Flexible Rule so....Flexible Builder?

OK so lets pretend WOTC has already annouced that their going to release a builder (either offline or offline with online access as an OPTION) for Next on or shortly after it's release.

That said one of the goals of Next is to make it flexible with hopes of multiple ways to do everything so for a builder to succeed it would need to at LEAST include all the various official rules all the way from "Basic" to "Advanced" now I'm hoping we get somehting the 4e builder lacked DEARLY (despite being pretty awesome otherwise)...the ability to create custom content that interacts with the builder like pre-programmed content...for example if I wanted a feat to add +1 to X the builder should be able to recognize that and apply it to the character sheet. Something like a bunch of options with dropdown menus would be really cool.

Now another thing this would need is a way for WOTC to protect their interests since its offline (since we all know making it online was NOT for "convienice" it was to protect their interest) so I say give TWO options...either allow people to pay the monthly sub to get all contact availible until you no loinger pay than you can't use it (have a trial version...with say PHB and up to lvl 3) OR you can purchase a physical copy of the book to recieve some sort of code to "activate" that book on your builder (please don't waste time arguing about how easy this is to break, etc.,etc. with a few easy precautions it would be easy too avoid)

So what do you guys think?
Do you want a builder?
Would you prefer to pay monthly or per book?
Does allowing for the monthly fee hurt book sales?, if so should WOTC not offer it?
What other services would you like to be offered for Next's DDi program...please go nuts were in fantasy land don't worry about cost, coding, etc?

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i would think the best model would be a software package for a fee and books to buy i dont like the subscription model as you either get tons of stuff for a low price or little for high depending on how dnd next does
I will not pay a monthly fee to have an online tool for D&D Next or otherwise. If I have purchased the books with my hard earned money then I have done my part. So My answer to your question is no. Nothing. D20pfrsd does this for free for Pathfinder and all major info from the Core books is free to the public. So should it be with Wotc if they want to compete. If not then they have one less e-customer. I just will not pay a monthly fee.

For me I hope they never release a character builder.


As I am hoping for a system that is simple enough that a character builder is never needed.


For me I hope they never release a character builder.


As I am hoping for a system that is simple enough that a character builder is never needed.



Not needed, no. However, nothign wrong with having one for people who want one. Especially once the content bloat kicks in, a builder will make it  much easier to sort through everything.

Do you want a builder?

Yes.
Would you prefer to pay monthly or per book?

Book. Monthly is for suckers. The current 4e made this prefectly clear.
Does allowing for the monthly fee hurt book sales?, if so should WOTC not offer it?

As I've said, monthly is for suckers. Say no to monthly.
What other services would you like to be offered for Next's DDi program...please go nuts were in fantasy land don't worry about cost, coding, etc?

How about all the things we were promised on 4e's launch? Tongue Out

Book. Monthly is for suckers. The current 4e made this prefectly clear.



Heh I agree most assuredly I tried to keep my opinion out of thr OP


 
How about all the things we were promised on 4e's launch? Tongue Out



Heh would be nie but it is kinda of hard to lay the blame entirely on WOTC sine the company that was supposed to make the ddi screwed them over...although you'd think they would have it by now
Do you want a builder?

I think this one is a no brainer. While it will be difficult to do, I think WotC can only benefit from having a good virtual toolset.
Would you prefer to pay monthly or per book?

I can spend 120 dollars on 4 dead-tree books. If I can spend 120 dollars instead on all the content released that year, that seems a bit easier to deal with to me. I'd also really like for pdfs to be offered, at a greatly discounted price. Me and my group have completely moved away from dead trees (everybody owns a tablet) except for the rare occasion we need to look up a rule (making the 4e rules compendium and DMG1 basically the only books we keep at the table; everything else has been collecting dust in a closet).

Does allowing for the monthly fee hurt book sales?, if so should WOTC not offer it?

Does it hurt dead-tree sales? Probably (see above: why pay 120 a year for 4 books, when I can get all the content for the same price?). Should WotC not offer it? It's hard to say, from the perspective of "what will get us the most money". I suspect if they don't allow it, that they'll have problems with people not buying their books anyways, and still playing the game.

What other services would you like to be offered for Next's DDi program...please go nuts were in fantasy land don't worry about cost, coding, etc?

Tools for DMs to quickly and easily make new content, share it with other DMs, and keep a connected list of players for their campaign, so that when those players go to make a campaign, they can select "DM Bob's House Rules" and automatically have in the character builder everything they need to do and pick from, and nothing they don't need to do or can't pick from.

Being able to print a quick-and-easy list of monsters, with all required stats, onto a format that fits the most economically onto black-and-white printed paper would be absolutely great. Being able to save that as a pdf is even better.


For me I hope they never release a character builder.


As I am hoping for a system that is simple enough that a character builder is never needed.


And what about the people that want a system complex enough that they will want a CB, I ask you?

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Honestly, they need to kill splatbooks. Sell the core books shrinkwrapped and provide codes to access online, free, splatbook-style content and errata. Release a free character builder with software hooks for people to write their own content. Use crowd-sourced wikis to supply new content for fans, by fans. Put all that behind the initial core book paywall. Fans can't pirate errata, crowd-sourcing, and HTML5 content very easily, and if they do they'll always be behind.

Make more money by selling professional adventures to DMs, while still giving them a selection of free fan-made adventures. Sell cosmetic features like alternate character sheet "skins," portraits, and such to players. Set up a Match.com-style matchmaking service for DMs and players. Make even more money selling official D&D dice, battlemats, figurines, tokens, and game aides to groups.

In other words, adopt the free-to-play model popularized by TF2. Give away your game and sell them hats. They will buy hats.
I a little confused why you don't want WOTC to release new content so I'm gonna say that I can't agree with you but most definately the buy a book get that content on the builder would work...also I'd buy a bunch of hats (signifying dice, minis, battlemats,etc.) actually what I'd love is for WOTC to team up with Dwarven Forge get that stuff in stores it would sell like mad (note to WOTC I live in Canada...don't forget that we do indeed exist, it's ok if you normally do...most people do)



If WOTC were to set-up an easy way to share fan-made content a-la the intuitive "custom content" creator I mentioned in the OP that would be huge props to them...that part would obviously require downloading (so it would temporarliy require a net access to download said file but updating the builder would require inet anyways...but only for the downloading of content) said custom thing...maybe have a database sorted by type (ie. Feat, Race, Class,etc. than a search bar with community rating systems and a report function) this of course could be further customized by the downlaoder so that say if you find an awesome custom spell that you deem a tiny bit too powerful or weak you can adjust accordingly.

One thing I DEFINATELY want to see from WOTC is an tabletop toolset with monster creator, campaign organizer, an online capable tabletop tool,etc....currently I use Masterplan and Maptool which is awesome but obviously can't contain WOTCs copyrighted material so I have to manually input any new mobs etc. from my books. If they could somehow integrate all these programs to pull from what your account is authorized to use (once you apply a code it unlocks that book on your account...could be as simple as a list with green checks and red Xs) it would be amazing (ie. I apply the MM1 book's code to my account and boom I can download those monsters to all my tools)

Lastly something very simple but VERY important let us modify official content it would obviously have to be saved as something new (so Magic Missile Failedlegend version) but it is needed.
They should still release new content, but it shouldn't be in hardback form. If they want to kill piracy, they need to convert selling books into selling a service. They could do the pay-per-month subscription model, but everyone hates that.

I'd personally like them to take the radical step of going free-to-play: anyone could grab the basic D&D rules online for free, but you have to put money down for the standard core books, and after that you have permanent access to a growing online library of new, advanced splat material. Upkeep costs can be paid for with adventures, "hats," and other creative ways.

I just think that's the best way to prevent piracy, track what your customers like, and expand the fanbase. 4E basically already did this, but split the player-base by requiring subscription fees to use a simple character builder.
The main problem with that is alot of people would loathe not being able to obtain hardcopies myself included, don't get me wrong I'd love it if applying previously mentioned code also allows the download of a PDF version would be great...I could run DnD games up at my friend's cottage with just a laptop. Make PDFs purchasable (this would unlock the content on the builder as well) for the people that like it...but NOT priniting the books at all would be a terreible idea and I'm sorry but so is making splatbooks free. WOTC is a buisness it needs to make money

Oh and to clarify yes Monthly sub is a dumb idea and murders the sale of books anyways...for tracking trends of the fans...look no further than the custom content especially since the fans have already done a good chunk of the work by rating content up or down (do NOT use a 5 star system too many good things will just end up near or at 5 stars defeating the purpose...maybe a negative rep and positive rep...start at zero and a single vote will make it go up 1 or down 1 no limit either way) and reporting anything ludicrous...just add an exclaimer that anything submitted there can be claimed by WOTC or w/e...I'm sure some people will be upset by that but I'm pretty sure its the only way WOTC can use fan-made stuff as official content (even if it's adjusted for balance)
I don't mean to keep hijacking, but I just want to mention that while everyone agrees hardcover books are fun to have, nowadays RPG errata is so widespread, expected, and frequently released that the hardcovers very shortly become out-of-date.

My 4E core books are literally worthless because of how many things were changed. I simply can't trust opening it up to refer to a rule or power, because I know it's already been changed online.

Haha, I don't even want them to provide PDFs. Just give me HTML so formatting adjusts to any screen and errata can be applied in-line without messing up the page layout.
In short: You prefer some sort of digital version of the books, Some prefer using the hard copy, I'd prefer both, each format being used for a different situation/purpose.

So whats the problem with offering both...hard copies existing won't effect you nor will digital copies existing effect the hard copy lover and people like me who's situation of when and where DnD is run varies (including some places w/o Inet) would love having both.

I'd also really like for pdfs to be offered, at a greatly discounted price. Me and my group have completely moved away from dead trees (everybody owns a tablet) except for the rare occasion we need to look up a rule (making the 4e rules compendium and DMG1 basically the only books we keep at the table; everything else has been collecting dust in a closet).

I'd LOVE this. I too use PDF's as taking a netbook around just makes more sense than a shelf of books. 

I don't mean to keep hijacking, but I just want to mention that while everyone agrees hardcover books are fun to have, nowadays RPG errata is so widespread, expected, and frequently released that the hardcovers very shortly become out-of-date.

My 4E core books are literally worthless because of how many things were changed. I simply can't trust opening it up to refer to a rule or power, because I know it's already been changed online.

Honestly I see this as a problem to be avoided in and of itself. I do not expect errata. I expect a well enough made and thoroughly enough playtested game that errata is unnecessary. That previous editions had so much errata their original printings are practically unusable is a sign of a poor system, design, and playtest.
Eratta is inevitable especially with stuff being added at least quarterly and Dragon magazine adding monthly.

Yes something as good as Maptools would be very nice. I pay monthly now and I think it's worth it for the magazine content. It's sad people don't value other peoples work. Now if all content for 4th dies in Dragon and 5th doesn't catch my eye I'll cancel my DDI.  But electornic tools are very nice.
So what do you guys think?
1) Do you want a builder?
2) Would you prefer to pay monthly or per book?
3) Does allowing for the monthly fee hurt book sales?, if so should WOTC not offer it?
4) What other services would you like to be offered for Next's DDi program...please go nuts were in fantasy land don't worry about cost, coding, etc?


1 & 2) I don't personally want a builder, but that's because I'm a pencil and book type person.  However, I think they should probably have one for those who prefer it.

3) I think the monthly fee probably does hurt book sales.  If people can get the content online, then they have less reason to buy the books.  If they have less reason to buy the books, then FLGS's have less reason to keep a significant stock of them.  Offering the content online actively puts the company at odds with the FLGS's that have been very significant to maintaining/spreading the hobby.

4) Character visualizer, map maker, etc.

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.

1) I do not need a builder.
2) I will not pay monthly. That is a definate deal breaker for me. I like books, real books. 
3) Yeah, it will hurt book sales, but that doesn't mean they should not also offer online services.
4) Dm's need more/better tools for monster creation , dungeon mapping, and storyline builders. Treasure generators would be fun, too.
I will not pay a monthly fee to have an online tool for D&D Next or otherwise. If I have purchased the books with my hard earned money then I have done my part. So My answer to your question is no. Nothing. D20pfrsd does this for free for Pathfinder and all major info from the Core books is free to the public. So should it be with Wotc if they want to compete. If not then they have one less e-customer. I just will not pay a monthly fee.



+3, here at my household...... 
i hope the move from hard paper books to pdfs fully dosent happen. it would drastically hurt the game stores that are already getting killed by online sales. if it happens then the days of the friendly local game store i could walk into and buy a book or try a new game will be over soon.
OK so lets pretend WOTC has already annouced that their going to release a builder (either offline or offline with online access as an OPTION) for Next on or shortly after it's release.

...

So what do you guys think?
Do you want a builder?
Would you prefer to pay monthly or per book?
Does allowing for the monthly fee hurt book sales?, if so should WOTC not offer it?
What other services would you like to be offered for Next's DDi program...please go nuts were in fantasy land don't worry about cost, coding, etc?

Builders are nice to have, even if they're not needed because the creation process is simple.

No monthly. I'd buy an offline package (like the 2e Core Tools), but not monthly payments. I like someone's suggestion that buying a specific book unlocks that same digital content to add to the package.

Yes, the monthly fee hurts book sales, which in turn hurts local game stores. If WotC wants to remain friends with its retailers, it will think along those lines.

As someone said above -- everything they promised for the initial DDI, but GOOD coding, and the ability to save your own modifications and share them with other DMs.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

I am not convinced 5E is flexible, and even less convinced based on previous character builders that the software will be flexible, because part of that is allowing third party or players to add in content.

But I would agree to:

1. Owning the builder for personal consumption, ala one time purchase

2. Making some type of payment to add content, ala new handbooks

i hope the move from hard paper books to pdfs fully dosent happen. it would drastically hurt the game stores that are already getting killed by online sales. if it happens then the days of the friendly local game store i could walk into and buy a book or try a new game will be over soon.

Or the stores need to adapt and provide alternate revenue sources. I also enjoy the FLGS, but I also prefer having PDFs/online versions of the rules. The digital world isn't shrinking, and denying some people their preference simply to hold on to the past is pretty selfish, IMO.

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i hope the move from hard paper books to pdfs fully dosent happen. it would drastically hurt the game stores that are already getting killed by online sales. if it happens then the days of the friendly local game store i could walk into and buy a book or try a new game will be over soon.

Or the stores need to adapt and provide alternate revenue sources. I also enjoy the FLGS, but I also prefer having PDFs/online versions of the rules. The digital world isn't shrinking, and denying some people their preference simply to hold on to the past is pretty selfish, IMO.




Nobody said to NOT have pdf versions what people are saying is they should offer both and no monthly fee for the builder (instead buying either the pdf or the hard copy allows you to add the relevant content)
i hope the move from hard paper books to pdfs fully dosent happen. it would drastically hurt the game stores that are already getting killed by online sales. if it happens then the days of the friendly local game store i could walk into and buy a book or try a new game will be over soon.

Or the stores need to adapt and provide alternate revenue sources. I also enjoy the FLGS, but I also prefer having PDFs/online versions of the rules. The digital world isn't shrinking, and denying some people their preference simply to hold on to the past is pretty selfish, IMO.





i have run and worked for some game stores. besides magic the gathering and games workshop what other real money maker is there for most stores that are just making it every month.
I don't have a lot of love for game stores, nor nostalgia for dead trees, so I'm probably an outlier. However, I know players today are more impatient, expect greater rates of change, and have more technical know-how than players of 2e, 3e, or even 4e.

I think subscription-based, online-only, with tons of online tools (like character builders and searchable rules) is the way to go if they want to reduce costs, provide more content, cut into piracy, and appeal to new audiences. If you lose your subscription, you should be able to keep what you've already obtained.
i have run and worked for some game stores. besides magic the gathering and games workshop what other real money maker is there for most stores that are just making it every month.

Host events? I'm not business-savvy (tried it out and learned I'm not an entrepreneur), so I don't have answers, but I know that times have been changing, and it might be that the days of the brick and mortar stores are dwindling. That doesn't change that a growing number of people want digital versions of the rules. And I'm NOT a fan at all of online-only solutions. Paizo seems to be doing well enough selling PDFs, and their solution of stamping your name and email on every page of the PDF works well. I've bought most of their rulebooks as PDF. I would have done the same for 4e, but, alas, WotC chose to discontinue far too early in the edition.

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I don't have a lot of love for game stores, nor nostalgia for dead trees, so I'm probably an outlier. However, I know players today are more impatient, expect greater rates of change, and have more technical know-how than players of 2e, 3e, or even 4e.

I think subscription-based, online-only, with tons of online tools (like character builders and searchable rules) is the way to go if they want to reduce costs, provide more content, cut into piracy, and appeal to new audiences. If you lose your subscription, you should be able to keep what you've already obtained.


The Basic Edition should be free and downloadable.  Maybe the Core Edition as well.  Their goal should be to gain as many players as possible.
Game consoles are often sold at-cost or with a loss.  Sony,  Microsoft, and Nintendo expect to make back their investment in later sales.  Better to get the machines into homes so they can sell more and more games.
WoTC should want the 5E in everyone's hands to play.  Splat books should cost money but I'd limit their number to keep quality high and demand high.  Character design tools and dungeon design tools should be sold with future updates included in the price.  Subscriptions to online magazines should be monthly.  Adventures packets with miniatures, DVDs with audio and video features, handouts, maps, etc. should be the staple of their business.
 Adventures would need to be streamlined to maximize profit.  You would want players to finish an adventure in 3 or 4 sessions so they can buy a new one.  You'd want each adventure to be maximum fun as well so they would be addicted to the format and experience.  I would design an adventure like a movie or video game with background music, videos, and numerous playing aids.
Some adventure packets might even include costumes for the LARPer crowd. 
I don't have a lot of love for game stores, nor nostalgia for dead trees, so I'm probably an outlier. However, I know players today are more impatient, expect greater rates of change, and have more technical know-how than players of 2e, 3e, or even 4e.

I think subscription-based, online-only, with tons of online tools (like character builders and searchable rules) is the way to go if they want to reduce costs, provide more content, cut into piracy, and appeal to new audiences. If you lose your subscription, you should be able to keep what you've already obtained.


The Basic Edition should be free and downloadable.  Maybe the Core Edition as well.  Their goal should be to gain as many players as possible.
Game consoles are often sold at-cost or with a loss.  Sony,  Microsoft, and Nintendo expect to make back their investment in later sales.  Better to get the machines into homes so they can sell more and more games.
WoTC should want the 5E in everyone's hands to play.  Splat books should cost money but I'd limit their number to keep quality high and demand high.  Character design tools and dungeon design tools should be sold with future updates included in the price.  Subscriptions to online magazines should be monthly.  Adventures packets with miniatures, DVDs with audio and video features, handouts, maps, etc. should be the staple of their business.
 Adventures would need to be streamlined to maximize profit.  You would want players to finish an adventure in 3 or 4 sessions so they can buy a new one.  You'd want each adventure to be maximum fun as well so they would be addicted to the format and experience.  I would design an adventure like a movie or video game with background music, videos, and numerous playing aids.
Some adventure packets might even include costumes for the LARPer crowd. 


+1
this is an idea that would draw more customers in for sure, and if by some chance it didn't this would atleast make thing even more interesting.
D&D and so many other RPGs are in a rutt and this would be a good way to start walking into a new area while maintaining classic aspects.
I don't have a lot of love for game stores, nor nostalgia for dead trees, so I'm probably an outlier. However, I know players today are more impatient, expect greater rates of change, and have more technical know-how than players of 2e, 3e, or even 4e.

I think subscription-based, online-only, with tons of online tools (like character builders and searchable rules) is the way to go if they want to reduce costs, provide more content, cut into piracy, and appeal to new audiences. If you lose your subscription, you should be able to keep what you've already obtained.


The Basic Edition should be free and downloadable.  Maybe the Core Edition as well.  Their goal should be to gain as many players as possible.
Game consoles are often sold at-cost or with a loss.  Sony,  Microsoft, and Nintendo expect to make back their investment in later sales.  Better to get the machines into homes so they can sell more and more games.
WoTC should want the 5E in everyone's hands to play.  Splat books should cost money but I'd limit their number to keep quality high and demand high.  Character design tools and dungeon design tools should be sold with future updates included in the price.  Subscriptions to online magazines should be monthly.  Adventures packets with miniatures, DVDs with audio and video features, handouts, maps, etc. should be the staple of their business.
 Adventures would need to be streamlined to maximize profit.  You would want players to finish an adventure in 3 or 4 sessions so they can buy a new one.  You'd want each adventure to be maximum fun as well so they would be addicted to the format and experience.  I would design an adventure like a movie or video game with background music, videos, and numerous playing aids.
Some adventure packets might even include costumes for the LARPer crowd. 


+1
this is an idea that would draw more customers in for sure, and if by some chance it didn't this would atleast make thing even more interesting.
D&D and so many other RPGs are in a rutt and this would be a good way to start walking into a new area while maintaining classic aspects.



a free basic edition is not that unheard of kenzer co. did that when wotc ended the open game licence and they had to recreate hackmaster