old curmudgeon in my 30's? Considering that RPGs have only existed for about 30 years, and I've been a gamer for about 25 of them, I suppose I can.

Nope, can't be curmudgeon in your 30's. You have to be in your 40's like me. :-) You made my day! "kids" Har!

Oh, and I was considering the PC races from the LOTR, since we were talking about PC races after all... Unless I missed that half-orc hanging in the back of the fellowship. :-)


Pete Apple wrote:
Oh, and I was considering the PC races from the LOTR, since we were talking about PC races after all... Unless I missed that half-orc hanging in the back of the fellowship. :-)

Yeah you did! His name was Gruck and he was actually a quite skilled juggler, even rivaling Legolas when it came to throwing knives.

Unfortunately he took too much of a liking to the camouflaging cloaks they received from the elves and thus he sort of disappeared into the background of the whole series...


From the 4e Q&A seminar (filched from ENWorld, points highlighted by me that I found particularly interesting):

We want to know the core classes and races for 4e. "Nope, we want you to sign up for D&D Insider." - Chris Thomassan

Saga is a significant "preview" of 4th Edition.

Will monsters still have types and subtypes similar to what they are now? Very different. Monsters fill key "roles" in encounters. All the stuff Mike was talking about on the Wizards website, that's all 4E. Mike's on the design team.

Is 30 levels just 30 thinner slices of the same loaf, or is it the original 20 slice loaf plus another half a loaf? 1-10 Heroic, 11 - 20 Paragon, 21 - 30 Epic. Here's a great quote from Chris, "A lot of things are going to be changing, and we're going to put most of it in previews on D&D Insider, but I can assure you the Beholder will still only have 9 eyes."

Team has been working on 4th Edition for over two years. Bill Slaviseck. Leads: Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, and James Wyatt. Bill, Andy, Mike Mearls, and Rich Baker were the ones in the front of the room for this. Playtesting in campaigns at WotC (ie, Dave Noonan’s game) for the past several months.

Resource Management: All classes have defined roles – a fighter is never penalized for being a “tank”, a “healer” is never penalized for curing, a mage is never penalized for “magic missiling”

All characters have at will, per encounter, and per day uses they will have to keep track of.
No more mages pulling out crossbows. You will never be penalized for doing what you do best – your clearly defined roles.

Encounters will be built differently in 4th edition. There will be much more “situation” and complexity in the environment, swinging bridges, gouts of lava, etc. An encounter is like a scene of a play – could be talking to a town guard, could be defending a town gate, could be traversing the mountainside to enter the shrine of Asmodeus.

There will be many more monsters for PC’s to fight. It’s more fun that way. There are very few encounters that are built to be all the PC’s against one big powerful bad guy. There will be more mechanics built to leverage the monsters and THEY’RE fundadmental roles. An ettin will be talking to itself throughout the encounter. This is the “monster’s job on the battlefield” this is how he reacts.

The fog of war is much more interesting because when you approach an orc, he isn’t a set of specific stats. He has a very specific role, and you won’t know what it is until he unleashes it on the battlefield.

Increase of magic across the board in all aspects of the game.

Monster Manual is a 288 pagebook, with over 300 monsters. New format for stat blocks, simpler and easier to use

Cooperative storytelling. The D&D world is points of light in a big dark world, sword and sorcery (medieval fantasy). Lots of blank spaces on the map.

Greyhawk will not be default setting in core. We want to leverage the assets of the assumed parts of a D&D world – Mordenkainen, Bigby, Vecna, Llolth, Tiamat, Asmodeus, etc. However, we also want to call upon the great mythology that is more commonly known such as Thor, etc.

More options, not restrictions. Everyone will be a constructive, useful member of the party, no accidental lame characters.

Vancian magic system – there’s an element of that we held on to, but it’s a much smaller fraction of their overall power. A wizard will never completely run out of spells. They can run out of their “mordenkainen’s sword, however”.

D20 gaming system – this is still a d20 game and game system. We got rid of the parts that didn’t help it out, but most of the things that work continue to be used.

Skill system – familiar but truncated. Getting rid of tailor, rope use, etc. Focus on the skills that are really useful in an encounter. Saga edition is a significant stride forward and should be considered a preview. Same for profression, etc. We want characters making acrobatics, bluff, jump, etc. No characters will be stuck at 10th level saying “oh I never invested in that.” Hide/Move Silent are brought together. Now an important part of your character, and here’s how to apply it to an encounter. It’s rarely a check and done, it’s now, I make a check, and they react to it. What happens now.

Primarily focused on physical products (PH, MM, DMG).

Living Greyhawk – will be coming to a triumphant close next year, and they will be starting fresh with a new batch of characters and players. This will be discussed tonight or tomorrow

4 parts of 4E: Physical Products, Community, Organized Play – conventions, tournaments, etc. Working much closer with R&D to integrate. Chris Tulac(?) part of the playtesting, in from the ground up. Digital Offerings. Think of this like the second DVD with “extras”.

Character Building: Less feat trees, easier for characters to swap out abilities much easier and try different things out. Each level from 1 – 30 each character will have interesting character development options to choose.

Personalizing and specializing your character is amped up, it’s one of the most powerful things about 4th edition. If you’re a barbarian, you’re not a frenzied berserker. If you’re a barbarian, you’re a barbarian for your entire career. The frenzied berserker and bear warrior will be at the very end.

Multiclassing – lots of compelling and interesting choices. A fighter who dabbles in wizard or dabbles in cleric is something compelling, Andy’s brother is playing a rogue wizard and he’s said in the conversion this is the character I wanted to play all along. The choices and powers are good powers on both sides. Backstab, throw chromatic orb across the room, then teleport across the room. There is no more “crappy fighter” attached to a “crappy wizard”.

XP not getting rid, and for those not comfortable with eyeballing it will have a clear time as to when to advance. Much easier for the DM. I’ll build a level 8 encounter, totaling 8000 xp, this one, plus this one = 8000 done. No tables. Monsters have a level, just like characters. “A group vs. a “group” of 5th level is about the same as an EL5 encounter today.

4 player groups as the baseline? They are aiming for right around 5. Encounters are more modular, and now that there are a bunch, it’s a lot easier to scale it. Most data is 4-6 players are 80% or more of the gaming groups out there.

Iron Heroes vs. 4th Edition – Mike: Yes, there are some similiarities, ie, putting more emphasis on the class vs. the items for characters.

D&D Insider – DRM, Downloadable vs. view online. We are still investigating, digital issues will be usable without being connected. Books – You will need to be logged in to use them. Still working out how to make this work for you and for us.

Will the Wizard and Sorcerer merge? No. How many core classes? More than 3 less than 15, see the “pre-releases” at Wizards.com.

“We had an expression from earlier discussions, the ranger kills the scout and takes his stuff…sorry Scout, you’re not going to make it. But now the Ranger’s going to be cooler because he’s taking all your stuff.”

Do you know why the sorcerer’s in the game (3.5)? 1/3 of the PH was supporting only one class, hence the sorcerer came about.

Monstrous races? Can you still make kobold barbarians? We’re not going to put limitations on the way we build monsters to make them work right. We know there are monsters that will become player character races. For example, it will be obvious how to play a goblin PC right out of the monster manual and PH.

Will the D&D Insider authors be considered “canon”? Yes, it is our intention to treat this material as integral to the game and to the campaign worlds.

Will alignment be a factor in the new edition? It’s not going to be what it is now. Alignment is part of the story, part of the character. It is a useful shorthand, but too many books and too many players mistake it for limitation. We want to treat alignment as something bigger than that. We won’t get rid of it, but we don’t want it to be a replacement for character and personality.

Platform compatability? Starting with PC, because there are more.

When can we start to play? Module comes out in April, with Quick Start rules. You could start that early. All the great content in Dragon and Dungeon magazines will be 4e, and will be relevant to 4e. We can start playing a month early.

Magical Item Creation – they will no longer use Magic Item XP. XP are NOT a resource to be spent.

FR will be the first campaign setting they support for 4e. They will get around to all of them, much of it will be available early on D&D Insider.

Every adventure we put in Dungeon magazine will be portable to the Digital Gametable.

Magic Item Creation. We tried to fool ourselves into the fact that there was a hard pricing, but we started recognizing that with MIC, that we should look at them more wholistically. There will not be magic item creation rules for DM’s as we realize that as professional game designers we don’t even get it right every time. We’re going to give you lots and lots of examples and suggest that you build it, test it, etc.

Will it be easier for a wizard to create magic items?
Yes, characters can still build magic items, it will be a way for characters to acquire things, but it will be more flexible and easier. There will be a preview article on this in two weeks on D&D Insider. Three releases a week (this one will be on Wed).

Design philosophies on races. There is a tiefling on the player’s handbook. There may also be a changeling (from Eberron). Design philosophies of races. Mike did all the talking, where there will be a very REAL ACTIVE difference within the races that will really make a difference between the Dwarf Fighter and an Elven Fighter.

Will we be doing ECL? That’s a good example of something applied to the game to help make somethings work easier. We don’t want to recreate this. We’re not going to give you rules to play a blink dog fighter… There will be many more choices, however, and we want to make sure they are all playable right out of the gate. If say, for instance, we put a tiefling in the PH, we would certainly want to make it playable right out of the gate. So, for example, we might have had to make a lot of the other races a little bit cooler to keep the balance straight between the races.

Grazzt will be in the Demonomicon on D&D Insider in October.

AOO - It won't be the same thing, but the concepts are all there. Please note that things ARE still in development. Nothing's finalized yet.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks! That's an awesome breakdown.


Thanks. That extra little bit will help me sleep easier tonight.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I am pretty stoked actually. Maybe I am just a brainless consumer, but I am excited.

Forget that I am stoked

I am smurfin' stoked!


GentleGiant wrote:
DRM

Well, there's the kicker for me; Digital Restrictions Management.

Rest of it makes the entire system sound very "cookie cutter." Like a party of 5 guys of the same level is going to be a stalemate against any other 5 pcs. What happens if you want to play outside of your chosen "role?" Whatever, I'll wait till I see it (offline), but it still sounds like arse.

Dark Archive

Thank you GentleGiant, very useful highlights.
Rules-wise, nothing that I already haven't done with house rules, options from either official and d20-compatible manuals.

GentleGiant wrote:

Resource Management: All classes have defined roles – a fighter is never penalized for being a “tank”, a “healer” is never penalized for curing, a mage is never penalized for “magic missiling”

No more mages pulling out crossbows. You will never be penalized for doing what you do best – your clearly defined roles.

Mmmhh... I've already seen that... Oh, right! In the Red Box, the old Basic game ruleset!

Full circle!

GentleGiant wrote:
There will be many more monsters for PC’s to fight. It’s more fun that way. There are very few encounters that are built to be all the PC’s against one big powerful bad guy. There will be more mechanics built to leverage the monsters and THEY’RE fundadmental roles. An ettin will be talking to itself throughout the encounter. This is the “monster’s job on the battlefield” this is how he reacts.

So not only we will have rules to portray reality (albeit a fantasy one), we will have rules to define psychological traits. WOW, really WOW (no, not the game; just sarcasm).

Goodbye characterization and interpretation.

This doesn't sound at all like streamlining. Sounds more like... railroading.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Pete Apple wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:

<Old Curmudgeon>Half-orcs were in the Lord of the Rings books. Don't kids these days read anymore?</Old Curmudgeon>

Can I be an old curmudgeon in my 30's? Considering that RPGs have only existed for about 30 years, and I've been a gamer for about 25 of them, I suppose I can.

Nope, can't be curmudgeon in your 30's. You have to be in your 40's like me. :-) You made my day! "kids" Har!

Heh. Glad you enjoyed the humor.

Pete Apple wrote:
Oh, and I was considering the PC races from the LOTR, since we were talking about PC races after all... Unless I missed that half-orc hanging in the back of the fellowship. :-)

Bill Ferny's "friend" wasn't a member of the Fellowship, true. However, he (and the other half-orc minions of Sauraman) did inspire the inclusion of half-orcs as a player race in 1st Ed.

Silver Crusade

Dragonchess Player wrote:
Bill Ferny's "friend" wasn't a member of the Fellowship, true. However, he (and the other half-orc minions of Sauraman) did inspire the inclusion of half-orcs as a player race in 1st Ed.

I had forgotten about that one... It was the minions of Saruman I was thinking of. The Uruk-hai are described as Saruman's attempt to cross orcs and men.

For my two coppers, I'd like to see a return to a more LOTR-style halfling. The halflings (may as well call them for what they are... hobbits) from 2e were so much fun. The 3/3.5 halflings... Meh.

Dark Archive

Celestial Healer wrote:

For my two coppers, I'd like to see a return to a more LOTR-style halfling. The halflings (may as well call them for what they are... hobbits) from 2e were so much fun. The 3/3.5 halflings... Meh.

I'm of the complete opposite opinion here. I love halflings and I want hobbits to stay well away from d&d.


Some more info, this time from the FAQ on the 4th edition forums over at Wizards/Gleemax/DnDInsider (I'm not sure by now which is which and if there's actually a difference):

WotC_ScottR, a lot of gaming groups have one person buy a book, and then many players using the book. I understand that only one account (attached to the person who buys the book) will have access the online digital version of the book, but will there be a way for players to populate the database attached to their online accounts with rules from a book that they did not personally buy?

If not, are you saying the only way for a group of 5 people to use the options of one book with the DI database is for all 5 people to buy the hardcopy of the book?

WotC_ScottR wrote:
yes.

Bummer

1) From what I understand you will be able to save 10 PC's to the system. If I've used up all 10 "slots" can I delete one and create a new one?
2) Are the e-books going to be pdf's? If so can I save them to my computer?
3) Will I only have access to the e-books as a member of DDI?

WotC_ScottR wrote:

1) I don't believe there are slot limitations

2)Our goals is that you will be able to use them offline
3)Our goal is that you don't need to be a subscriber but you will need to give us your info to activate

note, he doesn't confirm whether they'll be available as pdf files...

Any chance the Character Visualizer will be available before the new edition? It's pretty useful for the current edition as well...

WotC_ScottR wrote:
our goal is to put it up early so people can play with it in the trial free preview period

1)OK so there is 'nominal fee.' How is this fee to be paid?

2)What happens if we don't pay the recurring fee? Is our stuff deleted if we miss a payment, or something big happens to us in real life and we can't keep up with informing Wizards about it?
3)I guess the big question is, if I just want to keep getting together with my friends and tabletop gaming, why do I need 4E? Mind you, the word in that question was need not what might I find interesting or useful from 4E, but what is needed as badly as the updates to 3E were needed?

WotC_ScottR wrote:

1)We are looking at many forms of payment that will not require a credit card including paypal. More on this in the next few weeks.

2)Good question. I don't know right now but when I am back I am going to find out what we are doing with data on lapsed accounts. Stay Tuned.
3)There are other threads for this. The short answer is because 4e will be fun whether you play at a table or via D&DI

Since we are assuming this will be a pay for product, I would love it if the character creator would have the option of printing full rules sources for the character's abilities, spells, feats, etc. Not just a page and book abbreviation, but the full text of that ability/feat/spell/etc

WotC_DM wrote:

This is in fact a feature that we have already created for R&D play tests from the databases holding 4th Edition information.

The playtesters at WOTC can record their playtest characters and only print the relevant information based on their choices. It is too early today to promise that such feature will also make it to the character sheet application, but it will be seriously considered.

Keep in mind that getting access to the full rules sources in the character creator will be linked to your ownership of the physical book, and this also applies to any referencing the D&DI data system will provide.


More stuff from the same thread as above (this time I've even linked to it, just click this paragraph):

I see in the teaser video a laptop on the table, does this mean that I have to use a laptop during my game sessions?

WotC_Dave wrote:

For the record, I play 4e every Thursday night with my buddies. And the most complicated piece of tech at the table is a three-ring binder.

This doesn't mean I'm not excited to get some prep-time digital help when Insider is up and running. But the game I'm working on right now involves just as much sitting at the table, talking in funny voices, rolling dice, and moving little dudes around as it always did. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

--David Noonan, game designer, Wizards of the Coast.

are you at liberty to give more details on what is and isn't a part of 4th and its mechanics to quell the endless posibilities that people can imagine?

WotC_Dave wrote:

Mostly no, I shouldn't give mechanical details. Two reasons: First, the game ain't done yet. That's a pretty obvious reason. Second, it's unfair and misleading just to give you little, disconnected peeks. You'd just be touching part of the proverbial elephant. The nifty part of the D&D ruleset--or of pretty much any hobby game--is how the parts work in concert.

So my "no mechanical details" answer is just the answer for right now, tonight. We'll inundate you with information long before you face a purchasing decision or need to do anything special with your ongoing game. We'll talk until we're blue in the face. You'll get those questions answered. We just aren't going to do it tonight. And we should probably get the game completely done, too. That seems important.

One thing I can tell you, right now, tonight, is how the game is functioning at my Thursday night table. We're getting around the table faster than we did when this was a 3.5 game. We're hitting rules hitches at more or less the same rate as in 3.5--but this is playtesting, where the only alternative to finding problems is, well, not finding problems. I gotta believe those will fade away as we polish things up. And as the DM, the "information processing" load (bookkeeping, lookups, resource management) on me is way, way down. This does wonders for my ability to DM because I can focus more brainpower on making the encounter come to life.

My players--a mix of other game designers and friends from outside the game industry--are having a good time. (But the point is that we're friends, so the rules can't really take credit for that.) My players have some issues with the game still, and I'm madly taking playtest notes as we play.

So that's where we're at right now. If I were in your shoes, I'd sure want to know as much as possible, right away, proverbial elephants be damned. But May 2008 is a ways off. Just check in with us, volunteer to playtest, and eventually you'll see for yourself, long before the book is on the shelves.

--David Noonan, game designer, Wizards of the Coast.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GentleGiant wrote:


I see in the teaser video a laptop on the table, does this mean that I have to use a laptop during my game sessions?

WotC_Dave wrote:

For the record, I play 4e every Thursday night with my buddies. And the most complicated piece of tech at the table is a three-ring binder.

This doesn't mean I'm not excited to get some prep-time digital help when Insider is up and running. But the game I'm working on right now involves just as much sitting at the table, talking in funny voices, rolling dice, and moving little dudes around as it always did. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

--David Noonan, game designer, Wizards of the Coast.

What I want to know is, where did people get the idea that 4th Edition is only usable online? I've seen numerous threads here and on other forums where people are going on and on about how WotC is making them use PCs to play the game when they've been able to play 3.5 without.

Everywhere I've looked, they've been mostly clear that 4th can be enhanced with online material, but in no way requires internet access or a computer. Sure they had a laptop in the teaser vid - but that's marketing to show that there is PC compatibility, you don't see every player hiding behind their laptops, rolling virtual dice.

I dunno...just strikes me as odd that people are up in arms about the Digital Initiative without good cause. Not wanting to pay a monthly fee and then having every person in the group having to buy the book to access it online sucks, but if that's not what you want to do then fine. Don't. It's an option, not the rule.

Sorry...had to vent.

*deep breath* Yeah...better now.


AlricLightwind wrote:

What I want to know is, where did people get the idea that 4th Edition is only usable online? I've seen numerous threads here and on other forums where people are going on and on about how WotC is making them use PCs to play the game when they've been able to play 3.5 without.

Everywhere I've looked, they've been mostly clear that 4th can be enhanced with online material, but in no way requires internet access or a computer. Sure they had a laptop in the teaser vid - but that's marketing to show that there is PC compatibility, you don't see every player hiding behind their laptops, rolling virtual dice.

I dunno...just strikes me as odd that people are up in arms about the Digital Initiative without good cause. Not wanting to pay a monthly fee and then having every person in the group having to buy the book to access it online sucks, but if that's not what you want to do then fine. Don't. It's an option, not the rule.

Sorry...had to vent.

*deep breath* Yeah...better now.

Just to clarify first of all, none of the questions asked in the posts I've submitted here are my personal questions. Everything has been copied directly from the threads/sites in question. :-)

That out of the way, here's some of my concerns pertaining to the DI.
I'm quite aware that you don't need to use DnDInsider in your regular game, on that part everything is business as usual (i.e. grab your books, dice and let's roll - pardon the pun).
As you mention here, the "every player has to purchase their separate book to use it online"-condition is on one hand fair enough (if you play exclusively online), while on the other hand severely limits some of the functions of the online DM tools. That means that if a DM wants to make use of the online DM tools when prepping an irl adventure, he/she can't use any books other than the ones he has purchased himself. So if someone in the gaming group purchases a supplemental book, with which the DM can find no fault, ruleswise, he (the DM) can't incorporate this book into his online prepping (the exception to that would be for the DM to use the activation code for his account, which some players might be reluctant to do, since it then in turn prohibits their use of the online character generation tools, not to mention that groups do break up from time to time and the player would then also be left without the corresponding e-book).
That's one thing, a practical problem with the whole shebang. Then there's my problem with the PR aspect of it (and I won't touch more on the "4th edition isn't even being considered"-lie, except to mention it, which I've then done now). It makes perfect business sense for Wizards to push ALL of the new options now available to players and DMs everywhere, however, the phrasing does seem to indicate that you're going to be missing out BIG TIME if you don't subscribe to DnDInsider. It's this huge market push that I think a lot of people are reacting to, because even though they throw out off-hand remarks about "sure, it's still playable with just the books, like it's always been," that's nowhere near what they're saying in their sales pitches.
It's, IMO, tantamount to saying "sure... you CAN play with just the books, but it's gonna suck in comparison to all of the cool, leet people out there who takes advantage of ALL the cool, exclusive, extra material YOU are going to be MISSING OUT ON! Sucker!" ;-)
It's the whole crack/Magic/try-first-then-we've-got-you-hooked spiel over again.
THAT is what I take the most exception with.

Scarab Sages

GentleGiant wrote:

It's, IMO, tantamount to saying "sure... you CAN play with just the books, but it's gonna suck in comparison to all of the cool, leet people out there who takes advantage of ALL the cool, exclusive, extra material YOU are going to be MISSING OUT ON! Sucker!" ;-)

It's the whole crack/Magic/try-first-then-we've-got-you-hooked spiel over again.
THAT is what I take the most exception with.

GentleGiant -- thanks for all the information that you have been posting about 4e. It really helps (and there is a lot more information here than I thought there would be).

I can understand your beef here. It would be nice to have some kind of browse/shop before you buy. Of course I would like that for my cable television as well. :-)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All good points and well said.

I had knew that you had pulled that from Wizards, to get that out of the way and my rant wasn't really aimed at anyone in particular.

I guess I'm looking at the DI with rose colored glasses. The chance of my group splitting up very soon and heading our separate directions is a high possibility, so I'm looking at the DI as a chance to allow us to remain connected in some capacity.

I can see where you're coming from. Going back, stepping back and looking at the marketing strategy again I do see where they are pushing the Online portion very hard and just kind of giving off hand remarks about the tabletop portion.

But again, it's marketing. It's what's Wizards is most pumped about and they want us to get pumped about it too. Apparently it's having the opposite affect. :-)

I worked in the video game business for a while, mostly on the retail side , and when a sequel or expansion came out for a game the company hyped the new features until they were blue in the face. Be it the first online death-matches, Havoc physics, Radiant AI - whatever, it's new and that's the pushing point.

I see the same thing here - the DI is new and they want to push it as far and fast as they can. They want to make sure we know that we can get online to access more stuff.

But yeah, the more I think about it, the more they are getting pushy. And no one likes a pushy salesman.


Some more stuff from the 4th edition FAQ thread:

DnDInsider.com
What will the cost be of D&D Inside, what will the benefits be?

randybuehler wrote:


D&D Insider will cost more than a magazine subsciption but less than an MMO. The precise figure hasn't been announced (or decided). For this monthly fee you get:
- Online Dragon and Dungeon magazine content (3 updates per week which then get fodled together into monthly issues as well)
- DM Tools
- Character Generator with all the rules from all the books wired in plus the visual aspects from the video we posted
- D&D Game Table unlimited access for using the 'Net to connect players to play D&D

In addition, there will be ways to "pay as you go" and access these features without being a monthly subscriber, paying a small amount for one session at the game table for example.

In addition, all books will come with a code that you can type in to get an e-version of the book (searchable, readable on your laptop, etc). D&D Insider subscribers will also see all the content from that book unlocked in the various Insider databases once they type in that code as well.

There will still be some free web content on the D&D site.

As far as monthly subscriptions to Gleemax goes, there will be several subscriptions available that gain access to premium content just like the way D&D Insider works, but all the community support / social networking functionality will be free. Another example is a monthly subscription to gain access to play all the games in our Board Game Portal.

Eberron

WotC_James wrote:


Hey, folks--

I'm in my GenCon hotel lobby and don't have time to address every question here, but let me assure you that Eberron is in good hands. We certainly hope that Keith will continue doing freelance work for Eberron, and I'll be doing my best to keep an eye on every bit of Eberron material we produce to avoid straying too far in unwanted directions. Eberron is almost as much my baby as it is Keith's. He and I have had a lot of conversations about our visions for the world, and I'm confident we're on the same page and have similar dreams for the setting. And one of my goals is to get the RPG folks and our book editors working more closely together as well.

We don't have plans to make dramatic changes to Eberron with the new edition—don't look for a Time of Troubles-scale shakeup. As several folks have pointed out, it's still a young world and we like it right where it is, just out of the Last War. We won't be removing a race from the world or losing a dragonmark. The fact that something isn't in the first Player's Handbook doesn't mean it's out of the game! We can't include everything that exists in 3.5 with the first release of core rules, but we'll get to it sooner or later.

With no huge changes in the works, of course your 3.5 Eberron books will still be useful. Does Five Nations become suddenly invalid if you can't use the Knight Phantom prestige class as written any more? Of course not. Eberron is a richly-detailed setting, and those details aren't going away.

So fear not, keep playing, and keep checking back for more updates! (I'm assured our main site servers will be back up soon...)

Thanks for your interest in Eberron. It's very gratifying to know that something I've put so much work and care into is making your games better! I'm sure it will keep doing so for years to come.


KnightErrantJR wrote:
Phazzar wrote:

http://forums.gleemax.com/forumdisplay.php?f=686

Well...

Well, there went my entrails . . . I could have handled 4th edition, even if I didn't love the idea . . . but flat out lying to my enrages me. I'm am so far beyond pissed off right now.

I just wanted to say that my comment here was originally based on a misquoted statement by Scott Rouse at the D&D Experience this year. It was reported in a few places that Scott said that there would be 3.5 products through 2008, when what was actually said was that there would be 3.5 products through the rest of the year, meaning 2007.

I have posted this comment in several places, and I've used it as a basis for questioning WOTC's credibility, and this was wrong. I just wanted to apologize to Scott Rouse and WOTC about spreading this misquote further and basing some of my arguments on this.

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