Legends and Lore - Looking at the Past and the Future

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Legends and Lore
Looking at the Past and the Future
by Monte Cook

So, now you have a little better idea what I've been working on. For many of you, what you already suspected has simply been confirmed. In any event, I can't tell you how exciting and challenging it’s been getting this project off the ground—and how thrilling it will continue to be as we move forward.

Talk about this column here.

Happy to be back on the best D&D forum on the internet!

"we're designing the game so that not every player has to choose from the same set of options. Again, imagine a game where one player has a simple character sheet that has just a few things noted on it, and the player next to him has all sorts of skills, feats, and special abilities. And yet they can still play the game together and everything remains relatively balanced. Your 1E-loving friend can play in your 3E-style game and not have to deal with all the options he or she doesn't want or need. Or vice versa. It's all up to you to decide. "

If they can actually pull this off, saying 'I'm surprised' would be a significant understatement.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Different players in combat using different rules to effect the same creature well ummmm balancing that will be a neat trick (when I say trick I mean miracle).
Making the different methods balance out, while difficult, can be done, for a given set of assumptions, as with Essentials. It comes down to being able to survive X and win Y at a certain universal rate.

The problem is that the various editions have very diffierent balance assumptions that are mutually exclusive. They COULD produce material for both sets, and give you information on how to deal with the different balances, but that basically means they'll have to factor in a number of different balance assumptions into their products.

Say, adding a 3E wizard instead of a 4E wizard doubles the assumed EL of the party.
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.
I was actually having a discussion with a friend of mine the other day whether all of this customization was going to be a sort of "DM picks what bits to use and that's the system" or whether a THAC0 player could be playing alongside a more modern additive hit DC player. He was under the assumption that the former, which is apparently what they're doing, would be relatively impossible because it's just so hard to pound all of that stuff together while maintaining any semblance of "balance" (after all, a level 1 PC today would be a god by 1st edition's standards).

I was inclined to agree with him on the difficulty, but not necessarily on the premise that there was no way WotC would even consider doing it the other way. Turns out they're, indeed, doing it the "other way" - which is an exciting proposition if they nail it, but nailing it will be... challenging... to say the least. 
It'll be a miracle if they can pull it off.
"we're designing the game so that not every player has to choose from the same set of options. Again, imagine a game where one player has a simple character sheet that has just a few things noted on it, and the player next to him has all sorts of skills, feats, and special abilities. And yet they can still play the game together and everything remains relatively balanced. Your 1E-loving friend can play in your 3E-style game and not have to deal with all the options he or she doesn't want or need. Or vice versa. It's all up to you to decide. "

If they can actually pull this off, saying 'I'm surprised' would be a significant understatement.


QFT.  The 'we want to be all things to all players' aspect is what is worrying me most about the new edition (or whatever it's being called) - because that's next to impossible.  There are players who have completely antithetical views about basically all aspects of game design in general, and D&D in particular (cf debates on daily powers, healing and healing surges, AEDU vs E-Class design, vancian spellcasting, .  Trying to satisfy all of them equally means you basically need to write three or four separate games (probably more, actually), and integrate them all, in a way which makes all of the players feel equally able to play, AND all works together at the same table.

This is an insanely difficult task.

I wait in terrified anticipation for some actual news on game rules.

High hopes, low expectations.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Low hopes, low expectations. Cordell is the only name on that roster I trust, let alone like. 

I miss Wyatt and Noonan. They designed games that made sense.

Cook can talk big all he likes. I have only one thing to say: Prove it. So far, I'm not impressed.

What I said in the article comments bears repeating here: I don't want "best of" D&D, I want something NEW. If all the new edition is going to give me is a watered-down 4e and a bunch of other drek I'm never going to use, then I see no reason to upgrade. I have enough 4e material to play for just shy of all of eternity. 

The only question left then is: what am I going to spend all the money on that I'd normally spend on D&D books? Oh, the possibilities.... 
-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
This article left me with a funny feeling in my stomach. It officially conformed modularity, which isn't exactly what I want, but whatever. It is nice to be able to create a Vatican wizard and a 4e wizard at the same time. Or maybe a mix. This is kind of what I have been thinking all along: make a class that is Vatican and a class that does it 4e style. Also, being able to have a simple 1e character, but with feats would be cool. However, I don't know if they can actually pull this off.
holydoom.weebly.com: Holydoom! A lighthearted RPG in progress. Loosely based on 3.5. 4, and GURPS. Very, Very, Very loosely. Seriously, visit it now. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29086701/I_HIT_IT_WITH_MA_SWORD!_(like_this!):_A_Slayers_Handbook An attempt at CharOp
To anyone who thinks Pathfinder is outselling D&D
While one report may say that FLGS report a greater amount of book sales, one cannot forget the fact that the 71000 DDI subscribers paying 6-10 dollars a month don't count as "Book Sales."
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Oblivious troll is Oblivious
PbP supporter!
General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
I think you may mean Vancian.  Jack Vance wrote wizards with only daily powers.  The Vatican wrote Catholicism.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
"we're designing the game so that not every player has to choose from the same set of options. Again, imagine a game where one player has a simple character sheet that has just a few things noted on it, and the player next to him has all sorts of skills, feats, and special abilities. And yet they can still play the game together and everything remains relatively balanced. Your 1E-loving friend can play in your 3E-style game and not have to deal with all the options he or she doesn't want or need. Or vice versa. It's all up to you to decide. "

If they can actually pull this off, saying 'I'm surprised' would be a significant understatement.


Agreed.  I figured they were designing a game where each table could choose different styles, not a game were each individual could choose different styles.  I have no idea how that could work and remain remotely balanced.

I suppose that the answer might be that groups for whom balance is paramount will require all players to use the same options, while other groups, who plan to reply more on the DM will let individuals design as a complex a character as they want.
I will be interested to see if system mastery translates.  Not in that the players with the highest proficiency will have an advantage, but that the players who go the route of the most complex choice of system will still be able to help players who choose one of the less complex approaches.

Our usual game has 2 players that eat, sleep and breathe the rules, 2 players that know them pretty well or at least in context of their characters, and 2 players we are just glad to see attend every Friday.  It is important that the rules/optimization gurus still be able to help the less complicated players on a majority of topics without the only option being to "force upgrade" them to one of the more complex approaches.

If they can get that kind of modularity, I can see being a customer. 

INSIDE SCOOP, GAMERS: In the new version of D&D, it will no longer be "Edition Wars." It will be "Edition Lair Assault." - dungeonbastard

Low hopes, low expectations. Cordell is the only name on that roster I trust, let alone like. 

I miss Wyatt and Noonan. They designed games that made sense.

Cook can talk big all he likes. I have only one thing to say: Prove it. So far, I'm not impressed.

What I said in the article comments bears repeating here: I don't want "best of" D&D, I want something NEW. If all the new edition is going to give me is a watered-down 4e and a bunch of other drek I'm never going to use, then I see no reason to upgrade. I have enough 4e material to play for just shy of all of eternity. 

The only question left then is: what am I going to spend all the money on that I'd normally spend on D&D books? Oh, the possibilities.... 



Totally agree.

The goal is high, a bit too high... If they manage to pull it off, I can't envision how it could be possible to balance this thing. Heck, not even balance! How is possible to make a structured and coherent game around these premises?
But maybe (probably) this is just PR talk and the real product will just be disappointing...

Also I laughed at the phrase "This is the game you've already been playing, no matter what edition or version you prefer"... Uuuh, thank you! I will surely shell another 90$/€ to buy the game i've already been playing!
I don't see why it would be impossible to make a system both more modular and maintain balance.  Seems the first step would be make a giant list of different effects and give them each comparative value (bonus to hit, bonus to damage, trip target, etc).  Then have another big honking list of ways to access the effects and give each comparative value (At-will, encounter, daily, full round action, etc). 

From these building blocks, put together different classes.  Games have been doing this for decades.
Making the different methods balance out, while difficult, can be done, for a given set of assumptions, as with Essentials. It comes down to being able to survive X and win Y at a certain universal rate.

The problem is that the various editions have very diffierent balance assumptions that are mutually exclusive. They COULD produce material for both sets, and give you information on how to deal with the different balances, but that basically means they'll have to factor in a number of different balance assumptions into their products.

Say, adding a 3E wizard instead of a 4E wizard doubles the assumed EL of the party.

Yeah, that's what I was going to say. The concept of 'balance' has changed a LOT over the last 30 years. There are a whole bunch of facets to it as well, even within a given edition. Just looking at AD&D various concepts of balance we run into a LOT of questions real quick.

For instance in AD&D you rolled up your stats. Every player had a level of 'equality' with every other player in that they all rolled the same dice in the same way to create their character, so they all had the same chances of having a more or less powerful character. Once you rolled up your stats though the resulting characters weren't equally good in most cases. Now if you looked at this from the perspective of a 4e player these two characters are not 'balanced', one is better than the other in play. Which one of these 2 AD&D characters is 'balanced' by the 4e player's notion of balance with that player's 4e style character? By the 4e definition of balanced (equally capable in actual play) there will (almost) never be balance.

Likewise the AD&D notion of "all PCs are balanced across the entirety of the campaign" (even assuming this was a valid assertion in AD&D, which many people would dispute) there's clearly no way that the AD&D Magic User can be 'balanced' by the notions of the 4e player against his character except perhaps at some certain narrow level range.

Thus the very notion of 'balance' within the concept of a "fusion edition" where you can play in any style simply isn't meaningful when different players can play their character in a way that is in keeping with the edition that they're selecting options to emulate.

Beyond THAT even different editions simply had very different balancing mechanics, even discounting what balance meant. 4e style characters are largely balanced around their tactical in-combat capabilities. What happens when you play that style of character using different combat mechanics? What is balanced using tactical grid style combat with action economy is unlikely in the extreme to be balanced against options from different play styles across all the different implementations of 'core' mechanics that all characters must logically share in order to play together. Even assuming this herculean task is achieved it is not going to hold in exactly the same way under different sets of rules.
That is not dead which may eternal lie

I suppose that the answer might be that groups for whom balance is paramount will require all players to use the same options, while other groups, who plan to reply more on the DM will let individuals design as a complex a character as they want.



Yeah, that would generally be IMHO the only POSSIBLE way to look at it. You can pick only the 4e options to play with and have balance by 4e's notion of that concept, or you can pick only 1e options and have something like 1e's concept of balance, or you can just have a potpourri and there's no meaningful level of balance beyond some vague notion of everyone starts out weaker and gets stronger in some fashion and perhaps the whole thing will be playable enough that some segment of people will be happy with that. I think we'll basically have to assume this will be the actual situation when the game is released simply because it seems like the only logically feasible result pretty much regardless of the design team's wishes.

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens. I hope the community is open minded and forgiving enough to accept the result. 
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I hope the community is open minded and forgiving enough to accept the result. 


You poor misguided deluded fool. ;)
I think WotC is going to need to publicly address one of their design goals, and do so quickly. Either classes should be relatively balanced, as they were in 4E (corner cases like Runepriest v. Fighter notwithstanding) or classes will be intentionally unbalanced, and we will return to the 3E days of casters dominating the game. Because they can only do one or the other. You can have all the modular design in the world, but at the end of the day, when you tack all modular elements on, one philosophy or the other has to take precedence.

I'm not really interested in forum speculation - I want to see Monte or Mike address this point.
I think WotC is going to need to publicly address one of their design goals, and do so quickly. Either classes should be relatively balanced, as they were in 4E (corner cases like Runepriest v. Fighter notwithstanding) or classes will be intentionally unbalanced, and we will return to the 3E days of casters dominating the game. Because they can only do one or the other. You can have all the modular design in the world, but at the end of the day, when you tack all modular elements on, one philosophy or the other has to take precedence.

I'm not really interested in forum speculation - I want to see Monte or Mike address this point.


Can't quote this hard enough.  Mechanics, please.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I think WotC is going to need to publicly address one of their design goals, and do so quickly. Either classes should be relatively balanced, as they were in 4E (corner cases like Runepriest v. Fighter notwithstanding) or classes will be intentionally unbalanced, and we will return to the 3E days of casters dominating the game. Because they can only do one or the other. You can have all the modular design in the world, but at the end of the day, when you tack all modular elements on, one philosophy or the other has to take precedence.

I'm not really interested in forum speculation - I want to see Monte or Mike address this point.



You don't think there is a middle ground of balance somewhere in between 4E and 3.X?
I think WotC is going to need to publicly address one of their design goals, and do so quickly. Either classes should be relatively balanced, as they were in 4E (corner cases like Runepriest v. Fighter notwithstanding) or classes will be intentionally unbalanced, and we will return to the 3E days of casters dominating the game. Because they can only do one or the other. You can have all the modular design in the world, but at the end of the day, when you tack all modular elements on, one philosophy or the other has to take precedence.

I'm not really interested in forum speculation - I want to see Monte or Mike address this point.



You don't think there is a middle ground of balance somewhere in between 4E and 3.X?



I suppose anything is possible but what would that even look like? On one hand you have magic is awesomely powerful beyond what non-magical people can do, A.K.A. Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw

and the other hand you have well designed and balanced classes that are meant to be members of a interdependent party of heroes regardless of their in game power source.

I guess it could be the difference between 3E casters and the tome of battle classes, where the non-casters don't totally suck but are clearly inferior to the casters. Although that does not seem that appealing to me.

I would suspect that the underlying vision of New E is make a product that as many people as possible want to buy regardless of their individual tastes and preferences. That make senses from a business point of view, however that approach does not seem likely to produce a well designed game with very sound and stable mechanics.

Not liking the new forums.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

 

 

"fusion edition"



Apropros of nothing, I like the sound of 'D&D: Fusion Edition'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I think WotC is going to need to publicly address one of their design goals, and do so quickly. Either classes should be relatively balanced, as they were in 4E (corner cases like Runepriest v. Fighter notwithstanding) or classes will be intentionally unbalanced, and we will return to the 3E days of casters dominating the game. Because they can only do one or the other. You can have all the modular design in the world, but at the end of the day, when you tack all modular elements on, one philosophy or the other has to take precedence.

I'm not really interested in forum speculation - I want to see Monte or Mike address this point.



The article itself says that, regardless of which option modules your particular PC uses, the result will be 'relatively balanced'.  I'm taking that to mean the 4e 'not perfect, but at least in the ballpark' category, not 'Linear Fighters, Quadratic Wizards, Exponential Priests'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I think WotC is going to need to publicly address one of their design goals, and do so quickly. Either classes should be relatively balanced, as they were in 4E (corner cases like Runepriest v. Fighter notwithstanding) or classes will be intentionally unbalanced, and we will return to the 3E days of casters dominating the game. Because they can only do one or the other. You can have all the modular design in the world, but at the end of the day, when you tack all modular elements on, one philosophy or the other has to take precedence.

I'm not really interested in forum speculation - I want to see Monte or Mike address this point.



The article itself says that, regardless of which option modules your particular PC uses, the result will be 'relatively balanced'.  I'm taking that to mean the 4e 'not perfect, but at least in the ballpark' category, not 'Linear Fighters, Quadratic Wizards, Exponential Priests'.



On the other hand, this is "Monte Cook Balance", the same balance concept that fathered the CoDzilla (it's ok to have overpowered clerics/druids, because they are the healers... Uh?).

Also, the compromise between 4e and 3e is "Non-caster are a bit stronger than before, but casters are still strictly superior", wich is not really a good compromise (expecially for those who like 4e balance).
The balance paradigm of 1e was imbalance at low level and imbalance at high level
trying to hope those cancel each other out (are you actually spending the same amount of time at level 1 and 2 as you did at level 9 and 10 hmmm. Making it sound fancy like balance across the whole career when you have no idea length of carreer nor what level the group starts playing at is nonsense.
 
  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 don't think there can be a middle ground between those people who think that casters should far outstrip martial characters in effectiveness, and those who think that martial characters and casters should be roughly balanced, no.

The closest thing I've seen to a middle ground is Essentials. Martial characters like the knight, slayer and thief are all very effective, yet simple, characters, who don't really have a ton of options or daily powers. They aren't as powerful as a 4E wizard, but they are certainly capable of being effective at the same table with such a wizard. They are a great choice for someone who is looking for effectiveness without as much complexity.

However, I'm not someone who prefers that my casters be not only more complex, but far more powerful, than martial characters. So I don't know that this actually solves the problem for those in the 3E pro-imbalance camp. I mean, not only can a knight hold his own and be useful at a table with a wizard, but there's also that pesky fighter, with more variety, complexity and power.
Here's the thing we all need to remember. Just because you can't think of a way to make it work doesn't mean it's not out there. The way a successful business can function is by doing something that no one else can do or a product that no one else has.

I believe that Wizards may have stumbled upon a way to balance this out and still give people what they want. Years ago if you told someone about an iPhone or an iPad they would have told you it was impossible.

Whatever they have in mind has already been made and they had to pitch this to someone in order to get it approved of. I seriously doubt Wizards would have gone ahead and announced a new edition without nothing more than an idea. The house has been built and the playtest is all about the furniture, curtains, paint, etc... that goes inside.
I don't think there can be a middle ground between those people who think that casters should far outstrip martial characters in effectiveness, and those who think that martial characters and casters should be roughly balanced, no.

The closest thing I've seen to a middle ground is Essentials. Martial characters like the knight, slayer and thief are all very effective, yet simple, characters, who don't really have a ton of options or daily powers. They aren't as powerful as a 4E wizard, but they are certainly capable of being effective at the same table with such a wizard. They are a great choice for someone who is looking for effectiveness without as much complexity.

However, I'm not someone who prefers that my casters be not only more complex, but far more powerful, than martial characters. So I don't know that this actually solves the problem for those in the 3E pro-imbalance camp. I mean, not only can a knight hold his own and be useful at a table with a wizard, but there's also that pesky fighter, with more variety, complexity and power.



I think essentials did a good job of making simpler characters that were just as effective as complex characters. A 4E wizard may have many more options than a slayer of the same level but they will remain very close in power level.
 
Also I think Incenjucar made a good point about ease of adding unbalancing factors to balanced games vs. adding balancing factors to unbalanced games.

For example if you wanted to take the 4E base game and make the wizard class be vastly more powerful than other classes, you could make some simple tweaks to the system like giving them twice as many daily powers, or use daily powers as encounters and encounters as at wills.

On the other hand if you want to take the 3E base system and make a fighter equal in power and versatility to a wizard, you need to re-write the core mechanics of the game as well as the feat, class, skill and spell systems.


Not liking the new forums.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/18.jpg)

 

 


On the other hand, this is "Monte Cook Balance", the same balance concept that fathered the CoDzilla (it's ok to have overpowered clerics/druids, because they are the healers... Uh?).

Also, the compromise between 4e and 3e is "Non-caster are a bit stronger than before, but casters are still strictly superior", wich is not really a good compromise (expecially for those who like 4e balance).



I'm hoping he's gotten better at game design (and/or the rest of his design team will rein him in).
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I'm not necassarily opposed to this idea, except that I think it is inherently impossible. People who like crunch and like to optimize their characters do this to make the character better - not just for the pure geek value.

If a character built using the rules for 5E baby edition, which will theoretically be simple to play and take maybe half an hour to build, will have the same power level as a character built for 5E hardcore edition, which will be difficult to play and take many hours of thought - why whould anyone take the time to build under the more complex rules?

Also, I can definilty see a potential for the simple characters to feel cheated in terms their allocation of table time. If a baby character takes 30 seconds to run his turn and a hardcore character takes 90 - even if their actual impact on the battle is the same - the baby player is going to get bored. Many of us have already seen this problem in action with Essentials characters playing alongside standard characters.
Here's the thing we all need to remember. Just because you can't think of a way to make it work doesn't mean it's not out there. The way a successful business can function is by doing something that no one else can do or a product that no one else has.

I believe that Wizards may have stumbled upon a way to balance this out and still give people what they want. Years ago if you told someone about an iPhone or an iPad they would have told you it was impossible.

Whatever they have in mind has already been made and they had to pitch this to someone in order to get it approved of. I seriously doubt Wizards would have gone ahead and announced a new edition without nothing more than an idea. The house has been built and the playtest is all about the furniture, curtains, paint, etc... that goes inside.



Agreed. They have been working on is for a while and have already play tested it.  I look forward to see what they have.

 Any Edition

I don't think there can be a middle ground between those people who think that casters should far outstrip martial characters in effectiveness, and those who think that martial characters and casters should be roughly balanced, no.
 



EDITION: Impossible.
  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."

 



EDITION: Impossible.



The difficult we do on schedule.


The impossible takes longer.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
This sounds really cool. I do have doubts. But let's look at an actual hypothetical group to test balance.

A 2nd Thief, 3.5 Wizard and a 4E Cleric and Fighter.

Since we're going for balance the Fighter and Cleric are fine. To balance the Wizard against them I'd say the monsters get magic resistance. But not the 3.5 kind that totally invalidates it instead it's a damage reduction type of thing. You'd also have to do something about save or die/suck. Perhaps a duration reduction for effects and a save bonus for death effects? The thief would most likely need some type of damage and to hit bonus.

I don't know. This is just thinking out loud. How does that sound?

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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.

So basically, WotC is making RIFTS, but colliding editions instead of genres.

A party made up of Wizard, Magic-user, and Mage heh. 
This may be slightly off the specific topics introduced in the article, but does anyone else sort of feel like if epic tier is going to be returning (which it seems like it should, given at least two editions have it clearly labelled as such) it should get its own rulebook sort of like BECMI did? Because really epic tier just doesn't seem to operate on the same principles the rest of the game works on. In heroic tier it makes sense to be wandering around a dungeon and fighting a squad of 5 monsters for some treasure. In epic tier where people can have the ability to revive themselves from death once/day as a free action or stuff like that? It seems like it sort of needs an entirely different set of underlying assumptions even if the core rules (that is, the numbers added to other numbers/dice) don't change.
Being a modular system all they need to do is put out "epic" modules so it is not needed to be a part of the main rules.


EDITION: Impossible.



ROFL 

I really hope they'll pull it off, though.

A couple things occur to me:

First, given how they are constantly bombarded by useful, helpful playtest data from this board, and how they ignore most of it, it seems odd that they would want playtesters. The overwhelming impression I get is that they have their own plans and don't care what customers think because they think they know better. I suspect this will be like the Pathfinder playtest, where they will listen only to those who sing their praises.

Second, there seems to be this obsession with previous editions. Do they really think the number of people who want to play 1e is really that great? Do they think they will pull in new players by appealing to nostalgia? And most importantly, do they actually think 4e was MORE complicated than any previous edition? The reason why previous editions seemed simpler is because the rules were so crappy people ignored them. Compare unarmed combat in 4e to 2e. 4e: you attack normally and do d4+str damage. 2e: there was this weird table, THACO, attacks of opportunity if one character had a weapon or a natural weapon that counted as a weapon for an attack of opportunity, and I don't remember what else. The only time earlier editions were less complicated was when they simply forgot to have rules covering the situation. Yes, 4e climbing rules are more complicated, because 1e didn't have any.

 
given how they are constantly bombarded by useful, helpful playtest data from this board, and how they ignore most of it,


Single biggest armchair game developer fallacy, right here.

Not directly implementing what a lot of people say they want does not mean that they're ignoring the feedback.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
given how they are constantly bombarded by useful, helpful playtest data from this board, and how they ignore most of it,


Single biggest armchair game developer fallacy, right here.

Not directly implementing what a lot of people say they want does not mean that they're ignoring the feedback.





For that matter, how useful or helpful the playtest data is, is also a question.  Despite what they think the Char Ops board does not represent a significant portion of D&D players.
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