Recent Ampersand Article

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I just read the most recent Ampersand Article: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dramp/20080430

I have to say, I'm a bit disturbed. Not about only getting a few books per campaign setting--I like the idea that the energy at WotC will be focused on their core product, not dispersed into a bunch of (relatively) minor products--but rather, by the fact that game elements published in campaign settings will be core and the implication that those setting books will be the only place where those elements will be available. Prime example--the swordmage in the FRCS. I don't want to have to spend $40 or $50 on the FRCS to get one class, but it sounds like later supplements are going to assume that the class is core and build on it with, say, paragon paths, feats, etc, etc, etc. I know that there's a 3.5 example--the artificer--but Eberron was not considered core, and you didn't see artificer crunch outside of Eberron (okay, there were the artificer magic items in the Magic Item Compendium, but it was very, very limited). More to the point, the artificer was not a popular concept that a lot of people wanted to play, like the swordmage is. Are we going to be required to buy an entire campaign setting to get to enjoy this one class, or do you think there will be ways to get the class without having to buy the campaign setting?

I guess the core of my concern is that if campaign settings are considered core and core is considered applicable to all campaign settings, either (a) core material like classes and non-setting feats should only appear in core books like PHBs, or (b) every campaign setting needs to contain enough core-level crunch to be equivalent to a core book like a PHB, in the the sense that it should have the same crunch/dollar ratio or be very close. I don't want to have to buy the FRCS to play my Ebberon game, but if I do it better deliver the same value as if I'd purchased the psionics book for the same purpose.
Welcome to 2nd Edition, as far as this policy goes. FR was required to accommodate comparability with all other game realms. Slight difference is there will not be realms spat books, that get harder to work into other realms.
Plans are always subject to change.
So, Kentinal, as far as my concern goes, how did that work out in 2nd Edition? Did you end up needing a bunch of FR stuff to run your Dark Sun games, or did they do a good job of putting crunch produced in campaign settings in another book that's more commonly available? Or did they just not put too much crunch in the campaign setting books?
The material might initially appear in a campaign setting book but I'm betting that if something really does see a lot of use outside the setting that it will be "reprinted" in the general D&D books. They even did this in 3e with things like the feat Persistent Spell, which first appeared in the FRCS and then later in Complete Arcane.

There's nothing in the article to indicate that 4e won't continue in the same trend as 3.5. I'd be really surprised if they reverted back to 2e's policy of "This product requires the use of **".

As I recall, it was a conscious decision in 3e that specific products not be required in order to use another. In 2e, it sometimes seemed to be just the opposite. For instance, the Dark Sun Campaign Setting boxed set assumed we had the use of the Complete Psionics Handbook. This was only changed much later with the Revised box set (which had a rules lite psionics booklet).
/\ Art
I have been useing realms and eberon stuff in my home brews for years... before that I used planscape, birth right and red steel...

thanks for giving us the approval bill, I would hate to think we HAD to use the setting for just that setting...


I already know, if I am going 4e(a maybe strongly lead toward yes right this moment) I would be picking up the fr players book for all of the stuff in it, paragon paths, epic destinys and of cource the classes and races

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

Assuming I follow what he is telling us, I like this approach. If I want to add Eberron to my "world" I pick up three books and I'm done. Heck, technically two if I don't want the adventure.

Now, the unspoken side of this, if I were to gander a guess, all those splat books we use to buy, are going to appear in the DDI.

I am big on Eberron, and I have perhaps 10 books? If they only release three, that leaves out a LOT of fluff material. I can't imagien they will just drop it all.

HoratioAtTheBridge, again taking wild guesses on my part, when they say "core" I think all they mean is, they want us to think of D&D as D&D. I play D&D. Not I play D&D Eberron or I play D&D Forgotten Realms. If you however want the classes, feats and what not introduced by Eberron, then yes, you'll need to grab those books, but I'd imagine that most adventures released will not talk specifically about any particular location in any "setting".

∴ "Virtus junxit, mors non separabit." 

I'm on the fence about this design philosophy. On the one hand EGG had a habit of absorbing all the different campaign settings that he was made aware of into the Greyhawk setting, so this does work with the original spirit of D&D, but on the other hand. Why do we even have different settings, if they are all going to be virtually the same, because material published for one will be absorbed into all the others? Isn't the idea for a campaign setting book, to give the different races, classes, etc... which make the specific setting UNIQUE (IE different than any other setting)?
I'm on the fence about this design philosophy. On the one hand EGG had a habit of absorbing all the different campaign settings that he was made aware of into the Greyhawk setting, so this does work with the original spirit of D&D, but on the other hand. Why do we even have different settings, if they are all going to be virtually the same, because material published for one will be absorbed into all the others? Isn't the idea for a campaign setting book, to give the different races, classes, etc... which make the specific setting UNIQUE (IE different than any other setting)?

If I had to guess myself, I'd say that anything *unique* published in the campaign will remain as such. That is, if FR introduces the Red Wizard paragon path, we won't be seeing Red Wizards popping up in say, Eberron; or for that matter, see Warforged in FR.

I would imagine this philosophy simply means that if we buy a generic supplement (say, the 4e version of Complete Divine), any crunch within can be ported into FR or Eberron easily enough. General D&D supplements will support the settings now, rather than devoted product lines. Given that then, I can only hope that the designers want to preserve as much as possible about what makes these settings *unique*. That is, no Warforged in FR, just general crunch.

Of course there was that "big idea" in 3e to introduce the Races of Eberron (such as the Warforged) to the more general D&D audience. I hope this has changed in 4e however, otherwise my earlier statement is smashed, worthless ;).
/\ Art
More to the point, the artificer was not a popular concept that a lot of people wanted to play, like the swordmage is.

wait a sec - does anyone agree with this? as far as i've seen, the artificer is fairly well known and has been well received (if maligned for its obvious overpoweredness). i've rarely even heard of the swordmage! (it comes up very rarely)
If you can't convince them, confuse them. -Harry S Truman
If I had to guess myself, I'd say that anything *unique* published in the campaign will remain as such. That is, if FR introduces the Red Wizard paragon path, we won't be seeing Red Wizards popping up in say, Eberron; or for that matter, see Warforged in FR.

I would imagine this philosophy simply means that if we buy a generic supplement (say, the 4e version of Complete Divine), any crunch within can be ported into FR or Eberron easily enough. General D&D supplements will support the settings now, rather than devoted product lines. Given that then, I can only hope that the designers want to preserve as much as possible about what makes these settings *unique*. That is, no Warforged in FR, just general crunch.

Of course there was that "big idea" in 3e to introduce the Races of Eberron (such as the Warforged) to the more general D&D audience. I hope this has changed in 4e however, otherwise my earlier statement is smashed, worthless ;).

Isn't the Warforged going to be in the PHB? Since it seems like it will be n the Races and Classes that was published.

I hope not as I don't like Eberron at all and I would hate to tell my players they couldn't use something that is in the PHB.
Isn't the Warforged going to be in the PHB? Since it seems like it will be n the Races and Classes that was published.

I hope not as I don't like Eberron at all and I would hate to tell my players they couldn't use something that is in the PHB.

It doesn't sound like it will. I think it has been pretty well established that the PHB races will be human, elf, elf, elf, elf, emo, and elf....errrr.....Human, elf, eladrin, half-elf, dragonborn, tiefling, halfling and dwarf.

More likely, Warforged will be in the MM and the MM will have details on using it as a PC race, rather like the gnome.
I think too that Warforged will be in PHB. So it will be in FR. And every other worlds.

Hey its not medieval-Fantasy game ... its a Fantasy game (read Sci-Fi-Fantasy here.)

For me, to see a Terminator-like or Robot-like creature, is not D&D. For me, D&D is a Human, elf or halfling, figher, mage, rogue or cleric fighting in a magical medieval world against creatures of darkness and Dragons. FR, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Birthright are all this kinds of Campaing Setting. Eberron as only name reference but doesn't embrace the idea of medieval-fantasy but more the Sci-fi Fantasy. And it seems that D&D 4e embrace this NEW and HOT idea of young designers and young customers. In ten years, no body will remember the medieval-fantasy settings. We will all play Warforged with our robot friends...
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