Good news / Bad news for 4e fans

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The new submission guidelines for Dragon/Dungeon have been posted and there's both good and bad news for fans of 4e.

First the good news:

"  Although Wizards has announced a new iteration of the D&D game and made playtest materials available, no release date has been determined. In the meantime, the online magazines will continue to focus on 4th Edition. Please do not submit proposals for articles and adventures based on prior or future editions of the D&D game. "

This gives us confirmation that the magazines will still be 4e focussed for at least the next 6 to 8 months (about how long it takes for articles from the next window to get published).

Now the bad news:

"  Adventures should feature preexisting monsters and avoid introducing new ones (unique NPCs are the exception to this rule) "

We’re primarily looking for short (1,500–4,500 words) player- and DM-focused articles that explore and further develop the existing lore of the game "

"  We are not looking for articles that add new mechanical elements (such as powers and feats) to the game. The current edition contains thousands of these elements, and the digital tools (D&D Character Builder, D&D Compendium, et al.) are bloated with options. We will only publish new mechanics if we find the underlying story extremely compelling and the mechanics are necessary to support the narrative. "

In other words, they really don't want a lot of new monsters, feats, powers, or mechanics added to the game. The magazines will be primarily focussed on the lore and story of the 4e world without adding new mechanical options.

My guess is that in the next 6 months we'll see the last few rounds of errata and then the digital tools wrapped up with all the final mechanical bits added in.

4e will be official complete in about 6 months time.


How do you feel about this? Discuss. 
My guess is they are not going to bother to fix all the stuff that can be fixed with a few minor changes.

Like clearing up how OAs work with the rules compendium.

And we are not going get obvious stuff like a decent deity independent MBA for avengers.  Or some good paragon paths for the classes that are missing them.  Or AC fixes for the builds that need them.

And yeah there are too many feats and powers out there, but plenty of classes and races have almost no support.  Its not like a Satyr Runepriest is going to be overwhelmed with racial and class feat choices.

It mainly makes me sad that they could have done a better job and it doesn't give me hope for the next edition's quality.  They asked their customers what we wanted fixed and what was missing over a year ago, we told them quite explicitly and they ignored a good bit of it that wasn't hard to fix.
Though there may be a few exceptions, any pitches greenlighted during this submission window won't likely see print for at least 8-12 months.  Also, this message isn't that much different from previous guidelines, though I'd assume they'd be overall pickier about mechanical content.  For the last couple of windows, story elements have had priority over mechanical ones.
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what's the point of asking for class acts article submission, when you can't add new options to the classes!?

Really, 4e playes interest is starting to die from dragon and dungeon magazine because the lack of crunch...hell, nobody i know cared or noticed the menzo book because it had no crunch...

most players usually don't care for lore and story, they create their own flavor, lore, story based on the game mechanics the game handle to them, not the other way around.
while i can appreciate you trying to start convos style, just bc they don't want more crunch doesn't mean they are about to shut the tools off. to be completely honest, i agree with this stipulation:

"We will only publish new mechanics if we find the underlying story extremely compelling and the mechanics are necessary to support the narrative."

and if they always had followed that advice, we wouldn't be stuck with a lot of bloated and worthless feat, power, and item options. it also means if someone came up with something cool, they would publish it.

it is a good thing they were explicit; at least they are being honest. i also agree that there do not need to be many more articles with player options.

they did a poor job with monsters as well; they did not show any restraint, so there are just so many choices as to be absurd. there are all kinds of monsters that they published but never really explored. for example, they never really delved into the demonomicon or open grave in the mags. thats just off the top of my head, but a talented writer could make at least an issues worth of adventures from one of those books alone.

anyways, i usually agree with a lot of what you say style, but your whole melodramatic way of saying stuff like '4e will be done in 6 months' is kind of unnecessary. just bc they admit the obvious, that 4e is rife with sub-par, useless choices, it doesn't follow that the tools are about to be shut off. and even if they were i don't think anyone that truly loves 4e is just going to up and quit, especially with other 4e software floating around the internet.
yep I would argue that a lot of the playerbase for 4E has used, is using or will begin to use alternative programs to the ones provided by WOTC so it really is a moot point to state that in 6 months dramatic things will occur.  It probably won't even make much of a wave in the grand scheme of things.

And yes I also agree that there's a lot of feats, powers etc that are just useless unless you're planning on making a specific theme just to use them.  But that's the way it goes for multiple choice systems this large that is constantly getting bigger.  Heck maybe the final wave of errata will actually fix all of the problems, color me carefully optimistic on that point.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

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I found it actually, kinda...sad that the most likely reason they don't want crunch, is because they don't want to update the DDI tools...a service people pay 10 bucks per month can't, while a single person do that faster and better for free for the offline one and he do it for free.
I to be honest don't see 4e lasting very long without official support. It doesn't seem like anyone other than a few on the forums here really cares about 4e's future. I say within a couple of years it will be more dead than 3.0 (Yeah, thats pretty dead). I know locally it's already dead, no one here likes 4e, they think it's an utter mess, even my 4e group doesn't like 4e very much but they wanna finish the campaign. And WotC pumping out some more adventures is just to keep 4e fans settled.    

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

It doesn't seem like anyone other than a few on the forums here really cares about 4e's future.    


that may be true, but it is also true that it is the same like 15 posters in the 5e forums that dominate every thread there. the point is, looking at it from the perspective of forum posts is kind of a skewed and narrow view.

I to be honest don't see 4e lasting very long without official support.


well, you would be completely misguided and wrong. people play 'dead' games daily. ive said it before and i will say it again: i could get a game of cyborg commando up in about 30 mins if i was willing to run it.



the point is, dms keep games alive. most players i have played with have never even heard of these forums, or were new to d&d, or lapsed for decades. but if i was willing to run a game, they had no problem playing. most people dont give a flying f about edition wars or any of that; it is way to nerdy for the average person to even contemplate or be aware of. even the fact that there are different editions of d&d is news to the average person.

sometimes it takes a game being out of print for a minute for the heart to grow fonder. the osr only picked up steam with the release of 3rd edition. before that people took it for granted. anyways, no matter what people say or what posters post, games are alive if people play them, and if youre willing to dm, you can play anything you want.
Actually, everybody i know that play 4e still play and have no intention of switching to Next, as the playtest it's a complete mess.  The reason the activity is not seen for 4e interest on this forum, is because wotc haven't been releasing anything that kept them interested, Dragon and Dungeon Magazine are bare bones and so scarce in quantity and quality during the last year and a half, and there is no new D&D book since january, and before that, the release between those were very few and far between them.

Players now on day will keep interest as long as it continue to be supported with interesting things, new players want more and more content all the time, it's how consumer works now on days. 
Actually, everybody i know that play 4e still play and have no intention of switching to Next, as the playtest it's a complete mess.  The reason the activity is not seen for 4e interest on this forum, is because wotc haven't been releasing anything that kept them interested, Dragon and Dungeon Magazine are bare bones and so scarce in quantity and quality during the last year and a half, and there is no new D&D book since january, and before that, the release between those were very few and far between them.

Players now on day will keep interest as long as it continue to be supported with interesting things, new players want more and more content all the time, it's how consumer works now on days. 



My interest is heavily into 13th Age playtesting now. It has basically achieved all of DDN's goals without creating this massive mess that we're seeing. My group won't touch the DDN playtest anymore, because for every step they take forward, they take 5 giant leaps backward. So, my group does 4e and playtests a lot of 13a. I see us fully switching to it eventually. 

My interest in 4e dwindled after Essentials was released. The system was nice and tight until that point, then it just became a mess. Especially with their refusal to errata or clarify the RC. 
me and my group don't hate essentials, it is very useful to introduce the game to new people into PnP RPG in many cases, we just found some of them really boring and some can be exploited way too much (martial essential strikers), thought their dominance start to dwiddle down once it start to reach paragon tier.  But essentials brought some nice ideas and also gave birth to my favorite class, hexblade.  Infact i was hoping for someone to write a Dark Pact Hexblade.  Semi-essential classes like hexblade, sentinel, blackguard are really easy to add new content, because they goes around half of it thru their pact/season/vice/domain, etc... and can fill in the gaps not covered by those with the already big support of powers and feats from their parent class. 
It doesn't seem like anyone other than a few on the forums here really cares about 4e's future.    


that may be true, but it is also true that it is the same like 15 posters in the 5e forums that dominate every thread there. the point is, looking at it from the perspective of forum posts is kind of a skewed and narrow view.

I to be honest don't see 4e lasting very long without official support.


well, you would be completely misguided and wrong. people play 'dead' games daily. ive said it before and i will say it again: i could get a game of cyborg commando up in about 30 mins if i was willing to run it.



the point is, dms keep games alive. most players i have played with have never even heard of these forums, or were new to d&d, or lapsed for decades. but if i was willing to run a game, they had no problem playing. most people dont give a flying f about edition wars or any of that; it is way to nerdy for the average person to even contemplate or be aware of. even the fact that there are different editions of d&d is news to the average person.

sometimes it takes a game being out of print for a minute for the heart to grow fonder. the osr only picked up steam with the release of 3rd edition. before that people took it for granted. anyways, no matter what people say or what posters post, games are alive if people play them, and if youre willing to dm, you can play anything you want.

1 group out of every gaming group on this planet playing a long forgotten game doesn't make it alive again. I don't count 3rd party support as actual support (Thats one of the reason i refuse to use 3rd part supplments and modules). 4e was on life support when it was still in production. Thought it's a good game, it was a major flop of one too, constant bashing kept people from entering the game.

I'm sorry if you don't agree with my opinion. But there is a reason it's my opinion.



 

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Actually, everybody i know that play 4e still play and have no intention of switching to Next, as the playtest it's a complete mess.  The reason the activity is not seen for 4e interest on this forum, is because wotc haven't been releasing anything that kept them interested, Dragon and Dungeon Magazine are bare bones and so scarce in quantity and quality during the last year and a half, and there is no new D&D book since january, and before that, the release between those were very few and far between them.

Players now on day will keep interest as long as it continue to be supported with interesting things, new players want more and more content all the time, it's how consumer works now on days. 



My interest is heavily into 13th Age playtesting now. It has basically achieved all of DDN's goals without creating this massive mess that we're seeing. My group won't touch the DDN playtest anymore, because for every step they take forward, they take 5 giant leaps backward. So, my group does 4e and playtests a lot of 13a. I see us fully switching to it eventually. 

My interest in 4e dwindled after Essentials was released. The system was nice and tight until that point, then it just became a mess. Especially with their refusal to errata or clarify the RC. 



I won't touch 13th Age until I see some public playtests, or atleast some previews. I'm not gonna spend money to get something I possibly won't like.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

I'll echo that everyone I know is planning on sticking with 4E and has given up on any hope of Next being what we're looking for entirely.

The reason none of us posts here is because other than our homebrew campaign worlds (which no one not directly involved is likely to care about), a couple of homebrew races (which 4E makes super-easy to balance so not much need for input or share), and a tweaked class (also super-easy... we dropped the Sentinel Druid's Animal Companion for traditional druid encounter powers) there's really not much to discuss with anyone who's not sitting at our game table.
me and my group don't hate essentials, it is very useful to introduce the game to new people into PnP RPG in many cases, we just found some of them really boring and some can be exploited way too much (martial essential strikers), thought their dominance start to dwiddle down once it start to reach paragon tier.  But essentials brought some nice ideas and also gave birth to my favorite class, hexblade.  Infact i was hoping for someone to write a Dark Pact Hexblade.  Semi-essential classes like hexblade, sentinel, blackguard are really easy to add new content, because they goes around half of it thru their pact/season/vice/domain, etc... and can fill in the gaps not covered by those with the already big support of powers and feats from their parent class. 



I didn't hate all of Essentials, either. I just hated the bias in it that martial must be simple and casters were still complicated. My biggest issue with it was the mess that 4e became after its release with no clear direction anymore.

One of my favorite classes is the Blackguard (with some tweaking). I definitely didn't hate all of it.  
1 group out of every gaming group on this planet playing a long forgotten game doesn't make it alive again.

I don't count 3rd party support as actual support (Thats one of the reason i refuse to use 3rd part supplments and modules).



 


well, all i can say is i feel sorry for you. good luck!
Did anyone else catch the irony in the article of the statement that adventures or articles which included the theme of torture would be summarily rejected? Not that I am for torture, but last time I checked, Torog was, as were all of his twistedly evil followers! Wink My two cents!
Did anyone else catch the irony in the article of the statement that adventures or articles which included the theme of torture would be summarily rejected? Not that I am for torture, but last time I checked, Torog was, as were all of his twistedly evil followers!  My two cents!


Considering the focus on drow recenty, it is pretty damned silly.

Sadly, the only response I can come up with is 'meh.' D&D mags could have been used to fill all the holes left in the books (warpriest domains, sentinel seasons, etc.), but hasn't been used in that capacity for some time. I don't mind the lack of new material, but I do mind that the finished game will feel incomplete in some areas. The 'glut' excuse has been just that for well over a year now. Whatever.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
The thing is, there is not a glut of options.  There is a glut of bad options, especially for builds that are already niche, and a scarcity of good options for some classes, builds, and races.

Here are the classes off the top of my head that have little support, either for feats, powers or paragon paths.  Runepriests, Seekers, and most of the essentials builds.  For instance there are no warpriest or cavalier specific feats, though there are plenty of feats that only pre-essential clerics and paladins can make use of.  Both those classes have significant flaws that feats could help fix. The vampire class needs a lot of help period.

Pretty much every race that wasn't published before essentials (satyr, vryloka, hengeyokai, etc.) needs support along with a few other older ones like changelings and bladelings.

For several of the PHB2 and 3 strikers (barbarian, avenger, monk, and sorcerer) along with wardens there is significant lack of quality paragon path options.  That also may be the case with some essential classes, but I am not sure about those since I have not really looked closely at them.  We don't need more paths for fighters, wizards, elves, warforged, or clerics, but that doesn't mean we don't need more paragon paths period.

We don't have many themes for ranged PCs.  There are only two post darksun themes with a ranged weapon attack for its starting power and one is limited to drow.

Still no good mounted combat options that scale properly from what I understand, but I never really looked into that.

Poison as a PC damage type and to a lesser extent acid.

There are probably other areas that are obvious where there is no glut of good options to those more familiar with the area than me.

"  We are not looking for articles that add new mechanical elements (such as powers and feats) to the game. The current edition contains thousands of these elements, and the digital tools (D&D Character Builder, D&D Compendium, et al.) are bloated with options. We will only publish new mechanics if we find the underlying story extremely compelling and the mechanics are necessary to support the narrative. "



Horsefeathers!

Don't try to make it sound like you are doing us 4E fans a favor by attempting to control bloat. Every edition bloats near the end of its life cycle, in five years, Next will be no exception. 4E players want crunch. There are tons of holes in classes and races that want filling. Wizards has teased us with a number of articles and hints, and now has no intention of delivering.

Things they have told us were in the pipeline that are now unlikely to see the light of day. Autumn and Winter Sentinels. Bladeling articles that was scheduled for July (they even commisioned the artwork and included it in the Art download).

4E authors have hinted at other things, either in the books or in interviews. It was hinted that there were originally four Virtues for Cavaliers and four Vices for Blackguards. Heroes of the Elemental Chaos briefly describes 5 Monk traditions.

Then there are things that need to be fixed. Beastmaster Rangers need to be updated to not be a trap option. Binders need to be fixed so that they can actually fill the Controller role. Races which have received penalties because of their "potential roleplaying power" need to receive another balance pass (Shade, Hengeyokai).

4E players want all of this and more, glut be damned. Fluff is kind of nice to read, when well written, but none of us really needs it or wants it. For example, there is maybe one "Eye on.." article every six months that gets used in my campaign, and that gets heavily reworked to fit into my own campaign world. On the other hand, every piece of crunch has the potential to be used at my table.

The truth of the matter is that they don't want crunch becuase they don't want to pay a DDI person to code it and because they don't want to task anyone with playtesting it. As far as they are concerned, 4E is done.
I'm sorry if you don't agree with my opinion. But there is a reason it's my opinion.

You need not apologize for our disagreeing with your opinion. It is yours, and you acknowledge it is an opinion. But...

I think we're trying to understand the reason for your opinion.

My 2e Paranoia game is alive and well. My 3e Shadowrun game is alive and well. My 2e Marvel Superheroes game is alive and well. None of these have current support.

Dead-to-you is not dead.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I'm sorry if you don't agree with my opinion. But there is a reason it's my opinion.

You need not apologize for our disagreeing with your opinion. It is yours, and you acknowledge it is an opinion. But...

I think we're trying to understand the reason for your opinion.

My 2e Paranoia game is alive and well. My 3e Shadowrun game is alive and well. My 2e Marvel Superheroes game is alive and well. None of these have current support.

Dead-to-you is not dead.


Dead to me is not having offcial support any longer. If the game is out of print and is no longer getting updateds it's dead. 

Oh and sorry about the "my opinion" thing, it seems like I dropped it after that. I meant to put more emphasis on "my", but It came out as me trying to explain it but not doing so.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

@MalakLightfoot: Hear, hear! We should start coming up with a list of what is needed, and perhaps even try to find those willing to work on these items as submissions. 

So far, we need:

Essentials
Binder: New power options. Perhaps new pacts (Dark, Infernal). 
Blackguard: Two unnamed vices (perhaps Treachery and Greed).
Cavalier: Two unnamed virtues (possibly Justice and Hope).
Mage: Transmuters, Summoners, and Abjurers.
Sentinel: Autumn and Winter aspects.
Warpriest: War, Strength, Nature (or Animal and Plant), Magic and Healing domains. 

Dragon
Winning Races: Bladelings, Hengeyokai, Shades 

Anybody else have any ideas? 
malak and gelatinous have done a good job extrapolating the unfinished spots of 4e, but keep in mind, things malak mentions such as the sentinel stuff and vices are already said to exist; they dont need submissions about it. another example is when schwalb said on his blog he had runepriest stuff he turned in. the point is, just bc they dont want that stuff submitted doesnt mean they dont already have it on file or wont release it. keep in mind, when battle cleric stuff finally came out, it was written by mearls.

now do i feel 100% that we will see that stuff? no. do i want to? yes. but i think that we have to differentiate between stuff that is rumored to already exist, like excerpts from published books, and what they want solicit from the fans. i know thats cynical, but its my opinion: i think specific fixes are far more likely to come from wizards staff rather than random submissions.
That would explain why battle cleric lore is so broken for hybrids, frothsof...
That would explain why battle cleric lore is so broken for hybrids, frothsof...



i hear this quite a bit, and it is indeed a very attractive hybrid option, so much so that i even have a hybrid lfr ranger/cleric. but...is it really that good, or are we just in shock that the strength cleric is finally worth a damn? true story: i started 4e with a str cleric right from the phb. after suffering like a dog, i convinced my dm at the time to let me hybrid fighter when hybrids came out. i paid my dues and i think while the newish hybrid cleric is damn-good-no-question-about-it, there are other hybrid options that are just as good. i think that the expertise feat, forget what its called, paladins usually take it, but its the +1 ac to basically everyone is more overpowered. but ever since elvin chain shirts, i havent really sweated it. a dm can always challenge a party, and people pay dues to get high stats and defenses.
The problem with hybrid cleric is that it breaks the normal hybrid armor rules in that getting scale never costs you a feat no matter what.  Giving all templars scale proficiency by default would fix the problem without breaking anything at all and would fix the problem with Divine Healer, which is murky RAI already, and getting BCL that way.

And warpriests really don't need more domains, but some more feats would be good.  Clerics as a whole have more than enough at will and encounter powers and each domain adds about 11 new cleric powers along with another paragon path variation.  What they mainly need is a better way to switch out encounter powers in heroic without having to use their multiclassing option with Novice Power to do it.  Or at least a feat that is slightly better than reserve manuever in paragon, maybe gives a skill bonus or something and lets you pick a different domains encounter power.

Mage is similar in that they work fine and don't need more builds or powers at this point.  Maybe some feats would be nice, but I don't know if they actually need any.
I think we're trying to understand the reason for your opinion.
My 2e Paranoia game is alive and well. My 3e Shadowrun game is alive and well. My 2e Marvel Superheroes game is alive and well. None of these have current support.

my 2¢:
It's probably just semantics: someone using the term 'dead' merely to indicate a 'no longer supported' product. However, publisher's (especially WotC) can do a lot of marketing, game store support, convention support etc. that can serve as the 'critical-mass' to generate/maintain interest. As a social game, RPG's can sometimes depend upon this interest to get a group together.

Sure, a persuasive GM could get a group together without any interest, but some of us (for various reasons) prefer to be part of something bigger. Examples:
- we want multiple groups,
- we enjoy being part of something popular
- we enjoy the excitement of officially sponsored game stores and conventions
- we get tangible rewards for running official games
- new stuff gets us excited
- we're susceptible to advertisement
etc.

For myself: I reap huge benefits from running supported games... such that my own preference of the game itself almost isn't even a consideration. I'm going to play whatever everyone else is playing, and what is most supported.




Sheep aside I agree.  A game is still alive for anyone playing that system and a DM can always play the game he wants.  I have friends that had tried 4e and been turned off by it.  This was mostly because they were part of a group that already decided they didn't like it before giving it a chance.  They came and played with my wife and I a 4e game and loved it.  The one friend still plays with another group and he said to me I don't know why I even still play with them.  He also pointed out that the amount of RP in a game is completely group dependent.  Because he didn't think you could RP with 4e until he came to 4e and got us to RP more than we were used to doing.
Sheep aside I agree.  A game is still alive for anyone playing that system and a DM can always play the game he wants.  I have friends that had tried 4e and been turned off by it.  This was mostly because they were part of a group that already decided they didn't like it before giving it a chance.  They came and played with my wife and I a 4e game and loved it.  The one friend still plays with another group and he said to me I don't know why I even still play with them.  He also pointed out that the amount of RP in a game is completely group dependent.  Because he didn't think you could RP with 4e until he came to 4e and got us to RP more than we were used to doing.



To me a game that is strictly kept "alive" by fans is more of a zombie than anything. But if you read my previous posts you should atleast know my thoughts on what a dead game is and what a live one is.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

To me, a dead game is one nobody plays anymore - it's merely a footnote at best in the grand scheme of things. A game that is no longer getting expansion packs released for it is merely finished (and hopefully complete).
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
     Going back to the original announcement...
     It's about as good as we can really hope for.
     True, we can wish for an announcement that ... "We have sobered up and tossed 5e into the trash.  4.5 will be out in 6-12 months."  But that is not happening.  So confirmation that we still have a full year is about as good as we can get.
    Yeah, we could  use some new and/or improved rules and don't look to be getting them.  But that has been clear for months.  It's not good, but it is not news.
to be completely honest, i agree with this stipulation:

"We will only publish new mechanics if we find the underlying story extremely compelling and the mechanics are necessary to support the narrative."



Sadly, this is exactly the opposite of how it should be if your goal is to produce good mechanics (which this call, as they stated, isn't).
If you design good mechanical content, it's not hard to come up with good story elements for it. 
On the other hand, if you write a good story, it's a hell of a lot harder to write mechanical content that both fits the story and fills holes in the design or opens up new design space. This, incidentally, is why 4E has so much bad and useless content. 

About the announcement itself: this is interesting for 3rd party programmers who want to make a character builder and monster compendium that only includes good and useful content. It would be a dream come true if a couple of good 4E players, DMs and programmers got together and did the following: 

- Go through all 4E content and weed out anything that's useless (pre-MM3 monsters and most of the stuff that's purple and red in the CharOp handbooks)
- Pour what's left in an offline character builder and compendium
- Add the possibility of writing your own content into the builder, be it feats, monsters, or even entire paragon paths. 

If that was built (either by WotC or a 3rd party), I would gladly pay $100 for it. (hint, hint)
Old editions are not dead, they're undead.  Meaning they're dead, but they still get up and move.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
to be completely honest, i agree with this stipulation:

"We will only publish new mechanics if we find the underlying story extremely compelling and the mechanics are necessary to support the narrative."



Sadly, this is exactly the opposite of how it should be if your goal is to produce good mechanics (which this call, as they stated, isn't).
If you design good mechanical content, it's not hard to come up with good story elements for it. 
On the other hand, if you write a good story, it's a hell of a lot harder to write mechanical content that both fits the story and fills holes in the design or opens up new design space. This, incidentally, is why 4E has so much bad and useless content. 

About the announcement itself: this is interesting for 3rd party programmers who want to make a character builder and monster compendium that only includes good and useful content. It would be a dream come true if a couple of good 4E players, DMs and programmers got together and did the following: 

- Go through all 4E content and weed out anything that's useless (pre-MM3 monsters and most of the stuff that's purple and red in the CharOp handbooks)
- Pour what's left in an offline character builder and compendium
- Add the possibility of writing your own content into the builder, be it feats, monsters, or even entire paragon paths. 

If that was built (either by WotC or a 3rd party), I would gladly pay $100 for it. (hint, hint)
I disagree, content without story is vacuous. The conceptually weakest 4e elements are also the most mechanically problematic. Seeker, Runepriest, and most particularly the Binder (and to a lesser extent the hexblade) simply don't have really clear strong distinct concepts. The result is muddled. You're far better off with a strong specific concept that evokes a strong story, and then the mechanics should take care of themselves. There's nothing wrong with using a mechanic to suggest elements of content, but it is a bad idea to START from mechanics.

You're going to have a damned hard time deciding what content is "useless". There are plenty of good pre-MM3 monsters for instance, I use them all the time. Clearly I know what is and isn't likely to be good, but there's plenty of good stuff in MM1 and MM2 still. Likewise there's very little consensus about powers and such. Just because some guy made it purple in a guide means very little. It may be that a given power or feat is only narrowly useful, or just that the guide writer didn't happen to like it. Even if something is red or purple it can be perfectly sensible to take it in the overall context of a particular character (you may already have the blue options covered some other way and not need them, etc). Lots of options are also quite nice for RP/character concept reasons but are slightly less effective mechanically. Those options still deserve to exist.

There are also whole categories of things like Tribal/Guild Feats, Tattoes, etc that are pretty marginal in most games, but are quite handy and fun for some niches. Tribal feats for instance were designed to be useful in a low magic barbarians type game, and they work quite well in that context. Guild feats likewise serve their little niche.

I find it very unlikely there will ever be a commercial 3rd party 4e CB. Hasbro isn't ridiculously litiginous, but they have pretty clearly staked out the digital tool space as an area where they discourage 3rd party activity unless it is tied directly to the compendium and requires a DDI account. The only viable option is the old CB and its CB hacks, which wouldn't exist if WotC hadn't put it out in the 1st place. While they've apparently made no attempt to kill it off that's probably more because it would be a hopeless task than anything else.

I think WotC will keep DDI 4e stuff up for a long time to come. Certainly at least the next couple years. After that things IMHO do look kinda bleak. The hacked CB will be around, but it isn't legal unless you got your CB with DDI way back when. It isn't exactly great support.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
the point is, dms keep games alive. most players i have played with have never even heard of these forums, or were new to d&d, or lapsed for decades. but if i was willing to run a game, they had no problem playing. most people dont give a flying f about edition wars or any of that; it is way to nerdy for the average person to even contemplate or be aware of. even the fact that there are different editions of d&d is news to the average person.

This is exactly my own experience.  Of the three games I'm in, I'm the only person in my groups who visits these forums.  The D&D Meetup group where I live has moved exclusively to 2e, but that's pretty much because that's what the Meetup admin/DM wants to play.  Most of the players would happily pick up whatever game was set before them.

I guarantee we could play for at least five more years and my friends would still be finding 4e content that they'd never seen before.  I'm pretty familiar with most content, but there's still so much that I want to actually play in a game.  So while the build tinkerer in me is sad to see content winding down, I'm not worried about running out of things to play any time soon.

So yeah, "dead" only matters to corporate execs and the type of player who's used to buying a new $60 video game to beat every couple weeks. Most people in my experience are just there to hang out, socialize and have fun anyway.
Damn, we disagree so much here it's almost scary. 

I disagree, content without story is vacuous.


That wasn't my point. My point was that it's harder to design quality mechanical content based on story elements than the other way around. The reason is that it's easy for good designers to identify holes in the current content/design, then design good mechanical content to fill those holes, and then write a story that makes sense. 
If you write the story first and then adapt your mechanics to what makes sense in the story, you're going to have to make sacrifices which will lower the quality of your design. 

The conceptually weakest 4e elements are also the most mechanically problematic. Seeker, Runepriest, and most particularly the Binder (and to a lesser extent the hexblade) simply don't have really clear strong distinct concepts. The result is muddled.


The reason those classes are bad is not their story concept. They're bad because the designers failed to design proper powers and class features for them. It's not the fault of the story. 

To prove my point, I could list a number of well-designed classes that have no clear story concept. The ranger in my mind is one of the best known offenders here. It's one of the best strikers in the game due to its bevvy of multi-attack powers. But can you tell how that translates into a protector of the forest? I can't either. This is an example of good design, but bad concept. 

You're far better off with a strong specific concept that evokes a strong story, and then the mechanics should take care of themselves. There's nothing wrong with using a mechanic to suggest elements of content, but it is a bad idea to START from mechanics.


I'm all for a strong story, but if the accompanying mechanics are badly designed it damages the story because nobody will use it. That's why the exact opposite of what you say is true. 

Likewise there's very little consensus about powers and such. Just because some guy made it purple in a guide means very little. It may be that a given power or feat is only narrowly useful, or just that the guide writer didn't happen to like it. Even if something is red or purple it can be perfectly sensible to take it in the overall context of a particular character (you may already have the blue options covered some other way and not need them, etc). Lots of options are also quite nice for RP/character concept reasons but are slightly less effective mechanically. Those options still deserve to exist.


It's true that all writers are humans in the end, but your perception of "some guy" is way off base. The handbooks are written by one person, but the ratings come about through general consensus from people who know how to make builds perform.
About red and purple stuff: options that have an effect which is done better by other options should be removed from the game. And "bad" or "useless" is not a niche that needs filling. 

There are also whole categories of things like Tribal/Guild Feats, Tattoes, etc that are pretty marginal in most games, but are quite handy and fun for some niches. Tribal feats for instance were designed to be useful in a low magic barbarians type game, and they work quite well in that context. Guild feats likewise serve their little niche.


Again, not if the niche they fill is so incredibly small it appeals to only 1 percent of the players. That's when you get a glut of content. 
That and the runepriest isn't even bad.  It works fine as a leader especially considering how little support it has gotten compared to most other leaders.  The only bad leader mechanically is the sentinel, which has decent fluff behind it.

The only thing with purple is that purple doesn't automatically mean bad and it is sometimes one persons judgment.  It means niche, but sometimes that niche can be pretty big and I have used purple powers in charoped builds before because good feat support made the power a good choice in that particular case.  Hybriding and multiclassing can turn a bunch of ratings on their head because of how class features work.

And sometimes charop authors are wrong or at least have a very minority opinion.  There was an author of one of the theme handbooks I remember that rated a theme red, that other theme handbook writers rated black and I rated black and dark blue in my class handbooks.
Story and flavor in many games are used to give context to game mechanics, not the oposite.  You first begin with great mechanics and design, then build the flavor around it.  BUT, The concept still need to be born before everything else is build on.

It's not as diferent as when i build character, i start with a character concept, then build the character to fit that character, after i finish it, i build the flavor around the character.  Some classes/builds are not as interesting because the concept isn't, and because the lack of good concept, it lack good mechanics and uninspiring flavor

Concept > Mechanics > Flavor/Fluff

This is one of the reason why the hexblade has been expanded the most out of all essential classes, it's a great & flexible concept, the mechanics are solid and easy to build on it, and the flavor really come easly from it.
Story and flavor in many games are used to give context to game mechanics, not the oposite.  You first begin with great mechanics and design, then build the flavor around it.  BUT, The concept still need to be born before everything else is build on.

It's not as diferent as when i build character, i start with a character concept, then build the character to fit that character, after i finish it, i build the flavor around the character.  Some classes/builds are not as interesting because the concept isn't, and because the lack of good concept, it lack good mechanics and uninspiring flavor

Concept > Mechanics > Flavor/Fluff

This is one of the reason why the hexblade has been expanded the most out of all essential classes, it's a great & flexible concept, the mechanics are solid and easy to build on it, and the flavor really come easly from it.


This is how I primarily feel. Fluff is the least important thing to me. I rarely use by the book fluff except for with monsters. I think COncept and MEchanics are equally important though.

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