Feedback from a formal 4E fan - guys, you rock!

I used to like D&D 4E very much. Now I like it, but when I see D&D Next, I see some issues on 4E. I played DnD Playtest (the old and the new one) and I also watched the GenCon videos on YouTube (I am sorry I couldn't be there personally). So, here is my feedback on D&D Next:

Ilustrations: I have to start with them. Simply - I love them! I love the style of Jon Schindehette and his point of view. I don't like the art of 4E - it is so epic and the guys on the 4E arts look like aliens with weapons which cannot be used effectively. In 4E everybody seems epic and when you would like to experience an epic story - in fact, because everybody and everything is so epic in 4E that that would be so normal in 4E, and it is boring. Jon Schindehette's arts seem on the contrary. The guys on them seem to be so realistic, so common, that there is something magical on them. I can imagine I would love to role play such a guy how he from a common boy shines as a big hero at the end of his carrier. A big epic story I want to experience. You can see it in literature - the best stories are as a common person has become a big hero. Like the Lord of the Rings - hobbits were nobodies in the Middle Earth, in fact, they were fat. There were much better races like men, elves, etc. And so it came that a boy from that race and his fellows have become the greatest heros of the Middle Earth. As great as the art of D&D Next. In fact, the Next art is the best I have ever seen in any RPG.

Rules: Yes, there are some tweaks I would like to change but the core is solid. And I love the idea to make a simple core and the rest as optional. I have a friends who didn't like D&D because of the complicated rules. Now they say Next seems promissing. And one more thing: all abilities of PCs are unique and vivid. I have bad experience form 4E. Every character could choose from a thousands of powers but the choice wasn't meaningful. In the end, DM didn't know which character had which powers and what they did. In fact, powers were all the same in the end. And all the characters were the same in the end. Just different keywords, different Attack numbers and diffences, but all the same. In 4E there was nothing so vivid like the burning hands or fireball in previous editions. Yes, there was fireball in 4E, but it was just one power from thousands, and from hundreds similar ones. No uniqueness. I love Next is bringing back the uniqueness.

Monsters: I like monster stat tables in 4E. They make DM's life easier. However, they are great help in the battle, but they are boring in prep work or when you just want to draw inspiration. I like the Next is bringing back the wide scope of information which is great for inspiration. In fact, it has already started in Monster Vault, but Next is upgrading that to new level. And as I said, I love the art of Next. Give me a MM full of interesting and inspiring information with a great illustration of every monster and I will be in heaven! From such source I would be able to create a memorable adventure in a moment.

Adventures: There is a step ahead in Next. From those combat-oriented encounters to vivid and nice adventures. Go ahead and bring us even better published adventures, please!

Price: Everything is about price and money. I have this feadback for you WotC: bring me well playtested products full of the great arts and I am ready to pay for it. I don't like the way 4E did - like 2 or 3 cheap products every month. I don't need so many books. I want good, playtested products with great art and on fine paper. I am willing to pay even $150 per book. One book per three or six months is more than enough (although the first core of books should be more of course). And I want the books on fine paper. I see my 4E products at the shelf and the paper of them is poor. Give me Monster Manual where every monster has its own illustration by Jon and you can name the price. I will buy it.

Overall: I'm so looking forward to DnD Next!!!
I am willing to pay even $150 per book.


OK, just to say: I don't think I would pay that much.
I am willing to pay even $150 per book.


OK, just to say: I don't think I would pay that much.



I doubt anyone would pay that much even if they say otherwise.  Saying is one thing doing is another.
I used to like D&D 4E very much. Now I like it, but when I see D&D Next, I see some issues on 4E. I played DnD Playtest (the old and the new one) and I also watched the GenCon videos on YouTube (I am sorry I couldn't be there personally). So, here is my feedback on D&D Next:

Ilustrations: I have to start with them. Simply - I love them! I love the style of Jon Schindehette and his point of view. I don't like the art of 4E - it is so epic and the guys on the 4E arts look like aliens with weapons which cannot be used effectively. In 4E everybody seems epic and when you would like to experience an epic story - in fact, because everybody and everything is so epic in 4E that that would be so normal in 4E, and it is boring. Jon Schindehette's arts seem on the contrary. The guys on them seem to be so realistic, so common, that there is something magical on them. I can imagine I would love to role play such a guy how he from a common boy shines as a big hero at the end of his carrier. A big epic story I want to experience. You can see it in literature - the best stories are as a common person has become a big hero. Like the Lord of the Rings - hobbits were nobodies in the Middle Earth, in fact, they were fat. There were much better races like men, elves, etc. And so it came that a boy from that race and his fellows have become the greatest heros of the Middle Earth. As great as the art of D&D Next. In fact, the Next art is the best I have ever seen in any RPG.

Good art is helpful in marketing, but irrelevant to play.

Rules:
Yes, there are some tweaks I would like to change but the core is solid. And I love the idea to make a simple core and the rest as optional. I have a friends who didn't like D&D because of the complicated rules. Now they say Next seems promissing. And one more thing: all abilities of PCs are unique and vivid. I have bad experience form 4E. Every character could choose from a thousands of powers but the choice wasn't meaningful. In the end, DM didn't know which character had which powers and what they did. In fact, powers were all the same in the end. And all the characters were the same in the end. Just different keywords, different Attack numbers and diffences, but all the same. In 4E there was nothing so vivid like the burning hands or fireball in previous editions. Yes, there was fireball in 4E, but it was just one power from thousands, and from hundreds similar ones. No uniqueness. I love Next is bringing back the uniqueness.
There is not a single sentence about 4E in this paragraph, that does not make me wonder what you are smoking.

Monsters:
I like monster stat tables in 4E. They make DM's life easier. However, they are great help in the battle, but they are boring in prep work or when you just want to draw inspiration. I like the Next is bringing back the wide scope of information which is great for inspiration. In fact, it has already started in Monster Vault, but Next is upgrading that to new level. And as I said, I love the art of Next. Give me a MM full of interesting and inspiring information with a great illustration of every monster and I will be in heaven! From such source I would be able to create a memorable adventure in a moment.
This is a confluence of two issues. If Next does not have monster stat blocks like 4E has, that will be a huge fail in the eyes of a great many people. If it has those stat blocks and just stops there, that will also be a huge fail in the eyes of a great many people. The two groups overlap.

Adventures:
There is a step ahead in Next. From those combat-oriented encounters to vivid and nice adventures. Go ahead and bring us even better published adventures, please!
I've been involved in very few published adventures in 4E, but from games in homebrew campaigns I can tell you that 4E is as conducive to non-combat adventures as any other edition of D&D.

Price:
Everything is about price and money. I have this feadback for you WotC: bring me well playtested products full of the great arts and I am ready to pay for it. I don't like the way 4E did - like 2 or 3 cheap products every month. I don't need so many books. I want good, playtested products with great art and on fine paper. I am willing to pay even $150 per book. One book per three or six months is more than enough (although the first core of books should be more of course). And I want the books on fine paper. I see my 4E products at the shelf and the paper of them is poor. Give me Monster Manual where every monster has its own illustration by Jon and you can name the price. I will buy it.
And my take on this is: give me epublished materials and a good non-web-based character builder at a reasonable price based on a proportionate share of your prepublication cost and the same profit you (that's YOU, not you and the bookstore and the distributor and the trucking company) get on a printed book.

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true">Ilustrations: I have to start with them. Simply - I love them! I love the style of Jon Schindehette and his point of view. I don't like the art of 4E - it is so epic and the guys on the 4E arts look like aliens with weapons which cannot be used effectively. In 4E everybody seems epic and when you would like to experience an epic story - in fact, because everybody and everything is so epic in 4E that that would be so normal in 4E, and it is boring. Jon Schindehette's arts seem on the contrary. The guys on them seem to be so realistic, so common, that there is something magical on them. I can imagine I would love to role play such a guy how he from a common boy shines as a big hero at the end of his carrier. A big epic story I want to experience. You can see it in literature - the best stories are as a common person has become a big hero. Like the Lord of the Rings - hobbits were nobodies in the Middle Earth, in fact, they were fat. There were much better races like men, elves, etc. And so it came that a boy from that race and his fellows have become the greatest heros of the Middle Earth. As great as the art of D&D Next. In fact, the Next art is the best I have ever seen in any RPG.


Could not agree more.  When I saw Michael Komarck's "The Caves of Chaos" art (my favorite from all of D&D) reprinted on the playtest adventure cover, I knew immediately that the art director had the right vision for DDN.  We need less focus on "totally radical" (read:  stupid-looking) characters, and more focus on the fantastic world players can explore.  And when it does come to the characters, we need some restraint, some subtlety.  This art by Todd Lockwood, with its clean design and real proportions, is infinitely more engaging than any of the spikey, buckley, huge-barbed-swordy monstrosities of the Wayne Reynolds school of fantasy art.  I believe that character can kick much more ass because I believe she can actually exist:  she doesn't look unreal, she looks real, but better.  And despite the literal lack of background, her quiet, non-action pose makes us think more about the world in which she lives.  She's not just a video-game avatar who sprung forth fully-formed from an artist's imagination and only exists for fight scenes; she's a person who got that armor from somewhere, decided to wear it, and looks after it carefully.  (And as a side note, she's also a perfect example of the right approach to the ever-controversial women-in-fantasy issue.)

Now, I don't want to knock all 4e art, because it also gave us some amazing works, like the red dragon also by Todd Lockwood.  Same virtues as above:  simplicity, restraint, focus on the world it lives in.  But I think Wayne Reynolds and his style personify what they were going for generally in 4e, and I think that was a bad call.

Anyway, if DDN can replicate these grand slams of D&D art with any consistency, I will be a very happy gamer.
Inb4 all of the 4e die hards come in and yell at the 4e player for being wrong about 4e.
Well, my post was dedicated mainly to WotC. I didn't write about particular rules because I didn't want to break NDA and I have already made the feedback about them in via Surveys.

However, I will speak about the price once again: I spent a lot of money for 4E - I have nearly every product. However, many of the books I barely touched yet and a lot of the content is already outdated. I makes me sad. And it is because of poor playtesting and big releasing speed of the products. On the other hand, the PHBs I used a lot and the books are in much worse condition than my older 3E PHBs. And it is because of the poor quality of paper.


Now look at the situation: If I was buying Pathfinder instead of 4E, my books would be in much better condition, and less outdated. Because Pathfinder products have better quality of used materials, and perhaps better playtested. And in fact, I would spent less money for products I would be able to use before they are outdated.

At the end I want to point out I am not from USA, but from the Czech republic, a little country in the Central Europe. When 3rd Edtion came to our country, every book cost about 2000,- CZK (about $90), and there were many fans who bought them. Because of the quality. Now every book of the 4E Core rules costs about 400,- CZK (about $18). Of course, there are more buyers than used to be in 3E days, but the quality of the books (I mean the materials) is less.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true">Ilustrations: I have to start with them. Simply - I love them! I love the style of Jon Schindehette and his point of view. I don't like the art of 4E - it is so epic and the guys on the 4E arts look like aliens with weapons which cannot be used effectively. In 4E everybody seems epic and when you would like to experience an epic story - in fact, because everybody and everything is so epic in 4E that that would be so normal in 4E, and it is boring. Jon Schindehette's arts seem on the contrary. The guys on them seem to be so realistic, so common, that there is something magical on them. I can imagine I would love to role play such a guy how he from a common boy shines as a big hero at the end of his carrier. A big epic story I want to experience. You can see it in literature - the best stories are as a common person has become a big hero. Like the Lord of the Rings - hobbits were nobodies in the Middle Earth, in fact, they were fat. There were much better races like men, elves, etc. And so it came that a boy from that race and his fellows have become the greatest heros of the Middle Earth. As great as the art of D&D Next. In fact, the Next art is the best I have ever seen in any RPG.


Could not agree more.  When I saw Michael Komarck's "The Caves of Chaos" art (my favorite from all of D&D) reprinted on the playtest adventure cover, I knew immediately that the art director had the right vision for DDN.  We need less focus on "totally radical" (read:  stupid-looking) characters, and more focus on the fantastic world players can explore.  And when it does come to the characters, we need some restraint, some subtlety.  This art by Todd Lockwood, with its clean design and real proportions, is infinitely more engaging than any of the spikey, buckley, huge-barbed-swordy monstrosities of the Wayne Reynolds school of fantasy art.  I believe that character can kick much more ass because I believe she can actually exist:  she doesn't look unreal, she looks real, but better.  And despite the literal lack of background, her quiet, non-action pose makes us think more about the world in which she lives.  She's not just a video-game avatar who sprung forth fully-formed from an artist's imagination and only exists for fight scenes; she's a person who got that armor from somewhere, decided to wear it, and looks after it carefully.  (And as a side note, she's also a perfect example of the right approach to the ever-controversial women-in-fantasy issue.)

Now, I don't want to knock all 4e art, because it also gave us some amazing works, like the red dragon also by Todd Lockwood.  Same virtues as above:  simplicity, restraint, focus on the world it lives in.  But I think Wayne Reynolds and his style personify what they were going for generally in 4e, and I think that was a bad call.

Anyway, if DDN can replicate these grand slams of D&D art with any consistency, I will be a very happy gamer.



I do love good D&D art myself.  I'd like to see more Ren. style masterwork sketch stuff, but that's just my personal taste.  Perhaps something in the vein of middle ages physician sketches too.  And yeah, I'm not a Reynolds fan either (a reason I'm reluctant to look at the Pathfinder art)...  But hey, at least they didn't hire Rob Liefeld, right?  Then again, maybe they did...  Also, great picture of the elf woman!  Not a bit of inpractical/impossible uber-cool weaponry and chainmail bikini in sight!


Back to the OP, I'm excited for D&D Next myself.  This gives Wizards a chance to reinvent the brand once more.  4th Edition was a great step in the game, but considered revolution instead of evolution for many a player.  But, there are tons of great things that should be modules at the very least.  To ignore the many greats would be a shame.  But, that's a different issue.  Also, I'm just curious how you know the book quality between 3e and 4e is different.

Crazed undead horror posing as a noble and heroic forum poster!

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
Well, my post was dedicated mainly to WotC. I didn't write about particular rules because I didn't want to break NDA and I have already made the feedback about them in via Surveys.

However, I will speak about the price once again: I spent a lot of money for 4E - I have nearly every product. However, many of the books I barely touched yet and a lot of the content is already outdated. I makes me sad. And it is because of poor playtesting and big releasing speed of the products. On the other hand, the PHBs I used a lot and the books are in much worse condition than my older 3E PHBs. And it is because of the poor quality of paper.


Now look at the situation: If I was buying Pathfinder instead of 4E, my books would be in much better condition, and less outdated. Because Pathfinder products have better quality of used materials, and perhaps better playtested. And in fact, I would spent less money for products I would be able to use before they are outdated.

At the end I want to point out I am not from USA, but from the Czech republic, a little country in the Central Europe. When 3rd Edtion came to our country, every book cost about 2000,- CZK (about $90), and there were many fans who bought them. Because of the quality. Now every book of the 4E Core rules costs about 400,- CZK (about $18). Of course, there are more buyers than used to be in 3E days, but the quality of the books (I mean the materials) is less.



At least you should be considered lucky...here on mexico they don't sell them at all, it's easier to pirate them or cross the US border and buy them there (sadly for me, there is no store that sell D&D books near my border, so i have to cross it and drive 3 hours to San Diego to buy them).  I also think the word you want for "outdated" is "getting worn out"
At the end I want to point out I am not from USA, but from the Czech republic, a little country in the Central Europe. When 3rd Edtion came to our country, every book cost about 2000,- CZK (about $90), and there were many fans who bought them. Because of the quality. Now every book of the 4E Core rules costs about 400,- CZK (about $18). Of course, there are more buyers than used to be in 3E days, but the quality of the books (I mean the materials) is less.



The quantity is less too.  Bigger fonts, bigger margins, less pages.

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
At the end I want to point out I am not from USA, but from the Czech republic, a little country in the Central Europe. When 3rd Edtion came to our country, every book cost about 2000,- CZK (about $90), and there were many fans who bought them. Because of the quality. Now every book of the 4E Core rules costs about 400,- CZK (about $18). Of course, there are more buyers than used to be in 3E days, but the quality of the books (I mean the materials) is less.



The quantity is less too.  Bigger fonts, bigger margins, less pages.



Wow.  How's that work?  Did they just straight-out cut content?  Like, you don't get paladins or something?
At the end I want to point out I am not from USA, but from the Czech republic, a little country in the Central Europe. When 3rd Edtion came to our country, every book cost about 2000,- CZK (about $90), and there were many fans who bought them. Because of the quality. Now every book of the 4E Core rules costs about 400,- CZK (about $18). Of course, there are more buyers than used to be in 3E days, but the quality of the books (I mean the materials) is less.



The quantity is less too.  Bigger fonts, bigger margins, less pages.



Wow.  How's that work?  Did they just straight-out cut content?  Like, you don't get paladins or something?



Yeah, basically.

Did you want to play a Gnome Bard?

Better wait for Player Handbook 2 then.

Member of the Axis of Awesome

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
 

Better wait for Player Handbook 2 then.



But your bard wont suck...(unless maybe you want them too)
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

At the end I want to point out I am not from USA, but from the Czech republic, a little country in the Central Europe. When 3rd Edtion came to our country, every book cost about 2000,- CZK (about $90), and there were many fans who bought them. Because of the quality. Now every book of the 4E Core rules costs about 400,- CZK (about $18). Of course, there are more buyers than used to be in 3E days, but the quality of the books (I mean the materials) is less.



The quantity is less too.  Bigger fonts, bigger margins, less pages.



Wow.  How's that work?  Did they just straight-out cut content?  Like, you don't get paladins or something?



Yeah, basically.

Did you want to play a Gnome Bard?

Better wait for Player Handbook 2 then.


No matter how good 4e was as a game, Wizards went out of their way to screw it up as a product.
holydoom.weebly.com: Holydoom! A lighthearted RPG in progress. Loosely based on 3.5. 4, and GURPS. Very, Very, Very loosely. Seriously, visit it now. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29086701/I_HIT_IT_WITH_MA_SWORD!_(like_this!):_A_Slayers_Handbook An attempt at CharOp
To anyone who thinks Pathfinder is outselling D&D
While one report may say that FLGS report a greater amount of book sales, one cannot forget the fact that the 71000 DDI subscribers paying 6-10 dollars a month don't count as "Book Sales."
"see sig" redirects here
Oblivious troll is Oblivious
PbP supporter!
General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
 

Better wait for Player Handbook 2 then.



But your bard wont suck...(unless maybe you want them too)


Bards were better than all non full casting classes in core... And on par with all non full spell casters from any supplement.
holydoom.weebly.com: Holydoom! A lighthearted RPG in progress. Loosely based on 3.5. 4, and GURPS. Very, Very, Very loosely. Seriously, visit it now. http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29086701/I_HIT_IT_WITH_MA_SWORD!_(like_this!):_A_Slayers_Handbook An attempt at CharOp
To anyone who thinks Pathfinder is outselling D&D
While one report may say that FLGS report a greater amount of book sales, one cannot forget the fact that the 71000 DDI subscribers paying 6-10 dollars a month don't count as "Book Sales."
"see sig" redirects here
Oblivious troll is Oblivious
PbP supporter!
General thoughts, feelings, and info on DDN!
Stuff I Heard Mike Say (subject to change): Multiclassing will be different than in 3.5! That's important. There is no level cap; classes advance ala 3.5 epic levels after a set level. Mundane (AKA fighter and co) encounter and daily powers will probably not be in the PHB (for the lack of space), but nor will they be in some obscure book released halfway through the edition.
You can't please everyone, but you can please me. I DO NOT WANT A FREAKING 4E REPEAT. I DO NOT WANT A MODULE THAT MIMICS MY FAVORITE EDITION. I WANT MODULES THAT MIMIC A PLAYSTYLE AND CAN BE INTERCHANGED TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE FEEL, BUT NOT THE THEME, OF D&D. A perfect example would be an espionage module, or desert survival. A BAD EXAMPLE IS HEALING SURGES. WE HAVE 4E FOR THOSE! A good example is a way to combine a mundane and self healing module, a high-survival-rate module, and a separate pool of healing resource module.
Bards are on par with every class... much fewer qualifiers and less spell casters rule taint. 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 

Better wait for Player Handbook 2 then.



But your bard wont suck...(unless maybe you want them too)



Yes you can make a Bard as good as the Pathfinder bard.  Except you have to wait until PHB2.  With Pathfinder you get a bard that won't suck in the first rulebook.

I'll take the pathfinder method of including all the good things right off the bat.


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

I'll take the pathfinder method of including all the good things right off the bat.




D&D has a lot of good things Dragonborn are great Avengers are great Warlords are great ...
just curious - I heard the Witch class was good in PF was it in the initial pathfinder book? or something come out with later.

And for me untill 4e gnomes were bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments not characters in fantasy stories.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Good art is helpful in marketing, but irrelevant to play.

I suppose that's true. That is...if you're a robot. Good art is extremely helpful for roleplaying. It's inspirational and can set the entire mood of the game. Sure it's not needed to play, but one can not say that it has no effect on the game.
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.


Could not agree more.  When I saw Michael Komarck's "The Caves of Chaos" art (my favorite from all of D&D) reprinted on the playtest adventure cover, I knew immediately that the art director had the right vision for DDN.  We need less focus on "totally radical" (read:  stupid-looking) characters, and more focus on the fantastic world players can explore.  And when it does come to the characters, we need some restraint, some subtlety art by Todd Lockwood, with its clean design and real proportions, is infinitely more engaging than any of the spikey, buckley, huge-barbed-swordy monstrosities of the Wayne Reynolds school of fantasy art.  I believe that character can kick much more ass because I believe she can actually exist:  she doesn't look unreal, she looks real, but better.  And despite the literal lack of background, her quiet, non-action pose makes us think more about the world in which she lives.  She's not just a video-game avatar who sprung forth fully-formed from an artist's imagination and only exists for fight scenes; she's a person who got that armor from somewhere, decided to wear it, and looks after it carefully.  (And as a side note, she's also a perfect example of the right approach to the ever-controversial women-in-fantasy issue.)



Wow!!! I entirely agree!!! This hyperbolous design makes you lose suspension of disbellief. The art is on the right track on building a realistic fantasy world to the players imagination!!!!
And for me untill 4e gnomes were bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments not characters in fantasy stories.



Thats curious, for me gnomes always were characters in fantasy stories until 4e turned them into bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments. *shrug*

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And for me untill 4e gnomes were bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments not characters in fantasy stories.



Thats curious, for me gnomes always were characters in fantasy stories until 4e turned them into bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments. *shrug*


Huh?  I'm not sure I've ever seen a 4e gnome depicted with a hat or beard of any kind.
And for me untill 4e gnomes were bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments not characters in fantasy stories.



Thats curious, for me gnomes always were characters in fantasy stories until 4e turned them into bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments. *shrug*


Huh?  I'm not sure I've ever seen a 4e gnome depicted with a hat or beard of any kind.



They probably were not gnomes then.

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Good art is helpful in marketing, but irrelevant to play.

I suppose that's true. That is...if you're a robot. Good art is extremely helpful for roleplaying. It's inspirational and can set the entire mood of the game. Sure it's not needed to play, but one can not say that it has no effect on the game.



That ... makes no sense whatsoever.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
And for me untill 4e gnomes were bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments not characters in fantasy stories.



Thats curious, for me gnomes always were characters in fantasy stories until 4e turned them into bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments. *shrug*


Huh?  I'm not sure I've ever seen a 4e gnome depicted with a hat or beard of any kind.



They probably were not gnomes then.


Now I'm completely confused.  Do you want your gnomes with hats and beards, or not?
Do you want your gnomes with hats and beards, or not?



No, I want my Gnomes as characters [in a fantasy story] not a caricature of a character.

Hats and beards are mostly irrelevant (and optional to a good Gnome Physikist).

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Can anyone else figure out what he's talking about?  Am I just being dense tonight?
Shas in humor mode again- doesnt always make too much sense if you track too closely
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

If you imagine that Gnomes were caricatures of characters before 4e then it is easy to imagine that Gnomes are caricatures of characters in 4e.

What is so hard to understand?

Edit: I guess the CosmicKid has only played one edition of DnD so that is probably why it is so easy for him to imagine all the little garden Gnomes that used to run around in the old days.

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Edit: I guess the CosmicKid has only played one edition of DnD so that is probably why it is so easy for him to imagine all the little garden Gnomes that used to run around in the old days.





I played 1e.. then 4e so the first gnomes and the first context for them existing as anything other than a Garden Gnome for me is 4e because tadah they arent really featured in any of the fantasy entertainment I am familiar with (oh yeh and they might as well look like garden gnomes in WoW because they are rather charicatures.)
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

4E gnomes might actually feel like the Wee folk from myth and legend... I dont generally read D&D fiction ... I had difficulties getting through Swordmage (sorry Rich his origin story just kind of put me off).
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Edit: I guess the CosmicKid has only played one edition of DnD so that is probably why it is so easy for him to imagine all the little garden Gnomes that used to run around in the old days.



I played 1e.. then 4e so the first gnomes and the first context for them existing as anything other than a Garden Gnome for me is 4e because tadah they arent really featured in any of the fantasy entertainment I am familiar with (oh yeh and they might as well look like garden gnomes in WoW because they are rather charicatures.)



So you missed the Top Balista Gnomes from Mystara, the Mount Nevermind Gnomes from Krynn and the House Sivis Gnomes from Eberron?

You know before they were turned into the Feywild version of Cletus the slack jawed yokel.

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
Edit: I guess the CosmicKid has only played one edition of DnD so that is probably why it is so easy for him to imagine all the little garden Gnomes that used to run around in the old days.



I played 1e.. then 4e so the first gnomes and the first context for them existing as anything other than a Garden Gnome for me is 4e because tadah they arent really featured in any of the fantasy entertainment I am familiar with (oh yeh and they might as well look like garden gnomes in WoW because they are rather charicatures.)



So you missed the Top Balista Gnomes from Mystara, the Mount Nevermind Gnomes from Krynn and the House Sivis Gnomes from Eberron? 


Tacky D&D entrenched fiction? The quality of D&D fiction has always seemed just about on par with this the Swordmage novel seemed somewhat better but ummm



 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 


Tacky D&D entrenched fiction? The quality of D&D fiction has always seemed just about on par with this the Swordmage novel seemed somewhat better but ummm



I've never really been a fan of D&D fiction. Mostly for the same reason I didn't like either of the D&D live-action movies. The idea of the D&D world is different for everyone. The writers of fiction have their own ideas of what the world is like, and it is projected into their writing. The writers of the D&D movies, ditto (though I can't see anyone having a view of D&D like the first movie). I really think this is the biggest reason that there will never be a D&D movie that is considered a "fan favorite". The views of what is and is not D&D vary too much between individuals.
Edit: I guess the CosmicKid has only played one edition of DnD so that is probably why it is so easy for him to imagine all the little garden Gnomes that used to run around in the old days.



I played 1e.. then 4e so the first gnomes and the first context for them existing as anything other than a Garden Gnome for me is 4e because tadah they arent really featured in any of the fantasy entertainment I am familiar with (oh yeh and they might as well look like garden gnomes in WoW because they are rather charicatures.)



So you missed the Top Balista Gnomes from Mystara, the Mount Nevermind Gnomes from Krynn and the House Sivis Gnomes from Eberron? 


Tacky D&D entrenched fiction? The quality of D&D fiction has always seemed just about on par with this the Swordmage novel seemed somewhat better but ummm

 



I hardly see that the ergot-fueled visions of myth and legend are inherently better then the caffeine-fueled visions of DnD.

Possibly more psychedelic but not better.

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Edit: I guess the CosmicKid has only played one edition of DnD so that is probably why it is so easy for him to imagine all the little garden Gnomes that used to run around in the old days.


Um... no.  Where'd you get that idea?
  better then the caffeine-fueled visions of DnD.
 .


Attack of the killer jello cube is the kind of ahem "drama" that gave us, bah.  
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 


I'll take the pathfinder method of including all the good things right off the bat.




D&D has a lot of good things Dragonborn are great Avengers are great Warlords are great ...
just curious - I heard the Witch class was good in PF was it in the initial pathfinder book? or something come out with later.

And for me untill 4e gnomes were bearded pointy hatted yard ornaments not characters in fantasy stories.



No the classes that in my opinion were brand new were in the advanced players guide.  I don't like the sorceror, I thought that was an example of poor innovation.  It fills a niche I guess though.  By far the Alchemist and the Witch are two of the best classes I have ever played. 

I don't think necessarily ALL classes should be in the core.  But now say, Pathfinder version two is invented, I would expect those classes to be playable in the new version, and not have to wait for the advanced classes book again.  I would expect Paizo to put out different guides.  Maybe a class book for the core and advanced classes, and a rules compendium or something.


CAMRA preserves and protects real ale from the homogenization of modern beer production. D&D Grognards are the CAMRA of D&D!
Good art is helpful in marketing, but irrelevant to play.

I suppose that's true. That is...if you're a robot. Good art is extremely helpful for roleplaying. It's inspirational and can set the entire mood of the game. Sure it's not needed to play, but one can not say that it has no effect on the game.



That ... makes no sense whatsoever.




Allow me to explicate.

DnD is a form of art. Collective story telling. Four to seven people all sitting at a table, coming to teh same conclusion as to what's happening in this particular story.

Art doesn't exist in a vacuum; In fact, art cherrypicks from other art all the time. Poems inspired by paintings, paintings made in answer to music, music created that exist in the 'world' of novels....the list goes on, but I can pretty much guarantee you that the kind of game you can make from properly illustrated D&D Handbooks can vary wildly from a bare-bones rules guide, or from a handbook with very crappy art. Especially if you're new and have no preconceptions of the game.

I'm all for Art being an important part of the finished product, but we do have to admit that we don't really have a say in the matter, as this is a play test and not an art jury.


  By far the Alchemist and the Witch are two of the best classes I have ever played. 
 


So are you expecting every single class? ever printed to be in book one of the next edition of that?
See SIZE is the issue somebody just getting in to these games doesnt need an 800 page encyclopedia to play these games. 4e had an initial book then tons of release very very fast after that.

I hear


 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

  better then the caffeine-fueled visions of DnD.
 .


Attack of the killer jello cube is the kind of ahem "drama" that gave us, bah.  



Shrug.  I prefer the killer jello, to the Gnomish yokel.

At least the yokel is more realistic I guess.

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