New "Menzoberranzan" book is edition neutral

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Wow, this bombshell just dropped:

"brianrjames Brian R. James
FYI: Menzoberranzan is not a 4th-Edition product. It's system neutral. #dnd "

From a twitter stream.

This is really big news for 4e fans because it means that WotC has already started the transition from 4e to 5e even before 5e launches. To me the statement that this book is "system neutral" means that it will contain no 4e specific crunch.

This will be a bitter piece of news for 4e fans who like their fluff with a good dose of crunch.
Elminster book will be edition neutral as well. I think DMs will buy them and realms lore fans too, but with nothing for players, it won't sell as well as neverwinter did. Still Menz may have edition free mechanics that can be used no matter the edition, instead of pure fluff.
I was at the announcement and that wasn't quite what I got out of it.  The upcoming "Ed Greenwoods Forgotten Realms" book is suppose to be edition neutral.  The Menzobarranzan book will have themes, powers and racial write-ups so it will be pretty much a 4e product but they said they want to make upcoming 4e products also usable with 5e.
I was at the announcement and that wasn't quite what I got out of it.  The upcoming "Ed Greenwoods Forgotten Realms" book is suppose to be edition neutral.  The Menzobarranzan book will have themes, powers and racial write-ups so it will be pretty much a 4e product but they said they want to make upcoming 4e products also usable with 5e.



I think you're confusing the Menzo book with the Dungeon Survival Guide. It was my impression that all of the new crunch would be in that book while the DM guide/story material would be in the Menzo book. Maybe I'm wrong, but what you're describing seems to clash with what Brian R. James said.
I was at the announcement and that wasn't quite what I got out of it.  The upcoming "Ed Greenwoods Forgotten Realms" book is suppose to be edition neutral.  The Menzobarranzan book will have themes, powers and racial write-ups so it will be pretty much a 4e product but they said they want to make upcoming 4e products also usable with 5e.



I think you're confusing the Menzo book with the Dungeon Survival Guide. It was my impression that all of the new crunch would be in that book while the DM guide/story material would be in the Menzo book. Maybe I'm wrong, but what you're describing seems to clash with what Brian R. James said.




Maybe I am, I am quite tired.  But I do know the one book they explicitly said was edition neutral was the Ed Greenwood book, not Menzobarranzan. 
They also said the Magic Item Compendium would be compatible with 4e and that they'd quickly update Elder Evils and Exemplars of Evil to 4e.

I'll believe it when I see it. 

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I think I have been blending 4E with previous editons all along once we saw how mechanical it can be if you focus on just the Rules.  I think one beauty of Dungeons and Dragons was when things became unpredictable and we had to wing it focusing on the die rolls to keep things in line.  Sometimes there might be a magic item that aquires an attribute that wasn't in the DM's plans but in the asumption of the players so the DM goes with it.  This is where the 'Fluff' comes in and helps fill the gaps when the DM might need some extra inspiration to make their game more colorful.Wink 

As a DM, I am still trying to explain why certain creatures can no longer see in the dark to some of my players, who remember being at a disadvantage to squads of goblins within crumbling warrens of their dark holes.
They also said the Magic Item Compendium would be compatible with 4e and that they'd quickly update Elder Evils and Exemplars of Evil to 4e.

I'll believe it when I see it. 

Exemplars of Evil: wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4tut/...
Elder Evils: www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...


"Forget it, he's rolling."
They also said the Magic Item Compendium would be compatible with 4e and that they'd quickly update Elder Evils and Exemplars of Evil to 4e.

I'll believe it when I see it. 

Exemplars of Evil: wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4tut/...
Elder Evils: www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...


"Forget it, he's rolling."


I'm aware of the updates, which came out eighteen months after the books and a year after 4e. And then only after months of fan nagging on the message boards. And even then, they got someone else to write the articles other than the original author, so it was hardly living up to the of the original claim: that the books would not be affected by the looming edition change and would still be usable after.  

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.

im glad they mentioned this was true in rule of three. now i dont have to preorder it, or look forward to it anymore
im glad they mentioned this was true in rule of three. now i dont have to preorder it, or look forward to it anymore



Agreed and I am thoroughly disappointed by this news. I was hoping this would be in the style of Neverwinter but for Paragon tier.

Seems I will be sorely disappointed (if I even buy the thing).

Makes me wonder at the wisdom of the publishing schedules we seem to see as editions of D&D die. At the beginning of an edition when the books are coming out monthly, I lap it up and they take my money. At the end of editions, the publication  schedule slows down (and for 4E it slowed down in early 2011 with excuses about wanting to produce quality products) and I spend my money with other companies. Appreciate that we are talking about a stripped back design team trying to juggle two editions of the game at this point but it still doesn't make sense to me. Then again I'm not in the publishing business so what do I know?

I'm enjoying my subscription to Pathfinder APs and Campaign Setting which the spare money is paying for though Wink.
I think this is a mistake for WotC. ALL 4e players and DM's will most likely turn their backs on the book, for it being edition neutral is a nail on the 4e coffin. Sad thing is, both Neverwinter and Madness at Gardmore Abbey were very finely crafted products that convinced many people the best days for 4e were just beginning.

I was VERY interested on Menzoberranzan. I've spent over 1000 bucks on 4e stuff. So now I am feeling BETRAYED. And there are thousands over there feeling just the same.
I think I have been blending 4E with previous editons all along once we saw how mechanical it can be if you focus on just the Rules.  I think one beauty of Dungeons and Dragons was when things became unpredictable and we had to wing it focusing on the die rolls to keep things in line.  Sometimes there might be a magic item that aquires an attribute that wasn't in the DM's plans but in the asumption of the players so the DM goes with it.  This is where the 'Fluff' comes in and helps fill the gaps when the DM might need some extra inspiration to make their game more colorful. 

As a DM, I am still trying to explain why certain creatures can no longer see in the dark to some of my players, who remember being at a disadvantage to squads of goblins within crumbling warrens of their dark holes.



I couldn't agree more.  Chris Perkin's Against the Giants re-writes are solid and show how one can take inspiration from all editions.  And DnDNext is supposed to be integrating all editions, so I'm stoked.

I still plan on getting this book.  It'll have great ideas.
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Menzo should have been the 'Paragon' Neverwinter Campaign Setting, and I imagine was at one point. City of Brass could have been the Epic, and wow that would have been something... I won't be picking Menzo up after the neutrality revelation to show my non-support for the move. Petty? I don't think so. It's backing what I believe with my money.
Menzo should have been the 'Paragon' Neverwinter Campaign Setting, and I imagine was at one point. City of Brass could have been the Epic, and wow that would have been something... I won't be picking Menzo up after the neutrality revelation to show my non-support for the move. Petty? I don't think so. It's backing what I believe with my money.

I'm with you, Dragna. Seems we won't have any more adventures or official support for Neverwinter.

I don't know how they expect us to remain loyal and make the 5e jump.
It's kind of weird, and strangely liberating at the same time, the idea I no longer will be anxiously awaiting every new release, or the majority of new releases. I've been a pretty steady customer throughout 4e, but I have every release since D&D's inception for inspiration, and all of those I consider 'edition neutral'.

I still can't believe they officially shut the faucet off on 4e support beyond DDi support, though, but now, more than ever, I am galvanized to support it myself. This edition got the major shaft and it has never sat well with me. I'm kind of challenged by the massive venom of the lapsed community and the apologist undertones with 5e design team. 4e is great, and I'm going to make it greater.
I started on 4e after WOTC announced DDNEXT.  I decided to play 4e so I could properly contribute to making DDNEXT the best it can be.  When I play test it I want to have a fair comparison to 4e. I am quite excited about Menzoberranzan.  To me it proves WOTC is truly interested in reuniting the editions and not just making token statements. 

I have recently had my faith restored in WOTC, and I have been buying and running 4e (I only initially bought the core in 2008).  By playing 4e I can still participate in D&D history.  Not to mention I have had a pretty good time of my PC's cleaning up the Spellplague. 

The fact the Menzoberranzan is system neutral has me very excited.  I loved Neverwinter, but ultimately I am a fan of previous editions.  I anxiously await to see what they take from all editions.

Ed Greenwoods Forgotten Realms
AD&D PHB, DMG, and MM
now Menzoberranzan

This is going to be an expensive summer.
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