D&D Insider

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I want to know when Insider will pop up for us. FOr now what I can see in D&D site is a guest login - I want to login with my forum account, but the system doesn't let me do it!
If someone was trying to scam the book, they would leave the card in the book after stealing the code number. Then they'd go online and periodically try the code number. When someone buys the book in the store, it activates the card, enabling someone (presumably the owner of the book) to go online, input the number, and associate the new book content with their DI account. This is how it works with gift card scams; they don't steal gift cards. They steal the numbers, then wait for someone else to buy the cards, thus activating them. Then they use the cards to make purchases online before the actual card owner can.

And when the poor soul goes to check out the scammed book the register clerk will see "This book has been bought already as the card has been activated. Its seems some malignant soul was trying to rip off random people. Go get another copy, we'll this one".
According to this post from the "site update" thread,

I can access the site, so I'm going to ask questions. I went to "Join DnD insider" to see what the registration process is like (I wasn't actually going to sign up). It said "notice forum members, if you have a forums account, you can sign in here, you don't need to register". I thought Sweet! So I went to type in my email address, but when I went to the password field, the email automatically changed back to guest.

Will parts of the site be free, open to those who have forum accounts?

The site will be free to all users for the next 9 months or so. It is my understanding that after that point there will still be parts of the site that will be available without charge.



We currently have access to D&D Insider for free. With and without some features apparently. I saw an official post somewhere.....
And when the poor soul goes to check out the scammed book the register clerk will see "This book has been bought already as the card has been activated. Its seems some malignant soul was trying to rip off random people. Go get another copy, we'll this one".

Heh, that's not exactly how it works. The card doesn't get activated till it gets to the register. But if there were a card inside the book like you said before, it would have the metallic film over the PIN number on the back. A would-be thief would have to scrape this off, and record the PIN number, just as they do with gift cards. If the clerk or the buyer checked the card and saw that the number was scraped off, then yes, you would know that the book was compromised - and it would be unsellable.

However, this system could work - combining Ghost_dk's idea with yours. Have the booksellers keep the cards at the cash registers along with all the other gift cards, where they can keep an eye on them. When the book is sold, grab a card. The cashiers could have more cards than books - this way, an invalid card wouldn't make a book unsellable, they could just grab another. Would that make the books returnable? It would mean that a book could be resold to a new customer with a new card... but it would also mean that, once you have the code, you can return the book and use the DI's content exclusively at no cost.

Having a cashier issue a card with the sale as proof of purchase works well, because it's divorced from the actual books. Once you start associating individual codes with individual books, you have a problem. Then the books become the thing you have to watch and be careful with, and the information they contain (the unique code) becomes part of the value of the book, which only retains its value as long as it's used by one and only one person.


We currently have access to D&D Insider for free. With and without some features apparently. I saw an official post somewhere.....

And an answer is found. If you are having trouble with the Main Page and all the new goodies(????) just click the login button. That answer validates the above and solves a few problems.

Why does that fence keep looking more and more inviting?
Alright. Any attempt to put my own username/password in there failed, it automatically goes back to Guest.

So I clicked "login" and logged in as guest, and.... now what?

Where are these nifty tools we're supposed to have access too?

I explored the nav bar on the left, but can't find anything.
Heh, that's not exactly how it works. The card doesn't get activated till it gets to the register.

That's what I've been saying all along. The way MS Point Cards work is you take them to the register, the clerk swipes it, MS's database is accessed, and the card gets activated. If you jump a store's shipment and steal a bunch of these cards, they're worthless. You may have the code, but you can't use it since it was never activated at a register. Metallic Film or no, if the card isn't registered, the code wont work. One of a few good solutions.
My issue with activating cards or anything else at Point of Sale brings up the "how" again. Specifically, how do we ensure that the local game stores that might or might not have the hardware/software available to set up the cards get it done properly. Even if they do have the things to do it, all it takes is one hungover clerk to activate the wrong title in the system and you now have access to the same PhB twice!

Not everything has to be digital and hi tech, the lower the tech, the easier the adoption. Will it keep players from activating multiple times with the same book? No. But since they're paying their $9.95USD per month, who cares. The reason to offer it in the first place is to entice users into spending the monthly fee anyway, not because they think that every player will purchase every book *although that would be a nice fantasy for the stockholders* that they need.
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Alright. Any attempt to put my own username/password in there failed, it automatically goes back to Guest.

So I clicked "login" and logged in as guest, and.... now what?

Where are these nifty tools we're supposed to have access too?

I explored the nav bar on the left, but can't find anything.

I am having the same issue. All I can find is marketing stuff no real content and it wont let me log in.
That's what I've been saying all along. The way MS Point Cards work is you take them to the register, the clerk swipes it, MS's database is accessed, and the card gets activated. If you jump a store's shipment and steal a bunch of these cards, they're worthless. You may have the code, but you can't use it since it was never activated at a register. Metallic Film or no, if the card isn't registered, the code wont work. One of a few good solutions.

Sigh.
If someone was trying to scam the book, they would leave the card in the book after stealing the code number. Then they'd go online and periodically try the code number. When someone buys the book in the store, it activates the card, enabling someone (presumably the owner of the book) to go online, input the number, and associate the new book content with their DI account.

The thieves take the number, they don't take the card or the book. They try the number they stole periodically online, waiting for someone to come in and buy the gift card or book for real and activate the card. By periodically trying the PIN at an online retailer (or in this case the DI) they can input the code after you buy and activate the card, but before you yourself can input the code or buy something with the card. Once the card is activated, the DI or the online retailer has no way of knowing who you are - they assume that you must be the card holder because you have the unique PIN from that card, and they provide you with whatever service the card holder is entitled to. That is how the thieves rip you off. They buy things online, using the PIN from the card you bought, after you buy and activate it but before you can use it.

As I said before, this is only really worth it with gift cards, because the gift card can be redeemed for just about anything online, and because people frequently buy gift cards long before they actually make use of them. This gives the thieves plenty of time to try out the number online and then make purchases with them before the person who's going to receive the gift card even unwraps it.

The point is, the only effective way to prove that you bought something in this day and age is to either send in a physical piece of the product (like a proof of purchase, which as someone else pointed out is a pretty tiresome way to do it) or to report some unique identification number. If the ID number is attached to the product, you can often get the identification number before you buy it. This may invalidate the product (if there's some shrink wrapping or coating over the number) and make it unlikely that someone will buy it, but mistakes happen all the time, especially with gift cards. In the case of books, if you attach the unique identification number to the book, then evidence of tampering effectively makes the book unsellable. That's why I agreed that a method involving completely separate cards would work at least as well as gift cards. I have my doubts that this is the solution WotC is going to come up with, however. The whole setup is pretty clunky.
Specifically, how do we ensure that the local game stores that might or might not have the hardware/software available to set up the cards get it done properly.

I already answered that. Does your local store accept credit cards (why it wouldn't, I don't know)? Then they can do card activation.
Even if they do have the things to do it, all it takes is one hungover clerk to activate the wrong title in the system and you now have access to the same PhB twice!

It doesn't work like that. Card activation accesses a database. Once a card is activated, its logged as activated on the database: it can't be activated "again".
Not everything has to be digital and hi tech, the lower the tech, the easier the adoption.

Credit cards have been around for what? 20 years now? They're comparatively low tech.
The thieves take the number, they don't take the card or the book. They try the number they stole periodically online, waiting for someone to come in and buy the gift card or book for real and activate the card. By periodically trying the PIN at an online retailer (or in this case the DI) they can input the code after you buy and activate the card, but before you yourself can input the code or buy something with the card.

Then combine it with Metal Film, like you said. I would be rather shocked if a card that stores a code didn't have metal film. Its a standard feature.
Hello everyone.

I have a general question regarding D&D Insider, and particularly the tools (DM tools, virtual game table, etc) that come with it. What will be their requirements in terms of Computer OS, RAM, Video Card needed, and so on? How will they operate on your computer? Software(s) downloaded on your machine, JAVA based web pages?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
I'd be somewhat concerned that the hung over person at the checkout wouldn't know/remember to open the book up and run the card through.
My issue with activating cards or anything else at Point of Sale brings up the "how" again. Specifically, how do we ensure that the local game stores that might or might not have the hardware/software available to set up the cards get it done properly. Even if they do have the things to do it, all it takes is one hungover clerk to activate the wrong title in the system and you now have access to the same PhB twice!

I don't know enough about how "Point of Sale Activation" works to know if this would be easy or hard. Obviously most retailers are set up to take credit card payments. They can also sell gift cards made by major credit card operators, like Visa gift cards, since they obviously have a link to the Visa system. Retailers like Barnes & Noble obviously also have links to their own gift card systems, but I doubt these are proprietary - there's probably some gift card company (maybe owned by a major credit card company) that handles gift card activation and database management for gift cards from many different companies. It could be that it uses the same mechanics and lines as any credit card, and that therefore, WotC could set up their own activatable cards that work for any retailer that can process major credit cards. I honestly don't know how difficult or costly that is, but given the perfusion of gift cards these days, I bet they use the same type of setup as major credit cards.
Then combine it with Metal Film, like you said. I would be rather shocked if a card that stores a code didn't have metal film. Its a standard feature.

Heh, yes, most cards have a metal film. We're goin' in circles man! I agree that this system would work, if the cards are kept at the cash register and separate from the books, and if there is no actual identifying link with a specific book. But I also doubt WotC is doing this.
I am having the same issue. All I can find is marketing stuff no real content and it wont let me log in.

That's because they haven't released the DM tools -- they are still in an alpha state. Right now they are just releasing the dndinsider interface where all of the content will be available so that we can get used to how they are delivering content.

from wizards: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dred/20070816a
Sometime in the spring, when all of D&D Insider’s digital components go live, we’ll begin charging a monthly subscription fee to access some of our online content.

If I'm reading this correctly, this means that the first few "editions" of Dragon and Dungeon are going to be freely available. It also indicates that some content will be available without having to pay the subscription fee, including (I hope) the online content for the books we purchase.
I don't know if this sub-forum is the best place for this question, but... There will be playtesters outside USA?
I'd be somewhat concerned that the hung over person at the checkout wouldn't know/remember to open the book up and run the card through.

Perhaps you can't buy the book without activating the card? If that were the situation, an inept clerk wouldn't be able to finalize the purchase process, saving you from disaster. You'd just have to wait until the next shift. I would also call that clerk out to the manager to have him fired. If he's not responsible enough to come to work sober, he has no business holding a job.
Heh, yes, most cards have a metal film. We're goin' in circles man! I agree that this system would work, if the cards are kept at the cash register and separate from the books, and if there is no actual identifying link with a specific book. But I also doubt WotC is doing this.

I'm just saying, with metal film (why this needs to be mentioned, I don't know. All cards of this nature have metal film) and an activation phase, it wouldn't matter if its kept at the register or in the book.
My guess with the activiation is the D&D Insider will require an end user client. there will be a CD attached to the inside cover of each book and the serial number on that CD is used for activation.

I base my assessment that an end user client is required upon the demo that was done at GenCon, recorded, and is now on Youtube.
Shrink wrapping the books is a great way to keep the info safe but a poor way to sell books. Given the cost of shipping (and not working in a book store) I doubt that WotC will offer a "buy back" program for stores who suffer the plastic opening kids.

Acitvation of cards or pin numbers (which is easier and less dependant on a physical card) can be done a number of different ways. What we have to think about is who/what is the common denominator and maybe one other backup method (oops, the internet is down, can't sell any WotC products today) for activation.

As great as having a .pdf version of the book available to me sounds (and I haven't seen (maybe missed it) that mentioned by WotC), I have to think that all they're offering is a way to load the character sheet information (names of feats, bonuses, etc) into the character generator. That in itself would be nice but feels very Etools to me (no paragraph long descriptions, only the names and a single line description of the feat/talent/whatever they're called this week) which got bloated and out of control after a while.

I guess we'll all just have to wait and see how it's going to work but I can tell you one thing, if you put up a wall, someone will figure a way under/around/through/or over it in about a week. Save yourselves some R&D nightmares and just include the info with the cost of the subscription service (adding a book within a week of the street date) as an optional download.

Just my 2cp
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My guess with the activiation is the D&D Insider will require an end user client. there will be a CD attached to the inside cover of each book and the serial number on that CD is used for activation.

I base my assessment that an end user client is required upon the demo that was done at GenCon, recorded, and is now on Youtube.

Ah, I see. I had assumed D&D Insider would be a purely web-based offering. It will be an end-user client installed from a CD, you say? Interesting. And foreboding for anyone not using Windows...
I'm just saying, with metal film (why this needs to be mentioned, I don't know. All cards of this nature have metal film) and an activation phase, it wouldn't matter if its kept at the register or in the book.

It's just safer to keep them at the cash wrap, where at least someone could notice a guy grabbing bunches of cards, walking away, and then coming back and replacing them. Many bookstores relegate D&D books to some back corner, where someone could scratch off numbers to their heart's delight. Someone buying the book could notice the scratch-off, as could a cashier, but plenty of people don't notice with gift cards - otherwise there wouldn't currently be such a big fraud problem with gift cards. The other reason I advocated keeping them at the cash register is because the cards would have to be separate from and more numerous than the books, in order that they be cheap to throw away if someone does invalidate them by scratching them off. Having only one number per book, and/or one number on the book, is a bad idea, since it means that every time a number gets scratched off, you end up with a book without a valid ID number.

CD Activation is better...ish... but it's not like people haven't been cracking games since time immemorial. There's no perfect system, but that's the way it is.
As a player who almost certainly will not be subscribing to D&D Insider, I am a bit worried about my 4th edition play experience. It is quotes from Wizards representatives like the following that have me worried:

At the same time, we also began imagining a robust and exciting suite of digital features that could enhance and complement the roleplaying game. It became clear to me that we had two winning directions that would be even more powerful when we combined them, and that’s when we made the decision to move forward with D&D 4th Edition. (wizards.com Ampersand article)

Prepare to experience D&D the way it was meant to be: maximum imagination, scintillating strategy, and full-throttle fun. (press pack, D&D Insider Fact Sheet)

As the rules expand, these tools will be updated so the digital product and physical product remain closely integrated. (D&D 4th Edition introduction video [youtube edition])

Statements like the above make it easy to conclude that character creation, adventure design, and combat were designed alongside D&D Insider online tools, while the core-books-only paper and pencil methods take a back seat. That perception seems all the more likely considering that I have heard a lot about the functionality of Insider’s tools, but very little about gameplay and content release for players who can never access Insider’s features. Along that line, what do we know about support for Wizards customers who cannot or will not pay a monthly subscription fee? More specifically…

1) Will 4th edition errata be freely available to non-subscribers?

2) For players who are unwilling or unable to pay a monthly subscription fee and who aren’t interested in additional Dragon or Dungeon content, but who would like to use the basic Insider tools for which 4th edition was designed: will there be any option to purchase the character builder, the encounter builder, the dungeon builder, or any other relatively static tool for a flat fee?

3) What free online content will be released alongside Insider materials? What specific parts of the wizards website will remain open to non-subscribers?

Thanks!
Okay, stupid question here. We're supposed to be able to apply to be game testers by getting into the Insider, which is at the moment free of cost, and yet I can't log in. What am I missing?
Alright. Any attempt to put my own username/password in there failed, it automatically goes back to Guest.

So I clicked "login" and logged in as guest, and.... now what?

Where are these nifty tools we're supposed to have access too?

I explored the nav bar on the left, but can't find anything.

I don't think we can expect the tools to be available to us before the 4e rules are finished. If they did, they would be revealing 4e rules, before the rules are final.

My impression of the D&D Insider being free for the next 9 months is that essentially we are going to get the new online versions of Dragon and Dungeon for free up until the release of 4e. All the nifty tools will only come after the release. With a little foresight, they will give a free trial period once all the tools are available.
To answer a few questions.

Errata will be free we have been told on these boards, just not in official press releases.

The online content is not required for Play either. It is just to increase options. If you didn't get the magazines before or realize that you don't need them to play the game then nothing will really be different.

Info on playtesting will come a bit latter.

Some content will be free, and some will not.

As far as I understand, D&D:I is an all or nothing deal. You pay the monthly subscription or you don't get access to ANY of the optional materials.

Hope that helps guys.
As far as I understand, D&D:I is an all or nothing deal. You pay the monthly subscription or you don't get access to ANY of the optional materials.

We have been told that the Game Table program will be usable without a subscription for a fee.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
Ah, I see. I had assumed D&D Insider would be a purely web-based offering. It will be an end-user client installed from a CD, you say? Interesting. And foreboding for anyone not using Windows...
CD Activation is better...ish... but it's not like people haven't been cracking games since time immemorial. There's no perfect system, but that's the way it is.

Not guaranteed, but based upon what this ENWorld User had to say about teh R&D Seminar today, they are only supporting PCs to begin with, so I'd say I'm about 90% certain this will be a client driven application. The cool mini graphics and maps would actually exist locally for the most part.

Which fits into the WoW model of online play.
Wishlist feature for D&D Insider

Find some way to tap into the "group" mechanic of D&D. Allow multiple people to have their D&D group formed within D&D Insider and be able to share and/or pool some resources.

Some possible ways to keep this from getting abused while still providing excellent value:

Requirements:
1. Limit group size to 8 or fewer people
2. Each resource (book/module/etc) you choose to share can only be shared with a single group.
3. Require each member to have a subscription
4. Require each player to have the PHB
5. Require at least one member to have the DMG
6. The PHB and DMG can never be shared
7. If a member leaves the group, all shared resources provided by that member go with them.

Benefits:
1. You can view any shared books or materials online within the group (no off-site viewing though due to DRM concerns)
2. You can build characters using any books shared among the group or that you own
3. You can join multiple groups. PHB and DMG ownership will satisfy requirements in each group you are joined with.
4. If you are in multiple groups, you can choose which group you want to share each resource with. For instance, I am in three D&D groups and I share Underdark digital content with one group and Races of Stone with another group. For the third group, I am merely a member.
5. You can use any of the books you own no matter what group you are in.


I apologize if someone already posted this but I didn't have time to read through the whole thread yet.
Let me get this straight. When they said "fully functional D&D Insider Preview Mode available" they were talking about the crappy website, right? Not the tools.
Assassin Diaries Blog Thread
Let me get this straight. When they said "fully functional D&D Insider Preview Mode available" they were talking about the crappy website, right? Not the tools.

And, y'know, those free online issues of Dragon and Dungeon magazine we'll be getting between now and when the service goes live.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
Something interesting I just noticed (and made a separate thread here, since I don't know where to say it) about the new website.

All of the art and map galleries, which had been available for most of the books from 3.5 and some from 3.0, are now gone. Only one or two of the most recent books are in the list. Those galleries had some fantastic images for any DM looking for inspiration or good flavor pics. If they're being made unavailable, that would be a shame. If they're going to be made available in the future for a fee, that'd be rather low, I think, given that they were free two days ago.

EDIT: Might be a false alarm! Apparently the pics are still there, just the links are all gone...
And, y'know, those free online issues of Dragon and Dungeon magazine we'll be getting between now and when the service goes live.

Yeah...so like I said....the crappy website.
Assassin Diaries Blog Thread
I'm Wondering if you will be required to use a credit card to access this. I would prefer it If I could use Paypal.
My main question is:

Will I need a laptop to DM this new edition? All I have is a desktop computer, and I can't very well bring that to a D&D session! Come to think of it, how much will computers be involved in this? I don't want to have to buy a laptop and pay a monthly subscription just to DM. I'm not financially independent yet!
My main question is:

Will I need a laptop to DM this new edition? All I have is a desktop computer, and I can't very well bring that to a D&D session! Come to think of it, how much will computers be involved in this? I don't want to have to buy a laptop and pay a monthly subscription just to DM. I'm not financially independent yet!

Just imagine. With all the free time you gain by not being able to play D&D, you'll be able to devote that time to making yourself financially independent. :P
My main question is:

Will I need a laptop to DM this new edition? All I have is a desktop computer, and I can't very well bring that to a D&D session! Come to think of it, how much will computers be involved in this? I don't want to have to buy a laptop and pay a monthly subscription just to DM. I'm not financially independent yet!

4e will play just like any other RPG. However, you can access digital content.

4e is not some online RPG. It wouldn't bother with actual books if that were the case.
I'm in college! I can't get financially independent until I graduate, and that won't be for another three to four years. Plus, I'm only 18. My parents were very generous to buy me my very own computer for college, and it's definately been a good investment, but that's small comfort when 4th Edition looks like its DMed from a laptop!
Any chance there will be a discount or extra goodies for those of us who pay for a year in advance?