Mike Mearls new D&D Manager

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Congrats Mike!!

His post about it from ENWorld posted below:

It's funny, because it almost feels like I've won some sort of election. I'm acutely aware of the pressure of the position, the expectations, and the current atmosphere among D&D fans. I think I had a few minutes of ecstasy. Since then, it's been a long week and a lot of thinking.

This is also a new position in the department. I'm taking on a lot of Bill Slavicsek's responsibilities. Bill's responsibilities have broadened to include more things like boardgames, novels, Heroscape, and so on. There's a lot more to D&D than just the RPG. The RPG is my corner to play in, while Bill looks over the entirety of D&D.

Believe me, I realize how difficult this job is. There are far more paths that lead to my screwing up than to my doing a good job. It's the geek equivalent of running a professional sports team. Do well, and everyone loves you. Screw up, and you'll never hear the end of it.

There's something pretty basic to the job, though. The gist of it, when you boil it all down, isn't rocket science.

Way back in the misty days of the 1980s, when I first discovered D&D, I thought Gary Gygax, Tom Moldvay, Doug Niles, Tracy Hickman, and the entire TSR crew were demigods. I loved poring over Dragon magazine, reading through adventures like Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun again and again, and studying the DMG. I devoured the Dragonlance novels. I fought battles across our basement floor with legions of BattleSystem counters. I filled the few, precious pieces of graph paper I had with dungeons. I designed classes and monsters. I loved D&D.

Then, something happened. TSR dropped Gary. Greyhawk was pushed aside. When 2e came out, I was torn. There were plenty of things to like about the game, but the attitude around it was off. It almost seemed like the people behind D&D didn't particularly care for the way I loved D&D. Maybe I was completely irrational, but the game felt changed in some insidious way.

As time went on, that feeling only increased. There were bright spots, most notably Dungeon magazine, but a lot of the stuff TSR put out didn't really speak to why I fell in love with D&D in the first place. I wanted to love D&D, but it wasn't really clear that the company behind D&D wanted to return that love.

I actually stopped playing D&D for a few years. I ran a grand total of one (terrible) campaign in college. I wasn't really sure that D&D was something I'd be involved with anymore. I bought a PS 1 and started playing lots of console games. I ended up sticking with RPGs, but I kept to games like Deadlands and Unknown Armies.

Then something pretty cool happened. In 1999, at my very first GenCon, I sat in the audience as Ryan Dancey announced 3rd edition. It was like a religious revival. One presentation and free t-shirt later, and I was a complete convert. My friend Nate called it a money grab, an appeal to munchkins. I think my exact response was, "**** you dude. This is the best thing that's ever happened to D&D."

For whatever reason, the entire presentation of 3e's announcement felt like it had been directed straight at me. I was a complete D&D goob again. Hallelujah, praise Gygax, my faith was restored.

A year later, my faith had been well-placed. 3e was awesome. D&D felt like the game I always had wanted it to be.

In looking back, I think that my job is fairly simple. I want people to love D&D. I want people to feel like the game is in good hands, that the hand at the tiller is confident, smart, and genuinely interested in the good of the game.

It's easy for me to look at this as the chance for me to make D&D into the game I always wanted it to be, but that would be disingenuous. It'd be the height of vanity, a monument to arrogance. D&D can't be a game that caters to a single person. It's bigger than that. It lives and dies by the collected spirit of every person that's ever picked up a d20, put pencil to graph paper, or leaned close to the table as the last character standing, clutching his last hit point, rolled his attack against the BBEG.

Of course, actually doing that isn't simple, but it helps to have a goal. I can't force anyone to love D&D. I can't legislate the game into popularity, or commission a survey that will tell me exactly what to do.

What I can do, though, is watch, listen, and learn. I can put everything I have into D&D and hope for the best. At the end of the day, you guys get to judge whether I'm doing a good or screwing up by buying or avoiding the products I help make. That gets back to the election thing. You guys didn't put me into office, but you sure as Hell get the chance to kick me out.

If you have any questions, the best way to get in touch is by dropping a line to my work email address (it's my first name dot last name at wizards dot com, or drop a line to dndinsider at wizards dot com). I can't answer everything, but I'll try. I'll also record answers to interesting questions on the podcast. I'm on vacation this week. I like reading web forums to see what's up, but they're not always the best place to answer questions.

Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Sounds like the game is in good hands.  I love reading stuff like this ^_^
"All I hear now is the sound of the Charop boards and all their builds popping" ~ Mithreinmaethor "Oh I forgot, common sense no longer exists. It died with the invent of the internet age. ~ Thunder_Dragonbane ~ 1001 Reasons to Love 4E
Good stuff.
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How he can feel that 3E was a return to the basic premise of D&D and 2E was not is beyond me, but whatever floats his boat. 3E was the biggest departure from the rules since OD&D became AD&D (actually moreso, but that's for another thread). The entire presentation feels a little more like corporate butt-kissing than honest reflection, but hey...times are hard. Do what you need to do to keep your job.

That being said, I'm sure the game is in good hands. He seems to have his work priorities in order, and, coming from soneone who owns two businesses, that's a damn good start. And the butt-kissing part can be very beneficial, especially if you have a boss like me who rather likes having his butt kissed. He seems very aware that it's the fans who can ultimately sink him (and WotC in general), so catering to them as a whole is a very wise decision. Time will tell, as the old saying goes.
i don't see where he says 3rd ed is a return to the basic premise. from what i understood 2nd ed changed enough from his original D&D experience, that it turned him off it.

when he got back into the game, it finally felt right again after having been away for a long time. it's probably a "le plus sa change..." kinda thing. maybe it was the new and shiney stuff or just the overall experience that made it. it's weird, but it happens.
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Keep in mind, when 3rd edition came out, the overall problems with the system (Wizards becoming all powerful, fighters feat quests, all out Multi class weakening the character) wasn't apparent until the group began to play beyond a certain level (8th? 10th?). It was made more apparent, oddly enough, when the .5 system was released.
Terms you should know...
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Kit Build - A class build that is self sustaining and has mechanical differences than the normal scale. Started in Essentials. Most are call their own terms, though the Base Class should be said in front of their own terms (Like Assassin/Executioner) Power Points - A mechanic that was wedged into the PHB3 classes (with the exception of the Monk) from the previous editions. This time, they are used to augment At Wills to be Encounters, thus eliminating the need to choose powers past 4th level. Mage Builds - Kit builds that are schools of magic for the Wizard. A call back to the previous editions powering up of the wizard. (Wizard/Necromancer, for example) Unlike the previous kit builds, Wizards simply lose their Scribe Rituals feature and most likely still can choose powers from any build, unlike the Kit Builds. Parcel System - A treasure distribution method that keeps adventurers poor while forcing/advising the DM to get wish lists from players. The version 2.0 rolls for treasure instead of making a list, and is incomplete because of the lack of clarity about magic item rarity.
ha ha
56902498 wrote:
They will Essentialize the Essentials classes, otherwise known as Essentials2. The new sub-sub-classes will be: * Magician. A subsubclass of Mage, the magician has two implements, wand and hat, one familiar (rabbit) and series of basic tricks. * Crook. A subsubclass of Thief, the Crook can only use a shiv, which allows him to use his only power... Shank. * Angry Vicar, a subsubclass of warpriest, the angry vicar has two attacks -- Shame and Lecture. * Hitter. A subsubclass of Slayer, the Hitter hits things. * Gatherer. A subsubclass of Hunter, it doesn't actually do anything, but pick up the stuff other players might leave behind. Future Essentials2 classes include the Security Guard (Sentinel2), the Hexknife (Hexblade2), the Webelos (Scout2), the Gallant (Cavalier2) and the Goofus (Knight2). These will all be detailed in the box set called Heroes of the Futile Marketing. (Though what they should really release tomorrow is the Essentialized version of the Witchalok!)
I like him.  It'll be fun to see where he takes this thing.

when he got back into the game, it finally felt right again after having been away for a long time. it's probably a "le plus sa change..." kinda thing. maybe it was the new and shiney stuff or just the overall experience that made it. it's weird, but it happens.



Point taken. I went through it, myself.
How he can feel that 3E was a return to the basic premise of D&D and 2E was not is beyond me, but whatever floats his boat. 3E was the biggest departure from the rules since OD&D became AD&D (actually moreso, but that's for another thread). The entire presentation feels a little more like corporate butt-kissing than honest reflection, but hey...times are hard. Do what you need to do to keep your job.

That being said, I'm sure the game is in good hands. He seems to have his work priorities in order, and, coming from soneone who owns two businesses, that's a damn good start. And the butt-kissing part can be very beneficial, especially if you have a boss like me who rather likes having his butt kissed. He seems very aware that it's the fans who can ultimately sink him (and WotC in general), so catering to them as a whole is a very wise decision. Time will tell, as the old saying goes.


Even though I've grown my share of rancour towards 3e over the years I do have to say that when 3e was announced I felt very similar.

Of course at the time my tastes were also different than they became during the last decade: we were still happily playing 2e, but games like Deadlands and Alternity were challenging our notions of what mechanics should look like; the CRPGs that I played, like Daggerfall and Fallout and Ultima, were just as full of dense, bizarre quirks as D&D.

3e provided exactly what I wanted... in 1999. 

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

i don't see where he says 3rd ed is a return to the basic premise. from what i understood 2nd ed changed enough from his original D&D experience, that it turned him off it.

when he got back into the game, it finally felt right again after having been away for a long time. it's probably a "le plus sa change..." kinda thing. maybe it was the new and shiney stuff or just the overall experience that made it. it's weird, but it happens.



Yeah, I personally find it quite odd as well. My experience of 2e was that it was vastly disappointing that the game was so utterly slavishly THE SAME as 1e. It was definitely a polishing of a few rough edges of the system but considering that 1e characters can simply drop into 2e with nothing more than a couple minor changes to 2-3 numbers says a lot about how trivial the changes really were.

All it really proves though is how differently the game works for different people and what aspects of it they latch onto.

In any case I'm sure there are not going to be any radical changes. 4e is pretty well firmly set in stone at this point and regardless of who is directing its development its not going to change significantly this late in the day. What I get out of this is the person in charge is an experienced developer who's been a key part of the team from the start. That's probably a good thing, the game has a strong advocate.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Mike, shouldn't that be "Do well, and people hate on you; screw up, and you'll never hear the end of it?" Wink 

Good luck to Mearls. Considering how long Bill has been around, it seems that you've got some tight job security.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Congrats and good luck to Mike. He seems like a really good guy, and I feel confident he'll do very well.
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Board Snippets
147048523 wrote:
"I don't like X, they should remove it." "I like X, they should keep it." "They should replace X with Y." "Anybody that likes X is dumb. Y is better." "Why don't they include both X and Y." "Yeah, everybody can be happy then!" "But I don't like X, they should remove it." "X really needs to be replaced with Y." "But they can include both X and Y." "But I don't like X, they need to remove it." "Remove X, I don't like it." Repeat. Obstinance?
56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
56902498 wrote:
Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
D&D should not return to the days of blindfolding the DM and players. No tips on encounter power? No mention of expected party roles? No true meaning of level due to different level charts or tiered classes? Please, let's not sacrifice clear, helpful rules guidelines in favour of catering to the delicate sensibilities of the few who have problems with the ascetics of anything other than what they are familiar with.
56760448 wrote:
Just a quick note on the MMORPG as an insult comparison... MMORPGs, raking in money by the dumptruck full. Many options, tons of fans across many audiences, massive resources allocated to development. TTRPGs, dying product. Squeaking out an existence that relys on low cost. Fans fit primarily into a few small demographics. R&D budgets small, often rushed to market and patched after deployment. You're not really making much of an argument when you compare something to a MMORPG and assume people think that means bad. Lets face it, they make the money, have the audience and the budget. We here on this board are fans of TTRPGs but lets not try to pretend none of us play MMORPGs.
90571711 wrote:
Adding options at the system level is good. Adding options at the table level is hard. Removing options at the system level is bad. Removing options at the table level is easy. This is not complicated.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
Something like Tactical Shift is more magical than martial healing.
Telling someone to move over a few feet is magical now? :| I weep for this generation.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
Keep in mind, when 3rd edition came out, the overall problems with the system (Wizards becoming all powerful, fighters feat quests, all out Multi class weakening the character) wasn't apparent until the group began to play beyond a certain level (8th? 10th?). It was made more apparent, oddly enough, when the .5 system was released.

I got the feeling that he was trying to quietly fan the version war flames, with all his talk of 3.x and no mention of 4e. But at least he didn't start blathering on about the minis game.
Reading how much he "loves" 3rd, but not a mention 4th makes me worried tat we are going to take a step backwards and not a step foward.
Reading how much he "loves" 3rd, but not a mention 4th makes me worried tat we are going to take a step backwards and not a step foward.


Same here, though I hope he won't make such a move.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Reading how much he "loves" 3rd, but not a mention 4th makes me worried tat we are going to take a step backwards and not a step foward.



*immediatley perks up and smiles* To me, that's a step forward. Color me intrigued. ;)
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Reading how much he "loves" 3rd, but not a mention 4th makes me worried tat we are going to take a step backwards and not a step foward.

Nah, I doubt it. He ragged on 3e just as much as the other WotC employees did during the lead-up to 4e's release (although how much of that was honest opinion and how much was what they'd been told to say, we may never know). I think he was just saying that 3e got him excited about D&D again after he'd lost interest with 2e, and we're meant to read between the lines that he's still excited about D&D with 4e because, after all, he's just become D&D manager.
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Reading how much he "loves" 3rd, but not a mention 4th makes me worried tat we are going to take a step backwards and not a step foward.



When 3e was announced, D&D had been dying a long, slow, painful death for 10 years. It had been overtaken and surpassed by dozens of other games that came along with modern, innovative mechanics, while D&D was still peddling almost the exact rules it had come out with 20 years ealier. At that point, we were all excited about a truly unique D&D product. Fast forward another 10 years and I'd be shocked if Mike was still as thrilled about 3e. I'm confident 4e has a very bright future under his stewardship.
Keep in mind, when 3rd edition came out, the overall problems with the system (Wizards becoming all powerful, fighters feat quests, all out Multi class weakening the character) wasn't apparent until the group began to play beyond a certain level (8th? 10th?). It was made more apparent, oddly enough, when the .5 system was released.

Well, this was also the case with previous editions as well, with the exception that multiclassing was strictly superior and clerics being unappealing.  My classic example is looking at the 1E XP tables and seeing that a 9th level Paladin had the same amount of XP as a multiclassed 13th level Thief/11th level Magic-user.  Which would you rather be playing?  Remember, the Paladin has all kinds of limitations like tithe requirements, wealth limits, alignment restrictions, and the code of conduct which were supposed to account for him being in a more powerful class.

In any case, Wizards being broken after level 10 was part of D&D mythos when 3E was released.  There's a reason the XP tables in 1E and 2E ramped so fast after level 9.  They players were expected to retire about then!  That's why they got strongholds.  Nevemind how trivial it was for DMs to readjust party levels with a few undead....

We don't see it now, but 3E introduced a tremendous amount of balance and fairness to the game which had previously been completely lacking.
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Is he going to be in charge of Gamma World as well?
GAMMA WORLD Wuv D&D: Beyond the RPG - Transcript This is a complete transcript. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390668593 The audio file is in this News Archive http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4news/DNDXP 2010 D&D Product Overview (47 minutes into the Audio) http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/22329697?sdb=1&pg=last#390928045
Congratulations, Mike! As they say in Turkey, Kolay gelsin! (May it go easily for you!)

He never says he didn't like 2e just because of its mechanics, or at least not more then with 1e. He says he didn't like it because of the things around it,  and that he does not know exactly what it was. Considering how relieved I was with 3e, I know exactly what he means. I might be a fan of 4e, that does not mean I did not like 3e, and played it with enthausiasm for 8 years.

As for Mike, knowing him and his work, I think he is the right man for the job. Congrats, and hopefully you can do what you want to do ;)

I likes the cut of his jib. I downs a bottle o' rum for ye, Capt'n Mike. Yo ho!

Reading how much he "loves" 3rd, but not a mention 4th makes me worried tat we are going to take a step backwards and not a step foward.



*immediatley perks up and smiles* To me, that's a step forward. Color me intrigued. ;)



how can going back be a step foward.  hell why stop there lets go back to second or first.

if the game goes back i won't play. I have other nerd stuff I can
Well, this was also the case with previous editions as well, with the exception that multiclassing was strictly superior and clerics being unappealing.  My classic example is looking at the 1E XP tables and seeing that a 9th level Paladin had the same amount of XP as a multiclassed 13th level Thief/11th level Magic-user.  Which would you rather be playing?  Remember, the Paladin has all kinds of limitations like tithe requirements, wealth limits, alignment restrictions, and the code of conduct which were supposed to account for him being in a more powerful class.



You might want to take another look, hoss. 


To pick nits, the XP range for a 9th level paladin in 1E was 350,001 to 700,000.  At the low end that would equate to a 10th level thief/9th level M-U (175,000 XP per class).  At the high end, you'd have a 11th level thief/10th level M-U (350,000 XP per class). 

In either case, I'd much rather play the paladin.  First off, the only class that can multi-class that combo is an elf, and 11th level is the highest they can go in M-U (unless you use Unearthed Arcana and use drow or somehow get an ungodly intelligence score - so for practical purposes, I'll say a "regular elf" with an 18 intelligence is the only way to get that high).  Now, the elf is going to have decent scores, because the requirement to have higher than average prime requisites for multi-classing purposes but the paladin - being so hard to qualify for - will most likely have better overall stats.  You mentioned the drawbacks, but the benefits more than make up for it - Detect Evil at will, +2 on all saves, immune to disease, lay on hands, cure disease, permanent protection from evil, 10' radius, spells, free warhorse, amd turning undead. 

Again, I'd take the paladin any day.


We don't see it now, but 3E introduced a tremendous amount of balance and fairness to the game which had previously been completely lacking.



I do agree with that, sir.  3E had problems, but it was the first attempt of creating a fair system.  And it does succeed, for quite a few levels (imho).  Add in players who don't look for every little advantage they can possibly conceive, and the system remains balanced for a bit longer.

I don't play 4e, but here's to Mr. Mearls reign as head honcho of the D&D RPG.  And thanks for the 3e shout out, Mike!

Well, this was also the case with previous editions as well, with the exception that multiclassing was strictly superior and clerics being unappealing.  My classic example is looking at the 1E XP tables and seeing that a 9th level Paladin had the same amount of XP as a multiclassed 13th level Thief/11th level Magic-user.  Which would you rather be playing?  Remember, the Paladin has all kinds of limitations like tithe requirements, wealth limits, alignment restrictions, and the code of conduct which were supposed to account for him being in a more powerful class.



You might want to take another look, hoss. 


To pick nits, the XP range for a 9th level paladin in 1E was 350,001 to 700,000.  At the low end that would equate to a 10th level thief/9th level M-U (175,000 XP per class).  At the high end, you'd have a 11th level thief/10th level M-U (350,000 XP per class). 

In either case, I'd much rather play the paladin.  First off, the only class that can multi-class that combo is an elf, and 11th level is the highest they can go in M-U (unless you use Unearthed Arcanaand use drow or somehow get an ungodly intelligence score - so for practical purposes, I'll say a "regular elf" with an 18 intelligence is the only way to get that high).  Now, the elf is going to have decent scores, because the requirement to have higher than average prime requisites for multi-classing purposes but the paladin - being so hard to qualify for - will most likely have better overall stats.  You mentioned the drawbacks, but the benefits more than make up for it - Detect Evil at will, +2 on all saves, immune to disease, lay on hands, cure disease, permanent protection from evil, 10' radius, spells, free warhorse, amd turning undead. 

Again, I'd take the paladin any day.


We don't see it now, but 3E introduced a tremendous amount of balance and fairness to the game which had previously been completely lacking.



I do agree with that, sir.  3E had problems, but it was the first attempt of creating a fair system.  And it does succeed, for quite a few levels (imho).  Add in players who don't look for every little advantage they can possibly conceive, and the system remains balanced for a bit longer.

I don't play 4e, but here's to Mr. Mearls reign as head honcho of the D&D RPG.  And thanks for the 3e shout out, Mike!




Your opinion it's balance, but it's a fact it wasn't.  It was better then previous editions, but at higher levels(and by higher i mean 5 or so) most if not all the melee classes become cheerleaders waiting for the wizard or CoDzillas to take care of everything.

Even no trying to squeeze every bit of opt build the spell casters had  a real unfair advatnge. 
Sorry to vent like that.  I hope you don't take it personel.  Hearing this annocument just irked me because it makes me feel like there taking a step back instead of foward
Sorry to vent like that.  I hope you don't take it personel.  Hearing this annocument just irked me because it makes me feel like there taking a step back instead of foward



That is ok hearing about 4th edition felt the same way to me.

I guess we'll have to wait and see what Mike Mearls does.
Sorry to vent like that.  I hope you don't take it personel.  Hearing this annocument just irked me because it makes me feel like there taking a step back instead of foward



That is ok hearing about 4th edition felt the same way to me.

I guess we'll have to wait and see what Mike Mearls does.



I like to move foward and use some things that worked from previous editions( such as feats from 3rd) 

What I don't like is for the game to go backwards.  Why go back to a system that didn't seem to work.  They had to overhaul a lot of things to make things more balance or better or whatever.

If 5th is nothing like 4th I am fine with that as long it doesn't become 3rd part 2, or 2nd part 2, or 1st part 2
Sorry to vent like that.  I hope you don't take it personel.  Hearing this annocument just irked me because it makes me feel like there taking a step back instead of foward



Nobody has anything to worry about. You think a product manager has the authority to decide "well, I don't like this version of our product, we're going to ditch it and all the millions we spent on it and go back to the old product that wasn't making us enough money anymore." LOL. Mike may be in charge of the details of what gets released when, what gets worked on, some of the details of the direction the product goes in, etc, but his main job is going to be no more than overseeing the work on 4e products.

The die is cast and the ship of 3.x has LONG since sailed, never to return to the ports of WotC. Besides, Mike was one of the principle developers of 4e. In fact it really seems like his was the most substantive input into shaping the 4e system. I would hardly think he'd have the slightest interest in abandoning it in favor of something that was designed by people that have mostly long since departed from the company. 4e is his 'thing'. Nothing is going to change that and in fact I'd be surprised if we see any real difference in the product attributable to this change.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Sorry to vent like that.  I hope you don't take it personel.  Hearing this annocument just irked me because it makes me feel like there taking a step back instead of foward



Nobody has anything to worry about. You think a product manager has the authority to decide "well, I don't like this version of our product, we're going to ditch it and all the millions we spent on it and go back to the old product that wasn't making us enough money anymore." LOL. Mike may be in charge of the details of what gets released when, what gets worked on, some of the details of the direction the product goes in, etc, but his main job is going to be no more than overseeing the work on 4e products.

The die is cast and the ship of 3.x has LONG since sailed, never to return to the ports of WotC. Besides, Mike was one of the principle developers of 4e. In fact it really seems like his was the most substantive input into shaping the 4e system. I would hardly think he'd have the slightest interest in abandoning it in favor of something that was designed by people that have mostly long since departed from the company. 4e is his 'thing'. Nothing is going to change that and in fact I'd be surprised if we see any real difference in the product attributable to this change.



He does have a lot of influence on the game itself.  That is what worries me.

I also can't believe he said that without thinking it would cause a war of words between old schooler and new schoolers
Sorry to vent like that.  I hope you don't take it personel.  Hearing this annocument just irked me because it makes me feel like there taking a step back instead of foward



That is ok hearing about 4th edition felt the same way to me.

I guess we'll have to wait and see what Mike Mearls does.



I have nothing to say, but I must troll.
Sorry to vent like that.  I hope you don't take it personel.  Hearing this annocument just irked me because it makes me feel like there taking a step back instead of foward



That is ok hearing about 4th edition felt the same way to me.

I guess we'll have to wait and see what Mike Mearls does.



I have nothing to say, but I must troll.



do you mean do the hussle?

I can understand his feelings on post-GG 2nd Edition.  There was obviously a different attitude behind the design of the game, and some of the products produced by TSR after Gygax was pushed out were little more than cheap jabs at him and the products he created in the guise of gaming material. 


I can also understand his feelings toward 3rd.  Plenty of people look back on 3rd now and hate it; don't get me wrong, the system does have issues.  However, at the time, it was a massive leap forward in design when compared to where the product was previously.  I'd go so far as to say that 3rd saved the brand name D&D.  Had 3rd not been what it was, there may no longer be a game called D&D.


As for the current edition, I think 4th does plenty of things right.  However, I've also occasionally felt as though I don't agree with the mentality behind the game design when it comes to a lot of things. (This is a feeling similar to what was previously mentioned about 2nd.)  A lot of people will argue that mechanics/game rules are completely independent from fluff/ideas, but I disagree.  As I've said in other threads, I can run the same exact story with two different sets of mechanics and end up with a completely different feeling for the players.  Like I said, 4th does plenty of things right; however, there are also plenty of areas where 4th seems to do things differently simply for the sake of doing them differently, and not because it's trying to do them better.
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I don't find it strange at all for someone to both praise and languish 3rd Edition. It was incredible for its time. However, as its course ran, the flaws in the system began to shine through more and more. What started as an amazing and revolutionary reboot of a tired system that had been stretched a bit too thin, also became tired and was stretched way, way too thin.

It can be compared to upgrading a video game console. Super NES and Sega Genesis were great for their time, and millions of people look back on them fondly. You would be hard-pressed, though, to find many people who wouldn't rather have a 360, Wii or PS3 in their living room now. We can appreciate those old systems for what they were and the fun we had with them, but most of us see the vastly improved graphics, sound quality and play-time of current generation games as an upgrade.

And I feel very safe with D&D in the hands of Mearls. I can't remember what his title was before, but I've always seen him as basically the head of D&D 4E anyway. In my head, he's been to 4E what Gary Gygax was to 1E or Monte Cook was to 3E.
I am Gazra. This is my DDI account. Gazra is my forum account. Sometimes I get lazy and post with this account.
If 5th is nothing like 4th I am fine with that as long it doesn't become 3rd part 2, or 2nd part 2, or 1st part 2



With Mike Mearls at the head, I would anticipate 5th being reminiscent of 4th in combat (though no doubt revised in substantial ways based on whatever problems are perceived by the time they are ready to move on to 5th), with a radically revamped skill challenge system. If you read some of his blogging work on skill challenges they are already a considerable step up from just using the DMG. I don't know what 5e non-combat encounters will look like, but they will probably do a lot to take into account lessons from what is right and what is wrong with skill challenges today.
If 5th is nothing like 4th I am fine with that as long it doesn't become 3rd part 2, or 2nd part 2, or 1st part 2



With Mike Mearls at the head, I would anticipate 5th being reminiscent of 4th in combat (though no doubt revised in substantial ways based on whatever problems are perceived by the time they are ready to move on to 5th), with a radically revamped skill challenge system. If you read some of his blogging work on skill challenges they are already a considerable step up from just using the DMG. I don't know what 5e non-combat encounters will look like, but they will probably do a lot to take into account lessons from what is right and what is wrong with skill challenges today.



I don't know if Mike was behind the skill challenge revisions in the DMG2, but that fixed a lot of my problems with skill challenges.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.



I don't know if Mike was behind the skill challenge revisions in the DMG2, but that fixed a lot of my problems with skill challenges.



I should probably read DMG2 some day. If he did not write the skill challenge fixes himself, then I expect he influenced them, by his blog writing if nothing else. The stuff I am referring to starting coming out right after 4e hit the shelves.
Mike: "D&D can't be a game that caters to a single person. It's bigger than that. It lives and dies by the collected spirit of every person that's ever picked up a d20."

A good outlook.

Every good for your facilitation of the game we all love.
My only worry is that mike will have to much of his time taken up by paperwork/politics/publish dates/product placement/ect that he'll have less time to put into the game.

He's an excellent game designer, and needs to stay a game designer.  If we loose him in that respect, we loose much.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

My only worry is that mike will have to much of his time taken up by paperwork/politics/publish dates/product placement/ect that he'll have less time to put into the game.

He's an excellent game designer, and needs to stay a game designer.  If we loose him in that respect, we loose much.



That actually is a very good point I hadn't considered.
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