After the playtest, what about splat books?

It's obvious to everyone involved in the playtest that the core classes have undergone a massive amount of playtesting. Eventually, after 2 years of playtesting, this process will be completed and hopefully the core classes will be solid, balanced, and fun to play. I have no doubt that the D&D Next PHB will be as good a book as it can be. WotC has a lot riding on this (basically the future of the game) and I think they'll do a good job on it.

My concern is not the PHB, but rather the PHB2. And the first splat book, and the second, and the others that come after that. Due to the necessity of cranking out new books (see the next paragraph), I highly doubt that WotC can do the type of playtest on the new material that we've seen on the other classes. In a system with Ultra-powerful feats and bounded accuracy, there is very little room for mistakes that might unbalance the game. I fear that without significant playtesting, the splat books will create the kind of mountains of errata that plagued 4e.

So far we know nothing about how WotC plans to make any money off of D&D Next but I'm guessing it'll be something like what we saw for 4e where there's a steady stream of book releases and a subscription system to gain access to online tools. There's nothing so far to indicated that they will do something different, so I'm assuming a status quo approach. That means we can expect to see at least one or two or even three splat books within a year of launch.

I have no doubt that D&D Next will be very solid on launch day, but fear it will be a very different beast a year after that.

Any thoughts?
 
No doubt we'll get hit with an inundation of new material shortly after release. It will have been 3 years or so since WotC made any real money off of book sales, and I suspect they'll want to get re-established in FLGS's as soon as possible.

As for my own rampant speculation about what will be released the soonest after launch:

1) The Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Pretty much a given.
2) A Tactical Module. Try to satisfy those who prefer grid-based encounters over TotM.
3) A "Complete" series of books much like 2E and 3E had that expands race and class options.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
If the splat books are "variations on a theme," like adding new subclasses in The Complete Warrior's Handbook, or new subraces in The Complete Book of Elves, there shouldn't be much trouble keeping them in line with the existing material. Completely new races in the PHB2 should also be able to follow the guidelines laid down during playtest concepts that tested out as workable.

I think the best way Wizards can keep the income ... incoming ... is to publish tons of adventures (good ones!), setting expansions, and the like. And the Core Tools! I'd pay a good price to have a product like the 2e Core Tools that I don't have to run online (I often don't have connectivity when I'm writing game sessions and planning encounters). Not on a subscription, but pay a reasonable fee for new and expanded content.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

The problem with publishing adventures and setting books is that they are mostly for DM's. Players typically outnumber DM's at least 4 to 1 and player oriented books usually outsell DM oriented books. It would be very tempting for WotC, especially after a 2 year break from D&D sales, to put out as many player books as possible. The demand for new races and classes will be huge and it would be very tempting for WotC to tap into that to make some much needed cash.

These splat books might not have PHB2 on the cover, but I bet it'll be PHB2 type material inside.
And the Core Tools! I'd pay a good price to have a product like the 2e Core Tools that I don't have to run online



Amen to that.
I still have and still use the 2E Core Rules (with the 2.5 updates and interactive atlas of the Forgotten Realms). I did the play-to-play 4E subscription model for about 2 years, then realized I was really just paying for the CB and Compendium. I dropped it, and haven't missed it yet. Give me a product like the Core Rules CD, though, and I'd jump all over it.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
My concern is not the PHB, but rather the PHB2. And the first splat book, and the second, and the others that come after that. Due to the necessity of cranking out new books (see the next paragraph), I highly doubt that WotC can do the type of playtest on the new material that we've seen on the other classes. In a system with Ultra-powerful feats and bounded accuracy, there is very little room for mistakes that might unbalance the game. I fear that without significant playtesting, the splat books will create the kind of mountains of errata that plagued 4e.

First of all, I wouldn't call the 4E errata "mountains".  That aside, I look at it like this:

Every game as complex as D&D is going to have things that benefit from errata over time.  So would you rather have no errata and have to rely on house-rules, or get official errata?  For me, I'd prefer official errata.  Saying, "I'd rather have a perfect system" isn't a realistic request.

In addition, splat books aren't going to require extensive playtesting.  They could very easily release some feats to test (say, through Dragon Mag) and use the feedback to fine tune them before releasing the actual book.  This playtesting would be very quick because the system is already in place.  That gives us a perfect baseline against which to compare the new options.

Between these two things (errata is a good thing, not a bad thing; and playtesting new material is a lot easier than playtesting the actual system), I'm not at all worried.
The Mountains of 4e errata was because they actually bothered to fix things with 4e on a regular basis, as opposed to previous editions, where only a .5e update really fixed the major problems (while introducing new ones).

Like Arithezoo said, there are always going to be problems that could use errata.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I really hope splat books are thematically based, not just endless new classes and feats to layer into your campaign.  E.g., new monsters, classes, sub-classes, feats, weapons etc. for a Ravenloft (or other gothic horror) world, and a different one for an asian/oriental themed campaign.  The idea being that you only include one of these expansions if it fits the theme of your campaign.
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
I sincerely hope there isn't something called a 'PHB2', as I don't think the name really helps it any.  Its mildly confusing for new players, and people who play with dead trees (that's me!) don't like getting memory seepage between which of the same-named books a certain rule is in.  "Was that in the players handbook 7, the monster vault 4 or 5, or dmg 1, 2, or 3 again?"

That aside, I like (for you monster-race-type players) a race builder.  I really think Paizo hit a gold mine with that one.  Not something I would personally enjoy, but something I see as valuable to other players.  I like Elfcrusher's suggestions as well (a bit leery of the feats suggestion...if they come, I do hope they come slowly and not in a tidal wave of power creep), particularly the Oriental-themed one and (my own suggestion) a psionic-themed one other than Hard Fun.  I mean Dark Sun.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Setting splats +1

D20 modern & it's variants (urban arcana, shadow-chasers, etc) are popular at my table.

I'd like to see Next-style "Strong Hero" & co.
And the Core Tools! I'd pay a good price to have a product like the 2e Core Tools that I don't have to run online



Amen to that.
I still have and still use the 2E Core Rules (with the 2.5 updates and interactive atlas of the Forgotten Realms). I did the play-to-play 4E subscription model for about 2 years, then realized I was really just paying for the CB and Compendium. I dropped it, and haven't missed it yet. Give me a product like the Core Rules CD, though, and I'd jump all over it.



And the Core Rules CD was heavily pirated. This is the same reason a lot of computer game companies are building online games of various quality : You can't really pirate an online game (if you as the programmer/publisher is doing it right!).

I would also really love Core Rules DVD or similar, but the cost of it would be so great that not a lot of people would buy it, leading to frequent piracy and possibly even less sales of the actual books themselves (as prolific pirating was easy to access).

I think that DnD Next ironically has been a primer on how to play a game with pdf-based rules and the players/GM's have either learned to print out handy things or brought their PC's with them to the game, perhaps even table, to look up stuff.

But I digress : A Core DVD won't happen because of this, and it's also a lot cheaper to only fix errata in one location (WotC servers!) + having people pay a subscription fee is nice income. 
Personaly i might prefer if they moved away from the traditional splatbooks class/race books.
And instead make books around a theme like the ones in 3.x centerd around difrent climates or setting.

a book about sea faring giving options for all classes and races in a nautical setting.

As the classing way of doing things usualy comes with power creep.
If the fignter book comes out first the fighter tends to be a bit better then the other classes till the books for those other classes come out bringing them all to the same level again. 
And the Core Tools! I'd pay a good price to have a product like the 2e Core Tools that I don't have to run online



Amen to that.
I still have and still use the 2E Core Rules (with the 2.5 updates and interactive atlas of the Forgotten Realms). I did the play-to-play 4E subscription model for about 2 years, then realized I was really just paying for the CB and Compendium. I dropped it, and haven't missed it yet. Give me a product like the Core Rules CD, though, and I'd jump all over it.



And the Core Rules CD was heavily pirated. This is the same reason a lot of computer game companies are building online games of various quality : You can't really pirate an online game (if you as the programmer/publisher is doing it right!).

I would also really love Core Rules DVD or similar, but the cost of it would be so great that not a lot of people would buy it, leading to frequent piracy and possibly even less sales of the actual books themselves (as prolific pirating was easy to access).

I think that DnD Next ironically has been a primer on how to play a game with pdf-based rules and the players/GM's have either learned to print out handy things or brought their PC's with them to the game, perhaps even table, to look up stuff.

But I digress : A Core DVD won't happen because of this, and it's also a lot cheaper to only fix errata in one location (WotC servers!) + having people pay a subscription fee is nice income. 



Oh, I have no doubt that they won't do it, despite how much I'd appreciate it.
I won't, however, be signing up for any more pay-to-play subscription services.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
Personaly i might prefer if they moved away from the traditional splatbooks class/race books.
And instead make books around a theme like the ones in 3.x centerd around difrent climates or setting.

a book about sea faring giving options for all classes and races in a nautical setting.

As the classing way of doing things usualy comes with power creep.
If the fignter book comes out first the fighter tends to be a bit better then the other classes till the books for those other classes come out bringing them all to the same level again. 



I like this idea, however depending on how much monetization WotC wants, they'll start over once more with classes, monsters, setting(s) & specials (Epic lvl, Environments, The Good/Neutral/Evil Planes, Players-As-Monstertypes, How to play Elfquest in DnD Next and so on).

Then in 2016, they can remake DnD Next Next and do a rerun with ~half the number of books, covering the entire scope again. Yell

What I really hope is that they take the "Level of Play"-thing to town, thus making the core rules contain basic & intermediary playlevels, with the expert (dare I say advanced? as in Advanced DnD Next Cool) level rules available as books on their own, either 1-2 classes per book or  2-3 books all in all covering the classes. 
Rules Cyclopedia FTW!!!
I want a book filled with fully balanced, and fully playable "joke" classes.

Like
coward (paladin sub-class),
lumberjack (ranger sub-class),
jester (rogue sub-class),
tourist (cleric sub-class),
crazy cat lady(druid sub-class),
wearwolf-vampire-ninja-zombine-robot (bard sub-class),
ect... 


Possibly another one with "joke" PC races.   Including
flumph.
wearwolf-vampire-ninja-zombine-robot
sentient furniture
...

I'm a bit shorter on ideas for that. 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I don't think the initial PHB will be balanced.

I think splatbooks after that will be even less balanced.

Maybe Errata will fix some things. Errata will only be produced if there is also a subscription model again, like DDI. Errata for earlier editions were very limited and often didn't fix things, I have not much confidence in WotC fixing things through Errata.

I like the model that WotC used for 3E and Paizo uses for Pathfinder: Have the tools like a character builder and the datasets for it be created by external companies. See HeroLab, PCGen, e-Tools. I really dislike online tools, as a company overlord can pull the plug at any moment even if I want to continue using the edition it supports for many more years.

But probably we get a DDI type service again, because it makes it possible to earn money on errata, and makes it easier to force people to upgrade to a new edition.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

could we have somthing like those programs that allouw you to make photo albums for the monster manuals ?

But the text and layout would be set only thing you could change would be the ilustration that goes with the creature.
basicly selecting art from a pull down menu and then have it printed on demand.

You could chose from older MM art for that creature ( if it was in older monster manuals).
But it would also include concept art they are making now but was discarded.


Maybe Errata will fix some things. Errata will only be produced if there is also a subscription model again, like DDI. Errata for earlier editions were very limited and often didn't fix things, I have not much confidence in WotC fixing things through Errata.



Speaking of Errata...I am hoping we can keep some contact with developers regarding specific rules/errata questions via a forum, much like Paizo does.  More an FAQ system with light errata instead of monthly 'updates' that invalidate the book I purchase.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

I thought WotC play tested new ideas through DDI? Hybrids hit there first before the PHB3, iirc.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
Maybe Errata will fix some things. Errata will only be produced if there is also a subscription model again, like DDI. Errata for earlier editions were very limited and often didn't fix things, I have not much confidence in WotC fixing things through Errata.



Speaking of Errata...I am hoping we can keep some contact with developers regarding specific rules/errata questions via a forum, much like Paizo does.  More an FAQ system with light errata instead of monthly 'updates' that invalidate the book I purchase.


You used to be able to send questions to WotC Customer Service, athough the quality of the answers varied, often contradictory and the answers would not be public.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Maybe Errata will fix some things. Errata will only be produced if there is also a subscription model again, like DDI. Errata for earlier editions were very limited and often didn't fix things, I have not much confidence in WotC fixing things through Errata.



Speaking of Errata...I am hoping we can keep some contact with developers regarding specific rules/errata questions via a forum, much like Paizo does.  More an FAQ system with light errata instead of monthly 'updates' that invalidate the book I purchase.


You used to be able to send questions to WotC Customer Service, athough the quality of the answers varied, often contradictory and the answers would not be public.


It mostly varied from apparently not understanding the question to being flat-out contradicting the game rules at times.

I think someone on Rules Q&A was keeping a tally of how many times questions he's asked(which were usually simple and could be answered by looking in one of the books) and had something like 90% of the answers being wrong.
I thought WotC play tested new ideas through DDI? Hybrids hit there first before the PHB3, iirc.



They used to playtest new classes back in the days of PHB2 and PHB3 and then did again briefly in post-essentials for their updates to original 4e classes like the cleric, rogue, wizard and warlock. There was a firestorm over the proposed changes to the cleric and WotC scaled back their planned changes quite a bit. Other than a revisit to those 4 classes, there's really been no DDI playtesting since before PHB3 came out. All of the "Heroes of..." series of books had no online playtesting.

Overall, 4e was largely developed through in house playtesting with very little outside input. Some people say that was a good thing because it created a version of the game that was truer to the designer's vision (ie. not designed by committee) but others say it created a version of the game that a lot of people didn't like.
The absence of erreta does not mean the game didn't need it. It just means that the devs were too lazy to fix anything.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
I would like to say just one thing...

I hate Errata.

There are some cases where somebody screwed the pooch, as it were, and something desperatley needs to be fixed or clarified because it just doesn't work otherwise: you know, cases where the information on a table blatantly conflicts with information in block text, or somebody left out a "not" or "Except" that changes the entire meaning of a phrase from intent.  This kind of stuff shouldn't get through quality control but I'd be living in a dream world if I didn't think it was going to happen sooner or later.

But a constant IV drip of tweaks and changes as some sort of lame excuse for not putting out a useable product when you actually assembled the book I paid $30-$50 for?  Insulting.  D&D is not a competitive game.  Nobody needed to issue errata to stop Pun Pun the same way as Blizzard had to patch things when a mage could solo at-level war quarter of Naxramas, and I can say without a doubt that if there is non-critical "tweaks and changes" errata I will largely be playing with the book I bought rather than the book they wrote three months later.  It's a sloppy practice that video game companies habe gotten in the habit of doing, pushing obvious betas out the door, and I sure as hell don't want that kind of attitude driving D&D.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

Follow me to No Goblins Allowed

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THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
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Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

As someone who likes 4e, I really was not a big fan of 4e's "Let's futz with random stuff because we can" errata policy. It's one thing to fix typos, errors, things that slipped through the cracks, things that are broken in the "not functional" sense, and things that are super ambiguous. I think those are all fine targets for updates. Nobody thinks it's all that cool for those things to be in the material in the first place, but mistakes happen, and they might as well have canonized resolutions. What bugged me about 4e's update strategy was not only did it pretty regularly screw with things not in those categories, it did that in a fashion that I feel comfortable calling "pretty dang random." Tweaking things that are perfectly functional is already questionable; doing it in a fashion that doesn't at least come across as highly principled feels a lot worse.

On top of being annoying, I feel like that sort of screwing around gives the impression that the game needed that sort of errata to work right, because that's how errata-ing TTRPGs is done - you only mess with stuff that's either a mistake or seriously nonfunctional or crazy, and in most cases - let's be real - you don't even do that. (I consider ongoing support for a TTRPG product I purchase to be basically a luxury, although I expect it from D&D.) I don't know if they got it into their head that because 4e's balance was one of its strong points that people wanted ongoing balance tweaks or what (although they were more like just "tweaks" than "balance tweaks"), but it was mostly just annoying.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I still prefer the pre-errata Magic Missile from the Pen n Paper PHB over the retrofitted 'Autohit' Magic Missile and so does my players. As far as the Tiefling 'Infernal Wrath' power, I was okay with the original version of that as well, but my players preferred the Errata'd version, so I let them use that (since its what prints out on the offline CB anyway)

Some errata is good, some of it is just fiddling as others have said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, dang it! 
Want continued support for 4e, check this out, 4e Lives and Breaths

Check out MY eZine, Random Encounters Seuss (lordseussmd on YM)
Oh, man, the depressing little dance that was done with Magic Missile might be the height of update sadditude. I just don't understand what was going on there. Was it a shift in editorial control? Was there someone who noticed that "Magic Missile isn't auto-hit" was always one of the first things people listed when noting ways the 4e broke from earlier editions and concluded that there were all these people out there just waiting for Magic Missile to be an auto-hit spell, like that was the one thing standing between them and accepting 4e as their edition of choice? Like, trending on the Pathfinder forums is all "Oh, hey, guys, 4e made Magic Missile auto-hit, then they changed it again so it wouldn't be a power-level concern, and now it has a wonky template and works like nothing else in the game, but it's autohit, so I guess we can pack up here and go back to D&D."
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
MM  1 missie 1d4+1/2 levels nothing else matters.
The absence of erreta does not mean the game didn't need it. It just means that the devs were too lazy to fix anything.


These things are usually not decided by devs themselves.

Many things where devs are on record in saying things were printed wrong never got an errata, and in other cases if we did get errata they often didn't fix or improve things.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

I just really hope they steer clear of the Complete X line of filler crap, and feat/power/spell bloat.
Errata should be much more minimal with the playtest. 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I just really hope they steer clear of the Complete X line of filler crap, and feat/power/spell bloat.



Pretty sure they won't steer clear of those, though.
Traditionally, player-based books sell more than DM-centric ones.
People want more options, and are willing to pay for them.
It would make financial sense to pusblish them.
As for bloat...I've never had a problem telling players "This book and this book are allowed...but that one and that one are not". It might not limit the edition's bloat, but it sure does limit it at my table. I fully expect bloat. There hasn't been an edition of D&D since BECMI that didn't have gratuitous bloat...it just seemed to get worse as time went on.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
Back in '08, the first hardcover books to arrive following a slew of adventures & accessories were the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide and Adventurer's Vault. Aside from FR Player's Guide, the first true player-oriented book to hit was Martial Power, five months after 4e's release.

The arrival of a new edition means that DMs need new material to run it with, and we can expect to see a setting book early on. Something like the Complete X series is bound to show up, but I hope it's done in an evocative, rather than antiseptic, style.
I quite like the Paizo model of releasing every new class a year in advance and letting people test for 3-6 months, as well as testing major rule additions. 

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The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.