The State of Dungeons and Dragons

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www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/f...

A very strange article. The following quote (attributed to Mike Mearls) seems really strange.

"It's all about player power now - the DM is just the rules guy - and the DM can't contradict what the players say."

 How is the DM more of a rules guy in 4e when the rules are the most clear of any edition. And if the DM is just the rules guy then who is creating adventures and describing he world and giving life to he NPCs. I have a hard time thinking Mearls really said that.

 Any Edition

I would rarely take what the Escapist says as truth. They are extremely pro-Pathfinder.
i'm not surprised. him and cook seem to be cut from the same cloth and monte's L&L articles definitely seem to be leaning towards him wanting the game to rely far more on a "mother may i?" philosophy when it comes to the player actions.

the whole series felt pretty biased as a whole to portray 4th ed in a bad light and didn't actually discuss what 4th ed contributed to D&D. it's a shame to find that kind of tripe on the escapist, which i normally enjoy.
That is a weird quote, however I found it difficult to take the article itself too seriously. I went back and read the other two parts. The past article is full of unsubstantiated doom & gloom anti 4E stuff. In the Present article I think the authors motives are made clear. He is a retro clone producer. So obviously he wants to stir up as much anti 4E spirit as he can.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

I appreciated the articles, but as Zappy said, didn't take all of it too seriously.

However, reflecting on the quote called out from the OP, I can see the perspective that 4e has given tons of player authority that can't be immediately contradicted by the DM. The powers now provide them with little rules chunks that force movement, inflict conditions, create zones, generate buffs and debuffs, and more.

As a DM, I get frustrated sometimes when a player chooses a power that hamstrings a monster or seriously alters an encounter. It happens in D&DE often enough that I forcibly shuffle players each season to make sure that I'm not always running the game for 'that guy' who fails to look at the encounter from a larger perspective of the story.

Also, these little rules chunks seem quite a bit like called shots. It isn't a called shot that cannot be easily accommodated such as, "I stab the monster directly through the eye and into the brain--killing it instantly!" That sort of narrative on the part of the player might garner the response, "Okay, and how much damage does your attack cause? Oh, not enough to kill this beastie." With the power, the player is given some empowerment to authoratatively declare their actions and have some backup in the mechanical impact of the power.

I never played earlier editions; I came into D&D with 4e. So, I don't feel at all that a DM is just the rules guy. I have been a world builder, a homebrew content builder, a house-rules tester, NPC generator, game instructor, tactics prompter, and probably other things that don't come to mind right away. Even so, I can respect the idea that 4e is all about provides a great deal of player authority that cannot be immediately contradicted by a DM. 

Are there others that would comment on that subject?

edit: 4e is not "all" about one thing; I tried to fix that oversimplification above. 
I tend to take a paternal view of my DMing. I'm there to have a good time through the players having a good time. This certainly requires that I challenge them, and put their characters at risk, but when they manage to get me in a bind, I'm proud of their efforts, and give them a hearty "you bastard!" and shake my fist with a grin. Every time they overcome a challenge I present them, I can ramp things up, making their next success that much more difficult and that much more satisfying.

As for the article... I don't find it informative or useful. It's just more rumor-mongering that's going to continue to sour the community.
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As for the article... I don't find it informative or useful. It's just more rumor-mongering that's going to continue to sour the community.



You could call it rumor-mongering. To me, its an excercise in taking quotes out of context to build a very questionably-based, biased, and hateful position that can only further the writer's own desires to produce material for an obsolete system.

In short, its propaganda.

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i'm not surprised. him and cook seem to be cut from the same cloth and monte's L&L articles definitely seem to be leaning towards him wanting the game to rely far more on a "mother may i?" philosophy when it comes to the player actions.

the whole series felt pretty biased as a whole to portray 4th ed in a bad light and didn't actually discuss what 4th ed contributed to D&D. it's a shame to find that kind of tripe on the escapist, which i normally enjoy.



Ever see the article/interview with Mike on there... it got my son calling Mearls a traitor.
  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."

 


Are there others that would comment on that subject?

 


I generally enjoy it when a player can undercut an encounter in an unexpected way - I mean, sure, it's frustrating, but players choosing powers that give them an edge, synergize with their group, and trash the GM's plans is, to me, pretty much the point of character creation. If they beat me - and they almost always do - then I'll just try again next time. 

One reason it doesn't bother me is that while I may have an overall adventure outline in mind (as when I'm using a prewritten module), I don't expect them to consider the larger story; the story is what we write when the adventure is over and we look back at what happened. There's no real endpoint in sight until then, and things can and likely will deviate substantially from what's written, especially if they trounce an encounter that was supposed to be hard, or negotiate instead of fight, or whatever. 

So when a player has a power that could cripple a threat, I don't expect them to say, "Yeah, but if I use it, that might screw up the story." If they decide to hold off, that's cool, but if they don't, then the story will simply include that moment. 

Also, whatever makes for less work for me, as a GM, is fantastic. The fewer rulings I need to make, the fewer "mother may I?" questions I have to answer, and the fewer times I need to decide what happens in the absence of rules, the better.


As regards the article: nothing worth discussing there.  
That doesn't seem strange to me at all. With each new edition the hobby has moved more and more in that direction. I'm a big fan of it, and wish the L&L articles made me think the rest of WoTC would go that way. The vibe I get from them is that they are pushing back to the old ways of mother may I with the DM.

Old ways - DM word is law, and you don't question it. Heck, half the spells had secret effects listed in the DMG that the players weren't even supposed to know about.

New ways - the magic items and rewards are listed right there in the players handbook. The DMG is mostly advice on how to run a successful game, and keep happy players.

Didn't read the article, so I could be off base.    

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

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"Your advice is the worst"

I think the less advertising done for the escapist the better.. bunch of yellow journalism.
  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."

 

Your kidding, Mearels, right? My players wouldn't know what to do half the time if I didn't send an npc along with him. *ends exaggeration* But seriously. Power to the players is great, and it does not make me feel like I'a rules guy. My campaign is in a modified eberron where the heroes need to find pages of a mysterious book so they kind of go back in time and see what caused the Mourning. Tell me where the rules cover that. In all my other campaigns, I made the world from scratch. Tell me where the rules for that are. I play all the NPCs, I create worlds, I design encounters, heck, I buy all the books. I don't ever even use my DMK exept for SC and a select few things. Don't make that end in 5e.
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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.
"It's all about player power now - the DM is just the rules guy - and the DM can't contradict what the players say."

How is the DM more of a rules guy in 4e when the rules are the most clear of any edition. And if the DM is just the rules guy then who is creating adventures and describing he world and giving life to he NPCs. I have a hard time thinking Mearls really said that.


But... how many rules are there for the DM? Really. 
Look at the DMG and tell me how many pages are rules. They're given traps and diseases and poisons and Page 42 and a whole swack of advice. Plus Skill Challenges, which aren't exactly the most codified rule-set. All the rules are in the PHB. And the other "rules book", the Rules Compendium is aimed at both players and DMs, so both are expected to know how the game works. There's nothing kept "behind the screen" other than monsters. 

Pair this with the "everything is Core" mindset, with the game and publisher telling players they should be able to use any book any time. Playing in Eberron? Well, you cal still use the FR book and play a genasi swordmage. 
The crux of it is this:  
How is the DM more of a rules guy in 4e when the rules are the most clear of any edition.

 That's exactly why they become just "the rules guy" as there's no room left for interpretation or wiggling. The DM just comes up, presents his adventure for the players to charge through, throws his monsters at the PCs to kill, and generally lets them charge across their creation. And the players, armed with all the rules, are free to rules lawyer and contradict the DM at every turn.

How many of you have banned a race? A class? Added a house rule that drastically altered the game? Or really made the game your own? How many of you have told your players "no"?  

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How many of you have banned a race? A class? Added a house rule that drastically altered the game? Or really made the game your own? How many of you have told your players "no"?  



I do it but to most people on these boards that would constitute me as a "bad" DM because I say no and I place restrictions.
[Edited]



I'm afraid not all player's are as creative as you believe.

Player ideas have to be monitored because believe it or not, player's do have a tendency to come up with something to give themselves the advantage. No it doesn't happen all the time but it does happen.

When I DM I am the creator of the world, not the player's. The player's create their own ideas around my world.
I still think all of this is product whiplash and a poorly thought-out kneejerk reaction to having some honest competition in the industry, coupled with a bit too much of old men desperately wanting to recapture the magic of their childhoods by foisting them on all of us.

Out of context or no, bad journalism or no, biased viewpoints or no; this is really no surprise to me. Mearls continues to demonstrate his utter inability to understand what the "problem" with 4e is. The Escapist doesn't have to put much of a spin on it to make him sound like a fool.

Anyone who has been watching the trends in the industry over the last three years already knows what 5th Edition is going to look like (and yes, I'm "calling" this one right here, right now):
Show
It's going to be a "pared down" system, simplified almost to the point of being rudimentary. The skill system is going to be rolled into the stats. Feats are going to go away, replaced with 3e-style class abilities by level. Character creation options are going to be reduced to an early 2e level of complexity. The action system is going to be simplified: you move up to your speed (in feet, not squares) per turn, and can take one "action" per turn before or after it. The mathematical curve is going to be flattened considerably if not entirely; HP, damage and such may still scale with level, but stats, attacks and defenses won't. They may pay lip service to avoiding it, but the "five minute workday" will probably return in full force. The extent of the rules in the Player's Handbook will be, in effect; "if you want to do a thing, ask the DM if you can do it. If he says yes, he will tell you to roll a die. Roll, and tell your result to the DM. He will tell you if you succeed or not. If he says no, then you can't attempt the action". Another posted described this as a "mother may I" system; I like that phrase so I'm borrowing it.

Additionally, my guess is that races and classes are going to get pared down as well, probably to pseudo-3e levels. Classes will be the four basic monster food groups, and the four alternate monster food groups (that's Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric; Barbarian, Bard, Sorcerer, Paladin). Races will be Human, Elf (High, Wood, and Half-), Dwarf, Halfling, Gnome, and Drow.


What's tragic is that RPG R&D is going to flatly ignore a lot of good ideas from 4e (Roles, unified systems, "black box" logic, others) for the sole purpose of making 5th Edition look nothing like 4e for fear that even the remotest resemblance is going to scare people off.

Frankly, I kind of hope that they shoot themselves in the foot (again) with the attempt and Hasbro decides it's not worth the expense any longer. D&D has survived one dynasty change already; maybe it's time to pass the D&D license off to someone who can handle it. I wonder if Catalyst would be interested.
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The Five Things D&D Next Absolutely Must Not Do:
1. Imbalanced gameplay. Any and all characters must be able to contribute equally both in combat and out of combat at all levels of play. If the Fighters are linear and the Wizards quadratic, I walk. 2. Hardcore simulationist approach. D&D is a game about heroic fantasy. I'm weak and useless enough in real life; I play RPGs for a change of pace. If the only reason a rule exists is because "that's how it's supposed to be", I walk. I don't want a game that "simulates" real life, I want a game that simulates heroic fantasy. 3. Worshipping at false idols (AKA Sacred Cows). If the only reason a rule exists is "it's always been that way", I walk. Now to be clear, I have no problem with some things not changing; my issue is with retaining bad idea simply for the sake of nostalgia. 4. DM vs. players. If the game encourages "gotcha!" moments or treats the DM and players as enemies, adversaries, or problems to be overcome, I walk. 5. Rules for the sake of rules. The only thing I want rules for is the things I can't do sitting around a table with my friends. If the rules try to step on my ability to roleplay the character I want to roleplay, I walk. Furthermore, the rules serve to facilitate gameplay, not to simulate the world. NOTE: Items in red have been violated.
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1. When in doubt, wing it. 2. Keep the story moving. Go with the flow. 3. Sometimes things make the best characters. 4. Always give players lots of things to do. 5. Wherever possible, say ‘yes.’ 6. Cheating is largely unnecessary. 7. Don't be afraid to give the characters a fun new toy. 8. Don't get in the way of a good players exchange. 9. Avoid talking too much. 10. Save some details for later. 11. Be transparent. 12. Don't show all your cards. Words to live by.
Quotes From People Smarter Than Me:
"Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging..." -Foxface on Essentials "Servicing a diverse fan base with an RPG ruleset - far from being the mandate for 'open design space' and a cavalier attitude towards balance - requires creating a system that /works/, with minimal fuss, for a wide variety of play styles, not just from one group to the next, but at the same table." -Tony_Vargas on design "Mearls' and Cook's stated intent to produce an edition that fans of all previous editions (and Pathfinder) will like more than their current favourite edition is laudable. But it is also, IMO, completely unrealistic. It's like people who pray for world peace: I might share their overall aims, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to succeed. When they talk in vague terms about what they'd like to do in this new edition, I mostly find myself thinking 'hey, that sounds cool, assuming they can pull it off', but almost every time they've said something specific about actual mechanics, I've found myself wincing and shaking my head in disbelief and/or disgust, either straight away or after thinking about the obvious implications for half a minute." -Duskweaver on D&D Next
Speaking of ignorance 
The say yes gaming philosophy is often as not "Yes, but.." and is not about removing challenge but rather about absorbing ideas and using them as spring boards while simultaneously adding twists.  And this goes for how you bring miscellaneous race in to your game world.

Page 42 rules are in effect guidelines about how much "yes" and how much "but" you might want to include based on player imagination (in a combat arena)

  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."

 

I still think all of this is product whiplash and a poorly thought-out kneejerk reaction to having some honest competition in the industry, coupled with a bit too much of old men desperately wanting to recapture the magic of their childhoods by foisting them on all of us.

Out of context or no, bad journalism or no, biased viewpoints or no; this is really no surprise to me. Mearls continues to demonstrate his utter inability to understand what the "problem" with 4e is. The Escapist doesn't have to put much of a spin on it to make him sound like a fool.

Anyone who has been watching the trends in the industry over the last three years already knows what 5th Edition is going to look like (and yes, I'm "calling" this one right here, right now):
Show
It's going to be a "pared down" system, simplified almost to the point of being rudimentary. The skill system is going to be rolled into the stats. Feats are going to go away, replaced with 3e-style class abilities by level. Character creation options are going to be reduced to an early 2e level of complexity. The action system is going to be simplified: you move up to your speed (in feet, not squares) per turn, and can take one "action" per turn before or after it. The mathematical curve is going to be flattened considerably if not entirely; HP, damage and such may still scale with level, but stats, attacks and defenses won't. They may pay lip service to avoiding it, but the "five minute workday" will probably return in full force. The extent of the rules in the Player's Handbook will be, in effect; "if you want to do a thing, ask the DM if you can do it. If he says yes, he will tell you to roll a die. Roll, and tell your result to the DM. He will tell you if you succeed or not. If he says no, then you can't attempt the action". Another posted described this as a "mother may I" system; I like that phrase so I'm borrowing it.

Additionally, my guess is that races and classes are going to get pared down as well, probably to pseudo-3e levels. Classes will be the four basic monster food groups, and the four alternate monster food groups (that's Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric; Barbarian, Bard, Sorcerer, Paladin). Races will be Human, Elf (High, Wood, and Half-), Dwarf, Halfling, Gnome, and Drow.


What's tragic is that RPG R&D is going to flatly ignore a lot of good ideas from 4e (Roles, unified systems, "black box" logic, others) for the sole purpose of making 5th Edition look nothing like 4e for fear that even the remotest resemblance is going to scare people off.

Frankly, I kind of hope that they shoot themselves in the foot (again) with the attempt and Hasbro decides it's not worth the expense any longer. D&D has survived one dynasty change already; maybe it's time to pass the D&D license off to someone who can handle it. I wonder if Catalyst would be interested.



Personally, I think that if they do decide that the D&D brand isn't making enough money to continue to invest in it, they'll just retire it for a time rather than tangle with licensing. I'm fairly sure this won't come to pass regardless, but I see it simply being shuttered and put in reserve before I see them license it to someone. 

Your point about making it bear as little resemblance to 4E as possible is interesting; I hadn't quite thought of it that way. 

I started by reading the article on D&D past and noticed it was... well, a lot of it was opinions and a lot of it was wrong and inflated. Here's some examples -

That changed in 2008, with the release of the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Many tenets of the game like spell memorization and alignment were thrown away in the name of modernization and streamlining.



Alignment was modified, not thrown away, as was spell memorization. I recently heard somebody else claim that vancian spellcasting was gone when the Player's Handbook explicitly tells us that arcane daily spells are still vancian. This is absolutely ridiculous that somebody could display such fudged knowledge of a system they claim to know enough about to start delving into writing articles and the like.

Confidence in the official Dungeons & Dragons is at an all-time low



Unsubstantiated without data, obviously, and given TSR went bankrupt over 2nd edition my guess would be that, no, it is not at an "all time" low since WotC hasn't cut D&D as a flop yet.

TSR published a new 2nd edition of  AD&D in 1989 that significantly changed the core rules in order to unify much of the supplementary material that had been published for D&D - a move that pleased some players but disenchanted many others.



"Many others", based on sales data, being "approximately 50% of them", something that may even outweigh the split between 3rd and 4th today for all we know lacking the sales data of today.

    
We can fast forward to the end of the 3rd article (featured in the OP here) and we get gems like this -

 We are on the verge of a golden age of tabletop gaming



Oh, are we? Are we really article writer? Because I'm pretty sure an industry expert just said this one paragraph ago:

"I think the tabletop RPG market is enduring a kind of death. I think it is transforming into something that isn't a viable commercial business for more than a handful of people,"



Are we going to ignore that one of the big RPG companies' marketing agents just said "yeah RPGs are screwed"?

This author is frankly kind of crap when he's not pulling info straight from wikipedia or using direct quotes. I read the articles for the quotes, but definitely not for what basically qualifies as this guy's uninformed opinion.


While we're talking about D&D's past, though, why don't we talk about how 4th edition lines up with 1st? I'd wager it lines up better than 3rd edition did. It's comparatively rules light, which is how 1st was intended to be. It fixed alignment being taken "beyond the pale" and returned it to a tool for roleplaying instead of a quantifiable mechanical element. It hit multiclassing over the head with a bat, returning the game to primarily clear archetypes. It made sure that fighters are satisfying to play, which was notably among the balance changes Gygax made to 1st edition (changing their hit die to a d12 IIRC). It doesn't pretend to be a combat simulation. Ignoring the dips into the mechanics and the relative overall power of the PCs I'd say overall 4th edition is a lot closer to how D&D began than 3rd edition was, the exact opposite of the thing this article purports, as many other people do when they say "4th edition basically isn't D&D anymore". People these days are ridiculous.
"It's all about player power now - the DM is just the rules guy - and the DM can't contradict what the players say."

How is the DM more of a rules guy in 4e when the rules are the most clear of any edition. And if the DM is just the rules guy then who is creating adventures and describing he world and giving life to he NPCs. I have a hard time thinking Mearls really said that.


But... how many rules are there for the DM? Really. 
Look at the DMG and tell me how many pages are rules. They're given traps and diseases and poisons and Page 42 and a whole swack of advice. Plus Skill Challenges, which aren't exactly the most codified rule-set. All the rules are in the PHB. And the other "rules book", the Rules Compendium is aimed at both players and DMs, so both are expected to know how the game works. There's nothing kept "behind the screen" other than monsters. 

Pair this with the "everything is Core" mindset, with the game and publisher telling players they should be able to use any book any time. Playing in Eberron? Well, you cal still use the FR book and play a genasi swordmage. 
The crux of it is this:  
How is the DM more of a rules guy in 4e when the rules are the most clear of any edition.

 That's exactly why they become just "the rules guy" as there's no room left for interpretation or wiggling. The DM just comes up, presents his adventure for the players to charge through, throws his monsters at the PCs to kill, and generally lets them charge across their creation. And the players, armed with all the rules, are free to rules lawyer and contradict the DM at every turn.

How many of you have banned a race? A class? Added a house rule that drastically altered the game? Or really made the game your own? How many of you have told your players "no"?  




I don't see any of that making the DM just the rules guy. As a 4e DM I spend very little time thinking about rules and a lot of time world building, and creating adventures and challenges. But as DM I still have rule 0 and use it when I need it.

As far as banning classes and race. Yep, I have done that. In my last campaign I banned leader classes and drow (the former as an experiment and the latter as since it didn't fit with the story). When this campaign started the players asked what races and classes were available.

 Any Edition


Anyone who has been watching the trends in the industry over the last three years already knows what 5th Edition is going to look like (and yes, I'm "calling" this one right here, right now):
It's going to be a "pared down" system, simplified almost to the point of being rudimentary. The skill system is going to be rolled into the stats. Feats are going to go away, replaced with 3e-style class abilities by level. Character creation options are going to be reduced to an early 2e level of complexity. The action system is going to be simplified: you move up to your speed (in feet, not squares) per turn, and can take one "action" per turn before or after it. The mathematical curve is going to be flattened considerably if not entirely; HP, damage and such may still scale with level, but stats, attacks and defenses won't. They may pay lip service to avoiding it, but the "five minute workday" will probably return in full force. The extent of the rules in the Player's Handbook will be, in effect; "if you want to do a thing, ask the DM if you can do it. If he says yes, he will tell you to roll a die. Roll, and tell your result to the DM. He will tell you if you succeed or not. If he says no, then you can't attempt the action". Another posted described this as a "mother may I" system; I like that phrase so I'm borrowing it.

Additionally, my guess is that races and classes are going to get pared down as well, probably to pseudo-3e levels. Classes will be the four basic monster food groups, and the four alternate monster food groups (that's Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric; Barbarian, Bard, Sorcerer, Paladin). Races will be Human, Elf (High, Wood, and Half-), Dwarf, Halfling, Gnome, and Drow.

What's tragic is that RPG R&D is going to flatly ignore a lot of good ideas from 4e (Roles, unified systems, "black box" logic, others) for the sole purpose of making 5th Edition look nothing like 4e for fear that even the remotest resemblance is going to scare people off.

Frankly, I kind of hope that they shoot themselves in the foot (again) with the attempt and Hasbro decides it's not worth the expense any longer. D&D has survived one dynasty change already; maybe it's time to pass the D&D license off to someone who can handle it. I wonder if Catalyst would be interested.



I really hope you're wrong about 5E. Unfortunately I too have been reading L&L and I'm afraid you're right.

When a friend told me they were playing 3rd edition D&D it sounded cool to learn a new edition. Yeah there were problems and imbalances with it but I had fun learning the system.
Then I found out about 4E and the imbalances were gone and many other things got improved.

So now needlessly we have to go back to a flawed system?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

1) I like co-operative world buildings, but sometimes, as a DM I have a hook and would like the players to join in and play with my world.
This comes down to alternative styles of play. There's room for both.
RPGs are NOT board games and there should be multiple ways to play. As a DM I should be able to play Dark Sun without feeling like a monster for telling a player he cannot be a gnome invoker without feeling like a monster.  
"Yes, but..." only goes so far. And sometimes players just want to play something rare to feel special. It's a purple ninja thing.

2) We're not the target audience of the article. Surprise! This forum attracts people who like 4e. I know, shocking. But the attitudes of the posters have made it extremely unfriendly to other systems and editions.
This article is about and for the people disenfranchised by the edition. And there are a lot. While the posters here like the game and have drunk the kool-aid, they're not everyone. Or likely even the majority of gamers.
The problem is inclusion. The game needs to draw more and be a larger tent. 


The reaction is interesting. Someone writes an article you disagree with andthe response isn't counter arguments or constructive criticism but immediate ad hominem abusive dismissal. And it's hard to really disagree with the article when half of it is lengthy quotes. There's very little commentary.  

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

Since we're all talking about "the DM is the rules guy" right now, I'd like to add that I think this is most evident in the process of "well, hold on, I forget what Restrained does, let's take a minute and look it up". Status effects and uncommon uses of skills (like swimming) are the things I find myself looking up most commonly. One thing 3rd edition did was that it would often explain the condition it just inflicted right there at the source (that is, if a power says it Restrains a target, it'd also say "which means the target can't move unless it teleports, can't be pushed, pulled or slid, and also takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls and grants combat advantage."), which I think could help to reduce that a lot at the expense of slightly more unwieldy descriptions of powers and the like.

And while we're on the subject of "yes, and...", I agree that there comes a point where you obviously have to say "no". Usually I tend to point at the rules when I say "no" to have some kind of backing and/or justification, but again I think that ties back to "the DM is the rules guy". A key idea here is that we should try not to say no, but we shouldn't be AFRAID to say no.

An example that comes immediately to mind are the narrative uses of the Executioner's poisons. "If the DM allows it..." prefaces each of them (or something to that effect). Well, wait, isn't EVERYTHING if the DM allows it? Apparently not. Right now we are definitely in an era of "power to the player", and I think we're basically at the peak of the arc in terms of how much power D&D can actually hand the players before the DM becomes unnecessary. That's not good or bad, per se, but it is the situation. While 4e doesn't technically restrict the DM to do stuff that "isn't based in the rules" it doesn't devote constant reinforcement to it, which is something I'd like to see. The tone of the rules can change without changing the rules themselves.   
  And sometimes players just want to play something rare to feel special. It's a purple ninja thing. 



I have power over this huge space the game world and those denizens that arent the player character... recognizing and allowing the player to be as close to his own purple ninja as we can compromise towards in a world full of black ones sure seems the definition of cooperative.

As I said advocating non-cooperative gaming is not a play style a game needs to do anything special to support. Sometimes despots need to be told flexibility is more fun. 
  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."

 

 
And while we're on the subject of "yes, and...", I agree that there comes a point where you obviously have to say "no". Usually I tend to point at the rules when I say "no" to have some kind of backing and/or justification, but again I think that ties back to "the DM is the rules guy". A key idea here is that we should try not to say no, but we shouldn't be AFRAID to say no.  



And only the absolutists wanting to dis- the philosophy interpret it as being never ever ever say no... 
  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."

 

  And sometimes players just want to play something rare to feel special. It's a purple ninja thing. 


I have power over this huge space the game world and those denizens that arent the player character... recognizing and allowing the player to be as close to his own purple ninja as we can compromise towards in a world full of black ones sure seems the definition of cooperative.


Except that the problem with purple ninjas is the inherent laziness. It's taking something cool and awesome (a ninja) and then just making it purple as the most cosmetic alteration to justify claims of individuallity. "I'm not a Drizzt clone, I use two battleaxes!" 

The edition really seems to support players getting what they want. Suddenly, there are dragonborn and warforged and shifters in the Forgotten Realms. It's discouraged for DMs to restrict player options. Even Dark Sun plays it safe with classes and races that don't exist, avoiding outright banning and say it's okay.

I played a game once set in a homebrew world where religion was outlawed and the divine power source was rare. The idea was that the religions had a holy war that hurt the land, so all the nations banned organized religion to prevent it from happening again. 
Fun hook. 
So, of course, a third of the party played divine characters. Because everyone wants to be that unique individual, that one-of-a-kind divine character in a world without religion. 

As I said advocating non-cooperative gaming is not a play style a game needs to do anything special to support. Sometimes despots need to be told flexibility is more fun. 


Which is a value judgement. You prefer flexibility and total cooperation. Good for you, enjoy what you will. But the langauge used shows your dispain for the alternative ("despot" "more fun"). Please do not disparage other play styles and points of view. Other people might find them more satisfying. 

The thing is, sometimes a DM does have a story or worldview. And too much cooperation will ruin in. A DM needs to know when to comprimise if a player really, really wants to play something, but players have to give as well. Sometimes that means playing something that works in the world, and sometimes that means giving up a character concept that just contradicts or does not work with the  setting. 

The game will be more fun if the DM can run what he wants and doesn't feel like DMing is an obligation and that their creativity is being stifled.

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

There is a bias here. Not from us in this case, although we all have our unique perspectives and slants. I think part of the issue is also Mike Mearls. 
Now, not slamming Mr. Mearls. I like what he's doing and agree with him more often than not. But D&D and buisness is not a science. There's no single right answer to problems. Mr. Mearls and looking and the problem of 4e, why so many people didn't like it, or burnt out, or enjoyed it but not as much as other games. And he's looking for a solution, a problem that is fixable. 
And he sees that as a lack of DM input and control over the game.

There is a point to that. Time was a DM could just say "rocks fall, everyone dies". Now I imagine players asking how much damage they took, and protesting not getting a death save or being "nuh-huh, I have an immediate interrupt power I use to teleport away when targeted by the rocks."
Okay, exageration, but that's the general gist I get from the complaint. That the players can know the rules as well as the DM and more often than not, the player is the one surprising the DM with a "rule" (in the form of a power). I never knew any of my players powers and always had to read their cards.

But let's look at the full quote.

"I have a theory about RPGs," Mearls said. "When 2nd edition really got focused on story [in 1989], we had what I call the first era of RPG decadence and it was based on story. The idea that the DM is going to tell you a story, and you go from point A to point B to point C. The narrative is linear and [the DM is a] storyteller going to tell you a static story, and you would just get to roll dice occasionally. 3rd edition came out and said 'To Hell with that,' it's all about players, we're going to give you some really cool options, it's all flexibility in the DM and for the players, there's this meaningful choice.


"I think we've hit the second era of RPG decadence, and it's gone the opposite way," he continued. "It's all about player power now - the DM is just the rules guy - and the DM can't contradict what the players say. [The game] is taking away from the DM, and that's where I worry because other types of games can do that better. I might as well play a board game, 'cause I'm just here enforcing the rules. Without the DM as the creative guy, what's the point?"


 Is a 4e DM just running the opponents? Can a game descend into that? Can 4e just become a PvE board game? 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

 You prefer flexibility and total cooperation. 
 


Cooperation and flexibiltiy means all players the DM is simply the one with the most extreme power when he chooses inflexibility and lack of cooperation it pretty much amounts to despotism. Dont like the language? 
  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."

 


And he sees that as a lack of DM input and control over the game.   



[Edited] A DMs guide focused on how to invoke World Building (I thought this would have been a good new DMG topic).  And a little mentioning general flexibiltiy to all players and talking more about designing characters to fit a worlds theme.

When players design a character for my game world we discuss the nature of there character and figure out how there ideas can be made to fit within my game world. I havent found players intractable when I suggest changes to there concepts nor to be the extremists attempting to destroy the theme which you present.
  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."

 

 
 Is a 4e DM just running the opponents? Can a game descend into that? Can 4e just become a PvE board game? 



There is a player on here who says there group plays pretty close to that. They run delves... not sure I get it but shrug apparently that isnt allowed.
  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."

 

There is a bias here. Not from us in this case, although we all have our unique perspectives and slants. I think part of the issue is also Mike Mearls. 
Now, not slamming Mr. Mearls. I like what he's doing and agree with him more often than not. But D&D and buisness is not a science.



It isn't? That's news to me. I guess I'll just step aside and throw away statistical analysis and use of the scientific method like this because, hey, D&D is not a science and you can't apply scientific principles to it.

[Edited]
 I've removed content from this thread because Baiting is a violation of the Code of Conduct.  You can review the Code of Conduct here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_...

Please keep your posts polite, respectful, and on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.  
 
 Is a 4e DM just running the opponents? Can a game descend into that? Can 4e just become a PvE board game? 



There is a player on here who says there group plays pretty close to that. They run delves... not sure I get it but shrug apparently that isnt allowed.


I started writing this post saying that was not what I was saying, that playing D&D like a combat delve game was okay as long as other styles were equally encouraged. But I don't actually believe that...

The thing is, if you're playing an RPG like a board game, then you might be better served by an actual board game. The two products should appeal to different audiences. WotC should continue to focus the D&D board game line on people who like that sort of play, and focus the RPG on people who want more. 
Having an RPG that can play like a functionally like a board game without ignoring any rules means it's missing a vital element. An element that seperates D&D from dungeon crawl board games. And without that elemement, without emphasising and encouraging that element, D&D will continue to hemorage players. And the game will die. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

Jester, your position is treating advice like a rule.

Yes, 4E encourages you to use as much of its material as possible - using words, not rules. Yes is usually justified, unless a player is intentionally being absurd, because people like to explore the world using the emergent creativity of the entire group, and not just one individual's capacity. Rule 42 is the page of yes, so that DMs don't just say "No you can't swing from that." Reflavoring allows you to use interesting rules without interfering with flavor - dragonborn make great demon-tainted humans.

Absolutely nothing stops a DM from instituting hordes of restrictions. You can bring back racial level restrictions. You can ban characters of any race other than shardmind. You can ban martial classes.

4E says yes to the DM as much as any edition ever has.
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.
are you banning content because it doesn't fit with your game world, because it's mechanically borked or because you just don't like it?

when i GM a game i never have to ban stuff like races or classes since i work with the group to make sure their character fits with setting. whether they want to play a shardmind warden or a dwarfen fighter, they still need to explain how their character fits in the game world, if you can't do that, go back to the drawing board. 

but simply banning an element outright? not in 4th, and i'm extremely happy about that. i did so in previous editions, but that's entirely because those elements were disruptive when they came into play, like the polymorph line of spells or high level BS like gate in 3rd ed. i had nothing against the concept of transforming into an animal or calling your poke-deity for help, but in-play they were problematic. 

as for darksun, it specifically calls out that exact philosophy: there are no divine classes by default since the gods have gone AWOL and if you want to play one, you need to work with the GM make it fit.

as for the GM's story/worldview, if it's so tight and unmoving that it doesn't require or want my participation, then i'll simply oblige: i won't show up. i've done so before and i'll keep doing so. 

as for stuff like houserules, i only houserule when something becomes disruptive to gameplay. other then that i add custom items, monsters and whatnot to taste. but all out-altering how the system works? why? if i were to do such an overhaul, it's most likely because i don't like the sytem... and i'm no game designer, at least not "officially". i would much rather go to the FLGS, shell out 30$ for another system, then work for weeks to make a borked one playable.

which is why i'm no longer playing 3rd ed. rather then try to make it paletable and playable, i bought 4th ed and have been much happier since.
There is a bias here. Not from us in this case, although we all have our unique perspectives and slants. I think part of the issue is also Mike Mearls. 
Now, not slamming Mr. Mearls. I like what he's doing and agree with him more often than not. But D&D and buisness is not a science.

 

It isn't? That's news to me. I guess I'll just step aside and throw away statistical analysis and use of the scientific method like this because, hey, D&D is not a science and you can't apply scientific principles to it.


I meant that in science and math there is ONE answer. You run the calculations, enter the data, account for the variables, and there's a single correct answer. 
There is a science to game design and statistics, but we're talking the buisness end of game design. How the mechanics and rules interact with the human variable. And once you start adding humans into the equation you get into the very, very soft sciences of Anthroplogy and Sociology. Where there is no one right answer. Where you cannot just look at the data and say "Oh, this is why sales are down. We'll make that one change and everyone who ever played D&D will be happy with the game now and everyone can play together."

Instead, you look at the figures, and bring your own bias and pet peeves of the edition into the equation. Look at everything, and make what ammounts to a judgement call. That's what Mearl's is doing. It might be right. It might work and the majority of gamers might be happy in the long run. Or not. 

Jester, your position is treating advice like a rule.

Yes, 4E encourages you to use as much of its material as possible - using words, not rules. Yes is usually justified, unless a player is intentionally being absurd, because people like to explore the world using the emergent creativity of the entire group, and not just one individual's capacity. Rule 42 is the page of yes, so that DMs don't just say "No you can't swing from that." Reflavoring allows you to use interesting rules without interfering with flavor - dragonborn make great demon-tainted humans.

Absolutely nothing stops a DM from instituting hordes of restrictions. You can bring back racial level restrictions. You can ban characters of any race other than shardmind. You can ban martial classes.

4E says yes to the DM as much as any edition ever has.


I actually like the 4e DMGs. I think they're solid. The DMG2 is excellent. There's a lot of great advice. Not much in the way of rules though, which was the topic at hand. They do an excellent job of telling you how to be a good DM. But all the actual rules that run the game are given to the players.
The players get all the rules and crunch, the DM gets all the advice and tips on role-playing. The ratios are skewed. Maybe just shuffling a little advice to the players and keeping a few rules behind the screen might change the tone...

That's the discussion point here anyway. Think about it. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

@Jester : I dont think playing the game like pure dungeon delves mentioned is actively encouraged... way too many chunks of the games guidelines and "advice" are being ignored, ranging on the players side from personification of the pcs scattered all over in the character creation area to the reflavoring for the powers to huge chunks from the DMGs.  That the underlying mechanics are a good game independent of the roleplay is a bad thing - is like saying it should be a crappy game so we can role play better.. hurray for  Oberoni.


Lets see the Players guide says.
"First take a minute to imagine your character" ... ok I consider that innadequate. It should atleast say a few minutes and it should mention discussing your concept with your party and your DM with regards to fitting them into the group and the game world.  -> There are certainly room for improvements on this.
  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."

 

I meant that in science and math there is ONE answer. You run the calculations, enter the data, account for the variables, and there's a single correct answer. There is a science to game design and statistics, but we're talking the buisness end of game design. How the mechanics and rules interact with the human variable. And once you start adding humans into the equation you get into the very, very soft sciences of Anthroplogy and Sociology. Where there is no one right answer. Where you cannot just look at the data and say "Oh, this is why sales are down. We'll make that one change and everyone who ever played D&D will be happy with the game now and everyone can play together."

Instead, you look at the figures, and bring your own bias and pet peeves of the edition into the equation. Look at everything, and make what ammounts to a judgement call. That's what Mearl's is doing. It might be right. It might work and the majority of gamers might be happy in the long run. Or not.



Then why did you claim that's what he wasn't doing in this paragraph here?

And he's looking for a solution, a problem that is fixable.



So is he looking at it like it's a science for a problem that has a fixed solution or is he doing it the right way that you just described? 
[...] 4E says yes to the DM as much as any edition ever has.


But the default presentation as laid out by WotC (everything is Core, magic items are in players' supplements, etc.) often gives players a ridiculously false sense of entitlement.

Just two weeks ago I've had a run in with my players when starting a primarily roleplaying/plot/story focused campaign (after a very unglorious TPK in the Scales of War adventure path). My players demanded to be able to use all material from all books. However, neither the theme nor the background of the world supported about 80% of the characters they had in mind. I've come to the point where I can say that this "everything is Core" thing is probably the most stupid idea ever from WotC regarding 4E.

When I want to run a dark and gloomy Ravenloft campaign I don't want players waving sparkling pixie invokers in my face.

When I want to run a grim and gritty Dark Sun campaign I don't want players shoving adamant laced warforged paladins down my throat (which would be torn apart by the locals for the metal in their bodies in seconds anyway).

When I want to run a light hearted Forgotten Realms campaign I don't want players ruining the theme with revenant past-life vryloka vampires (yo dawg, I heard you liked undead so we made undead that are undead so you can be undead while you're undead... ).

And I want to be able to do this without being called a "controlfreak horror DM" because I dared to touch the sacrosanct all encompassing source of allowed splat material. 
Love how extremist non-cooperative players are assumed the norm.. [Edited]
  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."

 

Your point about making it bear as little resemblance to 4E as possible is interesting; I hadn't quite thought of it that way. 


Thought Experiment: You're Wizards of the Coast. Your boss (Hasbro) is glaring in your direction, because one of your divisions is soaking up huge expenses and not paying out like it should. You look around at the RPG industry and see... Pathfinder, sitting in your King-of-the-Hill throne; the one you've occupied for fifteen years. You stop and think: why did that happen? Well, we know it happened after we released 4e... and Pathfinder is based on the OGL that we designed for 3rd edition. 

Your boss (Hasbro) tells you that your Next Big Thing had better march right back up that hill and shove Paizo off the cliff or else... so after long and careful deliberation, you decide to (re)hire Monte Cook to be the lead designer on Project Next Big Thing.

Why did you make that choice?



I can only see one possible answer to that question.


@Zappy:
I really hope you're wrong about 5E. Unfortunately I too have been reading L&L and I'm afraid you're right.

(I see they still haven't bothered to fix the multi-quote stupidity in the forums...)

I started making these kinds of predictions a year and a half ago when we first heard about Essentials. So far I've been pretty well right. People act like Wizards' activity is some big surprise... but it's not, if you're paying attention. There's no possible way the ideas Cook has been spitballing in recent L&L articles aren't ideas he's considering using for The Inevitable 5th Edition (from now on I'm capitalizing it like that. Please read it with appropriate emphasis. Reading it in Morgan Freeman's voice is also acceptable). I just hope he's smart enough to look beyond his stupidly biased polls in search of an idea of what his consumers want.

I'm not wish-listing when I make predictions like the above, and I'm not gloom-and-dooming, either. I'm simply forecasting; I'm building predictions based on the trends I observe. Yes, there's some extrapolation involved--and I don't mean to be as arrogant as I'm about to sound--but I've been right more often than not so far.

4e at launch didn't completely omgwtfpwn the competition when it launched, and a lot of people made a lot of noise about how it was "too different" from past editions (I remain convinced these are people who have clearly forgotten what editions prior to 3.0 were like), so Wizards tries to shoehorn "classic" feel into 4e with Essentials. That fails even more spectacularly: not only does it not, by and large, draw off all of the people who has switched to Pathfinder (etc.), but is also pisses off the people who liked 4e (like me), who suddenly stop buying more books.

At that point, Wizards goes into panic mode because omgi dnot kno wwhat 2 do!!1! Whip-pan to a dusty old copy of a 3.X book gathering cobwebs in some corner of someone's cubicle. A lightbulb goes off in Wizards' collective head: 3rd Edition was a HUEG success! That's what'll save us! And they can't dive for their checkbook fast enough to offer Cook however much money he wants to step in and right the ship because the last game he designed for them was, like, totally, like, super-popular, right? [Yeah... in 1998. Pff. --m4ki]

Given that kind of a climate? Sadly, I see only one way The Inevitable 5th Edition can turn out. So far Cook's half-mad screeching and cawing in recent L&L articles supports my theory. We'll see if that changes, but I'm not holding my breath.

-m4ki; one down, one to go

"Retro is not new. Retro-fit is not new." --Seeker95, on why I won't be playing DDN

|| DDN Metrics (0-10) | enthusiasm: 1 | confidence in design: -3 | desire to play: 0 | Sticking with 4e?: Yep. | Better Options: IKRPG Mk II ||
The Five Things D&D Next Absolutely Must Not Do:
1. Imbalanced gameplay. Any and all characters must be able to contribute equally both in combat and out of combat at all levels of play. If the Fighters are linear and the Wizards quadratic, I walk. 2. Hardcore simulationist approach. D&D is a game about heroic fantasy. I'm weak and useless enough in real life; I play RPGs for a change of pace. If the only reason a rule exists is because "that's how it's supposed to be", I walk. I don't want a game that "simulates" real life, I want a game that simulates heroic fantasy. 3. Worshipping at false idols (AKA Sacred Cows). If the only reason a rule exists is "it's always been that way", I walk. Now to be clear, I have no problem with some things not changing; my issue is with retaining bad idea simply for the sake of nostalgia. 4. DM vs. players. If the game encourages "gotcha!" moments or treats the DM and players as enemies, adversaries, or problems to be overcome, I walk. 5. Rules for the sake of rules. The only thing I want rules for is the things I can't do sitting around a table with my friends. If the rules try to step on my ability to roleplay the character I want to roleplay, I walk. Furthermore, the rules serve to facilitate gameplay, not to simulate the world. NOTE: Items in red have been violated.
Chris Perkins' DM Survival Tips:
1. When in doubt, wing it. 2. Keep the story moving. Go with the flow. 3. Sometimes things make the best characters. 4. Always give players lots of things to do. 5. Wherever possible, say ‘yes.’ 6. Cheating is largely unnecessary. 7. Don't be afraid to give the characters a fun new toy. 8. Don't get in the way of a good players exchange. 9. Avoid talking too much. 10. Save some details for later. 11. Be transparent. 12. Don't show all your cards. Words to live by.
Quotes From People Smarter Than Me:
"Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging..." -Foxface on Essentials "Servicing a diverse fan base with an RPG ruleset - far from being the mandate for 'open design space' and a cavalier attitude towards balance - requires creating a system that /works/, with minimal fuss, for a wide variety of play styles, not just from one group to the next, but at the same table." -Tony_Vargas on design "Mearls' and Cook's stated intent to produce an edition that fans of all previous editions (and Pathfinder) will like more than their current favourite edition is laudable. But it is also, IMO, completely unrealistic. It's like people who pray for world peace: I might share their overall aims, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to succeed. When they talk in vague terms about what they'd like to do in this new edition, I mostly find myself thinking 'hey, that sounds cool, assuming they can pull it off', but almost every time they've said something specific about actual mechanics, I've found myself wincing and shaking my head in disbelief and/or disgust, either straight away or after thinking about the obvious implications for half a minute." -Duskweaver on D&D Next