D&D Insider

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I saw this on the "Ampersand" column. While I'm cautiously optimistic about the Dragon and Dungeon online Magazines (and what's this about them being free online?), the rest of the DI ideas pretty much made made me sick, as it seems to be ripping the heart out of the one great constant of D&D -- the human interaction.

I'm also irked witht he insistence that everything has to be "Internetized" and "computerized" and "digitized" -- that everything has to come to us through a monitor. I am a cubicle drone -- I am obligated to spend 8 hours each weekday with my nose in a computer screen. At what point did I ask "O thou great and benevolent Wizards who liveth on the Coast, canst thou make it so that I must placeth my nose in a bloody computer screen even whilst I am with friends playing a face-to-face game?"

But the worst was this -- it seems that they actually want to have us use the Internet to play D&D. I do not apologize for the admittedly vehement reaction below:

—and, D&D Insider provides a digital D&D Game Table that turns the Internet into your kitchen table.

No. NO. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!The kitchen table is the kitchen table, dammit, and the Internet is the Internet! D&D is a face-to-face game, friends sitting around and having a good time, not just another thing to do on your bloody Crackberry! One of the highlights of my week is meeting every Saturday with my D&D group (all actual, non-digital human beings) and sitting down to roll some dice. If you want us to have that personally isolating and alienating "Internet gaming" experience, why don't you just ditch the books altogether and force us to start using Dungeons and Dragons Online? Make the damn thing a MMORPG! Otherwise, foster human interaction and camaraderie, which have been the hallmarks of the game since 1975!

I credit D&D with helping me to cope with a crippling shyness I've had to deal with for most of my life. If it were up to the DI, I'd still be a shut-in, most likely.
But the worst was this -- it seems that they actually want to have us use the Internet to play D&D. I do not apologize for the admittedly vehement reaction below:



No. NO. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!The kitchen table is the kitchen table, dammit, and the Internet is the Internet! D&D is a face-to-face game, friends sitting around and having a good time, not just another thing to do on your bloody Crackberry! One of the highlights of my week is meeting every Saturday with my D&D group (all actual, non-digital human beings) and sitting down to roll some dice. If you want us to have that personally isolating and alienating "Internet gaming" experience, why don't you just ditch the books altogether and force us to start using Dungeons and Dragons Online? Make the damn thing a MMORPG! Otherwise, foster human interaction and camaraderie, which have been the hallmarks of the game since 1975!

I credit D&D with helping me to cope with a crippling shyness I've had to deal with for most of my life. If it were up to the DI, I'd still be a shut-in, most likely.

I'm not so alarmistic. Many people couldn't play D&D for many factors (i.e. small village, travelling, etc) and a virtual gametable would - will be - awesome for them. And let's not forget the actual Play by forums, play by e-mails and play by irc games! They all will be playied in one place - the Gametable. Easier and funnier!

Of course I'm still going to play with my friends in real life, but I have distant friends, with whom I can play only by internet
I saw this on the "Ampersand" column. While I'm cautiously optimistic about the Dragon and Dungeon online Magazines (and what's this about them being free online?), the rest of the DI ideas pretty much made made me sick, as it seems to be ripping the heart out of the one great constant of D&D -- the human interaction.

How is giving you the optional ability to play online with people you wouldn't otherwise get to play with ripping out the heart of D&D? You're overreacting.
I'm also irked witht he insistence that everything has to be "Internetized" and "computerized" and "digitized" -- that everything has to come to us through a monitor. I am a cubicle drone -- I am obligated to spend 8 hours each weekday with my nose in a computer screen. At what point did I ask "O thou great and benevolent Wizards who liveth on the Coast, canst thou make it so that I must placeth my nose in a bloody computer screen even whilst I am with friends playing a face-to-face game?"

How about using the books, then? All the stuff you're whining about is optional.
But the worst was this -- it seems that they actually want to have us use the Internet to play D&D. I do not apologize for the admittedly vehement reaction below:

I really think you ought to.
No. NO. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!The kitchen table is the kitchen table, dammit, and the Internet is the Internet! D&D is a face-to-face game, friends sitting around and having a good time, not just another thing to do on your bloody Crackberry! One of the highlights of my week is meeting every Saturday with my D&D group (all actual, non-digital human beings) and sitting down to roll some dice. If you want us to have that personally isolating and alienating "Internet gaming" experience, why don't you just ditch the books altogether and force us to start using Dungeons and Dragons Online? Make the damn thing a MMORPG! Otherwise, foster human interaction and camaraderie, which have been the hallmarks of the game since 1975!

I credit D&D with helping me to cope with a crippling shyness I've had to deal with for most of my life. If it were up to the DI, I'd still be a shut-in, most likely.

Here's an idea: keep playing it at your kitchen table and stop whining about an alternative option you're being provided with.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
Man, what is it with people who have somehow gotten it into their heads that in 4e you won't be able to run your game without a laptop?

Seriously, where did you see anyone tell you that you couldn't just use the books?

Where did anyone tell you they wouldn't be making physical minis anymore?

Where did you see anyone say that you wouldn't be playing real D&D without the online content?

Stop knee-jerking and start thinking rationally.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
Ok I notice the log in thing when on the main website, Now it says if you go to register that forum users, if you already have an account then you need not worry about this. So will I soon be able to log in with my forum account for D&D Insider? Cause that's what it is seeming like from that setup.
but that's small comfort when 4th Edition looks like its DMed from a laptop!

A laptop ain't required. You've got the PHB, MM, and DMG. What more do you need? You're not going to come across page 155: Enter this code here on DnD Insider (which costs 9.95 a month) to gain access to Magic Items.
Hey guys

You don't need a laptop to play 4th Edition D&D

Stop whining.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
Well, the teaser showed a laptop at the table, and when I take a close look, it seems more people are uspet about 4e than happy with it. Last time I checked, the "Doomsday" thread had about 11 pages, while the "Hallelujah" thread had only five. I'd like to run a game as smoothly as possible, but there's a lot about these changes that I'm not yet aware about or do not understand. I thought it would be cool when I first heard about it yesterday, but now, after reading a bit on the boards, I'm starting to get scared.
I will support (i.e., pay for) the DnD Insider on one condition -- the tools work on the Mac. Half of my group (four out of seven) now have Macs, so the online gaming aspect (which would benefit our group, as every week someone is away on business and teleconferences in via iChat) will be useless to us if it only runs on PCs.
Hey guys

You don't need a laptop to play 4th Edition D&D

Stop whining.

But I need a laptop to play 3rd edition....
Well, the teaser showed a laptop at the table,

Yeah, because having a laptop at the table is cool. I've used a laptop in some of my games, because it's handy. It's not required. Stop pointlessly assuming things.
and when I take a close look, it seems more people are uspet about 4e than happy with it.

That's because people like to whine about things they don't understand.
Last time I checked, the "Doomsday" thread had about 11 pages, while the "Hallelujah" thread had only five.

The people who are okay with or enthusiastic about the new system are simply not being as vocal. People who are dissatisfied whine a lot, while people who are satisfied tend not to speak up.
I'd like to run a game as smoothly as possible, but there's a lot about these changes that I'm not yet aware about or do not understand. I thought it would be cool when I first heard about it yesterday, but now, after reading a bit on the boards, I'm starting to get scared.

Stop being scared and start having a little faith in Wizards.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
Well, the teaser showed a laptop at the table, and when I take a close look, it seems more people are uspet about 4e than happy with it. Last time I checked, the "Doomsday" thread had about 11 pages, while the "Hallelujah" thread had only five. I'd like to run a game as smoothly as possible, but there's a lot about these changes that I'm not yet aware about or do not understand. I thought it would be cool when I first heard about it yesterday, but now, after reading a bit on the boards, I'm starting to get scared.

You can use a laptop. You are not required to use a laptop.
Yeah...so like I said....the crappy website.

A hit...A most palpable hit! (Shakespeare)




Harold the Mad *pets his Fire breathing Bunny*
No. NO. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!The kitchen table is the kitchen table, dammit, and the Internet is the Internet! D&D is a face-to-face game, friends sitting around and having a good time, not just another thing to do on your bloody Crackberry! One of the highlights of my week is meeting every Saturday with my D&D group (all actual, non-digital human beings) and sitting down to roll some dice. If you want us to have that personally isolating and alienating "Internet gaming" experience, why don't you just ditch the books altogether and force us to start using Dungeons and Dragons Online? Make the damn thing a MMORPG! Otherwise, foster human interaction and camaraderie, which have been the hallmarks of the game since 1975!

I credit D&D with helping me to cope with a crippling shyness I've had to deal with for most of my life. If it were up to the DI, I'd still be a shut-in, most likely.

Oh dude just STHU. I hope one day you are sent to another town with no buddies to play with you. Then I'll be pretty sure you will love to be able to play via internet with other people and even your friends.
WOTC is not trying to do any of the bullcraps you just mentioned, they are trying to make more people to be able to play the game, WAKE UP AND GET OUT OF YOUR LITTLE WORLD JUST FOR A MOMENT!
Yeah...so like I said....the crappy website.

Man, what were you expecting? The rules set isn't finished yet, so it's not like they can release the tools that use the rules set.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
Ok I notice the log in thing when on the main website, Now it says if you go to register that forum users, if you already have an account then you need not worry about this. So will I soon be able to log in with my forum account for D&D Insider? Cause that's what it is seeming like from that setup.

I'm a little confused about this myself. When I attempt to login with my forum account, it says "Welcome Guest".

I'm not sure the 'tools' are functional yet (at least I can't find them). Perhaps someone will come along and clear this up.
You are not going to find the tools yet. The tools will not be coming out before the rule set is finished.

Why can't people understand?
You are not going to find the tools yet. The tools will not be coming out before the rule set is finished.

Why can't people understand?

I do understand now. Thank you.
I do understand now. Thank you.

Then you are welcome.
Some people don't like to read the interviews or watch the videos. Other choose not to understand. Some of it seems like trolling though. Some are just new and havn't had a chance to check everything out though.
I found an Easter Egg.

On the new Dnd page, there's a picture of a troll at the bottom. If you watch him, he blinks. Hover over his eye and you'll find it's linked:

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/secretdoor.asp

It leads to a random article and most appear to be new (most of the timestamps are within the last few days).
Apologies if this has been asked already but...

In the presentation, they said they're reaching out to D&D Insider trial members to select playtesters... but you can't sign in on anything but Guest. Is it just extended to all Forum members?
Apologies if this has been asked already but...

In the presentation, they said they're reaching out to D&D Insider trial members to select playtesters... but you can't sign in on anything but Guest. Is it just extended to all Forum members?

Great question.
Here's a better one. Some new widget is placed oin the site, word travels virally through the net about said widget and everybody wants it. D&D Insider crumbels under the increased traffic. What penalties must WotC now pay the subscriber base?

And here's my answer to you: It doesn't matter

It doesn't matter how hard it is to estimate how much traffic will come in. You either get it right, or you don't. They didn't.

On the most important announcement of the year.

And frankly, nothing infuriates me more nowadays than my fellow IT practitioners making excuses for things they should have done. If it's hard, put more work and research into it, dammit!

It's time for IT people to take some responsibility for once. In any other industry, a marketing gaffe or technical failure like this gets people sacked.
Apologies if this has been asked already but...

In the presentation, they said they're reaching out to D&D Insider trial members to select playtesters... but you can't sign in on anything but Guest. Is it just extended to all Forum members?

I second this question, all in favor?
I really have a hard time seeing how $9.95 a month is going to be a deal-breaker for all but the genuinely poorest, or most obstinate, gamer.

This assumes that in exchange for that fee, we will get at least:
-Content equivalent to both Dungeon and Dragon magazines (an $80/year value! That's 2/3 of your fee right there.)
-Digital access to the rulebooks, updated with errata as needed, available in PDF form so that we haul them down to Kinkos and have them printed and bound if we so choose.

If you're going to print all that online content, you'll probably end up paying the same sum for a book or magazine (which will be of poor quality and black-and-white only, unless you wish to pay even more) that you previously paid for an original, four-color printed book...
I have a BIG QUESTION:

Will Wizards, now that they have official services for players wanting easy online play, start hunting after free services?

This is a major concern!
I have a BIG QUESTION:

Will Wizards, now that they have official services for players wanting easy online play, start hunting after free services?

This is a major concern!

Uh . . . huh?
I have a forum account but can't login to DnD insider. What give? If this was answered in a previous post I didn't check cause it was 7 pages long.
Uh . . . huh?

Yeah, I don't want Wizards threatening to take all the free services down or anything of that sort.
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.

I think the simplest way would to send a bundle of cards in a packet (like magic cards)with the book cover on the packet, keep packets under the counter. When someone buys a book they get a packet with an appropriate label containing a card with the secret code, off they go home, book in hand, open packet at home, log in and register. No activation needed, cards aren't with the book, and they are sealed so the customer gets an uncompromised number.

Not much different than selling card games, as you really have to keep those packets behind the counter otherwise they mysteriously leave the store.
You can use a laptop. You are not required to use a laptop.

Sure. And you're not required to use miniatures (or some facsimile thereof) in 3.x Ed either. Hopefully, in 4th Edition, the rules don't work in such a way that playing by the book without computer access seems like a chore. And if they made combat less inherently dependent on positional tactics it would be nice.
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
Yeah, gaming without computers is sometimes nice, but all in all I like what I am hearing and seeing. It seems like the races and classes got some real good focus and we will all be gaming 4 E style come May/August 2008 time frame. Well, at least I know I will be.
Man, what is it with people who have somehow gotten it into their heads that in 4e you won't be able to run your game without a laptop?

Seriously, where did you see anyone tell you that you couldn't just use the books?

Where did anyone tell you they wouldn't be making physical minis anymore?

Where did you see anyone say that you wouldn't be playing real D&D without the online content?

Undoubtedly, 4th edition will be extremely playable without D&D Insider support; simply the fact that hundreds of playtesters are currently playing the game largely without online support is proof of that. However, absolutely everything I have heard about D&D Insider seems to lead to the conclusion that 4th edition was developed alongside Insider with Insider's tools in mind, meaning that pencil-and-paper character building and the like will be flat out inferior. Consider this statement made in reference to Insider:

Prepare to experience D&D the way it was meant to be: maximum imagination, scintillating strategy, and full-throttle fun.

Wizards is out to make money. Don't get me wrong; I don't mean to project an image of Wizards as a heartless, greedy company that is willing to debase its customers to make a quick buck. I doubt there is a single employee of Wizards who thinks more in terms of selling copies than of making a great game. However, the bottom line is, Wizards is a for-profit company, meaning that its primary goal has to be to make a profit and sustain itself. If Insider's features weren't objectively superior to the paper-and-pencil mechanism, Wizards just wouldn't make as much money off of it.

The game will be very playable without continual support from Wizards, but I'm lying to myself if I think that it will be the full 4th edition experience. After all, D&D Insider and 4th edition were designed for eachother.
meaning that pencil-and-paper character building and the like will be flat out inferior.

Of course its inferior. Have you not see the various 3rd party character generators over the years? They make statting up a character (especially high level ones) easy.
Hey Dave, regarding getting around the table faster, will 4e turn undead practically require someone pulling out the book to reference a table everytime? Has that been smoothed out and streamlined?

What's wrong with turn undead currently? It's an easy formula and there aren't all that many modifiers to it, though it is weird that it seems to be the only formula where you round up instead of down.

Now it would be nice if the new system based this off of CR rather than HD as this and many other things that scale off of HD should instead be tied to CR.

-James
In other words, let's hope that WotC is finally realizing that, although we really do enjoy sitting around a table in the basement ("Where are the CHEETOS?!"), we are actually in the 21st century.

With high-speed internet access rapidly becoming ubiquitous in the developed world, it would be great to see WotC design 4e rules in such a way that they are easily put into digital form, allowing (finally) the development of an officially sanctioned and supported virtual tabletop system for D&D.

Imagine the best of NWN, DDO, and TOEE rolled up into a fully 3-D virtual tabletop environment that supports all of the 4e rules, especially turn-based combat on a virtual 5' grid (that appears translucent on the ground only during combat).

That would be phat, da bomb, off the hook, off the chain, or whatever it is you kids say nowadays.

And get off my lawn!

Dude that is so cool! I just like the post...

But seriously - a question? Will there be a way to price D&D DI as a group? Will there be a way for a group of players to access content in an equal way... So a purchased character option in a supplement can be used by all? Or will each person have to fork out the $9.95 per month? If everybody doesn't have internet access or a way to pay, that can lead to problems in a group: One guy with decent finances can say, buy all supplements and have access to far more options than a newb or somebody without as much ready cash. I would guess this happens in MMORPGs... Could this be a problem for a group using the Gaming Table or even just the character generators for a face-to-face game in a real kitchen?
Wait . . .how do we sign up for DI???
Oh dude just STHU. I hope one day you are sent to another town with no buddies to play with you. Then I'll be pretty sure you will love to be able to play via internet with other people and even your friends.

Not to take part in the whole argument about the internet, laptops and stuff (I know they won't be needed to play 4E), but when I'm in another town with no buddies to play with me... I just make some friends, and then later propose to run a game for them. I've never been without a RPG group for a long time as a result.

I think some people just like to go for easy solutions, like playing informally on the internet instead of meeting new people, founding new friendships and enjoying the real, physical game anew.
Another person here confused at only being able to sign into DDI as guest despite forum membership. Any resolution yet?

- J
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