D&D Podcast: D&D Next and Lords of Waterdeep

In this episode, Mike Robles is on hand to discuss the D&D Next playtest with R&D's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford -- including questions you asked via Twitter. Then, we talk to Rodney Thompson about the latest D&D board game, Lords of Waterdeep.


Discuss this podcast here.   

All around helpful simian

I was happy to hear about some things from the friends and family playtest, but I came into the podcast hoping to hear anything more about the Open playtest, and was disappointed that there was nothing new to tell. This is not surprising considering there was no news of the Open playtest at PAXeast. I guess my mind leaped to Open playtesting with the podcast's title and description, but there was no mention of it on the download page.
I was happy to hear about some things from the friends and family playtest, but I came into the podcast hoping to hear anything more about the Open playtest, and was disappointed that there was nothing new to tell. This is not surprising considering there was no news of the Open playtest at PAXeast. I guess my mind leaped to Open playtesting with the podcast's title and description, but there was no mention of it on the download page.

They stated at PAX East that they were between 10 to 20% done with D&D Next currently. I would venture to guess that before they open it up to the public they will want to have a bit more of it done.
I like the way they think about themes, and the idea of rolling for a random theme sounds like a lot of fun, but I hope that I do get to make a few choices when I level up my character.

      Finally another Podcast!

      Thanks to R&D for sitting togheter again to talk to us, i really like this media channel. 

      Quentin, I'd like to place a vote for a weekly Podcast for Rule-of-Three/Legends & Lore :P

      Not much infos came out, just bits of their philisophy and design goals on various elements of Next again. But it was fun to hear their take on Themes, external Playtests, Lords of Waterdeep etc..

      Without paraphrasing, what i like of what they said is basically that the Core of Next will look a bit like Basic D&D in simplicity and that modularity will layer on top of it, adding options to reflect the complexity that you want in your game.

      I was disappointed, considering how long ago the last one was. I want my 38 minutes back.

      They really didn't talk about anything I didn't already know one way or another, and I'm coming to the conclusion that nobody else is going to think to ask them the one question that I really care about seeing them answer, or more probably fail to answer. 

      I'd like to see the podcasts become a regular thing again. The transparency of the design process the last time they did this whole edition-change thing was one of WotC's finest moments, I think, and a lot of that happened via the podcasts. I'd like to see the same thing here.
      -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
      I'm pleased they produced the podcast, and I hope they release them regularly again. I wasn't expecting to learn anything astonishing, but I think more emotion is conveyed through a podcast than a blog post, so I think it's a great way of supplementing other communication methods.

      Regarding the discussion of core rules, I still want to know how the modularity is going to work - whether it's going to be a question of learning the core rules, then memorising the extra rules from the modules you want and holding that combination in your head, or whether there'll be a cleverer way of organising the rulebook such that it's easy for the DM to say to his or her players "We're using this particular set of rules". Or are we moving to a situation where the players don't necessarily know what rules the DM is using?
      It's good to see another podcast is up!  I would love to see more, especially pod casts that are talking about the next ediition of the game.  I'm sure WotC has their hands full though, with all of the things they need to get done with the development of the next edition.

      I thought it was interesting that they want to move away from reliance on a battle grid and minis. For the longest time my friends and I would play D&D without a battle grid and minis. All of that was changed when we began playing 4th edition.  There are pluses and minuses to playing out combat in both ways, but I really came to like using the map and minis in the end.  This is mainly because I like the tactics involved.  I think that with 4th edition, WotC was able to utilize Push, Pull and Slide more often and because of that, you have lively combats where all the opponents are moving around the board throughout the fight.  I feel that describing combat without a grid can make the combat a little confusing at times, as it might be conceptualized differently by each player involved.  At least, that is what I have seen happen in previous games where we did not use a visual of some sort. I am sure that this will be considered (or at least I hope).  I am interested to see how they allow for a combat that can or doesn't have to be played out on a battle grid.  I also hope that the tactical part of the game, which seems to be better emphasized on a battle map with minis to me, does not suffer. It seems that the move to make the grid and minis optional is part of a way to simplify the game?  Not sure, but that might be pretty cool.  Thinking about that reminds me of a time where I ran a basic D&D game for my cousines while in the back of my aunt's van as we left the beach.  Simple.

      What do you guys think? 

      P.S.  It is definitely time for another Chris Perkins, Penny Arcade, PvP, Wil Wheaton D&D pod cast! Bring it back!

      "Lost? Confused? Lacking direction? Need to find a purpose in your life?"

           -Welcome to Night Vale Proverb

      What do you guys think?

      I agree with you.  A grid was never really necessary, even in 4e, but it did help clear up the occasional problem that popped up with a player misinterpreting where everyone was.  I found this to especially be the case for rogues in AD&D 2e, who actually had to "backstab" and couldn't just rely on flanking the enemy to get that benefit.

      There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.


      The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.


      You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.


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      The Lords of Waterdeep sounded really cool.  I think I will buy it.

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