Penny Arcade Podcast with Mike Mearls




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    Penny Arcade Podcast with Mike Mearls

    Mike Mearls, Senior Manager of D&D R&D at Wizards of the Coast, sits down with the folks at Penny Arcade and PvP. In this podcast, he helps educate them on character creation and conversionŚgearing up for the Live D&D game taking place at this year's PAX! Warning: This podcast may contain strong language.

    The Group
    • Jerry Holkins (Tycho from Penny Arcade): Omin Dran, CEO of Acquisitions Incorporated.
    • Mike Krahulik (Gabe from Penny Arcade): Jim Darkmagic of the New Hampshire Darkmagics.
    • Scott Kurtz (from PvP): Binwin Bronzebottom.
    Download it now! (9.9 Mbs, 28:51 minutes) Click on the link to listen to the file in your browser, or right-click Save As to download to your computer.

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    Penny Arcade Podcast with Mike Mearls

    Surprised this hasn't been posted already, but here it is:

    Penny Arcade/PVP 1 (of 4)

    I find it pretty interesting. You have Jerry Holkins, the guy who likes playing all editions of D&D, Mike Krahulik, who's only familiar with 4e, and Scott Kurtz, the casual gamer who's not all that invested, but is game for any game.

    They don't cut Mearls any slack, and yet they are open-minded enough to recognize faults of the games they like. And the whole podcast will be the process of converting their 4e Acquisitions, Inc. characters for 5e, which they'll play at PAX this year.

  • #3
    Overall, I think that this is a good marketing move by Wizards to show the transition of bringing characters from different versions to DnD Next and I'm interested in how the easy the swap will be. They haven't done anyone yet, though Jerry sounds like he'll be the first character guided through the process.

    Interested on the design change of 'Healing Word' to be pretty much a cantrip type effect. Though it still sounds like Clerics will be a healing machine like older versions in DnD Next compared to the battle Cleric feeling in 4.0. But we'll see as the game design progresses.

    I'm looking forward to going to the event at PAX. Though I have a gut feeling it will be a very clunky play session. A lot of pressure will be on Chris Perkins (Dungeon Master) I imagine.
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    Thanks for posting the link. The section on encounters (about 9 minutes in) is interesting where Mearls directly says that they built 4th ed around encounters and encounters became too long and overshadowed the adventure.

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    Good news everyone: Channel Divinity is now for healing, but can be used for other things instead if your god isn't into that. Finally! (I wonder how Turn Undead works, though.)

    Also, it's funny how Mike Krahulik has basically become a 4e grognard. Big change from the first podcast, where they had to pay him to play it. It sounds like 4e matches his and his friends' playstyle, so he's resistant to switch to 5e. It'll be interesting to see what happens when they thrust him into a more old-school kind of game.
    Last edited by GX.Sigma; Tuesday, 7th August, 2012 at 09:25 AM.

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    Their body language in that photo speaks volumes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Someone View Post
    Their body language in that photo speaks volumes.
    Ha... yeah, good catch. My interpretation: Mike aka Gabe has his arms crossed in a defensive position, while also leaning back in his chair away from the conversation. (4e grognard.) Jerry aka Tycho is, in contrast, leaning forward in a 'edge of the seat' position, signifying he wants to know more and is excited to learn. His arms are also crossed, reflecting his 'scientific' skepticism. (jack-of-all editions) Scott looks like a combination of interested and disinterested; in that he is facing toward Mike, though is not making eye contact and is instead writing, reflecting his status as the 'casual' gamer. And Mearls is in a neutral explanatory stance, using normal hand motions and eye contact.

    I really enjoyed listening to this podcast because of the rare human element to it. Reading the digital articles on WotC gives me a very cold sterile feeling, especially in the most recent Rule of Three. Also, these guys, minus Mearls understandably, are absolute comedians, so they made listening to four dudes talk about role playing games actually hilarious at times. Well played.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzlewump View Post
    Ha... yeah, good catch. My interpretation: Mike aka Gabe has his arms crossed in a defensive position, while also leaning back in his chair away from the conversation. (4e grognard.) Jerry aka Tycho is, in contrast, leaning forward in a 'edge of the seat' position, signifying he wants to know more and is excited to learn. His arms are also crossed, reflecting his 'scientific' skepticism. (jack-of-all editions) Scott looks like a combination of interested and disinterested; in that he is facing toward Mike, though is not making eye contact and is instead writing, reflecting his status as the 'casual' gamer. And Mearls is in a neutral explanatory stance, using normal hand motions and eye contact.
    Hah, nice analysis!

    I haven't watched this yet, but I'm not sure these guys represent much except Penny Arcade. Mike had burned out on 4E some time ago, so I think he's just looking for something to excite him rather than being attached to the current edition; Jerry seems to have a voracious appetite for all games of all stripes, so your conclusion is spot-on I would say; Scott is an artist by trade and never, ever stops drawing, so in some ways might represent the attention-deficit gamer we all know and love.
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    Didn't Mike switch to Pathfinder a while back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GX.Sigma View Post
    Good news everyone: Channel Divinity is now for healing, but can be used for other things instead if your god isn't into that. Finally! (I wonder how Turn Undead works, though.)
    I'm thinking perhaps that they did a complete swap between Cure Wounds and Turn Undead-- the healing now falling into Channel Divinity, and the turning now becoming a spell. Which to me makes a lot of sense.

    With three or more Channel Divinity uses per day (over and above the Cleric's normal allotment of spells), we've seen over many recent editions that you just don't use Turn Undead that much. Yes, it's been kept this way as a legacy to the classic Cleric, but in our modern D&D the undead just aren't used as a threat so often that you needed 3+ uses per day in your arsenal. That's why Complete Divine began creating "alternate uses" for Turn Undead's power, and why 4E created Channel Divinity so as to give other powers to use in addition to TU.

    But the fact of the matter is... healing is much more important and much more likely to be used 3+ times per day than Turn Undead is. Turn Undead could easily be just a spell that could be part of a Cleric's arsenal, pulled out when necessary. Swap healing to the Channel Divinity subset of ability outside of spells, and make Turn Undead a part of the spell list. Based upon how (and how often) both those abilities traditionally get used... this makes much more sense than the other way.

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