15 things to do if you would want to sell D&D Next to me.

The bad news: As people moved away from D&D if you want to get them back, you should offer much more than your competitors to make us leave our current favorite game. A "bit more than 4E" won't cut it. Here is a loong list of what could change my mind and go to D&D camp


Structure

  • Instead of current cycle of: "Facing an encounter, overcoming it, getting reward, advanced on your path defined by system" type cycle and "flow" mental state please focus on a different cycle described in detail at end of the document. 

  • In combat round too: Player should be able to think in character which requires freedom instead of standardized actions (options, etc). Such writen down action should be examples and following them should be optional. 
    Characters should be able to "specialize" not only in weapons, but in practiced combat maneuvers (feats) which could give them an advantage over a less trained character who just improvises same action. These bonuses should be in with other specialization bonuses. This way you could keep the advantages of feat system and advantages of previous freedom in same game.

  • Advancedment path for: xp, story advancement, wealth, political power, fulfilling personal goal should be fully indepent. I don't want to see a 3rd level beggar richer than a 1st level emperor because wealth comes for level type junk again.


Character design

  • Racial limitations (maximums, inability to wield some kind of magic) would add a good element back to the game. It can be a good optional rule included in core book. (If you let players customize races a bit for characters with odd heritage, I would be even happier.) On the other hand racial "advantages" should also make sense. If elves are described as graceful they should have more dex than a clumsy dwarf or a human. Racial maximums and modifiers should actually match what you should see In Character.

  • Character design should make sense from in character perspective. When your character has IC reasons to learn something it should be learnable (if they have enough points). And the Players should be able to create their own background stories, etc. 

  • I would suggest that there shoud be class customization, as noone learns all class features. A good class customization can let PCs to adapt to new things by learning new "skills and powers" without multiclassing.  See old 2e Skills and Powers, and Spells and Magic books for ideas, but less contradicting rules and bugs pls.


Cost

  • Sell content, not power: No pay to win type pricing with costs we can't foresee (how many stronger books come out this way?)

  • Miniatures shouldn't be required

  • For a new player to try the game the costs should be minimal, and they should be able to progress forward. Some fully compatible yet cheap quick start is recommended. Its price should be affordable for students at very least everywhere in USA and EU. But I encourage to let players from Brazil, etc. afford it easily. If 3 core books make Next too expensive for many, I am gone. 


Content

  • If you aim to offer enough depth too, we need more setting focused accessory, not multiple volumes of PHB, keep them coming.

  • I know you don't want to bring back Dragon, Dungeon to printed form, but I would prefer full actual magazines and not only subscriber only articles on page. For Dungeon, some adventures would be good. It can be fan made content too.

  • When you design new classes, etc. please tie them with setting, and so for a game in a given region, core books + setting books (no more than 3) + regional books (no more than 3) + adventure should be more than enough.


Trust

  • PDF issue: Sadly doctors said me I shouldn't carry a lot of weight. Once I went to a convention, the amount of AD&D books was so much, that my sports bag gave up. It didn't do much good for my health. As I can't bring much rulebooks with me, I would insist on bringing my notebook. For me, electronic versions of books accessible offline, as we can run games where there is no WiFi, etc. are essential. I know there are other people with various levels of disabilities, so PDFs must be supported. Such people will either buy PDF or scan, or can't play. I was in this scenario for years, and it wasn't fun. I would prefer if purchase of a hardcopy book would allow downloading the PDF without paying twice. (Maybe using a serial number in book to even register it!)

  • As I see how you had important features you used as "selling points" stay in development for years, how can we count on your announced features then? How should we decide if Insider will work or not? I dont want to be deceived again.

  • Trust in dev process and support: Some of your employees reduced the trust by their actions and making it hard for the feedback to reach developers. I would appreciate if they would be replaced by better team. I know that demanding the heads of some people isn't nice, but they earned this the hard way. I hope I don't have to repeat this part at Hasbro AGM. Players who don't like 4E, etc. should be respected, and when people jump on them, they should be protected from insults. Such threads should be actively looken into by developers to make sure we can believe you listen to us. 


Details about suggested game structure

Campaign Structure


The game is defined by long term goals, of both individual characters, the party, and some factions the party has ties with. To reach these goals the charaters should follow "storylines", where each and every storyline is built from adventures with different hooks.


In a campaign instead of only focusing one storyline, it should be somewhat common to focus on differnt parts of storyline. See goals of Raistlin, the love of Riverwind, etc. being part of Dragonlance sage. So different storylines are connected.


More focus on the personal goals of the character can be used to create story balance or to reward a player. (Right now Encounter design shouldn't move like this)


As the characters have freedom to move wherever they want encounter balance should be optional. (Sandbox gameplay should be supported)


As we seen in Dragonlance, we seen a "powerful wizard" and some inexperienced waitress in the story, parties where characters are different level should be supported. It should include master-student relationship, where the master (high level PC) can intentionally use some encounters as "safe" challenges for the lower level PC. 


Advancing in level, wealth, other kind of power and any kind of story advancement should be fully independent, and should support cases when PCs use their freedom a lot (if sandbox gameplay creates side adventures).


When players experience something, their in character reaction should be respected. So if a meele fighter wants to learn archery because swordplay didn't work, he should be able to do so as soon as he learns something new. (At some cost, perhaps with class customization, wizards should be able to learn some weapons as well)


Leveling up should require experiencelearning (from master), practice (time), refining abilities actively. So at least optional rules should be present that limit rate of leveling up based on these factors. If you do this, people won't try to maximize XP, and would focus more on roleplaying (hopefully).


Adventure Structure


Here I wouldn't change much. Except I would recommend each and every published adventure should have some mini encounters as hooks. Some of these hooks should be ran before the adventure (while players focus on previous one) and some of them should be run after main adventure so players can experience consequences. (Including their fame)


Encounter Types


In current game you try to keep encounters challenging and offer a reward for finishing them. We should play the game for fun and not for xp. For this gameplay should be varied. Having combat and skill challenges isn't enough, and not all encounters should be challenging. While I think I could list hundreds of desired encounter types I think, here is a short list with more general categories of encounters.



  • Moral choice

  • Choice between different goals

  • Personal sacrifice (lose something, gain spotlight, recognition)

  • Consequences: getting cold, because you didn't prepare

  • Experience: Meeting someone or something unusual 

  • Vista: Seeing something nice

  • Discussion: Letting PCs discuss their values and refine their view on the world

  • Contests (competitive skill challenges)

  • "Moments of Glory and achievement": Where something that was once hard became trivial and they are celebrated for it.

  • Competitive scenes, where 2 or more players want the same thing, but only one would get it. The DM might know who will (for balance, etc) but players can roleplay. Also when the rogue and the cleric wants to "chase" the same girl (too bad she is taken already)

  • Managing existing properties of players (if they have earned land and title, or opened a shop)

  • Being recoginized: When PCs are recognized, they might have to deal with unwanted followers (In a peaceful way)

  • Negotiation

  • Riddles, puzles, that aren't skill based

  • Anything that foreshadows a later encounter or adventure. They should be able to react to it.

  • Dejavu / flashback: Anything that makes them remember to an earlier encounter or adventure and react to the memory.


As these encounters aren't always rewarding or challenging, the current encounter design rules, etc. should be changed.


The other key aspect to encounters is immersion.


For this an Encounter should have several phases.



  • Description: The DM describes what the PCs see, etc.

  • First reaction: Both the PCs and the other group has its first reaction. It can be influenced by dice roll, see old encounter reaction roll mechanic. There can be plenty of modifiers.

  • Interaction: How players interact with the encounter. What they want, how they keep reacting, etc.

  • Conclusion: When you actually "overcome" the reaction and seen where it will lead. In combat you will fight in this part, etc. 

  • Consequences


As you see while challenge is possible (even tactical combat) in this structure, it is just more flexible. Players can even run the current type of encounters with this system if they want, but gain far more flexibility.


Combat round


The issue with current combat is: It looks like if characters would stop to play chess. How to make combat more cinamatic? Here is the structure of revised combat round:



  1. Initiative: Initiative is rolled either before the combat and only changes in special circumstances

  2. Description: As first step the DM describes what the characters can see, etc. also he can represent it on map (optional)

  3. Announcement: Characters from worst initiative to best describe what they want to do. So anyone who reacts quicker has a tactical advantage. No need to announce delaying, interrupting when you want to act, etc. They describe things in terms of setting and only tell relevant powers (for modifiers) in terms of system after. To reflect fast paced nature of combat, the players shouldn't stop to think, they should announce their plans immediately. If they wait, they would "skip" turn. (They should think in advance)

  4. Ruling: The DM assigns modifiers for actions, and rules out any action that would be impossible. (Catching a much faster foe). He can announce it by saying it, or by use tokens, written modifiers, etc. he can prepare while others describe their actions. 

  5. Resolution: The characters can roll their dice as soon as the DM told them their modifiers. They don't wait for modifiers for others. So dice rolls and calculating results can happen the same time as Ruling phase. When the DM stoped speaking, characters from fastest to highest should tell the results of roll. If a such roll could make a later action impossible or a contest fail, the player who "failed" to act can quickly say "next".

  6. Conclusion: The DM describes what happened in terms of setting, etc. the description can continue with next rounds description phase uninterrupted. Players be prepared to react quickly.


If you give freedom in describing their actions to characters it is pretty cinematic. The DM and party can use examples, guidelines, etc. just as much as they can new feats and options now. And if optional rules can limit player choice to written down options (or worse yet: Cards, if you want a CCG based expansion to the game as optional rule) it can simulate current tactical options and feats well. 

While I hate card based thing I have to note: The card based solution can work with player owned or DM assigned cards. If the cards aren't collectible, but DM assigned and represent the situation, announcement and ruling part can be lightning fast. So numerous playing styles can be supported.

That's some in-depth analysis. Shouldn't this be in the D&D Next General Discussion forum, though?
that's not wholy analysis, a large chunk of it is just general "how to run a good game" knowledge that could be applied to any RPG, with a twist, it's all formulated in a way to express a dislike of D&D Next... without much validity


to the OP: a lot of what you are saying is unrelated to any system. Also: whyu are you saying miniatures are imposed on you? It's so easy to deal without them now 

That's some in-depth analysis. Shouldn't this be in the D&D Next General Discussion forum, though?


As you see it is a complex topics. Some could say this analysis is in each and every guide telling us about how to run a good game. They have a point, it is mostly true. But lets see what that assumption implies: If these points are in each and every guide, but D&D Next works differently from them in several areas, then it ignores all the guides and knowledge about how to run a good game. So I beg to difer here.


I just say D&D Next has a very different perspective than me or those guides, and defines roleplaying differently, and there can be historical and bussiness reasons to do so. And if they want to sell the game they should take different perspectives into account for the whole design process. I think, even if the key stuff is generic advice it holds true.


Of course you can call me naive here. You will see why, and you will see why I don't trust Wizards much. I have reasons to say getting me back as a customer, and making me want to recommend their game on pages or in person isn't possible without removing some part of their staff. And I have reason to decide if things continue this way even in playtest period such questions could be addressed at AGM, as I consider the issue serious enough for that. At that point I shouldn't expect the best scenario but we should go with that. 


You know my view on Next: Wizards wants to sell a product to me, and as when they alienated me I found other games, I have no reason to buy and due to some issues I pointed to I have no reason to trust them. Their challenge is twofold. Make a system I want to use, and restore trust. Without that I have no reason to consider D&D. If they do anything less, I won't buy it. Their purpose for asking for feedback is either trying to know what would make us buy and we should be as honest as possible, or just prentending that they listen to us. So if I want to help them, give them a chance to win me back (it isn't needed) it is best to post honest feedback as feedback.


And General Discussion is designed for discussion with players, and not as a feedback for developers for consideration. And it is feedback about playtest process and its chance of success / failure too. There players are free to think threads are make to tell things to players and fans, and not to management, and would respond based on this. I learned that the hard way. Some of the responses would be rude, and when I see insults, things would be a mess. Not because of you or me. But because how this place works. Do I have to explain it more why it isn't General Discussion? 


What kind of feedback it is?


I had a liberty to choose which perspective I am going to take.


Have 4 different perspectives


I can take the perspective of a player. And tell them what would I want as player.


I can take the perspective of a DM.


As Hasbro is a publicly traded company, and I just love the stock market, my perspective can be focused on my investment in Hasbro stock.


I will probably review the game. And I can take that perspective. 


I have evaluated most of these approaches and I decided how would I run (DM) the game is most relevant and important. 

Honestly, you have some good suggestions in there and some I am not on board with.... but what you really want is EnerlaNet-RPG.  One that is exactly what you want, nothing more and nothing less. If it doesn't satisfy all your needs, it won't be good enough.

You complain that WotC is going for a money grab by trying to make 5E/Next a modulized, core + lots of options, then you ask that 5E be just exactly that.  Just about everything is optional with just about every type of play possible.  Either that, or we are back to _your_ RPG in which case you'd be better served making one yourself or continuing to cherry-pick from the one closest to it.

But, with your current negative attitude, I seriously doubt there's any chance of moving your meter towards a more positive rating outside of either getting someone to get you to sit down with an open mind and really try Next with the idea that you are only expecting to have fun (seems unlikely)... or you get WotC to take you on a lead consultant and game designer so that you can make EnerlaNet-RPG and slap D&D on top of it. 
Honestly, you have some good suggestions in there and some I am not on board with.... but what you really want is EnerlaNet-RPG.  One that is exactly what you want, nothing more and nothing less. If it doesn't satisfy all your needs, it won't be good enough.



You have a car, yes? What would you tell if a dealership would try to explain to you, that you should replace it with a car that costs more, but less good for you, so it is a worse deal? And sadly currently D&D Next isn't only a bit worse, but much worse. 


You complain that WotC is going for a money grab by trying to make 5E/Next a modulized, core + lots of options, then you ask that 5E be just exactly that.


The issue isn't wit modulized, core + options, etc. the issue is with some conceptual problems with design. And sadly as long as some issues stay as core and not a pack of options you can chose, and it wouldn't be easy to override there is a rule that gets in the way of fun. And while other games are clearly better I have no reason to buy their books. Easy as this. 


 Just about everything is optional with just about every type of play possible.  Either that, or we are back to _your_ RPG in which case you'd be better served making one yourself or continuing to cherry-pick from the one closest to it.




No need to continue cherry-picking. I have found my favorites. I play them. As I said it I would forget my current favorite, forget my characters, etc. that would be only for a serious reason. D&D had this chance too, but right now the current favorite enjoys it.


And it isn't only my case. I hate patfhinder. But I know people who love it. If they enjoy pathfinder more than D&D Next, they will continue to play and buy Pathfinder too. Why? Because they have no reason to switch to D&D. 


 


But, with your current negative attitude, I seriously doubt there's any chance of moving your meter towards a more positive rating outside of either getting someone to get you to sit down with an open mind and really try Next with the idea that you are only expecting to have fun (seems unlikely)...



There is nothing negative about it. I know how much time, how much money I have, and how many systems I am willing to play. Either D&D is in the best candidates for there and trust issue is helped (and Wizards broken that trust not once) to make it possible, or no reason to buy D&D.



or you get WotC to take you on a lead consultant and game designer so that you can make EnerlaNet-RPG and slap D&D on top of it. 


I wouldn't design a game for WotC, at least not as a game design for any D&D edition. I spoke about evolution of RPGs and how they moved more and more towards immersion. I seen games where there are actual explanations about why and how magic works in the setting, and of course spells in a such game is very different from D&D. They can't just adjust the level of the spell for balancing reasons, etc. Publishers in Central Europe, some independent publishers, etc. used this approach, and I enjoy it more. I love that direction, but that would't work as D&D.  


If I would move back to D&D, I would have to give up such system for magic. Which is huge step back for me. But yet, I gave D&D a fair chance. But it means if I give up this, D&D should be significantly better in all other aspects. It isn't impossible. It isn't even really hard. But D&D won't cut it.


Sadly the moment when I enter the first combat as DM or Player, D&D is a turn off. Why? Because I know what my character would do in character, but I see the game is designed in a way where as player I have to chose between different options that are released in a book.


Sadly at that point comes the realization: If I would want to be limited to otpions written by designers before, I would play a CRPG. If I want my freedom no point in choosing a system that limits my choices to prewritten options as core rule and key assumption about the system. Immersion is broken, motivation to play D&D is gone, and the urge to ask myself why I play this **** appears. If I have to answer that question myself, right now I can point to playtest. But later I won't have a reason to do so. 


If I have to explain myself, why I bought and play a game that breaks my fun, from a company I don't trust and where certain people from company made sure I don't like them, that is a hard thing. I don't have favorite long term characters to justify them. Wizards changed settings, so settings in current state doesn't motivate me, and it would be incredibly hard for them to revert them. So setting won't motivate me. 


Community? Look at yourself. A community that tries to jump on me and explain why I am for the company and not the product I buy should be for me? Where community expects me to ground for their game, when I have much better choices, so choose "less fun for more money" to support a brand, my wishes are ignored. Where some put stuff into my mouth, where I seen insults go, and it is the norm of the community approved by staff. Come on, isn't that a reason against D&D? If you want maybe you can start to change this. But I bet on it, you won't.


And it is a lot worse than this. As I have told you, I have 4 perspectives I can use, and as a Shareholder my perspective is very different from what I want as a DM or player. And I know well why D&D doesn't want to come close to what I want.


You might ask why I wouldn't want to work at Wotc. Why I don't envy the designers. Because their first priority is keeping shareholders happy, and for this they need to run for profit. It is their job. An independent publisher, who has no means to reach the masses can afford to ignore profitability and develop a system as they like it. A big one should keep shareholders happy. Try to explain costly design choices to an investment bank if these choices don't make a lot of money. And Hasbro is a publicly traded company, Wizards is a subsidiary. And the bank would only see: "Someone from middle management of a small subsidiary wants endless supply of money for some product development that wouldn't make money and would even reduce the income."


When your player doesn't improvise the action, to get a modifier from DM, etc. but has to choose from prewritten actions, immersion will break. But whenever the players wants to do something that would make more sense ICly, or tactically, the choice is present as such: It isn't in the books we use, but if you want to do it next time (if you want to win) it might be in new book X, so consider a purchase. More options to choose from is a clear tactical advantage, can not only help to retain immersion a bit longer, but can help you to find synergies and win. This is why games where you are limited to a prewritten set of options are pay to win. 


And whats better: It is easier and cheaper to develop new feats, new actions for combat, etc. than to write and playtest quality content, so moving away from this structure not only closes down a revenue stream, but increases the development costs quickly. 


It puts a lot of pressure on player and is a best way to make profit. And if you are a shareholder of Hasbro, and speak about D&D Next the key desire is to keep this stream of revenue open and keep development costs down. By making the assumption of choosing between prewriten actions only as important core rule (and assumption) in the system as possible. 


If D&D wouldn't lose market share, if it wouldn't fall back to 2nd place, and risk falling back to 3rd, etc. which with questionable profitability, would question if it worths to keep the brand or it should be closed down, as a shareholder I would demand this pay to win scenario as D&D Playerbase is willing to pay for it, and I moved to other systems.


But as the case is: D&D loses market share, and it questions if the brand can survive on the long run, and to make it survivable, and make it able to create some profit, it needs old players back. Myself as well. And in this case this core assumption must go. With this core assumption, and this pay to win type bussiness model D&D isn't competitive enough.

Ohh, and whats worse: As a Shareholder I would expect to see D&D competitive with video games, and offer similar profitability. So not only the market share of D&D as RPG counts, but market share of RPGs in games or entertainment bussiness is important as well. 


In combat round too: Player should be able to think in character which requires freedom instead of standardized actions (options, etc). Such writen down action should be examples and following them should be optional. 
Characters should be able to "specialize" not only in weapons, but in practiced combat maneuvers (feats) which could give them an advantage over a less trained character who just improvises same action. These bonuses should be in with other specialization bonuses. This way you could keep the advantages of feat system and advantages of previous freedom in same game.




isen't this what the figter manuvers do ?
al chacters can use a improvised action to trip, a fighter with knock down is better at it being able to deal damage and trip in 1 action.
isen't this what the figter manuvers do ?
al chacters can use a improvised action to trip, a fighter with knock down is better at it being able to deal damage and trip in 1 action.



Yes and no. While the relationship between trip and knock down is the same, trip isn't really improvised. It is a predesigned action described in the rulebook, and as such known down isn't the trained version of something improvised... but a trained version of a predesigned action.


If you ignore everything about fighter manuvers, feat system, currently defined combat actions, but you just focus on advantage mechanic, and say tripping, swinging on a candellaber, etc. any action you improvise (and can need a test) can either:



  • Give you an advantage for attack

  • Give you an advantage for defensive actions

  • Give you an advantage for any other action

  • Give you an advantage for damage (if it can be implemented)

  • Give you additional attack (like cleave)

  • Give your enemy a disadvantage for attack

  • Give your enemy a disadvantage for defensive action

  • Give your enemy a disadvantage for any other action

  • Give your enemy a a disadvantage for damage


At your or DMs option, then we speak about improvised things, as you improvise them on the fly. It works like a charm with current advantage mechanism. Now your character learns a favorite trick, he uses it often, so he trains in it, specializes it.


This, much like weapon specialization (which can have different levels) should give bonuses to the meneuver. In fact you can train for the skill check required to do it, and train for the combat benefit too to get some modifier to BAB.


This way you are pretty much free to do and train in anything you want (full character freedom) and there are no synergy issues. 

Ah, the Galaxy Quest folk would frown upon me for saying this but....

I surrender!

There is simply no way you are going to like D&D Next/5E.  None.  Period.  You are wasting your time here and we are wasting our time trying to politely interact and reply to you.

You have found other (Central European) types of RPGs that much better suit your tastes and D&D is not going to break so completely from its roots to become something else entirely.

I think that's great.  It's good to know what you enjoy and pursue that in life. 


There is simply no way you are going to like D&D Next/5E.  None.  Period.  You are wasting your time here and we are wasting our time trying to politely interact and reply to you.



Here you are wrong on 3 counts.


1st: As I said I can make a compromise about the magic system. So Next could be enjoyable. But as I said with combat it should treat improvisation as default and fixed actions (as examples) as optional. Why? You remember my playtest example? You thought my players want everything.


No, they want to make sure what is possible by the setting should be possible in the system. If we play it, it should be possible by overlooking some rules. If we playtest it we should see it as is, without overlooking any issue.

See the 15 points above. If D&D fulfills them, I will buy it. If it even gets some of my favorite AD&D / D&D classes into playable status so I have interesting character I won't only be willing to run it once in a while, but would play it and enjoy it. 


The trick is: if they would change everything I listed here, you wouldn't notice a big change. But for us it is the difference between heaven and hell.


2nd: You weren't polite. I seen far too much insults from you, and I seen your demands not to playtest the game but just to play for fun and be positive and praise it.


3rd: D&D Next is modular. So they could even develop a magic system that would be my favorite if they would want it, even if it is far from traditions. It just can be core and that is why that shouldn't be in mind when designing it. The only reason against a such magic system that from what I seen with the hungarian game CODEX it took probably years to develop. It has a nice magic system, but I think a few people would hate it when 2 wizards try to discuss their spells.


There there are 3 tiers of spellcasting,partly independent from your level: 1st: You learning magic, and use fixed spells, you learned (if we go by D&D standards we can also say "prepared) | 2nd: You have spell parts you can combine on the fly, by adding their casting time together and get the result of full spell | 3rd: It is described how magic actually works in the system, you have skills in different areas of magic. You tell what your wizard would do, how would he achieve it. DM tells you what skill tests you need and how many spell points you use and cast your spell. 

Enerla doesn't WANT to enjoy DDN, therefor he doesn't
Enerla:
which RPG is good for you?
Ars Magicka? WOD's Mage? please tell us instead of having vague reference to "other systems" 
To be fair, you are right.  There is one sentence in there that didn't need to be as it was laced with a bit of venom and, whether or not you hate Next with a passion, you didn't deserve me to take that jab at you.  I apologize.

I stand by everything else I have posted trying to get you to see different possibilities in Next/5E other than your "much worse" view. 
Actually, I am still wondering why this isn't in the General Discussion forum.

"This forum is for discussion related to your playtest experiences as a Dungeon Master. So if you have something you want to share about your playtest, a question that came up during play or some feedback about what happened in your game - this is the place for it!"

"If you want to talk about another D&D Next related topic or can't find where your D&D Next or playtest related post should go, then please post it up in the D&D Next General Discussion forum" - Welcome to the Dungeon Master Playtest Forum intro post.

So far, you haven't written about a playtest experience, but rather your ideas about how D&D Next could better fit your interests as a gamer and consumer. While that may be a valid topic, it doesn't really fit this particular board.
Enerla:
which RPG is good for you?

Ars Magicka? WOD's Mage? please tell us instead of having vague reference to "other systems" 



I listed the Hungarian game called CODEX already. But I also love other games based on their own merits. I think D&D would need mostly different merits, to be a strong choice, so copying other games wouldn't make much sense. How D&D can be better? If the settings are interesting enough, we have a character we want to play, and we have the level of immersion required to have fun with it, we see D&D as a strong choice. 


Say, some of my favorite AD&D characters followed Eilistraee, even if most of them were non-drow. With 3E I seen how powergaming made enjoying these characters impossible. 4E removed them from the game, and while most of these characters are social characters and 4E had a thight focus on tactical combat, I didn't like it. The thight focus on tactical combat also made sure most of the community doesn't care much about immersion or social encounters, etc. so they don't even understand what I want from the game, which made 4E an incredibly weak choice. 

But as many of you said I am too negative, etc. I offer you a challenge. There are many online mediums to run D&D, I explain what kind of characters are interesting for me, how would I focus on immersion. You are free to try to run D&D Next based on that, and write down your experiences about if and when have we ran into a wall. 


So far, you haven't written about a playtest experience, but rather your ideas about how D&D Next could better fit your interests as a gamer and consumer.


I have a strong reason for this perspective. Wizards tried to listen to the specifics I wanted before, but as it seems the problem with D&D Next both from DM and player standpoint is that they don't understand my perspective, I feel overwhelming them with very precise differences would hurt more than it would help. So I try to communicate that based on playtest experience, where they don't understand some of our wishes.


The thing focus on immersion in a system we trust where we find the setting interesting and love our characters is key to make the game fun  

Wizards tried to listen to the specifics I wanted before, but as it seems the problem with D&D Next both from DM and player standpoint is that they don't understand my perspective, I feel overwhelming them with very precise differences would hurt more than it would help. So I try to communicate that based on playtest experience, where they don't understand some of our wishes.

The thing focus on immersion in a system we trust where we find the setting interesting and love our characters is key to make the game fun


Keep in mind that they aren't making D&D Next for you, they are making it for the majority of D&D fans with hopes of getting back old players that left them and enticing new players to try it.

It makes me chuckle to think that you are overwhelming them.  No offense, no single person here (myself included) has come up with anything, by themselves, that's too much to handle or over their heads.  They might see a wall of text and browse through, catching key points, and say to themselves, "okay, this guy is asking for a lot that simply will never happen."  That's not being overwhelmed, that's being prudent.

Trust me, we've all made a number of suggestions and offered (some better than others) constructive critisism.  What they catch and what they use has more to do with how practical and well written the information is, than anything to do with them being unable to cope with the content because its just too sophisticated, intelligent, or radical for them.

If they are overwhelmed by anything, it would be the sheer volume of input they are getting.  There are far more of us than there are of them.  It's impossible to indivudually address/respond to each suggestion.


It makes me chuckle to think that you are overwhelming them.  No offense, no single person here (myself included) has come up with anything, by themselves, that's too much to handle or over their heads.



I haven't said I do it.


But I said if I would post everyting I have I would.


Why? Because a real playtester has a long set of tools to test a game with, and as we use these tools we create a lot of data. Not in wall of text scale, but much much longer.


Imagine a list with around 200 characters, most of them are either iconic to D&D, to a setting, or to our past D&D experience. We try to recreate them with the rules. Not alone, but as a team, etc. so a lot of players work on them. About each character we just have 2 paragraph of feedback. That is 400 paragraphs.


Some testbed encounters, each can be ran over and over. And again: Not one DM, but a small groups of DMs with more players. I don't even touch automation here, but if you want to realy test a system, you even try it with automated simulation. Even if you suspect that the developers have their own tools for testing.  


Then test scenarios with various parties, where you ask different players to try the game with different expectations and run different encounters. And again, sometimes going over the same things repeatedly with small differences. 


That is how testing (including playtesting) things works best.

As the DM who designed the list of characters, encounters, scenarios you gather all the info from the whole team, and analyze the data and come up with a conclusion.

The trick is: They would get data as forum posts. Not in a format they could analyze with tools  

While for me, to understand some question, I just have to hit cross tabulate or cross analyze functions in phpESP to understand what happened in that test session. For them? They would have to read all the raw answers in a forum post. 


See the problem? 

See the problem? 

Ah! -lightbulb-

That would be quite a mass of data collected.

There were a few of us that did that (though with smaller sample sizes) in 4E to show some of the results of adding Essential characters to group and just the general results over time that you'd see from different classes in general.  It was pretty educational, although having to format it for easy reading was always a task (collecting the data was fun because it was just from actual play).

It's really one of the more difficult questions when it comes to D&D and similar games.  Is it an Art or a Science?  The most obvious answer is that it's a bit of both.  You need pretty decent balance to make sure all play styles, character classes, races, etc., are worth playing and interesting.  It's an Art because enjoyment doesn't simply come from pure statistical results.

In a readable format, though, I'd love to see some good data postings on how characters in Next are performing.

You know, I just might use my collection tool and see if I can tweak it to report on Next playtest sessions.. post them on these boards, and see if the results tell us anything. 
As we are native Hungarian speakers, I ask you: do you speak Hungarian? As we wanted it to be easier I ran the surveys in our native language. If you wouldn't understand survey data, and what players said I can translate a few responses for you.
As we are native Hungarian speakers, I ask you: do you speak Hungarian? As we wanted it to be easier I ran the surveys in our native language. If you wouldn't understand survey data, and what players said I can translate a few responses for you.

I wish!  I'd love to be able to speak every language... it's such a powerful tool.  Sadly, you are saddled with English because I am 100% sure that your English is a lot better than my Hungarian. :P


  • PDF issue: Sadly doctors said me I shouldn't carry a lot of weight. Once I went to a convention, the amount of AD&D books was so much, that my sports bag gave up. It didn't do much good for my health. As I can't bring much rulebooks with me, I would insist on bringing my notebook. For me, electronic versions of books accessible offline, as we can run games where there is no WiFi, etc. are essential. I know there are other people with various levels of disabilities, so PDFs must be supported. Such people will either buy PDF or scan, or can't play. I was in this scenario for years, and it wasn't fun. I would prefer if purchase of a hardcopy book would allow downloading the PDF without paying twice. (Maybe using a serial number in book to even register it!)



This is not very likely.  Unfortunately, a PDF copy of the books makes it FAR too easy to pirate...send copies to a hundred friends, now they don't need to buy the books.

However, if they created eBook versions (Kindle and whatever version the Nook uses for example), I would purchase a Kindle just to have it.  Those versions have built in DRM that would make it very difficult, if not impossible, to pirate the information.  I'd love to be able to pull out my Kindle and have full access to all of my rulebooks in a fully searchable, annotatable version instead of lugging around a hundred pounds of paper.
This is not very likely.  Unfortunately, a PDF copy of the books makes it FAR too easy to pirate...send copies to a hundred friends, now they don't need to buy the books.

However, if they created eBook versions (Kindle and whatever version the Nook uses for example), I would purchase a Kindle just to have it.  Those versions have built in DRM that would make it very difficult, if not impossible, to pirate the information.  I'd love to be able to pull out my Kindle and have full access to all of my rulebooks in a fully searchable, annotatable version instead of lugging around a hundred pounds of paper.

Gah!  Why don't I ever think of these things.  You are right, Mal.  I would buy both a hardcopy and a Kindle version if they were to come out with each.  I still enjoy the feel of pages and easy bookmarking, etc., but a Kindle Version would mean easy travel and reading when carrying or packing a heavy book is less practical.
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