The Slashdot Interview with Mike Mearls

258 posts / 0 new
Last post
games.slashdot.org/story/12/07/15/212922...


One thing Mike made very clear in this interview that I hope got heard.  We are always debating about the divisions that came about because of 3e and 4e.  

It is clear from the interview that the transition from 3e to 4e divided the playerbase like never before.  So WOTC is reacting to that fact.  They want to do a game that appeals to as many people as possible including 4e players.  They can't though just regurgitate a game based upon 4e design principles and expect a different result.  Instead they are modularizing and hopefully all the bases get covered.

I doubt they get all bases covered.  But if they get good percentages of each group they'll be happy. 
Thanks for the heads up.
Cool. Thanks Emerikol.

D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

Great interview!

It's going to be hard to swing the momentum boat around however. I just signed up for the Paizo adventure path subscriptions and am running Skull&Shackles right now. The print quality of the materials is impeccable and the plot lines are real good. There is so much material, it's going to be hard to jettison it to return to D&D unless they do something better than Paizo is doing now.
I don't know....it's a tough mountain to climb to bring me a game that feels like a better version of AD&D 1/2e AND have adventure paths that are on par or better than Paizo offers
So at the end...we just going to put old stuff in the game, and not to design or develope brand new mechanics, concepts and break paradigms to please a player base that won't last long, instead of attracting new players.

Younger players don't want the same over and over again:  "more of the same" is one of the biggest critisism we give to stuff...we give that over the span of 3 years...having something that is more of the same....after 30 years...i think it's completly terrible.

Evolve or Die...that's the reality.

EDIT:....must....resist....making....old...people....joke...to the....person...below...ME!
I saw that article when they posted it.  Did they ever get a transcript up?  These kids today and their talking videos.... *mumble grumble*
The metagame is not the game.
So at the end...we just going to put old stuff in the game, and not to design or develope brand new mechanics, concepts and break paradigms to please a player base that won't last long, instead of attracting new players.

Younger players don't want the same over and over again:  "more of the same" is one of the biggest critisism we give to stuff...we give that over the span of 3 years...having something that is more of the same....after 30 years...i think it's completly terrible.

Evolve or Die...that's the reality. 



I began playing in high shool in the Mid 90's, with 2e. I'm still young...don't count us grognards out yet. I plan to be playing RPGs for a long time yet. I just didn't think I'd be playing a lot of D&D, not the way it was going.

When 4e was announced, I was skeptical. Very skeptical. I was hoping they'd fix some of the issues that 3e had, but not change stuff up all that radically. I wanted evolution.

4e was not an evolution of D&D. It was a reimagining. It took 3e, mixed it up with tactical board gaming and some concepts from MMOs, and said "Here we are! D&D!"

I played 4e and had some fun with it. But as much as I enjoyed it, the ridigity of the system and the lack of modularity was a real turnoff. Everything felt nerfed. All the cool effects from old editions got watered down. Sure, the martial classes got a big boost (and this is something I think was going in the right direction) but the AEDU system didn't feel dynamic. All the powers felt like variations on "do x damage and get y rider." Yes, they played differently, but something core had been lost.

4e did not feel like D&D to me. It felt like something that had the D&D name, but lacked the soul. I've played other games that have gone through different editions (Savage Worlds comes to mind, as does the Wolrd of Darkness games) and those had clear evolutions in mechanics, yet didn't have radically different ones (except for the transition from oWoD to nWoD, but in that case they were very clearly marketing that as a brand new game, not an evolution of the old one).

I don't want 4e warmed over. I don't want Yet Another Radical Change to the rules. I want something that feels right. Thus far, DDN is doing that.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
If you want more of the same, why not just play older editions instead...that's something i will never understand from you all.

Nostalgia is one of the chains that holdback progress...it obstruct the way for new things to come.
 
If you want more of the same, why not just play older editions instead...that's something i will never understand from you all.

Nostalgia is one of the chains that holdback progress...it obstruct the way for new things to come.
 



People love saying that.  "You're only saying that because of nostalgia!"  Most things in this world are evolved or refined from a prototype of some sort.  They aren't the same.  They are the product of their past.  Attempting wholesale departures from what came before is risky; sometimes the pay off is big, sometimes it explodes in your face.
Thanks Emerikol for sharing !

Didn't learn much info but Mike Mearls reiterated what DDN aim to be, a basic Core Ruleset with a hackable modularity to allow people to adjust it up to their playstyle preferances and complexity. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

If you want more of the same, why not just play older editions instead...that's something i will never understand from you all.

Nostalgia is one of the chains that holdback progress...it obstruct the way for new things to come.
 



Most successful franchises have to balance the familiar and the original. They need to give their customers just enough of the things they liked before, while providing enough new content to intrigue and excite them. This is why Pathfinder has been so wildly successful.

However, it's extremely dismissive to say "just play your old edition, grognard!" If I wanted to play the old edition, I'd be doing so. I'm not because there have been improvements to certain aspects of the game over the years. I want to see progress on the issues that irked me, while still having the elements I enjoyed remain or even get enhanced. What I don't want is to play a compeltely different game that just happened to have the old label slapped on it. I want Coke with pure cane sugar, not New Coke.  I prefer Metallica's Death Magnetic album to St. Anger. I preferred 3.5 to 3e, and would have liked to see more steps taken down that path rather than the sudden crabwalk sideways into "all tactical board game kombat, all the time!" that 4e started out as. I would have preferred incremental changes, rather than radical ones.

Nostalgia is the chain that keeps you from jumping so far into your "progress" that you wind up leaping off a cliff. If the D&D team hadn't been so focused on jettisoning the old for the new and exciting, they wouldn't have split the fanbase so badly in the first place.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Nostalgia is the chain that keeps you from jumping so far into your "progress" that you wind up leaping off a cliff. If the D&D team hadn't been so focused on jettisoning the old for the new and exciting, they wouldn't have split the fanbase so badly in the first place.



Nostaligia can also be a chain with lead weights that keeps systems, organizations, and even civilizations from getting rid of outdated and sometimes harmful things that no longer work.  Frankly IMHO this is very much the case with DnD.  I agree that Wotc and the Devs at the time of 4E's developement did a very poor job of selling the new edition as DnD and did an even worse job at being sensitive to what their customers wanted.  However, IMHO Wotc is about to repeat the very same error with the customers they HAVE in order to chase customers that have already given up on DnD (or at least Wotc) sometimes multiple times (and more than a decade in many cases).

This is simply foolish.

In hindsight, I think the shattering of the playerbase when DnD was actually really modernized  for the first time ever (i.e. the first time really modern techniques were used and old 'sacred cows' were really held against modern gaming design standards and found wanting), was inevitable.  Let's face it.  Structurally, in terms of basic playability and balance, 4e is far and away the best edition that has ever been made because it was designed that way from the ground up.  Not even 3E could say that (as it's rife balance issues proved). 

However, as was famously put...."Here is the rest of the story".

The rest of the story can IMHO be traced back to the 1980s and through the 1990s.  Those that gamed then will no doubt remember that in terms of tabletop gaming, this was the wild-wild-west of gaming.  No idea was too outre, no scenario or setting was too outlandish, and no mechanic was too wierd to at least be tried....and they were.  That means that gaming and knowledge of both gaming design and gaming psychology made huge strides during this period of time, especially in the 1990s, and the MMOs and Computer Games directly benefited from this new knowledge base.   However, other RPGs did too and progessively got better and better....to the point where when TSR was going bankrupt, DnD was largely regarded as a dinosaur of a game, cute but antiquated.  It was the eccentric game that got people into the hobby (at least until the early 1990s) but was quickly discarded for "better" systems.  This was verified by Wotc's own marketing research teams when they took over TSR.

I should say almost all the games and gaming moderized and used the new ideas of gaming design and psychology but one.  That one, was the 800lb gorilla in the industry and acted like it had a virtual monopoly on TRPGs....basically because it did.  TSR's attitude towards DnD was from 1989 (and really since 1978) until TSR went bankrupt was, "We are DnD.  We are the superior #1 RPG.  We won't change because we don't have to."  Result:  You have and had an entire generation of DnD players that got hooked into one very archaic way of playing the game and got those habits entrenched.  Those players that didn't usually went on to play other games (like Storyteller, Hero, Gurps, and many others).

Wotc in 2000 had a problem, and lucked out.  By putting DnD on an open liscence and by unifying the mechanics into a simple d20+mod vs DC, they managed to actually clean up much of the muck while still keeping DnD looking and feeling much like DnD.  Of course the idea that they were SAVING DnD from extinction gave them much needed lattitude and approval that Wotc would later squander.  However, even 3e ducked the issue of an increasingly older, and reactionary playerbase.  The brutal fact is that 3E would have been a cutting edge game....in 1985.  As it was it bought DND some time, but (again IMHO) that time was squandered.

Now Wotc under Hasbro has to make corporate sales targets, which a TRPG can't make (and never has been able to make), and now faces a playbase that is shattered.  Why?  Because in 2008, Wotc decided (correctly I think) that if DnD were to survive, the game would have to be modernized to appeal to the next generation.  What Wotc incorrectly assumed was that their old guard would go along with it.  I think the open revolt against a system that in most respect is actually genuinely better in most respects (far from perfect I hasten to add) has come to Wotc as a complete shock that they still haven't gotten over. 

Here is my advice.  The answer is not a Hot Tub Time Machine back to 1982.  The answer is to consolidate the customer loyalty you have left, and try to expand from there.

-Polaris
TSR was mismanaged into the ground.  You can't pin that all on the system mechanics.  They were releasing a new setting a month, printing way more books than they were selling, then trying to cram everything into The Realms to recoup their losses.

TSR was mismanaged into the ground.  You can't pin that all on the system mechanics.  They were releasing a new setting a month, printing way more books than they were selling, then trying to cram everything into The Realms to recoup their losses.




I didn't.  There is nothing in my post above that even implies it.  However, it is a simple fact that TSR was extremely arrogant when it came to DnD and figured that it didn't have to change when all other games did.  This in turn got reflected by the people that continued to play it without playing other systems.

There is nothing remarkable about that.  I made no comment about why TSR went bankrupt, only that their management of DnD was arrogant (and it was).

-Polaris
I know you dislike WotC, Polaris. You make your disgust clear with every post you make. Great. Fine.  Hasbro is the devil, and WotC is the **** of Bayblon. Bravo, Polaris, bravo.

But you haven't changed my opinion.  I feel that the "balance" aspect of 4e sanitized and sterilized it. The trouble with slaughtering sacred cows is that sometimes those cows really are holy and killing them only brings down divine wrath. The dev team learned that the hard way and are attempting a mea culpa. I want to see where DDN goes. So in that respect, it's done what it's set out to do. It's drawn at least one disenchanted customer back.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
The thing is, I'm currently a paying customer, most of those wanting a return to older editions' style aren't. They may become paying customers, but I certainly won't be if the current design trends hold out. This interview is just another few minutes of MM telling  me the game I want will not be in Next.

I really feel for you and those like you. I REALLY desperately wish they'd agree to continue developing 4th on its own for you guys. Otherwise all they'll do is trade you for me as a paying customer with 5th, and be in exactly the same boat they are now (but down a few million in design and marketing costs). The only way around this tradeoff is if they somehow make a version so modular that both of us will agree to buy/play it. I don't believe they can, but I hope they can.




I had hopes that they would able to at first, but the more we hear from the Design team, the more it seems like it's not going to happen. Nothing they have said or written in the last month has given me any hope at all and has in fact run the rest of my playgroup out of the playtest. 
So at the end...we just going to put old stuff in the game, and not to design or develope brand new mechanics, concepts and break paradigms to please a player base that won't last long, instead of attracting new players.

Younger players don't want the same over and over again:  "more of the same" is one of the biggest critisism we give to stuff...we give that over the span of 3 years...having something that is more of the same....after 30 years...i think it's completly terrible.

Evolve or Die...that's the reality. 



I began playing in high shool in the Mid 90's, with 2e. I'm still young...don't count us grognards out yet. I plan to be playing RPGs for a long time yet. I just didn't think I'd be playing a lot of D&D, not the way it was going.

When 4e was announced, I was skeptical. Very skeptical. I was hoping they'd fix some of the issues that 3e had, but not change stuff up all that radically. I wanted evolution.

4e was not an evolution of D&D. It was a reimagining. It took 3e, mixed it up with tactical board gaming and some concepts from MMOs, and said "Here we are! D&D!"

I played 4e and had some fun with it. But as much as I enjoyed it, the ridigity of the system and the lack of modularity was a real turnoff. Everything felt nerfed. All the cool effects from old editions got watered down. Sure, the martial classes got a big boost (and this is something I think was going in the right direction) but the AEDU system didn't feel dynamic. All the powers felt like variations on "do x damage and get y rider." Yes, they played differently, but something core had been lost.

4e did not feel like D&D to me. It felt like something that had the D&D name, but lacked the soul. I've played other games that have gone through different editions (Savage Worlds comes to mind, as does the Wolrd of Darkness games) and those had clear evolutions in mechanics, yet didn't have radically different ones (except for the transition from oWoD to nWoD, but in that case they were very clearly marketing that as a brand new game, not an evolution of the old one).

I don't want 4e warmed over. I don't want Yet Another Radical Change to the rules. I want something that feels right. Thus far, DDN is doing that.


Actually, you have to thank Mike Mearls for ruining 4E.  He's the one who introduced the AEDU system in the first place, and ruined what really could have been a different TRPG altogether.

tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?p=271481

Just sayin'. 
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
I just signed up for the Paizo adventure path subscriptions and am running Skull&Shackles right now. The print quality of the materials is impeccable and the plot lines are real good. There is so much material, it's going to be hard to jettison it to return to D&D

I enjoy Pathfinder for what it is. I enjoy it, it's a modern game which requires tactical thinking in combat with a vast array of tools at your belt to come up with characters that are extremely different from each other tactically.

D&D Next is going to let me scratch another itch though. It's going to allow me to play a game that's a throwback to the days of AD&D. Based on the playtest material it's going to be extremely customisable and easy to houserule. I've already got a write up of Dark Sun rules that range from being a defiler to playing a half-giant. They feel like balanced choices to me on par with the playtest material. I can't do that with Pathfinder. I can't simply create an entire race on the fly and have it feel balanced.

I don't need WotC to produce amazing adventure paths. I've already got a company doing that for me. What I need from WotC is a ruleset that let's me customise the game to fit my preferences in a way that is enjoyable for me and my players. With how simple it is to construct monsters (much simpler then 4th ed, and it was pretty easy there), I can easily adapt Paizo's adventure paths to D&D Next.

I could, if I so desired, run a D&D Next Game set in Golarion. I could continue to purchase all of the amazing flavour that Paizo's producing and utilise it in a D&D Next game.

So often we get trapped into viewing the world from a polarised perspective. It doesn't have to be either/or. We can enjoy both WotC's products, and Paizo's products at the same game. Or you can do as I do and enjoy a modern 3.5e game for one campaign, but partake in a throw back to which ever edition you like the most (whether it be 4th ed, 2nd ed, OD&D), have a few things cleaned up (thank god for the eradication of THAC0) and go on new adventures that you never got the chance to go on in the first place.

So at the end...we just going to put old stuff in the game, and not to design or develope brand new mechanics, concepts and break paradigms to please a player base that won't last long, instead of attracting new players.

What new mechanics would you like? Kingdom building? already done. Large scale battles? Done. Creating new nations or temples? Done and done.

Gaming companies have been exploring this genre of entertainment for 30 years. You're not going to see too many new ideas. 4th ed was the last of the new ideas with everyone becoming a spellcaster and getting powers. Now all we can do is look at these old ideas and actually give them implementations that work and are suited to the modern sensibilities of gaming.

If you want more of the same, why not just play older editions instead...that's something i will never understand from you all.

As much as I enjoy aspects of 2nd ed, they had some serious that needed cleaning up. THAC0 not being the biggest problem. Now is a chance to recapture that FEEL but update it for a modern era. As a Pathfinder fan and a gamer who first got started with an AD&D style of game, I have no problem with At-Will powers for spellcasters. I think it's a good addition to the game that enhances the stories that can be told. I want these modern innovations in the game that I want to FEEL like 2nd ed. That is why I want D&D Next.

Nostalgia is one of the chains that holdback progress...it obstruct the way for new things to come.

Those who refuse to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. Rather then speaking empty platitudes, why don't you give us some ideas on what new areas you want WotC to explore?

Nostaligia can also be a chain with lead weights that keeps systems, organizations, and even civilizations from getting rid of outdated and sometimes harmful things that no longer work.

Polaris I first took note of your posts soon after 4th ed was released. You bemoaned how terrible 4th ed was, especially the PHB2 with it's half-orcs which were completely unnecessary because we had Dragonborn and they were the same race.

When all we hear is anger from you about whatever WotC is doing, it becomes easy to dismiss your opinion. You present yourself as someone who will find fault with WotC no matter what they do.

Structurally, in terms of basic playability and balance, 4e is far and away the best edition that has ever been made because it was designed that way from the ground up.  Not even 3E could say that (as it's rife balance issues proved).

I never played 3rd ed or 3.5e. But Paizo have apparently done an amazing job at cleaning it up. Yes, some things are more overpowered then others. That's true of all of the classes and so certain aspects get banned from home games. Other things don't get taken because the players realise it's too good and don't find it enjoyable. But I will not say that 4th ed is a better game then Pathfinder. It is more balanced, but balance doesn't equate to better. I equate better to being the system that provides me with the most enjoyment and entertainment.

As for the interview, it was more of the same. I have voraciously read everything I can find on D&D Next as I see our 4th ed campaigns wrapping up in the next 10 months. But hopefully the new format and venue will help spread the information to new people.
I don't blame the concept of At-Wills, Encounters, Dailies, and Utility powers. The execution, however, was unnessisarily restricting. Mearl-bashing is the new Montey-bashing.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
I don't blame the concept of At-Wills, Encounters, Dailies, and Utility powers. The execution, however, was unnessisarily restricting. Mearl-bashing is the new Montey-bashing.


Except the "unnecessarily restricting" execution was Mike Mearls' doing.

One Development Week: Mid-April 2006 
Team: Robert Gutschera, Mike Donais, Rich Baker, MikeMearls, and Rob Heinsoo. 
Mission:Recommend a way forward. 
Outcome: In what I’d judge as the most productive weekof the process to date, not that anyone would have guessed that beforehand, Mearls and Baker figured out what was going wrong with the design. We’d concentrated too much on the new approach without properly accounting for what 3.5handled well. We’d provided player characters with constantlyrenewing powers, but hadn’t successfully parsed the necessarydistinctions between powers that were always available andpowers that had limited uses. 

Flywheel Team: May 2006 to September 2006 
Team: Rob Heinsoo (lead), Andy Collins, Mike Mearls,David Noonan, and Jesse Decker. 
Mission: Move closer to 3.5 by dealing properly withpowers and resources that could be used at-will, once perencounter, or once per day. 
Outcome: A playable draft that went over to the teams that would actually write the Player’s Handbook and the Monster Manual.



In the Races and Classes book, it's mentioned that Rob Heinsoo is the Mechanical Design Team Lead, so he's the guy in charge of conceptualizing (mostly).  Mike Mearls is the Mechanical Development Team Lead, so he's the guy in charge of the execution (mostly).
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Nostalgia is the chain that keeps you from jumping so far into your "progress" that you wind up leaping off a cliff. If the D&D team hadn't been so focused on jettisoning the old for the new and exciting, they wouldn't have split the fanbase so badly in the first place.



Nostaligia can also be a chain with lead weights that keeps systems, organizations, and even civilizations from getting rid of outdated and sometimes harmful things that no longer work.  Frankly IMHO this is very much the case with DnD.  I agree that Wotc and the Devs at the time of 4E's developement did a very poor job of selling the new edition as DnD and did an even worse job at being sensitive to what their customers wanted.  However, IMHO Wotc is about to repeat the very same error with the customers they HAVE in order to chase customers that have already given up on DnD (or at least Wotc) sometimes multiple times (and more than a decade in many cases).

This is simply foolish.

In hindsight, I think the shattering of the playerbase when DnD was actually really modernized  for the first time ever (i.e. the first time really modern techniques were used and old 'sacred cows' were really held against modern gaming design standards and found wanting), was inevitable.  Let's face it.  Structurally, in terms of basic playability and balance, 4e is far and away the best edition that has ever been made because it was designed that way from the ground up.  Not even 3E could say that (as it's rife balance issues proved). 

However, as was famously put...."Here is the rest of the story".

The rest of the story can IMHO be traced back to the 1980s and through the 1990s.  Those that gamed then will no doubt remember that in terms of tabletop gaming, this was the wild-wild-west of gaming.  No idea was too outre, no scenario or setting was too outlandish, and no mechanic was too wierd to at least be tried....and they were.  That means that gaming and knowledge of both gaming design and gaming psychology made huge strides during this period of time, especially in the 1990s, and the MMOs and Computer Games directly benefited from this new knowledge base.   However, other RPGs did too and progessively got better and better....to the point where when TSR was going bankrupt, DnD was largely regarded as a dinosaur of a game, cute but antiquated.  It was the eccentric game that got people into the hobby (at least until the early 1990s) but was quickly discarded for "better" systems.  This was verified by Wotc's own marketing research teams when they took over TSR.

I should say almost all the games and gaming moderized and used the new ideas of gaming design and psychology but one.  That one, was the 800lb gorilla in the industry and acted like it had a virtual monopoly on TRPGs....basically because it did.  TSR's attitude towards DnD was from 1989 (and really since 1978) until TSR went bankrupt was, "We are DnD.  We are the superior #1 RPG.  We won't change because we don't have to."  Result:  You have and had an entire generation of DnD players that got hooked into one very archaic way of playing the game and got those habits entrenched.  Those players that didn't usually went on to play other games (like Storyteller, Hero, Gurps, and many others).

Wotc in 2000 had a problem, and lucked out.  By putting DnD on an open liscence and by unifying the mechanics into a simple d20+mod vs DC, they managed to actually clean up much of the muck while still keeping DnD looking and feeling much like DnD.  Of course the idea that they were SAVING DnD from extinction gave them much needed lattitude and approval that Wotc would later squander.  However, even 3e ducked the issue of an increasingly older, and reactionary playerbase.  The brutal fact is that 3E would have been a cutting edge game....in 1985.  As it was it bought DND some time, but (again IMHO) that time was squandered.

Now Wotc under Hasbro has to make corporate sales targets, which a TRPG can't make (and never has been able to make), and now faces a playbase that is shattered.  Why?  Because in 2008, Wotc decided (correctly I think) that if DnD were to survive, the game would have to be modernized to appeal to the next generation.  What Wotc incorrectly assumed was that their old guard would go along with it.  I think the open revolt against a system that in most respect is actually genuinely better in most respects (far from perfect I hasten to add) has come to Wotc as a complete shock that they still haven't gotten over. 

Here is my advice.  The answer is not a Hot Tub Time Machine back to 1982.  The answer is to consolidate the customer loyalty you have left, and try to expand from there.

-Polaris



Very good post.

"The answer is not a Hot Tub Time Machine back to 1982.  The answer is to consolidate the customer loyalty you have left, and try to expand from there."
Nostalgia is the chain that keeps you from jumping so far into your "progress" that you wind up leaping off a cliff. If the D&D team hadn't been so focused on jettisoning the old for the new and exciting, they wouldn't have split the fanbase so badly in the first place.



Nostaligia can also be a chain with lead weights that keeps systems, organizations, and even civilizations from getting rid of outdated and sometimes harmful things that no longer work.  Frankly IMHO this is very much the case with DnD.  I agree that Wotc and the Devs at the time of 4E's developement did a very poor job of selling the new edition as DnD and did an even worse job at being sensitive to what their customers wanted.  However, IMHO Wotc is about to repeat the very same error with the customers they HAVE in order to chase customers that have already given up on DnD (or at least Wotc) sometimes multiple times (and more than a decade in many cases).

This is simply foolish.

In hindsight, I think the shattering of the playerbase when DnD was actually really modernized  for the first time ever (i.e. the first time really modern techniques were used and old 'sacred cows' were really held against modern gaming design standards and found wanting), was inevitable.  Let's face it.  Structurally, in terms of basic playability and balance, 4e is far and away the best edition that has ever been made because it was designed that way from the ground up.  Not even 3E could say that (as it's rife balance issues proved). 

However, as was famously put...."Here is the rest of the story".

The rest of the story can IMHO be traced back to the 1980s and through the 1990s.  Those that gamed then will no doubt remember that in terms of tabletop gaming, this was the wild-wild-west of gaming.  No idea was too outre, no scenario or setting was too outlandish, and no mechanic was too wierd to at least be tried....and they were.  That means that gaming and knowledge of both gaming design and gaming psychology made huge strides during this period of time, especially in the 1990s, and the MMOs and Computer Games directly benefited from this new knowledge base.   However, other RPGs did too and progessively got better and better....to the point where when TSR was going bankrupt, DnD was largely regarded as a dinosaur of a game, cute but antiquated.  It was the eccentric game that got people into the hobby (at least until the early 1990s) but was quickly discarded for "better" systems.  This was verified by Wotc's own marketing research teams when they took over TSR.

I should say almost all the games and gaming moderized and used the new ideas of gaming design and psychology but one.  That one, was the 800lb gorilla in the industry and acted like it had a virtual monopoly on TRPGs....basically because it did.  TSR's attitude towards DnD was from 1989 (and really since 1978) until TSR went bankrupt was, "We are DnD.  We are the superior #1 RPG.  We won't change because we don't have to."  Result:  You have and had an entire generation of DnD players that got hooked into one very archaic way of playing the game and got those habits entrenched.  Those players that didn't usually went on to play other games (like Storyteller, Hero, Gurps, and many others).

Wotc in 2000 had a problem, and lucked out.  By putting DnD on an open liscence and by unifying the mechanics into a simple d20+mod vs DC, they managed to actually clean up much of the muck while still keeping DnD looking and feeling much like DnD.  Of course the idea that they were SAVING DnD from extinction gave them much needed lattitude and approval that Wotc would later squander.  However, even 3e ducked the issue of an increasingly older, and reactionary playerbase.  The brutal fact is that 3E would have been a cutting edge game....in 1985.  As it was it bought DND some time, but (again IMHO) that time was squandered.

Now Wotc under Hasbro has to make corporate sales targets, which a TRPG can't make (and never has been able to make), and now faces a playbase that is shattered.  Why?  Because in 2008, Wotc decided (correctly I think) that if DnD were to survive, the game would have to be modernized to appeal to the next generation.  What Wotc incorrectly assumed was that their old guard would go along with it.  I think the open revolt against a system that in most respect is actually genuinely better in most respects (far from perfect I hasten to add) has come to Wotc as a complete shock that they still haven't gotten over. 

Here is my advice.  The answer is not a Hot Tub Time Machine back to 1982.  The answer is to consolidate the customer loyalty you have left, and try to expand from there.

-Polaris



Very good post.

"The answer is not a Hot Tub Time Machine back to 1982.  The answer is to consolidate the customer loyalty you have left, and try to expand from there."


There's no +1 button, so I'll just quote this a bit.  An eloquent and perspicacious analysis.
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.
As I recall, Polaris' hostility back then was less towards 4E and more towards WotC, particularly in regards to the OGL.
...whatever
Going back to the OP, yeah 3E going into 4E divided the community, but you know what? Dividing the community generally means dividing the community, which involves more than one side. The issue isnt that everybody hated 4E and it should be discarded and forgotten, it's that 4E was both hated and loved, and WotC now finds itself having to deal with both, to it's own peril.
...whatever
Until the advent of 4e, D&D never faced a serious competitor in the rpg market.  You can claim all you want about this or that but it is true.  Even going out of business, D&D was trumping the nearest competitor (white wolf) at the time.  

TSR was mismanaged into the ground and it was excessive costs due to investments in junk that sunk them and NOT a lack of sales of their core product.

So yes we've always had groups out there playing other games but they were nobodies compared to D&D.  

So the amazing question that comes up is why completely redesign a game that has that level of market penetration.  If GM had that level of market penetration you could drive for an hour without seeing another make.  It was insanity.  What you miss Polaris is that you are part of a small griping minority that does not represent the vast group that has loved D&D all along.  Yes we may recognize some warts and want some improvements.  We didn't want a totally new game.

Pathfinder is a prime example of this strength.  A nobody company, made a game, and came out of nowhere to overtake the giant of the industry.  And I give Paizo credit for being a good company.  But still such a thing is pretty unusual.  I think the fact that Pathfinder is at least a version of D&D and not a completely rewritten game is why it's winning now.  The D&D name is what even keeps 4e in the running.  You change the name of 4e to Wayfinder and you'd see half the 4e playerbase likely go to Pathfinder.  Many play D&D because it's got the D&D name not because they love the new design.

So if 5e returns to being a recognizable form of traditional D&D, I expect the game to sell like wildfire.  

Try turning a Harley Davidson motorcycle into a Yamaha and see what that fanbase does.  It probably involves things far worse than the coments on these boards.  Not everything old is bad.  The process of game design of pen and paper games is iterative and not always progressive.  





 
I saw that article when they posted it.  Did they ever get a transcript up?  These kids today and their talking videos.... *mumble grumble*



I'm totally with you on this, it will take me 1 minute to read what will take me two minutes to watch.
So at the end...we just going to put old stuff in the game, and not to design or develope brand new mechanics, concepts and break paradigms to please a player base that won't last long, instead of attracting new players.



Please point me to the previous edition that contained Advantage/Disadvantage and Bounded Accuracy.  I can't seem to find it. 
If that's all they got, they better give up now. Advantage/disadvantage smacks of 'mother may I' and bounded accuracy is meh at best.
...whatever
Bounded Accuracy is a fake concept, a fake mechanic, a PR stunt... Even the blog post by the developer that explained it, show how little he know about game design (and even that he had no idea of how 4e DC worked).

Adventage and Disadventage is just re-roll and take highest/lowest instead of having positive or negative modifiers, it's the same....just slower at the table.  Hell the concept of roll twice and take the highest/lowest was already on 4e with some powers and abilities (it was the avenger's stable on 4e).

And if you have someone to "blame" for AEUD, it's Rob Heinsoo, after all 4e was his baby. How do he dare to try to go beyond what people "feel" is D&D. 
And now, in response to the tyranny of fun, we have the tyranny of "feel".
...whatever
The thing is, I'm currently a paying customer, most of those wanting a return to older editions' style aren't. They may become paying customers, but I certainly won't be if the current design trends hold out. This interview is just another few minutes of MM telling  me the game I want will not be in Next.



In the business world you will always hear the management trying to get the paying customer over the current.  It is just the way corporate is.  Reference DC's new 52.  it was a risk to gain new readers.



CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!

I’ve removed content from this thread because trolling/baiting is a violation of the Code of Conduct.


You can review the Code of Conduct here: company.wizards.com/conduct


Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively.


If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.

The thing is, I'm currently a paying customer, most of those wanting a return to older editions' style aren't. They may become paying customers, but I certainly won't be if the current design trends hold out. This interview is just another few minutes of MM telling  me the game I want will not be in Next.



In the business world you will always hear the management trying to get the paying customer over the current.  It is just the way corporate is.  Reference DC's new 52.  it was a risk to gain new readers.



Funny thing the New 52 DC pulled flooded  the Marvel forums with people  demanding Marvel do the same thing, although they did do it years earlier then DC with the New Universe thing, mostly people hollering about how the crossover of this summer totally destroyed their childhood Avengers and how Marvel should reboot to X, where X is the year that particular poster was in middle school.

Marvel by the way surprisingly showed some balls and has not rebooted, in a major way like 52 minor retcons are inevitable.

Now I'm not the All Seeing Guardian of all there is RPG but I do frequent other forums/play other systems and I've never seen a we're going back to the 80's thing, ok maybe White wolf but that was a  straight up reprint and I thnik before 5e was announced.
The thing is, I'm currently a paying customer, most of those wanting a return to older editions' style aren't. They may become paying customers, but I certainly won't be if the current design trends hold out. This interview is just another few minutes of MM telling  me the game I want will not be in Next.



In the business world you will always hear the management trying to get the paying customer over the current.  It is just the way corporate is.  Reference DC's new 52.  it was a risk to gain new readers.



Funny thing the New 52 DC pulled flooded  the Marvel forums with people  demanding Marvel do the same thing, although they did do it years earlier then DC with the New Universe thing, mostly people hollering about how the crossover of this summer totally destroyed their childhood Avengers and how Marvel should reboot to X, where X is the year that particular poster was in middle school.

Marvel by the way surprisingly showed some balls and has not rebooted, in a major way like 52 minor retcons are inevitable.

Now I'm not the All Seeing Guardian of all there is RPG but I do frequent other forums/play other systems and I've never seen a we're going back to the 80's thing, ok maybe White wolf but that was a  straight up reprint and I thnik before 5e was announced.



Marvel is however doing its Marvel NOW thing whatever that really is.  I think it is an attempt to bring the 616 in line with the Avengers film universe.  Marvel now is not a reboot though, but the books will begin again 1.  Because that is a significant event... a book restarting at 1.

Who even knows at this point.  The A vs X did not destroy the 'childhood avengers'.  Bendis did reimagine them after civil war bringing spidey and wolverine in.  I for one like them, even though they are not my childhood avengers, and I like A vs X. 

CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!

This interview is very sad. Mearls thinks he’s going to make the 4E crowd happy with a tactical module and grid rules. He thinks getting rid of NADs is going to restore the "feel" of D&D. Very poor choices for a 10 minute conversation.

"The most important thing is the feel"

Gosh, couldn´t be more disappointed.

Most important things are is the game well designed and is it fun. WoW has issues, but it's fun and well designed. Shadowrun, back in the day, was fun (never found a group when I went off to college). Shadowrun: Seattle MUSH was not fun because it took months to get tie character approved to play on the IC grid only to die 5m later because you were exploring and happened to run into the middle of a gang fight (true story) so the GM running the combat declared it legal to pk you.

Right now, Next is boring my group and is forcing me to use Vancian magic if I want to play a wizard - no option to remove it for another style.
And now, in response to the tyranny of fun, we have the tyranny of "feel".



Yes, we get it, this is your new catch-phrase.

I was looking at the DDM rules again the other day, and 4th Ed really is an expanded version of that, which is great, excellent game, but not a progression of 1st though 3rd Ed.

5th Ed definitely has me interested again, after getting disillusioned DMing 4th Ed. 
And if you have someone to "blame" for AEUD, it's Rob Heinsoo, after all 4e was his baby. How do he dare to try to go beyond what people "feel" is D&D. 


Actually, Rob Heinsoo was supposed to be designing a not-D&D TRPG.  Mike Mearls is the guy responsible for giving everyone "mechanics that worked in 3.5E" (dailies) and removing interesting alternatives from player options (like the recharge mechanic, which is now monster-only in 4E, and other stuff that can be found in Book of Nine Swords).  Heinsoo was lead design, but Mike Mearls was lead developer.
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging

This interview is very sad. Mearls thinks he’s going to make the 4E crowd happy with a tactical module and grid rules. He thinks getting rid of NADs is going to restore the "feel" of D&D. Very poor choices for a 10 minute conversation.

"The most important thing is the feel"

Gosh, couldn´t be more disappointed.



The very fact that everyone stereotyped 4E players into "tactics and grid"[1] is very appalling, especially on the part of the developers.  While I can somewhat agree that making more use of ability checks/saving throws is closer to original D&D, removing the classic Fortitude/Reflex/Will saves and replacing them with Constitution/Dexterity/Wisdom saves and adding Strength/Intelligence/Charisma saves almost sounds like D&D 3.5E's "save vs. death", "save vs. disease", "save vs. wands", etc. except it's simpler than that... at the cost of apparently ignoring every other edition's penchant for using just the three basic saves[2]; honestly, I doubt an "Intelligence save" would work outside of... knowledge drain?  Mindflayer suck-your-brains attack? And it effectively forces those who never really bothered with detailed monster stats in 4E to actually consider stats, because instead of monsters being HP + AC + non-AC Defenses (which usually was just AC - 2) + level + damage + whatever cool stuff you could think of, it's now all 6 stats (because all are needed to determine the various saving throws as well as HP) + HP + AC + level + damage + whatever cool stuff you could think of; that's a total of 11 things to work with, versus just 6 [5 if you don't bother differentiating between Fort, Ref and Will of the monster at creation time].

What Mike Mearls & co. are apparently ignoring is that 4E's strengths lie not in the tactics and the grid, but in the fact that it is a lot easier to DM and more robust a system than before, and that it's very hard to make a mechanically broken character (either extreme), which means that on an average table, a single spell or a string of spells won't negate the need for non-martial characters during combat, and while magic is still powerful and seemingly broken when it comes to rituals, it's usually the mundane method that's faster and more reliable.  5 minute workdays?  Can happen regardless of system but 4E provides incentives to push through by providing once-per-fight abilities that are an in-between of at-will and daily, without forcing the DM to invoke the "no you can't rest for 8 hours" card (be it in the form of random encounters or what not).

The strength of 4E is that while you have a strong mechanical base, you're impeded only by the DM's rulings as well as your own imagination.  I've been DMing 4E for several years already, and I love it for that very fact, so those who want to play it "safe" could always use just their powers, then you could always go beyond the character sheet via improvisation.

13th Age gave me new insight on DMing, and at the same time took 4E's strengths[3] and dropped most of its weaknesses[4], as well as provided elements from other TRPGs.  That's why I'm actually on the fence: do I try to incorporate 13th Age elements into my D&D Next game, or do I try to incorporate D&D Next elements into my 13th Age game?[5]

Again, JUST adding a tactical module in D&D Next is the wrong way to please the 4E crowd.  Removing spellcaster superiority over non-casters, providing mechanics that help non-casters retain parity with the spellcasters, in addition to proper guidelines on how to effectively handle improvisation as well as incentives for improvising instead of just "I attack", but most of all provide equal opportunities to all classes to handle a variety of situations effectively, while making the game itself an effective means of conveying not rules, but imagination.  THAT is what would likely please the 4E crowd.

0E made the "mundane" man the hero, and was preferred over the casters.  3E made the casters more preferrable, up until the advent of Tome of Battle (and even then casters were still the better of the lot).  4E brought back the "mundane" man as the hero (more or less), with a more modern and action hero spin to it. D&D Next lovers praise it for making the "mundane" man the hero (ala 2E and before), but critics are looking at stuff like the warrior cleric and the scaling magic missile, and worry about the return of a 3E caster superiority, especially considering 1) WotC history, 2) Mike Mearls/Monte Cook preference for 3E and system mastery, and 3) no real emphasis over what "Improvisation" is capable of, which means that it takes a veteran group that's comfortable with improvisation to actually enjoy the said action.

Allow us "4vengers" to make our own Heracles, Alexander the Great, Vlad the Impaler, Cu Chulain, Bruce Lee, or Hulk, by the rules, without having to resort to "DM may I?"... or if we have to go through "DM may I?", at least provide a set of guidelines like how "failing forward" works (you know, almost any sort of improvisation automatically works, just roll to see if there's a complication involved).  Then, we'll probably be fine.
1

If you ask me, tactics and strategy simply can't be "modularized", because both are relevant in terms of how people handle their combat, and go side by side.  Strategy happens pre-combat, tactics happen in-combat (and pre-4E, tactics usually involved improvisation). 

2

D&D 4E simply moved the saving throw mechanic into the hands of the attacker, with the defending party getting the +10 for consistency's sake, just like how AC is 10+bonus.  It's very easy to modify 4E to reflect pre-4E mechanics by subtracting 10 from the Non-AC defenses, and then making the defending target roll a total of 10 or better.  Similarly, it's very easy to modify pre-4E systems to the 4E defense mechanic by adding 10 to the saving throws and making the attacker roll.

3

Solid but flexible rules base that elegantly merges into a complete system, tactical elements, provides players with some narrative control [in 4E they'd be the skills as well as rituals], and providing incentives to avoid the 5-minute workday.

4

Being married to the grid (at least for significant combat), slow combat from having too many choices at any given time, providing DMs with only very few alternative rules for their table (if any at all), no options for simple characters pre-Essentials, using only one mechanic to rule them all pre-PHB 3 -- AEDU, with PHB 3 removing the E combat mechanic and replacing it with a power point mechanic, and Essentials giving martial classes without the D combat mechanic, in both cases their missing encounter/daily mechanic was left to utility powers -- and too much bonus-stacking.

5

Although to be honest I'm seriously considering using 4E minions either way; the D&D Next "minions" in the current playtest were WAY too soft *anyway* -- no damage on a miss made them at *least* a little tougher -- and the 13th Age mooks seem too complicated to handle due to the fact that you have an HP pool and mook HP threshold to manage.
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
So I'm going to take for granted that your view of things is accurate.  I totally dispute this fact but for the purposes of my questions I'm assuming your right.


Removing spellcaster superiority over non-casters,


If there is a subset of classes that cover the basic archetypes is that acceptable?  If there is a magic user that you feel is sufficiently depowered for your game but there also exists another that in your mind is overpowered is that ok?  Because honestly we just don't agree on what is and is not overpowered.  And I shouldn't have to suffer with a less fun game just because you see something I don't.  


providing mechanics that help non-casters retain parity with the spellcasters,


If there are a variety of martial classes that have advanced manuevers and some that don't is that ok?


in addition to proper guidelines on how to effectively handle improvisation as well as incentives for improvising instead of just "I attack", but most of all provide equal opportunities to all classes to handle a variety of situations effectively, while making the game itself an effective means of conveying not rules, but imagination.  THAT is what would likely please the 4E crowd.



You see that we have 3 editions of people that think one way and 1 edition of people that think the other.  We can't just meet all 4e expectations and trash the ideas or concerns of the other editions.  But surely if the game is fully configurable to a 4e playstyle that should be sufficient.  You may not like the fact that some space is wasted on pre-4e stuff but remember that some of it is also being wasted on 4e stuff too.  

And if you say that you don't want a game with stuff you can't use and you want our stuff out then I'll have to say that if they kick some group out it will be the smallest group.  

I for one don't feel the need to kick anyone out but I also won't buy a game that doesn't have the fun elements of D&D that have existed in every edition until 4e.