Monte's new association with WotC


4th Edition

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Honestly not sure how I feel about this. I really respect Monte Cook but I'm not at all sure I want to go where he may lead.

Mike Mearls wrote:


And Now for Some Exciting News

It's funny to look back and realize that I've written this column once a week for over eight months. Alas, as with all things, it's time for my involvement with this column to end. However, that does not mean that Legends & Lore is going away. We've been very happy with the response to the series, the interest it has created, and the feedback we've received.

Starting next week, I'm turning this column over to acclaimed game designer Monte Cook. Monte should be familiar to D&D fans for his work on the Planescape campaign setting, Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, Arcana Unearthed, the mammoth Ptolus city sourcebook, and, of course, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition.

I've spent the past several months talking about D&D's past and how that relates to its future. It's now time to focus much more on the future of the game. Monte has an unmatched design pedigree in the RPG field, and for that reason we've brought him on board to work with R&D in making D&D the greatest RPG the world has seen. Over the next few weeks, Monte will use this column to share his thoughts about the game. As we look to chart D&D's future course, this column will continue to be a place where we share our ideas and listen to yours, and we hope you'll keep reading, discussing the contents, and sharing your feedback and thoughts with us and the larger D&D community. That's what makes Legends & Lore a conversation that we can all participate in.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Lots of double duty getting pulled at both companies.


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I enjoy Monte's third edition books, especially the Arcana Evolved series and the Books of Eldritch Might but I still won't try fourth edition no matter who they hire.

Dark Archive

BluePigeon wrote:
I enjoy Monte's third edition books, especially the Arcana Evolved series and the Books of Eldritch Might but I still won't try fourth edition no matter who they hire.

Pretty much.

I love the books Monte and Mike have written (and published under the Malhavoc imprint) for the third edition rules, but I'm still not interested in the least in 4th edition.

Maybe I'm reading too much in between the lines of MM, but it sure sounds like a spin towards a new/different ruleset.

Silver Crusade

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Good.

I don't want to see 4th Ed fail, that would be bad for the industry as a whole. Monte Cook is one of the most talented designers out there and I am glad that WotC have hired him.


FallofCamelot wrote:

Good.

I don't want to see 4th Ed fail, that would be bad for the industry as a whole.

I'm still not convinced of this. I think Pathfinder could take over if D&D should fall.

FallofCamelot wrote:
Monte Cook is one of the most talented designers out there and I am glad that WotC have hired him.

Hm... Monte Cook. I remember another company big game company hiring him recently. I also remember what they hired him for. It was not just to talk about the game.

So I'll be the first to start wild rumours here: That company was Paizo, and they took him aboard as a consultant for their new game/edition/revision.

It could be that they just want him to talk about a game he had no hand in creating. Or he's on board for 5e. :P

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'd love to see him make a Book of Experimental Might for 4E. :)


OH NO IVORY TOWER DESIGN IS COMING 5E IS DOOMED.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I see it as a win win... if Monte makes 4E a better product, that's must one more fire lit underneath PAIZO to do an even better job. Competition is wonderful, good competition even better.

It's an everyone wins scenario, 4E players win, and so do Pathfinder players in the long run.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Nerdrage Ooze wrote:
OH NO IVORY TOWER DESIGN IS COMING 5E IS DOOMED.

All character options are created equal.

But some are more equal than others.


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I am not a fan of his design philosophies.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
I am not a fan of his design philosophies.

I think he is brilliant...but not necessarily brilliant for what I Want to play.

Obviously there is a certain element of 'wait and see' but the skill system that he apparently proposed and Mike Mearls was gushing over in recent L&L Articles was a fiasco in my opinion. Emphasizing a gap concept to the point where it really would not function well at the table.

Liberty's Edge

One question though ...

Are we sure yet if he was actually HIRED as an employee by WOTC or is he doing some freelance work for them? It's a pretty big distinction and I'm curious which is the case ...

It's also interesting since Monte has worked with Paizo on Pathfinder stuff AND he has been somewhat less than glowing about WOTC and 4E ...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

According to Monte's own statement on his facebook profile, he's now an employee of WotC.

Can we have a 5E subforum already? ;)


Sounds like there is hope for 5e. Who'd have thought it?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:

One question though ...

Are we sure yet if he was actually HIRED as an employee by WOTC or is he doing some freelance work for them? It's a pretty big distinction and I'm curious which is the case ...

In this stage of the industry, I think everyone who works for WOTC is more or less a freelancer these days.


I don't know much about Monte's "design philosophy", but every product I can remember owning or subscribing to that was written by him was fantastic - Planescape, the late-90s Mystara revival, BoXM et al, Dungeon A Day.

At this point, it looks like 5E is a very safe bet within the next three years, and two seems more realistic. Here's hoping odd-numbered editions keep being the cream of the crop (and I say that as someone who actually kinda likes 4E for what it is).


I'm anxious for 5e. I know it's too soon, but I'm ready to come back "home" if the game plays right.

I think a lot of 4e players get offended or think I'm a doomsayer for talking about 5e, but for me I'm trying to talk about it in a positive light. Plain and simple; I don't like the current game, I'll come back on the next one if it's an improvement. I'm not giving up on D&D or WotC entirely.

Realistically, this is still several years off. My gut tells me there is at least an underlying prospect of that being a motivation for hiring Monte back(and the Legends and Lore series of blogs getting feedback on rules). By all means, I wish 4e at least a few more years of continued success, because really, if it fails there won't be a 5e.

Regardless of whether I play the current edition at the time, I absolutely do not wish to see the D&D brand shelved by Hasbro.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Power Word Unzip wrote:
At this point, it looks like 5E is a very safe bet within the next three years, and two seems more realistic.

I'm reminded of an ENWorld thread about Paizo now.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Power Word Unzip wrote:
At this point, it looks like 5E is a very safe bet within the next three years, and two seems more realistic.
I'm reminded of an ENWorld thread about Paizo now.

Do you have a link?


Power Word Unzip wrote:
At this point, it looks like 5E is a very safe bet within the next three years, and two seems more realistic.

I disagree, even though I've got nothing to really back up my claim. I'm thinking 3 years would be at the absolute earliest, maybe longer. They've still got whole new campaign settings like Neverwinter they are releasing, and the ensuing supplements for those.

I don't have the numbers, but it does seem like the 4e books have come faster and more often than any previous edition, so they may be burning through rehashing old material faster, but they have all new material as well. I think 4e is going to be here a while. I will be really surprised if 5e comes any sooner than 3 or 4 years.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'd have to go searching for the link, and that sounds like a lot of work.


Gorbacz wrote:

According to Monte's own statement on his facebook profile, he's now an employee of WotC.

Can we have a 5E subforum already? ;)

Maybe they've hired Monte to produce Planescape as a setting for 4e... ;)

Edit:
Just saying there are other possible explanations, some of them even halfway credible, for Wizards of the Coast to temporarily put him on the payroll. :)

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

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Hey, why are the rails going that way, but the current trend of the thread is going towards that gaping flame-filled maw of nerdrage and bile?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Power Word Unzip wrote:
At this point, it looks like 5E is a very safe bet within the next three years, and two seems more realistic.
I'm reminded of an ENWorld thread about Paizo now.

I don't read ENWorld forums, so I have no idea what you're talking about.

I still don't think it's unreasonable to assume that either a special retro-release of an old edition of D&D a la "Vampire: The Masquerade" or an entirely new edition will rear its head in 2014 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of D&D. And I genuinely believe that Monte being hired on is a sign that they're looking to move on to another ruleset.

The Legends & Lore column as a whole has been pointing toward this for quite some time now. Even if it isn't called 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, the implication is pretty clear that a rules revamp is in the works, and the days of us having rulesets persist for ten years or longer are behind us - at least, so long as Wizards of the Coast produces hardback rulebooks at the rate they cranked out 4E books.


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Sebastian wrote:
Hey, why are the rails going that way, but the current trend of the thread is going towards that gaping flame-filled maw of nerdrage and bile?

Uhh, maybe you need to go to the dentist?

Okay, I'm out of here before that maniac with the jellyfish shows up...


Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Maybe they've hired Monte to produce Planescape as a setting for 4e... ;)

...or that. Which would also be cool.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

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Nstrivaxon, the Cunning wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Hey, why are the rails going that way, but the current trend of the thread is going towards that gaping flame-filled maw of nerdrage and bile?

Uhh, maybe you need to go to the dentist?

Okay, I'm out of here before that maniac with the jellyfish shows up...

Waitaminute...how dare you make that joke, you limey bastard!!! Dental hygiene jokes flow from West to East across the Atlantic, and never back again!


Nstrivaxon, the Cunning wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Hey, why are the rails going that way, but the current trend of the thread is going towards that gaping flame-filled maw of nerdrage and bile?

Uhh, maybe you need to go to the dentist?

Okay, I'm out of here before that maniac with the jellyfish shows up...

Hey, play nice to the pretty pony!

Oh. He's gone.
<pouts>
<traipses out with jellyfish>
Note from Charles Evans 25:
Sorry about that mini side-trek. I'll try to stay out now unless I have anything useful to add about what an amazing setting 2nd Edition AD&D Planescape was. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I like this wild speculation:
http://critical-hits.com/2011/09/20/the-future-of-dd-might-be-its-past/

Contributor

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Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Maybe they've hired Monte to produce Planescape as a setting for 4e... ;)

Make it true to the Great Wheel cosmology rather than force fitting it into the 4e PoL, and I would throw money at them. Just saying.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

I've said it years ago and I'll say it again.

5E: 2012 announcement with a 2013 release.

Scarab Sages

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Maybe they've hired Monte to produce Planescape as a setting for 4e... ;)
Todd Stewart wrote:
Make it true to the Great Wheel cosmology rather than force fitting it into the 4e PoL, and I would throw money at them. Just saying.

I heard this view a lot, several years ago, and it's had me puzzled ever since.

What exactly is it about the 4E cosmology, that makes it incompatible with the Great Wheel?

I mean, the planes all float around in a big Astral Sea, right?
Just like before?

So, they don't call it 'The Great Wheel'; but so what?
The Wheel was always a symbolic representation of the planes, anyway.
The London Underground doesn't actually look like that diagram in the back of UK diaries, either.

The way some people talk, it's like they actually expect a huge, galaxy-sized, honking, honest-to-goodness, actual, wheel to be floating about, with convenient, discrete worlds fitted between the huge spokes.

That, if only you walk far enough in one direction on any given plane, you'll come up against a wall in the horizon, like in 'The Truman Show', and you'll poke your head through, and suddenly 'Hey, I'm not in Elysium any more! What gives?".

They can't possibly think that, right? Cos that would be stupid. So it's got to be some other reason for the nerdrage.

So, what am I missing?

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

Quick reminder that we don't need to talk about threads on ENWorld or elsewhere here.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Snorter wrote:


That, if only you walk far enough in one direction on any given plane, you'll come up against a wall in the horizon, like in 'The Truman Show', and you'll poke your head through, and suddenly 'Hey, I'm not in Elysium any more! What gives?".

They can't possibly think that, right? Cos that would be stupid. So it's got to be some other reason for the nerdrage.

So, what am I missing?

Bytopia, Carceri, Mechanus, Outlands and the Quasielemental Plane of Vacuum. To name a few.

Scarab Sages

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Gorbacz wrote:
... the Quasielemental Plane of Vacuum.

Nobody goes there; it sucks.


I'm good with either a Planescape or Anniversary edition. I'd buy either or both. If it is 5e, I hope it isn't released until 2014, so I can get more use out of my current books.


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Snorter wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
... the Quasielemental Plane of Vacuum.
Nobody goes there; it sucks.

Is it shaped like a Dyson Sphere?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

If Monte's name is put on a 4E book, I'm buying it. Especially if they have him bring back Planescape as next year's setting. That'd be the best D&D news I've heard since... they brought Dark Sun back.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Todd Stewart wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Maybe they've hired Monte to produce Planescape as a setting for 4e... ;)
Make it true to the Great Wheel cosmology rather than force fitting it into the 4e PoL, and I would throw money at them. Just saying.

I'll be honest, for me the Wheel isn't as important as the philosophical factions when it comes to the feel of Planescape. I mean, as long as I have fantastic places to visit on the planes, I don't really care how they are put together. But unless I can debate whether Gods are worthy of worship, or if new experiences are the only thing worth pursuing, or other questions about the nature of the multiverse, then it isn't Planescape.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

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deinol wrote:
I'll be honest, for me the Wheel isn't as important as the philosophical factions when it comes to the feel of Planescape. I mean, as long as I have fantastic places to visit on the planes, I don't really care how they are put together. But unless I can debate whether Gods are worthy of worship, or if new experiences are the only thing worth pursuing, or other questions about the nature of the multiverse, then it isn't Planescape.

Don't forget the clubs. You need those too.


I think this is the sign 5th ed is coming he has been relativly quite for the last year. I think he has been working on 5th ed the entire time

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Given that Monte is taking over the "design musings" column from Mearls, I somewhat doubt he's working on anything fluff-related.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
deinol wrote:
I'll be honest, for me the Wheel isn't as important as the philosophical factions when it comes to the feel of Planescape. I mean, as long as I have fantastic places to visit on the planes, I don't really care how they are put together. But unless I can debate whether Gods are worthy of worship, or if new experiences are the only thing worth pursuing, or other questions about the nature of the multiverse, then it isn't Planescape.
Don't forget the clubs. You need those too.

As long as you don't mind if my clubs are sharp and made from adamantine.

"When you play the game of philosophy, you win or you die." -Socrates


Yes, 5e is coming out any day now, just like it has been for the last couple of years. By the time it finally comes out, everyone can feel justified and claim they predicted it.

Marc Radle wrote:
It's also interesting since Monte has worked with Paizo on Pathfinder stuff AND he has been somewhat less than glowing about WOTC and 4E ...

Source on him being "less than glowing" about 4e?

I've seen this rumor in a few places. I've yet to find the actual origin as anything but "I like Monte Cook and dislike 4e, so here's what I think he thinks."

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