D&D Next Q&A: Ask a Simple Question, Get a Simple Answer

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The purpose of this thread is to serve as a catch-all for minor questions about D&D Next playtest, Rules, Mechanics etc... 

When asking a question, preface it with a Q# where # is the next number according to whatever the last question was.

When answering a question, preface it was A# where the # corresponds to the question # being answered or quote the question and answer it directly.

Everyone is welcome to ask or answer simple questions here. 

This Thread should help reduce the clutter of redundant threads.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q1: When will the Open Playtest for D&D Next begins and where can i sign up to participate ?

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

A1: The Open Playtest will debut on May 24th. You can sign up to participate in the Playtest here.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q2: How are wizards balanced against other classes?
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Q3: Will the example playest characters come with prepacked feats/backgrounds/themes?

A2: By balancing abilities against each other.

A3: Until the packets are release its impossible to tell but its safe to assume they will as generally Pregenerated Characters come with preselected options.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q4:  Will there be any option to go up to 2nd level with the playtest characters?
A4: Until the packets are release its impossible to tell.



Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Please hold on specific questions about D&D Next content until Playtest material is released.

This Forum is meant to allow the Community to aid each other with Q&A like a few exist already over at CharOp or Rule Q&A. I know once the Open Playtest begins, a lot of people will have questions about the Rules and Mechanics and this will be the place to ask questions about them.

Until anything comes out, only general questions about D&D Next will get a real answer. 


Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q5: I will be attending a Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention with plenty of Tabletop Roleplaying Games next week. It starts the day after the playtest rules are released. I have signed up to participate in the playtest. What is the likelihood that we will be able to playtest the rules in a convention environment?
Q5: I will be attending a Sci-Fi/Fantasy convention with plenty of Tabletop Roleplaying Games next week. It starts the day after the playtest rules are released. I have signed up to participate in the playtest. What is the likelihood that we will be able to playtest the rules in a convention environment?



A5: This question was asked during the live chat and they stated that anyone that they want anyone that is going to playtest to be signed up for the playtest. So take that however you wish.
Q6: Follow-up to Q5. Will there be options for people to sign up to playtest onsite? Can I print off NDAs and permission forms for the players to sign at the convention?
A6:  The May 24 playtest material won't be bound by NDA.  Public playtest.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Q7: What is a realstic release date (year?) for D&D Next, or "5th Edition" -- what kind of time frame are we looking at now that the first round of playtesting is upcoming?
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
A7: no exact date yet, but we don't even get the charecter creation system until late summer, and it is confermed that nothing will be coming out this year. 2014 would be the 40th aniversary.
Also, a followup to Q6, the convention playtest might be slightly different than the home playtest.
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."
"see sig" redirects here
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.
A6: To expand on Mand12's answer. there will be no NDA during the Open Playtest unless one is specifically requested. There will be an Online Playtest Agreement most likely similar to what was used during the Playtest of Dungeon Command game on the D&D Playtesting Group, according to informations disclosed during the last online chat on D&D Next

11:12 Who can play in the playtest, and how are we going to distribute the playtest information to people?
11:13 Mearls: The playtest is open to anyone who signs up, and the information will be available digitally. As part of signing up, there will be an online playtest agreement similar to the one we used for Dungeon Command last year. 

[sblock]
 
WIZARDS OF THE COAST ONLINE PLAY TEST AGREEMENTUPDATED September 8, 2011

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY AND IN ITS ENTIRETY. Welcome and thank you for participating in the Wizards of the Coast LLC ( “Wizards” ) playtest community. While we typically do not accept Feedback (defined below), in certain instances we look to you, as part of our online community, to provide input on specific products. By participating as an online playtester (whether or not you provide Feedback (defined below) to Wizards), you acknowledge and agree that inconsideration for being an online playtester, you agree to be bound by the terms of this Online Playtest Agreement ( the “OPTA” ) as well as  Wizards’ Code of Conduct (Code of Conduct Document),  Privacy Policy (Privacy Policy Document) and  Terms of Use (Terms of Use Document).


Unless stated otherwise, Wizards may modify this OPTA at any time and the changes will become effective upon posting to the online forum or chat room for the applicable product ( each “Forum” ).



  1. 1. Eligiblity. To be eligible to be an online playtester, you must have a current and valid Wizards.com Account.

  2. 2. Play Test Materials. As part of your participation as an online playtester, you may receive, download or otherwise have access to proprietary Wizards intellectual property (including physical and online game related products and materials) ( “Playtest Materials” ). Wizards grants you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable license for your personal use of such Playtest Material as provided by Wizards to you solely for the purposes of playtesting the Playtest Materials and providing Feedback to Wizards regarding the same. Any use of the Playtest Materials not expressly permitted under this OPTA is strictly prohibited and Wizards may, in its sole discretion, revoke this license at anytime and for any reason with no liability to you as a result.

  3. 3. Feedback. As part of your participation as an online playtester, you will provide Wizards with comments, feedback, thoughts, questions, ideas and suggestions regarding the Playtest Materials via the means indicated by Wizards including posting information in the applicable Forum or via email ( individually and collectively, “Feedback” ). You are solely responsible for any and all Feedback you provide and such Feedback will not violate the intellectual property rights of any third party. Additionally, your Feedback and use of the Forums will not violate the Terms of Use and Code of Conduct.

  4. 4. Ownership. Wizards owns all right, title and interest in and to (a) the ideas, concepts, brands and products the Playtest Materials arise from, (b) the Playtest Materials, (c) all related and underlying intellectual property including all trademarks and copyrights, and (d) any and all derivatives of the foregoing as defined by the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §101) and applicable case law. Additionally, any and all Feedback submitted by you to Wizards via any medium is deemed a work-made-for hire as defined in the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §201) and owned by Wizards. To the extent necessary, you hereby by convey, transfer and assign all rights in and to the same and disclaim any and all proprietary and moral rights in and to the same. You agree to execute any further documents and take any further actions requested by Wizards to assist it in validating, effectuating, maintaining, protecting, enforcing, perfecting, recording, patenting or registering any of its right, title and interest in or to the above. If you are unavailable, or fail to execute such documents when requested to do so for any reason, Wizards may execute the aforementioned documents as your attorney in fact, which appointment will be irrevocable for this sole purpose.

  5. 5. Confidentiality. As part of your participation as an online playtester, you may be required to accept the terms of a non-disclosure agreement. In the event a playtest requires a non-disclosure agreement, you will be required to sign and return such non-disclosure agreement via the instructions that will be provided by Wizards prior to being granted access to such Playtest Materials.


Again, thank you for participating as a playtester and welcome to the Wizards community!

I Agree

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Where do we sign up to do the actual playtest?
A8: You can sign up to participate in the Playtest here.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q9: What are the plans for digital offerings and DDi?
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Q9: What are the plans for digital offerings and DDi?




This is an area that I'm very interested in. I wonder if they have a plan in place already. Obviously they won't have rules system specifics, but the framework could be in progress, for sure.
Q9: what formate or medium will be used for reporting feedback based on play testing? What guidelines will be offered to help make sure we report the most pertinent information?
A9: WoTC hasn't revealed these plans yet.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q11: (as I think there were 2 Q9s?) - When are the materials supposed to be issued, and was there supposed to be a confirmation or acceptance notification when we signed up? (I received nothing).
Q11: (as I think there were 2 Q9s?) - When are the materials supposed to be issued, and was there supposed to be a confirmation or acceptance notification when we signed up? (I received nothing).



A11: Only thing anyone received in response was an e-mail saying you signed up. We expect the materials on the 24th, but the time of the materials release is not yet specified. I'd personally love it to be at midnight like the DDI content, but we shall see.
A10: Feedback will be gathered through a series of surveys and possibly a dedicated forum on WoTC website.


11:32 How are we going to provide feedback on the open playtest?
11:33 Mearls: We'll have a series of surveys we're sending out. I also think that we might have a dedicated forum on the site for discussion, but I think Trevor might now more about that. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for us to capture feedback, while also reaching as wide an audience as possible.  
  

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q12: I have 8 players in my DnD group. There are 5 premade characters to playtest. Will all my players be able to play? If so, how?
A11: They should all be able to play if you duplicate some Pregens and have some of them play identical characters. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q13: How are the playtest materials being released / distributed? Download off the Wizard's website?
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
Q14: Will the Playtest DM be able to choose between grid or gridless adventure?
Q13: How are the playtest materials being released / distributed? Download off the Wizard's website?



Q14: Will the Playtest DM be able to choose between grid or gridless adventure?



A13: We don't know yet. I don't think we will until Thursday.

A14: We don't know yet. I don't think we will until Thursday.


A13:  To extend on IxidorRS's answer, according to today's Interviews of Mike Mearls by Ethan Gilsdorf, the Public Playtest material will be available online via the D&D website www.dndnext.com



Gilsdorf: How is this handled? Do folks download materials from the D&D site?

Mearls: The materials will be available online via the D&D web site at www.dndnext.com. All you need to do is create an account on the site – if you already have one you can skip that step – and agree to the playtest terms. Once you do that, you can download the files and start playing.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

A14: To extend on IxidorRS's answer,  barring any changes, yes you should be able to playtest both with and without a grid. I playtested in Cave of Chaos using both methods already and many also did at conventions as well.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q15: Will exotic races be playable?
A15: The initial playtest will just have the classic four races: human, dwarf, elf, halfling.

However, in a tweet Mike Mearls said that big races will be something they want to do for D&D Next, which would certainly be exotic compared to previous standard race offerings in the past without extra rules. But we will have to wait and see if it comes about.
"I don't want to fight dragons." - Hiccup If dragons are to be invovled, I much prefer to play as a dragon, dragon rider, dragonslayer-slayer, dragonfriend, or anything else *but* a dragonslayer.
A13:  To extend on IxidorRS's answer, according to today's Interviews of Mike Mearls by Ethan Gilsdorf, the Public Playtest material will be available online via the D&D website www.dndnext.com



Gilsdorf: How is this handled? Do folks download materials from the D&D site?

Mearls: The materials will be available online via the D&D web site at www.dndnext.com. All you need to do is create an account on the site – if you already have one you can skip that step – and agree to the playtest terms. Once you do that, you can download the files and start playing.




Q16: Will it require a DDI scrip?
A16: No DDi subscription will be required to download the Playtest material as far as i know.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Q17: ok, it's thursday (here in Belgium)... Where's the playtest???....
Q17: ok, it's thursday (here in Belgium)... Where's the playtest???....



A17: You will likely find as close to an answer to that question as you will get HERE
Q18: Easy question regarding OPTA, Open Play Test Agreement: It says we should not copy, display, and so on, any of the material we get. How are we supposed to playtest it with our group of players if we don't show them the rules? O.o
Q18 easy way would be to let al players in the group sign up for the playtest.
Q18: Easy question regarding OPTA, Open Play Test Agreement: It says we should not copy, display, and so on, any of the material we get. How are we supposed to playtest it with our group of players if we don't show them the rules? O.o

A18 - Send your players and other group members to to wizards.custhelp.com/ci/documents/detail... and instruct them to sign up. They will then be able to download a copy of the rules for themselves. It is actually required that they do this to participate.

Q18 easy way would be to let al players in the group sign up for the playtest.


A18(Again) Send your players to https://wizards.custhelp.com/ci/documents/detail/2/dndnext and have them submit the form. It doesn't get any easier.
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