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Role Playing (Games) Announcements

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Announced 463

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the roll-for-initiative dept.
bigstrat2003 writes "For the past day, Wizards of the Coast has had a countdown to "4dventure" on their web site. The countdown ran out at 6:30 eastern time today (and the web site promptly crashed), but stories are already appearing on the rest of the web. Wizards also has had their 4th edition forums up for a couple of days."
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Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Announced

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  • by tonsofpcs (687961) <slashback@LIONtonsofpcs.com minus cat> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:02PM (#20256515) Homepage Journal
    Well, I left the countdown running on my computer, when it ran out, it auto refreshed and showed me the new page. Maybe a few thousand other people did the same. Anyway, the site looks quite different now, and seems to have a lot of new content, although I can't navigate it (the server being down and all). the coral cache [nyud.net] does work though (at least it was around 8pm).
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:23PM (#20256639)
      They failed on their save vs. nerds roll.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Their site ate it because their website's been poorly maintained for at least the past year. I've lost track of the number of times that I've gone to WotC's website and gotten a friendly error message saying that some portion or another was "down for maintenance" for hours at a time. Almost as often was the times I'd get an unfriendly error message for an entire wing of their site. I'm not sure if they maintain their servers in house or if they have it contracted out to someone else, but I'd say that either
  • by thesymbolicfrog (907527) <sloanes.k@nOSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:05PM (#20256529)

    First they cancel the popular and successful Dungeon and Dragon magazines by not renewing the subscription with Paizo, and next they pull a stunt like this? I don't believe I'm the only one to find the DRM-laden "Digital Initiative" to be potentially a very poor substitute for the magazines, and this blunder will only compound the ill will directed against them.


    This move will only alienate their consumer base. The fact that 3.5 is working, and in no need of overhaul, exposes the fact that they are doing this under the motivation of short-sighted greed. I shudder to think what sort of backlash (as before with Dungeon and Dragon were canceled) is taking place on the forum.


    I'm literally in shock right now. I thought Wizards of the Coast understood its consumer base better and was comprised of people more concerned about the integrity of the game and more competent about long-term business strategies.

    • by jaseparlo (819802) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:16PM (#20256603) Homepage
      FWIW my favourite version is still the old Basic/Expert/Companion version - the technical parts intruded less on the role playing, and you didn't need to by loads of stuff to get going. Advanced that came out around the same time was OK, you could get going with three books at least, but you got caught up in stats and dice rolls and technical aspects of the game. I thought the version 3 upgrade was mostly about selling books, let alone a new upgrade. The integrity went once the game was sold to WOTC really.
      • by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:13PM (#20256965)
        Bah! Back in my day, we just had Greyhawk! And we liked it! You kids and your fancy-schmansy role-playing games these days! Back in my day, the nearest store that sold polyhedral was a four-day walk from my house! Uphill! Both ways! In the snow! You kids have it easy these days!
        • by Nazlfrag (1035012) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:43PM (#20257159) Journal
          Bah! You think that was hard, do ya sonnyjim? Back in my day, the only polyhedral die were marbles, and we didn't have no fancy books, just stone tablets. Of course, we had knights and dragons back then too, which made things easier in some ways. Didn't need an imagination, for starters.
        • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:33AM (#20257755)
          Greyhawk. Now, *that* brings back memories. Graph paper, polyhedral dice rounded off from rolling, the original cardboard dungeon master's shields with the critical hit tables listed on them. Scrounging for money to pay for new lead figures and paint. Way too much soda and chips all evening, the leaden sound of grades dropping below passing as we spent nights playing instead of "studying at a friend's house, mom, honest!" The smell of far too many unwashed young men in a room, great fat older men sitting on and breaking every chair they sat on as they tried to reach over the table to move their elven-princess-wearing-only-a-tiara leaden figures.

          Now send me your address so I can mail *you* these memories and kill your desire for sex for the next ten years.
          • Anti-Succubus (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ultranova (717540) on Friday August 17, 2007 @02:56AM (#20258167)

            Now send me your address so I can mail *you* these memories and kill your desire for sex for the next ten years.

            Speaking of sex, I always wondered why there were no Upper Plane equivalent of Succubus. I mean, flirty fishing works and would be a perfect fit for Chaotic Good outsiders, so why don't they go about seducing blackguards away from evil or something ? A wink, kiss and some bedroom gymnastics could easily stop entire evil armies in their tracks.

            In fact I'd say that the Balance requires such beings, unless of course sex is inherently evil in the DnD universe. I guess WotC is just too prudish to add them...

          • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Friday August 17, 2007 @07:52AM (#20259175) Homepage

            Greyhawk. Now, *that* brings back memories.


            Memories? BAH! Back in my day, we didn't even have memories. Nothing had happened yet. The universe was still cooling off from the Big Bang, which was all anyone could talk about, since there were no stone tablets yet for us to carve the news in. We had to assemble everything from gluons and bosons and mesons with our bare hands, and we liked it that way. None of those pre-fabricated nucleons with their fancy positive and negative electrical charges.
      • by podperson (592944) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:09AM (#20257653) Homepage
        I finally understand D&D. In D&D the rules are the content. They need to change them frequently because you run out of content. If you're actually interested in stories and "role-playing" (vs. leveling up and trying out new spells and magic items), then D&D's rules get in the way and you play something else... You also prefer your rules not to change constantly.
        • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Friday August 17, 2007 @02:21AM (#20258017) Journal
          You're starting to get it, but you're not quite there. The purpose of the game is to argue about the rules, not "play" them.
          • by someme2 (670523) on Friday August 17, 2007 @06:44AM (#20258909)
            Yes, insightful. (A)D&D rules are about imagining how much fun playing this game would be.
            Reading rules, looking at monsters in the monster manual, discussing adventures and planning and planning and planning all those great games you are going to play.
            The actual game experience never lives up to the imagination. They sell content that inspires dreams of games.
          • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday August 17, 2007 @07:05AM (#20258967)
            You say that as if it's negative, but I see it otherwise.

            While I haven't played a lot of pen & paper D&D, there have been quite a few video games based on fairly loose rules that you use in the right way to really come up with a great character.

            For instance: In Guild Wars, someone figured out that you could purposefully use runes to reduce your health to about 10% of what other people had... And use the game's rules to keep yourself healed and deal major damage to a whole group of enemies all at once. This is obviously WAY beyond what the game designers had thought of, and shows how flexible the system is. To this day, people are still finding new combinations of classes and skills that seem to be way overpowered. Most of them COULD have been created on day 1, but were just finally imagined.

            I see D&D's rules and arguments about the rules in the same way. All those arguments come from people interpreting the rules or the rules' interactions differently and coming up with new strategies. So for those who just want to play mindlessly, it's a pointless argument. For those that care, it's pretty much a basic part of the fun.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Thyamine (531612)
              I was often the DM for our group of players, and I was always amazed at how people came up with ways to create crazy new things to do. Usually it annoyed the piss out of me, but it was always quite inventive. The problem was always then having to deal with the 'problem'. If a roomful of [insert baddies here] stop being a challenge, then you have to find your own inventive ways to get the players to work. 'Hmmmm, you put your armor on for the 54th day in a row... (rolls d20, pretends to look at it)... yo
        • by thebdj (768618) on Friday August 17, 2007 @07:37AM (#20259097) Journal

          I finally understand D&D. In D&D the rules are the content. They need to change them frequently because you run out of content. If you're actually interested in stories and "role-playing" (vs. leveling up and trying out new spells and magic items), then D&D's rules get in the way and you play something else... You also prefer your rules not to change constantly.
          I call bullshit, not only from the D&D perspective, but from all other RPG perspectives. I know people who still play Second Edition World of Darkness, which was replaced by Third Edition (and now the "New World of Darkness"); there are also people who refused to ever change to 3rd Ed D&D. The rules provide a framework, the rest is based on your imagination. If your GM/DM/ST (or whatever you want to call them) is unimaginative, then yes, you might get hindered by what is in the rulebook. The fact is a good GM can create new settings, add new characters, add new creatures, or change the entire outlay of the world.

          There are rules and systems in place for a lot of these creations that GMs make. People have created tons of player generated content for various RPGs, which other people will in turn adopt. I have seen where an entirely new game was created within the rules of a larger system, like White Wolf's World of Darkness. You are truly only confined by the rules of these systems if you let yourself be that way.
    • I've never bought one of their products. I stuck with 1st/2nd Edition hybrid+house rules. I've yet to see WotC do anything worth purchasing, unless I was out of paper to wrap fish with or something I suppose.
      • That's a matter of opinion on the rules more than anything else. I hate 2nd ed rules, so just for making D&D a game I'd be willing to play, WotC rules the world in my book. (Note that I'm not trying to turn this into a "which edition is better?" debate, just saying that they did do a major update with 3rd ed, which is either good or bad depending on who you ask)
      • Uh, it's an open gaming licence. The core books can be downloaded for free from Wizard's web site.

        There are HTML versions online as well. Here are a few good links:
        Sovelior Sage's d20 [systemrefe...uments.org]
        Crystal Keep d20 [crystalkeep.com]

        If you're intent on not paying for the other books, you can get them from The Place That Shall Never Be Named.

        (I've been playing for 20 years. That gives me a +5 dodge bonus vs cries of "N00b!!")
        • Not quite, but close.

          WoTC has provided an open source license that they call "open game license" (for, get this "open game content"). They have NOT provided the core books under this license.

          What they have done however (and I applaud) is provide a vast majority of the core rules under the OGL. This is referred to as the SRD (System Reference Document). The SRD does not contain everything that the books do. In general, the books are more verbose, but the SRD relates the rules just as well. The SRD rarel
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:23PM (#20256647)
      I played D&D in the transition of the 1st and 2nd edition, and I think the reason they release new versions even when the old ones are working is to stabilize things. Dragon Mag articles, supplements, special rules in modules, house rules, con rules, third party rules, and so on eventually made the game kind of a mess. I look on a new release like a "STABLE" branch in software - it's a way to allow flexibility, but occasionally fold the results back into the core.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cyphercell (843398)

        I played 2nd edition, first edition cyclopedia, 3rd edition, and I've been interested in Open Game Licensing since around 3.5 I have visited the thread yet, but here's a link.

        http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?s=a7885fd 86618b84315bbfab43af9fe41&t=905801 [gleemax.com]
        • by ajs (35943)
          I've played every edition of D&D as well.. I'm certainly not buying 4th edition. I have a bookshelf of D&D products, and I canceled all of my outstanding orders when they canceled their relationship with the brilliant folks at Paizo [paizo.com], dumping the hardcopy magazines, Dungeon and Dragon. Now they're issuing a new version of the game, which will put further nails in the coffin of Paizo, and trying to milk the franchise for another round of "upgrade", which will incidentally harm all of the third parties
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Planesdragon (210349)
      I'm literally in shock right now. I thought Wizards of the Coast understood its consumer base better and was comprised of people more concerned about the integrity of the game and more competent about long-term business strategies.

      They are. Go over to enworld.org and read the information.

      3e was a much-needed refresh. 3.5 was a patch. 3.5 + all the cruft is an unstable, annoying, POS that I haven't played in years. Not because the game has gotten worse, but because a better game is so easy to make.

      4e is
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:06PM (#20256919)
      I'm literally in shock right now.

      I hope you're near a hospital. Do you want me to call 911 for you?

      Or perhaps find a dictionary so you can look up "literally"?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kpharmer (452893)
      I used to play back in the 70s and 80s.

      1st edition was poorly designed, but at least it was relatively simple.
      2nd edition tried to fix the design with a lot of poorly thought-out patches.
      3rd edition tried to redesign the solution and managed to make it worse.
      3.5 edition tried to fix the bad redesign with more bad patches.
      4th edition will supposedly fix the prior bad designs.

      However, this vendor has no credibility when it comes to go design - they've never really created an elegant gaming system and clearly
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anthony Boyd (242971)

      The fact that 3.5 is working, and in no need of overhaul, exposes the fact that they are doing this under the motivation of short-sighted greed.

      No. The 3.5 edition has many needed changes. Anyone who has the d20 Star Wars Saga knows that the rules can be improved, because that improved it. If WotC is basing 4th edition on SW Saga, it's a good sign.

      I personally just wrapped up a gaming session tonight, and I have to tell you that 3.5 edition rules on grappling and turning undead are brain-dead. Not bra

  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:09PM (#20256551)
    A front page D&D news story. That's gotta be hard to top.
  • by bigtangringo (800328) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:24PM (#20256653) Homepage
    I own damn near every 3.5 book there is. I haven't looked too much into the "new version" but I have no intention to replace the books I own. If the "new version" is mostly moot, as far as system changes, then I'll continue to buy their books.

    Given that the system is fairly hashed out, I don't see much reason to change.
    • I saw something saying that anything coming out between now and 4th ed (besides things which were already in the pipeline, I imagine) will be written in such a way that you could use them with either version. Either that means that they're not planning on having anything in the way of game mechanics in those books, or that 4th ed isn't going to change much.
    • old news (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DreadSpoon (653424) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:04PM (#20256909) Journal
      People said the same damn thing about D&D, and then AD&D, and then second edition AD&D, and then D&D 3.0. "I'm not buying the new edition, I wasted more money than I can count on these [lame-ass over-priced useless] source books!"

      A year or two after the new edition was out, they all usually break down and buy the new edition, sell off their old books to collectors or hobby stores, and move on.

      Or you can be one of those old foggies who swears by the old edition, never upgrades, and then runs out of people to play with. But then, if you honestly bought every single 3.5 source book (seriously, why the hell would you possibly need all of those?), I imagine you have bigger problems than finding people to play with.
  • by JezTheBandit (1143783) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:25PM (#20256657)
    So how much xp do we get for killing the website?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jarjarthejedi (996957)
      10,000 xp since it was CR 40.
      -20,000 xp since the DM didn't want you to kill it this early in the campaign, it was supposed to return for an epic battle around the time of 4.5, then a final confrontation when 5 came out. Now the DM's stuck trying to figure out a new arch-villain for the rest of the campain.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:49PM (#20256817)
      Internet Information Server

      Climate/Terrain: Windows
      Frequency: Common
      Organization: Solitary or cluster
      Activity Cycle: Any
      Diet: RAM
      Intelligence: Non- (0)
      Treasure: Nil
      Alignment: Chaotic evil
      No. Appearing: 1-1,000,000
      Armor Class: 9
      Movement: 1
      Hit Dice: 2
      THACO: 20
      No. of Attacks: 1
      Damage/Attack: 1-4
      Special Attacks: Crashing
      Special Defenses: Nil
      Magic Resistance: Nil
      Size: L
      Morale: Unreliable (2)
      XP Value: 12
  • by mark-t (151149) <[markt] [at] [lynx.bc.ca]> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:26PM (#20256663) Journal

    I had to try 3e when it came out... I figured it was really cool that my favorite RPG was getting a facelift, as I was never really satisfied with the 2nd edition rules. But alas, after trying it out and playing it for a few weeks I concluded that it was a big mistake to have sold all my 2e stuff to finance the purchasing of 3rd edition material. 3rd edition D&D was not a role playing game as I understood it... it was basically just a pen-and-paper version of a computer game, requiring a ridiculous amount of number crunching and bean counting. Suddenly every single thing that a character was supposedly able to do was governed by a skill associated with a number... taking away a vital element of creativity that in my opinion is a vital core of any real RPG. Rather than trying to reacquire the 2nd edition stuff I formerly had, however, I decided instead to go all the way back to the beginning (well, almost) and go with first edition AD&D, because the number of books published for it was small enough that it wouldn't completely break my pocketbook to get them all. I spent a couple of weeks hunting for bargains on ebay and eventually got all the hardcover rulebooks for the game. I bought pdf's of modules through rpgnow, and I was good to go. I have now have a group of 4 players, and we play weekly.

    Fans of 1st edition AD&D, check out the Dragonsfoot web site [dragonsfoot.org]. 2nd edition is well received there too.

    • 3rd edition D&D was not a role playing game as I understood it... it was basically just a pen-and-paper version of a computer game, requiring a ridiculous amount of number crunching and bean counting. Suddenly every single thing that a character was supposedly able to do was governed by a skill associated with a number.

      So true. IMO, the profusion of classes, monster types, feats, and other additions were really just an excuse to keep pumping out new rules supplements. Rather than fostering creative

      • by Nephilium (684559)

        Hmmm... my favorite systems to play under (in no particular order) were:

        The Morrow Project
        Feng Shui
        Call of Cthulhu
        Earthdawn (Yes... I liked the fact that a windling could kill a dragon if they were damned lucky!)
        Mechwarrior
        Mage

        I never got a chance to play RuneQuest... but I will say I hate all RoleMaster system games with a never ending passion...

        Nephilium

        • by Infonaut (96956)

          I never got a chance to play RuneQuest... but I will say I hate all RoleMaster system games with a never ending passion...

          Cthulhu uses the same underlying game mechanics. Gotta love a game where your favorite PC stories are about how your character turned into a gibbering idiot. Chaosium has put out some great stuff in their time.

          I bought The Morrow Project but never could convince anyone to play it. Perhaps the fact that we were so firmly entrenched in Aftermath! had something to do with it. Talk abo

      • Runequest - where you can play a duck.

        Forget the ducks. You can play a baboon.

        Don't forget the "cults". When choosing a religion MEANS something to your character.

        Yep. When Avalon Hill got it, they ruined it. Particularly if you've ever read the errata for their stuff. Lunar sorcery beats everything.

        Battle magic was the best idea ever. And their hit chart was great, too. Lose a leg in combat? Well you're out of the fight (unless you're a scorpion man). But if your teammates surrender soon enough (and the en
      • Well, from a pure game mechanics point of view, I thought Victory Games' "James Bond 007" game was *outstanding*: It was easy-to-understand yet complex and open-ended and really allowed you to get into the spirit and flow of a Bond movie/book. And of course for sheer flexibility, it's either GURPS or The Hero System (flamewar in 3...2....1...) :-). An underappreciated system, IMO, was Traveller 2300: Nice and light with a great setting.
        • by Infonaut (96956)

          GURPS or The Hero System

          GURPS definitely had it for flexibility. I thought the Hero System tended to create really quirky characters, but I suppose that's part of its charm. I'd give Hero System the nod for encouraging roleplaying, and GURPS for breadth.

          Traveller 2300 was a fun game too. I really got a kick out of the future history they created for it, and it was more fun than regular Traveller in my opinion. Then again, you have to love the compact form of the original Traveller books. Perfect for a

          • by sgant (178166)
            my friends and I played Fantasy Hero and Danger International all the time. You do get some pretty quirky characters, which was great for our group.

            Our favorite was Call of Cthulhu though...by far. I never played it when it converted to d20 though.
    • Suddenly every single thing that a character was supposedly able to do was governed by a skill associated with a number... taking away a vital element of creativity that in my opinion is a vital core of any real RPG.

      ...only if your DM wants it to be. We regularly play fast and loose with the rules, allowing us to spend more time with the role-playing aspect.

    • by deniable (76198)
      OSRIC [knights-n-knaves.com] is trying to replicate 1st ed with OGL material. I've not given it a good look because AD&D isn't my thing.
    • by Acer500 (846698)

      3rd edition D&D was not a role playing game as I understood it... it was basically just a pen-and-paper version of a computer game, requiring a ridiculous amount of number crunching and bean counting.

      My feelings exactly. I'm not an RPG fan, but I do have some books and computer games and I play WOTC's other money-sucking game (Magic: The Gathering)... and the 3rd edition game stuck me as impossible to manage with just pen and paper...

      Fortunately there are several cool games based on the D&D rules engine which I enjoyed a lot because I wasn't stuck with the pen-and-paper stats management (see: Bioware).

  • by dameron (307970) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:32PM (#20256703) Homepage
    That would be a very good thing.

    Predictions:

    1) reductions in all rules requiring any DM adjudication
    2) more caster nerfing to "balance" the classes across all levels
    3) a new campaign world
    4) idiotic marketing

    Wizards doesn't seem to get the idea that it doesn't have enough momentum to carry the MMORPG market.

    Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and the (incredible) Planescape:Torment put them on perfect footing to make a huge splash in the MMORPG arena, but they chose to hack their dong off by setting Dungeons and Dragons Online in Eberron, their new PnP setting.

    Mind you DDO launched well after WoW.

    They actually decided, I can only assume, to set their 1st mainstream attempt at an MMORPG in a completely foreign world to most of their customers in order to drive book sales.

    Books.

    Pulp.

    Magazines. (now sadly gone)

    That's how out of touch they were.

    Wizards is still trapped in a world where metal must hit paper to make money, to their loss.
  • Remember... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rix (54095) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:39PM (#20256745)
    WoTC got its start with Magic, the object of which is to purchase as much printed matter from WoTC as possible.
  • by Jim in Buffalo (939861) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:47PM (#20256795)
    I'm going to have to spend all my money buying the new books! If I had a girlfriend, she'd kill me!
  • The Saga Continues (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:57PM (#20256871) Homepage Journal
    I run a nationwide 3.5ed D&D campaign (anyone can play -- www.livingplanar.com), and have talked a little bit with some people at WOTC about 4th edition. If you've been paying attention to their releases over the last year or two, you'll have noticed like I did that they've been experimenting with a lot of new 'systems' for doing stuff. The Tome of Battle completely redid combat for non-spellcasters, the Tome of Magic introduced 3 new magic systems which didn't fit in with the standard magic-user/cleric model that we've had since the '70s. Magic of Incarnum was another alternate magic system. Complete Scoundrel introduced 'skill tricks' which rewrote how skills worked. Complete Mage introduced 'reserve feats' which allowed spellcasters to cast (weak) spells all day long. Hell, the Warlock (which was a weak spellcaster that never ran out of spells) was probably their first real attempt at 'fixing' magic in D&D, which has long been problematic, is it has always overshadowed your mundane fighter types.

    In 3ed or 3.5ed D&D, if you want to play a fighter (and you're optimizing your character), you play a spellcaster, and use spells to make yourself more human than the human.

    At the San Diego Comicon this year I was a WOTC volunteer who was basically the 'Star Wars Saga Edition Guy' who got to explain the rules of Saga Edition to maybe 50 tables of people, running half hour games each time. Since Saga Edition is supposed to be real close to 4th edition, I'm probably as familiar as anyone with the hypothetical rules right now. Saga edition, in a nutshell... is okay. It removes your armor class and saving throws. Instead you have a joint AC/Save thing called Fort Defense, Reflex Defense and Will Defense, and the attacker makes all dice rolls (with the defense numbers normally 10 points higher than your old save, so a +5 reflex save would be a 15 reflex defense in the new system) so if I were to, say, fireball the party as a DM, I'd roll one d20 with my 10d6 fireball damage. If I got a 15 on the d20 'attack' roll, it would do full damage to everyone with a Reflex Defense of 15 or lower, and half damage to everyone higher. So you don't have to wait for 6 people to break out their dice, figure out their saving throw bonuses, etc. You just pitch the dice together, announce the result, and move on. A nice touch, though I'm a bit leery of running spells like Wail of the Banshee that way, as it will greatly increase the chance of TPKs -- we'll see if they keep one save for the party with that.

    AC is now your Reflex Defense.

    They have something called a condition track which runs concurrently with your hit points (you still have hit points -- Saga Edition is 90% the same as D20 rules). Any time you take more than your 'damage threshold' in damage (it's usually somewhere around a number between 15 to 20), you get a point of impairment, which adds a cumulative penalty to all your D20 rolls (-1, -2, -5, -10 KO), until you get knocked out at 5 points of impairment. So even if you have 200 hit points, if you take 20 damage 5 times in a combat, you'll be KOed, because they were bigger hits to you than 10 10 point hits.

    The main thing that annoys me about the new system is that it is a little too generic. There's very little difference in the classes, with saves being almost totally revamped so that everyone's saves will be within 2 points of each other (your class save bonus only applies once, and you get the best of all classes that you multiclass in, and then progresses the same for everyone). Likewise, everyone gets a bonus to damage equal to half their class level. So a 20th level noble does the same damage with a blaster as a 20th level Jedi (3d6+10). The only difference in the classes are their 'special ability' talent trees, which work like in World of Warcraft. Essentially, every other level you get a new 'talent', many of which have prerequisites of other talents. So if you want the ability to reroll an attack roll once per day (a rogue ability) you might need the talent to reroll a skil
    • magic... has always overshadowed your mundane fighter types.

      Did you play the same D&D I did? Magic users are incredibly gimped compared to fighters. Maybe it gets better at higher levels (I never had the patience to play past level 10ish), but you find yourself either a) having the completely wrong spells for your situation prepared, or b) out of spells, constantly. I swore that if I ever ran a campaign, spell preparation would be GONE as a house rule, and I'd use the spell point system from Unearthed Arcana.

      Then again, this was my experience, and may not be

      • by oscarmv (603165)
        Yeah, things do invert after level 10, with the full-fledged spell casters overshadowing the fighter-types. Badly.
  • I managed to get into the site long enough to copy some of the files; they're available as a torrent here:

    http://cw.enlightning.de:6969/stats.html?info_hash =6455bdea4c06c4583302c452ed0363b06447a6e0 [enlightning.de]
  • by rsanta74 (1003253) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @10:59PM (#20256879)
    WARNING: The following product contains orcs, trolls, wizards and knights. Neither the author nor the publisher shall assume any explicit or implied responsibility for potential loss of sex, lunch money, or dignity. Prolonged use may result in permanent retention of "virgin" status.
  • Satan's game [themadmusicarchive.com].
  • by ConceptJunkie (24823) * on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:17PM (#20256993) Homepage Journal
    There's a pattern here that was also the same with DOS, Windows, Netscape, and perhaps others.

    Version 1 was awful.
    Version 2 was a little better.
    Version 3 was excellent and stable.
    Version 4 was big and bloated.
    Version 5 fixed all the problems with version 4 that shouldn't have been made after version 3.

    Of course, I played mostly 1ed and a little 2ed. I haven't played since the 3ed came out, but I always liked the 1ed rules with all the leftover nonsense from miniatures and wargames and stuff (1" = 10' indoors, but 30' outdoors).

    To be honest I thought TSR was totally jumping the shark by the late 80's with all their "If it's not 'official', you can't use it." crap, and by 1992 or so most of the people I played with had moved out of town.

    I really can't speak to WotC, but I thought of software given the comments I've read. "3.5 is stable" "3.5 is buggy"...

  • by logicnazi (169418) <logicnazi@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:48PM (#20257209) Homepage
    I really like the idea of a new D&D version. It's a chance to improve some of the imperfect rules in the last edition. For instance the fact that it's nearly impossible to create a fast moving dexterous fighter that has parity with a burly strength based one.

    As far as people complaining about having to buy another version I sympathize but you don't have to buy the new version and WoTC shouldn't be forced not to fix the system just because some of us bought the previous version. I don't know if I will buy the new one (I have 3.5) but the next generation of gamers shouldn't be stuck with the imperfections of the system we played.

    On the other hand I'm a bit worried about the online subscription part. The publication of feats and other rule changes in dragon was bad enough but an online subscription has even more of an official air about it and will give WoTC a very strong incentive to put overpowerful feats in the subscription. Hopefully, they will mostly just include story/background material and the occasional fix but we will have to wait and see.
  • Because there's one very good reason [d20srd.org] that my players and I are using 3.5ed right now instead of the 3ed that we bought all those books for.

  • Great! (Score:3, Funny)

    by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:04AM (#20257301) Homepage Journal

    I need some more 3.5 stuff. Maybe this will put a little more of it on ebay.

  • by Absolut187 (816431) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:16AM (#20257375) Homepage
    I only ever played 1st edition, but I always thought the combat system in D&D was really silly.
    Every character has and "armor class" (defense) and "THAC0 = To Hit Armor Class Zero" (offense). The "THAC0" is used to determine whether or not you make contact with your opponent. Then your strength and other factors determine the amount of damage..

    Why in the hell would wearing really good armor make you less likely to be hit??
    Like its hard to hit a guy wearing full plate mail?
    If anything, wearing heavy armor should make you easier to hit.
    The armor should absorb damage, not make you less likely to be hit...

    • by jombeewoof (1107009) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:28AM (#20257449) Homepage
      A "hit" was considered a hit that would cause damage. Physically touching your opponent with your weapon was not enough to cause damage. (this was covered in the rules)
      That is why certain armor types were better against certain weapon types.
      Piercing weapons had a bonus to hit plate type armor, but a penalty to chain type armors.
      slashing weapons had the opposite.
      Bludgeoning weapons would have a penalty for leather, and an even worse penalty for padded armor types. etc...

      It was all covered in the first edition rulebook, and that was only like 80 pages long.
  • by Jorgandar (450573) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:27AM (#20257439)
    ....and using some 1'st edition rules and books too. I just think D&D has kinda lost its "magic" that made the original game. I never really got into 3'rd edition or 3.5 edition. It's not about rules, it's about gameplay and overall 'feel' that made D&D what it is. If you didn't like a rule - throw it out. if you want to change something, then change it. The heart of D&D has always been flexibility to adapt. updaing the rules ad-nauseum doesn't bring the original theme back. In fact it dilutes the game.
  • by justinlee37 (993373) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:45AM (#20257529)
    "What the company does describe as revolutionary is the method of product delivery, which will incorporate online play for the first time. WotC is incorporating online components into the game through a new Website, DnDInsider.com. Each paper product will include codes to unlock digital versions on the site for a "nominal" activation fee. Players will also be able to use DnDInsider tools and access regular new content similar to the material that was previously released in Dragon and Dungeon magazines (see "Interview with Liz Schuh") for a monthly fee (as yet undetermined) greater than the old subscription price, but less than a MMORPG subscription. Magazine-style content will be added to the site three times a week and compiled into digital "issues" monthly."

    I like how WotC's idea of "revolutionary product delivery" is "We can sell them paper ... on computers!"

    Granted, they are adding that online client "to 'supplement, not replace' meatspace play," and a client like that is something that me and my friends have been saying would be cool for years now, but ...

    They're still just selling us paper, but on computers.

  • What for? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday August 17, 2007 @07:58AM (#20259225)
    I hated the 3.0 edition of D&D. It crippled the rather detailed world of D&D2 (i.e. AD&D) with its rich cultural and RP-able background into a hack'n slash orgy much like Diablo. It was geared away from sophisticated RP towards mindless slaughtering of mobs, character development meant "gather stuff" instead of actually developing your char.

    Sure, the GM could lessen that effect, but still, what remained was that "character growth" was reduced to killing mobs left and right and looting. If you played actually by the rules, there was no room for "good role play" as something that could be rewarded sensibly.

    Then 3.5 came out and, frankly, I hardly looked at it because after the 3.0 desaster, I didn't even want to take a closer look. It looks much like they heard the outcry, but I stick with AD&D.

    Now, after everyone bought the books, we're hitting 4.0. So what now? Buy all those books yet again? Thanks, no. There simply is no need to. I can see that you have to stay current with games where you want to play tournaments and compete with people outside your group of friends, like in tabletop games or card games, but for role play? I choose the people I play with carefully. I don't need to compete with anyone outside of my group.
  • by stmfreak (230369) <(stmfreak) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday August 17, 2007 @03:09PM (#20266023) Journal
    I was introduced to TSR's D&D and AD&D in the late seventies while in school, so it only affected my dignity as a pre-teen and I was okay with that. Of course, having a bunch of friends that played meant that I played ocassionally through my teens as well. My parents no doubt approved of this method of birth control.

    Coincidentally, I worked at WotC when they aquired TSR, but had long ago stopped playing D&D since I had no time as a working professional and my D&D friends had scattered to the winds after High School. I left WotC before they were acquired by Hasbro, but cannot imagine that move was good for the product.

    Now I'm a certified adult with job, mortgage, wife, kids, etc. and cannot imagine having time to play D&D. My kids aren't playing it. They're into Madden '08 and Guitar Hero II or sports outside. They'll ride a bike, surf the web^Wmyspace, chat with friends or play video games.

    So who exactly is the core audience for this product? And why did it need to get rev'd into what is apparently a very different game from the story-telling enterprise it was thirty years ago?

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