Honestly, if WoTC didn't create it would 4e be D&D?


4th Edition

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Billzabub wrote:

I was going to fully respond to the original post when it occurred to me that I might as well open my office window and breathe some fresh air as it will probably be much more satisfying.

Ah.

Everyone likes air!

Edit: But my windows don't open. :(


Brian Mann wrote:
The World-of-Warcraft style of play envisioned under 4.0 perfectly embodies the style of narrative WOTC has clung to: dungeon-crawling with a veneer of "underground ecology."

For me, this is how D&D has always ‘felt’. Rewards have always focused on killing things and taking their stuff. So I guess, personally, I could say 4e feels more like D&D than 3.5.


I'm of the opinion that yes, D&D4 is D&D. It has fighters, magic-users, high and wood elves, mind flayers, color-coded dragons, and magic weapons with pluses. It is D&D.

What it is not is AD&D. Even less so than D&D3 was. I'm still undecided on whether that is a deal breaker.


Anaxxius wrote:
Honestly, if TSR didn't create it would 2e be D&D? The question would keep on going and going all the way to the beginning.

I'd say yes - at least in the early stages of 2nd edition. Changes in 2nd edition versus 1st were essentially cosmetic. It was a matter of compiling charts or rationalizing them. Usually it was not a matter of creating or removing charts. You can run a 1st edition module in 2nd edition without changing anything. Baring a Dragon appearing your basically not going to notice. The monster stats block remained essentially identical.


There's an interesting question here, but a little difficult to answer because the INTENT of the question is a little vague.

Would 4E been as accepted if it hadn't been NAMED "Dungeons and Dragons"? The answer to that is, of course, no. There's been a number of other fantasy games out there that, while arguably superior, never achived the sucees due to the name.

Is 4E divergenet enough that it's no longer the D&D game that it once was? The answer could be argued 'yes' here, since many of the core concepts and mechanics to the game have been radically altered. It is, as WotC admitted, a different and non-compatible game.


vance wrote:
There's an interesting question here, but a little difficult to answer because the INTENT of the question is a little vague.

The way I read it is, "If it was published by a third party publisher, would we acknowledge the game mechanic as D&D or would we say it was just an imitation?"

And, for the record, I'd like to say that I'm not knocking 4E as a game. I have yet to actually play it, but from what I've seen of the rules, the system is internally logical and self-consistent, and it seems to work well to portray what it wants to portray. As such, it's a good game, and I'd probably enjoy the smoothness of play.

I just don't feel comfortable calling it D&D. After all, I wouldn't call any of the World of Darkness games D&D, though with a little work, you could probably use them to run a medieval fantasy campaign that has everything a typical D&D campaign has.

The question there is, why would you want to?

I have the same question about 4E. I'd rather play 3.5 or even 1st Ed. AD&D.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Anaxxius wrote:
Honestly, if TSR didn't create it would 2e be D&D? The question would keep on going and going all the way to the beginning.
I'd say yes - at least in the early stages of 2nd edition. Changes in 2nd edition versus 1st were essentially cosmetic. It was a matter of compiling charts or rationalizing them. Usually it was not a matter of creating or removing charts. You can run a 1st edition module in 2nd edition without changing anything. Baring a Dragon appearing your basically not going to notice. The monster stats block remained essentially identical.

If 4E isn't D&D, I certainly say Skills & Powers definitely wasnt D&D.

For me, the biggest thing with D&D is it CLASS structure and even more than 3E's pick and choose multiclassing, Skills & Powers took a bat to the defining aspect of D&D.

Sovereign Court

Brian Mann wrote:

The interesting question over the long-term will be whether 4E generates interesting stories.

I'm skeptical.

One of the sadder aspects of WOTC's experience with 3.5 was that they invented a masterful device for shared story-telling (the d20 system, with all its varied and evolving facets) and then wrote dull, repetitive story-lines.

Sort of like building a fancy sports car and never taking it above 25 mph.

It was left to OGL publishers (Monte Cook, Paizo, etc.) to come up with the really interesting and innovative narratives.

Which is why it didn't surprise me when Wizards killed "Dungeon" magazine.

It must have been painful to see the kind of brilliant, edgy stuff that was possible under 3.5 being written and edited by someone else.

It was telling that many of the best scenario-writers (Cook, Nicholas Logue, and so on) wrote fantastic material for non-WOTC publishers...then produced dross for WOTC.

Even the classic embodiment of 3.5 -- Eberron -- was developed by an outsider, Keith Baker.

Not surprisingly, WOTC decided that it needed to match the D&D game to their imaginations, and their abilities as story-tellers.

The World-of-Warcraft style of play envisioned under 4.0 perfectly embodies the style of narrative WOTC has clung to: dungeon-crawling with a veneer of "underground ecology."

Under the new system, the entire world looks like a big dungeon, with towns serving as "points of light" where PCs can heal up, buy equipment, and prepare for their next bout of hack-n-slash.

Under the new system, characters are reduced to efficient players in a "dungeoneering squad." Think rugby with swords and spells.

PC classes that were ambiguous or required careful play (bards, druids, and monks, in particular) are gone.

The idea of harboring resources (spells, limited-use abilities) has been eliminated. Also eliminated is the entire aspect of narrative tension that comes with limitations.

Also gone (or radically de-emphasized) are the storytelling elements that have always made WOTC uncomfortable: role-playing, diplomacy, and so on.

My interest in 4.0 will begin on the day that I read a review of a WOTC product where someone says, "This story will grip you as a DM and challenge your players."

In the meantime, I'll continue looking to OGL publishers for my bought-material. In every meaningful aspect, they eclipsed Wizards a long time ago.

Brian

Well written. Very concise, well laid-out and insightful. This made me think. I especially liked the statement in bold. Thank you.


Brian Mann wrote:
Even the classic embodiment of 3.5 -- Eberron -- was developed by an outsider, Keith Baker.

Yeah, and he loves 4e dearly and plans to use the system to it's fullest.

Brian Mann wrote:


Not surprisingly, WOTC decided that it needed to match the D&D game to their imaginations, and their abilities as story-tellers.

Alright, so WOTC aren't the best at making adventures with a good story. Pathfinder has wonderful story and background, but it's like comparing a Ferrari to a Focus. But by deemphasizing the story, me as the DM can now put my own story in for the sake of my campaign, something WOTC writers have said over and over again in different places, even going so far as to say "This might be a Forgotten Realms adventure, but nothing's stopping you from fitting it into a world of your own!" Compare this to people who convert Pathfinder adventure paths to other systems. The locations and encounters lose a lot of meaning without the story, so basically I can take that and rework it into my system.

Brian Mann wrote:
The World-of-Warcraft style of play envisioned under 4.0 perfectly embodies the style of narrative WOTC has clung to: dungeon-crawling with a veneer of "underground ecology."

What's this WoW style of play you speak of? Okay maybe not having played WoW I can look at 4e without being biased. But I guess you mean the whole going out, getting loot, selling it routine. Okay fine, I get treasure and art items, but I also get magical items which are very nice, but I can sell them for crap. Going out to get magical items and selling them is not a profitable venture in 4e, creating residuum seems to be more of a compromise than anything.

More than that, the 4e DMG not only doesn't emphasize dungeon-crawling as the main means of adventuring, it encourages other kinds of challenges and adventures like urban chases, or defending the town from a horde of goblins. They even go so far as to give advice on how to tweak the default world to your liking. Don't like magic? Make magic rare and terrifying. Maybe you like horror. Then make a world where werewolves and vampires rule the night. I mean the first paragraph of the chapter called The World basically says the setting is based on assumptions, and you as the DM has to fill out the rest of the world.

And on the subject of being like WoW, one of the core assumptions of the 4e world is Adventurers Are Exceptional, which seems to me the exact opposite of Warcraft where heroes run all over the place.

Brian Mann wrote:
Under the new system, the entire world looks like a big dungeon, with towns serving as "points of light" where PCs can heal up, buy equipment, and prepare for their next bout of hack-n-slash.

And this is any different from before? IIRC most campaigns begin in a small tavern in a small town, and oh no bandits are causing trouble. After the fight it's "let's recover at the inn, spend our new found monies on new equipment, and look for more trouble." Sure this kind of hack and slash roleplay can be done in 4e, but it could be done in any version of D&D, especially considering D&D was first created on this kind of playing. But there's absolutely nothing stopping you from making a highly political campaign with lots of story. Well aside from that blurb on page 225 of the DMG that explicitly states you have to have a hack 'n slash adventure, but I digress.

Brian Mann wrote:
Under the new system, characters are reduced to efficient players in a "dungeoneering squad." Think rugby with swords and spells.

What's this? Characters are now a team? When did that happen? Y'know let's never mind the fact that the general rule of thumb in previous editions was to have a beat stick, a sneak, an arcane caster, and a divine caster in every party. The way I see the new roles in 4e it's just acknowledging what's been the general thought of RPGs for decades. I mean even console and computer RPGs took that idea. Not to mention 2nd ed. did the very same thing with the Warrior, Rogue, Wizard, and Priest class groups.

More than that, I love how 4e emphasizes teamwork. When I first played it our party almost got torn to pieces in our first two encounters. I was playing the warlord, but being a class that needs to be close to other party members I realized that if you don't work together with the rest of your party the odds are stacked against you. After talking a bit with the other players we starting doing much better. So in 4e you work together, or players start falling left and right. I can live with that.

Brian Mann wrote:
PC classes that were ambiguous or required careful play (bards, druids, and monks, in particular) are gone.

Well of course they took out ambiguous classes, look at my last response. How fun is it if my character can do just about anything? Well for me it might be fun, but after a while my party might start hating my character.

And what exactly is "careful play"? Do you mean being careful in your actions in game? That's like playing basketball with a glass ball, or telling one of the players they can only touch the ball with one hand without tying the other behind their back. Or maybe you mean planning your character's level progression out? That'd be like telling a football or rugby coach they have to choose all their plays in advance at the beginning of the game.

Speaking of planning your character's progression out, you had to do a lot of that in 3.5, less in 4e, so what's with the argument that 4e emphasizes making "builds" like an MMORPG when you did more of that in the last edition?

Brian Mann wrote:
The idea of harboring resources (spells, limited-use abilities) has been eliminated. Also eliminated is the entire aspect of narrative tension that comes with limitations.

Oh yeah, 'cause saving your magic missiles was sooo much fun in 3.5. Or you could not and have a 15 minute adventuring day. Harboring resources was never fun, and if you had narrative tension due to limitation you probably popped one too many spells earlier in the day. Everyone says the 15 minute day problem was the DM's fault, but is there something so wrong with the system trying to fix that?

But now we have a new kind of narrative from limitation, that of using using your limited powers for heroic moments. Do I waste my action point to take on this minion, or his boss that we'll see later on in the dungeon? Or that nice daily power, I can use that to totally beat the BBE and look like a total badass.

Brian Mann wrote:
Also gone (or radically de-emphasized) are the storytelling elements that have always made WOTC uncomfortable: role-playing, diplomacy, and so on.

Yes, let's nevermind the fact that there's actually more pages in the 4e PHB and DMG about roleplaying than there was in 3.5.

Brian Mann wrote:

My interest in 4.0 will begin on the day that I read a review of a WOTC product where someone says, "This story will grip you as a DM and challenge your players."

In the meantime, I'll continue looking to OGL publishers for my bought-material. In every meaningful aspect, they eclipsed Wizards a long time ago.

WOTC's job isn't to make plot-heavy adventures, it's to make rules and rudimentary adventures. It's your job to make a story that will challenge your players. Or a 3pp, though I guess we should ignore the adventures 3pp make that are meant to be really basic dungeon crawls. 4e is just a system, there's ABSOLUTELY NOTHING stopping you from making a gripping and moving adventure with it.


Pax Veritas wrote:


Which is why it didn't surprise me when Wizards killed "Dungeon" magazine.

It must have been painful to see the kind of brilliant, edgy stuff that was possible under 3.5 being written and edited by someone else.

You think the designers/authors at wotc killed the paizo deal out of envy? I don't know, but I really, really, really doubt anyone in a creative job makes such decisions.


drjones wrote:
You think the designers/authors at wotc killed the paizo deal out of envy? I don't know, but I really, really, really doubt anyone in a creative job makes such decisions.

I think that someone at WotC felt that Paizo was a threat to them, and sought to undercut them.


vance wrote:
drjones wrote:
You think the designers/authors at wotc killed the paizo deal out of envy? I don't know, but I really, really, really doubt anyone in a creative job makes such decisions.

I think that someone at WotC felt that Paizo was a threat to them, and sought to undercut them.

Wow, that's extremely cynical, especially considering the fact that Paizo kinda came out of WOTC.

Not to mention that had Paizo continued to make Dragon and Dungeon for WOTC they'd just be making 4e material now instead of Pathfinder. You'd still have to buy the core rulebooks, if anything it would increase the sales of D&D.


Panda-s1 wrote:
Wow, that's extremely cynical, especially considering the fact that Paizo kinda came out of WOTC.

Only not. Paizo got a boon with Dungeon and Dragon, to be sure. But, yes, I'm am absolutely certain that Paizo wasn't renewed because the new 'powers that be' at WotC considered them, like they consider all other publishers, a threat.

Mark my words on this, and heed it well.

4E may mark a 'new generation' in the game mechanics, but the new management is very much 2nd edition.

Liberty's Edge

Panda-s1 wrote:
...had Paizo continued to make Dragon and Dungeon for WOTC they'd just be making 4e material now instead of Pathfinder. You'd still have to buy the core rulebooks, if anything it would increase the sales of D&D.

I agree. I seriously doubt Wizards of any such subterfuge.

I'm convinced they decided to discontinue the Paizo license simply because they planned to use the magazines as the cornerstone of DDI.

They could have done both (continued a print version through Paizo, and an online enhanced version managed through the Wizards site), but completely taking away the hardcopy ensured the audience would be forced to at least sample DDI.

Liberty's Edge

vance wrote:
...4E may mark a 'new generation' in the game mechanics, but the new management is very much 2nd edition.

There's not really any new management, is there?


Andrew Turner wrote:
There's not really any new management, is there?

Yes, yes there is. There was a major turnover about two years ago, and much of the creative team for the RPG lines were 'outsourced' rather than 'in house'. Most of what actually remains in house at WotC now are 'suits' of one degree or another, and some project leads.

But, there's a grand total of roughly THREE people in staff left from when WotC took the Dungeons and Dragons brand.


Anaxxius wrote:

Honestly, if WOTC didn't create it would 3.5 be D&D?

The statement can be used for ANY edition of D&D.

Honestly, if TSR didn't create it would 2e be D&D? The question would keep on going and going all the way to the beginning.

Yep. It's just another convenient route for people to b@@&# and complain about the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. The only "hype" that's going to die down once the other 4E Core Rule Books and supplements etc. come out will be the Pathfinder RPG.


xredjasonx wrote:
The only "hype" that's going to die down once the other 4E Core Rule Books and supplements etc. come out will be the Pathfinder RPG.

You think so, huh? Two weeks ago, the D&D 4E Core book set was #4 on the Amazon bestsellers list. Two weeks later, the Handbook is now #50, the DM's Guide is down to #86 and the Core Book Set and Monster Manual are no where to be found in the top 100.

I'd say the hype is dying down...and I'm not talking about Pathfinder.


Aristodeimos wrote:
xredjasonx wrote:
The only "hype" that's going to die down once the other 4E Core Rule Books and supplements etc. come out will be the Pathfinder RPG.

You think so, huh? Two weeks ago, the D&D 4E Core book set was #4 on the Amazon bestsellers list. Two weeks later, the Handbook is now #50, the DM's Guide is down to #86 and the Core Book Set and Monster Manual are no where to be found in the top 100.

I'd say the hype is dying down...and I'm not talking about Pathfinder.

Well yeah, that's 'cause everyone bought a copy already. Considering how many books Amazon sells, being #50 ain't so bad.

Liberty's Edge

vance wrote:
Andrew Turner wrote:
There's not really any new management, is there?

Yes, yes there is. There was a major turnover about two years ago, and much of the creative team for the RPG lines were 'outsourced' rather than 'in house'. Most of what actually remains in house at WotC now are 'suits' of one degree or another, and some project leads.

But, there's a grand total of roughly THREE people in staff left from when WotC took the Dungeons and Dragons brand.

Wow! I really didn't know that. It explains quite a bit, though.


Panda-s1 wrote:
Well yeah, that's 'cause everyone bought a copy already. Considering how many books Amazon sells, being #50 ain't so bad.

More likely it means the word of mouth is not good, so the undecideds have decided "no". Ann Coulter stayed in the top ten for several weeks with her last book. D&D 4E couldn't even stay one...not even with the heavily discounted prices.

Liberty's Edge

Aristodeimos wrote:
Panda-s1 wrote:
Well yeah, that's 'cause everyone bought a copy already. Considering how many books Amazon sells, being #50 ain't so bad.
More likely it means the word of mouth is not good, so the undecideds have decided "no". Ann Coulter stayed in the top ten for several weeks with her last book. D&D 4E couldn't even stay one...not even with the heavily discounted prices.

I'll be honest--I love the hobby, but I really didn't think there were enough of us out there to put the books in the top 100 slot, much less anything better. I'm surprised it sold so well; it's still a niche hobby.


I see no-one has responded to my post.

If 4E is not D&D, then 2E S&P is certainly NOT D&D (classes? What are those?) and even 3E is pushing it.


I personally believe that both Pathfinder and 4e both fall under the D&D moniker, from an evolutionary standpoint, i.e. they derive from the ancestral D&D. Legally, there is only one true D&D, 4e. Any lawyer will be happy to explain that.

As for a spiritual successor, my opinion is the PRPG hews closer to the traditions of D&D, in that it attempts to preserve backwards compatabilty and the openess the OGL brought to the community. Will the fact that it can't be classified D&D hurt it? Depends. How big is the market? Is there room for multiple systems? Will the fact that anyone can publish under the OGL bring an evolutionary acceleration to the game or a chaotic confusion? Will the GSL restrict creativity or focus it?

Who is the Cro Magnon and who is the Neanderthal? Only time will tell.


Aristodeimos wrote:
xredjasonx wrote:
The only "hype" that's going to die down once the other 4E Core Rule Books and supplements etc. come out will be the Pathfinder RPG.

You think so, huh? Two weeks ago, the D&D 4E Core book set was #4 on the Amazon bestsellers list. Two weeks later, the Handbook is now #50, the DM's Guide is down to #86 and the Core Book Set and Monster Manual are no where to be found in the top 100.

I'd say the hype is dying down...and I'm not talking about Pathfinder.

Yes, I think so. The 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is going to be the supported edition for the next decade at least.


Aristodeimos wrote:
Ann Coulter stayed in the top ten for several weeks with her last book.

*Shiver*


vance wrote:

4E may mark a 'new generation' in the game mechanics, but the new management is very much 2nd edition.

Looking back over the history of the game, the odd numbered versions were groundbreaking and revitalized the hobby gaming industry and the even numbered versions where streamlined and forgettable. That's attributable to the odd numbered versions doing well and the company that produced them getting taken over and turned into a "real" business. The problem is that D&D isn't a real business in the sense that WotC/Hasbro wants it to be. It's a business that can easily sustain a company like Paizo, but you get the feeling that if the people from Paizo weren't employed full-time making games, they'd probably still be doing at least some of what they're doing now anyway.

The trainwreck that is DDI will probably sink D&D in WotC/Hasbro's eyes and we'll see what happens to the trademark after that.

Liberty's Edge

Bleach wrote:

I see no-one has responded to my post.

If 4E is not D&D, then 2E S&P is certainly NOT D&D (classes? What are those?) and even 3E is pushing it.

All you guys with no Avatars--you get lost in the mix.


DudeMonkey wrote:
vance wrote:

4E may mark a 'new generation' in the game mechanics, but the new management is very much 2nd edition.

The trainwreck that is DDI will probably sink D&D in WotC/Hasbro's eyes and we'll see what happens to the trademark after that.

If you're thinking they would sell it, forget about it.

This is HASBRO, a company infamous for/content about letting a proerty lie dormant for YEARS then deciding to put out a new line for said trademark.

At worst, the RPG division would be shut down and BOTH the novel line and the miniatures line would be kept. A lot of people seem to forget that the novel line for D&D actually was very profitable and the Miniatures line was slapping around the RPG division in terms of sales.

People laugh at the concept of random pack of miniatures, but that thing is a license to print money.

Again, without WOTC, I don't think ANY company in the field has the power to actually get their products on the shelves of B&N.

Of course, this tends to ignore the fact that WOTC's main source of revenue is M:TG (and the restructuring of THAT franchise is much more likely to cause problems for WOTC).

In terms of revenue, I'd say the breakdown for WOTC is

1. M:TG (far and away, this is on a factor of at least 10 compared to the next biggest one)

2. Novels (seriously, check out the local bookstore and count how many D&D novels are there at one time. Now keep in mind the relative inexpense of producing novels compared to say an RPG)

3. Miniatures (WOTC's DDM line apparently surprised even them. Last year admittedly its rate of growth wasn't as large but it STILL increased)

4.D&D the RPG.

Liberty's Edge

Bleach wrote:
...2. Novels (seriously, check out the local bookstore and count how many D&D novels are there at one time. Now keep in mind the relative inexpense of producing novels compared to say an RPG)...

And I'd bet there are a lot more D&D novel readers out there than players.


Jerry Wright wrote:
This led in turn to expansions sich as Expert, Master, Immortal, God-Awful, Etc.

LMFAO! Brilliant!

Peace,

tfad


Bleach makes a very cogent point (actually several). D&D as a brand is WAY down the WotC food chain, which itself is WAY down the Hasbro food chain. D&D is Hasbro's trademark now, and even if it had flamed out and not a single 4e book had sold off the shelves, it would just be stored in their trademark warehouse like the Ark of the Covenant was at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie.

But as I quoted Bill S. in another thread, what's in a name? Who cares whether D&D is this or D&D is that? We all have our preferences, it really doesn't matter what you like to play as long as you play. Those of us who dislike the direction 4e has gone in should thank our lucky stars that the OGL is out there and the Paizo has decided to support OGL content. I truly believe that with the advent of the Internet, the wiki movement and the changes in communicative styles that the OGC community will be where the creativity in RPG gaming will come from. There is room at the table for everyone now, and no one has to feel marginalized.


xredjasonx wrote:


Yes, I think so. The 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is going to be the supported edition for the next decade at least.

I suspect both 3.5 and 4E are going to be well-supported for that time period. Of course, many people can only feel good about the edition they are playing if the one they aren't playing doesn't do well. This is foolish. The two editions are quite different, and there's no reason they can't both succeed.

Scarab Sages

Bleach wrote:


At worst, the RPG division would be shut down and BOTH the novel line and the miniatures line would be kept. A lot of people seem to forget that the novel line for D&D actually was very profitable and the Miniatures line was slapping around the RPG division in terms of sales.

Except that without the RPG line as support, I suspect that these other product lines would die out in several years. The RPG keeps people interested in the hobby and brings in new readers.

This is debatable, but I also suspect that DMs account for most of the sales of D&D miniatures. Only a DM is crazy enough to spend $100 on a beholder mini.

Of course, then there are completionists, but apparently you can ask Lisa about that hobby.

I shuddeer to think of WotC stashing away D&D for years, but it is not unheard of. I do think that the popularity of the brand would make them seriously consider an offer from another company though.

After all, no-one ever thought AT&T would be overthrown.


vance wrote:


Mark my words on this, and heed it well.

4E may mark a 'new generation' in the game mechanics, but the new management is very much 2nd edition.

I mark your words and note the fecal matter therein well.


A bunch of adventurers meet in an inn then go find a way into a dungeon. That's what I consider Dungeons and Dragons.
The dragons come in when the adventurers are high enough level.
Here's a list of adventures like that.
Into the Unknown (The one beneath Porttown)
Night Below (An Early Adventure Path)
The Wispering Cairn (In The Age Of Worms)

There are a lot more.
I am going to collect the books (I have the Monster Manual)
and try to recreate a traditional dungeon crawl.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Goth Guru wrote:

A bunch of adventurers meet in an inn then go find a way into a dungeon. That's what I consider Dungeons and Dragons.

Clearly you've never actually played the game. Here's how it goes:

A bunch of adventurers meet in an inn.

One player demands that his character get drunk.

Another begins picking a fight with a random NPC.

A third player actually talks to the bearded dude in the corner to get the quest, but the fourth player determines that the party should just kill the bearded dude and get the 1000gps he promised that way instead.

A fight breaks out.

The DM throws dice at the players.

Game over.

Scarab Sages

Sebastian wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:

A bunch of adventurers meet in an inn then go find a way into a dungeon. That's what I consider Dungeons and Dragons.

Clearly you've never actually played the game. Here's how it goes:

A bunch of adventurers meet in an inn.

One player demands that his character get drunk.

Another begins picking a fight with a random NPC.

A third player actually talks to the bearded dude in the corner to get the quest, but the fourth player determines that the party should just kill the bearded dude and get the 1000gps he promised that way instead.

A fight breaks out.

The DM throws dice at the players.

Game over.

Wow, man. Deja Vu.


L.M.F.A.O


I agree with the fiendish simian.


DudeMonkey wrote:
The trainwreck that is DDI will probably sink D&D in WotC/Hasbro's eyes and we'll see what happens to the trademark after that.

That would be interesting to watch. If DDI goes belly up (which I don't think will happen), will Hasbro stick it out? I say no.

Place your bets now :)


Steerpike7 wrote:
The two editions are quite different, and there's no reason they can't both succeed.

Granted, this may be true. However, I believe there could be a schism in the purchasing power of the community that would affect both Hasbro and Paizo's sales.

I see it this way. Most gamers fall into one of two categories. The first category are those folks that thought 3.5 was broken and wish a fresh start. The second group didn't think 3.5 was broken and a new edition is a waste of time, money, and effort. If you fall in the first group, you really have no reason to stick with 3.5 since 4E solves your problem. If you fall in the second group, with the exception of curiosity, there is no real incentive to convert to 4E.

But that's just my opinion...I could be wrong.

With that, I bid all you 4E players the best of times and good luck. I'm going to take Crosswiredmind's advise from another thread and now retire from posting to the 4E Messageboard.


Bleach wrote:
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Anaxxius wrote:
Honestly, if TSR didn't create it would 2e be D&D? The question would keep on going and going all the way to the beginning.
I'd say yes - at least in the early stages of 2nd edition. Changes in 2nd edition versus 1st were essentially cosmetic. It was a matter of compiling charts or rationalizing them. Usually it was not a matter of creating or removing charts. You can run a 1st edition module in 2nd edition without changing anything. Baring a Dragon appearing your basically not going to notice. The monster stats block remained essentially identical.

If 4E isn't D&D, I certainly say Skills & Powers definitely wasnt D&D.

For me, the biggest thing with D&D is it CLASS structure and even more than 3E's pick and choose multiclassing, Skills & Powers took a bat to the defining aspect of D&D.

Thus I specifically single out early 2nd edition. I agree with you - once they began to push the line with Skills & Powers one could reasonably argue that 2nd edition had 'lost' the essence of what it was to be D&D. That said, I'm of the opinion that 3.0 took a lot from Skills & Powers. Essentially took those concepts incorporated in Skills & Powers and made them mainstream in the game as opposed to an extreme add on.


Jerry Wright wrote:

I've heard a lot of people talk about 2E, and 3E, and 4E, and "Old E"...

As far as the evolution of the game is concerned, back in the late 70's, when AD&D 1st Edition was coming out, there was a movement at TSR to create a "dumbed down" version of D&D called Basic D&D. This led in turn to expansions sich as Expert, Master, Immortal, God-Awful, Etc. I really can't remember the progression involved, because I never played that version.

I started with OD&D and went into the then Brand-new AD&D. Basic D&D wasn't anything I had any interest in, because it was intended for kids. (I was in college at the time.)

Much, much later, one of my gaming buddies showed me the D&D Cyclopedia, which was a consolidation of the different expansions of Basic D&D. It involved enough changes to OD&D that is could effectively be called OD&D second edition, though they never called it that.

When D&D 3.0 came out, I think what a lot of people didn't realize (and I have to say that I didn't, at the time) was that 3E isn't the third edition of AD&D. Its the third edition of OD&D, a different and separate line in the D&D family of games. The progression from OD&D through the Cyclopedia to 3E is clear, and involves only a few contributions and changes incorporating certain AD&D concepts.

That's why 3E seemed so different from 2E.

3E is different enough from AD&D that, if the owners of the brand name hadn't been the publisher, we never would have considered calling it D&D. It would just be another rip-off of TSR.

But that's because we never really looked at its structure. It hearkens back to OD&D in a purer way than AD&D does.

Interesting position but I'm not really sure how you support it. I'll concede that the Rules Cyclopedia was an excellent version of the game. Great book - I highly recommend it. But what makes 3.0 more its direct descendant then 2E?

I mean Rules Cyclopedia did not incorporate some of the key points of 3.0 in my opinion. We don't see an attempt, really, to make the rules work the same for the DM and the players for example. That would be one of the key features of 3.x as opposed to any other version of D&D.

Furthermore I don't recall Monte ever really commenting on the Rules Cyclopedia as a source of inspiration nor do I see much in Monte's work that ever used that system. He clearly comes out of 2nd edition and would seem to me to be using his own experiences playing and writing in 2nd edition as one of the main driving forces for creating 3.x.

So you've made a provocative point but I don't see the connection. If anything I'd say 4E harkens back to earlier editions. Especially the OD&D stuff in moving away from the idea that the rules play the same way for the DM and the players and moving more toward ones class and race being highly defining characteristics of how ones character plays. Now there are lots of 3.x influences there as well. Probably far more then OD&D but you can see some of its influence and I feel that influence is clearer then it ever was in 3.x. OD&D never attempted to be a simulation while 1E and 3.x both have strong simulationist aspects at their core.


Steerpike7 wrote:
I suspect both 3.5 and 4E are going to be well-supported for that time period. Of course, many people can only feel good about the edition they are playing if the one they aren't playing doesn't do well. This is foolish. The two editions are quite different, and there's no reason they can't both succeed.

Sadly, I don't agree. The vast majority of publishers are going to see more profit in following the industry giant, and players will go along. There are few exceptions to be found.

It's not whether or not players feel good about their game, it's about getting good support and about what new players want to buy (or, more accurately, what corporate America tells them they want to buy).


Jal Dorak wrote:
Bleach wrote:


At worst, the RPG division would be shut down and BOTH the novel line and the miniatures line would be kept. A lot of people seem to forget that the novel line for D&D actually was very profitable and the Miniatures line was slapping around the RPG division in terms of sales.

Except that without the RPG line as support, I suspect that these other product lines would die out in several years. The RPG keeps people interested in the hobby and brings in new readers.

This is debatable, but I also suspect that DMs account for most of the sales of D&D miniatures. Only a DM is crazy enough to spend $100 on a beholder mini.

Of course, then there are completionists, but apparently you can ask Lisa about that hobby.

I shuddeer to think of WotC stashing away D&D for years, but it is not unheard of. I do think that the popularity of the brand would make them seriously consider an offer from another company though.

After all, no-one ever thought AT&T would be overthrown.

I would be surprised that the RPG side actually supports the novels to such an extent.

With regard to the miniatures, um, the largest portion of DDM players aren't buying them for the RPG but for the DDM game itself.


Bleach wrote:


I would be surprised that the RPG side actually supports the novels to such an extent.

With regard to the miniatures, um, the largest portion of DDM players aren't buying them for the RPG but for the DDM game itself.

Just to back Bleach up here, the novels are read by plenty of people who never play. I have several friends who fit that mold exactly.

And that goes double for the minis. The minis game is HUGE! Trust me, us RPG guys might float the market a bit, but the vast amount of those sales go to guys who buy them to actually play the minis game ... almost all of my 4E group buys cases of the stuff (WAY more than we'd EVER need in a DnD game) for the various tournaments they all compete in. WotC is printing plastic money with those things.

Cheers! :)


Sebastian wrote:
As for brand loyalty, I'd also note that the op is heavily biased in its positioning. The assumption is that brand loyalty is entirely an emotional reaction that allows producers to fob off poor quality products on slavish purchasers. It completely fails to note the positive aspect of brand loyalty, particularly in the realm of highly subjective entertainment products, which is that if a purchaser likes a particular author/producer's past products, they're probably more likely to like that particular author/producer's future products. That's not an "emotional" reaction, it's a rationale means of finding products a person will like.

Truth is, the OP has no idea of what brand loyalty really means. In most cases your loyalty to a brand tends to stick with the brand you first experienced. This is why new Coke failed, despite all the market testing where people told them time and time again it tasted better than Coke Classic. When they put out it on the shelves people hated it. It made them uncomfortable, and it caused cognitive dissonance. The familiar product didn't match the brand anymore. MRIs of the brain show that people actually derive pleasure from selecting a familiar brand - and if that product changes enough that there is a dissociation between the brand and what the consumer 'feels' is the product there is almost always a backlash. Sound familiar? It should.

The irony here is that it is likely a poorly understood emotional response on the OP's part that is stopping him from moving to 4th Ed. Certainly it is not brand loyalty that is causing folks to switch to 4th ed. Or not any brand loyalty that any marketer with half a head on their shoulders would understand. But he stated all that in the question he posed, no?

Moral of the story, as Sebastian said, play what you like. Leave the psychology of brand marketing to the people who know their stuff,
Christopher DeGraffenreid.

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