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Role Playing (Games)

D&D's Story Manager Answers Your Questions on Camera 112

Posted by Zonk
from the get-that-man-a-lozenge dept.
Chris Perkins, story manager for the upcoming Fourth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, took some time out this past weekend at the D&D Experience event to talk back to us. He answered the concerns of five readers who had commented on their responses to our earlier questions from January. With a large amount of information about Fourth Edition now out in the open and the NDA for playtesters lowered, there's been a floodgate of new concerns over the latest change to this tabletop icon. You might also be interested in the other videos from Gamer Radio Zero filmed at the D&D Experience event, which covers everything from DMG design to D&D Insider pricing. Chris's responses can be seen in the YouTube videos included below. Thanks both to Mr. Perkins and Michael Lescault for making this interaction possible.
Mongoose Disciple asks "Is there any concern that you've eliminated the most tactically interesting/complex characters from the game?"



Anonymous Coward asks "halivar asked what influence computer games might have had on the design of 4th ed, but what about computer games that are going to use the D&D rule set having an influence on the design of 4th ed? None of the games based on 3/3.5ed appealed to me because of the over-complexity of the rules, I preferred the older titles such as Baldur's Gate that used 2nd ed. That's obviously a personal opinion, but I know it's not an uncommon one. So, were there any design choices made based on the fact that computer games will also use the system?"



skinfaxi asks "Does WotC think all players and DMs are male?"



BobMcD asks "I'm looking at the back of that specific Tiefling Wizard's sheet, and it seems to me that conversion is going right out the window. This 1st level character seems pretty beefy to me, in terms of sheer spell face-meltage. Does 'At-Will' really mean 'as much as you want, just so long as it is your turn'?"



bugnuts asks "How does the Open Gaming License affect WotC's view on computer programs? Does Wizards consider the actual rules, the type of map, the genre, the number of d20's, etc to be their IP?"

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D&D's Story Manager Answers Your Questions on Camera

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  • by slaker (53818) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @10:38AM (#22649130)
    Honestly, if I want to see video, I'll fire up some porn. Would it have been too much to ask to get some transcripts and/or replies in the standard, text only format that I expect from every single other post on Slashdot, or would all that typing be too much of a hassle?
    • by SQLGuru (980662) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @10:44AM (#22649200) Journal
      I concur, many offices now block streaming media (video or audio) due to bandwidth concerns. So, I can read the questions and see the blank space where there would be video, but I'd like to get a transcript, please.

      Layne
      • by Stanistani (808333) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @11:05AM (#22649492) Homepage Journal
        If Slashdot continues the drift towards video submissions, well, then I will probably get all my geek interaction from Youtube. Your choice, Taco. Will I dream?

        This is a text-based site for good, historical reasons. You want more videos? Put 'em in a link at the bottom as an option.

        >Honestly, if I want to see video, I'll fire up some porn.

        Best old-school comment ever. Sir, you win.
    • by Fozzyuw (950608) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @10:59AM (#22649410)

      Was typing too much work?

      To Summerize...

      Why did you get ride of complex characters?
      We didn't. We're going to sell them to you in another book at a later time.

      Did you design DnD4 around video games?
      Yes, we designed DnD4 with consideration of selling our rules to video game makers and to work on other platforms.

      Are all DM's male?
      There is a such thing as a stupid question, and that's one of them.

      Will wizards be overpowered because they can cast as many spells a round as they want?
      No, a wizard can only perform a certain number of things a round, but they can cast as many number or different spells per combat. We don't want wizards to have to use a xBow because their spells are gone. That's boring.

      Does WotC consider everything in DnD their IP?
      I don't really know how to answer that question without bringing my legal team down on me, so I'll just say that d20 is symbolic with DnD but other games use it, but logically our IP = our IP.
      • Thanks. Count me as another person who cannot view videos at work. Thus, I will take the above summarizations as the true answers to Slashdot's questions.
        • Likewise...I can't even access youtube anymore. :(

          Oh, and...

          Hello Remus!

          (Duskrunner from alt.db and Jeffryn from EQ1 -- if you remember either of those. :D)

          Even on slashdot, it's a small world. ;)

        • Thus, I will take the above summarizations as the true answers to Slashdot's questions.
          They were, perhaps a bit snarky, but overall relatively accurate. The signal-to-noise ration was pretty low.
      • by Berkyjay (1225604)
        "No, a wizard can only perform a certain number of things a round, but they can cast as many number or different spells per combat. We don't want wizards to have to use a xBow because their spells are gone. That's boring." That is such BS. This is the most obnoxious attempt to appeal to the WoW crowd and it sickens me. Wizards should prepare spells and if they run out then too bad, they should have planned better.
        • by Fozzyuw (950608)

          That is such BS. This is the most obnoxious attempt to appeal to the WoW crowd and it sickens me. Wizards should prepare spells and if they run out then too bad, they should have planned better.

          I'm curious. Why do you feel that wizards should prepare spells and be limited to the number they can cast (per day)? Is it because you simply don't like the "WoW crowd" and don't want WotC to appeal to them or is there another reason?

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Berkyjay (1225604)

            That is such BS. This is the most obnoxious attempt to appeal to the WoW crowd and it sickens me. Wizards should prepare spells and if they run out then too bad, they should have planned better.

            I'm curious. Why do you feel that wizards should prepare spells and be limited to the number they can cast (per day)? Is it because you simply don't like the "WoW crowd" and don't want WotC to appeal to them or is there another reason?

            Yes, I don't like WoW. It's game system is designed to be simple so that our moms and girlfriends can play it and it doesn't belong in D&D. If they want to attract that crowd then they need to go back to the D&D/AD&D system. Make D&D the dumbed down WoW version of the PnP game and keep AD&D deep and complex. The Vancian spell casting system is a foundation of D&D and I can't stand to see them destroy it.

            • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward
              The DnD spell casting system is bad game design. Period. I'm not going to go back and read a player's guide to get my example down exactly in terms of rules, but heres how it plays out for a player in the real world when they play an arcane magic class in old DnD.

              I gain access to level 5 spells. I can memorize two per day. There are 10 level 5 spells. One is a direct damage spell, ALL the other spells are hyper-specialized utility spells. I'm going to select the direct damage spell because it's the most lik
              • by Yosho (135835) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @07:09PM (#22656750) Homepage
                I'm going to guess that you aren't actually that familiar with the rules. There are two very important things to know about playing a good wizard:
                1) You don't have to prepare all of your spell slots at once. At the beginning of the day, just prepare a few good combat spells of various levels that you'd want to have if somebody got the drop on you, and leave the rest of your slots open. You can sit down for a few minutes at any time later that day and prepare spells in those slots.
                2) Find magic scrolls? You get Scribe Scroll at first level. Making scrolls is cheap. Use it. You should go ahead and make multiple scrolls of every utility spell you know -- especially the specialized ones, so that you never need to spend a slot preparing them -- and it's also a good idea to prepare scrolls of combat spells that don't rely heavily on caster level, so that you can use them in combat when you run out of prepared spells.

                Also, there are lots of spells that seem specialized until you actually put your mind to thinking of alternate uses for them. Just out of the level five spells you derided -- teleport, transmute rock to mud, telekinesis, overland flight, baleful polymorph, shadow evocation, persistent image, wall of force, prying eyes, summon monster 5, major creation... all of those spells are very powerful and can quickly disarm many different situations if used creatively. And none of them are direct damage spells (at least, that's not their intended use). Or were you just setting up a strawman argument that you didn't actually want anybody to disprove?

                I'm not saying that the wizard class is perfect, mind you -- I welcome the addition of at-will powers (perhaps like the reserve feats in some of the recent splat books) so that you wizards don't have to pull out a crossbow when they've run out of their daily spells. But I am saying that you don't know how to play a wizard correctly, and it's not the class' fault that you suck.
                • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                  by Arterion (941661)
                  1) The book says you can do this, but NO WHERE does it actually detail the rules for it. Like how long it takes to prepare a single spell. I've tried before, to do the math on it taking "an hour" to prepare all your spells, and basing the numbers off that, but you end up with huge charts.

                  2)It's REALLY stupid to make magic items. Even scrolls. They not only cost XP which only the wizard pays, even though they benefit the ENTIRE parte, but they also cost a CRAZY amount of gold for "magical materials".
                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by Yosho (135835)

                    1) The book says you can do this, but NO WHERE does it actually detail the rules for it. Like how long it takes to prepare a single spell. I've tried before, to do the math on it taking "an hour" to prepare all your spells, and basing the numbers off that, but you end up with huge charts.

                    PHB page 178. See the section titled "Spell Preparation Time". It's very clear; preparing all of your spells takes an hour, preparing a small number takes an amount of time proportional to how many you prepare, but at least 15 minutes. It's not as clear as a lot of things in the book, but that's still high school algebra -- the amount of time is equal to (number of spells you want to prepare) / (total number of spells you can prepare) in hours, with a minimum of 15 minutes. No chart necessary.

                    2)It's REALLY stupid to make magic items. Even scrolls. They not only cost XP which only the wizard pays, even though they benefit the ENTIRE parte, but they also cost a CRAZY amount of gold for "magical materials". And that's never explained or defined anywhere, either.

                    This is

                    • by shindrak (1148025)

                      Wizards don't "learn" spells, they copy new ones into their spellbooks. I think you need to re-read the chapter on magic.

                      In 3E, Wizards get 2 free spells to copy into their spellbooks each time they level up. But any others they come across from a scroll or someone else's spellbook must be "learned" by studying them and making a check to see if they understood it. If they fail the check, they can't copy the spell.

                      In fact, the text in the SRD (here [d20srd.org]) clearly uses the word "learn" for this process of wi

                    • by Arterion (941661)
                      That's assuming a 9th level spells takes the same amount of time to prepare as a 1st level spell, with a minimum of fifteen minutes. I find that a little hard to swallow. If you factor in the levels, I think it does get into something that's a little too complicated for something that's so basic to the class. I also have to ask here: how long does it take to make a scroll? One day per each 1000 GP in the base price. But that's with no minimum. Does that mean you can crank out a 1st level spell with a
                    • Another thing I had about "magic materials" is that it never explained what they were

                      This was done on purpose in 3E. And if it does change in 4E, my guess is it will go in the direction that you don't need magic materials at all anymore.

                      It's all part of stream lining the Magic system.

                      In 1E and 2E, spells listed what exactly what material component that you needed for spells. Which just added to the book-keeping of playing a spell caster.

                      Nothing worse then memorizing 3 fireballs for the day, and then when yo
                    • by Arterion (941661)
                      The clever way they did that in 3E was with a "spell component pouch". As long as you had it, you didn't need to micromanage what they were. And spells only listed components that were more expensive than what you'd find in your spell component pouch.

                      What I always did in my games was let players make some skill checks to see if they could harvest any useful "magical materials" off things they'd killed. I'd also let them specifically hunt doing certain things for magical materials to waive the costs for
                    • Bat shit and sulfur are two pretty important components of gunpowder, too.

                      Funny how that worked out... you're casting an explosive spell and using explosive components. Most of the old "material components" are still explained in spell flavor text, btw.

                      Still, there's something to be said for it. Archers have to carry ammunition. Why wouldn't wizards need to keep their material components up to date?
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by h4rm0ny (722443)

              I'm with you as regards dumbing down, but I think we know too little yet to say if this is the case. For example, I don't think that a wizard running out of spells is exactly gone, so much as supplemented with some basic magic abilities to be used when they run out instead of being forced to shoot their friends in the back of the head with a crossbow.

              Don't get me wrong - my two main concerns with 4th ed. are that it turns out to be dumbed down and that it focuses too much on being a defining everything
    • Vs Verbosity. But luckily, he was wearying his +3 Armor of Monotonous Speaking.
    • by Hoplite3 (671379)
      I agree. I can skim text, sip the parts I want, skip the parts I don't. Video doesn't work that way. I have to listen to the whole response. Lame.
    • Count me in the group that wanted this in text. My work blocks most video's and my comp has no speakers. :-(
    • I agree 100%

      My current frustration is trying to search for technical documentation online, and discovering that only exists in the form of a video. Text and screenshots would be been a far superior medium. I thought it was bad enough when it happened the first time, but it has happened to me now with two different products. And this article is less useful to me because I do not have the same kind of time to watch videos than I would to scan text.

      Text please!
    • I agree. I'm glad the video is here, but a transcript posted also would have been really nice.
    • by UNKN (1225066)
      Actually, I prefer the video, that way you get it straight from the horses mouth. I'm sure if someone had typed up some transcripts they would have forgotten something and then your comment would have been "God this sucks, you left out X Y Z." Don't watch the video, just listen to it.
    • by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @12:36PM (#22650924)

      Honestly, if I want to see video, I'll fire up some porn. Would it have been too much to ask to get some transcripts and/or replies in the standard, text only format that I expect from every single other post on Slashdot, or would all that typing be too much of a hassle?


      Not to mention that reading is way faster than speaking, and doubly so when there's enough background noise to make inaudible the speech (futzing with rewind buttons and progress thumbs is quite slow, especially in crappy players that insist on only letting you go back/forth to markers every N seconds rather than anywhere). That, and if you only care about one small part of a video, having to sit there through the entire thing is a pain rather than simple scanning.

      Video is great for some things, but other times, it should be used to augment, rather than replace. (E.g., video is great for demos and such, but poor if you're looking at a talking head unless it's used to clarify or illustrate a particularly difficult concept in the text).
  • I keep casting +5 Funny, but it's not working.
  • Hey, Zonk, did it occur to you that some of us are at work, and thus don't have time to watch a bunch of YouTube clips? It's a lot easier to skim a text interview while waiting for the compiler than it is to sit and watch the guy talk slower than I can read.
  • zwhu? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lotekppc (795609)
    Transcripts would be appreciated. I read about an order of magnitude faster than people talk, so it drives me up the fucking wall to click on a link to find videos. Bah. No time, no time.
    • be TSR to seem hi[p and relevent.

      Granted they are trying to adapt to the changing gamer market, but they are trying to do so AND serve a corporate master stuck in the 20th century.

      these [people get it:
      http://www.peginc.com/Games/SavageWorlds/main.htm [peginc.com]

      10 bucks for the rule book, 10 freaking bucks.
      The system allows the players to feel like hero's out of the gate. It's simple.I am a hard core DnD (Method 1, baby!) but this game system rocks.

      On the plus side, I hope to see a bunch of nice mini's released for the
      • On the plus side, I hope to see a bunch of nice mini's released for the collectible game there trying to turn DnD into.

        Just in case you weren't being sarcastic -- there's been a D&D Miniatures collectable game out for the last 5 years or so.
  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @11:08AM (#22649552)
    Summary:

    My original question above: "Is there any concern that you've eliminated the most tactically interesting/complex characters from the game?" Meaning, none of the classes we've seen to this point for 4E are on the strategy/forethought/complexity level of any of the "prepared" casters in 1-3E.

    The response, paraphrased: We realize that all of the characters in the new base game are middle of the road complexity-wise, none of them as complex as 3E wizard and none of them as simple as 3E fighter. Later material will introduce some more complex choices.

    Assuming this is true, I'm happy with this response and for the first time I'm actually hopeful about 4E. I know a ton of people (mostly current or former convention-circuit gamers) who strongly prefer the more complex characters (even when they're not necessarily more powerful), and I have hope that they won't be alienated from the game. When you're looking at playing the same character for literally thousands of hours of play, a character that isn't going to be doing the same 5 things in 99% of combats becomes a lot more appealing than it otherwise might.

    I'm sure I won't ever play again the way I did during my 'con' years, but I'm at least interested in giving the 4E rules a shot now.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Gutboy (587531)
      The response, paraphrased: We realize that all of the characters in the new base game are middle of the road complexity-wise, none of them as complex as 3E wizard and none of them as simple as 3E fighter. Later material will introduce some more complex choices.

      See, I heard him say (paraphrased): We are giving you the boring classes, so you'll spend more money on our products later to get the interesting classes.
    • by ranton (36917)
      When I look at those 1st level characters, I do not see them as basic. They are incredibly complex for 1st level characters. A 1st level wizard in 3e knows just a couple useful spells and can only cast them a few times per day. All of the prebuilt characters I have seen from 4e blow anything from 3e away in terms of complexity for a 1st level character.

      Maybe that complexity will not scale as characters rise in levels, but I see no reason to believe that is the case.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Maybe that complexity will not scale as characters rise in levels, but I see no reason to believe that is the case.

        At least as of the beta tests, it didn't really scale -- at least, not anywhere near as much as complexity did by level in 3E. A mid-level wizard would basically be doing the same 3-4 things in every combat whereas that wasn't very true in 3E.

        I didn't go to D&D Experience and haven't talked to anyone who did yet though, so no idea if it's any different based on feedback they received.
  • Yeah, mostly they were good. Except the one 'Does WOTC think all players are male?". I mean seriously, all the source books are written with the default pronoun as 'she'. It's pretty rare these days to find gaming groups without at least one female in it. Been to a con lately? Yeah, people like to point out that the stereotypical male gamer geek is still in abundance, but in every con I have gone to as of late I've seen more and more women going and playing. I mean hell, is someone still living in 1980 aski
    • by techpawn (969834)

      Yeah, people like to point out that the stereotypical male gamer geek is still in abundance

      I cringed listening to NPR last night during their coverage on Gygax passing. They had the audacity to ask that very question. Instead of focusing on the mans life and legacy they though to ask that question about the gender divide? Which BTW the person they interview said it may be due to the fact that Gygax based some ideas off playing Cowboys and Indians/Cops and Robbers as a kid... which girls didn't do when he wa

  • Am I the only person that thinks he tap-danced a bit on the OGL question?
    • A little, but he's probably not a lawyer, he's more of, you know, a game designer. And while these days you need to know some stuff about laws when designing a game, he didn't want to say too much in case he said something that he shouldn't.
    • by Kierthos (225954)
      A bit yes. But considering that he's not a lawyer.....
  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @11:18AM (#22649714)

    First of all, no, I did not watch the damn videos of Perkins spewing marketer-speak. If I wanted to see video I would go to YouTube, not Slashdot.

    Second, the elephant in the room is the Open Gaming License, or "Game System License" as it will be called for 4E. Basically, Wizards of the Coast is dropping open gaming in all but name. Some details are here [enworld.org]; highlights are:

    The 4th edition SRD will be much more of a reference document than the 3e SRD. The current edition contains almost all of the rules and allows "copy and paste" publishing. WotC would prefer to see 3rd party publishers to use their creativity and talent instead of reformatting or slightly changing pre-existing rules. As such, the 4e SRD will contain more guidelines and pointers, and less straightforward rules repetition.

    Translation: we are not going to release the actual rules under a free license.

    The 4e OGL will contain some aspects of the old d20 license, and is more restrictive in some areas than the prior Open Gaming License. We are tying the OGL more closely to D&D. There is a free registration process, a community standards clause, enforceability clauses, and no expiration date.

    Translation: we are moving from free-as-in-speech to free-as-in beer because we think it's in the best interest of our brand.

    • by Rydia (556444)
      shorter: "I've decided that WotC should give their stuff out on my terms, and also I've decided that he won't tell me exactly what I want to hear, so I've constructed a convenient straw man to attack, unsullied by actual knowledge of their position."
      • by SirGarlon (845873)

        shorter: "I've decided that WotC should give their stuff out on my terms, and also I've decided that he won't tell me exactly what I want to hear, so I've constructed a convenient straw man to attack, unsullied by actual knowledge of their position."

        I notice that you've attacked my so-called "ignorance" without actually pointing out any error or oversight on my part. So what exactly is your basis for that accusation? Or do you just enjoy insulting people without bothering to back it up?

        There are thos

        • by Rydia (556444)
          You began your post by saying that you did not watch the video, which detailed at least partially WotC's position, and then went on to characterize it. You then went on (in tenor) to suggest that WotC has some sort of obligation (or at least that it would be objectively good) to make OGL "free as in speech." The former is false, even if the 3.5 version of the OGL was. The latter is your opinion, on a matter that (I will hazard a guess) is really irrelevant to the vast majority of consumers in the market.

          And
          • by SirGarlon (845873)

            You then went on (in tenor) to suggest that WotC has some sort of obligation (or at least that it would be objectively good) to make OGL "free as in speech."

            I don't see why you read into my comments a delusion that WotC has any obligation to do anything. To be clear, I agree with you -- they don't have to offer any license of any kind to anyone.

            The latter is your opinion, on a matter that (I will hazard a guess) is really irrelevant to the vast majority of consumers in the market.

            I disagree with you

            • by Rydia (556444)
              "As to arguing to a pre-conceived conclusion, I don't follow what you're criticizing there. How can one argue anything effectively without having made up one's own mind?"

              A more clear statement is "ignoring evidence to bolster a pre-conceived conclusion." Like it or not, that's really what you did.
              • by SirGarlon (845873)

                "Like it or not, that's really what you did."

                Actually, no. Not that I feel the need to justify myself to you -- especially since you've made no substantive criticism of my position (intentionally misconstruing my words counts as "ad hominem," not "substantive"). I just don't feel like giving you the last word until you actually say something.

                After I got home, I did play the video, and Perkins didn't even seem to understand the question that was posed, let alone address the topic of how WotC has change

                • by ruemere (1148095)
                  For the sake of completeness, current state of knowledge (basing on news provided by www.enworld.org) is that GSL (4E counterpart of 3E's OGL) will be closer to d20 license, and that GSL document will be an index of items from core books made available through license.

                  Also, GSL is likely to be prohibitive toward 3rd party products of the following types:
                  - new rule systems supplementing/replacing core rules,
                  - software game aids.

                  In other words, say goodbyes to 4E PcGen and 4E Mutants and Masterminds.

                  Regards,
                  R
    • The 4th edition SRD will be much more of a reference document than the 3e SRD. The current edition contains almost all of the rules and allows "copy and paste" publishing. WotC would prefer to see 3rd party publishers to use their creativity and talent instead of reformatting or slightly changing pre-existing rules. As such, the 4e SRD will contain more guidelines and pointers, and less straightforward rules repetition.

      Translation: we are not going to release the actual rules under a free license.

      They

      • by Khopesh (112447) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @01:15PM (#22651604) Homepage Journal
        Ooh, the Technomancer Press website is actually responding today ... I'd better quote them while I can. From the Technomancer Press FAQ [1]:
        1. Are Technomancer Press books d20 System® compatible?

          First, we would like to stress that "Dungeons and Dragons" and "d20 System" are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, not us. Yes. All books by Technomancer Press are compatible with Dungeons and Dragons® and other d20 System® games. A couple of them are d20-only (The Player's Companion and ConQuests), but most of them can be used with virtually any system.

        2. Why don't Technomancer Press books have d20 System® logos on their covers?

          The short, quippy answer is "it is against the terms of the d20 System License to publish the d20 System® logo in black and white." Again, we'd like to start by making it clear that d20 System® is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, not us. To answer the question, if you read the text of the Open Gaming License (version 1.0a), it actually restricts companies from using certain terms in their books: You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark. This means that saying our books are compatible with Dungeons & Dragons (a registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast) is a violation of the Open Gaming License. Further, the system reference document for D&D 3.5 released by Wizards of the Coast states: The following items are designated Product Identity, as defined in Section 1(e) of the Open Game License Version 1.0a, and are subject to the conditions set forth in Section 7 of the OGL, and are not Open Content: Dungeons & Dragons, D&D, Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master, Monster Manual... In addition, the d20 System® Guide, v5.0 states: You may refer to the Player's Handbook by title or as the PHB. You may refer to the Dungeon Master's Guide only as the DMG and the Monster Manual only as the MM. You may refer to the Psionics Handbook only by title. You may refer to the Epic Level Handbook by title or as the ELH. You may refer to the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game only by title. You must not cite page number references... Technomancer Press finds these requirements to be restrictive and more beneficial to Wizards of the Coast than any of the d20 System® licensees. We also find it to be hypocritical, considering that Wizards of the Coast's initial product line consisted of books intended to be used in other role-playing systems. Technomancer Press believes that the d20 System® is a clever way for Wizards of the Coast to maintain their market share by advertising on their competitors' covers. The funny thing is that initially we decided that we couldn't officially do the d20 System® because they require the logo to be printed in color, and our covers are printed in black and white! We learned all the other stuff later.

        3. So you guys think the open gaming movement is BS?

          Hell no! We applaud the open gaming movement, and invite everyone to create new material inspired by our content. We just aren't pleased with Wizards of the Coast's Open Gaming License. By agreeing to the OGL, you give up some rights in return for "receiving" others*. By not signing the OGL, we are not bound to WotC's restrictions. *We contend that the rights they are "granting" are rights we already have anyway, without needing their permission.
        [1] www.technomancer-press.com/index.php?mact=Glossary,cntnt01,show,0&cntnt01tid=9&cntnt01returnid=59
        • Since my Technomancer Press citation got moderated to 5 and its parent didn't, here's what is important to note: The only redeeming bit about the OGL for 3e (and 3.5e) was that it allowed cut-and-paste actions, somewhat like a Free Software license, though certainly not "Free" or "Open" as we know it in the software industry (see Open Gaming [wikipedia.org] and d20 System [wikipedia.org] on WikiPedia). The new OGL takes this away, as sited at the top of this thread:

          The 4th edition SRD will be much more of a reference document than the

      • by SirGarlon (845873) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:14PM (#22653530)

        They never did. The current 3e/3.5e SRD is quite far from "Free" in many regards, and the d20 System License is full-blown branding

        It seems you understand the difference between the SRD, the OGL, and the D20 License, but a lot of readers might not. So others can follow as we get technical: the OGL is the Open Gaming License [opengamingfoundation.org], which I and some others would argue is not really very open. The SRD is the System Reference Document [d20srd.org], which are the D&D 3.x rules as trimmed down and released under the OGL. The D20 System License [wizards.com] is a separate license one could use to put a "D20 System" logo on one's product, which was supposed to indicate some level of compatibility with D&D. To get that logo one had to consent to rather odious and very non-free license terms.

        What about the SRD is not free? I don't see how the "Product Identity" clause of the OGL affects the SRD because the SRD doesn't include any WotC "Product Identity." Are you referring to something else?

        • by Khopesh (112447)

          What about the SRD is not free? I don't see how the "Product Identity" clause of the OGL affects the SRD because the SRD doesn't include any WotC "Product Identity." Are you referring to something else?

          See my other posts in this thread for more clarification (including links to the criticism sections of the WikiPedia pages on Open gaming [wikipedia.org] and d20 System [wikipedia.org]). I'll also address your question here[1].

          The biggest problems are outlined in the above Technomancer Press quote, which alleges that US patent and copy

    • Of course they are, and that's fine. the open system was very painful for a lot of shops. It made for really bland gaming and creativity. Glad to see it go.

      If you are going to create an open system, you make a generic system, and on to that. You don't create a complex system, that's been honed to a specific style of play that just sticks bit's on it willy nilly and expect it to work.

      The system should be the fulcrum, rules for the game are the weights. the more you can adjust the fulcrum, the easier it is to
  • As a long term player of the game- it seems to me that what they are calling Dnd4.0 is basically a new product cashing in on the D&D name.

    It may be a good game, it may be a bad game, it is most certainly another attempt to mine your wallet without adding as much value as the money it will take out.

    • You've very accurately summed up my opinion about 4.0.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rydia (556444)
      Like how AD&D created the dichotomy between classes and races? That wasn't D&D.
      Or how 2d Ed threw in proficiencies and different movement rules? That wasn't D&D.
      How about 3d Ed, which created feats and skills and standardized exp? That certainly wasn't D&D.

      Dungeons and Dragons is a brand, a bundle of concepts and mechanics upon which a concrete game is built, and a franchise which provides consumers with an indicator of a) a level of quality and b) a general "feel" that differs from other ga
      • I have been watching the Diggnation video podcast thing. They should really get Alex to be the new poster boy for AD&D. If the world knew that people who looked like surfer dudes played it, it might lose some of its stigma.

        Nearest I came to playing it in the last 20 years was a quick bit of Neverwinter Nights.
        • by Rydia (556444)
          I think they should pull on Shaq more. He's a big D&D player (he was at the press unveiling and got the first copy of Alderac's d20 "World's Largest Dungeon") and is eminently more recognizable. WotC has the cash to make it happen.
      • Attaching new ideas to the existing system was part of the D&D tradition. Hell, my campaign is run with my own 400 page typeset customized version of the Cyclopedia.

        Dnd 4.0 is not attaching ideas-- it is a new product that uses the old name. It is WoTC bringing the MtG concept to D&D. Dnd4.0 is about as much D&D as Gurps is.

        • Specifically, if you are running a 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 campaign this is basically a reboot. Existing characters are not compatible with the new rules. This is not an addition or change but a restart.
  • ...they're going to insert a dedication to Gary Gygax on the front page of every volume of 4th edition.
  • So, with the passing of Gygax and these recent posts about AD&D, I'm interested in getting back into the D&D world... but this time with my kids, instead of playing as a kid. When I was heavy into D&D, well... it was called D&D and then there was AD&D, which I guess is now called 1st edition D&D, right? Anyway, my fond memories of the game were of a simple-to-grasp set of rules that just sort of nudged your imagination into a certain direction, but was open-ended enough so the DM co
    • Did that sound like an advertisement?

      OSRIC [knights-n-knaves.com] is an OGL compilation of OD&D ("Old" D&D) rules, put together in a much more easily comprehensible format than the original books. It's sort of like an SRD for 1st Edition. If you miss 1st Ed., you may want to give it a try with your kids.
    • What I know of 4th edition is that it simplifies a lot vs. 3E, at least.

      (Although that being said, the introduction of spontaneous casters in 3E makes those kinds of classes much more accessible to new players than in previous editions.)

      Even 3/3.5E, though (which I think I can fairly say is the most tactically complex version of D&D so far) really can play pretty simply for normal players. A friend of mine DMs a regular game where I guarantee you that at nearly every session (with a few exceptions wher
      • I've played with lots of new players and I maintain a house rule that no one touches the PHB or DM guide while play is ongoing. You write the stats and info you need on the character sheet next to the relevant spell/feat or in the DM notes, but if something comes up that isn't available on notes, character sheets, or the DM screen, we make up the rule and move on.

        Over time we all memorized most of the important stuff, but I figure if it wasn't important enough to stick in anyone's memory, it can't matter t

    • I'd recommend Castles & Crusades [trolllord.com], a sort of stripped down version of the d20 SRD into something resembling first or second edition. Nicely streamlined with a unified rules mechanic. Gary Gygax was developing his old Castle Greyhawk dungeons into the 'Castle Zagyg' productline for C&C. Even though he's passed on, he'd written heaps of notes for it and the first boxed set should come out sometime this year. I've had great success teaching C&C to casual gamers who easily get bogged down by too
    • by Abreu (173023)
      Sorry if im a day late, but I have been researching this very question myself (I'd love to use roleplaying as a tool to bond with my kids)

      This is a good tool to look at:

      http://www.technomancer-press.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=9 [technomancer-press.com]
  • I'm sorry it has come to this, but I think we all need to make video replies and link them.

    I'll start when I get home
  • Basically, he needs to tap dance like this because the response to 4ed has been overwhelmingly negative (Mike Mearls estimated it as a 50% negative response when they introduced the idea), as opposed to 3.5, which was seen in a much more positive light. Apparently, when people play it, they like it, but nothing changes the fact that they're killing off 3.5 (what feels like) 2 years too early, and half the books they've been introducing over the last two years has been blatant test runs for 4ed - all sorts o
    • Many of the RPGA campaigns were killing themselves off before the 4E announcement, or were effectively dead already.

      The LC->LG `bridge' was a horrible, awful, terrible experience for basically everyone involved. Almost everyone involved agrees (I believe) that while they tried to do something good, they actually did something bad. Serious effort should be made to avoid another ``LC after LG'' situation.

      Basically, they're killing off LG. I'm not really happy about it, but LG has had trouble with the fa
      • by ShakaUVM (157947)
        The problem is, all the RPGA players are looking at all of their play experiences going out the window at once, which is a bad thing. Pretty much all my friends are done with the RPGA now, and have moved into other hobbies (poker, soccer, video games, etc.), which means that 4ed won't sell as well as it could.

        Not to say it won't sell well, since it probably will, but that they're hurting themselves, definitely.
  • Hey /.

    I really never want 5 Flash YouTube instances loaded in my browser when I click "Read X More Bytes"

    Maybe you could have titled the link "WARNING: VIEW 5 VIDEOS ON ONE PAGE"
  • Kind of sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brkello (642429) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:14PM (#22652570)
    Slashdot is a news site about technology for nerds. It is sad to see when they slightly stray from the norm, everyone freaks out. Yeah, it is a good idea to have a text transcript. But I thought this was a site full of people who like the cutting edge...the early adopters...the intelligent. But oh no! Streaming video is presented in front of you and this site becomes a bunch of old curmudgeon, get off my lawn types. I can't see this stuff at work either, but if I am truly interested, I will go watch it at home. It's a games article after all...your next meeting won't rely on the fact that you watched these videos. Just wish people would lighten up on here instead of threatening to move to Canada when something changes slightly.
    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)
      Different != better. Putting videos up reeks of laziness and change for change sake.

      As many other have said, if I wanted to watch a video, I would go to youtube. More importantly, I can read faster than most people can talk.
      • by brkello (642429)
        1) I didn't say it was better. 2) I said they should have put up a transcript.

        They are not changing all of the content on the site. It has been only been on a few articles. Most the people on here don't even care about the game and are just complaining for the sake of complaining. If they added a transcript, it would have been the best of both worlds. You guys act as if graphics need to be removed because it is ruining the site.
  • This might be the most insightful (or worst) set of answers from a interviewee that I've ever (not) seen! :)
  • When can I create my Night Elf Mohawk?

    And how come there are no Frostsabers?
  • It's true. Even the BBC has the story. He was sixty-nine, had a history of heart problems and missed his saving throw vs. death. RIP

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