Changes Coming to the Adventure Tools in September

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Some big changes are coming to the D&D Adventure Tools this month. Rather than describe a bunch of stuff here in dry prose, we'll let the gallery of screenshots speak for itself.



Steve
 

If your only tool is a warhammer, every problem looks like a gnoll.

Some big changes are coming to the D&D Adventure Tools this month. Rather than describe a bunch of stuff here in dry prose, we'll let the gallery of screenshots speak for itself.



Steve
 

Sweet jeesus that looks awesome.

My hats off to the DDI dev team.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Very awesome! Export, Print, Import powers from another monster... Yes!

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

Very nice, but what about copying and pasting to a word document?  All the features in the world are meaningless if I cannot use it at the table.

I love D&D more than I could ever love a human child.

Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.
[20:53] [SadisticFish] yeah Llamas convinced me
Looks Good!
Finally !

Looks great. Tiphats to the boys working hard at the studio   

And Thanks Steve for the Sneek Peek. Very appreciated.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Looks juicy.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.

Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
The screenshots look promising. What's the target for the release?
Yes! I can finally filter to specific levels when I'm searching for monsters! I would have been happy if this was the only inclusion in the update, let alone all the other fantastic custom stuff!

Super excited! 
Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!

Just to give you guys an idea, this took about five months and that included building the AT infrastructure from scratch (this is completely client code, vs the CB that has a distributed architecture) and implementing the MB. Next tools should be quicker
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
I'm extremely happy with what I see here. The lack of a decent MB for the last 12 months has seriously crimped my DM style but I feel those days are about to end.

WotC:  This great hobby lives and dies depending on whether or not players can find someone to DM. When you give DM's tools that make their job easier, better, and more fun, then more people will want to be the DM and D&D will thrive. Everything you can do to make DM'ing better makes the hobby better as a whole.

Hats off to you if this MB is as good as the screen shots look. I believe this is what we've been waiting for and I'm super pumped to get my hands on it. Thanks for the sneak peak!
Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!

Just to give you guys an idea, this took about five months and that included building the AT infrastructure from scratch (this is completely client code, vs the CB that has a distributed architecture) and implementing the MB. Next tools should be quicker



Paolo, i really hate to say but you're killing me with those thrown comments of future ATs C'mon spill the bean.. Tongue out


Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Man between this and the new tiles for the VT I am gonna have to wear a wetsuit in chat at the end of the week.

I hear the SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE from Canada already (yes I am looking at you Plague)
Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!

Just to give you guys an idea, this took about five months and that included building the AT infrastructure from scratch (this is completely client code, vs the CB that has a distributed architecture) and implementing the MB. Next tools should be quicker



Paolo, i really hate to say but you're killing me with those thrown comments of future ATs C'mon spill the bean.. Tongue out

But, but, but...  Us DMs are finally getting goodies.  Rejoice! 

I'll take all the teasing and taunting they want to throw at us.  That means they are happy with what's up and coming.  And if they are that happy, we're likely to be happy.

Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.

Man between this and the new tiles for the VT I am gonna have to wear a wetsuit in chat at the end of the week.

I hear the SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE from Canada already (yes I am looking at you Plague)




OOOOOOUUUUUIIIIII    YES YES In french even !

Especially if what i just heard for the next  is true.

They better keep me fed well, because the HABS are about to start playing again soon, and everyone here knows hockey is a fever in Montréal hehe

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Hats off to the team!  I'm really looking forward to giving the new MB a spin.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

See that little red dragon on my profile? No, not the one in my avatar, the little one below that.

Neither do I, because it ain't there.

But it probably will be soon, because I've made no secret of the fact that I've been waiting for precisely this before I would consider resubscribing.

(And if it's all client-side, hopefully that also means it's faster than the new CB; bonus.)
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Looks like I will be able to put the broken old MB to bed, sweet. Imagine not having to check that recharges and triggers didn't disappear ever again.

What will I do with all the extra time?
Looks awesome!!  I can't wait until Tuesday!  Also can't wait until we start seeing new tools.  I'm very excited to hear what is next!

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

finally. hopefully it runs faster than the cb

how many monsters are we allowed to save to the cloud
It looks great and I'm impressed with the fact that it appears to be a fully functional Monster Builder. Well done WoTC.

Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!



Until you actually have another adventure tool, it's incorrect. I know WoTC intends/wants too, but you just have to grant us the right to be skeptical. 4 Years and WoTC saying "We want to,  but we can't say it will even happen" tends to put a damper on things.
Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!

Just to give you guys an idea, this took about five months and that included building the AT infrastructure from scratch (this is completely client code, vs the CB that has a distributed architecture) and implementing the MB. Next tools should be quicker



Uh, so what were you doing all those other months after you stopped supporting the old monster builder?

Of course, having said 5 months to do, and then saying new tools will take less time, people are going to take that as a promise that in 4 months or less, WoTC is going to put out another tool.

So, if you don't, and there's a crap storm, you brought it on yourself.  
Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!

Just to give you guys an idea, this took about five months and that included building the AT infrastructure from scratch (this is completely client code, vs the CB that has a distributed architecture) and implementing the MB. Next tools should be quicker



Uh, so what were you doing all those other months after you stopped supporting the old monster builder?

Of course, having said 5 months to do, and then saying new tools will take less time, people are going to take that as a promise that in 4 months or less, WoTC is going to put out another tool.

So, if you don't, and there's a crap storm, you brought it on yourself.  



Umm, I don't think most people take "should" as a promise to anything.  When most people say "yeah, this should work", I don't think they are meaning "I 100% guarantee that this will work," but rather "we intend for it to work this way" and all intentions are subject to change.  Just look at how many movie trailers come out, "promising" a release date, only to have the movie be 2 months, 6 months, even a year late (and sometimes with a new title).
"Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!" - Rose Tyler
It looks great and I'm impressed with the fact that it appears to be a fully functional Monster Builder. Well done WoTC.

Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!



Until you actually have another adventure tool, it's incorrect. I know WoTC intends/wants too, but you just have to grant us the right to be skeptical. 4 Years and WoTC saying "We want to,  but we can't say it will even happen" tends to put a damper on things.


Fair enough. I can only ask for a little patience now, and I can understand why you are feeling that way.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!

Just to give you guys an idea, this took about five months and that included building the AT infrastructure from scratch (this is completely client code, vs the CB that has a distributed architecture) and implementing the MB. Next tools should be quicker



Uh, so what were you doing all those other months after you stopped supporting the old monster builder?



Building up the rest of the infrastructure  

Of course, having said 5 months to do, and then saying new tools will take less time, people are going to take that as a promise that in 4 months or less, WoTC is going to put out another tool.

So, if you don't, and there's a crap storm, you brought it on yourself.  


I know, I tend to do that, don't I?
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
is there a cap on monsters we can store on the cloud?
Building up the rest of the infrastructure



This may be asking for too much information, but does that mean the now completed infrastructure can hold things like traps and hazards, magic items, etc. and that at this point front ends are all that needs to be added to have functional builders for other elements in the game?

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

A big thanks to Steve and Paolo for the information!   Looking forward to seeing this thing in the flesh - and especially looking forward to the next few months and what may or may not be in the pipeline!

Blakey
Building up the rest of the infrastructure



This may be asking for too much information, but does that mean the now completed infrastructure can hold things like traps and hazards, magic items, etc. and that at this point front ends are all that needs to be added to have functional builders for other elements in the game?


No one official, but in looking at the screen shots it seems they have created an underlying way to edit the monsters. The flow of screens would be pretty applicable to other applications (especially traps and hazards, but potentially more). I like that it has a resemblance to the CB but is different in ways more suited to monster editing.

Also, let's keep in mind that they are giving us a teaser of things to come next week. That doesn't mean we will be getting the answer to all of our questions we can come up with (either this week or after next week). There are many reasons why it makes sense for WotC to hold back information on where they are headed. Paolo suggests this may work differently than the CB (perhaps not storing monsters in the cloud? Unknown) and that there will be more than one tool. Depending on how they built the infrastructure, that could be possible. We won't know.

I can easily go back and get all sorts of angry about the history of Adventure Tools, but when I see something good I have to call it "good" because that is what it is. A working MB is a fantastic addition. I could easily have seen a paranoid WotC not delivering what I am seeing in those screenshots, so I'm feeling nothing but positive.

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

A big thanks to Steve and Paolo for the information!   Looking forward to seeing this thing in the flesh - and especially looking forward to the next few months and what may or may not be in the pipeline!

Blakey



+1
Nice, I really like the looks of it!  Everything except the first screenshot.  You guys should really remove that "S" in "Adventure Tools" for the foreseeable future.


But then it would be incorrect!

Just to give you guys an idea, this took about five months and that included building the AT infrastructure from scratch (this is completely client code, vs the CB that has a distributed architecture) and implementing the MB. Next tools should be quicker


If this were facebook, I'd like the heck out of this post.
[20:53] [SadisticFish] yeah Llamas convinced me
Another question that may be too soon for WotC to answer:  any plans to consolidate all the online tools into one interface?  I've posted something before where my dream is to go to one place, like  an Adventure Tools site, and find icons for the CB, MB, VT, Compendium, Dragon and Dungeon Magazines, Character Sheets, Name Generator, etc. all in one place, kind of like we have on the side of the dndinsider page.

Also, as much as I liked having local storage of characters, I can see the beauty of keeping all created monsters in the cloud as long as we don't have a low limit on storage and we have an option to export.  I'm used to being able to access my stuff anywhere now and I'd hate to have monsters be the only thing that isn't available from the cloud.  And seeing that there's an Export button makes me think cloud storage is how it will work.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Hey Steve,
Can we get a list of native supported export "formats" (XML, RTF, plain text, etc.) or even a screenshot showing the options?
Hey Steve,
Can we get a list of native supported export "formats" (XML, RTF, plain text, etc.) or even a screenshot showing the options?



Heck, I'll be happy if it will just export a .jpg or .pdf in standard Monster Manual format (i.e. green card).

:-) 
Hey Steve,
Can we get a list of native supported export "formats" (XML, RTF, plain text, etc.) or even a screenshot showing the options?



Heck, I'll be happy if it will just export a .jpg or .pdf in standard Monster Manual format (i.e. green card).

:-) 




If it has any kind of print capability, you can convert it to a .pdf pretty easily with any of a variety of free programs (Cute PDF and Primo PDF spring immediately to mind).  

 
@Nyarl

True,  that would work.  But really, a high res jpg export would work easily enough also. The CB had issues with printing to PDF (file size bloat).  In the old MB, I'd just use its "export as image" function and paste into InDesign, and away I'd go!  Quick and easy!  Perfect world is if you could set the MB to print "multiple up" of different monster cards for easier printing and cutting.

We'll see! 
It'd be great to get some answers to some more of the questions that have been asked.

Specifically...

1.  Can we copy the stat blocks as images to paste on something else, such as MS Word?  That's what I do with the old MB.  I can get about 4 stat blocks to a page.

2.  Are we going to be limited on the number of custom monsters we can keep?
The PDF print driver typically will export it as an image, not as text, which may not be what people desire if they want to use the text in a third party program (Word, etc.).

An RTF export format would be one export format that would be very welcome.

Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept. Default module =/= Core mechanic.

Exporting to RTF is important for authors wanting to work in Word. If they have fixed formatting issues it might even work for submissions to Dungeon, LFR, Ashes of Athas, and the like. The old CB's RTF output didn't quite meet those requirements.

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).