Design & Development - Welcome to Menzoberranzan

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Design & Development 
Welcome to Menzoberranzan
By James Wyatt

The Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue sourcebook that went on sale in August is, in many ways, a glimpse at the future -- or at least at the ways we’re thinking about the future right now. With this book, we’re trying out some new approaches to setting material, exploring new ways of making these books more useful and more interesting than ever before.

Talk about this article here.

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Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

you guys are not good enough at writing fluff to justify 30 or 40 dollar cover prices, especially when the books are just regurgitated, rehashed products that pale in comparison to the originals (menzo).

while im sure you will sell some of the greenwood books, i want to make it clear that i am not going to pay you guys for fluff-only books, and i am someone who has bought basically every product you have released for the last four years.
you guys are not good enough at writing fluff to justify 30 or 40 dollar cover prices, especially when the books are just regurgitated, rehashed products that pale in comparison to the originals (menzo).

while im sure you will sell some of the greenwood books, i want to make it clear that i am not going to pay you guys for fluff-only books, and i am someone who has bought basically every product you have released for the last four years.

I pre-ordered through Amazon. I agree 100%. I'm not trying to be mean but it reads like an "Menzo for Dummies" book--it is really only touches on the surface of every topic and really really bland.
you guys are not good enough at writing fluff to justify 30 or 40 dollar cover prices, especially when the books are just regurgitated, rehashed products that pale in comparison to the originals (menzo).

while im sure you will sell some of the greenwood books, i want to make it clear that i am not going to pay you guys for fluff-only books, and i am someone who has bought basically every product you have released for the last four years.

I pre-ordered through Amazon. I agree 100%. I'm not trying to be mean but it reads like an "Menzo for Dummies" book--it is really only touches on the surface of every topic and really really bland.



The problem with edition neutral, fluff only books is that no one actually needs them. This is especially true when it comes to the Forgotten Realms or anything related to Driz'zt do'Urden. So much has already been written and published about these topics that the information is readily available. If you already have Drow of the Underdark (2E), Menzoberranzen boxed set (2E) or Drow of the Underdark (3E), you simply don't need this book. The only new information presented in Menzoberranzen: City of Intrigue is the detail on the hundred years of history since the last Drow book was published. Even if you don't have those books, virtually all of the information is available for free on the web in the form of various wikis and discusiion groups. 4E crunch (those themes and paragon paths the editor so readily dismisses) would have motivated me to buy the book. However, a quick spin through the pages showed me that I already knew or owned all of the information in the book, so I could simply leave it on the shelf.

Since Elminster's Guide to the Forgotten Realms is being written by Ed Greenwood, I do expect there to be some details that only he knows as the campaign setting's creator, but I don't think there are going to be enough of those tidbits to justify purchasing the book.

 I agree that this book doesn't do a good enough job on what it is supposed to do, give me info about Menzo that I can't get elsewhere, there just isn't enough here.

I know some DMs don't want fluff from Wizards because they create their own. I am all for it if they put out good products and on subject matter outside of FR. A little tired of the setting TBH. I don't have the time to create my own campaign world anymore with pressures from everyday life. Any help Wizards can give would be much appreciated, same goes with canned adventures. I don't have the time to create them, so I need that help from Wizards. So if they put out good fluff and good adventures I would buy it.
Worst. Idea. Ever.

Ever.

Seriously, I'm not sure how Wizards could have misjudged what its players want any more dramatically.

I can make my own fluff. It is much harder to make my own crunch. A book that is all or mostly fluff is useless to me. Please reconsider this new direction Wizards!

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp