Dungeon 186 - Editorial: When in Rome . . .

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Dungeon 186
Editorial: When in Rome . . .

by Steve Winter

The best generals know when to toss "the book" and do things their own way.

Talk about this Editorial here.

Interesting discussion, to be sure, though I don't need to be told that I can play around with the rules as given. 

Far more interesting, though, is the picture of that Dwarf Runepriest.  He's AWESOME.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Missing the Dungeon #186 page, the link redirects to the archive (which also does not have it).
yeah if they are going to do this new format of not putting things in the content calendar they should have the new issue content page up on the first day
" It's a tribute to both the clarity and completeness of the D&D rules that when we sit down to play now, only a tiny portion of our time is spent wondering whether we're doing something strictly according to the rules, and the answer is never more than a page flip or mouse click away."

I think the word he's looking for is testament.
" It's a tribute to both the clarity and completeness of the D&D rules that when we sit down to play now, only a tiny portion of our time is spent wondering whether we're doing something strictly according to the rules, and the answer is never more than a page flip or mouse click away."

I think the word he's looking for is testament.




I've stopped saying anything about typos or missused words in anything that comes out in Dungeon or Dragon.  I'm at this point certain there are no editors except for spell check.
yeah if they are going to do this new format of not putting things in the content calendar they should have the new issue content page up on the first day


Give them a chance to get into the office.
Tibis Refugee of many worlds
" It's a tribute to both the clarity and completeness of the D&D rules that when we sit down to play now, only a tiny portion of our time is spent wondering whether we're doing something strictly according to the rules, and the answer is never more than a page flip or mouse click away."

I think the word he's looking for is testament.


What's wrong with "tribute"?  One of the definitions of "tribute" is "compliment".  That seems to be an entirely appropriate word, as opposed to "testament", which means "proof".  "Testament" would have been a fine word too, but "tribute" is an equally valid word choice.


" It's a tribute to both the clarity and completeness of the D&D rules that when we sit down to play now, only a tiny portion of our time is spent wondering whether we're doing something strictly according to the rules, and the answer is never more than a page flip or mouse click away."

I think the word he's looking for is testament.


What's wrong with "tribute"?  One of the definitions of "tribute" is "compliment".  That seems to be an entirely appropriate word, as opposed to "testament", which means "proof".  "Testament" would have been a fine word too, but "tribute" is an equally valid word choice.





Hmm, I stand corrected.  According to that definiotion of tribute I guess it works just fine.  It's not the usage I am used to seeing.  Testament for me seemed like the less awkward way of saying it, though.  The way it is worded he is basically announcing within the sentence that the sentence is a compliment.  Thats kind of like saying "It is a question for me to wonder what color the sky is." instead of saying "What color is the sky?"  Granted, at this point it is more a critcism of the English language than of the author. 

Frankly, analyzing the grammar is the most interesting aspect of this article for me.  I am somewhat tired of filler content.  I could see it being possible for there to be an insightful article on the topic of house ruling, that would include specific examples from gameplay. But this one seems quite vague and uninspired, like it was just marching steadily toward a word count.  
Interesting discussion, to be sure, though I don't need to be told that I can play around with the rules as given. 

Far more interesting, though, is the picture of that Dwarf Runepriest.  He's AWESOME.



I think this editorial is clearly aimed at new DM's. My guess is that they're hoping a lot of new players are entering the system now because of Essentials and are trying to help through the puzzle that can be D&D.

And I agree, that Runepriest pic is incredible. Say what you will about the Dragon/Dungeon articles, but the artwork in the last 6 months has been absolutely fantastic. For an e-magazine with limited subscribers, the art they use is top shelf. Keep up the good work art department!
i agree.  the art of d&d (magazines, books, etc.) does not get enough of the credit it deserves.
I am somewhat tired of filler content.  I could see it being possible for there to be an insightful article on the topic of house ruling


It's an editorial, not an article.  It's supposed to be the soapbox form which the editor (Steve Winter) gets to muse about the game.  That's what the editorial has always been.  (I also note that it's a free article -- not part of the DDi subscription.)

As much as I agree with Steve about game customization, there is a problem.  Many DnD players (including the group I DM for) have come to rely on the tools Wizard's has put out.  Many DMs will not throw custom elements into their games or make house rules because the tools will not allow them to.  My group does anyhow, but we are veteran players and it is simple for us to just "add" to our character sheets.  For newer players, newer DMs, or even those relying on the tools for everything, they just don't have the options there.


Interestingly, this debate goes all the way back to the very earliest editions of the D&D game, when the rules were so skimpy that it was flat-out impossible to play unless and until the DM made a host of decisions about how things would work. Even then, people debated to what degree the DM was justified in altering or setting aside rules that conflicted with or contradicted one another.




This does NOT endear me to this fellow.  I strongly disagree with him.  Though I play 4e now, I play it much as I did with those "earliest" editions that he has just given a backhanded slap to.  I'm not amused by the hidden insult he tossed out there.  Perhaps because I see Rules lawyers as the lowest level of scum out there and enemies to the game at large (playing by the rules is good, someone arguing about them is not), and that's something I've seen MORE OF in RECENT (and so called fully fleshed out rules as this author seems to imply) than in older ones. 

Why do I mention rules lawyers...because that's the type I could see trying to give a subtle but obvious insult to the early editions of D&D whilst ignoring that the same difficulties that applied then...apply now.

That's what the entire page 42 discussion of the DMG was about in 2008.  That's what happens when someone wants to see what happens if they try to light the dragon's tail on fire whilst it's sleeping with a steel knife, a piece of flint, and a piece of paper (Will it work, what skills will they need to use, what abilities...that's the DM's time to shine...or sputter out). It's what he's actually trying to point out in the discussion can be useful...so why the insult in the first place?

Just my two comments that came to mind as soon as I started the article...and that stayed with me as I read it.
Interesting discussion, to be sure, though I don't need to be told that I can play around with the rules as given. 

Far more interesting, though, is the picture of that Dwarf Runepriest.  He's AWESOME.



I think this editorial is clearly aimed at new DM's. My guess is that they're hoping a lot of new players are entering the system now because of Essentials and are trying to help through the puzzle that can be D&D.

And I agree, that Runepriest pic is incredible. Say what you will about the Dragon/Dungeon articles, but the artwork in the last 6 months has been absolutely fantastic. For an e-magazine with limited subscribers, the art they use is top shelf. Keep up the good work art department!



This editorial is aimed at DMs that don't read the DMG.
I am somewhat tired of filler content.  I could see it being possible for there to be an insightful article on the topic of house ruling


It's an editorial, not an article.  It's supposed to be the soapbox form which the editor (Steve Winter) gets to muse about the game.  That's what the editorial has always been.  (I also note that it's a free article -- not part of the DDi subscription.)



I know it's an editorial, which is a type of article.  What I was trying to say was I am ok with these type of musings when it seems like they actually have something to say but, like I mentioned, it seemed like he made metaphors about generals until he got to a desired word count and left little of interest to be said about the game.
Interesting, for newer DM i'll admit. I personally didn't need an Editorial to tell me D&D Rules are Guidelines and that i can houserule any. (remarked the absence of the word in the it ?) Even the PHB and DMG tells us so. A good reminder though, for someone a little unsure who starts the game, or who just came back from another Edition of it, and wish he could fix some things  to his liking.

Yes you can change any Rules you like as a DM indeed. You'll make as many changes as your players are willing to endure though. Beyond that, there's no point in changing any Rules if you are to play by yourself. Unless you're half crazy of course. 

And most importantly, if you do so, please tell all participants in advance of the changes you did if possible. I say with moderations like every good thing. Players have expectations and the best thing about a Streamlined system is that wether you sit at your buddy's table, at Gen Con or at your FLGS during some D&D Encounters, you can expect to game to respond about the same. Standing Up from Prone doesn't Trigger an Opportunity Attack as it used to be in 3.X for exemple. A DM is free to re-institute this if he want to, but should make it known to everyone beforehand and not after a player tried to use it in some GOTCHA style, and should try to have any Rule changes to apply to PC and monsters equally if possible as well.

This is what i would have appreciated it tells DM too along the way.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I am generally of the opinion that the rules should be monkeyed with as little as possible.  In an unbalanced system (like all previous editions), you can throw in random houserules without screwing up the balance, because there isn't any.  If it's already broken, it's hard to break it further.

As someone on another board I frequent says in his signature:
The reason most house rules suck is that they're based on the misconception that game design is easy. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Any article pertaining to house rules should definitely make it clear that you need to be careful with them.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Can't agree more Salla.

4E was designed to be more simplified and streamlined. Not to make full of sense. Because of this, many try to come up with houserules to conter this defying reality.

But none of these changes should be made in a light manner. One should examine closely the how's and why's a Rule stand as is, what changes one wish to install instead, see if it really accomplish the desired result, see if it overcomplicate things, see if it still okay, then decide to give it a go and tell everyone ahead of time of the new Rule Implementation.

Nothing is worse that playing in a game with a DM who make last minute unfavorable changes and that have so many houserules that the game is no more, because he carelessly tought he could change everything he wish if he felt like it. That's when people start to walk out.

So an advice to use with care is important i believe too. The Editorial should really say so.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Interestingly, this debate goes all the way back to the very earliest editions of the D&D game, when the rules were so skimpy that it was flat-out impossible to play unless and until the DM made a host of decisions about how things would work. Even then, people debated to what degree the DM was justified in altering or setting aside rules that conflicted with or contradicted one another.



This does NOT endear me to this fellow.  I strongly disagree with him.  Though I play 4e now, I play it much as I did with those "earliest" editions that he has just given a backhanded slap to.  I'm not amused by the hidden insult he tossed out there.



I'm not sure there is actually any insult in there. I think he isn't stating that as a problem with how people played the early editions, but simply as a statement of fact - there were many more areas that the rules didn't address, and relied on DM fiat to figure out how they work.
I'm not amused by the hidden insult he tossed out there.


That insult must be very well hidden, because I don't see it.  What insult do you think Mr. Winter tossed out?


I'm not amused by the hidden insult he tossed out there.


That insult must be very well hidden, because I don't see it.  What insult do you think Mr. Winter tossed out?



I believe you may be a lawyer so I guess I already know the answer to this question but I'll ask anyway: Why are you engaging? That post reads like a screed written in excrement on a schizophrenic's padded wall.

Why are you engaging?

Idle curiosity.