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Dark Wizard
Senior Scribe

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  06:42:12  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Wizards of the Coast officially sets D&D Next (or 5E, they don't specify) for a Summer 2014 premier.

Link: http://company.wizards.com/content/wizards-coast-announces-thrilling-dungeons-dragons-launch-summer-2014

quote:
Originally from WotC Press Release:

Wizards of the Coast Announces Thrilling

Dungeons & Dragons Launch for Summer 2014



Players fight the most fearsome monster of all time

in an exciting multi-platform gaming experience


December 19, 2013 – Renton, WA – Wizards of the Coast today announced that the highly-anticipated new rules system for Dungeons & Dragons will release in summer 2014. After nearly two years of an open public playtest and more than 175,000 playtest participants, the rules are complete. Players will be immersed in rich storytelling experiences across multiple gaming platforms as they face off against the most fearsome monster of all time.


“Just like a perfectly balanced party, Wizards has worked cohesively with fans, designers and partners to create the next generation of D&D,” said Nathan Stewart, Brand Director for Dungeons & Dragons. “We whole-heartedly thank all of the play test participants, whose feedback has proven instrumental in shaping the future of Dungeons & Dragons.”


More information about the exciting Dungeons & Dragons entertainment offerings will be available in early 2014. To learn more about D&D, visit dungeonsanddragons.com.


About Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), is the leader in entertaining the lifestyle gamer. Wizards' players and fans are members of a global community bound together by their love of both digital gaming and in-person play. The company brings to market a range of gaming experiences under powerful brand names such as MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, and KAIJUDO. Wizards is also a publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information about our world renowned brands, visit the Wizards of the Coast Web site at www.wizards.com.



Forbes.com notes,

"The news comes almost two years after WotC announced it was developing a new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons rules, and just days after it concluded an open “D&D Next” public playtest that included more than 175,000 players around the world."

And

"The publication of the as-yet-unnamed fifth edition of the D&D rules will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the game, which was originally published in January, 1974.

Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, says more details about the game will be available in early 2014."

Plaguescarred
Learned Scribe

Canada
190 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  11:43:12  Show Profile Send Plaguescarred a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finally! I can't wait to get my chubby fingers on it!!

Yan
Playtester
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4309 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  13:28:04  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, we'll see what direction the designers finally went with. I did hear some interesting news on Mike Mearls twitter account, such as spell points and alternate casting styles not being class dependent but system optional. That way someone who likes spell points BUT enjoys the bookish-style Wizard can have both.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36054 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  13:58:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Players fight the most fearsome monster of all time"

What the heck does that mean?

This is a bit earlier than I anticipated, but it makes sense.

I don't have much else to say until there is more material to speak on.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1834 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  14:04:56  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Woohoo finally. I hope they release FR material soon after the initial release of the core rules too. I'm eager to see the direction things take on both fronts.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Tyrant
Senior Scribe

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  17:42:07  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

"Players fight the most fearsome monster of all time"

What the heck does that mean?


Corporate overlords?

I assume it's a typo and meant to say monsters.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code

Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  20:57:27  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The 5E Realms should be no more than a year out from the regular 5E release date, I'd wager.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1283 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  20:59:12  Show Profile Send SirUrza a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is it going to be called 5th edition or are they calling it Dungeons & Dragons and we'll have to call it 5e?

"Evil prevails when good men fail to act."
The original and unapologetic Arilyn, Aribeth, Seoni Fanboy.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  22:36:19  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Isn't it called D&Dnext, or have they shelved that already?

Its even earlier then I predicted, Wooly. I thought they'd push it back 'till the holidays. Kind of a risk releasing in the middle of summer like that. I guess it all depends on HOW they release it (hoping for much fanfare, like how it was when 3e came out).

"Players fight the most fearsome monsters of all time"

So what were we fighting before? Chopped liver?

Also, the emphasis on fighting (encounters?) is a bad sign. Hopefully I'm just reading too much into that. I am still VERY MUCH looking forward to buying this and running it.

If the FR release does not coincide with D&D's release, I'm not sure how that is going to work. Maybe its not going to be the default core setting? If they have new fans buying into some other setting at first, they are going to have a hard time selling them FR down the road (unlike Paizo, who only offers one flavor... but its a really GOOD flavor). What setting are folks going to be using when the game first hits the shelves?

Unless... FR truly IS core (like how Greyhawk was), and some of the setting material will be in the core rulebooks. That could work - it all depends on how well they present things. A bit of a teaser in the rulebooks, and then some campaign guides and/or APs around the holidays. They'd have wet people's appetites. Not a bad plan... if thats what it is.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 20 Dec 2013 22:37:14
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  22:40:50  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just caught the assumed 'typo' with "monster"... I don't think its a typo, because they repeat it later on. Its singular.

Well, from their point of view, I suppose that would be Grognardize.


"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 20 Dec 2013 22:42:27
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2013 :  23:52:48  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Looking at some of the recent articles on the WotC website, i get the impression that the core rule books are going to talk about and reference all the worlds of D&D.

I think the Realms will definitely be the showcase setting and receive the lion's share of support, but that will be external to the core rule books.

WotC should wait at least a few months before releasing the 5E Realms, in order to give 5E time to get its feet under it and get going. Having 5E rules in the new Realms book would go a long way towards helping the setting succeed.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1272 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2013 :  05:04:08  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dark Wizard

...Players will be immersed in rich storytelling experiences across multiple gaming platforms...

Multiple platforms?

...WAT.



Female, 40-year DM of a homebrew-evolved 1E Realms, including a few added tidbits of 2E and 3E lore; played originally in AD&D, then in Rolemaster. Be a DM for your kids and grandkids, gaming is excellent for families!
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2013 :  06:11:41  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm assuming that either translates into gaming using traditional table-top means, or with electronic media like tablets and/or laptops, or the more regular combination of the two.

Alternatively, and more of a personal hope, it could also mean multiple settings/worlds since I've heard platforms as a term for referencing settings as well. So it could mean multiple gaming worlds/settings as well.

Unless WotC are planning to take playing table-top D&D to consoles as well. So whether you've got a PC, tablet/smartphone, or gaming console, you can gear up with playing D&D.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3242 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2013 :  13:12:01  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2013 :  13:47:20  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm sounds intriguing.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2013 :  18:36:17  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If they decide to once-again concentrate on multiple settings (and split what little resources they have amongst them), its all over before it begins. Even when D&D was everything to them (when it was TSR still), they couldn't handle all of those settings. Now that we've been reduced to a cling-on riding the coat-tails of MtG, there is no way they can support (in any quality manner) multiple settings. Just IMO, and all.

You think they are going to reference multiple worlds in the core books, Jeremy? So sticking to the 'lets confuse the crap out of everyone' plan is still going strong, eh?

Thats what every 13 year old wants - a game that is so indecisive you don't even know what world you're playing on. This isn't 1974 anymore - those guys need to walk outside their cubicles and actually interact with their target audience. At this point, I don't even care if they do FR {gasp!}. It could be Greyahawk, or Krynn, or even the weird, amalgam 4e world of Nerath - I don't CARE!!! But they need to stick to one path and keep going down it. Running in circles gets you nowhere, fast.

Why did the edition wars happen? Because people had choices about which edition was the 'right one'. Multiple settings just exacerbates that exponentially. A hundred fans playing a hundred different settings doesn't help them make money. Have they learned nothing about splitting the fanbase?

I really hope you are wrong on this one, JG.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 24 Dec 2013 01:54:52
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2013 :  20:32:52  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mark I think the danger lays not in confusion, but in dilution of the D&D brand. This was a concern that governed the release of 3rd Edition D&D.

But WotC may have decided that the market is big enough to allow support for multiple game worlds. Also, I think that for new gamers, mention of places like Athas and Eberron and the Realms won't cause confusion. Rather it will excite the imagination.

WotC have stated they are releasing the next edition across "multiple gaming platforms" so I hope that we end up with what TSR tried and failed to do, in terms of creating a brand that could support multiple gaming worlds as well as the independent creations of individual campaign worlds.

EDIT: death to the auto-correct feature in my iPad. Lolz.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).

Edited by - Jeremy Grenemyer on 22 Dec 2013 22:26:45
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4309 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2013 :  21:50:15  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From using the playtest packets, every time a Deity was mentioned such as from a Cleric's domain it would mention multiple deities from multiple settings. For example the Light Domain cleric could be a follower of Pelor from Greyhawk, of Lathander/Amaunator from the Forgotten Realms, etc.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Dark Wizard
Senior Scribe

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 23 Dec 2013 :  06:52:23  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Therise


Multiple platforms?

...WAT.




Recall this is a press release from a PR firm working for the marketing arm of Hasbro/WotC, rather than from the creatives at WotC.

I'll assume they mean platforms as in media available. In addition to the pen & paper RPG we're used, they may have multi-media offerings in the works including electronic/digital games based on the D&D 5E brand (including platforms such as iOS (ex. D&D Arena), Android, PC/Windows, Mac, Facebook and other social media games, etc.).

They may also release non-electronic games, such as board games (Lords of Waterdeep, Castle Ravenloft) and card games (one would think there would be more of these given Wizard's MtG pedigree).

It is also possible they are including the Kre-O D&D figures and possibly other toy tie-ins down the line, perhaps a revitalized D&D miniatures line.

There are also novels and comics, platforms where D&D is long established.

And of course my #1 requested D&D transmedia branch-off: A cartoon show. Really, nothing gets you in the limelight as much as a TV show, maybe except for a well received movie.

Edited by - Dark Wizard on 23 Dec 2013 06:55:16
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7626 Posts

Posted - 23 Dec 2013 :  23:42:06  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I‘m on the fence about this “multiple platforms“ statement. An electronic system to streamline book-keeping, dungeon-mapping, and dice-rolling chores? An online/subscription D&D gaming database? An immersive graphical MMORPG play environment? A modular CRPG-like D&D experience?

While I admit to having enjoyed a variety of (Bioware) D&D CRPGs and having used any number of (often homebrewed) digital D&D tools, my anecdotal experience is that - sorry to say it - Wizbro is not consistent or savvy enough in the digital arena to offer anything I would consider competitive, indeed hardly anything I would even really consider adequate. I certainly hope this marketing statement is just their way of saying “multiple formats spanning multiple media“ because I‘m personally only interested in actual books and paper, forget DRM-locked eBook stuff, updatable mobile applets and widgets, play-it-forever MMORPGs, or PlayStation D&D modules, they sound cool and would appeal to many, but not to me.

An Ultimate Monster? My cynicism makes me instantly wary of the usual heavyhanded auctorial “wipe the slate clean (with more craters)“ design approach which demands that Old D&D is gone because New D&D presents more imperative heroic coolness. I‘m sure WotC learned a lot from the largely negative reception of 4E, but bigger and badder just doesn‘t impress. Again, I hope it‘s just marketing hype designed to lure in jaded fans and appeal to another (young) generation of gamers.

I honestly wish ye good luck, WotC, and I hope that D&D doesn‘t become another mishandled abortive loser brand like so many others that Hasbro has killed before.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 23 Dec 2013 23:58:08
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1442 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2013 :  01:10:02  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
D&D is on multiple platforms: pen and paper, video games (PC), and I believe mobile devices too. So that would be an accurate statement and wouldn't worry too much about what it means. Nothing more than nerd-speak worked into the marketing message. ;)

Edited by - Eilserus on 24 Dec 2013 01:12:23
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1834 Posts

Posted - 26 Dec 2013 :  09:25:01  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm sure there will be more press releases in the coming months and some responses to our concerns. As for multi-media concerns I'm with Eilserus on this. I don't think it's anything to worry about. I am very concerned about Wizbro splitting into too many settings and failing to manage resources though.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1283 Posts

Posted - 26 Dec 2013 :  18:33:39  Show Profile Send SirUrza a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

If the FR release does not coincide with D&D's release, I'm not sure how that is going to work. Maybe its not going to be the default core setting? If they have new fans buying into some other setting at first, they are going to have a hard time selling them FR down the road (unlike Paizo, who only offers one flavor... but its a really GOOD flavor). What setting are folks going to be using when the game first hits the shelves?


I'm going to suggest something that came out of 4e that I wish had been the Core world and had seen more development..

Nentir Vale.

"Evil prevails when good men fail to act."
The original and unapologetic Arilyn, Aribeth, Seoni Fanboy.
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2013 :  06:52:50  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
EnWorld has reported that WotC PR have stated 'monster' should have been 'monsters'.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2013 :  16:24:55  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I sincerely hope WotC reverses their downward trend of less and less Realms support. They've been steadily trimming down their writer base, pushing out their longtime designers, and shrinking the book department staff.

But we'll see. If D&D-Next proves a great success, odds are good that the Realms will get some love again, as D&D's flagship setting.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
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Tarlyn
Learned Scribe

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2013 :  16:48:09  Show Profile Send Tarlyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am glad that WotC is acknowledging their other settings and plans on making use of them. I hope we get continued Realms support, but there are plenty of D&D players that do not care for Realms. They deserve support as well. Hopefully, we can see one Realms supplement/mega adventure a year and DDI support. I think it is unreasonable to expect WotC's current staff to be able to produce setting support like the 2e or 3e era team. They lack the staff and they likely lack budget as well.


Tarlyn Embersun
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36054 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2013 :  17:20:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn

I am glad that WotC is acknowledging their other settings and plans on making use of them. I hope we get continued Realms support, but there are plenty of D&D players that do not care for Realms. They deserve support as well. Hopefully, we can see one Realms supplement/mega adventure a year and DDI support. I think it is unreasonable to expect WotC's current staff to be able to produce setting support like the 2e or 3e era team. They lack the staff and they likely lack budget as well.





Of course, failing to offer products to buy is not the optimal way to increase your income -- and thus your budget.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2013 :  17:32:25  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WOTC needs to rebuild its product line, rather than continuing to cut it down. At this rate, I worry that we'll be lucky to get even a single FR sourcebook or a single novel that isn't Drizzt (a proven moneymaker) or Elminster (decent income and contractual), let alone any support for other settings.

The core is key, and WOTC needs to develop a strong core game with a sensible level of secondary support, and some work on their settings. 4e went a little overboard with core development, I think, sacrificing flavor for crunch every time. Setting books should have little to no mechanics and be mostly flavor/fluff. That's just my opinion.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
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Tarlyn
Learned Scribe

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 28 Dec 2013 :  20:03:24  Show Profile Send Tarlyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooley Rupert
Of course, failing to offer products to buy is not the optimal way to increase your income -- and thus your budget.


I don't think that Realms supplements are the kind of supplements that will grow WotC's income. I would guess that all of WotC's source books make a profit. The question is how large of a profit margin does the source book make? Unfortunately, I don't think that Realms has a very significant customer base compared to core D&D. WotC is making an effort to try and grow the Realms fanbase, but I think it is fairly obvious that it is being met with mixed receptions. Also, I think the reason realms is the first setting out the gate this time is that it is the low hanging fruit in terms of lapsed customers. Hopefully, WotC's profit margin targets take into account things like a FRCS is not going to sell as well as a PHB. If enough interest springs up maybe we will get more product support. However, I don't think WotC is pruning their product line because it is meeting and exceeding their goals.

Also, I do think that mechanics are an important part of setting books. I don't think that they should be the selling point like in 3e where every book lists the number of new feats, spells and prestige classes on the back cover. However, the fluff and the mechanics need to support each other to make a great gaming product. Trying to remove mechanics entirely or marginalize them is just as bad as over emphasizing them. I am not certain how familiar posters are with the play test material, but I will give a few examples of IMO good and bad ways to handle mechanics.

Subclasses: Every class in the playtest receives a subclass that adds a little custom feel to the build. For instance, all wizards pick a school of magic as their subclass. Currently, the play test includes 3 of the classic 8 schools of magic. Given that the default assumption is that a wizard will in effect be a specialist, I don't see the need for a Red wizard of Thay subclass. I think the core mechanic can handle that. However, the Hathran doesn't have a good core analog, so I would say that is a good opportunity to add a subclass. Currently, the core lacks a moon domain(domains are the cleric's subclasses). If one was not included in the core, I think there are enough moon deities in realms that one should be added to the campaign setting. A few other examples of iconic realms things that would fall into subclasses would be the style of monk that Orsin is, elven bladesingers, swordmages, dwarven battleragers and shadow adepts. Arguably some of those classes could be included in core, or might be better off as feats/backgrounds.

Backgrounds: Backgrounds give half a characters default starting gear, a selection of skills and a unique benefit that typically is not combat relevant but character defining. For instance, nobles receives 3 servants such as maids, butler etc. I don't actually know that Realms needs additional backgrounds, but I would rather see a Harper/Zhentarim etc. background then a Harper/Zhentarim etc. subclass for every class. Although, I really think the spy background is good enough to represent Harper/Zhentarim agents etc. Some locations like Shade, Thay, Chult or Calimshan might be exotic enough to merit there own background.

Feats:
I think that shadow weave magic, tattoo magic, spell scars and a few other things might fit in here.

Magic items:
Here is where I think there are a lot of mechanics that should show in Realms supplements. Weather cloaks, moon blades, Kiira, baneblades of demron, eversmoking pipes, the Lords' effects, harper pins and many more.

Spells:
Again, I think spells is an area where a lot of unique realms mechanics should reside. There are plenty of iconic realms spells such as ironguard or blackstaff that are unlikely to be handled in core supplemets.

Monsters:
I doubt baneguards, baneliches, Fey'ri, baelnorn, leucrotta, veserab, helmed horrors and draegloths will make a core monster manual. However, I would like stats for them.

Races:
Gensai, Fey'ri, Tanarukk and draegloths are all creatures that I could in the right campaign see as PCs or NPCs. It would convenient to have mechanics for those creatures.


quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie
At this rate, I worry that we'll be lucky to get even a single FR sourcebook or a single novel that isn't Drizzt (a proven moneymaker) or Elminster (decent income and contractual), let alone any support for other settings.


I think novels are a different animal and I do think that the Realms brand is the strongest WotC has in that arena(Thanks Drizzt!). I thought Erin M. Evans already mentioned that she is working on a sequel to the Adversary and I heard that all of the "Sundering Six" will get to do a follow up book. Hopefully, the sundering series does well enough that WotC decides to expand the line again.

Is the receiving not a single source book bit some kind of insider knowledge or just frustration? All the talk from WotC about getting realms right before moving onto other settings seems to indicate one FR supplement. I think anything we get beyond the initial release will be candy on top just like 4e's Undermountain, Neverwinter and Menzoberranzan. I will admit it is pretty discouraging to see that the next pieces of the sundering adventures series are only digital. I think that speaks for itself as far as how well Murder and legacy did.

Tarlyn Embersun
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4598 Posts

Posted - 29 Dec 2013 :  03:32:03  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have no insider knowledge but am only posting in my capacity as a long-term Realms fan.

(Note the observation about WotC pushing away its authors and designers. I am not now working on something for them, nor do I have any indication that I will. I'd be extremely happy to--you guys know how much I love the Realms--but that isn't the direction WotC is going at the moment.)

As I said, who knows? We might be pleasantly surprised. But with WotC trimming down their staff and all but dropping their novel department, I have concerns.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Author of a number of Realms novels (GHOSTWALKER, DEPTHS OF MADNESS, and the SHADOWBANE series), contributor to the NEVERWINTER CAMPAIGN GUIDE and SHADOWFELL: GLOOMWROUGHT AND BEYOND, Twitch DM of the Dungeon Scrawlers, currently playing "The Westgate Irregulars"
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4309 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  18:25:58  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn

quote:
Originally posted by Wooley Rupert
Of course, failing to offer products to buy is not the optimal way to increase your income -- and thus your budget.


I don't think that Realms supplements are the kind of supplements that will grow WotC's income. I would guess that all of WotC's source books make a profit. The question is how large of a profit margin does the source book make? Unfortunately, I don't think that Realms has a very significant customer base compared to core D&D. WotC is making an effort to try and grow the Realms fanbase, but I think it is fairly obvious that it is being met with mixed receptions. Also, I think the reason realms is the first setting out the gate this time is that it is the low hanging fruit in terms of lapsed customers. Hopefully, WotC's profit margin targets take into account things like a FRCS is not going to sell as well as a PHB. If enough interest springs up maybe we will get more product support. However, I don't think WotC is pruning their product line because it is meeting and exceeding their goals.


I think your right. If I remember correctly, one of the big reasons why they only went with one supplement per setting was because, on the whole, setting supplements like the ones we've seen for the Forgotten Realms and Eberron didn't sell well enough. These books only cater to those who are already invested in the setting to begin with and don't necessarily have the draw for newer players. It's also one of the reason why we saw so much 'crunch' in the 3E and 4E supplements, because to a player not invested in the Realms, it might still be worth buying for the different rules, spell, Prestige Classes/Paragon Paths, magic items, and other hoop-la that can be easily reworked to fit other campaign settings. When a supplement is 90% flavor, story, and setting and maybe 10% mechanics it just doesn't sell very well to the general public of D&D fans.

quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn


Also, I do think that mechanics are an important part of setting books. I don't think that they should be the selling point like in 3e where every book lists the number of new feats, spells and prestige classes on the back cover. However, the fluff and the mechanics need to support each other to make a great gaming product. Trying to remove mechanics entirely or marginalize them is just as bad as over emphasizing them. I am not certain how familiar posters are with the play test material, but I will give a few examples of IMO good and bad ways to handle mechanics.


Well yes and no. Like I stated above, when a book's potential market is cut in half because the only thing it lists are things that are setting specific it doesn't make as much money because its only catering to that niche % of fans. If, for example, the Eberron book has only flavor and setting-specific material (non-mechanics related) I'm probably NOT going to pick it up for a while because it's not a setting I'm all that interested in personally. Throw in a good portion of mechanics about Artificers, Warforged, different sub-classes for the Fighter or Rogue or new spells for the Wizard and I might just pick up the book for those reasons alone.

quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn


Subclasses: Every class in the playtest receives a subclass that adds a little custom feel to the build. For instance, all wizards pick a school of magic as their subclass. Currently, the play test includes 3 of the classic 8 schools of magic. Given that the default assumption is that a wizard will in effect be a specialist, I don't see the need for a Red wizard of Thay subclass. I think the core mechanic can handle that. However, the Hathran doesn't have a good core analog, so I would say that is a good opportunity to add a subclass. Currently, the core lacks a moon domain(domains are the cleric's subclasses). If one was not included in the core, I think there are enough moon deities in realms that one should be added to the campaign setting. A few other examples of iconic realms things that would fall into subclasses would be the style of monk that Orsin is, elven bladesingers, swordmages, dwarven battleragers and shadow adepts. Arguably some of those classes could be included in core, or might be better off as feats/backgrounds.


To a point I agree. Setting specific stuff that only pertains to the Realms would have a decent way of entering the mechanics here. However I think they (the designers) sort of painted themselves into the corner with sub-classes. Take, for example, the Hathran you mentioned. In 3E the Prestige Class catered to at least 4 separate classes (Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, and Wizard) from the PHB and was easily usable with any one of them. In 4E, had they made one (or check out my homebrew version), it too could've catered to those classes as well. But with sub-classes, I'm not sure the design space is there. Each class works differently and gets sub-class options at different levels. How would one even attempt something such as a Hathran unless they made a separate version of the concept for each individual spell-casting class? But I'll grant you things like specific Forgotten Realms Domains and the like could easily be carried over to D&D:Next.

quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn


Backgrounds: Backgrounds give half a characters default starting gear, a selection of skills and a unique benefit that typically is not combat relevant but character defining. For instance, nobles receives 3 servants such as maids, butler etc. I don't actually know that Realms needs additional backgrounds, but I would rather see a Harper/Zhentarim etc. background then a Harper/Zhentarim etc. subclass for every class. Although, I really think the spy background is good enough to represent Harper/Zhentarim agents etc. Some locations like Shade, Thay, Chult or Calimshan might be exotic enough to merit there own background.


Those are pretty good ideas. I could even see existing background being changed in simple ways such as which equipment is given (or suggested) with the starting package based on what area your going for. For example, if your using the Guide background your going to want different equipment if your based out of Rasheman than a guide from Calimshan.

quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn


Feats:
I think that shadow weave magic, tattoo magic, spell scars and a few other things might fit in here.


Yea, this is a very strange place right now in the design element of D&D:Next. On one hand you can swap the choice of a feat for an Ability Score bump (which is a very hard decision IMO) OR taking one of the mega-feats they have listed. If they start to introduce Realms-elements such as Spellscars, Rune/Tattoo magic in this place, I could see people passing up that +1 bump to Strength and Dexterity for a quasi-magical feature. Also, it'd be nice to see them put in ways to re-flavor existing feats to make them more Realmsian. For example, taking the Feat Arcane Initiate and renaming it Spellscar but having the mechanics work the same. What changes is how this magic is manifested in the character, instead of studying magic and gaining some limited form of it (ala spells) you instead are infused with magic through a curse-like symptom left over from the Spellplague. Both work the same, but the story and feel are changed.

quote:
Originally posted by Tarlyn


I think novels are a different animal and I do think that the Realms brand is the strongest WotC has in that arena(Thanks Drizzt!). I thought Erin M. Evans already mentioned that she is working on a sequel to the Adversary and I heard that all of the "Sundering Six" will get to do a follow up book. Hopefully, the sundering series does well enough that WotC decides to expand the line again.

Is the receiving not a single source book bit some kind of insider knowledge or just frustration? All the talk from WotC about getting realms right before moving onto other settings seems to indicate one FR supplement. I think anything we get beyond the initial release will be candy on top just like 4e's Undermountain, Neverwinter and Menzoberranzan. I will admit it is pretty discouraging to see that the next pieces of the sundering adventures series are only digital. I think that speaks for itself as far as how well Murder and legacy did.



I'm not entirely sure its an indication that Murder in Baldur's Gate and Legacy of the Crystal Shard weren't good products, at least from a quality standpoint. I think they realized that people might not want to invest $30 + for a product that might be obsolete in less than a year. Really, if I buy Murder in Baldur's Gate and a year or so down the road want to re-run it again with a new group using the brand new D&D:Next rules, what chances are there that the game is going to mesh up well enough with the final product? I mean, these adventures are being used right now with the latest (and last) material we're going to see until debut day. There's bound to be difference in play and mechanics that might put new DMs into a bind when the adventure asks for checks or mechanic-info that has been altered or changed completely as to be obsolete.

I think they realize that a digital copy might be easier to use in today's age of constant computers and that any changes they make to the finalized game can easily be re-made to fit a digital copy (and redistributed to those who've already purchased it). At least, that's what I'd expect if I bought the new digital adventure and they changed a bunch of rules on me.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 30 Dec 2013 18:30:05
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