Changes Coming to the Adventure Tools in September

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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.

this. export to rtf is a must.
48. The best book on programming for the layman is "alice in wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.
Any news on whether it uses post MM3 maths or not?
But where is the Encounter builder where I put in my partys lvl and get an XP budget, and it starts filtering for monsters in our lvl. Then it lets me save the encounter and print it off to save space at the table? Maybe even tell me what percentage of our lvl that encounter is, and tell me how much treasure Ive given out if I can build that in as well.... Maybe if Im really lucky Wizards could link "Party" accounts so I as the DM get auto updates on my partys character changes and can get suggestions on monsters and treasure based on that....
Maybe one day...
In the Nentir Vale, all injured creatures are required to wear a name tag!
Any news on whether it uses post MM3 maths or not?



I dont think that it has been stated whether when creating a monster it uses the MM3 math but I would assume that would be correct.  But they have stated before that they have no intention of going back and wholesale changing the MM1 creatures to the MM3 math. 
Quick reply from a tiny hotel room in Paris:

Export format: Just like the cb, it uses the XML monster format used by the old mb. This will enable full interoperability between the two tools. No RTF at the moment but it should not be a big pain for an enterprising developer to convert the exported XML to any other format...

Storage: for now, 50 monster in "the cloud"

Math: as far as I can tell (bugs notwithstanding), it uses mm3 calculations and stat block.

printing: the mb prints one stat block at a time it is, after all, a "monster builder". Printing multiple stat blocks and laying out other things should be better left to a specialized tool. As a side note, a single stat block should not pose the same problems as a multiple full page output like the cb.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Storage: for now, 50 monster in "the cloud"



i am disappointed in the amount of material we can store within the tools (cb, mb, and especially the vt)

but im jealous youre in paris
Storage: for now, 50 monster in "the cloud"



i am disappointed in the amount of material we can store within the tools (cb, mb, and especially the vt)




Agreed, very disappointing. At least we can export and save that way (unlike the VT), but still more hassle than we should have to tolerate.
But where is the Encounter builder where I put in my partys lvl and get an XP budget, and it starts filtering for monsters in our lvl. Then it lets me save the encounter and print it off to save space at the table? Maybe even tell me what percentage of our lvl that encounter is, and tell me how much treasure Ive given out if I can build that in as well.... Maybe if Im really lucky Wizards could link "Party" accounts so I as the DM get auto updates on my partys character changes and can get suggestions on monsters and treasure based on that....
Maybe one day...



I can think of an an app that does that.
50 seems like a fair number considering we have the ability to export and store locally.  We'll see how it translates in usage.  I currently run 3 campaigns, so I will be getting significant use out of the updated MB.

Maybe they can give us a tool that allows us to include a local directory in the search capabilities of the monster builder.

It would also be nice if our monsters in the cloud could be flagged as public, and then give us the ability to browse public monsters and NPCs.

Celebrate our differences.

Maybe they can give us a tool that allows us to include a local directory in the search capabilities of the monster builder.





I like that idea!


50 is better than 10, but not by much. If you are adjusting to MM3 standards and saving them that is only about 20ish encounters worth of monsters. After that you will be exporting and deleting to make room.


Not a disaster, but having local storage as you suggest or a more reasonably sized piece of the cloud would be nice.

Hey Paolo, got a quick question for you from EN World:

www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/3115...

can you specifically ask if it has the copy image capability, so I can populate my own (personal) documents? I like multiple monster stat blocks per page, coupled with a lot of other encounter-specific information. I use these sheets to run my encounters and 1 monster / page is a huge waste of paper.



I suspect that the answer is no, but I wanted to make sure.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Storage: for now, 50 monster in "the cloud"



i am disappointed in the amount of material we can store within the tools (cb, mb, and especially the vt)

but im jealous youre in paris


 Less of a pain in the rear than with the CB though.  Most monsters I modify will only see use once or twice anyway, so if I have to get rid of one (or export it to my PC) in order to make room, its less of an issue.
Hey Paolo, got a quick question for you from EN World:

www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/3115...

can you specifically ask if it has the copy image capability, so I can populate my own (personal) documents? I like multiple monster stat blocks per page, coupled with a lot of other encounter-specific information. I use these sheets to run my encounters and 1 monster / page is a huge waste of paper.



I suspect that the answer is no, but I wanted to make sure.




Not in this tool. One stat block per page, but you can always print to PDF and then manipulate that...
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Quick reply from a tiny hotel room in Paris: Export format: Just like the cb, it uses the XML monster format used by the old mb. This will enable full interoperability between the two tools. No RTF at the moment but it should not be a big pain for an enterprising developer to convert the exported XML to any other format...



RTF is really useful because it is the quickest way a DM can place several monsters onto one page in a common format used for adventures. It supports a better resolution than an image and it also allows for later quick edits. As a DM in my home campaigns and as an admin in organized play I use the RTF export extensively.

It would be incredible for authors of DDI and organized play (and I suspect for WotC staff) if the AT's MB could export a monster in a format that could be dropped into the Word format that WotC uses and meet those needs. Right now authors have to do a lot of tweaking to get things right... for DDI and LFR WotC can't allow the RTF export from the classic MB because it has so many differences from the standard. It would be a huge boon to everyone if that would change in the future. My main point: RTF is really desirable and if you implement it please work with someone like Perkins or Bilsland to use the format they desire and not just any RTF.

Storage: for now, 50 monster in "the cloud"


I suspect that is a pretty decent starting point. I have 78 custom monsters in my Dark Sun folder (some of which are from organized play). The RPGA had more than 200 custom monsters in the old tool, some of which I have exported. But, I'm a heavy users.

What most contributes to a high number for me are variations. I might take an existing monster and make it 2 levels lower. Then I might make another version a level higher with a monster theme. Those types of minor changes are enough work that I want to keep them as new monsters and this bumps up the number of monsters I would save in my cloud.

Math: as far as I can tell (bugs notwithstanding), it uses mm3 calculations and stat block.


This is a complex issue. Please bare with me.

My guess is that it uses the latest logic for initial creation. I would be curious what it does when you level a creature... does it use an old idea of, say, adding 1 to attack per level and then 1 to damage every other level? Or does it change the power to be in line with recent logic (itself complex)? Bumping up average damage every other level has changed to be every level for at-will powers, for example. And, the average damage has changed. Brutes gain a bump to damage at certain levels. Limited/encounter powers do extra damage and get bumps at certain levels. (Chris Perkins posted a chart recently).

There is also the question of how it behaves when you change an existing monster that uses old rules. If I take a level 1 MM1 non-brute monster that does 1d6+4 with an at-will attack and level it to 3rd level, do I get 1d6+6 (under old logic), 1d6+6 (using the new progression but not correcting for new expected average values), or do I get 1d6+8 (achieving the average of 11 expected by the new math for average damage of an at-will by a non-brute)? That difference is more jarring as you climb in level and with encounter powers. An old level 1 brute that might do 1d6+4 with an encounter power and is bumped up to 20th level would do 1d6+12 under the old rules, 1d6+48 with the new values.

It can be a bit of a philosophical question. Some monsters really are more or less damaging than others, even in the post-MM3 category. Should the software try to adjust that back to average levels when you edit them, or should it stay true to the source and just increase/decrease by level based on the new progression? A power that stuns might be great as 1d4+8 even on a high heroic creature, because the stun is so powerful. This is raised as an issue often on the forums and many posters are unclear on how the logic works for new vs changed monsters.

If I had to make a recommendation, it would be that leveling or de-leveling should add a bump based on the delta on the chart Chris Perkins posted. So, no matter the value you have, a brute encounter power going from 1st to 20th level would add 36 to the static damage (comparing the average values of 16 and 52 on the chart and adjusting for the difference). This seems to preserve the intent of the creature and still do a good job at the task of leveling/de-leveling.

A common request is a button that would adjust a power to the expected value for the level. This would be a good feature, because you could use that to update monsters. Take that old MM1 monster and click that button and a power is now at the new value. Because the DM controls this, you don't run into problems where the stun power is now stun plus lots of damage (unless the DM wants to make that adjustment). This kind of feature is, to me, far better than automatically imposing MM3 logic when you level (which would be wrong for powers that deliberately are written to do less or more damage).

Printing multiple stat blocks and laying out other things should be better left to a specialized tool. As a side note, a single stat block should not pose the same problems as a multiple full page output like the cb.


As noted above, I think the issue is really around usability. DMs need to be able to get several monsters onto a page, to put them in amongst their adventure notes, to incorporate them into organized play, etc. Printing one per page is just not useful. Yeah, the option should be there, but export should really support RTF so that we can bypass the issue (and the RTF format should match WotC guidelines).

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A common request is a button that would adjust a power to the expected value for the level. This would be a good feature, because you could use that to update monsters.


I think a better option is to just show the expected average damage right next to the actual calculated average damage and let the user decide.  Provide the value so we don't have to go elsewhere looking for it.
i dont think 50 is a "starting point". they havent added any cb slots and ive got over a 100 pcs on my cpu now, they havent added any vt slots and i have to delete adventures routinely, they dont add slots.
Hey Paolo, got a quick question for you from EN World:

www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/3115...

can you specifically ask if it has the copy image capability, so I can populate my own (personal) documents? I like multiple monster stat blocks per page, coupled with a lot of other encounter-specific information. I use these sheets to run my encounters and 1 monster / page is a huge waste of paper.



I suspect that the answer is no, but I wanted to make sure.



Not in this tool. One stat block per page, but you can always print to PDF and then manipulate that...




Very disappointing.  Cry

How can one transfer a monster stat block from pdf format?  Will it print it in the annoying, full page width block? 


Guess I'm sticking with the old MB that let's me export in image and rtf.
OgreBane99, keep in mind that having any print functionality at all is an improvement over none.

You can always screen capture, paste into Word (or something like it), crop, and add another monster. I agree we do want an RTF format, but it isn't for me a giant deal breaker as was not being able to edit/create monsters.

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Very disappointing.  Cry

How can one transfer a monster stat block from pdf format?  Will it print it in the annoying, full page width block? 


Guess I'm sticking with the old MB that let's me export in image and rtf.


Note that print to PDF is only one option.  If the new builder doesn't have the bugs of the offline builder it will be a time saver just from the stand point of building the monsters correctly.  Then you can print to PDF OR export to XML.  Import in the offline builder and export to your choice of formats.  It's an extra step that gets you everything after MM3 (DS CC, MV, and possibly others).
Very disappointing.  Cry

How can one transfer a monster stat block from pdf format?  Will it print it in the annoying, full page width block? 


Guess I'm sticking with the old MB that let's me export in image and rtf.


Note that print to PDF is only one option.  If the new builder doesn't have the bugs of the offline builder it will be a time saver just from the stand point of building the monsters correctly.  Then you can print to PDF OR export to XML.  Import in the offline builder and export to your choice of formats.  It's an extra step that gets you everything after MM3 (DS CC, MV, and possibly others).



You could also snapshot the stat block from the PDF and drop it into Word or something else as an image from the clip board.

Don't see any serious issues with this personally and I'm thoroughly impressed with what the screenshots show we are getting. Well done, Paulo and team Smile.
Hey Paolo, got a quick question for you from EN World:

www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/3115...

can you specifically ask if it has the copy image capability, so I can populate my own (personal) documents? I like multiple monster stat blocks per page, coupled with a lot of other encounter-specific information. I use these sheets to run my encounters and 1 monster / page is a huge waste of paper.



I suspect that the answer is no, but I wanted to make sure.



Not in this tool. One stat block per page, but you can always print to PDF and then manipulate that...



I don't want to step on Paolo's toes here, but the answer to this question should be "yes."  With open interoperability between the OMB and the CMB you could build monters in the OMB, export them, import them into the CMB and copy to image.

Just sayin'.  It of course would be nice if the OMB provided this functionality directly, but it is technically possible. 

Kalex the Omen 
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Concerning Player Rules Bias
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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.

Hey Paolo, got a quick question for you from EN World:

www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/3115...

can you specifically ask if it has the copy image capability, so I can populate my own (personal) documents? I like multiple monster stat blocks per page, coupled with a lot of other encounter-specific information. I use these sheets to run my encounters and 1 monster / page is a huge waste of paper.



I suspect that the answer is no, but I wanted to make sure.



Not in this tool. One stat block per page, but you can always print to PDF and then manipulate that...



I don't want to step on Paolo's toes here, but the answer to this question should be "yes."  With open interoperability between the OMB and the CMB you could build monters in the OMB, export them, import them into the CMB and copy to image.

Just sayin'.  It of course would be nice if the OMB provided this functionality directly, but it is technically possible.

Until the old MB goes by the wayside, of course, which if they follow the pattern of the CB, will be sooner rather than later with the new functionality of the MB.  That may not affect you or I, but most certainly the people that won't have access to the old MB.

I don't really understand why they simply don't give us the functionality up front.  It's not difficult to implement and it saves the customer the inconvenience of navigating between two applications.  Empower the DM!  Anything that can shave off time is welcomed by all DMs!  And if I am prepping 20-30 monsters at one sitting, that's at least 20-30 minutes saved (Load the monster in the online MB, export to XML, import the monster in the old MB, copy to RTF is at least 1 minute of time).

Celebrate our differences.

Ultimately I am with you Jharii.  I don't understand why this feature wouldn't be in by now.  I figure there are two possibilities; 1) They had more pressing issues and thought it could wait, or 2) There are legal issues with allowing this kind of functionality.

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.

Since they provided the functionality in the past (not to mention that it's a fairly common function throughout many utility programs), I don't see how it could be a legality issue.

Pressing issues?  Maybe, but it is something that could be implemented in a couple of hours.  I've already done similar functionality in my program and it only took me about 90 minutes.  This was actually converting the NPC to HTML format, which is a bit more verbose than RTF.

I'm not upset or anything.  I can make do.  But I am just a bit disappointed that we don't have that basic functionality as of yet, especially since it's a pretty significant time saver.  

Celebrate our differences.

Hey Paolo, got a quick question for you from EN World:

www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/3115...

can you specifically ask if it has the copy image capability, so I can populate my own (personal) documents? I like multiple monster stat blocks per page, coupled with a lot of other encounter-specific information. I use these sheets to run my encounters and 1 monster / page is a huge waste of paper.



I suspect that the answer is no, but I wanted to make sure.



Not in this tool. One stat block per page, but you can always print to PDF and then manipulate that...



Any chance we can get an encounter builder then, that allows multiple stat blocks per page? It seems this should have been built in from the get go....
OgreBane99, keep in mind that having any print functionality at all is an improvement over none.




Its quite true. We should be grateful for whatever we get with this free service. Oh, wait...
Since they provided the functionality in the past (not to mention that it's a fairly common function throughout many utility programs), I don't see how it could be a legality issue.

Pressing issues?  Maybe, but it is something that could be implemented in a couple of hours.  I've already done similar functionality in my program and it only took me about 90 minutes.  This was actually converting the NPC to HTML format, which is a bit more verbose than RTF.

I'm not upset or anything.  I can make do.  But I am just a bit disappointed that we don't have that basic functionality as of yet, especially since it's a pretty significant time saver.  



Well you know there are legal issues, and then there are things the TSR, WotC, Hasbro lawyers build into legal issues.  I'm not saying it would make any sense to us. 

As far as pressing goes, I'm willing to give them the benfit of the doubt.  We don't know what the production schedule and deadlines looked like.  They may have gotten this build in with moments to spare for release next week and 90 minutes of additional coding would have meant another missed deadline.

Given the amount of people requesting this functionality though, I think it would be stupid for WotC not to get it in before too long.

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.

OgreBane99, keep in mind that having any print functionality at all is an improvement over none.




Its quite true. We should be grateful for whatever we get with this free service. Oh, wait...



Yes, because everything I buy is perfect and does exactly what I want it to do always. Oh, wait...


Anyway, I've been considering making a quick little xml to html and possibly rtf converter for the monster builder. Should be pretty easy.  
Hey Paolo, got a quick question for you from EN World:

www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/3115...

can you specifically ask if it has the copy image capability, so I can populate my own (personal) documents? I like multiple monster stat blocks per page, coupled with a lot of other encounter-specific information. I use these sheets to run my encounters and 1 monster / page is a huge waste of paper.



I suspect that the answer is no, but I wanted to make sure.



Not in this tool. One stat block per page, but you can always print to PDF and then manipulate that...



I don't want to step on Paolo's toes here, but the answer to this question should be "yes."  With open interoperability between the OMB and the CMB you could build monters in the OMB, export them, import them into the CMB and copy to image.

Just sayin'.  It of course would be nice if the OMB provided this functionality directly, but it is technically possible. 



Well if that's the case, I'll be very happy.  I haven't done squat with the online MB as it doesn't do... squat.  Can you import to xml from it now and import to the old MB?

Anyway, I've been considering making a quick little xml to html and possibly rtf converter for the monster builder. Should be pretty easy.  


That would be really awesome. I'm glad to share what the format would ideally look like.

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Math: as far as I can tell (bugs notwithstanding), it uses mm3 calculations and stat block.


Hi Paolo,

Again, my thanks for the upcoming changes. One thing I wanted to mention is that should your team add support for traps (which would be awesome), there seems to have been a recent change to the format. It isn't a big deal, but I know how companies can fail to communicate about changes in standards. If for some reason the team takes up traps, it would be great to have Adventure Tools use the latest format.

(The change is somewhat minor, but easy to tell because in the new format the first line after the name and type is usually "Detect", followed by the skill (if any) used to detect the trap. The old format usually lists skills in separate blocks.)

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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.



You already have that functionality - Print Screen + MSPaint + Copy/Paste + Word. ;)
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.



You already have that functionality - Print Screen + MSPaint + Copy/Paste + Word. ;)

Please stop pretending like that is the same thing.  Thank you.

The importance of this functionality has already been discussed and agreed upon as being an important feature.

Celebrate our differences.

Anyway, I've been considering making a quick little xml to html and possibly rtf converter for the monster builder. Should be pretty easy.  


That would be really awesome. I'm glad to share what the format would ideally look like.



sure. pm me a pic if it's different than the formay in, say, the monster vault
OgreBane99, keep in mind that having any print functionality at all is an improvement over none.




Its quite true. We should be grateful for whatever we get with this free service. Oh, wait...



Yes, because everything I buy is perfect and does exactly what I want it to do always. Oh, wait...



And if everyone just mindlessly lauded even the most mediocre of "accomplishments" wotc would assume it was doing well enough. its not. I'm sorry, but DDI is still a pretty a poor value. The virtual tabletop is a crappy version of maptools from several years ago, the character builder is less functional than the offline version with certain add ons, and now the monster builder doesnt really export with decent formating.


Anyway, I've been considering making a quick little xml to html and possibly rtf converter for the monster builder. Should be pretty easy.  



Why the hell should this be necessary? Its like people building these programs have no idea how they will be used.
Anyway, I've been considering making a quick little xml to html and possibly rtf converter for the monster builder. Should be pretty easy.  



Why the hell should this be necessary? Its like people building these programs have no idea how they will be used.


For me, I see it as, why should I have to come up with a work around or fix for something I'm paying for. The ability to use what I've paid for in a format that works for me should be part of the software. 
Why the hell should this be necessary? Its like people building these programs have no idea how they will be used.

I have already agreed that we should get the functionality from DDI, but...

Add-on functionality for software is commonplace.  There is not much software in existence that doesn't have some type of macro or feature that is added on by the community.  If there is a hole somewhere, someone will fill it.   

So let's have a little patience and see if they address it.  In the meantime, if DrNick has a utilty that will streamline the process, even better! 

Celebrate our differences.

@Dane and Grand_Theft_Otto:

What you are both saying (although in different context) is that if the software doesn't have the specific feature that you want, they shouldn't release it.  This is contrary to every software development ever.  You pick target features for version x.x and when you have those features you release.  You pick the features that you think will be the most useful to the most users.  Or said the other way, it means some will not be happy about what you chose to not include.
Very disappointing. 

How can one transfer a monster stat block from pdf format?  Will it print it in the annoying, full page width block? 


Guess I'm sticking with the old MB that let's me export in image and rtf.


Import in the offline builder and export to your choice of formats.  It's an extra step that gets you everything after MM3 (DS CC, MV, and possibly others).



Do we know for a fact that this is possible? Will the OMB monsters work in the CMB? If so, then it does seem possible that one could place a monster in RTF into a word document.

Pedro2112

Very disappointing. 

How can one transfer a monster stat block from pdf format?  Will it print it in the annoying, full page width block? 


Guess I'm sticking with the old MB that let's me export in image and rtf.


Import in the offline builder and export to your choice of formats.  It's an extra step that gets you everything after MM3 (DS CC, MV, and possibly others).



Do we know for a fact that this is possible? Will the OMB monsters work in the CMB? If so, then it does seem possible that one could place a monster in RTF into a word document.



We do.  Paolo said that there is interoperability between the two.

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.

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