View Profile: Parmandur - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:41 PM
    The officially atheistic materialist Party takes a dim view of deviation from Maoist doctrine, though it's not exactly 1979 over there.
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:30 PM
    What Sorcery is this...
    337 replies | 205664 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:19 PM
    Fantasy Flight released a new RPG edition last October: it's the second best seller in hobby stores as of Fall 2018, between D&D and Star Wars.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:14 PM
    Totally fair, I've thought about buying it for the same reason.
    29 replies | 716 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:20 PM
    Honestly, that's where the money would be. The superhero is more of a for example: any other genre would do. Starfinder is a top 5 seller, currently the 4th biggest RPG in the hobby market, after Star Wars and Legend of the Five Rings.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:10 PM
    There is heavy sense of irony to the situation.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:09 PM
    Yeah, exactly. The playtest did not give the impression that the designers were on a journey of discovery with their fans, which is what made the Next playtest a marketing hit.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:31 PM
    Quite possibly, but that would still not be a guaranteed success, if it didn't hit it off with the new crowd. What they went with might be the worst of all worlds, ticking off the 3.X hardcore while not being very modern in sensibility. I do, actually, think a new edition was a mistake on their part: I think they would have been better served by slowing down their publishing stream fornPF1,...
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:25 PM
    I did the latter myself: buy, yes, the product was described as a playtest, and Mearls was saying on Twitter that they were hoping to do a separate hardcover that repeated the (rather small amount of) crunch, with a different focus for the setting information. It was clear what they were doing.
    29 replies | 716 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:23 PM
    They were very clear that WGtE was always intended to be a playtest for another product down the line: the material in question was made available for free as fast as possible. The remaining 150 pages may or may not be worth the money, but it is what they were selling (and they had to compensate Baker and the others involved). I admit, I didn't buy the book because they said it was a playtest...
    29 replies | 716 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:15 PM
    Yes, relying on people who are adamant on sticking with 3.X for twenty years might be poor business: but up until now, that was their business entirely. Anybody who would want something more in the direction of 5E has probably adapted 5E by now, and getting 0.01% of the 5E player base is not guaranteed. It is possible they will lose their core fanbase, and fail to make a new fanbase. And in this...
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:21 AM
    Certainly, but WotC was always upfront on what they were doing. Mearls even laid out their exact plans for this hardcover on Twitter as a conditional possibility. They released a portion of the book on UA the day of release, and proceeded to release the relevant playtest material for the rest of the year. They've also stated they will finalize the WGtE and enable PoD, and I see no reason to doubt...
    29 replies | 716 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:09 AM
    For sure: though they have promised to update the WGtE, including a final PoD version, to be a companion to the hardcover book.
    29 replies | 716 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:54 AM
    Not really: the WGtE had a large page count that had nothing to do with the hand full of rules that will be repeated (else why playtest them?), such as RP flavor different races and campaign info for Sharn. The 3.X setting had loads of books that didn't repeat the handful of Race and Class options, and seemed to do fine. The core Races, the Dragonmark stuff, and the Artificer will be repeated:...
    29 replies | 716 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:45 AM
    No more than with PF1: OGL is fair game, innit?
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:42 AM
    The material that went through the UA process will almost certainly be repeated, but that came to like 20 pages over all.
    29 replies | 716 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:36 AM
    Based on my reading of PF fan boards, yes, because doing so would involve integration of mechanics the PF base dislikes. Not everyone, certainly, but people who like PF and 5E don't seem interested in crossing those streams, either.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:14 AM
    There may well be a market for that, but it would have seriously cheesed off the existing PF fanbase beyond all hope, while still being a risk in terms of successfully attracting that new fan base. Both extremes seem fraught, but a middle approach seems deadly dangerous as well.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 11:46 PM
    Yeah, I don't see that they would have much hope with a continued backwards compatibility in business terms. But I don't know how well they will do moving away from that...
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 11:23 PM
    There were two main issues, in my opinion: splitting the AP between two books, and the incomplete encounter guidelines leading to big trouble (Hoardnof the Dragon Queen wanted to push the players a bit, but ended up being crazy swingy). This volume can easily solve both issues, making the story easier and more entertaining to run. The books consist of a series of fairly disparate episodes, many...
    38 replies | 986 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 11:19 PM
    They are stuck between a rock and a hard place: they need to make something different enough to justify a new edition, bit any changes that threaten compatibility will run afoul of part of the community. A backwards compatible game would service the old edition users well, but would not sustain a robust publishing schedule. So they went with not backwards compatible: time will tell if enough...
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 11:17 PM
    So, WotC is re-releasing Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat in a combined volume, with a special cover, re-edited based on feedback, on October 22nd. From ComicBook.com -- "The new Tyranny of Dragons volume will update the adventures by incorporating feedback to smooth out the curve for new players, while adding resources previously only available online and adding...
    38 replies | 2727 view(s)
  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 11:15 PM
    Weird: edited, thanks.
    38 replies | 986 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 10:59 PM
    So, WotC is re-releasing Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat in a combined volume, with a special cover, re-edited based on feedback, on October 22nd. From ComicBook.com -- "The new Tyranny of Dragons volume will update the adventures by incorporating feedback to smooth out the curve for new players, while adding resources previously only available online and adding...
    38 replies | 986 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 08:15 PM
    The big thing continuing players would want at this point is new adventures, and I am certain that companies such as Kobold Press will continue to offer Pathfinder versions of Kick-started Adventures, etc.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 05:34 PM
    There is probably not a sufficient market for a full clone: anybody who wants to keep on playing 3.x/PF1 has several lifetimes if material at their disposal.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 05:18 PM
    Yesterday's panel has been posted to YouTube now:
    3 replies | 339 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 09:25 PM
    They've been teasing an upcoming announcement: this coming Monday is the one year anniversary of the release of the Wayfinders Guide to Eberron and the announcement of the Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica. At minimum, I expect we will get details on the November release. Just a heads up, Morrus
    3 replies | 339 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 08:29 PM
    I have the Goodman Games reprint "Into the Borderlands," which has B1-B2 in their original formats and updated to 5E: pretty legit.
    13 replies | 493 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:07 AM
    Ice Fantasy is a domestic production (though the art direction is all from your countryman, Dan Hennah, to get that Lord of the Rings feel). But if you look at the Chinese box office, what really sells are big sci-fi and fantasy action movies, either Chinese or (surprise!) American made. Even political intriguing in fancy costumes is now mainstream in Chinese television and film (see also...
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:02 AM
    Maybe, but maybe not: a niche market is niche, no matter the product. And it isn't like the official stuff, like the Wayfinders Guide to Eberron, is working on a different scale: a platinum best-seller is a platinum best-sellernon the platform.
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 03:38 AM
    Your knowledge about Chinese government standards regarding fantasy/sci-fi stuff is severely outdated, actually. TVTropes has the following to say about Ice Fantasy, again produced for major television in Communist China, a show about Elf Wizards and spirit shamans battling for ancient magic artifacts in a world of high fantasy: "Interestingly, the world of Ice Fantasy seems to be influenced...
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 01:35 AM
    I'm watching Ice Fantasy on Netflix right now, which was produced in Communist China. I can assure you, D&D should not be a problem (this show's already done it all already).
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 01:31 AM
    It might not be a question of taking into account, it may be that they weighed the option and decided against that while taking that into account. WotC runs a pretty robust PDF operation with the DMsGuild, which is how they would sell new 5E books on PDF if they wished to (and they have a large amount of 5E material up themselves). We know from posters here who have top sellers on the DMsGuild...
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 01:15 AM
    Nate Stewart discussing Dungeons & Dragons today:
    3 replies | 339 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:52 PM
    Say what you will about the D&D Adventure games like that (not a big fan myself), they must do very well, as they have been available for years, and they just published another one a few months ago (Dungeon of the Mad Mage), the second or third in that line during the 5E period. Impressive, considering they use the last editions rules.
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:41 PM
    Reality is frequently disappointing.
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:39 PM
    This is 2019, much of this is out of date in the middle of the booming tabletop gaming industry. And you are dead wrong about China: see, for instance, "Ice Fantasy" or "Monster Hunters" among many, many other counter examples. All of the big Chinese movies of recent years are very Sci-Fi/Fantasy.
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 05:00 PM
    You are right, the focus on International growth does suggest that they have no plans for any edition change in the next few years, as they have consistently stated. While they haven't fully ramped up their media game, they have been quite successful in the comics and casual game scenes so far. They have a promising big video game coming down the tubes, along with a movie and who knows what else....
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:53 PM
    The scale of sales for DriveThruRPG products and printed 5E books is wildly different, though: the Fantasy ground, Roll20 and D&D Beyond experiences are notably different from a PDF reader. Stewart isn't claiming that nobody likes PDFs, he seems to be talking on the broad market level, which is WotC focus.
    74 replies | 2239 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:43 PM
    Probably not, this looks like a legit leak with damage control.
    7 replies | 585 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:42 PM
    The power of big data at work, finding out what works.
    38 replies | 1521 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 12:03 AM
    Actually, just checked, only 21 3.x books are PoD right now: Red Hand of Doom, Ruins of Undermountain, the Draconomican, the Spell Compendium, and a bunch of Realms, Eberron and Ravenloft (from White Wolf!) setting stuff, no core books (those are PDF only).
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 10:36 PM
    WotC is, indeed, selling 3.5 via Print on Demand.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:09 PM
    Lonely fun is a big part of the RPG hobby, and what one finds to be fun alone dictates a lot here: clear, concise technical rules don't give me any lonely fun, hence I'll invest less time or pursue playing a game if that is the primary thing. Narratively flavorful reading gets my motor going, rules are just a background framework.
    38 replies | 1521 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:54 PM
    Well, I don't really read technical manuals for any reason at all, and definitely not for fun (poetry or philosophical treatises are more my jam). Presentation and aesthetics matter: the 5E spell system is not neccessarily less complex than the 4E powers system, and is probably more complicated in certain key ways. However, the way the information is presented in 5E allows for me to keep most of...
    38 replies | 1521 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:28 PM
    So, not much change from the playtest.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:20 PM
    Weeeeellll, a lot of that was, more or less, reinventing the wheel from 3.5, rehashing concepts covered in existing WotC books.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:16 PM
    Granted that the PF2 system might not work as well mathematically as the 4E approach, I would describe the powers set-up as aesthetically a "jumbled mess of mechanics," with page upon page of redundant and bland abilities: much like my read of the PF2 playtest book. I was interested in the PC generation based on their early descriptions, but found the approach in the playtest to be extremely...
    38 replies | 1521 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:23 AM
    The action economy "feeling like 4E" is what I've heard: can't speak to it directly. Feel can be a tricky thing, slippery and hard to pin down. Feats are very 3.x, but forcing everything in PC progression into a Feat, such as AoO...that starts feeling like the AEDU powers wall of text.
    38 replies | 1521 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:04 AM
    It's worth noting that a lot of people who have been working on PF2 were working at WotC eleven years ago, working on 4E. It's not just an unrelated group who might come to similar solutions, it's the same people approaching problems they worked on before. As to your question, CapnZapp in terms of what people are gesturing towards as re.inding them of 4E (good or bad, fairly or unfairly)...
    38 replies | 1521 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:40 PM
    I mean, people have been talking about it for years, so it has a certain something to it, muck like Plan 9 from Outer Space or The Final Sacrifice.
    370 replies | 149855 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:27 PM
    Just about the only thing I found of value in the playtest, was the system for multuclassing, including the equivalent to Prestige Class/Kits. I could see a similar system being built into 5E easily enough, basically locking a character into a Feat chain that replaces all the ASIs with cross-Class abilities.
    216 replies | 14077 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:54 AM
    The core rules for PF2 are not setting agnostic: Paizo is going all in on Golarion, and all PF2 books assume that setting is in play.
    126 replies | 7758 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:55 PM
    Also, it was *hilarious*, and I'm sure some folks were already mixing in costumes in 1985.
    49 replies | 2119 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:56 PM
    Yeah, this: similarly, Dustin was left holding the ham radio geek bag while his friends blew him off, which had been a big deal for all four the first season. Will and Dustin even blow off each other's hobby passions this time around for their own.
    49 replies | 2119 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:20 PM
    WotC tried the toolbox approach in 3.x, but have found people *like* the 2E style gonzo multiverse. It is easy enough tonignore or change at home, the DMG goes into detail about changing the baseline assumptions. But for their publishing strategy, they have a framework that's built out, that people can use. They haven't really changed the approach to the core setting (which is the Great Wheel...
    38 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 02:55 AM
    Indeed, there is no reason that you need to accept it, or ought to in any fashion. WotC, however, made the decision to honor the multiverse approach established in past editions...mainly from fan feedback during the playtest. People, on the statistical level, *like* things like the MCU or other gonzo interconnected multiverse approaches. WotC is obliged, ethically, to maximize shareholder value....
    38 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 02:51 AM
    Indeed, while any table is free to make these things work however they want, everything being connected in D&D has been the default setting since I was a toddler. Playing with these settings *not* being connected is the house rule akin to mixing Alien with Babylon 5, not the other way around.
    38 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 02:47 AM
    San Francisco, yeah. Most of the Pro DM stories I've seen tend to be folks on larger cities.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 12:05 AM
    This is why, as I read it, Mearls is reluctant about productizing their "official" Unified Setting Theory. It's not a straightjacket for DMs, it's a tool for developers such as Larian.
    38 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 12:03 AM
    Oh, for sure, they've talked about all of this for years, bits and pieces. What Mearls is saying is that they have a through Bible worked out for this to keep official releases coherent, but have no plans to push the Bible as a wholesale product, or even put it all out there as definitive.
    38 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:38 PM
    Event planning also works there, since half of doing a D&D session is straight up planning a party: I think it's just that the game has been so DIY until the past few years, this phenomenon is just so new it seems odd.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:35 PM
    Actually, on the contrary, I'd say that Critical Role's success is largely in that they are playing for each other and ignoring the audience while in game.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:02 PM
    Well, the guy they focus on for this article does stream online, so the food is available for taste testing.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:00 PM
    And, on top of that, have a metaphysical model to explain things like how Dragonlance and Eberron fit in with Greyhawk and Mystarra.
    38 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:54 PM
    That's a decent analogy, but I think the cooking metaphor might be closer to pro DMing.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:53 PM
    Really, it's similar to cooking a meal for a bunch of friends versus going out to a restaurant together: but this feels weird, like witnessing the first restaurants come into being. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, just alien to the down-home DMing I'm used to.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:35 PM
    It feels somewhat like paying somebody to be your friend.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:33 PM
    I think we all mean "peak up to this time" when we say peak D&D. The old peak was 1981-83 for the Basic line: everything else was less successful, until 5E.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:00 PM
    I agree, really: it seems un-hobby-ish, against the historical "playing with friends" scene. But, if the market supports a skill being paid for, it will happen...
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 06:58 PM
    I believe they have the game available in other languages at this point, so that 40 million probably extends beyond the Anglosphere a fair degree. But, yeah, D&D is doing very well right now.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:42 PM
    No, there is no such book: Mearls is talking about a plan conceived of within the past 7-8 years, while 5E was being made.
    38 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:40 PM
    Yeah, for the PHB to be #52 on Amazon a full 5 years after release is bonkers: by way of contrast, 3.0, 3.5 and 4E were out of print within 5 years.
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:03 PM
    A few somewhat scattered points: The sales numbers provided are for North America alone: anyone outside of NA that bought the Starter Set is in addition to these numbers. Currently, the Starter Set is ranked #127 on the bestsellers list for Amazon, which is good: the PHB is currently #52 (these are current sale rates, not historical). So the PHB is selling better, at least on Amazon (the...
    117 replies | 4511 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 09:56 PM
    I'd say it is father the opposite: they gave this whole multiverse approach that allows them to publish products with links, but without overdetermining what "really" happened, as was the case in earlier editions.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 06:24 PM
    They already have two of those, probably more on the way. Alternatively, D&D Beyond.
    38 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 06:25 PM
    It is interesting that they have a Master Lore Bible going, but that's not really news: they were making that during the playtest when Wyatt was surveying people about monster lore, or Perkins planning out the first five years of Adventure products (which is extended now since they stopped doing two storylines a year, the original plan would have been for at least 11 storylines by the end of 2019...
    38 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 06:20 PM
    Myrkul got better, per the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide
    6 replies | 515 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 06:20 PM
    It's not really a big storyline Adventure module, more like DMsGuild material D&D Beyond is using to capitalize on sales of the Essentials Set. Might be good, am intrigued.
    6 replies | 515 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 08:39 AM
    Seems plausible: probably works well for Brand advertising timing.
    1 replies | 305 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 03:56 AM
    It's not that HotDQ is horrible, but...it was the first big adventure for 5E, and the DMG encounter guidelines were still in flux when it was published. They actually turned the dial down pretty close to the last minute before the G went out the door. If you break it down, HotDQ is in hard mode according to the published guidelines for encounter building, that the subsequent books adhere to more...
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 03:37 AM
    I use singular "they" when filling out reports at work all the time, because I don't often know the gender of a customer based on a name from a language with which I am unfamiliar. I don't do that to score political points of some sort, it's so there isn't weirdness if the customer reads the report and finds I guessed wrong. It's extremely natural.
    1012 replies | 72198 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:12 AM
    Scarlett Johansson.
    56 replies | 2244 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:08 AM
    Remove all "politics" from the equation, and "they" is still a historically singular pronoun. Pretending it isn't is frankly weird, and date I say it, "political."
    1012 replies | 72198 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 04:57 PM
    That's not really how D&D works, though: all sorts of rules are designed for flexible implementation by the DM (stealth, for instance). That's the nature of the beast. The Class write up says that Druids won't wear metal armor: Sage Advice reveals that there is no combat balance concern, and a given DM gets to decide on what to do about it. This is just an inherent part of the 5E philosophy, and...
    641 replies | 18371 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 05:03 PM
    4d6, drop the lowest, place as preferred, in 3E. Best way to do it, particularly now that stats are more mellow in 5E.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 09:48 PM
    Resistance to singular they is recent fad, singular they is natural to English: https://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/austheir.html
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 12:56 AM
    By definition, having elements that work a certain way limit the ability to do something else: 5E subclasses do not change base Class features, as 2E Kits did. What they are talking about is exploring options that rewrite the base Class, i.e. Kits rather than Subclasses.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 05:31 AM
    The Ranger is the only Class in the game where a significant percentage of the population is dissatisfied, true (Mearls said the next most dissatisfactory Class is within the margin of errornof the most popular Class). However, each Class does have Level 1 restrictions that limit possibilities for newer types of archetypes, like the Wizard Spellbook or Cleric Domains. New takes can open up new...
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Monday, 15th December, 2014

  • 04:57 AM - howandwhy99 mentioned Parmandur in post With the Holy Trinity out, let's take stock of 5E
    It's the holiday season and this is getting tiresome. You don't understand, I understand. I've gone to great lengths to help you understand. If you have any further questions I will try and answer them, but let's go to PM and quit bloating this thread which is quite clearly not about the topics you've been asking about. pemerton, gauchi, Parmandur, I don't have the time at this point in the holiday to spend trying to help you understand. Especially when the intent is simply to demand "You're wrong", "This is not actual D&D" (it is), and "you can't actually do that anyways". It's time to be nice to each other. Parmandur gives a quality summary of the most recent material we've been discussing, but we have covered so much. Have a happy holidays and enjoy the rest of the thread.

Monday, 27th October, 2014

  • 12:44 AM - pemerton mentioned Parmandur in post The Multiverse is back....
    ...of the demons - ie their lack of interest in engaging with the necessary conditions of meaningful social life - looks like an objective matter of fact. Hence, on this picture, their evilness seems to be a matter of fact too. To introduce the relativism you seem to have to take a meta-step: that the belief that the difference between the reasonable and the unreasonable is itself a mere belief, and that there is no objective significance to the distinction between those prepared to take the demands of genuine sociality seriously, and those who are not. Now such a claim may be true (if rather radical!), but within the classic D&D framework I think it is most naturally labelled chaotic neutral or chaotic evil. Which means it fails as a meta-principle after all - it is a substantive outlook within the alignment system. Which is why I find the Planescape relativist cosmology not very coherent, any more than the more traditional D&D cosmology that treats evil as a value. (I think that Parmandur is thinking along similar lines.) I don't think I've presumed. If I were to presume, based on what you've written in the thread <snip conjecture>Are you happy for me to send you a PM? Umbran, I've cross-posted again. I think my post is about trying to make sense of Planescape and alignment, but accept that that is subject to moderation.

Tuesday, 14th October, 2014

  • 02:23 AM - pemerton mentioned Parmandur in post The Multiverse is back....
    ...Those are the very raison d'etre of the paladin! If we look at contemporary domestic politics in the West, I'd say that the main divide is on a law/chaos axis: things like conservativism vs liberalism, state vs individual, and similar contentious topics. I think the law and chaos conflict is largely more interesting, because it's actually more common (in my experience) and because it allows for more nuance in storytelling. A lawful good character is clearly superior to a chaotic evil one, but are they really morally superior to a chaotic neutral one? What about a lawful neutral character and a chaotic good one? Which you believe to be superior depends to a large extent on your own personal beliefs, which is something the simple dualism of good vs. evil doesn't allow I see it more as saying unadulterated sweetness is too sweet. As in, "Can't build a society on nothing but goodness, you need structure and law—otherwise it's vulnerable to corrupting influences."This goes back to Parmandur's contrast between personality and metaphysics. In the real world, policy making is plagued by doubt. Does a generous welfare system uphold human dignity and wellbeing (as eg European social democrats believe) or does it undermine productivity and generate dignity-eroding welfare dependency (as both US conservatives and the famous liberal philosopher John Rawls believed)? But in a cosmological framework like the Great Wheel, all such doubt is eroded. What does it mean, for instance, to worry that the unadulterated goodness of Elysium is vulnerable to corrupting infuences? The game rules already tell us that it is uncorrupted. The game rules similarly tell us that both Celestia and Olympus are good, and hence that when it comes to achieving human wellbeing the choice between law and chaos doesn't matter. Another factor in the real world, which relates to political debates, is that political opponents have differing conceptions of the good. For instance, the French revolutionari...

Saturday, 11th October, 2014

  • 11:12 AM - pemerton mentioned Parmandur in post The Multiverse is back....
    ...joy an as-yet unrealised utopic capacity (both Marx and Hayek, in different ways, believe this). What causes the breakdown in 9-point D&D is that the game tells us, as a matter of canon, that there is a place, Olympus, which is both fully chaotic and fully good, and another place, the Seven Heavens, which is both fully lawful and fully good. And the alignment graph tells us that the same possibilities are open to individual characters. That is to say, the game stipulates an answer to a question which, in the real world, has been and remains one of the most heated of political and moral disputes; and furthermore, it stipulates that a certain dispute (between Law and Chaos) continues on in spite of that answer, whereas in the real world, whenever the answer is accepted (ie by value pluralists), the immediate consequence is that the dispute between different ways of realising the good becomes simply a dispute of taste and inclination, not one about moral error. I think this is what Parmandur had in mind in stating that, while alignment can work as a personality descriptor, it is hopeless as a metaphysics. (And for those who enjoy analogies, here is another one. It would be possible for a source book to tell me that the geometry of Greyhawk is Euclidean, that the walls are a perfect circle, that the diameter is exactly 700 yards, and that the circumfrence of the walls is exactly 2200 yards. But the mere fact that you can write that sentence down in a rulebook doesn't make it coherent.)
  • 10:53 AM - pemerton mentioned Parmandur in post The Multiverse is back....
    I think you're missing my main point, which is that which is worse of the three evils (or best of the three goods) is a matter largely of perspective... which is in the sourcebooks. <snip> it's interesting you should make this claim when you were earlier arguing that chaotic evil characters were obviously more evil than lawful evil characters. That seems an inconsistent claim to me. At the very least, by your logic, a nycaloth should be more evil than a pit fiend.You may be confusing me with Parmandur. Upthread (post 767) I said: I don't think one would have to go this way: for instance, if you wanted to run a game that emphasised the ethos of Homeric heroism, you might want to frame the CE character as at least capable of self-assertion, whereas the the LE character might be somewhat weak and insipid. But what I do agree with in your post is that any coherent moral framework has to take some sort of stand on this. It makes no sense to say that the difference in outlook between the demon and the devil is evaluatively significant, and yet makes no contribution to the degree of goodness/evilness. My point is that, per the D&D rules, degree of evil is not a matter of perspective - eg Detect Evil doesn't yield a different result, when cast on a demon or a devil, depending on whether or not the caster is lawful or chaotic. I'm not saying this is coherent - my whoe contention is that this is part of the reason that the 9-point framework is incoherent. A lawful good charac...
  • 03:25 AM - pemerton mentioned Parmandur in post The Multiverse is back....
    I always felt that ones belief in Good is the ideal, that you wish the best for all people, and that your Lawful/Chaoticness is in how you evaluate the methods used to attain that end. A lawful person feels that order is more important than personal liberty, and although both are nice to have, the second can be sacrificed to obtain the first. A chaotic person, vice versa.I think this can work when you use alignment as a personality/belief shorthand, in the way that Parmandur has described. But it breaks down when you treat alignment as a framework for moral classification. Because if, as the Great Wheel and the alignment graph assert, both the Seven Heavens and Olympus are fully good, then in fact the choice between order and liberty doesn't matter. Conversely, if in fact that choice does matter, then it must be the case that either the lawfuls or the chaotics aren't achieving the good they aspire to (because they've chosen the wrong means). In which case at least one of the Seven Heavens or Olympus would not be good (although the residents of the place might mistakenly think that it is). This is in fact how real-world moral and religious disagreement tends to play out - each side accusing the other of error in their choice of means, and/or arguing that choice of means etc has corrupted their sense of attainment of the ultimate goal - but it seems to be precluded within the Great Wheel/Planescape framework, because we're already told that both ...

Friday, 10th October, 2014

  • 01:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Parmandur in post The Multiverse is back....
    Parmandur, I'm curious... why do you think the Great Wheel and the standard nine alignment system are absurdities?I'm not Parmandur, but I think that nine-point alignment is untenable. There was a long alignment thread earlier this year that went over this in a lot of detail. MY TL;DR version is: Once you contrast good and evil, it makes no sense to have commitments to law and chaos as independent elments. For instance, a LG person is meant to judge that a CG is both fully good (contrast a CN person, who is sometimes or partly good) yet morally flawed. That makes no sense.


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Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 09:21 PM - cbwjm quoted Parmandur in post Favourite D&D edition that’s not 5E
    2E representation on electronic tabletops might be somewhat lower due to the edition not being super-mini dependent: the same applies for "0E" and 1E, but those sold more at the time than 2 E ended up doing. I voted for 1E, because I bought 1E books to use with 5E and have enjoyed them more than my experience with 2E, 3.x or 4E.I think it will be interesting to see how much, if at all, that changes when fantasy grounds sets up the 2e rule set. Will there be a sudden boom of 2e games before settling down to similar numbers or will there be an increase which remains constant.
  • 08:27 PM - lowkey13 quoted Parmandur in post Mike Mearls interview re: Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    They seem to have hit on a good idea with themed books. Want to do seafaring adventure? Buy Ghosts of Saltmarsh. Don't buy if that isn't appealing. They seem to be reprinting many of the vehicle rules in Baldur's Gate, and probably in the Eberron hardcover. WotC has shown themselves to be very comfortable with reprinting rules if needed. Yep. I'm really curious to see what they do for the 50th. They have to do something, right? Too good of an opportunity to not do something amazing, right?
  • 05:04 PM - lowkey13 quoted Parmandur in post Mike Mearls interview re: Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    Good interview. Interesting to learn that the book was going to resemble TftYP more, but Welch pushed for more generally useful material when she was brought on board. Also, Mearls wrote all of the Greyhawk narrative lore based on his time running Keoland for Living Greyhawk: Welch edited it as a Greyhawk newb to make sure it would be generally useful, while Kim Mohan was brought in to make sure it was solid for Greyhawk afficianados. Lastly, the vehicle rules are revealed by Mearls as being based on as-yet unreleased mass combat rules they are still working on... So, I am largely supportive of the WoTC release cycle so far (do not over-saturate the market with content), and method (not putting too much crunch out, and mixing stuff around), but that said..... At some point, there is a concern that you're going to have too many rules spread out between books, as opposed to within a single source.
  • 04:22 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Parmandur in post Another Look at the D&D Essentials Kit
    Yeah, it seems to be a replacement, but Perkins also said he wrote the adventure to basically expand on Phandalin as a sandbox. So, somebody with the Starter Set can use this to extend the game. It's worth noting that you can buy Lost Mine of Phandelver on D&D Beyond, so it's not going away completly. I expect Icespire Peak will also be available on D&D Beyond (although the Stranger Things adventure aint).

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 11:40 PM - dave2008 quoted Parmandur in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    But the playtested portions have been updated: they talked this weekend about making it available for Print on Demand, so it will be updated again. Likely, they will add the Artificer rules. Yes, I know. I am not trying to argue that point. I have been saying WotC is in the process of delivering what they promised (updates and POD). We are in agreement and saying the same thing.
  • 11:05 PM - Yaarel quoted Parmandur in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    Apparently not, since they are both being published. In the Dragon Talk where they announced Wayfarer's Guide and the Ravnica book, Keith Baker went a little into how to mix Ravnica material into Eberron. Do you have a link handy to where Baker suggests mixes?
  • 07:26 PM - Fenris-77 quoted Parmandur in post State of the mystic
    Yeah, in addition to trashing the test Mystic and starting from scratch, they made it pretty clear that sticking to spell slots was one of the big takeaways from that playtest. Who knows where they will go with a Class in particular, but it will a spell slot user. If they're a spell slot user like the Warlock that could still be cool (so minimal but flexible slots and a whackload of special abilities). Anything else would probably suck. I guess what I'm saying I'd rather see a reskinned warlock than a reskinned sorcerer or wizard. Give them three psionic paths at 3rd (fighty/sneaky/casty or whatever) and call it a day. I would be all for the whole class feeling vaguely monk-like too. I do see why they might want to leave the points system behind - it's an ugly mechanical match with anything else in 5e.
  • 03:48 PM - a.everett1287 quoted Parmandur in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    22 pages out of 175 is not 70%. I mean, that just depends on your concept of 'math.' Because really, who are we to assign value to arbitrary scribbling that we have just decided to call 'numbers.'
  • 07:04 AM - Abstruse quoted Parmandur in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    The crossover between the two books is not very significant, basically what is free on UA. Per Mearls the day the PDF was released, they were not planning to re-use anything that they were not putting up for free in a "theoretical" hardcover. So, you paid $20 for a detailed Gazeeter of Sharn, and a ton of fluff and role-playing aids from Keith Baker. How can you say what the crossover between the two books is when the above article is literally all the information we have? Like, do you think I'd post an article that's just one sentence of "We're getting Eberron in hardback" if there was more to report? We don't know how much of Wayfarer's Guide is going to show up in the hardback. It could be none of it is repeated, it could be just a general re-write and republishing of the exact same material We don't know. And the not-knowing is part of the problem with the announcement. If they'd ended the stream with "We're doing a hardcover of Literally Any Campaign Setting Other Than Forgotten Realms, Ra...
  • 07:04 AM - Jester David quoted Parmandur in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    The crossover between the two books is not very significant, basically what is free on UA. Per Mearls the day the PDF was released, they were not planning to re-use anything that they were not putting up for free in a "theoretical" hardcover. So, you paid $20 for a detailed Gazeeter of Sharn, and a ton of fluff and role-playing aids from Keith Baker. 70% isn't significant?
  • 07:01 AM - Jester David quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    Sure, from Mike Mearls Twitter the day the Wayfarer's Guide was released, discussing the plans to release the crunch for free and make a hard cover book: "This is 100% official content for Eberron. Since it is an ebook, that also means we can update content with comments based on UA playtests of the races and the artificer. If we do an Eberron print product, we will design it to complement as much as possible what the PDF presents." https://twitter.com/mikemearls/status/1021495845223636994?s=19 "Some things, like the artificer, races, and basic world info, will be picked up for a print book, but we want fans to be happy owning both." https://twitter.com/mikemearls/status/1021496102800056321?s=19 "We'll likely make them two, separate things. Just speaking theoretically - the print book might focus on the Five Nations and adventures there, while this covers Sharn in more detail." https://twitter.com/mikemearls/status/1021499358989242369?s=19 This Eberron hardcover was always their pla...
  • 06:06 AM - Jester David quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    Based on what they said at the time, this will probably only recycle the crunch that was tested, not the boatloads of fluff. Citation please. We don't know what may be new yet: Ravnica had material being playtested through September, so more subclass options seem probable. Races only. Subclasses were tested far earlier. I'd feel better if I liked the current iteration of the artificer. It has a lot of things I dislike. The actual playtest material was realeased through UA as well—for free. People played for the fluff. Yes. They released the material free. Several weeks AFTER a few thousand people bought the PDF. That was a big complaint at the time regarding the UAs.
  • 05:46 AM - flametitan quoted Parmandur in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    To be fair, the percentage of the AL-legal book they released last year that is likely to be reused is low, based on the plan for a hardcover Mearls laid out the day the Wayfarer's Guide was released: basically just the parts they released as free UA articles are likely to be reprinted, which is a few pages out of a large document. They are likely to put the Wayfarer's Guide up for print on demand, as the fluff will remain relevant and distinct Adding on with my own understanding of things: If I recall correctly when Mearls was explaining the plan on Twitter, the example he provided was that it'd have more emphasis on the Five Kingdoms and a reduced emphasis on Sharn relative to Wayfarer's.
  • 04:57 AM - kenmarable quoted Parmandur in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    I wouldn't be surprised if they did a Dark Sun playtest with a Psion. Yep, I fully expect that to happen as well, just don’t know when. I’m hoping next year (because I *really* want Planescape this year). With how slow they want to be in expanding the crunch, I’d say slightly better odds that they would wait until after Artificer is fully released and see how things with that go before getting more serious with Psion. But I have no idea. I enjoy Dark Sun, too, so I’d be happy with that. But who knows? (Outside of WorC, of course!)
  • 04:35 AM - Azzy quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    And the fluff and lore from Baker will probably remain distinctly in that book. Likely. Wayfinder was more like an introduction for people new to the setting, and I think it excelled at that. The hardback will probably be far more dense with less new player handholding.
  • 04:18 AM - FlyingChihuahua quoted Parmandur in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    Ravnica didn't have a new Class, though I would expect a Psion in Dark Sun. Well Ravnica didn't really have D&D stuff highly associated with it, considering it's a MtG setting, but fair enough.
  • 04:06 AM - Jester David quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    They followed through on the one setting they had released a playtest document for, which makes sense: it's what I had been expecting after the Wayfarer's Guide early access playtest. There is more that isn't included in that book, like vehicle rules and importantly monsters, that will likely be here. Just disappointing as we don't get anything new. No new races. No new setting on the Guild. Nothing that we didn't already have before... They got us to PAY for playtest material with the promise the PDF would be updated. Maybe it will now, maybe it won't.
  • 03:38 AM - GarrettKP quoted Parmandur in post Bet on Sunday’s ‘surprise’ D&D announcement
    Yeaaah, I would have said Eberron a week ago, bit I psyched myself out... I did too right at the end. Still got 2.5 out of 4 right. I’ll take it (I’m taking half credit for getting starter set right even if I got the Setting wrong 😂)

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 11:58 PM - Jester David quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    Actually, it looks like I was thinking of November's S&S: can't check the link at the moment, but per the Reddit thread I found Stewart does specify that he is talking about a hardcover setting book. Here: https://youtu.be/LmEel4spCRc?t=3574 So either he was mistaken in November when he said there would be a setting book or he was mistaken in January. It's very possible they had planned to do a setting book but decided to wait to see how Ravnica would do, and the later January statement was him rolling back his statement.
  • 11:29 PM - Jester David quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    Jester David Try this on for size, the context suggested a hardcover like Ravnica, but time will tell: https://youtu.be/o6Ipq4S_TrY Thanks. And Steward immediately describes Ravnica as "one of the best selling adventures on DnDBeyond". ;) He then says he doesn't know if he'll do any more settings "this year" because they wanted to see how Ravnica was received (as they plan their schedule like a year to 18 months in advance). 106569 (I don't know where your quote came from... Could it have been early 2018 and referring to Ravnica?) I can see a whole book like GGtR about Sigil, particularly one with a lot of unique stat blocks for NPCs and much more proper Gazeeter material: a lot of playable races not seen yet, and Mearls floated a lot of subclass ideas last year that would fit. If we were expecting subclasses, we would have seen them in January to test them. That's about when we saw the Ravnica subclasses last year. We could still see some races to test, as the Ravnica on...


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