Because I care: a grognard’s request for marketing department

In 1979, I played Empire of the Petal Throne. Since that time I have worked in game-related fields for over two decades, bringing hundreds of games to market, including Dungeons & Dragons’ branded video games, and have served as a guest of honor at GenCon. My bi-weekly group consists primarily of game store owners in their 50s. 


Like many others, I waited in line for the midnight-release of 4th edition. Less than a month later, I was checking again if I could buy .pdf documents for prior systems. Below are three areas I ask you to consider


Tolkien traditionalists vs. furry fandom. “Back in my day”, you had to actually roll a 17 charisma to be a paladin, wizards couldn’t use swords, clerics had to use non-edged weapons, and a hit could kill a 1st level.... We’ve heard it over and over. I can understand and appreciate the younger designers wanting to trash the status quo, but change does not equal improvement. I don’t need to see dragons wearing bras any more than I need the classes to balance.


Miniatures not boards. Miniatures foster the imagination as much as this game does and I love using them in my games. If you are going to make miniatures required - keep them in production. I will NEVER buy collectible cards or miniatures for Dungeons & Dragons or ANY RPG. Completely exposed maps diminish exploration and counting squares doesn’t cater to all styles of play. The measurement system from 1974 still works.


Pronouns & Evil. Discontinue alternating pronouns. I have witnessed examples that actually change gender before my eyes. It’s sloppy and as unnecessary as the absence of devils and demons and evil alignments. We’ve survived the accusations and watched Robbie Wheeling spiral into madness. I understand you have a responsibility to your shareholders, but you have a responsibility to your adult customers as well. Could you produce the Eldritch Wizardry cover today? Would you pull the art from Palace of the Silver Princess? Remember, the controversy of this brand was what interested many of us players in Dungeons & Dragons in the first place. Don’t let it cuff your creative freedom.




Tolkien traditionalists vs. furry fandom. “Back in my day”, you had to actually roll a 17 charisma to be a paladin, wizards couldn’t use swords, clerics had to use non-edged weapons, and a hit could kill a 1st level.... We’ve heard it over and over. I can understand and appreciate the younger designers wanting to trash the status quo, but change does not equal improvement. I don’t need to see dragons wearing bras any more than I need the classes to balance.





yea, those were some fun times...you know what I remember about those 'good old days' I remember wanting to play a paliden, and the first chance I had I did...with a 17 cha... and the fighter put a 17 in his streangth... but then again, we had the same weapons and armor...and my 17 cha did nothing for me.


I remember everyone playing fighters or wizards right up intill they experanced a fighter/mage...then you saw alot of them... becuse you get all the spells, and more hp, and can use a sword. 

I remember clerics of War gods being pissed (Wait I can break bones with a hammer, but a long sword is wrong???)


I also remeber being told wizards and rouges can't talk until 5th level, becuse what is the use of learning your name and personality when one hit can kill you... (a thief with 3d6hp at 3rd level having 10hp, and a wizard at 5th level with 5d4+5hp becoming 18hp)


so you know waht...pah attention to the new kids...they know something.          

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

That's funny, I've been playing since '79, too. I was eight.


I gotta say, even though I want something different than almost everything you've posted here (I actually like dragons in bras and alternating pronouns), you're not wrong.  


That's what makes me excited about the idea of a very minimalist core system.

You want to force your players to roll that high number to get their paladin, maybe get the coveted multiple 18 starting character? I think a core system that left the die rolling/point assign system up to the individual DM would be... what they've been doing since third edition. 4e did that, too. Hopefully, this trend will continue in D&D Next.


As for the rest of it: yeah, leave it simple. When you come out with a monster manual, make sure all the "intelligent" races can be played as player characters because a DM will over rule any monsters or races he or she doesn't want anyway.       


If you just have to worry about, say: Class, Race, Attributes, Level, HP and maybe attack bonus/to hit and AC (and gp and equipment, of course) then we can probably both play D&D without stepping on eachother's toes.  



my 17 cha did nothing for me.




At the very least it should have influenced your hirelings / followers and their loyalty base as well as NPC reactions.


I also remeber being told wizards and rouges can't talk until 5th level
...
so you know waht...pah attention to the new kids...they know something.          


I am befuddled...

Tolkien traditionalists vs. furry fandom. “Back in my day”, you had to actually roll a 17 charisma to be a paladin, wizards couldn’t use swords, clerics had to use non-edged weapons, and a hit could kill a 1st level.... We’ve heard it over and over. I can understand and appreciate the younger designers wanting to trash the status quo, but change does not equal improvement. I don’t need to see dragons wearing bras any more than I need the classes to balance.




And sometimes the status quo can use some trashing, that's how anything progresses.  Societies, technologies...and games.  While 'new' does not necessarily equal better, neither does 'old'.   I LIKE a lot of the newer ideas to come along in gaming since 1978.  And mind you this isn't coming from some kid.  You've only got about three years on me.

Miniatures not boards
. Miniatures foster the imagination as much as this game does and I love using them in my games. If you are going to make miniatures required - keep them in production. I will NEVER buy collectable cards or miniatures for Dungeons & Dragons or ANY RPG. Completely exposed maps diminish exploration and counting squares doesn’t cater to all styles of play. The measurement system from 1974 still works.


The design for a model T still works too.  It just doesn't have any advantages over newer models of car.  Grids and minis have their place.  They aren't the end all and be all of gaming, but they definitely add something to combat.  The problem comes when that's all you do, but frankly that's a DM problem not a system problem.

As for completely exposed maps...not sure where thats coming from. 


Pronouns & Evil
. Discontinue alternating pronouns. I have witnessed examples that actually change gender before my eyes. It’s sloppy and as unnecessary as the absence of devils and demons and evil alignments. We’ve survived the accusations and watched Robbie Wheeling spiral into madness. I understand you have a responsibility to your shareholders, but you have a responsibility to your adult customers as well. Could you produce the Eldritch Wizardry cover today? Would you pull the art from Palace of the Silver Princess? Remember, the controversy of this brand was what interested many of us players in Dungeons & Dragons in the first place. Don’t let it cuff your creative freedom.






This one I can't argue with, but that goes to the fact that society is both more and less prudish (in different ways) than in the 70s.  Watchagonnadoo?


As for completely exposed maps...not sure where thats coming from. 


 
While I wouldn't usually enter into discussion with a messenger of the outer gods, allow me to elaborate.

The D&D starter Red Box, DM Kit, and Monster Vault (as well as the Pathfinder starter) were all launched with folded posters (Pathfinder had a more durable material, which I'm assuming was for China marker / grease pencil / dry erase with an exposed dwelling on one side and blank squares on the other). All of these items exposed the areas of adventure. I'm sure you could cover the areas with cluttered materials, but transporting, locating and utilizing map tiles just seems detrimental to the fluidity of the game.



Tolkien traditionalists vs. furry fandom. “Back in my day”, you had to actually roll a 17 charisma to be a paladin, wizards couldn’t use swords, clerics had to use non-edged weapons, and a hit could kill a 1st level.... We’ve heard it over and over. I can understand and appreciate the younger designers wanting to trash the status quo, but change does not equal improvement. I don’t need to see dragons wearing bras any more than I need the classes to balance.




And just because you have always done a thing that way doesn't make it good.  Here is thing: If you don't want wizards to use swords, don't give your wizard a sword.  Why do care that mine has one?  Wizards have been using swords since at least 2nd edition.  They had at least one kit for that in the complete wizard book.

And I have been playing since you did have to have minimum rolled stats and when I was a kid back in the 80's I could tell even that was bad game design.

And I do need classes to balance.  I have played non-balanced classes and it isn't fun to not contribute.
 

minimum rolled stats and when I was a kid back in the 80's I could tell even that was bad game design.



I will not consider this bad game design. Instead, I will remember it differently as the satisfaction and celebration of meeting minimum requirements as a goal of achieving access to a class that was difficult to obtain.

There are now overbalanced classes, irrelevant from "munchkin-structure" which one you choose. I'm not advocating Rousseau's second discourse to be included but if they continue including shopping lists of magic items in the player's handbook...


As for completely exposed maps...not sure where thats coming from. 


 
While I wouldn't usually enter into discussion with a messenger of the outer gods, allow me to elaborate.

The D&D starter Red Box, DM Kit, and Monster Vault (as well as the Pathfinder starter) were all launched with folded posters (Pathfinder had a more durable material, which I'm assuming was for China marker / grease pencil / dry erase with an exposed dwelling on one side and blank squares on the other). All of these items exposed the areas of adventure. I'm sure you could cover the areas with cluttered materials, but transporting, locating and utilizing map tiles just seems detrimental to the fluidity of the game.






I never bought any of those products so I don't know about those particular maps, but a lot of 4e products have poster mpas (i.e Keep on the Shadow Fell, Revenge of the Giants and Tomb of Horrors, to name a few I DID buy) and none of those 'exposed maps' were the entire adventure.  they were just particular areas in the adventure and were meant to be used during combats in those areas.  And I thought that was a nice touch to have some noce looking areas to have some of the climactic battles on.  Made a nice change from the usual "What's that green squiggle" "It's a tree" that occurs during fights on maps that I draw out on a mat.

As I said on another thread, if I really want to play 1e or 2e, I can just as easily obtain copies of those games and play them.  Seems a far better way of going about it than trying to get 5e to wrap all the way around and become 1e.
if I really want to play 1e or 2e, I can just as easily obtain copies of those games and play them.  Seems a far better way of going about it than trying to get 5e to wrap all the way around and become 1e.



I am interested in the future of the supported brand, not turning it in to something I already have experienced. Currently, I enjoy playing the original 74 edition with the supplements, but am interested and excited to have a new system that caters to all players. That's the messaging correct?
Sorry, we just ignored that rule and let people play the class they wanted to play.  Seriously, if someone wants to play a class and the class is right there in the book waiting to be played, why not let them play the class?  Its my time and I have a limited amount of it.  Why should I let a random dice role determine what class I play.

And if you think its irrelevant what class you choose, I believe your OP that you haven't actually played much 4E.

And did it really matter that the item lists for players are in the books for players instead of the books for DMs.  One of the best things about 4E from a money perspective is that only DMs need to have the DM guide.  I have barely even skimmed through the 4E DM books and haven't bought any of them.
Why should I let a random dice role determine what class I play.



Interesting point. Why should we let random dice determine anything? I enjoy the dice, have hardlined the results and fudged them just the same. I can't imagine this game without the core polyhedra.


And if you think its irrelevant what class you choose, I believe your OP that you haven't actually played much 4E.
...I have barely even skimmed through the 4E DM books and haven't bought any of them.



Well I have owned and played with the three core, Player's Handbook 2, and the Essentials line. It seems that the classes power structures are fairly balanced level for level.

Yes, the classes are balanced for the most part.  Its one of the things  I like about 4e.  I like that I can make a fighter and he is actually still useful to have around at level 15.  Likewise I like that I can make a Wizard and he is able to do something at level 1 besides throw out a magic missle then call it a day.

But that doesn't make it 'irrelevant' waht you play unless your ONLY standard for what differentiates one class from another is power level.  I don't know about you, but that isn't my only criterion. They do different things, they have differing strengths, both in and out of combat.  And frankly, I think making a character that excels at what he does is FAR more of an acheivement than 'Cool, I rolled a 17 CHA, I can play a Paladin now'



my 17 cha did nothing for me.




At the very least it should have influenced your hirelings / followers and their loyalty base as well as NPC reactions.



NPC reactions where role played, we didn't use dice for that at the time, and hireling and followers are the least of your concern at 1st level trying to survive. 



I also remeber being told wizards and rouges can't talk until 5th level
...
so you know waht...pah attention to the new kids...they know something.          


I am befuddled...



I was tought the game in the enviorment that wizards and thives (d4s for hp and d6s) where looked at as dead meat walking... and it was becuse, even if I rolled max at level 5 I have 20, or 30 plus con mod (and remember pre 3e those mods were harder to get) times 5.


Lets go back to that magical time for a moment, and say that I had a +2 con (pretty good for having rolled 4d6 and drop lowest then place where I want) since it is not a main stat for eaither class. Now lets say my twin brother also has a +2 con...


One of us plays a wizard, the other a theif.


My wizard at 1st level rolls 1d4 hp and rolls a 3, so I have 5hp.
his theif at first level rolls 1d6 and gets a 2... so he has 4hp.


any weapon that deals 1d6 damage (no bonus) can kill me   2 out of 6 times... and can kill my bro's thief 3 out of 6 times... 33% or 50% great...


but lets say we survive, and level up. at level 2 I roll a 4, and so does he (max for me but not for him) so I now have 11 hp, and he has 10. at level 3 we both roll 1's and for some reason admit to it instead of rerolling... so 14 hp and 13 hp at level 3.


but see we are not in this game alone, we also have a cleric (with no con mod) and a fighter with a +1 con. the cleric rolled a 4 at level 1, a 5 at level 2 and got a max score of 8 at level 3... so he has 17 hp... the fighter got  2 6's and an 8, really good numbers, and he has 23 hp.


So at level 3 we have Fighter 23hp, Cleric 17hp, wizard 14 hp, and theif 13 hp... and we get rushed by orcs, and they have 2d6 weapons, and have a +2 damage bonus... so there avrage damage on a hit is 9... max non crit is 14, and crits do double damage so avrage crit is 18, max crit is 28.


So where 1 good hit could drop half the party (me and my bro), 2 hits will most certanly have anyone on the ropes...a crit can out right kill any party member...


lets just give everyone avrage hp, but assume that only the fighter has a con bonus (not unreasnoble back int he 80's and 90's) 

wizard lv1 2hp lv 3 6hp   lv 5 10hp lv9 18hp

theif   lv1 3hp lv 3 9hp  lv 5 15hp lv9 27hp

fighter lv1 6hp lv 3 18hp  lv 5 30hp  lv9  54hp


there was a fairly wide spread optional rule in 2e that became int he rivised standard rules (max 1st level hp

wizard lv1 4 hp lv 3 8 hp   lv 5 12 hp lv9 2o hp
theif   lv1 6 hp lv 3 12 hp  lv 5 18 hp lv9 30 hp
fighter lv1 11 hp lv 3 23 hp  lv 5 35 hp  lv9   59 hp  
 

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

Bring back hexes!
Discontinue alternating pronouns.

Yeah, because who cares about women?
No, I'm sorry, there are things that I don't agree with, but this is beyond this. This I don't agree with and have no respect for. The only way that I would ever get behind not alternating pronouns would be if everything just went to the gender-neutral pronoun "they". D&D has made so much progress in gender equality, and it does not need to take so many steps back.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
i love empire of the petal throne and 74' measurements do in fact still work. thats about all i agree with
Why should I let a random dice role determine what class I play.



Interesting point. Why should we let random dice determine anything? I enjoy the dice, have hardlined the results and fudged them just the same. I can't imagine this game without the core polyhedra.




There is a difference between using the dice in combat rounds, where you will have many of them, and luck will even out, and there is raise dead for when the luck is very bad, and chargen.


Here is a thought experiment. Suppose that, at the beginning of a campaign, you rolled a d6. Whatever result you got, you could add that to all your attack rolls for the rest of the campaign. That is what random attributes leads to.    
 I can understand and appreciate the younger designers wanting to trash the status quo, but change does not equal improvement. I don’t need to see dragons wearing bras any more than I need the classes to balance.



Hahahaha. This is great stuff. Keep it up I'm rolling on the floor here, gramps.
Ok lets face facts. 5e is coming. By definition that means that WoTC is not satisfied with the sales/market share they got from 4e. I have not looked into the numbers but I suspect that the new fanbase they generated with 4e was not enough to counterbalance the fans they lost. Now they are faced with a problem. 4e has a dedicated fan base but they need to grow it, not just with new players but by bringing back veterans they alienated along the way. 5e cannot be 4e, the veterans will not embrace it. It cannot be 1, 2, 3.5, because the new players who are happy with 4e will see it as a step backwards. It needs to be an entirely new animal that blends what works best from all the older editions and allows enough flexibility so that players from any era/edition can use the rules to create the style of game they enjoy. Arguing over which edition is best at this point serves no purpose. Lets stop fighting and get to work.
Ok lets face facts. 5e is coming. By definition that means that WoTC is not satisfied with the sales/market share they got from 4e



Not to be defensive, but isn't this true of all older editions as well? 

I'm guessing the OP trying to be ironic with the shamelessly cliched old fashioned opinions... like Grampa Simpson weighing in on D&D.  But, just in case that opinion is real...

Let's consider business reality a moment: why would WotC ignore what interest younger players in favor of older players?  If you can appeal to a 15 year old over a 50 year old, you have three or four times the years as a consumer.  Moreover, the highest paying years of that kid's life (and those before kids and mortgages) are in front of him or her; gamers in their 50's are likely battening down the hatches in preparation for retirement.

I hope I haven't offended any older players (because I'm nearly there myself).

I love D&D more than I could ever love a human child.

if I really want to play 1e or 2e, I can just as easily obtain copies of those games and play them.  Seems a far better way of going about it than trying to get 5e to wrap all the way around and become 1e.



I am interested in the future of the supported brand, not turning it in to something I already have experienced. Currently, I enjoy playing the original 74 edition with the supplements, but am interested and excited to have a new system that caters to all players. That's the messaging correct?



So long as they keep those female pronouns out of my PHB. What's next, letting non WASPS play?!
Why should I let a random dice role determine what class I play.



Interesting point. Why should we let random dice determine anything? I enjoy the dice, have hardlined the results and fudged them just the same. I can't imagine this game without the core polyhedra.




Because randomness in play doesnt doesnt have to go hand in hand randomness in character creation.

The player chooses the character. I dont roll for eye color, name, or to see if I died from some random childhood illness either. The player picks their class, and backstory.

Those guys who didnt make it into paladin school? I choose to not play one of them.

Yeah, because who cares about women?



I believe you have missed my point entirely. I care about, have married, and currently game with women. The point was that alternating pronouns used in the past have led to sloppy design - compounding the current editing workload of producing the enormous faq and errata work necessary to set it straight. This not only will reduce the proofreading and wasting time counting occurances of he / she words (which people have spent their time doing in the past). Using gender-neutral pronouns are absolutely fine, if not preferred (even though a new level of political correctness is surfacing with he / she being considered offensive by male-bodied or female-bodied individuals that do not internally identify with being so named....) See my point now? It has nothing to do with gaming, and only serves the illusion that certain groups are unwelcome.

Discussions and special catering to 'women in gaming' or any other sexual orientation or gender are a moot point and in my opinion currenlty just as unnecessary as catering to a race. From my experience, they don't want special attention, only equality. 


The point was that alternating pronouns used in the past have led to sloppy design - compounding the current editing workload of producing the enormous faq and errata work necessary to set it straight.

A) Give me an example, because I can't think of any.
B) Even if that were true, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't continue.

See my point now?

No, and I think that your opinions on gender, sexual orientation, and race in gaming are ignorant and border on insulting. D&D should make everybody feel welcome. Alternating pronouns and including non-white human characters in the game's artwork are just some of the minor things that make people feel more included, and I can't imagine why you wouldn't want that. Equality doesn't mean exclusion. The idea that including somebody is giving them "special attention" is insulting.

I would be happy to be wrong about you, but I'm responding to how you're coming across.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I'm guessing the OP trying to be ironic with the shamelessly cliched old fashioned opinions

You are correct, which is why I stated "We've heard it over and over". I do believe I am a target for the marketing of this game however, and the marketing department is interested in my opinions and desires from me firsthand rather than simple sales numbers of the rerelease of a nostagic red box edition. 

gamers in their 50's are likely battening down the hatches in preparation for retirement

 

hmm.. disposable income, plenty of time and others with which to play D&DCool




Another creaky-kneed, silver-bearded grognard here.

I started playing D&D in '78 using a magazine article about the game before I could get the actual rules.

I very quickly got frustrated with the hodge-podge rules & started redesigning the game to suit my needs. (I love the fact that nearly everyone who DMs becomes an amateur [at least] game designer.)

As soon as other games appeared, I jumped ship, and have read/run/played dozens of different PRGs over the years.

3e briefly pulled me back, and though it reminded me why I had enjoyed D&D, it was still, ultimately, a hodge-podge, especially so with all the 3rd-party add-ons.

4e, to me is a delight. Solid game mechanics, clear terminology, rip-roaring fun low-level play, light GM-prep workload.

The only thing I miss about 1e is the huge amount of time teenage me and my friends had to play.

In 1979, I played Empire of the Petal Throne. Since that time I have worked in game-related fields for over two decades, bringing hundreds of games to market, including Dungeons & Dragons’ branded video games, and have served as a guest of honor at GenCon. My bi-weekly group consists primarily of game store owners in their 50s. 


Like many others, I waited in line for the midnight-release of 4th edition. Less than a month later, I was checking again if I could buy .pdf documents for prior systems. Below are three areas I ask you to consider


Tolkien traditionalists vs. furry fandom. “Back in my day”, you had to actually roll a 17 charisma to be a paladin, wizards couldn’t use swords, clerics had to use non-edged weapons, and a hit could kill a 1st level.... We’ve heard it over and over. I can understand and appreciate the younger designers wanting to trash the status quo, but change does not equal improvement. I don’t need to see dragons wearing bras any more than I need the classes to balance.


Miniatures not boards. Miniatures foster the imagination as much as this game does and I love using them in my games. If you are going to make miniatures required - keep them in production. I will NEVER buy collectible cards or miniatures for Dungeons & Dragons or ANY RPG. Completely exposed maps diminish exploration and counting squares doesn’t cater to all styles of play. The measurement system from 1974 still works.


Pronouns & Evil. Discontinue alternating pronouns. I have witnessed examples that actually change gender before my eyes. It’s sloppy and as unnecessary as the absence of devils and demons and evil alignments. We’ve survived the accusations and watched Robbie Wheeling spiral into madness. I understand you have a responsibility to your shareholders, but you have a responsibility to your adult customers as well. Could you produce the Eldritch Wizardry cover today? Would you pull the art from Palace of the Silver Princess? Remember, the controversy of this brand was what interested many of us players in Dungeons & Dragons in the first place. Don’t let it cuff your creative freedom.






I'll do my best not to try and sound like I'm attacking you mon amis. You gave your honest opinion as to how you'd think the edition would be better, and for that I commend you. However, I will now commence my counter retorts to what you posted.

Tolkien traditionalists vs. furry fandom
I do believe that 4th ed has too bloody many races, minotaur? Really? Anyway, sometimes you have to cater to your current market. Heck, wizards even announced that the idea behind dragonborn was to fit the bill of those who wanted to play a dragon. You got to play something dragon-esc while still being within a reasonable power range. As for dragons with bras, well thats really the artist's interpretation of the race. Personally, I like the the artist's portrayl of dragonborn (even if tech' a lizard species wouldn't have a need for bras).

Now as for the idea of slapping back on certain classes requiring x attribute to be able to play it, that really can't be done anymore with the dawn of Point buy systems. Too many people like them and for you to be able to afford some of the req's would require giving a lot of points. Also, as someone above pointed out you'd have a high charisma and in the long run it really didn't do much for your paladin in 2nd ed. Cause unlike the fighter / ranger who got followers, if I remember paladin correctly you had to go out and hire yours. Plus in the most recent editions we've been trying to move away from followers and focus on the characters.

Plus personally, I hate with a passion the idea of slapping arbitrary restrictions onto classes. Nothing sucks more for a new player than being told you can't play something cause your luck wasn't good enough.

Miniatures not boards.
I do see your point here, and I agree as many others have pointed out 4th ed became a table top strategy game. This may have been done to help push their miniature line, or because they thought it was the cleanest system mechanically. I'm afraid I don't work for Wizards, but I'm sure they had a good reason for it at the time. Back to the point, yes we should move away from the "need" of a battlemat, but we should also help sell miniature lines and what not by keeping them around to help explain combat. Plus AO's if they're still around are a pain in the butt to explain to a new person without a visual representation.

Pronouns & Evil
Pronoun wise, its a mark of the times all companies have to live up to a certain amount of Politically Correct. Though I do see your arguement for if they start with a female character in a example they should keep it a female throughout, that I can agree might be a little bit sloppy / them worrying too much about being Politically Correct. Just keep a good balance between the number of male and female examples and we're all set :3. As for alignment we really do hit a bit of a roadbump with this one, you'll find a great many people on here who want the idea of alignment to either be optional or entirely removed. Much of the "remove it" crowd pointing out that it should be entirely roleplay driven, which to be honest after having seen so many players either do the, "I'm barely not breaking my alignment dance," or the ever so popular in 3.x chaotic neutral (aka chaotic selfish/dumb)... The idea of just leaving it up to the player is nice... So how might we in the case of the classic Blood War describe how Devils and Demons hate each other? Instead of hinging on them being "lawful" or "chaotic" + evil, why don't we make it more story driven? Thus we introduce a deeper lore for fans to follow, and we still retain a good reason for what they fight :3.
... I think that your opinions on gender, sexual orientation, and race in gaming are ignorant and border on insulting



This is my second and final attempt at explaining my points to you. Accusing my opinions “on gender, sexual orientation, and race in gaming are ignorant and border on insulting” indicates you are either have not read or are unable to comprehend the language and points of my posts. Let me clarify my opinions in the simplest terms I can concerning gender, sexual orientation, and race.


I have more homosexual friends than heterosexual friends, and have embraced the skeletal bodies of some of these past friends hours before AIDS took their lives. Most of my friends and family are female, and as I have stated, have absolutely no issue with them at the game table. I am also friends with many african-american and hispanic individuals, who are and have always been welcome in my life, in my home, and at the gaming table. These african-american friends despise the term african-american, and simply want to be treated like “Americans” and everyone else. They don’t desire “special attention” only equality. My point is that we do not need to cater to “women in gaming” any more than we need sections devoted to “african-americans playing d&d”. I believe everyone should be welcome at the game table, and specified that point from my post concerning “the illusion that certain groups were unwelcome”. I used the word ‘illusion’ to describe something that simply was not true. When you include sections specially devoted to such topics, it provides a basis that somehow these groups are an exception and their inclusion is an afterthought.
For examples, consider character Thakok-An and examples in various 3rd edition books. Below is an errata from the 3rd edition of Ravenloft devoted to changing pronouns. 


Pg. 101, C1, ¶6 (“Nightmare”) S1: This sentence should read: “If the victim is killed by the damage inflicted by this
spell, she returns from death as a bastellus.


Pg. 38, C1, “Tales of Death and Madness” sidebar ¶1S1: change “he” to “she” and “his” to “her”


Pg. 67, C2, “Failure Results” ¶1S2: change “he” to “she”


Pg. 67, C2, “Failure Results” ¶1S2: change “he” to “she”


Pg. 68, C1, ¶2 (“Aversion”) S2: change “he” to “she” (occurs three times)


Pg. 68, C1, ¶3 (“Frozen”) S1: change “him” to “her”


Pg. 68, C1, ¶3 (“Frozen”) S2: change “He” to “She”


Pg. 68, C1, ¶4 (“Nausea”) S2: change “He” to “She”


Pg. 68, C1, ¶4 (“Nausea”) S3: change “he” to “she” (occurs two times)


Pg. 68, C1, ¶5 (“Nightmares”) S3: change “his” to “her”


Pg. 68, C1, ¶5 (“Nightmares”) S4: change “he” to “she”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶2S2: change “he” to “she”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶5 (“Obsession”) S2: change “He” to “She” and “him” to “her”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶6S2: change “His” to “Her” and “he” to “she”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶6S3: change “he” to “she”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶7S1: change “his” to “her”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶7S2: change “He” to “She”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶8 (“Rage”) S2: change “his” to “her” (occurs two times) and “He” to “She”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶8 (“Rage”) S3: change “his” to “her”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶8 (“Rage”) S4: change “He” to “She” and “his” to “her”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶8 (“Rage”) S5: change “He” to “She”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶8 (“Rage”) S6: change “he” to “she” (occurs two times) and “his” to “her”


Pg. 68, C2, ¶9S2: change “his” to “her” and “he” to “she”


Pg. 69, C1, ¶1 (“Revulsion”) S1: change “him” to “her”


Pg. 69, C1, ¶2 (“Fascination”) S4: change “he” to “she”


Pg. 69, C1, ¶2 (“Fascination”) S5: change “his” to “her”


Pg. 69, C1, ¶2 (“Fascination”) S6: change “himself” to “herself” and “his” to “her” and “he” to “she”


Pg. 69, C2, ¶1 (“Haunted”) S2: change “He” to “She” and “his” to “her”


Pg. 69, C2, ¶2 (“Mental Shock”) S3: change “He” to “She”


Pg. 69, C2, ¶3 (“Mental Shock”) S3: change “he” to “she” (occurs three times)


Pg. 69, C2, ¶3 (“Mental Shock”) S4: change “he” to “she”


Pg. 69, C2, ¶4 (“System Shock”) S1: change “he” to “she”


Pg. 189, C2, ¶2S5: change “while he is in” to “while she is in” and “animal form” to “animal or hybrid form”


Pg. 189, C2, ¶2S7: change “he” to “she” and “his” to “her”


Pg. 216, C2, ¶2S3: change “he sows” to “she sows”

I will not consider this bad game design. Instead, I will remember it differently as the satisfaction and celebration of meeting minimum requirements as a goal of achieving access to a class that was difficult to obtain.



Not to pick nits too much, but you got lucky on a die roll during character creation. This isn't special or merit celebration. We all have at one point or another. I played a 2nd ed paladin. And bard. And most of the high roll classes. It doesn't excuse bad game design, even if you choose to blind yourself with your rose colored glasses. (I hope they make things look pretty, cause mine don't Frown.)

I don't have any silver in my beard just yet, but my temples are coming along just nicely. I've (only) been playing D&D for a bit over 21 years (early 2nd, though I played AD&D as well), so I guess I guess I'm not an old enough fart.

I too saw the class restrictions as needless (both in stat and race).

I agree however, with dragons and bras. I know that people have justified Dragonborn as monotremes, but really, they should have identified them differently. Lizards and Dragons shouldn't have boobs.

I'd much rather have maps and measuring tapes, but I'm flexible on this point. As long as I have some visual representation to kill arguments, I'll be happy.

edit: I forgot a comment! In regards to pronoun usage, I'd be much happier if they stuck with the genderless "he" pronouns. It's not sexist. People are seeing that where it doesn't exist. I wish English had proper genderless pronouns that weren't insulting, but that's not the case. However, I recognize that more and more publications are moving to it and just deal with it as it comes.

Plus two, when they change genders for a given example, I just imagine they accidentally donned a girlde of femininity/masculinity when I wasn't looking. It makes it funnier.

-Calestin Kethal
I'll do my best not to try and sound like I'm attacking you mon amis.

 

A very pleasant read. 


Let me discuss a few points here: I have always enjoyed the open-ended approach. From November 1973, this was mentioned in the text of Men & Magic concerning “Other Character Types”: there is no reason that players cannot be allowed to play as virtually anything, provided they begin relatively weak and work up to the top, i.e., a player wishing to be a dragon would have to begin as let us say, a “young” one and progress upwards in the usual manner, steps being predetermined by the campaign referee”.


Also, some interesting books from the 3rd edition provided well thought templates for such things. Something I hope the modular approach will handle quite well.


Concerning point-buy systems. I do not care for them: no risk and all balance. A modular approach has been taken here for years with the alternative methods of character creation. I must stand by my enjoyment of ability restrictions. An interesting discussion has evolved from this post concerning the memory of ability restrictions at the game table concerning game design, but as of yet, I remain unswayed. What does seem to be emerging is the domain of the DM to say ‘no’ to players. Many systems try to eliminate this power. I stand steadfast.


Another contributor to the post enjoyed the art of the tiles and maps, as do I. Squares seem limiting to me. Take a look at the terrain features (say from a Games Workshop example) which could serve to extend the miniatures line. I love miniatures and other props. Perhaps I prefer a tape measure to squares. All I’m concerned with is that WOTC doesn’t find itself in the position again of creating a strategy miniatures game where they don’t produce miniatures.


My point is that we do not need to cater to “women in gaming” any more than we need sections devoted to “african-americans playing d&d”.

See, here's the problem. This is the insulting part of what you're saying. Look, it doesn't matter how many friends you have of different race, genders, sexual orientations, religions, etc. You can be the more loving, accepting person in the world and still be totally ignorant. Here, you demonstrate part of that ignorance. I'm not saying that you're a bad person, just that you don't realize the full impact what you're saying. Including women in the game isn't "catering to" them. Including depictions of humans of different races is not "catering to" them. It's just including them. There' isn't a side-bar that says "If you're a woman, this part is for you!" That would be catering, and it would be very bad. Simply including them, as sample characters or in the artwork, for example, isn't "catering to" them. It's just aknowledging that they exist. There is a huge difference. You don't have to go out of your way to include. Are you catering to your friends by inviting them to play D&D with you? No, you're just including them.

For examples, consider character Thakok-An and examples in various 3rd edition books. Below is an errata from the 3rd edition of Ravenloft devoted to changing pronouns.

Sounds like you have a problem with how one specific book was so badly edited and are taking it out on this game's gender progressiveness in general. That my friend, is the wrong approach.

I'd be much happier if they stuck with the genderless "he" pronouns. It's not sexist.

I'm going to stop you right there, because yes, yes it is sexist. Like, academically speaking, there's really no debate on it (it's like how some people think that evolution is scientifically controversial even though scientists have totally moved on by now). It's not sexist in the overt way that people normally thing of prejudices, but it's still sexist. It's an institutionalized sexism, a sexism that's simply become part of the norm and thus reinforces those norms, often without our noticing them but that doesn't mean that they don't still affect us negatively. In the case of using "he" as a gender-neutral pronoun, it just reinforces the social norm that the male is the default consideration.

I wish English had proper genderless pronouns that weren't insulting...

It does: "They". It's a widely accepted genderless singular pronoun that's not insulting in the least. If you just want to use one pronoun, then "They" is the way to go.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
This thread has become a good example of why it's hard to meld the old and the new. Quite simply there _was_ something lost in earlier editions.

Just one example to stay brief: the 17 CHA requirement for Pallies had sound logic behind it. Paladins were expected to be born leaders, founts of Charisma, and they were intended to be very rare. (And btw the 17 CHA was helpful because it assisted the PC in having the roleplay of a charismatic persona have actual effect in the game world--but admittedly that was up to the DM).

Doing away with this at the least made Pallies more common. Which was fundamentally against the idea of the class being unique. Something is therefore lost.

I'm not saying it's bad to let people play what they want or even to have Pallies be more common in your game world. But there was a logic to older game design and it did make sense if you understood the games assumptions. And that logic has been lost in much of the modern game. However what was gained was a new logic and new assumptions. One such was that you had almost total control over character creation and could make just about anything in the book if you wanted to. I'm not saying that's bad either--it's just a different paradigm.

I'm looking forward to 5e, and currently run Pathfinder. But it's not what I prefer. I still don't like things about the d20 concept, but I do understand its logic and the assumptions that come with it. I accept it. Any game we play require assumptions. And some assumptions that were a part of the old game architecture have fundamentally changed; and though I'm hopeful of what 5e may accomplish I'm afraid completely bridging the gap between old school and new may not be possible.

If it were the case that there was a one true game--better than the rest, then most people would be palying it. 5e is aiming to be that. I for one am hopeful, but if all we are going to do is point out why old architecture or the new is bad we are never going to get there.

edit--btw I'm not talking about gender pronouns. That's an editorial issue not an architectural one.
"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own." --Gary Gygax
This thread has become a good example of why it's hard to meld the old and the new. Quite simply there _was_ something lost in earlier editions.

Just one example to stay brief: the 17 CHA requirement for Pallies had sound logic behind it. Paladins were expected to be born leaders, founts of Charisma, and they were intended to be very rare. (And btw the 17 CHA was helpful because it assisted the PC in having the roleplay of a charismatic persona have actual effect in the game world--but admittedly that was up to the DM).

Doing away with this at the least made Pallies more common. Which was fundamentally against the idea of the class being unique. Something is therefore lost.

I'm not saying it's bad to let people play what they want or even to have Pallies be more common in your game world. But there was a logic to older game design and it did make sense if you understood the games assumptions. And that logic has been lost in much of the modern game. However what was gained was a new logic and new assumptions. One such was that you had almost total control over character creation and could make just about anything in the book if you wanted to. I'm not saying that's bad either--it's just a different paradigm.

I'm looking forward to 5e, and currently run Pathfinder. But it's not what I prefer. I still don't like things about the d20 concept, but I do understand its logic and the assumptions that come with it. I accept it. Any game we play require assumptions. And some assumptions that were a part of the old game architecture have fundamentally changed; and though I'm hopeful of what 5e may accomplish I'm afraid completely bridging the gap between old school and new may not be possible.

If it were the case that there was a one true game--better than the rest, then most people would be palying it. 5e is aiming to be that. I for one am hopeful, but if all we are going to do is point out why old architecture or the new is bad we are never going to get there.

edit--btw I'm not talking about gender pronouns. That's an editorial issue not an architectural one.



I love rolling dice, but have come to support point buys for stats. The thing about the old-school 17 Cha requirement for Pallys and the like is it wasn't sustainable for many groups. Didn't get lucky and roll a 17 CHA? Time to scrap that character and try again. and again. and again, until you finally got lucky and hit a 17 on the dice roll. 

Unless the DM required you to roll stats in his/her presence, and accept that the pally you wanted to play now has to be a wizard because of the luck of the dice. Oh well, guess you either play a class you don't enjoy, or get that character killed and reroll, or find a different gaming group.



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