Amazon spoiled the 2012 setting....

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Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue

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Yawn.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Are you sure this *the* CS, and not just a random splatbook?

I don't even know if they're still following that one CS/year format anymore.  They shift their design goals so much it's sort of moot.   
what makes you think that is a setting? It looks like it could be, or it could be like gloomwrought...

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Because (my speculation) if you read between the lines of the peripheral products being released as well (dungeon tiles, map packs, etc...) they all have an underdark/drow theme going...

 
It is true, they do. It COULD be the 2012 setting, like Neverwinter is the 2011 setting. Hard to say though, they could still do another full setting. I'd be surprised if they don't do a full setting again at some point, but it is going to have to be a fairly compelling one. We have 'kitchen sink fantasy' (x2 really), 'gritty survival', and 'magi-tech/noire' already. I'd still almost expect a Ravenloft at some point, maybe a Spelljammer too. Beyond that it starts to get tough to see genuinely different genre. DL might work as a more 'high fantasy' setting. Anything else I've seen suggested is either just straight rehash of old stuff that isn't really a different genre (like WoGH, more kitchen sink). I doubt they intend to hit every old setting in 4e just because it has fans.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Might be a venue for social encounters: “intrigue”, politics, diplomacy, intimidation, bluff, formation and dissolution of alliances.
This looks more along the lines of Gloomwrought, but the release month of August definitely strengthens the 'campaign setting' idea. And it would also fit the new definition of 'campaign setting' (ie, not a whole world, but a specific place to set a campaign around). I'd have prefered an Eberron city, but knowing WotC they'd probably just release another book on Stormreach or Sharn.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
How much do you want to bet that despite most drow enemies being paragon tier, that this will be another "heroic tier only" setting?
So Menzoberranzan and Underdark?

Looks like next year is going to be a good year.

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How much do you want to bet that despite most drow enemies being paragon tier, that this will be another "heroic tier only" setting?



My guess is the book will tie into an Encounters season.  Which means heroic for sure.

I thought that this years setting was going to be a new way to play... what is so new here?

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

I thought that this years setting was going to be a new way to play... what is so new here?



It's probably tying in with the new Book of Vile Dorkness.  "In this setting, you have to play a drow and you're supposed to backstab your friends and be a general douche!"
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
How much do you want to bet that despite most drow enemies being paragon tier, that this will be another "heroic tier only" setting?



My guess is the book will tie into an Encounters season.  Which means heroic for sure.





I have a new reason to dislike Encounters. It's a pretty decent guess since most other new class/setting books have tied into an Encounter's season.


And my group is hitting level 11 in the next week or 2.
I thought that this years setting was going to be a new way to play... what is so new here?



well you don't know what is in the book yet.

runing a drow house is a lot more then just combat.

it might have rules for political intregue.
house recource management.
loth favor rating.
a system to keep track of the reputation of your house, who are your allies and who are close to sticking a knife in your back.

at this point we don't know


 
Nah, I bet heavily it is a paragon tier area. Makes good sense. You have Neverwinter for heroic tier, and Menzobaranzan for paragon. I'd be skeptical they'll follow up with an epic product, but that would be the logical progression.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Well, at least it might be paragon, but I was hopping for a new-to-4th setting.
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Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
Ugggh. I guess its back to the days of forgotten realms over and over again.

Oh well. I guess I already purchased my Dark Sun campaign setting. Looks like it might be the last setting I am purchasing... and to think that for I time I had real hopes for a Ravenloft setting. 
Hmm. 
I bet this product will be of more use to people who haven't already made up their minds about it many months ahead of it's release. 
Ugggh. I guess its back to the days of forgotten realms over and over again.

Oh well. I guess I already purchased my Dark Sun campaign setting. Looks like it might be the last setting I am purchasing... and to think that for I time I had real hopes for a Ravenloft setting. 



I'd at least like to see more Dark Sun support.  And I, too, miss Ravenloft, although I believe Ravenloft should be about SURVIVING horror, not BECOMING one (except for succumbing to the horror and then becoming an NPC).

EDIT: Who decided that Forgotten Realms was the most marketable setting anyways?  I mean, I used to be into the Realms, I thought they were GREAT (liked Ravenloft, too, but for specific kinds of campaigns).  That was before I discovered Dark Sun, and before Eberron came out.  Between Eberron and DS, (and my own personal setting I run games in) I don't even CARE about the Realms anymore.
Hmm. 
I bet this product will be of more use to people who haven't already made up their minds about it many months ahead of it's release. 



I can see some of the disappointment. I'll probably look at the book, and swipe the relevant material for my own campaign, but I have little interest in running a Menzoberranzen campaign as it stands.

We were hyped at GenCon that the 2012 Setting would be a new way to play D&D. This, at first blush, does not appear to live up to the hype. Menzoberranzen and guidelines for all-Drow campaigns were published in both second and third edition, so there is precious little that is new about the setting itself. Nor is the idea of political intrigue as a game element new to D&D (Birthright, AD&D 2E). Sanctioned all-evil parties? Look no further than Book of Vile Darkness (3E & 4E).

It's not that Menzoberranzen will be bad, it simply won't be as new or innovative as it was hyped to be (or, at all).

Things may be revealed in the coming months that change this perception.

We were hyped at GenCon that the 2012 Setting would be a new way to play D&D. This, at first blush, does not appear to live up to the hype. Menzoberranzen and guidelines for all-Drow campaigns were published in both second and third edition, so there is precious little that is new about the setting itself. Nor is the idea of political intrigue as a game element new to D&D (Birthright, AD&D 2E). Sanctioned all-evil parties? Look no further than Book of Vile Darkness (3E & 4E).

It's not that Menzoberranzen will be bad, it simply won't be as new or innovative as it was hyped to be (or, at all).

Things may be revealed in the coming months that change this perception.




I know, when I first heard about the "new way to play D&D", I suddenly had hope for something wildly different.

Like Council of Wyrms.  Could be done in 4e, where the Race/Class choice would each be tied up within certain dragon types (like all Golds are Controllers, all Silvers are Defenders, etc.), and a new way to go about class progression that involves gettign new ways to attack, improvements to breath weapons, and size increases as levels progress.  It would still be D&D, but a different way to play.
I totally want "a new way to play." hopefully this is just a decoy, or at least has something innovative, like mass combat. But menzo seems so specialized. Just drow? For a whole tier (probably)? Why?

Unless of course it come with the rules to make drizzt, I which case it's a first day buy! JK, of course.
holydoom.weebly.com: Holydoom! A lighthearted RPG in progress. Loosely based on 3.5. 4, and GURPS. Very, Very, Very loosely. Seriously, visit it now. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29086701/I_HIT_IT_WITH_MA_SWORD!_(like_this!):_A_Slayers_Handbook An attempt at CharOp
To anyone who thinks Pathfinder is outselling D&D
While one report may say that FLGS report a greater amount of book sales, one cannot forget the fact that the 71000 DDI subscribers paying 6-10 dollars a month don't count as "Book Sales."
"see sig" redirects here
Oblivious troll is Oblivious
PbP supporter!
General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
I actually don't mind drow so much, just I find their racial features bland, and even more bland after they got rid of the ability to actively switch encounter power.
I am incredibly, incredibly PISSED that they decided to do this, rehashing Forgotten Realms (Which, by the way, is the setting I like the least because of how dull and generic it is) instead of bringing back a beloved much-awaited setting like Ravenloft or Spelljammer or making an entirely new setting. In fact, it and Neverwinter have turned my indifference to Faerun into flat-out loathing for how much it's keeping them from doign something truely exciting for the same old blah, generic blandness.
Why whould anyone be pissed or even disapointed? Don't like it? Write your own, using only the parts that you prefer! You think of something as too... "generic"? Ban all the monsters, races, classes, items etc that you don't like... I don't like gods and I don't use them in my campaigns, nobody makes me design an encounter against Lolth, just because I bought the MM3... There are no devils nor demons in my campaigns... I can always use the mechanics of a succubus though, but with a different lore and with a new appearance, like a nymph in the forest or a sirene on an island... 

What I want to say is that all the books and all the fluff in them is just a wooden box, full of ideas. Keep only the things that you like, use them in the order that you decide, and add things that maybe missing. 

Said that, I really like the idea of a Menzoberanzzan setting and I can't wait for August to arrive! 


 
English is not my native language, so I ask for your patience...
Why whould anyone be pissed or even disapointed? Don't like it? Write your own, using only the parts that you prefer! You think of something as too... "generic"? Ban all the monsters, races, classes, items etc that you don't like... I don't like gods and I don't use them in my campaigns, nobody makes me design an encounter against Lolth, just because I bought the MM3... There are no devils nor demons in my campaigns... I can always use the mechanics of a succubus though, but with a different lore and with a new appearance, like a nymph in the forest or a sirene on an island...



So what you are saying is to think outside of the big wooden box? That frightens me.
Why whould anyone be pissed or even disapointed? Don't like it? Write your own, using only the parts that you prefer! You think of something as too... "generic"? Ban all the monsters, races, classes, items etc that you don't like... I don't like gods and I don't use them in my campaigns, nobody makes me design an encounter against Lolth, just because I bought the MM3... There are no devils nor demons in my campaigns... I can always use the mechanics of a succubus though, but with a different lore and with a new appearance, like a nymph in the forest or a sirene on an island... 

What I want to say is that all the books and all the fluff in them is just a wooden box, full of ideas. Keep only the things that you like, use them in the order that you decide, and add things that maybe missing. 

Said that, I really like the idea of a Menzoberanzzan setting and I can't wait for August to arrive!


Except... making your own campaign setting is a crazy amount of work. I made my own 4e campaign setting way back when they announced the new edition, slowly tweaking it as they added content and ideas (OP link is here). But even that was an update of a campaign world I first made late in 2e. And I had a crappy job in a call center that gave me lots of time to poke away at my computer, expanding and toying and brainstorming. And I even had a 4 month patch of unemployment when the books were released to polish away. And making the world still took well over eight months. 

That's a heck of a lot of time. I think most people would rather buy a setting.

But WotC isn't really giving us good campaign settings. We get setting books that are half player information and stacks of new character options with the world information (i.e. the only reason to buy a campaign setting) tucked away wherever there's space. And we've gotten the FR three times now, which doesn't work for some people. WotC needs to give us a reason to give them our money. 

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WotC needs to give us a reason to give them our money. 


I'm pretty sure the fact that they keep putting out FR books is because we (collectively) have given them a reason to keep putting out FR books.  We (collectively) keep buying them.

Frankly, I didn't buy Neverwinter or the Forgotten Realms CG or PG.  But I'm intrigued by Menzoberranzan.  I've always wanted to run a campaign in a drow city.  Heck, I think it would make for a fantastic strategy board game in which each player plays the leader of a drow house in a city.
I'm not terribly keen on this trend of campaign settings centering only on a single large city.  I think it's mostly because the critical response to products like the Shadowfell boxed set has been good, but I don't think it's a terribly good general trend.

What they need to do is release a full campaign setting for the PoL world, an entirely new world that becomes iconic for D&D, or do an Darksun style update to an older, unique campaign world like Kara-Tur or Ravenloft.  
What they need to do is release a full campaign setting for the PoL world, an entirely new world that becomes iconic for D&D, or do an Darksun style update to an older, unique campaign world like Kara-Tur or Ravenloft.  


They had one in the works and cancelled it. Which I agree with. The PoL setting is more generic than the Realms. There's literally nothing special about it. It was created as an open background, so DMs could make their own world and expand how they saw fit, with this unifing element in the middle.
They have the campaign settings for people who don't want to use the Nentir Vale or make their own world from the bottom up. But the Nentir Vale works beacause every DM can make it their own and use it in different ways.
Every time they publish an article on the Nentir Vale they're risking releasing an article that directly contradicts a homegame.

Here's a thought I had recently:
Paizo is kicking ass right now. Whether they're winning or a close second doesn't really matter, it just means Paizo is doing very well and likely costing WotC sales.
WotC needs to really focus on what they can do which Paizo cannot. In many ways they are, as WotC is a board game and CCG company, so they're producing board games and other products which Paizo cannot compete with. But in terms of the RPG, Paizo is winning on fluff. They have some great fluff writers that are putting out very readable material on a regular basis. And Paizo is good at adventures, which WotC has all but written off. 
But what WotC has is the archtypal monsters of D&D and campaign settings. No one else can do Mind Flayers or Beholders. And no one else can print two campaign settings a year for three years with no repeats.

Paizo has Golarion, which is a fairly generic kitchen sink world. It's okay. It's their Realms and has many of the same strengths and weaknesses. Every book they have is set on Golarion and mentions Golarion. 
But WotC has Spelljammer, and Dragonlance, and Greyhawk, and Red Steel, and Council of Wyrms, and Ghostwalk, and Planescape, and Mystara, and Kara Tur, and Al Qadim, and Ravenloft. That's a strength. They can put out a world regularly and give something for everyone. WotC has a tonne of IP which they're not using.

Going back to the Realms over and over is a bad idea. It seems like a cheap cash grab to exploit the FR fans or a "safe bet" book.
If they strip away or de-emphasise the Realms and try to make Menzoberranzen a city you can add to any campaign setting, then they're losing the flavour and missing the entire point of a campaign setting, which is to give you an entire world to use. That's what all the other products are for. And it runs the risk of trying to beat Paizo at their own game, the one monolithic giant world. 


But what do I know? I'm just some wannabee who blogs.  

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

Also check out my books at 5mwd.com/publishingIncluding Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuildinga compilation of my blog series on Worldbuilding.

 

I love this, but I do simpathize with those that wish for a new setting. Personally I hope Menz is the paragon sequel to Neverwinter, but that the actual campaign setting will be seperate. After all Menz doesn't fit something we've never done before.

Also Menz doesn't have to be all Drow, from the novels Menz is actually pretty diverse, slaves, traders, spies, mercanaries, summoned creatures, Drow house Mascots, ambassadors nearby underdark cities and thier entourages, slum dwellers. Its just that if your not Drow or powerful enough to be the next best thing, you fall somewhere lower on the food chain. Think of aparitied South Africa, if your a dwarf or half orc its to the back of the cart. If your an elf or elderin, well you'd better have Lolth's favour, like Kimmel or a good disguise Otherwise yikes!
I guess Doppelgangers could have thier own house, but they'd pass themselves off as Drow.
I would like to see Svirfneblin addressed properly (or have they already?).
What city should they choose for epic. The only cities I can think of on Toril itself are the capitals of Okoth and Salifal, both ruled and populated by nonhuman creator races. Small chance of Shade in Netheril. For Planar I see Brightwater (my preference) in the Gates of the moon or Sigil (abiet from a Realmsian perpective).

I do believe Menz will have tips on how to take your characters from thier heroic tier adventures in Neverwinter to Menz. And if they continue the line to epic with say Brightwater or Shade then I imagine it will have tips on moving from the previous two to it.
I would like to see Svirfneblin addressed properly (or have they already?).



No, it has not even been addressed as a monster.  Svirfneblin was one of the numerous subraces that were decided to be axed from the game at the start of 4e, or at the very most (for Wood, Wild, Moon, and Sun elves in FR) become a mutually exclusive feat for the standard race.

HOWEVER, subraces are back, as of Neverwinter, as well as that article on Dusk Elves, the article on Winterkin Eladrin, the article on Human Homelands, Shadar-kai subraces, etc… Dragon has long since been providing small steps back, until the full-jump with Neverwinter, so much so we're seeing more full-way subraces (which offer racial feature trade-offs in) in Dragon, such as the Llewyrr Elf for Eladrin in the Heroes of the Moonshaes article last month.

So we MIGHT see svirfneblin again.  MIGHT.  As I recall, they never had much popularity (the same cursing doom that has made it so my beloved Dromites haven't appeared in 4e at all yet either).  You can only hope, or else get an article pitch ready for April!

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

What artical had Shadar-Kai subraces?

As to subraces, no race has more then the reverants, every other race is a reverants, although genasi come close with all their manifestations.
I'm not terribly keen on this trend of campaign settings centering only on a single large city.  I think it's mostly because the critical response to products like the Shadowfell boxed set has been good, but I don't think it's a terribly good general trend.


Personally, I like the regional settings because theyre easy to pick-and-choose and plug-and-play into any campaign setting.


Its literally “a point of light” to put anywhere you want in the swath of darkness. (Well, not literally ... well, maybe literally.) 

Personally, I like the regional settings because theyre easy to pick-and-choose and plug-and-play into any campaign setting.


Its literally “a point of light” to put anywhere you want in the swath of darkness. (Well, not literally ... well, maybe literally.) 




It may be a cool idea to publish those, but the thing is, those take away from us actual potential settings - and some really cool, flavourful, unique settings - Ravenloft, Dragonlance, my personal favourite, Spelljammer... If they could publish both those little tidbits AND proper settings, I would have nothing against Menzoberenzozenzogonzo... (I won't even try remembering that), but as it stands, it's taking away actual, creative entries.
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What artical had Shadar-Kai subraces? As to subraces, no race has more then the reverants, every other race is a reverants, although genasi come close with all their manifestations.



The Shadar-kai in the Forgotten Realms one.  Included a Shade Bloodline for Shadar-kai (because the Shade race hadn't come out as of then; now you can be either a Shade using the race or using the Shadar-kai + Bloodline), and a Krinth Bloodline for Shadar-kai (basically, human mixed with a Shadow Demon in a magic laboratory to make a merciless killer).  These two origins combined to make the Shadar-kai race as it is known in 4e's Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide's discussion on Netheril, and was followed up with this article.


Back to Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue, as the book-cover spoiler calls it, I doubt it's the year's setting.  While I do have to admit that early cover reveals often lie (was it Neverwinter Campaign Guide or Neverwinter Campaign Setting… we didn't know until the on-shelf release!), there is no indication of the words "Campaign" or "Setting" on that cover.  It looks like it has more in common with Hammerfast and Vor Rukoth, to be honest.

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

Personally, I like the regional settings because theyre easy to pick-and-choose and plug-and-play into any campaign setting.


Its literally “a point of light” to put anywhere you want in the swath of darkness. (Well, not literally ... well, maybe literally.) 




It may be a cool idea to publish those, but the thing is, those take away from us actual potential settings - and some really cool, flavourful, unique settings - Ravenloft, Dragonlance, my personal favourite, Spelljammer... If they could publish both those little tidbits AND proper settings, I would have nothing against Menzoberenzozenzogonzo... (I won't even try remembering that), but as it stands, it's taking away actual, creative entries.



This. This is why I hate the idea of Menzobozotheclown being next years setting. I'm all for it as a normal book, but a setting?! WOTC I am disappoint.
Where, exactly, does it say that this is a campaign setting and not another Gloomwrought?