Dragon's Tail Cut


4th Edition

Liberty's Edge

Enworld says while paraphrasing a quote they attribute to Chris Perkins though it actually comes from Rich Baker wrote:
He also mentions a 1st-level fighter power (seems the terminology is "powers") which had a placeholder name of "Wallop", which has been renamed "Dragon's Tail Cut". Very anime - I think I preferred "Wallop". It knocks you prone.

Ummm...yeah. No. This is simply not my style at all. Thoughts?

Enworld link:
http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=209392

The blog post in its entirety:

Rich Baker says wrote:

Guess it's been a few days, time to catch up!

This week I'm starting to work on a new D&D adventure, codenamed H2 (because it's the second adventure we're coming out with for heroic-level characters, the folks who are level 1-10). My co-author is Mike Mearls, who is out this week and part of next for his honeymoon. That means a lot of things about the adventure are up to me... mwah, hah, hah. Ironically enough, I wrote the 2nd adventure for 3rd Edition D&D (the Forge of Fury), and here I am again. Even more ironically, I think I've got good reason to feature duergar in the story. I really hadn't set out to do that, but it just makes sense given the "back cover text" we've already generated for the adventure. I'll try to make sure the new adventure isn't just a reprise!

I spent a little time here and there polishing up some Player's Handbook bits. Yesterday I cast my eye over our list of fighter powers, and spent a couple of hours patching up placeholder names and writing up better flavor text. We had a 1st-level power called "Wallop" that had a knock-you-prone rider on it; I changed the name to "Dragon's Tail Cut" and flavored it as a crouch down and make a long looping swing through target's legs power, sort of like the way a dragon might use a tail whip to knock someone down. Maybe it's dorky, maybe it's cool; hard to tell with flavor you write yourself.

In War at Sea news, we're almost done with our sculpting rounds on Set 2 -- we just have a couple of problem children that need one more pass to get 'em right. The next stage I'll be reviewing closely are the paint masters -- basically, one example of each model painted in the way we want all of that model to be painted. That might be a little ways off yet. Mons Johnson is heading up development of the set right now (I designed it, but it's time for me to back off so that other folks can call my baby ugly if that's what it is). Kamikazes are proving a little challenging, but we've got some ideas on how to tackle 'em.

A word about community relations, the various FR message threads, and Chris Perkins' recent blog post... I appreciate all of you folks who are making an effort to remain civil, even when I say things you don't agree with. I know you're worried about what we're doing with this setting you love. We've had several great conversations this week about Realms 4e here in the office (the second Realms 4e product is kicking off, so we've been working on the concept and outline), and I'm really stoked about some of our secret plans. I wish I could share them right now, but I'm going to have to wait a little bit -- I don't want to scoop preview articles that are coming up for DDi in a month or two.

More later!

Scarab Sages

Linked!

I think I can see where they're going with this whole "everbody's got powers" thing, and if that turned out right it might actually make it easier to balance power levels between the different classes.

I remain skeptical, but interested ;)


i appreciate that. I was worried these guys were still writing up the core books. It's could to hear they are farther along than I thought.

For the record I like "Dragon's tail Cut". I don't know about anime, I think it sound like kung fu theatre. I'm old but I like kung fu theater. I like the kung fu theatre sounding powers and maneuvers.


The jury's still out on that for me... personally I thought "Wallop" would be a better name for a knock-down attack than "Dragon Tail Cut", which just sounds stupid.


It's AD&D: Anime Dungeons & Dragons!

I like these kinds of anime super-power names...in fantasy anime, but I'm not sure it'll work so well with traditional D&D. We're moving further and further away from the original medieval D&D by the minute. Pretty soon they'll be nudging into Exalted territory.


grrtigger wrote:
I think I can see where they're going with this whole "everbody's got powers" thing

I was pretty skeptical before, but this just about clinches it for me. In style and execution, this isn't the kind of D&D that interests me. It may well be the most well crafted fantasy RPG ever made, but the "feel" seems off to me. From the HK Action Theater monikers to the notion that even Fighters and Rogues should have "powers," it's light years away from the pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery flavor that I so strongly associate with the game.

I wish Paizo every success in the world in trying to make these rules serve Golarion's more "classic" fantasy feel. It's going to be a tough slog on their part. It'd be great if they could do it, because someone needs to bear the flame of Howard, Leiber, Pratt, and Vance. 4E sure won't be doing that.

Oh well.


maliszew wrote:
because someone needs to bear the flame of Howard, Leiber, Pratt, and Vance. 4E sure won't be doing that. Oh well.

Bingo. Too bad no-one ever carried the flame of Morris, Dunsany, Bramah and Cabell into the RPG world.


Krypter wrote:
Bingo. Too bad no-one ever carried the flame of Morris, Dunsany, Bramah and Cabell into the RPG world.

Very much agreed. I personally think there's plenty of room in the RPG world for a wide variety of styles and approaches to this goulash of a genre we call "fantasy." The problem is that D&D, despite the claims of many who wish it were otherwise, was inspired by a very specific kind of fantasy that's no longer in fashion and that most younger fantasy fans have limited to no experience with. Consequently, they're eager -- and WotC seems to be as well -- to chuck D&D's associations with the pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery sub-genre in order to "modernize" the game and keep up with current popular tastes.

I do think that's a mistake, but, ultimately, it's a taste issue, so there's not a lot of rational grounds for arguing against it. All I can say is that, the farther D&D departs from its literary roots and embraces other media inspirations for its thematic core, the less likely I am to have any interest in it. Looks like we're at that point now.

So be it.


maliszew wrote:
Consequently, they're eager -- and WotC seems to be as well -- to chuck D&D's associations with the pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery sub-genre in order to "modernize" the game and keep up with current popular tastes.

Face it, you are not their target demographic.

Dark Archive

CourtFool wrote:
maliszew wrote:
Consequently, they're eager -- and WotC seems to be as well -- to chuck D&D's associations with the pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery sub-genre in order to "modernize" the game and keep up with current popular tastes.
Face it, you are not their target demographic.

They're not (any longer) my target publishers.

Sorry and sad to be so definitive, but I can be fooled around only for this much time. The lack of consideration for the established fanbase is appalling.

Liberty's Edge

CourtFool wrote:
Face it, you are not their target demographic.

Its amazing. I never thought I would reach a point where I was unsure D&D would continue to speak to me. I am starting to think it won't anymore. If it really takes on the pallor presented in Bo9S, then it probably won't. But, of course, that remains to fully be seen. As it stands every interesting thing I hear about the game comes with two or three things that don't sit right with me.

Fortunately a number of other game companies do still see me as their target audience and I hope these companies can survive in the onslaught of 4e mania that is about to sweep the industry.

maliszew wrote:

All I can say is that, the farther D&D departs from its literary roots and embraces other media inspirations for its thematic core, the less likely I am to have any interest in it. Looks like we're at that point now.

I agree. D&D can take a lot of styles but departing too far from the traditional thematic elements does not appeal to me as a consumer. Names are always easy enough to change I suppose. But why make it more difficult for the DM when a somewhat more generic or a less poetic but more descriptive term would suffice? My homebrew is thematically Celtic/Irish. This "power" name would break the feeling of the milieu. Even in my current Ptolus campaign the name would seem out of place. It certainly would not fit thematically within Greyhawk, at least in my mind. I could change the name but why would I want the PHB contradicting me every time we use the power in game?

But as stated, this argument is far from rational and really does hinge on personal taste. I can concede that. I just don't like it. I play a lot of different RPGs for different reasons but I play D&D for a certain feel and mechanical style.

I occasionally enjoy wuxia, kung fu, and anime. I just don't want them overrunning my D&D.

By the way, thanks to grrtigger for the link. If I had half a mind I would have realized how to do that. I also should have remembered the quote function adds the word "wrote" to a quote. I would have phrased my pithy little "lead ins" better. :)


alleynbard wrote:
Its amazing. I never thought I would reach a point where I was unsure D&D would continue to speak to me.

I'm in the same boat myself. What you say is quite literally true, with 4E, D&D will no longer speak to a segment of its fanbase. The game is going in a direction mechanically and thematically that simply doesn't resonate with these people and, from what I can tell, WotC has no interest in trying to start up a conversation with them.

alleynbard wrote:
Fortunately a number of other game companies do still see me as their target audience and I hope these companies can survive in the onslaught of 4e mania that is about to sweep the industry.

Would that this were so. Sadly, I don't see many companies that see guys like us as their target audience, though I'd love to hear about whom you were thinking.

alleynbard wrote:
I agree. D&D can take a lot of styles but departing too far from the traditional thematic elements does not appeal to me as a consumer. Names are always easy enough to change I suppose. But why make it more difficult for the DM when a somewhat more generic or a less poetic but more descriptive term would suffice? My homebrew is thematically Celtic/Irish. This "power" name would break the feeling of the milieu. I could change the name but why would I want the PHB contradicting me every time we use the power in game?

Indeed. I think attempts to use 4E to present a classic pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery setting, while possible, will be seriously going against the grain of the game's new mechanical/thematic core. It's like those guys back in the day who tried to use Traveller's rules to do a fantasy game. Sure, it was possible, but it was far from optimal. That's pretty much the situation we'll be in with 4E. The game might be salvageable with a lot of work, but, after a certain point, why bother? It seems like it'd be more trouble than its worth, especially when I have much less frustration-inducing rules available to me.


CourtFool wrote:
Face it, you are not their target demographic.

This is absolutely true. I can't blame them for their decision. In principle, it's a good one. After all, how many young people read pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery of the classic variety anymore? Clearly, appealing to those tastes will not attract the new gamers WotC wants to add to its customers.

The problem, as I see it, is that I don't think this new approach will attract many new gamers either. The kinds of things 4E looks to be emulating or riffing off of do what they do much better than a tabletop RPG ever could. I remain convinced that the surest way to make D&D attractive to newcomers and viable in the long term is to focus on those things it has always done best and not try to "keep up with the Joneses" when it comes to over the top action.

But what do I know? I'm just some old guy.


golem101 wrote:
Sorry and sad to be so definitive, but I can be fooled around only for this much time. The lack of consideration for the established fanbase is appalling.

It is sad and I'm sure WotC doesn't intend to drive away anyone from their products. I suspect us old timers are just "collateral damage" in their relentless drive to make the game hip and cool once again. I wish them every luck in the world, but good wishes are all they're getting out of me in the future.

Now, if only there were a company or two to whom I could give more, I probably wouldn't mind so much. As it is, it looks like all the third party publishers are falling in line behind 4E. I can't blame them; it's only good business. Still, it's a bit disheartening.

Scarab Sages

maliszew wrote:
This is absolutely true. I can't blame them for their decision. In principle, it's a good one.

Actually, I think, in principle, its a bad decision. The more specific the flavor the narrower the audience.

One of the great things about both 3e and 3.5e is the flexibility inherit in the system. Part of the flexibility is the lack of tons of "flavor" incorporated into the rules (apart from the spells).

A fighter has cleave.

Cleave is a generic concept that "flavor-wise" can be moved from world to world. Same with "Bullrush" and "dodge."

"Dragon's tail Cut" is just too specific a "flavor" name. As others have said, they will have to rename the feat just to use it in their campaign. Rules wise the feat and the powers might be fine. But if anything is perturbing me about what I see with the new edition coming - it is this - they don't seem to be trying for maximum flexibility.

Which I believe was one of the core concepts with 3e.

Liberty's Edge

maliszew wrote:
Would that this were so. Sadly, I don't see many companies that see guys like us as their target audience, though I'd love to hear about whom you were thinking.

I like Castles and Crusades by Troll Lord Games. They are trying hard to work out the kinks in the editing and layout of their material and it does provide a fairly stable system that is easily houseruled. It can even utilize material from almost every edition of D&D with little conversion necessary. 3.x material can be converted with varying degrees of success but I was able to run a Keep on the Borderlands campaign a while back with a minimum of fuss. I especially admire Troll Lord because they respect the "old ways" and have a strong desire to improve on their product.

While it is certainly uncool these days, I always thought GURPS was a fun game. There are arguments for and against the system but I always liked it. The new edition helped matters a lot.

HARP is derived from Rolemaster and does not suffer from some of the pitfalls Rolemaster was known for. It doesn't seem very popular but that could just be my perception and not the reality of the situation. It is on my list of games I want to get more familiar with.

CourtFool speaks highly of the current Hero System though I have not looked at a book in years. I might want to remedy that.

True20 functions like GURPS for the d20 crowd. The system is good but not exactly like D&D. Green Ronin is a good company that produces quality product. They support the system and encourage conversion discussion on their boards.

I guess a more accurate statement would be that some companies are not discarding us out of hand. They see worth in producing material that is thematically in line with pulp and epic fantasy and want to serve a diverse audience if they can. I appreciate the attention and I am happy there are those that enjoy fantasy that has a certain literary sense coupled with a healthy historcity. These companies will get my consideration in the future.

Liberty's Edge

what's next?

Ha-do-ken as a verbal component for the fighter's magic missile?

or Wonder Twins' power ACTIVATE!!!

What the hell was wrong with "sweeping knockdown" for an effect that knocks someone down by seeping out their legs. It isn't even a wallop, which implies hitting them hard enough to knock them down.

Suddenly i get the points of light idea. thay are gonna have a few good things, which will be like points of light in a sea of dark and dismal surroundings


maliszew wrote:
The kinds of things 4E looks to be emulating or riffing off of do what they do much better than a tabletop RPG ever could.

I could not agree more. Trying to market a table top role playing game as a CCG or video game is a poor strategy.

alleynbard wrote:
I like Castles and Crusades by Troll Lord Games.

Or OSRIC which is free.

alleynbard wrote:
CourtFool speaks highly of the current Hero System though I have not looked at a book in years.

Specifically The Valdorian Age for sword and sorcery adventure.


alleynbard wrote:


Ummm...yeah. No. This is simply not my style at all. Thoughts?

Ditto, "Dragon's Tail Cut" made me die a little bit inside.


Every specific, "flavorful" name that 4E includes where a "boring," generic moniker would suffice cuts into the creative "space" the game allows and, ultimately, does violence to the shared vocabulary of D&D gamers. Leaving aside its specific inspirations, "Dragon's Tail Cut" is intended to be evocative, but evocative of what? Greyhawk? The Forgotten Realms? Mystara? Pulp fantasy? What does it make you think of? That's the first issue.

The second issue is that if, to you, the name evokes Hong Kong action movies or anime fantasy (even if that wasn't the intention), what do you do? Do you change the name as all the defenders of these names will tell you? Suppose you do. Suppose you call "Dragon's Tail Cut" "Knockdown" instead. Now you've created your own little term that no one outside your group will understand. You can't write an article or a 4E-compatible product that uses that term or else no one but your players will know what you mean. If you're creating a classic, sword & sorcery setting, such as Paizo is doing, you have to use "Dragon's Tail Cut" in your 4E adventure path or else your readers won't know what you mean.

What names like this do is limit the game's possibilities, send it down a specific creative path, and make it harder and harder for people to use the rules to describe whatever fantasy setting they have concocted, not WotC. Count me out on this.


maliszew wrote:
What names like this do is limit the game's possibilities, send it down a specific creative path, and make it harder and harder for people to use the rules to describe whatever fantasy setting they have concocted, not WotC.

Honestly, Vancian magic does the same thing on a much grander scale. I see your point and I agree. I just think D&D has been doing this since its inception.


Evil Genius wrote:
The jury's still out on that for me... personally I thought "Wallop" would be a better name for a knock-down attack than "Dragon Tail Cut", which just sounds stupid.

On second thought, I like whollop better.

But I still like the kung fu theatre style names.

Anime heh! You all to young to remember kung fu theatre I guess.


maliszew wrote:
Every specific, "flavorful" name that 4E includes where a "boring," generic moniker would suffice cuts into the creative "space" the game allows

]

My take on the names is you can change them. To me it shoud inspire more creative descriptions of what your doing.

I guess I like it because I've used language like that in my game before.

Liberty's Edge

I dunno, sounds like "Trip" to me.


With all the griping people do about stat block lengths, you'd think they'd pick a shorter name. But that's where "digital initiative" comes in! Word count is no longer an issue to WotC. So "fighter" can be replaced with "Wu-Dan Kenjutsu Yoshirama Sword Genius of the Lotus Cloud School" and it won't affect the amount of content. How you apply that name to your pseudo-European swordsman character is your problem. Also, given the tiny spaces that WotC seems inclined to put on character sheets, it'll take you 16 lines to list your 1st level powers on your character sheet, and you'll need 26 more sheets by the time you reach 900th level or whatever the cap will be in 4.5 edition.


Sir Kaikillah wrote:
You all to young to remember kung fu theatre I guess.

I remember it fondly. We had monk characters when we wanted that flavor, and went back to our rangers and wizards when we wanted pseudo-Eurpoean flavor. Nobody insisted that our chocolate had to be peanut butter flavored!


While I am not against the anime or kung-fu inspired names, I would prefer the use of more generalized names. Maneuver names like "dragon tail cut" should be used for the flashy maneuvers that are either part of a presitge class or belong to their seperate talent tree (to use a Star wars Saga reference) that can be drop by individual DMs.

A good example is how the existing Trip feat can represent everything from leg sweeps to judo throws.


Thraxus wrote:

While I am not against the anime or kung-fu inspired names, I would prefer the use of more generalized names. Maneuver names like "dragon tail cut" should be used for the flashy maneuvers that are either part of a presitge class or belong to their seperate talent tree (to use a Star wars Saga reference) that can be drop by individual DMs.

A good example is how the existing Trip feat can represent everything from leg sweeps to judo throws.

I think your right. I like the names and style. but I can do it on my own thank you.


CourtFool wrote:
Honestly, Vancian magic does the same thing on a much grander scale. I see your point and I agree. I just think D&D has been doing this since its inception.

You're correct, D&D has always done this, which is why, back in the day, there were -- and indeed are -- people who complained that the game didn't easily let them do Fantasy X or Y without making massive changes to the assumptions and naming conventions. D&D was never intended to be truly generic. Rather, it was a rules set for a particular kind of fantasy, namely pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery. Its rules can be used for other kinds, but, the farther one gets from its literary inspirations, the less well the rules as written allow you to do what you want.

What's changing with 4E -- and why these changes are being met with such consternation -- is that the new edition is moving away from its literary roots in pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery and adopting new inspirations. The fluff we're seeing suggests that it's being designed to emulate very different things than the first three editions of D&D did. Now, it may do this exceedingly well and be a very fun game to boot, but there's little denying that it's no longer a game inspired by Howard, Leiber, Pratt, and Vance, but something else entirely. For those of us who like the older flavor, these changes are unwelcome.


Sir Kaikillah wrote:
My take on the names is you can change them.

We can certainly, but what about third party publishers? Could Paizo, say, in a future 4E-compatible issue of Pathfinder, use another term for "Dragon's Tail Cut?" Perhaps from a legal standpoint they could, but, in doing so, they'd make the NPC who had that ability unintelligible to someone using the 4E rules as written. The same goes for any other terminological changes they need to make in order to excise flavor inappropriate to Golarion.

Pretty much of necessity, Paizo and other third party publishers will have to stick with to the standard 4E terminology and if stuff like "Dragon's Tail Cut" is an example of what standard 4E terminology will be like, I think it "breaks the frame" for a more generalized kind of pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery flavor. This is a problem (for me anyway).


Now I'm posting this as an impression I'm getting. I'm ignorant of what will actually appear in the SRD (as we all are), or what sort of licensing Wizards will offer third party companies beyond the OGL (if any).
It seems to me Wizards is making it particularly difficult for third party companies who have campaign settings they want to update to 4th from doing so in any simple easy way.
From the exclusion of gnomes, to the inclusion of warforged, to naming conventions that imply a very specific feel, how easy is it going to be for third party publishers to update their settings? Perhaps the SRD will have more neutral terms and names for abilities. That still has a negative effect on the material they publish if skills and abilities that are mechanically the same go by completely different names in the rules made available to these companies and what is found in the core books.
I know that the folks here at Paizo have assured us that Wizards is going to continue the OGL and make it even more permissive than it was before. I've every reason to believe them. But What difference does that make if these companies are hindered from updating easily via naming conventions and availability of certain components that have been, through out third edition/3.5, readily available as core SRD, and setting neutral?

Liberty's Edge

Dragon's tail cut is real, kid. All the gangs in school wanted me cos I can do it with my butterfly knife.


maliszew wrote:
Sir Kaikillah wrote:
My take on the names is you can change them.

We can certainly, but what about third party publishers? Could Paizo, say, in a future 4E-compatible issue of Pathfinder, use another term for "Dragon's Tail Cut?" Perhaps from a legal standpoint they could, but, in doing so, they'd make the NPC who had that ability unintelligible to someone using the 4E rules as written. The same goes for any other terminological changes they need to make in order to excise flavor inappropriate to Golarion.

Pretty much of necessity, Paizo and other third party publishers will have to stick with to the standard 4E terminology and if stuff like "Dragon's Tail Cut" is an example of what standard 4E terminology will be like, I think it "breaks the frame" for a more generalized kind of pulp fantasy/sword & sorcery flavor. This is a problem (for me anyway).

I agree with you. A more generic termanology would be better. If I want fancy kung fu style names then I can do that for myself.


lojakz wrote:
From the exclusion of gnomes, to the inclusion of warforged, to naming conventions that imply a very specific feel, how easy is it going to be for third party publishers to update their settings?

First, a clarification: I don't believe the Player's Handbook released next May (aka PHB I) will include Warforged and we don't yet know for certain that it won't include Gnomes.

That said, the situation third party publishers in is a difficult one. Golarion currently includes Gnomes and if PHB I does not include Gnomes as a playable race, what does Paizo do? Exclude Gnomes until we have official rules for them or include their own version of Gnomes that may or (most likely) may not jibe with the 4E version of them we see at some later point.

If enough things currently in v.3.5 and, by extension, in Pathfinder are not immediately available in 4E, Paizo must choose either to hold off on talking about those things until later or else make their own. Eventually, such choices will, in my opinion, either cut the legs out from under existing settings whose creators opt to upgrade or result in so many alternate/variant rules to "patch" 4E that the benefits of upgrading in the first place are minimized.

loljakz wrote:
Perhaps the SRD will have more neutral terms and names for abilities. That still has a negative effect on the material they publish if skills and abilities that are mechanically the same go by completely different names in the rules made available to these companies and what is found in the core books.

The other effect it has is making it harder for D&D fans of whatever edition and setting choice to meaningfully communicate with one another. Once you start monkeying with core mechanical terminology, you prevent those who don't upgrade or those who use alternate terminology from speaking without first translating between the two jargons. This will have a deleterious effect on the overall D&D community, as people fall even more squarely into camps than ever before, only this time they won't always know what the other person is saying. And of course it limits the utility of third party products, since they too will require translation to work with the 4E rules as written.

All in all, far from an ideal situation.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Evil Genius wrote:
The jury's still out on that for me... personally I thought "Wallop" would be a better name for a knock-down attack than "Dragon Tail Cut", which just sounds stupid.

I don't know, I kind of like "Improved Trip"...

Actually, I prefer "Bash", nice and generic, but ...*sigh*


Its too long of a term. A flashy name is fine, but having to say "This round I use my golden lotus jujitsu strike" as opposed to "I cleave" is kind of annoying. Dragon's tail sweep could have just as easily been "knockdown" or "Sweep". THese terms are also generic and can describe a number of differnt moves, ala player's taste.

DISCLAIMER: IF you like playing guys with really long attack phrases, by all means do so. My half-orc monk, Feng Soun gets his rocks off with phrases like "Monkey Pounds Coconut" and "Faclon Dives through Willows".

It's alot easier to come up with your own phrases and tack them onto really generic combat moves, than the other way around. Also, on those days I'm jsut not in the mood to roleplay, I could revert back to stunning fist or Improved trip and everyone knew what I was talking about.

--The Osquip--

"Osquip, the other white meat"

P.S. If any of you LG RPGA players out there have sat at a table with Feng over the last 6 years, the grizzled old Mui Thai master has finally retired, so if you ever find yourselves in the Principality of Ulek, stop by his bar in Haverhill and grab a drink on the house.


maliszew wrote:


That said, the situation third party publishers in is a difficult one. Golarion currently includes Gnomes and if PHB I does not include Gnomes as a playable race, what does Paizo do? Exclude Gnomes until we have official rules for them or include their own version of Gnomes that may or (most likely) may not jibe with the 4E version of them we see at some later point.

If enough things currently in v.3.5 and, by extension, in Pathfinder are not immediately available in 4E, Paizo must choose either to hold off on talking about those things until later or else make their own. Eventually, such choices will, in my opinion, either cut the legs out from under existing settings whose creators opt to upgrade or result in so many alternate/variant rules to "patch" 4E that the benefits of upgrading in the first place are minimized.

You know, I was thinking of this in regards to WOTC's established game settings. WOTC is slagging a significant portion of established Realms history and tradition to kill off Mystra and destroy the Weave, and jump time forward far enough to make it plausible that "new" wizardry has been rediscovered.

Now, flash forward to 2010, the year we make contact, and witness the release of a new campaign one shot for Greyhawk or Dragonlance, where we are introduced to the "Tome Mage," a wizard that doesn't use focus elements but must spend time with his trusty spellbook in order to commit magic rituals to his mind until he uses them, then must have time to consult his book again after using them.

Now, if this happens, then they just significantly altered a long standing setting in order to correspond to the launch books, because they really wanted to do something different.

I don't know if this will happen, but its something that has occurred to me as a potential issue down the road.


maliszew wrote:


Now, flash forward to 2010, the year we make contact, and witness the release of a new campaign one shot for Greyhawk or Dragonlance, where we are introduced to the "Tome Mage," a wizard that doesn't use focus elements but must spend time with his trusty spellbook in order to commit magic rituals to his mind until he uses them, then must have time to consult his book again after using them.

Now, if this happens, then they just significantly altered a long standing setting in order to correspond to the launch books, because they really wanted to do something different.

I don't know if this will happen, but its something that has occurred to me as a potential issue down the road.

Bwahahaha! Can you Imagine that? A year after 4ed launch, we get a builder book, the new "Complete Arcane" with "Tome Mages" who use a traditional Vancian spellcasting system. I think I'd laugh myself silly.


erlikbl wrote:
Bwahahaha! Can you Imagine that? A year after 4ed launch, we get a builder book, the new "Complete Arcane" with "Tome Mages" who use a traditional Vancian spellcasting system. I think I'd laugh myself silly.

As funny as that would be, I can't see it. I believe one of the designers has stated that Vancian magic won't be coming back in through the backdoor, though I may be misremembering. Mind you, it doesn't matter what they say now. In a few years, once sales start to flag, as they inevitably will, almost anything will be possible in an effort to encourage new buyers and a return of Vancian magic-users doesn't strike me as impossible, just rather unlikely.


KnightErrantJR wrote:
Now, if this happens, then they just significantly altered a long standing setting in order to correspond to the launch books, because they really wanted to do something different.

I'm pretty sure this is exactly why they're doing what they're doing. WotC, despite appearances, is extremely conservative, as most businesses are; they like to hedge their bets. Rather than create a whole new setting to showcase how cool 4E is, they decided to leverage the popularity of the Forgotten Realms, knowing that enough fans of the game -- even, they wager, those incensed by the changes -- will buy the campaign guide next August and give it a chance, whereas a new setting wouldn't have the same draw.

Notice too that Eberron is getting a reprieve from any 4E-driven updating. I don't think that's just because Eberron is new and therefore needs less of an update. I think it's because Eberron just doesn't have the same level of popularity as the Realms and is thus a far less useful platform for launching 4E, which is ironic in my opinion, since 4E, from what we have seen, looks like a far better match for Eberron's native sensibilities than those of the Realms.

Scarab Sages

KnightErrantJR wrote:
kill off Mystra and destroy the Weave, and jump time forward far enough to make it plausible that "new" wizardry has been rediscovered.

But is that going to be the case? WotC seems to like to use the novels line to enforce ongoing events in the game setting. In the Prologue to the Orc King, a spellcaster is shown using magic. True, it could be the Shadow Weave, but that wouldn't explain Drizzt. His magic items tap into the Weave, and they were working just fine in that 100 year leap.

So it would seem that, at some point, the Weave is fixed and maybe some version of Mystra returns. That is similar to what happened with the original fall of Netheril.

ARRGGHHHH! All this mystery is making my head hurt. Damn, I'm a zombie, I shouldn't have to feel pain. Damn you WotC!!!!!


I'd have to go back over to Enworld to dig up the link, but there's an thread floating around which suposedly hit the story reasoning behind the change directly on the head. From what I understand there are 2 forgotten realms in the novels, basically 2 parralel dimensions. in 4th edition they are bringing the two parralel dimensions back together, and using it as a platform to explpain any broad sweeping changes they make.

Ie. County so and so is much smaller now because its nonexistant in the parralel world. Etc.

I'm sure all the realmslore fans out there can fill in the details alot better than I can.

--The Osquip--

Liberty's Edge

enworld wrote:

Rich Baker has posted that the much-criticized power name "Dragon's Tail Cut" will not be used. Thanks, Rich!

OK, no Dragon's Tail Cut. Plenty of people wasted no time telling me it was dorky, not cool. My bad.

It's worth mentioning that 90% of the fighter power names we've currently got are pretty straightforward, and aren't terribly "Nine Sworded up." So we've still got a wide variety of Whirlwind Attack, Spring Attack, Cleave, etc. type powers and names. My Dragon's Tail Cut effort was simply a matter of cherrypicking the handful of powers that had pretty bad names (or simply placeholder names) and trying out a new spin on them.

It feels good to see them listening to feedback.


erlikbl wrote:

I'd have to go back over to Enworld to dig up the link, but there's an thread floating around which suposedly hit the story reasoning behind the change directly on the head. From what I understand there are 2 forgotten realms in the novels, basically 2 parralel dimensions. in 4th edition they are bringing the two parralel dimensions back together, and using it as a platform to explpain any broad sweeping changes they make.

Ie. County so and so is much smaller now because its nonexistant in the parralel world. Etc.

I'm sure all the realmslore fans out there can fill in the details alot better than I can.

--The Osquip--

So they are basically stealing the idea for the FR changes from Crisis on Infinite Earths?

umm... ok.


Talion09 wrote:

So they are basically stealing the idea for the FR changes from Crisis on Infinite Earths?

umm... ok.

Look at it this way . . . if 4th edition FR doesn't go over, then they can always have some kind of Infinite Crisis/52 event and say that the "multiverse" is still there . . .


KnightErrantJR wrote:
Talion09 wrote:

So they are basically stealing the idea for the FR changes from Crisis on Infinite Earths?

umm... ok.

Look at it this way . . . if 4th edition FR doesn't go over, then they can always have some kind of Infinite Crisis/52 event and say that the "multiverse" is still there . . .

ooh... good point.

And if they do "kill" Elminster, he can be there pounding on the walls of reality to explain away any continuity problems or new mechanics when they introduce the new splatbooks!

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