Did I miss it (Access denied)

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About D&D Insider... eventually.

So I played D&D from age 8ish to age 24, I am 40 now and have 5 children  along with the wife. She and my three oldest (18, 17 and 11) decided that D&D was cool and they wanted to play it... and I should be the DM since I knew all about it. Ok, I did not see that coming, I did not even know they knew what it was... ok, so the what the what is passed and now I am trying to write map and populate the adventure. I have written/published some short stories and have a couple manuscripts I have never published, so I think I have a great story, with a plot and plot twists. The family has rolled their characters and they are bitting at the bit to play. I went out and bought all the new books and extra content...

I needed some help. There is a lot to do, rolling all the NPCs, creating maps and mobs for every encounter I just did not know if they would wait for a couple weeks while I did all that, but in looking over D&D Insider it talked a lot about how helpful the tools were and how I would have access to Dungeon magazine and Dragon magazine and etc... So I joined, for a year (best price after all) and hurried to the dragon magazine for some maps and charts only to have it say that it is subscriber contect only... (I was under the impression I was that). So then I went to the encounter builder and all it does is spit out the name of mobs and how much they are worth, I still have to look each one up and get stats...

Here comes the questions:

Um was it a mistake to join, can I really find the aid I was led to believe was here or was I simply mistaken?

Do any of you use the tools here and find they are great aids and if so where should I be looking. Maybe there should be a sign somewhere that says "just buy the books they are better"?
It sounds like you were not logged in.  Look up at the top right of the Wizards home page for the log in button.
It says "Welcome Zxzz" in the top right corner followed by a Logout button, followed by a red dragon image with the words D&D Insider by them. Am I supposed to be able to access all of the dragon and dungeon information or is that another subscription?


(thank you for the response) 
you should be able to access everything then.  Unless someone else has a different idea you may need to contact customer service.
EDIT: There is only 1 subscription so it is no access or full access. 
Hello Zxzz

Are you talking about this ?




D&D Bonus Tools


Bonus tools are online tools that focus on helping you with some of the new systems in Dungeons & Dragons. They are fast and simple to use. Using Flash, they don't require you to download anything, so you can start using them right away. 






Because these are just bonus tools, in addition to that, the   Tool Box includes a few tools that are great aid to DMs and players, they includes:

The Character Builder let you create and edit 4th Edition characters with ease, levels 1 to 30

The Adventure Tool/Monster Builder let you create and edit 4th Edition monsters with ease, levels 1 to 30. It has over 4,000 monsters in it as well.

The Compendium let you have access to all the data, monsters, magic items, races, classes, backgrounds, rules etc..

The Character Name Generator let create tons of cool names for characters and NPCs with ease.

The Dragon/Dungeon Magazine  give you access to characters and DM contents,  adventures etc...

The Character Sheet let you record characters from level 1-30



If you cant access these tools, i suggest you contact Customer Service.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Sometimes DDI bugs out and simply denies you access even though it says you're logged in.  Signing out and in won't fix the problem.  In order to fix it, clear your cookies and log in again, and it should work.
Yes the cookies thing worked, it just did not acknowledge that I was a subscriber. Thank you all for the help. Now I just need to learn how to use the tools and it should help with the creation of the world and game.
About D&D Insider... eventually.

So I played D&D from age 8ish to age 24, I am 40 now and have 5 children  along with the wife. She and my three oldest (18, 17 and 11) decided that D&D was cool and they wanted to play it... and I should be the DM since I knew all about it. Ok, I did not see that coming, I did not even know they knew what it was... ok, so the what the what is passed and now I am trying to write map and populate the adventure. I have written/published some short stories and have a couple manuscripts I have never published, so I think I have a great story, with a plot and plot twists. The family has rolled their characters and they are bitting at the bit to play. I went out and bought all the new books and extra content...

I needed some help. There is a lot to do, rolling all the NPCs, creating maps and mobs for every encounter I just did not know if they would wait for a couple weeks while I did all that, but in looking over D&D Insider it talked a lot about how helpful the tools were and how I would have access to Dungeon magazine and Dragon magazine and etc... So I joined, for a year (best price after all) and hurried to the dragon magazine for some maps and charts only to have it say that it is subscriber contect only... (I was under the impression I was that). So then I went to the encounter builder and all it does is spit out the name of mobs and how much they are worth, I still have to look each one up and get stats...

Here comes the questions:

Um was it a mistake to join, can I really find the aid I was led to believe was here or was I simply mistaken?

Do any of you use the tools here and find they are great aids and if so where should I be looking. Maybe there should be a sign somewhere that says "just buy the books they are better"?



It's a mistake for anyone to join DDI.  There is no customer support, no support for the product, the encounter builder is a buggy mess, there is no more wotc virtual game table (AND development of the virtual table is the reason they always gave for the rest of the components being underdeveloped and bug-filled.  So basically they lie to their customers.)  The compendium search is incredibly inept at finding even basic information.  The only thing that works is the character builder, for $6 to $10 a month.  Booo.

The compendium search is incredibly inept at finding even basic information. 



The Compendium is a pretty amazing database that pretty much hold most of the mechanical game elements of 4th edition, Monsters, Magic Items, Themes, Backgrounds, Paragon Paths, Epic Destinies, Powers, Feats etc...and it is far from being inept at turning up basic information.It is worth the sub alone for me.

The Character Builder and Monster Builder are very useful Tools for people having a use for them. Same for the Character Name Generator. There's also Dragon/Dungeon magazines that produce materials monthly. Less than it used to be, but still has some useful stuff from time to time.

The Encounter Builder and Ability Generator are Bonus Tools, that IIRC was done in house by a developpers for his own use and decided to share it. They're not even advertised in the DDi offering.

If you don't enjoy DDi and doesn't have a use for it that's fine, but please don't come here and tell people its a mistake for anyone to join DDI, as it is not for some people.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

As a newbie DM to 4e, I'd recommend starting with a published adventure.  The first one is free to download now www.wizards.com/dnd/files/h1.pdf, plus you should have access to ones in Dungeon magazine.

I also recommend the paperback Rules Compendium, a nice summary the core rules and how to play, without all the player options.

I don't recommend the basic box.

The character builder is good for what it does but starting out, making 1st level characters is not that hard.  And having a compendium of all the bazillion options is almost counter productive.