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 Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily

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PostSubject: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:08 am

Here's what Chris Perkins writes in the editorial for Dragon 427 released today:

Quote :
In years past, when we found ourselves at the lonely crossroads between game editions, the magazines simply went from one edition to the next with nary a breath in between. This time is different. As we turn our attention to the next D&D®️ rules set, we’re putting Dragon®️ and Dungeon®️ on hiatus.

The D&D magazines are going dark beginning in January. In other words, the December issues (#221 of Dungeon and #430 of Dragon) will be the last issues you see for a while. The magazines will continue on their present trajectories for the next few months, during which time we will answer questions such as the following: when will Dragon and Dungeon return, what form(s) will the magazines take, how much D&D content will the magazines publish, and how
does one submit pitches for articles?
I am really surprised because this seems to be something of a brand-killing/goodwill-killing move. I mean, Dungeon and Dragon have only ever ceased publication before when TSR had no cash. Obviously that's not the case now... but it is a really frustrating move, especially as the content has become quite good since Chris put his stamp on it again.

I know there is no point getting angry or complaining to WotC - it's a done deal - but I must admit I am disappointed.

Of course, it does suggest that the current team working on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition need the assistance of a good designer so Chris no longer has time to wear his magazine hats.... Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:05 am

lol, AD&D 3e.

I've never been much interested in the mags, but you're right that this is an odd goodwill-killing move.

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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:19 am

Yeah, I've started referring to it as AD&D3E.

It's going to be the next 2E. It will be bloated carcass filled with necrotic vapours by the time WotC has finished with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:55 pm

This actually disturbs me less than it probably would have a year ago. Now it just justifies my complete disillusionment with WotC and gives me the permission I need to cancel my DDi subscription after the first of the year since the last possible bit of 4E content from WotC will then be done.

Honestly? I've already got more D&D content for 4E than I could ever use in a lifetime and home-brewing any missing stuff is getting easier and easier since there's less and less chance of something coming along to interact with it in weird ways and it only has to pass muster to the degree that the player wanting to use it is a known munchkin (we enjoy CharOp, but we've got a player who will take advantage of any possible loophole to make the game all about how awesome he is at the expense of other players' fun... even when we were running a game to introduce the system to 8-10 year olds... any homebrew they suggest is looked at VERY closely).
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:08 pm

I'm more disappointed because of the signal it sends about their stewardship of the brand... but, really, that's none of my business. I also have more than enough material to last a lifetime and sometimes it's good to get off the consumer roundabout. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:57 pm

And just when the Quality was starting to increase... damn. Oh well. It will give me another reason to start tinkering even more with 4e.

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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:28 am

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
And just when the Quality was starting to increase... damn. Oh well. It will give me another reason to start tinkering even more with 4e.
I agree, it was starting to get better in some ways, but at the same time you can also see the shift towards 'old-school' with their articles on mysteries and how to short-circuit divination spells and people wouldn't pay more than a raise dead spell to figure out who the killer was... all of which were already handled by 4E in their core rules.

Divination rituals that would shortcut an entire murder mystery are pretty expensive and pretty limited too. Indeed, the biggest complaint about them is they aren't worth the cost for the information they provide. The cheapest ritual, Speak with Dead, is level 6, costs 360 gp and can be short-circuited just by having the victim not know who their attacker was (i.e. killed by a stranger, killer wore a hood/mask, they were attacked from behind) because the corpse knows only what the person did in life. There's a level 8 ritual that costs 680 gp and lets you look back in time at a single scene up to your arcana check in hours ago, but that one requires you know things like precise time of death since its duration is instantaneous and 680 gp a pop to check individual moments in time is going to get expensive quick (on the other hand, it'd be quite useful to identity what might be missing from the scene (ex. 12 hours ago there was still a painting on that wall over there) which could point you in the right direction, but that doesn't destroy a mystery plot in and of itself. Chorus of Truth is level 10, costs 1200 gp, and just gives penalties to Bluff checks for half an hour; useful for when you have to interrogate a suspect, but still not foolproof and the subjects have to be in range of the caster during the ritual so you can't just cast it and run around town asking "Did you kill Lord Red of Herring?" of everyone you meet.

In other words, the 4E developers already took the time to fix a lot of divination shenanigans from earlier editions.

Likewise, the world-fluff for the Raise Dead spell (and several comments from the preview books such as Worlds & Monsters) state that only people with special destinies (i.e. the PC's and anyone else the DM deems appropriate) can be brought back from the dead because everyone else has their spirits pass beyond the reach of any magic practically immediately after they die. In other words, raise dead and a million gold pieces wouldn't return a king destined to die at the hands of an assassin and throw the world into chaos... while the same ritual powered with blessed oils and rare spices scavenged by his friends would work for a pig-keeper who was destined to slay the Lord of Death and become the True King.

Which is just one more reason that 4E is awesome.
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:38 am

I kinda pisses me off that the designers now have the excuse to never add the content they promised or that is wanted or needed. Over at the other forum, people already mention this means they won't ever see new types of Sentinels, or other types of Mages. It also means that classes like the Binder and the Blackguard will remain as bad as they are. And the Battlemind still needs an MBA.
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:20 am

svendj wrote:
I kinda pisses me off that the designers now have the excuse to never add the content they promised or that is wanted or needed. Over at the other forum, people already mention this means they won't ever see new types of Sentinels, or other types of Mages. It also means that classes like the Binder and the Blackguard will remain as bad as they are. And the Battlemind still needs an MBA.
Sounds like an opportunity to Homebrew for me. Either that or a bit of creative adaptation.

For the Battlemind... my first thought is to re-word the Melee Training feat so that it provides the stat's full damage bonus if it's a traditional class, but only half the stat's bonus if its an Essentials class (this is something that could actually be coded into CBLoader pretty easily... you'd just need two lines for the damage bonus; one with "requires class = Essentials" and one with requires class = !Essentials" since there is actually a class = Essentials toggle inside the various E-classes already to let them use non-AEDU power set-ups). This would actually solve the problem of viable MBA's for a LOT of classes, not just defenders.

For the Sentinel, we've been using the Druid of the Wastes from HotEC as a "Druid of Autumn" (with the Zephyr companion as the gusty winds of fall with its obscurement coming from fallen leaves instead of dust/sand) for a while now and decided that the Druid of Winter was a villainous loner NPC type in our worlds. That said, if you wanted to create your own, you'd just need an acolyte feature (i.e. an animal companion, a weapon adjustment and +2 bonus to an appropriate skill), a level 13 feature, a level 17 animal companion power and a level 27 feature. That's about 10 design elements total to finish off the other two Sentinel Druid seasons (5 if you use the Druid of the Wastes as one of the other seasons).

For mages, we've got enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, nethermancy and pyromancy already covered. I've always consider abjuration (staff of defense/orb of imposition) and summoning (tome of binding) to be covered by the wizard class and divination got moved over almost entirely to rituals so its just not going to be a good school focus in the 4E system. That just leaves transmutation for the traditional eight wizard schools to be covered and that seems like something that's doable since we've already got two at-wills and power choices for E1, D1, D5, D15, E17 and D19. So that's 9 levels where a new attack power would be needed if you wanted every level to have a transmutation attack.

That said, transmutation (like divination) has never traditionally been as much about direct attacks as it has been about buffs and environmental effects. The former can be found in a variety of utility powers (including several in 10-22 range with the polymorph keyword) and rituals. As such, both might be better covered by the ritual feats from Dragon 405 for divination, creation and exploration (which has a ton of the old transmutation spells like stone shape, excavation, earthen ramparts, et cetera in it) instead of by combat elements for the wizard/mage class.

The binder is one of those classes that I don't think was ever necessary beyond and excuse to give more powers to their parent class (see the Witch and Sha'ir). Everything good about the class (including its fluff) can be used by its parent class. I wouldn't bother trying to salvage it myself.

As to the blackguard, I don't know what's so horrible about it... its a striker with defender hit points/surges/defenses that's about on par with most E-classes in terms of options. The two vices provided map pretty well to the two evil alignments in 4E (and would be lawful evil and chaotic evil in earlier editions) just as the two virtues for the cavalier map to the two good alignments of 4E (and would probably map to lawful good and either neutral or chaotic good respectively in earlier editions).

The bladesinger is in a heck of a lot worse shape than the blackguard, in my opinion (any class where you're better off tanking your supposed primary stat and finagling a melee basic attack for Dex or some other attribute somehow to make the class work is in serious need of help). Personally, I'd fix that by changing all its "Encounter as Daily" powers into standard encounter powers (gained two-levels late) and buff the bladespells' damage by about two points so you don't need an amazing Dex score for them to be worthwhile and compensates a bit more for the poor NADs suffered if the person does buff both their Int and Dex scores.
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:45 am

Chris24601 wrote:
(snip) In other words, the 4E developers already took the time to fix a lot of divination shenanigans from earlier editions.(snip)
That's the thing I find when I see posts about other editions, including Next. So often I feel like answering, "Um, that wouldn't be a problem in 4E," but, obviously, I don't because that's threadcrapping at best. However, it's also true. 4E did solve a lot of the issues with the preceding editions.
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:23 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
svendj wrote:
I kinda pisses me off that the designers now have the excuse to never add the content they promised or that is wanted or needed. Over at the other forum, people already mention this means they won't ever see new types of Sentinels, or other types of Mages. It also means that classes like the Binder and the Blackguard will remain as bad as they are. And the Battlemind still needs an MBA.
Sounds like an opportunity to Homebrew for me. Either that or a bit of creative adaptation.
As you may have seen in the homebrew part, I´ve already started a discussion about it Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:34 pm

Still waiting on those Profession Skills as I've found that mine may be getting clunkier as I flesh them out...

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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:27 pm

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
Still waiting on those Profession Skills as I've found that mine may be getting clunkier as I flesh them out...
Honestly, I'm not sold on Profession skills, but I really would have liked to see some.

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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:16 am

The problem with profession skills is that they are often limited in their usage, and stick simple actions into the hands of the skill system, which is a hit or miss decision, and there are few ways to make use of "interesting failure" with them.

Plus, many (if not all) of the profession talents of note already have use within the existing skill system. There are also rules for contests for those professions which involve sports or other competitions.

Really, I'd just leave the profession skills in the dust as another bygone of the game that weighed it down with arbitrary point sinks instead of enriching the role playing experience through genuine use.
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PostSubject: Re: Dungeon & Dragon are dead... at least temporarily   Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:09 pm

[quote="Chris24601"]
svendj wrote:
The binder is one of those classes that I don't think was ever necessary beyond and excuse to give more powers to their parent class (see the Witch and Sha'ir). Everything good about the class (including its fluff) can be used by its parent class. I wouldn't bother trying to salvage it myself.
When the Binder appeared in 3.5 (Tome of Magic I think?) I absolutely LOVED it conceptually. I never got a chance to play one or see one played. I had always hoped it would return in 4E. When it did, I saw it as a pitiful shell of what it was. Two vestiges are all that came with it. And nothing that gave it all of the flair and flavor that was present in the 3.5 version.

I'd love to see someone with more skill than I have make a full and proper Binder class (and not a sub-class of something else).

I'd also love to see the Incarnum classes appear in 4E. I actually did see one post about them and it seemed pretty cool. But I'm not 100% sold on how it was done. I'm hoping to see it progress a little more.

Of course I'm pretty much always behind the screen these days and so I doubt I'd ever see a chance to play either of these classes, but still it would be nice to see them done up.

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