Legends & Lore: D&D Next Goals, Part Four

damn, i had my fingers crossed for an announcement about the next packet.

also, i think it's a little weird to see options for varying XP systems mentioned as part of the advanced rules. those all like very easy to implement features that  could be dropped in even the most basic campaigns.
Neat article basically everything I was expecting...Though I hope alternate casting systems can all sit on the same table at the same time.  That is a big one for me.  If someone on my table likes spell points and someone likes vancian I want them both to be able to sit on the same table. 

Include rules for mass combat between armies, both for resolving two armies fighting and battles where the PCs can play a role.


Provide rules for sea battles.


Provide critical hit and critical failure tables.


Design rules for using armor as damage reduction, along with rules for hit locations.


Introduce rules for lingering wounds, a gritty approach to health and well being.


Include alternative magic systems.


Provide rules for horror and sanity, along with other rules to change D&D's genre.

The above rules will make me very, very happy. The more I read from the devs, the more excited I get for the future of DDN.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
The list of new ideas has me excited again (with the exception of the firearms, but that's just me). Here's hoping that it all works right.

Just roll some dice.

 

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I love this article.

With the advanced rules, we assume that players and DMs are experienced with RPGs, know what they're doing, and want something different. This part of the game is where we throw open the controls over the system and let DMs go crazy. You can think of it as 3E's Unearthed Arcana but with the game designed from the ground up to absorb (or even encourage) core rules hacking.


LOVE IT!

Dials are rules that change the core but in a predictable way.


After a previous article said that modules wouldn't change core elements, this was very welcome news.


Some advanced rules go back and change a key element of the core system in a fundamental way. With these rules, we expect that everyone at the table will have to revise their characters in some way to account for the new law of physics, such as it is, that a DM is using. For instance, armor as DR, hit locations, and a variant approach to magic fall into this category.


Very glad to hear this.


So, what sorts of rules are we looking at building? The list is a little fluid, but here's what we want to focus on. It's kind of a laundry list, and there's no guarantee that everything will be ready at launch, so it's more of a wish list.

  • Include tactical combat rules that allow the option to add more miniatures gaming elements to combat. This would include a grid, options for facing, rules for more detailed zones of control, and so on.

  • Provide a system that emphasizes refreshing resources by encounter instead of by day. The nice thing about our approach is that since this is an option, we don't have to settle for half measures. Everything can be encounter-based, even hit points.

  • Create rules for giving mechanical weight to character motivation, personality traits, and so on.

  • Provide a structure for a more story-based approach to D&D, treating the DM and players as co-authors of a narrative with a specific focus.

  • Use action points, fate points, or a similar meta-mechanic as a reward or a way to give players a mechanical option to boost their power for a specific moment.

  • Create variant XP rules, using XP as a way for a DM to place the emphasis on fighting, interaction, exploration, finding treasure, and so on.

  • Add in rules for firearms, including both a historical take and one driven by fantasy.

  • Include rules for mass combat between armies, both for resolving two armies fighting and battles where the PCs can play a role.

  • Design rules for speeding up battles that involve lots of monsters and the characters.

  • Provide rules for sea battles.

  • Create rules for realms management and strongholds.

  • Design rules for finding ingredients and reagents to craft magic items.

  • Provide critical hit and critical failure tables.

  • Design rules for using armor as damage reduction, along with rules for hit locations.

  • Introduce rules for lingering wounds, a gritty approach to health and well being.

  • Include alternative magic systems.

  • Provide rules for horror and sanity, along with other rules to change D&D's genre.


It's a big list, and probably more than we can fit into what we hope to provide. At the end of the day, the advanced rules are likely to be more of an ethos or an attitude that casts the DM as a game designer who can alter the mechanics or add to them to suit the specific needs of a campaign.



I love just about everything on that list, but special metions go to alternate magic systems, fantasy-based firearms (which I assume means the non-historical, non-gimped variety), encounter resources, action/fate points, creating magic items with reagents instead of spells, and horror & sanity rules (as a lover of the Ravenloft setting, I am down for those).

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Neat article basically everything I was expecting...Though I hope alternate casting systems can all sit on the same table at the same time.  That is a big one for me.  If someone on my table likes spell points and someone likes vancian I want them both to be able to sit on the same table. 

I definitely agree with this.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Neat article basically everything I was expecting...Though I hope alternate casting systems can all sit on the same table at the same time.  That is a big one for me.  If someone on my table likes spell points and someone likes vancian I want them both to be able to sit on the same table. 

I definitely agree with this.


I also endorse that sentiment, 100%.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I couldn't be more happy with that list. In fact I am very happy with D&D Next as it is at the moment minus needing tweeks here and there, but if all of these optional rules come out as part of the DM guide then you can take my money.
....
Why do I have the distinct concern that any magic system other than the current spell slot one will be at best tacked on and available in the back of some obscure splat book on optional advanced rules that you should never use...
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
....
Why do I have the distinct concern that any magic system other than the current spell slot one will be at best tacked on and available in the back of some obscure splat book on optional advanced rules that you should never use...


Because you're as pessimistic as I am?

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

....
Why do I have the distinct concern that any magic system other than the current spell slot one will be at best tacked on and available in the back of some obscure splat book on optional advanced rules that you should never use...


Because you're as pessimistic as I am?



C'mon guys, no need to be debbie-downers. Smile! =D

I think after Wizards saw the (somewhat) flop that was 4E and being overtaken by Pathfinder in the market, I believe they're ready to put all the hard work they can muster into Next. And at the moment, it's shaping up really well. 

....
Why do I have the distinct concern that any magic system other than the current spell slot one will be at best tacked on and available in the back of some obscure splat book on optional advanced rules that you should never use...


Because you're as pessimistic as I am?



C'mon guys, no need to be debbie-downers. Smile! =D



Hey, I always "hope for the best, but expect the worst."  It's the Cynical Scout's motto.

I think after Wizards saw the (somewhat) flop that was 4E and being overtaken by Pathfinder in the market, I believe they're ready to put all the hard work they can muster into Next. And at the moment, it's shaping up really well.


That won't end well.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

These advanced rules that change core parts of the game need to be in the core, not in the advanced rules. If they are in the advanced rules the vast majority of them will seldom be used and they will just end up being a waste of space. The only time you'll see them in convention play is when they are needed by the DM for specific elements of the game, with no other options even being considered.

Alternative magic systems absolutely need to be in the core game. Without this one thing, WotC has no hope of combining the various factions of D&D.

Basic core desperately needs to be much more than a 16 page "Red Box" inside of the PHB. Making DDN a multi-tiered game in a single book is not a serious attempt to bring any group together. All it does is formalize the fractures in the fanbase in some desperate attempt to appease everybody rather than tackle the difficult issues of RPG creation and balance.

With almost every Legends & Lore article (especially these four "D&D Next Goals" articles)it has only become more and more apparent that the original design goals were "more what you'd call 'guidelines'", readily set aside at a moment's notice for the sake of convenience. They've already been folded, spindled, and mutilated into twisted versions of their former selves. I wonder if they will even be recognizable when this is all said and done.

While I will continue to provide feedback in an attempt to support the game and franchise I have loved for decades, I no longer have any faith in the current development group. Their vision has been seemingly clouded by the desire for the easy way out to the detriment of every piece of the whole.
Because you're as pessimistic as I am?


So long as it is pessimism rather than realism...

The format of presentation is what worries me, in specifically that the assumption will be there will be only one "major alteration" to the core.
I understand the more developed the chasis, the less it can be customized, and wonder which side they will favour. Also, the more elaborate that base, the more the widgets stand to be throw aways that do not fit well.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
These advanced rules that change core parts of the game need to be in the core, not in the advanced rules. If they are in the advanced rules the vast majority of them will seldom be used and they will just end up being a waste of space. The only time you'll see them in convention play is when they are needed by the DM for specific elements of the game, with no other options even being considered. Alternative magic systems absolutely need to be in the core game. Without this one thing, WotC has no hope of combining the various factions of D&D. Basic core desperately needs to be much more than a 16 page "Red Box" inside of the PHB. Making DDN a multi-tiered game in a single book is not a serious attempt to bring any group together. All it does is formalize the fractures in the fanbase in some desperate attempt to appease everybody rather than tackle the difficult issues of RPG creation and balance. With almost every Legends & Lore article (especially these four "D&D Next Goals" articles)it has only become more and more apparent that the original design goals were "more what you'd call 'guidelines'", readily set aside at a moment's notice for the sake of convenience. They've already been folded, spindled, and mutilated into twisted versions of their former selves. I wonder if they will even be recognizable when this is all said and done. While I will continue to provide feedback in an attempt to support the game and franchise I have loved for decades, I no longer have any faith in the current development group. Their vision has been seemingly clouded by the desire for the easy way out to the detriment of every piece of the whole.




I could not disagree more. The core cannot be everything to everyone. The only way to appease everyone’s desires is with modular options that change the way the core works, so that different groups with different tastes can make the game, at their table, run the way they want. It sounds like that is exactly what the advanced rules are designed to do.

I have a lot of faith in WotC. It looks like this design team is doing exactly what it should be doing.


  
I could not disagree more. The core cannot be everything to everyone. The only way to appease everyone’s desires is with modular options that change the way the core works, so that different groups with different tastes can make the game, at their table, run the way they want. It sounds like that is exactly what the advanced rules are designed to do.


I have a lot of faith in WotC. It looks like this design team is doing exactly what it should be doing.


  


I think one of the concerns may stem from a specific paragraph.

Options in the final category—ones that alter the core in a fundamental way—are best used one at a time or with careful consideration for their interaction. Since they alter the core, they might not work well together. When we design them, we'll always assume that they are the lone, engine-altering option you're using. That path allows us to keep our sanity and also makes it more practical to implement such rules. A hit location table is one thing, but making one that also accounts for armor as damage reduction requires far more work.

Alternate magic system was declared to be firmly in that category (which worries me as to how integral the slot/day system is going to be as a concept that it is CORE, while it only applies to a narrow sampling of classes and sliver of creatures.). 
The follow up that  It's kind of a laundry list, and there's no guarantee that everything will be ready at launch, so it's more of a wish list. is even more disconcerting for those who wanted to play D&D from the start, or without having a splat book tax.
While I doubt that list is in any particular order, others may have knee-jerks as alternate magic system is near the very bottom of the list, leading them to believe it is low priority. 

However, for me, the part about not everything being ready at launch is the primary source of skepticism. 

Modular options are good, but how long are you willing to wait after launch and how much extra money are you willing to spend?
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.

"Some advanced rules go back and change a key element of the core system in a fundamental way. With these rules, we expect that everyone at the table will have to revise their characters in some way to account for the new law of physics, such as it is, that a DM is using. For instance, armor as DR, hit locations, and a variant approach to magic fall into this category.

...


Options in the final category—ones that alter the core in a fundamental way—are best used one at a time or with careful consideration for their interaction. Since they alter the core, they might not work well together. When we design them, we'll always assume that they are the lone, engine-altering option you're using. That path allows us to keep our sanity and also makes it more practical to implement such rules. A hit location table is one thing, but making one that also accounts for armor as damage reduction requires far more work.



Predictable. Pretty much what I expected to hear from this... sadly.


We'll just have to wait and see how it all turns out in the end, but I'm not in the least bit hopeful.





However, for me, the part about not everything being ready at launch is the primary source of skepticism. 

Modular options are good, but how long are you willing to wait after launch and how much extra money are you willing to spend?


I've shared that concern since day one. What will we have at launch, and just how much of it will we actually use? I'm sure I'm not speaking alone when I say a number of us will keep that concern until we actually have the game in hand.

These advanced rules that change core parts of the game need to be in the core, not in the advanced rules. If they are in the advanced rules the vast majority of them will seldom be used and they will just end up being a waste of space. The only time you'll see them in convention play is when they are needed by the DM for specific elements of the game, with no other options even being considered. Alternative magic systems absolutely need to be in the core game. Without this one thing, WotC has no hope of combining the various factions of D&D. Basic core desperately needs to be much more than a 16 page "Red Box" inside of the PHB. Making DDN a multi-tiered game in a single book is not a serious attempt to bring any group together. All it does is formalize the fractures in the fanbase in some desperate attempt to appease everybody rather than tackle the difficult issues of RPG creation and balance. With almost every Legends & Lore article (especially these four "D&D Next Goals" articles)it has only become more and more apparent that the original design goals were "more what you'd call 'guidelines'", readily set aside at a moment's notice for the sake of convenience. They've already been folded, spindled, and mutilated into twisted versions of their former selves. I wonder if they will even be recognizable when this is all said and done. While I will continue to provide feedback in an attempt to support the game and franchise I have loved for decades, I no longer have any faith in the current development group. Their vision has been seemingly clouded by the desire for the easy way out to the detriment of every piece of the whole.




I could not disagree more. The core cannot be everything to everyone. The only way to appease everyone’s desires is with modular options that change the way the core works, so that different groups with different tastes can make the game, at their table, run the way they want. It sounds like that is exactly what the advanced rules are designed to do.

I have a lot of faith in WotC. It looks like this design team is doing exactly what it should be doing.


  

The core can't be everything to everyone, no. Neither should it be nothing to anyone. Tactical combat, alternate spellcasting, and many of the more contentious rules on that list need to be in core. The core needs something, no matter how small, that appeals to every individual.
There is also the problem associated with what ends up becoming "base" DDN. A three-tiered system is just going to be revised by the masses into a common universal version, and if you don't like that common universal version you will either have to fight for the rules you like , play with only a select group, or give up and accept that you're SoL. DDN under the current system actually encourages this kind of "put up or shut up" mentality.
Pretty much exactly what I hoped for from an advanced book. Somewhere down the line though I hope well see a few more options, like...

Aerial Combat.
Custom Class Creation.
Divine Ascension.
I'm not convinced with these design goals. Until I see evidence that the design team is actually following them I'm not committing anything to D&DN. The way I interpret it WotC wants me to be dependent on their modules to access those optional rules. It's like they want me to buy a half-baked game and if I want a "complete experience" of D&D I'll need to get those modules. I agree with Chakravant that those options or at least some of them should be in the core books. Rules that drastically change the game would be best left as modules. But anything that barely changess the fundamental game system or serve as a minor alternative should still be provided. It has been done before especially in the 2nd ed DMG so I don't see why WotC can't do the same.

And to whom is are the Standard Rules targeted to?  The Basic Rules seem to be targeted to those who never heard what an RPG is or never played D&D at all. I'd see most if not all veteran players and DMs jumping to the Advanced Rules. So who will buy the Standard Rules set?
The core can't be everything to everyone, no. Neither should it be nothing to anyone. Tactical combat, alternate spellcasting, and many of the more contentious rules on that list need to be in core. The core needs something, no matter how small, that appeals to every individual. There is also the problem associated with what ends up becoming "base" DDN. A three-tiered system is just going to be revised by the masses into a common universal version, and if you don't like that common universal version you will either have to fight for the rules you like , play with only a select group, or give up and accept that you're SoL. DDN under the current system actually encourages this kind of "put up or shut up" mentality.




Again, I could not disagree with you more. Those contentious rules, present in a core fashion, are likely to do this edition more ill than good. I would not buy this edition if tactical, grid based rules were part of its core. Likewise, as 4e proved, many other people will not buy this edition if core spellcasting is not vancien. Adding those element into the game via a set of modular options is a far smarter move.

Put plain and simply, I don't think they would ever be able to please you. I think that if they were to design the game in such a way as to please the demographic you represent, they would push other demographics away, and this edition would become a flop (ala 4e). I think their current course is far smarter, and I think that any reasonable players ought to be satisfied if their desired rules can be found as a modular option in the advanced rules section. For example, I like gritty lasting wounds. I don’t need them to be part of core, though. Placing them in the advanced rules is good enough.


Yes, of course, that does mean that you need to find like minded players to form a group. But, again, I think that is ok. 

And to whom is are the Standard Rules targeted to?  The Basic Rules seem to be targeted to those who never heard what an RPG is or never played D&D at all. I'd see most if not all veteran players and DMs jumping to the Advanced Rules. So who will buy the Standard Rules set?



There will be some advanced rules within the core rulebooks at the outset.  In other words, you won't buy them separately (or at least you won't buy all of them separately).  And I think you're right that a lot of people will use some of the advanced rules, but unlike the basic and standard rules, the advanced rules aren't a ruleset, per se.  They're a collection of different ways you can modify the standard rules.  So almost everyone will probably be using at least part of the standard ruleset.
Oh look, it only took 3 pages for the edition warring swill to flow. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
And to whom is are the Standard Rules targeted to?  The Basic Rules seem to be targeted to those who never heard what an RPG is or never played D&D at all. I'd see most if not all veteran players and DMs jumping to the Advanced Rules. So who will buy the Standard Rules set?



There will be some advanced rules within the core rulebooks at the outset.  In other words, you won't buy them separately (or at least you won't buy all of them separately).  And I think you're right that a lot of people will use some of the advanced rules, but unlike the basic and standard rules, the advanced rules aren't a ruleset, per se.  They're a collection of different ways you can modify the standard rules.  So almost everyone will probably be using at least part of the standard ruleset.


Yes, advanced rules stack on top of the standard structure.
My two copper.
And to whom is are the Standard Rules targeted to?  The Basic Rules seem to be targeted to those who never heard what an RPG is or never played D&D at all. I'd see most if not all veteran players and DMs jumping to the Advanced Rules. So who will buy the Standard Rules set?



There will be some advanced rules within the core rulebooks at the outset.  In other words, you won't buy them separately (or at least you won't buy all of them separately).  And I think you're right that a lot of people will use some of the advanced rules, but unlike the basic and standard rules, the advanced rules aren't a ruleset, per se.  They're a collection of different ways you can modify the standard rules.  So almost everyone will probably be using at least part of the standard ruleset.


Yes, advanced rules stack on top of the standard structure.


Except when they replace or alter it.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
Oh look, it only took 3 pages for the edition warring swill to flow. 



Where do you see edition warring in this thread? 
Oh look, it only took 3 pages for the edition warring swill to flow. 



Where do you see edition warring in this thread? 


Your memory is short, read your own posts.
 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.

  • Create rules for giving mechanical weight to character motivation, personality traits, and so on.

  • Create variant XP rules, using XP as a way for a DM to place the emphasis on fighting, interaction, exploration, finding treasure, and so on.

  • Add in rules for firearms, including both a historical take and one driven by fantasy.

  • Include rules for mass combat between armies, both for resolving two armies fighting and battles where the PCs can play a role.

  • Design rules for speeding up battles that involve lots of monsters and the characters.

  • Create rules for realms management and strongholds.

  • Provide rules for horror and sanity, along with other rules to change D&D's genre.


Stuff Orzel cares about

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

While I like the idea of mass combat, I hope it won't be rendered all but irrelevant with the presence of high level characters.
Oh look, it only took 3 pages for the edition warring swill to flow. 



Where do you see edition warring in this thread? 


Your memory is short, read your own posts.
 




Ah. I see. So, you don't actually understand what edition warring is. Edition warring refers to comments designed to empirically denigrate an edition due to a subjective distaste for its aesthetic sensibilities. I did not denigrate the subjectively judged quality of any edition. I noted that a lot of players (not me) disliked 4e because it did not make use of vancien spellcasting. I also noted that 4e was, financially speaking, for a company of WotCs size, a flop; we know that because, for the first time ever, another game (Pathfinder) first tied 4e for market share and then overtook it—WotC then proceeded to begin work on a new edition in the shortest span of time for any edition of this game. Accepting that, and making reference to those facts within the context of this thread's topic, does not amount to edition warring. 


And here is the kicker: if I was going to engage in edition warring I would not be denigrating 4e. While I have many issues with 4e, overall I like it quite a bit. 2e and 4e are my two favorite editions to date. For the most part, I really like 4e. I HATE 3e. I also HATE Pathfinder. A DM I really enjoy playing with, and who I really respect, is currently running a Pathfinder campaign. I opted out of playing that campaign in part because I cannot stand the system.


So, perhaps you should a) make sure you understand what edition warring actually refers to, b) grow a slightly thicker skin so that you can deal with the unfortunate realities of 4e’s reception by the community as a whole and its financial success as a product, and c) not accuse people of edition warring haphazardly. 

The core can't be everything to everyone, no. Neither should it be nothing to anyone. Tactical combat, alternate spellcasting, and many of the more contentious rules on that list need to be in core. The core needs something, no matter how small, that appeals to every individual. There is also the problem associated with what ends up becoming "base" DDN. A three-tiered system is just going to be revised by the masses into a common universal version, and if you don't like that common universal version you will either have to fight for the rules you like , play with only a select group, or give up and accept that you're SoL. DDN under the current system actually encourages this kind of "put up or shut up" mentality.




Again, I could not disagree with you more. Those contentious rules, present in a core fashion, are likely to do this edition more ill than good. I would not buy this edition if tactical, grid based rules were part of its core. Likewise, as 4e proved, many other people will not buy this edition if core spellcasting is not vancien. Adding those element into the game via a set of modular options is a far smarter move.

Put plain and simply, I don't think they would ever be able to please you. I think that if they were to design the game in such a way as to please the demographic you represent, they would push other demographics away, and this edition would become a flop (ala 4e). I think their current course is far smarter, and I think that any reasonable players ought to be satisfied if their desired rules can be found as a modular option in the advanced rules section. For example, I like gritty lasting wounds. I don’t need them to be part of core, though. Placing them in the advanced rules is good enough.


Yes, of course, that does mean that you need to find like minded players to form a group. But, again, I think that is ok. 


I'm not saying make DDN a gridded system. I'm not a fan of gridded combat. But there needs to be optional rules in core DDN. Right now meta-Vancian is the only spellcasting type there is in core, automatically disenfranchising 4E fans.
I have trouble seeing how you can believe my "big tent" method would make this edition a flop or push any demographic except for "Red Box only" fans away. It accepts that there are divisions in the fanbase, and gives those divisions core options to play how they want to.
I'm not saying make DDN a gridded system. I'm not a fan of gridded combat. But there needs to be optional rules in core DDN. Right now meta-Vancian is the only spellcasting type there is in core, automatically disenfranchising 4E fans. I have trouble seeing how you can believe my "big tent" method would make this edition a flop or push any demographic except for "Red Box only" fans away. It accepts that there are divisions in the fanbase, and gives those divisions core options to play how they want to.




Again, I could not disagree with you more, and I think you are suffering from a conceptual block. Optional rule systems in this game are referred to as advanced rules systems. There are merely the basic rules, the standard rules, and the advanced rules that you tack onto the standard system to modify the way the game plays. All of what you have described falls into a rule system that you tack onto the base system to modify the way it plays. I don't see why all such systems should not be grouped together and called advanced modules. Likewise, I don't see why any reasonable 4e player ought to be disenfranchised by being given an alternate 4e esque casting system that can use to replace vancien casting via those advanced modules. Anyone who is so unreasonable that they will not be appeased by an optional, alternate casting system released in one of the first three rulebooks (PH, DMG, or MM) will probably find a reason to dislike this edition no matter what it does, unless it resembles 4e to a degree that will cost it a major share of the market. Thus, I don't think it is reasonable to worry about such players. I say that as a 4e fan. 

Neat article basically everything I was expecting...Though I hope alternate casting systems can all sit on the same table at the same time.  That is a big one for me.  If someone on my table likes spell points and someone likes vancian I want them both to be able to sit on the same table. 



I feel the same way.


Since alternate magic systems need to be a player option, rather than a setting option, it might make more sense in Standard D&D, as part of character customization.  
I myself am curious to see how WotC will handle the encounter-based resource ruleset. I'm also hoping it will be a module in the core book.
I'm not saying make DDN a gridded system. I'm not a fan of gridded combat. But there needs to be optional rules in core DDN. Right now meta-Vancian is the only spellcasting type there is in core, automatically disenfranchising 4E fans. I have trouble seeing how you can believe my "big tent" method would make this edition a flop or push any demographic except for "Red Box only" fans away. It accepts that there are divisions in the fanbase, and gives those divisions core options to play how they want to.




Again, I could not disagree with you more, and I think you are suffering from a conceptual block. Optional rule systems in this game are referred to as advanced rules systems. There are merely the basic rules, the standard rules, and the advanced rules that you tack onto the standard system to modify the way the game plays. All of what you have described falls into a rule system that you tack onto the base system to modify the way it plays. I don't see why all such systems should not be grouped together and called advanced modules. Likewise, I don't see why any reasonable 4e player ought to be disenfranchised by being given an alternate 4e esque casting system that can use to replace vancien casting via those advanced modules. Anyone who is so unreasonable that they will not be appeased by an optional, alternate casting system released in one of the first three rulebooks (PH, DMG, or MM) will probably find a reason to dislike this edition no matter what it does, unless it resembles 4e to a degree that will cost it a major share of the market. Thus, I don't think it is reasonable to worry about such players. I say that as a 4e fan. 


It isn't a conceptual block. It is an acknowledgement of common NLP/CBT considerations. If optional rules are advanced rules, more people will end up just tossing them aside as the desires of fringe players, making their inclusion useless. By making them core, they will have a greater chance of being used and accepted as a common part of the game.
Saying you don't think it is reasonable to worry about such players is not the kind of attitude that makes DDN the best game it can be. All players need to be worried about, or no players can be counted on to buy the product.
I'm not saying make DDN a gridded system. I'm not a fan of gridded combat. But there needs to be optional rules in core DDN. Right now meta-Vancian is the only spellcasting type there is in core, automatically disenfranchising 4E fans. I have trouble seeing how you can believe my "big tent" method would make this edition a flop or push any demographic except for "Red Box only" fans away. It accepts that there are divisions in the fanbase, and gives those divisions core options to play how they want to.




Again, I could not disagree with you more, and I think you are suffering from a conceptual block. Optional rule systems in this game are referred to as advanced rules systems. There are merely the basic rules, the standard rules, and the advanced rules that you tack onto the standard system to modify the way the game plays. All of what you have described falls into a rule system that you tack onto the base system to modify the way it plays. I don't see why all such systems should not be grouped together and called advanced modules. Likewise, I don't see why any reasonable 4e player ought to be disenfranchised by being given an alternate 4e esque casting system that can use to replace vancien casting via those advanced modules. Anyone who is so unreasonable that they will not be appeased by an optional, alternate casting system released in one of the first three rulebooks (PH, DMG, or MM) will probably find a reason to dislike this edition no matter what it does, unless it resembles 4e to a degree that will cost it a major share of the market. Thus, I don't think it is reasonable to worry about such players. I say that as a 4e fan. 




i see merits in both of your arguments, but i think Chak has a point.

when elements that make or break the game for you are placed in the game as "advanced optional rules", you'll have a lot harder time getting a DM to let you play exactly what you want.

i can speak from experience as someone who plays with  DM who's very set in their ways. getting that person to allow some optional rule that completely changes the rules that arbitrate my character would be like pulling a sword from a stone.

admittedly, we don't know how the game will end up being presented, but as it is now, it's looking like 4e options are going to be something players will have to ask for hat-in-hand.


Since alternate magic systems need to be a player option, rather than a setting option, it might make more sense in Standard D&D, as part of character customization.  



Indeed. With the way they're assuming things now, they may as well just be more transparent about such things and go back to using their "class = casting system" method they've proposed initially for the system.

As I understand it, they will still be having alternate casting style magic using classes. They have said that the warlock and the sorcerer are still very much going to be part of the game. It is switching out the wizard's casting system for an alternate casting system that seems to be an optional, advanced rule set. 

As I understand it, they will still be having alternate casting style magic using classes. They have said that the warlock and the sorcerer are still very much going to be part of the game. It is switching out the wizard's casting system for an alternate casting system that seems to be an optional, advanced rule set. 


The honey that would catch the most flies would be to allow core rules that would let the players decide which casting style they wanted to use for each individual class and allow them to all play side by side at the same table.
The key aspect is making advanced rules not look broken, silly, or extremely pandering.

If DMs are not afraid to use them; they won't get tossed aside, players wont need to bribe DMs, and finding a group with rules close to your desire wont be impossible.

But if advanced rules is not handled right, DDN will be the "Tons of variant but no one uses the ones I like" game.


Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!