Legends and Lore - Charting the Course for D&D: Your Voice, Your Game

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Legends and Lore
Charting the Course for D&D: Your Voice, Your Game
by Mike Mearls

As you may have read in the New York Times, it’s an exciting time for Dungeons & Dragons. We are happy to announce today that we are developing the next iteration of D&D, and will be looking to the legions of D&D fans to help shape the future of the game along with us.

Talk about this column here.

i would like someone from wizards to tell us as soon as possible what will happen to 4th. specifically will the tools still be up, will it be supported in the mags or on the website at all after 5th comes out


if you care about your current customers you will answer this asap
Seconded. I'd be fine if support (in the "new material" sense) for 4th ceased when 5th came out, but only if the tools, compendium, character builder, etc. stayed up.

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Defenders: We ARE the wall!

 

I've replaced the previous Edition Warring line in my sig with this one, because honestly, everybody needs to work together to make the D&D they like without trampling on somebody else's D&D.

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Very excited to see this announcement.  I love 4e for it's balance, but I think the toolbox idea is a great way to allow different gaming froups to choose their complexity level.  Anxiously looking forward to getting my chance to give input.

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.

Whatever they do it needs to be better than playing 4E using the old character builder with or without what /tg has done to it since it was abandoned
...whatever
i would like someone from wizards to tell us as soon as possible what will happen to 4th. specifically will the tools still be up, will it be supported in the mags or on the website at all after 5th comes out


if you care about your current customers you will answer this asap

That is a good question that clearly needs an answer.

Beyond that, I'm not enthused. You guys have spent FAR too much time thrashing on rules systems over the last 8 years and far too little doing good content development for what you have. Look at your competition. It isn't twiddling with new rules systems that will bring success. Good writers, good stories, that's what works. If you think 4e's issue has to do with the rules system I think you've badly missed the boat.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Let the 4e grognard-ism BEGIN!!
Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: 
What Would Wrecan Say?

5 Minute Workday

My Webcomic
Updated Tue & Thur

 

I signed up and am asking my current group to sign up for playtest as well.  I will dedicate my play time and reading time to really digest the new rules as needed. 

Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
I hope that whatever they create, they actually support it.

As it stands now, we have several classes and races that are simply subpar to play (the seeker immediatley comes to mind).
Let the 4e grognard-ism BEGIN!!



youre late
I welcomed the change from AD&D 2nd Edition to 3E and again to 4E. This time, I'm cautious for the first time. However, for me, every edition has been an improvement so far with 4E being the best D&D edition for me and my players. So, on the one hand I've always liked the new edition because I could see an improvement in my play experience. On the other hand, I really like where I am now.

However, I like what they are doing with the playtest. If Ryan Dancey's comments on the web are even remotely true, then a lot of design effort of 4E was put into making it online-play compatible. This goal may not be that relevant now and actually free the designers to come up with a rules system that is good for the game itself.

But even if the next edition rocks I won't convert my homebrew campaign immediately. There are far too many options going to be missing in the beginning for me to be able to do that. Unless I can finish that campaign first.... 
No surprise. Even when they came out with 4th edition, I knew there would be a 5th edition. DnD is a game where you can only do so much in terms of new material for any given rule set.
I really like 4th edition but it's not really a surprise that they want to put out a 5th edition - they need to sell books to survive and truth be told the latest offerings aren't very compelling... i just hope they don't mess it up
I'm amused that WotC is having the public playtest so much later. Everyone is going to have copies post-DDXP. Are they unaware of this thing called "the Internet"?
Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: 
What Would Wrecan Say?

5 Minute Workday

My Webcomic
Updated Tue & Thur

 

i would like someone from wizards to tell us as soon as possible what will happen to 4th. specifically will the tools still be up, will it be supported in the mags or on the website at all after 5th comes out



We plan to continue offering people access to tools such as the D&D Character Builder and D&D Monster Builder to support 4th Edition. We are exploring ideas for conversion tools so some of your 4th Edition characters and content will be playable with the next iteration of D&D but it’s too early to say what we will be able to provide.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager
thanks trevor, that is a relief. hopefully that remains the plan post release
I'm amused that WotC is having the public playtest so much later. Everyone is going to have copies post-DDXP. Are they unaware of this thing called "the Internet"?

Between the game played at D&D XP and the public playtest it's very likely that things will have changed. Also, the event at DDXP will likely be very focused, while the full playtest material will have more crunch. Time will tell though.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager
I plan to stay with Pathfinder.
Trevor, since you seem to be watching this thread. How much influence can we still have? And please, don't throw the marketing bullshed like "you can still change everything, that's what this news is for!". Please, realistically, how much is pretty much set in stone? Can we still avoid tragedies like 4E's GSL, 4E's crashed alignment system or 3E's grappling rules? Is there room for changing IMPORTANT things?

Sorry if a part may sounded a little aggressive, wanted just some honest, straight-forward response.
Check out my D&D-based play-by-post game, based on exploration and roleplaying. Agora
i would like someone from wizards to tell us as soon as possible what will happen to 4th. specifically will the tools still be up, will it be supported in the mags or on the website at all after 5th comes out



We plan to continue offering people access to tools such as the D&D Character Builder and D&D Monster Builder to support 4th Edition.



This is good. Really good. Continued support, even with electronic things, means customers who don't feel abandoned. 

We are exploring ideas for conversion tools so some of your 4th Edition characters and content will be playable with the next iteration of D&D but it’s too early to say what we will be able to provide.



That might be nifty, but I, personally, was fine with the, "Find the closest feel, not the same class, for character conversions."

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Defenders: We ARE the wall!

 

I've replaced the previous Edition Warring line in my sig with this one, because honestly, everybody needs to work together to make the D&D they like without trampling on somebody else's D&D.

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Trevor, since you seem to be watching this thread. How much influence can we still have? And please, don't throw the marketing bullshed like "you can still change everything, that's what this news is for!". Please, realistically, how much is pretty much set in stone? Can we still avoid tragedies like 4E's GSL, 4E's crashed alignment system or 3E's grappling rules? Is there room for changing IMPORTANT things?

Sorry if a part may sounded a little aggressive, wanted just some honest, straight-forward response.

Playtesting and player feedback are a huge focus for this. While our designers and developers will be making this next iteration of D&D, we want to make the game you want to play. Best ways to provide that feedback: be involved in the playtests, and take the polls that we'll have up on L&L going forward and possibly elsewhere. Feedback in forums and comments is still collected, but direct playtest feedback and polls are easier to track.

There is definitely room for changing important things and hopefully we'll all get a chance to see that once the playtest opens up.
Trevor Kidd Community Manager
Let the 4e grognard-ism BEGIN!!



Begin?
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Let the 4e grognard-ism BEGIN!!



Begin?



Yeah, it was already there since the Essentials.

Thanks for your answer, Trevor. Not that I expected a much different post, but it's good to hear that anyway.
Check out my D&D-based play-by-post game, based on exploration and roleplaying. Agora
I have already signed up for playtesting,  so this isn't one of those "you're changing things, so I'm taking my ball and going home" posts. I do have to say that I am a bit irritated that the hundreds of dollars I have fairly recently spent on books, maps, modules, etc. are soon to be rendered obsolete, particularly since this is not the first time I have suffered through this (Original PHB, DMG, MM, DD, then 2nd edition, then 3rd , then 3.5, now 4th). Based on a 2013 release date, I have to say I am compelled to not purchase any more D&D products (except for the non-random minis ) until 5th edition is released. This is not because I don't wish to continue to support a game that has given me such pleasure for 3 decades, but because I cannot justify throwing good money after bad, now that I know a new ruleset is on the horizon next year. Good for my wallet, but not great for my love of new books to pour over.
My concern is that with the L&L articles have not really had much player feedback as would really be required to really get the voice of the customer.

The order of events has been:

1. Post L&L article w/ Poll.
2. Posters respond to poll and discuss on forum.
3. Collect data on poll (and hopefully from discussion)
4. Post next L&L article with no real discussion on the previous one.

What I need to see to know that our voices are really being heard is when new articles come out - call out a poster that comes across like "Scottevil912 writes - 'we need to have our voices heard' and follow that with some additional discussion by the writer

It shouldn't be a topic of the week, a better way to get the feedback

Week 1 - topic is introduced, polls published, users on forum discuss the topic.
Week 2 - poll results provided, some discussion on what this poll means, additional discussion from users on forum
Week 3 - forum Users responses collected, presented, discussed.  New poll for forum goers to choose options they like based on all the information collected over past two weeks. 
Week 4 - results of final poll, and some information on the next topic for the new month.

It would take longer, but if the target isn't until 2014 we have a whole year (which is epic in terms of projects) - let's do it right and make sure that people feel like they really are being heard.

And I love seeing Trevor's responses on here - but it would be awesome to get even occasional posts from others on the team. 
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
Based on the direction you guys are looking at, will the next edition (5E) be looking to fix what was viewed as needing fixed in 4E, or will it be looking to branch off as a something completely new?  I know that was kind of the big shock when 4e hit, many people were watching for 3.75 but got something completely new, and it caught lots of folks off guard.  Thus the question.  Also it will help offer a framework and set expectations for what recommendations and suggestions I might offer up. Thanks.
Based on the direction you guys are looking at, will the next edition (5E) be looking to fix what was viewed as needing fixed in 4E, or will it be looking to branch off as a something completely new?  I know that was kind of the big shock when 4e hit, many people were watching for 3.75 but got something completely new, and it caught lots of folks off guard.  Thus the question.  Also it will help offer a framework and set expectations for what recommendations and suggestions I might offer up. Thanks.


This, I think, is a big, and important, question.  It would be really, really good to get some solid information about what this playtest is going to look like, and SOON.  I would beg, if I thought it would do any good, that this announcement be immediately followed by concrete mechanical information, to avoid weeks or months of meaningless and uninformed speculation and flame warring.

Please listen.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
My concern is that with the L&L articles have not really had much player feedback as would really be required to really get the voice of the customer.

The order of events has been:

1. Post L&L article w/ Poll.
2. Posters respond to poll and discuss on forum.
3. Collect data on poll (and hopefully from discussion)
4. Post next L&L article with no real discussion on the previous one.

What I need to see to know that our voices are really being heard is when new articles come out - call out a poster that comes across like "Scottevil912 writes - 'we need to have our voices heard' and follow that with some additional discussion by the writer.

Part of the problem here is that Mike and Monte couldn't talk explicitly about all the things going on behind the curtain - so I th ink that's alleviated at this point. Also, we're planning at this point to have more two-way communication going forward. I don't have all the details yet - maybe L&L is the place for that increased communication, or maybe it's elsewhere, but it is something we'll be doing. All I can do is promise that we'll do our best to show you that your feedback matters once the ball gets rolling.
Trevor Kidd Community Manager


We are exploring ideas for conversion tools so some of your 4th Edition characters and content will be playable with the next iteration of D&D but it’s too early to say what we will be able to provide.



That might be nifty, but I, personally, was fine with the, "Find the closest feel, not the same class, for character conversions."




What you wouldnt be annoyed if your Battlerager is best built with a class called Warrior in the next editions.. we are gonna spoil them designers.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

The Escapist has an announcement here and Critical Hits has one here. Both reveal that they've known about this announcement since the beginning of December. It also explains the Escapists latest flurry of articles about the history of 4e.

Here's one quote I like the sound of:
"The message from the top levels of D&D is that they’re done trying to force a new game on players, and instead make the D&D game that fans are asking for."

and the most important thing for me personally:
"expect this edition to be very DM-friendly"

If I'm going to switch from 4e to 5e, then it will only be because it makes my life as a DM a whole lot better. That has to be both mechanically and from a RP/storytelling point of view. I'm intrigued by the modular approach but I've also been a part of many projects that were designed by committee and sadly they almost always fail. "Jack of all trades, master of none". I sincerely hope they can find a way to make it work in this case.

I know one thing, this is the last chance for D&D for a long time. If they screw this one up the ship is sunk.
For those who haven't seen it, the D&D Next page is up and ready for your feedback. You'll also find the info on the team working on what's coming next there as well as a poll on what you want to see in the first playtest.
Trevor Kidd Community Manager
My concern is that with the L&L articles have not really had much player feedback as would really be required to really get the voice of the customer.

The order of events has been:

1. Post L&L article w/ Poll.
2. Posters respond to poll and discuss on forum.
3. Collect data on poll (and hopefully from discussion)
4. Post next L&L article with no real discussion on the previous one.

What I need to see to know that our voices are really being heard is when new articles come out - call out a poster that comes across like "Scottevil912 writes - 'we need to have our voices heard' and follow that with some additional discussion by the writer.

Part of the problem here is that Mike and Monte couldn't talk explicitly about all the things going on behind the curtain - so I th ink that's alleviated at this point. Also, we're planning at this point to have more two-way communication going forward. I don't have all the details yet - maybe L&L is the place for that increased communication, or maybe it's elsewhere, but it is something we'll be doing. All I can do is promise that we'll do our best to show you that your feedback matters once the ball gets rolling.

Thank you Trevor, one of my concerns going in this morning was if character builder (in whatever iteration) would be available. A good way of saying "you can play whatever DnD you want" is to continue digital support (at least in that format) of 4e alongside 5e without creating new content.

Now, on to 5e discussion.

@Trevor - One of my main concerns is that what we are hearing from WotC is this is supposed to be the Ultimate Edition that breaks down edition boundaries and allows everyone to play the DnD they want to play. An edition for every fan of DnD ever.

This concerns me, not because I don't see it as a noble goal or a good idea to make DnD as appealing to everyone possible, but simply because you cannot please all of the people all of the time. Some of them all of time? Sure. All of them some of the time? Yeah! But all of them?

*shakes head*

And in attempting to do so, I worry about what this new edition will look like. A gibbering mouther sprouting limbs and appendages from a wide variety of creatures while still being unwholesome and monstrous (and really, not much fun at parties).

This is not to say that I don't look forward to being wrong in this instance. I would love to be wrong. I want to be wrong. I want 5e to be awesome. I want it to make me tremble in awe as to its tight rules and mighty balance.

Please, 5e design team, make me wrong.

Thank you.
I_Roll_20s @twitter. Not always SFW. I may prefer 4e, but I will play and enjoy almost any edition, and indeed almost any table top RPG, with my friends. Down with Edition Wars. Shut up and roll your dice. :P
style he also says he already played 5e, so its already in a playable form
My concern is that with the L&L articles have not really had much player feedback as would really be required to really get the voice of the customer.

The order of events has been:

1. Post L&L article w/ Poll.
2. Posters respond to poll and discuss on forum.
3. Collect data on poll (and hopefully from discussion)
4. Post next L&L article with no real discussion on the previous one.

What I need to see to know that our voices are really being heard is when new articles come out - call out a poster that comes across like "Scottevil912 writes - 'we need to have our voices heard' and follow that with some additional discussion by the writer.

Part of the problem here is that Mike and Monte couldn't talk explicitly about all the things going on behind the curtain - so I th ink that's alleviated at this point. Also, we're planning at this point to have more two-way communication going forward. I don't have all the details yet - maybe L&L is the place for that increased communication, or maybe it's elsewhere, but it is something we'll be doing. All I can do is promise that we'll do our best to show you that your feedback matters once the ball gets rolling.



Thank you.

I'm really not trying to be negative, I really am trying to be supportive because I do love D&D and I love 4e despite it's flaws and I want to make sure that if a new edition is going to be released that I do everything I can to make it the D&D that I, and others, would enjoy playing.

It's just a bit discouraging when a L&L article is posted and then you see the people on the forum just tear into each other (and the author of the article) for an entire week, just for the next L&L article to be released and no real acknowledgement of what was said by anyone the week before other than some poll results. 

Going to keep my fingers crossed that this is going to be a successful playtest, and I will keep providing my feedback both on the changes to 5e, as well as feedback on the playtest process (using my experience as a project SME and process modeler/analyst on various IT & Business projects)
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
Trevor, can you confirm if the 4e digital tools will still work/exist after 5e is released? I understand that 5e tools will be developed, but I'm wondering if subscribers would still be able to play 4e as a standalone version should they choose.
I've noticed a few WotC staffers lurking in these forums. It's very, very early in Seattle. I bet the coffee is flowing freely at the HQ Smile  Good luck guys and gals, I suspect you're in for a busy day!
I've made a post in the VT Beta forums indicating my strong interest in fully utilizing this community and the VT in getting some damn fine testing work done.

We, collectively, have something significant to add to this process.  And the VT is the best way for us all to do it.


edit:  8am isn't that early...
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I've made a post in the VT Beta forums indicating my strong interest in fully utilizing this community and the VT in getting some damn fine testing work done.

We, collectively, have something significant to add to this process.  And the VT is the best way for us all to do it.


edit:  8am isn't that early...



sad to say i wont be aiding in that process. i am not interested in purchasing or playing 5e
I've made a post in the VT Beta forums indicating my strong interest in fully utilizing this community and the VT in getting some damn fine testing work done.

We, collectively, have something significant to add to this process.  And the VT is the best way for us all to do it.


edit:  8am isn't that early...



I've seen them lurking since 5:30AM Seattle time. Could have been from home, but who knows?

Good idea about the VT being a perfect playtesting tool for 5e. It's a great way to bring together a lot of hard core gamers for deep analysis, but remember it will be heavily skewed towards current 4e players.

This announcement also explains the opening up of the VT to non subscribers.
For those who haven't seen it, the D&D Next page is up and ready for your feedback. You'll also find the info on the team working on what's coming next there as well as a poll on what you want to see in the first playtest.


Where's thepoll  option for 'I don't really care about something that meaningless, please tell me something about the game's core mechanics'?

Seriously.  The success or failure of the game is in its core mechanics (and I use that tense intentionally; I have no doubt that its core mechanics are already solidly in place), not something so completely meaningless as which mobs the groups will face.

I really appreciate the communication.  If that is one thing that will actually come of this, then that's one thing that I am all in favour of.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Trevor, can you confirm if the 4e digital tools will still work/exist after 5e is released? I understand that 5e tools will be developed, but I'm wondering if subscribers would still be able to play 4e as a standalone version should they choose.



they are claiming they are, we will see how it goes




The thing I like about this is that they can keep the VTTand have it support both systems. As long as they keep things like the grid system the same, the rules sets can be simplyq based on the rules type selected for a session/campaign. There's no reason why two databases can't be used and have the rules/ powers/ whatever else be used from the set. Especially when they already have the base done for 4e.  Tiles etc can be cross edition.

The more I think about this, the more I am looking forward to it.