Friday, August 17, 2007

D&D 4 Gencon Presentation on YouTube

It's amusing, especially when they rip on the ridiculously complex 3x grapple rules:

I love you man!

One thing that struck me was the jump from 2nd Edition to 3rd Edition had us going to 2003 (3.5), instead of 2000 (3.0). This is probably just a marketing department omission, but it makes you wonder if it was intentional and if so, what that was meant to say. Perhaps a little white washing over that whole mid-release update (money grab).

Let me just say that I'm really happy Mike Mearls headed the design team. It's what a lot of us fans wanted, but we were told he was too junior a designer for that to happen. He did great work for Malhavoc Press and he was mostly responsible for Book of Nine Swords, which brought a lot to D&D 4.

I found their Insider online subscription service to be very intriguing. You'll be able to enter codes into your account for every book you purchase which then populates your database for use with various tools. This is similar to what eTools did when you paid for your upgrade, minus the time lag (hopefully) and possibly more cost effective. Will regular players subscribe? I'm thinking it's probably something that appeals to more dedicated gamers, probably the same numbers that subscribe to Dungeon & Dragon.

What struck me is the massive bonus for using a legal electronic version of a book with Insider. Anything that reduces piracy helps everyone involved. You can still scan a PDF of a new D&D book but it won't be anywhere near as useful as a free electronic version with an Insider account. In other words, this is a very useful electronic tool that reinforces traditional book sales, which makes me, the seller of said books, happy. As a player I'll have to subscribe too, as a successor to eTools.

1 comment:

  1. There's always some jerk that will figure out a way to exploit the system. Let me just say I like what I'm hearing here. I talked with Chris (didn't get the last name, but he was part of the Forgotten Realms pannel).

    He said the rules are supposed to make game play run smoother and not get bogged down in the books as much. Certain skills are going to be class specific that weren't in 3.5. The game will be more streamlined.

    Oh, and there will be a Basic game. Yay!!! This will be more in the Moldvay style. Glad to hear that.

    Sounds like the book releases will be:

    Forgotten Realms Setting

    All next year

    It was mentioned in the FR seminar that there will be FR material in the digital Dragon magazine that they won't be putting in printed books. There are some other FR books planned. In addition to some new hardcovered novels, there will be a players book for FR character creation and one adventure mod is in the works now.

    D&D related. We saw the Dragonlance trailer screening. Keifer Sutherland and Lucy Lawless are among the voice actors. The cartoon looks like it might be good and a direct to DVD deal. But back to the subject...

    I like the art for D&D 4.0 covers, if that is what they use. With the logo, it looks very old school to me. I will probably get the books for this one as well as Basic. I signed up for the insider deal. I like how they are handling this.

    I know old schoolers will complain. There has been a lot of that here at Gencon, but I think Wizards was at a point where they needed to do this. Yes, it's business, but it's more than that too.

    I don't think the table game will ever completely go away as long as people make the effort, but this vitual table top thing looks pretty sweet. There's another company being represented at the con that is doing the same type of thing and beta testing. Won't advertise here as it may not be appropriate.

    The point is it seems like the Wizards are trying to do the right thing, and I'm gonna try not to be grumpy about this like I was about 2.0. People will hopefully give it a chance.