Table of Contents for Dragon #417 is out....

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....and I am mighty disappointed.

Another issue, like #415, where the only crunch is a couple of magical items.

Wizards, the people who are subscribing to DDI right now are 4E players. We are subscribing mainly for 4E crunch in Dragon, 4E adventures in Dungeon, and the 4E digital tools. Most of us do not want "edition neutral" fluff. It's fine and dandy for you to hand out to 5E players, as a bonus to their own DDI subscriptions, all the "edition neutral" fluff published in Dragon prior to 5E.

While we are paying 4E customers, it would be nice to have some 4E material in Dragon. It would be even nicer considering that there is unlikely to be another 4E book published, ever. What I want out of Dragon until 5E is released, and I don't think I am alone, is the following:

At least two or three articles containing 4E crunch every issue. That crunch should either fill in holes in 4E, or fix broken things in 4E.

Off the top of my head, the holes are: Autumn and Winter Sentinels; more Vices for Blackguards; more Virtues for Cavaliers; Gloom and Elemental Pacts for PHB1 Warlocks; Vestige, Sorcerer King and Dark Pacts for Hexblades; Infernal, Star, Vestige, Sorcerer King, Dark and Elemental Pacts for Binders; A Celestial Pact for all Warlocks; Racial Feats and Paragon Paths for Vryloka, Hengeyokai, Shades, Satyrs, Hamadryads, Pixies, Kobolds, Svirfneblin, Kenku and Goblins (and Bladelings, whenever that article that should have been in #414 gets published); A Swarm build for Protector Druids; Weapon options for Knights beyond Swords, Hammers and Staves; Weapon options for Slayers beyond Swords, Axes and Staves; and many more that I have forgotten for now.

Off the top of my head, stuff that is busted and needs to be rewritten for publication in Dragon: Assassin's Shroud, the delayed damage mechanism often does not pay off; Beastmaster Ranger, the Beast does not properly scale in attack or damage, and the Beast lacks crit dice; Shade racial power does not work with the Stealth rules as written, and Practiced Sneak provides no benefit to the classes that Shades are supposed to favor, which are the classes that are already trained in Stealth; Binder pact trigger mechanism either needs to be rewritten, or Binders need to be given a Curse option, currently Binder pact triggers when an adjacent enemy dies (which is a position no ranged controller wants to be in) or when a Binder kills an enemy (which is unlikely, because killing things is not the primary concern of the CONTROLLER role); Changelings, should get at least one free language, it is diffiuclt to impersonate other races when the only language you get for free is Common; Hengeyokai; should have a Racial encounter power; etc.

The above, at three crunch articles per month, should last you halfway through 2013, and I'm sure better minds than mine can fill the remaining nine months until 5E releases in Spring of 2014.

Since Wizards isn't going to be publishing any more 4E books, let subscribers get 4E through Dragon, or we probably won't remain subscribers through to 5E's release.
I would sell my soul to the devil for dark pact hexblade (thought i am playing a gloom pact hexblade drow reflavored as dark pact...wish fit, because many high ranking drow have scourge)

But yes, the table of content of this month is extremly lackluster...btw, why do they keep releasing ecology and history checks on dragon magazine...aren't those DM oriented articles and should be on Dungeon Magazine?

And no, as a DM, i don't care for in magazine adventures, i want new monsters...no adventures, i DM my own campaing, not somebody else' campaing. 
Much as I agree with the sentiment, we have to face the fact that it's simply not going to happen.  What little effort is being put in at present in head office, is going into 5e.  So, all that stuff we were promised, will come in a trickle, if it comes at all.  They wouldn't want to take peoples' attention away from the playtest.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Generic superior weapliments instead of just daggers...the swordmage is designed to use longswords as implements, why are they denied a superior implement?
Good luck with all that.  Wotc doesn't think its worth it to give its currently paying customers what they want.
Unfortunatly, there are paying customers that want more crunch and and others than don't and think 4E is bloated.

 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Unfortunatly, there are paying customers that want more crunch and and others than don't and think 4E is bloated.

 



Then, it would seem to me, the solution to the conundrum is have a balance of crunch and fluff in Dragon. Since there won't be any more 4E books coming out, the bloat will only have small increases when published in Dragon, where another PHB will dramatically increase that bloated feeling.

I can tell you right now, if Dragon is going to be edition neutral, along with whatever new books are published, I'm gone. Wizards loses my DDI money if there is no more crunch to be had for 4E. If I have to write the stuff I want myself, I'll get HeroLabs and use their editing tool so I can make my own crunch and have it show on their CB.

I think 4E is very bloated, but it also has noticable gaps in game design.  That means they need to write meaningful, useful crunch that fixes obvious gaps in the game.  Generally this is racial and class support for a handful of gaps.  Racial feats and maybe paragon paths for the handful of races that lack them.  Feats and powers that fix obvious gaps in classes like a deity independent MBA for avengers and a some superior blade implements for the swordmage.

They had one recent poison themed paragon path in dragon that was evil deity restricted and fairly underpowered.  That is the exact sort of crunch I don't want since I suspect it will never be used in 99%+ of games.

They also had a recent seeker article that had some very good powers that will for sure see some use in almost any group with a seeker and access to dragon.  That is the exact sort of crunch we need and doesn't feel bloated at all to me since it filled an obvious gap.

In between are articles like the domination domain theme.  A very good article, but its not like the cleric needed more stuff at this point.
I concur entirely.  The problem with 4e is bloat, sure, but it's bloat of godawful content.  There are still areas which are missing a lot.

They won't be remedied.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I'd love to have those gaps filled but WotC is clearly ignoring us. I suspect the next 6 to 12 months will be a slow trickle of 4e crunch in Dragon, 2 adventures per month in Dungeon, all of it just enough so that they can justify charging anything at all for the magazines, and then a year from now we'll start to see "Sneak Peak" type articles and beta versions of new tools being the big draw for D&D Insider. I can see it now.... "Subscribe to D&D Insider to get access the new 5e tools and a sneak peak at the online only Warlord class for D&D Next"

At the very least I hope WotC continues to release quality errata and fixes the bugs and wrong info in the CB, Compendium and MB so that these tools can be useful into the future (hoping and dreaming for an offline version!). My hope for 4e is that it is left in a fully finished state in some sort of database/archive (preferably an offline compendium) that can stand the test of time. I still play 1e, BECMI, 2e, and 3.5 and I suspect I'll still be playing 4e for a long time to come.

It would be a gesture of good will to us 4e fans if WotC at least left 4e in the best shape as possible. I hope they've learned their lesson from the 3.5 to 4e changeover that it's better to support your old fan base than piss them off.
I'd like to see some more crunch that bridges into 5e.

jh

Gamer Chiropractor - Hafner Chiropractic 305 S. Kipling st,Suite C-2, Lakewood, Co 80226 hafnerchiropractic.com

Last time they did something like that, the rules were completely worthless and incompatible with either edition.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
id rather just get system neutral material than have anything 5e related in 4e.
id rather just get system neutral material than have anything 5e related in 4e.



I agree 100%. This is what I fear WotC will do, try to mix a lot of 5e mechanics into 4e right at the end of the edition in the hopes of converting 4e holdouts over to 5e. I think this would be a huge mistake.

Don't get me wrong, I'm actually quite excited about 5e and my playtests have been a lot of fun, but the beauty of 4e is that is a very solid game design that has not yet suffered the fate of previous editions:  end of edition power creep and mechanically unsound options. 2e and 3e both suffered terribly from this and I'm really hoping 4e can be left in as best shape as possible with everything finally errataed and put into the compendium for posterity.

What WotC needs to do is be honest and say something like "Nov. 2013 will be our last 4e material, after that it's 5e only". Make it a nice clean break, don't confuse everything right at the end. 


What WotC needs to do is be honest and say something like "Nov. 2013 will be our last 4e material, after that it's 5e only". Make it a nice clean break, don't confuse everything right at the end. 



If this month's Dragon is any indication, then it looks like this date is actually November 2012.
seriously, those holes need to be filled in before the next edition retails

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)