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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Today, 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...
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Today, 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.
    48 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Today, 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    Your knowledge about Chinese government standards regarding fantasy/sci-fi stuff is severely outdated, actually.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...
    48 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Today, 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).
    48 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Today, 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
    Today, 01:15 AM
    Nate Stewart discussing Dungeons & Dragons today:
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:41 PM
    Reality is frequently disappointing.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    48 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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....
    48 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    48 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:43 PM
    Probably not, this looks like a legit leak with damage control.
    7 replies | 438 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:42 PM
    The power of big data at work, finding out what works.
    33 replies | 1130 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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).
    166 replies | 11505 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.
    166 replies | 11505 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.
    33 replies | 1130 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...
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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.
    166 replies | 11505 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...
    33 replies | 1130 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.
    33 replies | 1130 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)...
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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 | 149394 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.
    166 replies | 11505 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.
    117 replies | 6705 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 | 2031 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 | 2031 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 | 2193 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 | 2193 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 | 2193 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 | 4440 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 | 2193 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 | 2193 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 | 4440 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 | 4440 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 | 4440 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.
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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 | 4440 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 | 4440 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 | 4440 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 | 4440 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 | 4440 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.
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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 | 2193 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 | 4440 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 | 4440 view(s)
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  • 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.
    38 replies | 2193 view(s)
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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 | 2193 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 | 2193 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
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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 | 507 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 | 297 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.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:12 AM
    Scarlett Johansson.
    56 replies | 2226 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 | 71751 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...
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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.
    67 replies | 2005 view(s)
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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
    1012 replies | 71751 view(s)
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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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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 09:36 PM
    IIRC, WotC tested partial proficiencies in the big Next playtest (Fighters get all the weapons, while Paladins get X, Y, but not Z) and people haaaaaaaaated it. Passionately. So they moved into what people wanted, working with the broad categories only whenever possible.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 09:21 PM
    What the Sage Advise does do is let the DM considering it know that the Druid is not balanced around the no metal assumption, and it own't break combat if the DM is cool with the story.
    641 replies | 18030 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 08:20 PM
    That's not true: Sage Advise is a set of advise to Dungeon Masters, and not binding in any fashion.
    641 replies | 18030 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:17 PM
    I don't want to go too far down this track, but to lend credence to your point, even laicization is about bureaucratic permissions for engaging in ritual activities, not what in D&D might be termed as "Class." It would be more liek the Acolyte Background losing the feature, not a Druid losing their mojo.
    641 replies | 18030 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:52 AM
    The idea is to have different strategies for rest, to mean that the whole party has to plan resources and rests together. Going Nova is distinctly undesirable, and a bad idea over the course of a full day.
    106 replies | 5065 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:02 AM
    Doubtful: maybe another Xanathar's Guide, but Mearls also said recently that another Xanathar's style book was years away. I'll wager that any alternative features, if they pass muster, will end up in a setting book.
    106 replies | 5065 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 02:57 AM
    It would create some silly Nova potential, and takes the resource management out of the equation, which is the game.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 02:55 AM
    Because it isn't an official rule, it's standard fluff. DM is free tonignore or enforce as desired.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 02:53 AM
    1-3 are subjective, but 4 is easy: "will not" is a statement not the orientation of desire (the vegetarian will not eat meat, the Druid will not wear metal armor), "can not" denotes capacity (the cow cannot eat meat, the Druid cannot wear Heavy Armor and get AC from it), and "should not" denotes restrictions that can be ignired and might be deaireable but ought to be headed (the celiac should not...
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 02:07 AM
    The assumption is two short rests a day.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 12:45 AM
    Precisely, that's the point: it will vary table to table, DM to DM, and that is the strength of this approach. There is no balance concern, if a DM lets the Dwarf Druid wear studded leather nothing is changed except the story which is always at the DMs discretion.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 10:58 PM
    This is a table issue, which is what Sage Advise points out, not a rules issue.
    641 replies | 18030 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 09:54 PM
    Anything that would require changing a main Class feature, which is somewhere Subclasses don't go: perhaps a variant of the Wizard that replaces the Spellbook with, for instance, a small Genie that negotiates for Spells in the Inner Planes after a Long Rest?
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 08:04 PM
    There is no mechanical effect, because mechanically there is no problem with a Druid wearing Scale Mail or any other Medium armor. The "Vegetarian won't eat meat" example from Sage Advise is perfect to illustrate what is going on here.
    641 replies | 18030 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 07:44 PM
    Based on what we know of the WB movie that never happened, I think Xanathar's Guide, Tales from the Yawning Portal and the Waterdeep adventures were meant to tie in.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    That's why I found the possibility of a ground-up redesign, with the terrain of origin being the Level 1 subclass, had potential. That had some possible legs as a fantasy archetype.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 06:54 PM
    But that's the thing: while Ranger satisfaction is significantly out of line with the other Classes, most people are happy with it and keep playing with the Class. Most people are not dropping the Beastmaster, though a relatively large number are dissatisfied based on what they wanted it to be. But those who are dissatisfied are not all dissatisfied for the same reasons, and those who are already...
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 06:19 PM
    For a bit more of speculation: WoTC has seemed to drop some occasional hints about Dragonlance in the past year, and Weiss was even in their offices not too long ago for...something. We don't know much about the current Paramont D&D movie, but "Dragonlance" isn't terribly improbable. They were also recently talkign about alternative Class features, particularly for Rangers but also for other...
    25 replies | 1268 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 05:43 PM
    The PHB Ranger isn't busted, just narratively dissatisfying to a significant number of players. Most people are already happy with the Ranger as-is, which is one of the main source of their reluctance to pursue a solution, they don't want to to put out the majority report that is already fine.
    106 replies | 5065 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:44 PM
    Crawford has clarified on Twitter: James Introcaso: "Hang on. They ARE changing the ranger?" Crawford: "Nope" https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/1141451770377334784 Navy DM PaxEast: "Too bad, it needs it. What was Mearls referring to then?"
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:22 PM
    Based on the Eberron trajectory, it wouldn't seem at all improbable that we could get both at the exact same time.
    25 replies | 1268 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:15 PM
    Listened to it, you are right that Mearls laughed off the suggestion of a 6E: it does sound as if Larien is doing a redesign of the Ranger specifically, however, and that Mearls is keen to do a tabletop test of the Baldur's Gate 3 version. It seems probable that the 2018 Happy Fun Hour material was related to his discussions with Larien.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:09 PM
    For context, this is what Mearls proposed: Gift of the WildStarting at 2nd level, you can opt to replace your Spellcasting feature with either the Beast Companion or Mighty Slayer class features. Beast CompanionYou gain a beast companion that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you. Choose a beast that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating...
    106 replies | 5065 view(s)
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:02 PM
    The topic of discussion was Mearls Happy Fun Hour Ranger sessions: wherein he hashed out one alternative Ranger design that had three options: spellcaster, beastbuddy or maneuver usage similar to the Battle master. Spell slots are the basic unit of "power" behind the scenes, and one of Mearls conclusions was that people who liked the idea of the Beastmaster but not the implementation needed an...
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 02:50 PM
    They became more circumspect about trade secrets, though they will still talk about them (Crawford discussed the Artificer early results on Dragon+ for example).
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 06:25 AM
    The spell slot equivalency summoning system should do for balance and flexibility: though in the event of a total Ranger redesign, I think the Beastmaster is toast.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 06:19 AM
    No, Mearls has mentioned 6E in the past, particularly when talking about the Ranger, on the Happy Fun Hour. He did specify in the past that they have not begun work on a 6E, because 5E is still selling.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 05:39 AM
    WotC has not moved overly swiftly, but they have acted in an upfront manner these past years, methinks.
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  • Parmandur's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:34 AM
    I did like the Warlock-style choice, as the best way to try and salvage the Ranger with animal companion archetype. Honestly, I see the beastmaster going away in future iterations of the Ranger, if it doesn't follow a spell slot equivalent style framework something along the lines Mearls proposed. The idea of a terrian-specific Ranger subclass really scratched a major itch for me:...
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Friday, 21st June, 2019


Thursday, 20th June, 2019



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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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Saturday, 18th May, 2019


Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 10:28 PM - Morrus quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    So, the Essential's Set will start as a Target exclusive: that's interesting, as the old Starter Set sells like hotcakes at Target from what I have seen. eBay for me again then, I guess.
  • 09:39 PM - GarrettKP quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    Could be they meant for the Rick & Morty box to be the Sunday surprise. Cute capper to the week. I dunno. They did not announce Ravnica at the Stream of Annihilation, it would be in pattern to wait to announce the next book. Jim Zub (writer of the Rick and Morty D&D comics) is on the opening ceremonies list. Rick and Morty Starter was always meant to be announced tonight. Setting Book is coming Sunday.
  • 09:28 PM - GarrettKP quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    Touche. Then, we might know all four products set for this weekend, at least on the high level. Stewart said there would be another major announcement in June/July ("Major AF" he said). Might e the setting will be announced like Ravnica was. The setting is almost certainly coming Sunday. Stewart said they are saving one surprise for Sunday night. Comicbook.com announced 3 products (prematurely) after having interviewed the staff last night (all documented on Twitter) Meaning those 3 products were meant to be announced tonight and a 4th product is being saved for Sunday. No way in all hell Nathan Stewart would tease a big reveal for Sunday and make it a dice set. Seriously people, the dice set isn't one of the 4 products. They wouldn't screw up an announcement that bad.
  • 07:43 PM - DragonBelow quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    I doubt WotC expects many folks to buy multiple intro products. Yeah, like those suckers like myself that have 3 versions of the PHB, just because special editions are cool
  • 07:16 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    That would be a seriously crazy set-up. I'm super-excited at the prospect of seeing more of the Nine Hells detailed out for 5e and some extraplanar travelling. As for the leaked Rick & Morty-themed D&D starter set, I'm a little perplexed. That seems like it's coming too close on the heels of the Stranger Things starter set, to the point that it might be hard to get people excited about buying a third one. Chris Perkins suggested that Asmodeus tries to suck mortal cities into Avernus for Blood War purposes. This would tie into that if so, and would be suitably epic.
  • 07:10 PM - Morrus quoted Parmandur in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    They have the info already, and somebody was sloppy with the time stamp for pushing the article. Yup. I guess they were under an embargo.
  • 04:18 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    If they announce their big book products for the Summer and Fall, and incidentally roll out two ancillary products, that is four products announced. I see no reason to suppose that all four must be big productions and not side notes to "The Descent", unless I am missing something...? People wanting to build up their expectations to ridiculous levels, so they have something to complain about for the rest of the year?
  • 03:22 PM - GarrettKP quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    Well, can you elaborate on your reasoning for thinking that (serious question)? Stewart has previously said they were looking at 3-4 RPG main products this year, and Ghosts of Salmarsh, Acquisitions Inc., the "Major AP" and probably a setting book round it out. They said they would be announcing 4 "products" during this stream, but products is a broad category, and they produce a number of ancillary items. Yes, they did dice sets and map packs before. But are they really "pushing" this box set? I know they mentioned there would be a box with dice and nice goodies...and this product that Amazon has a placeholder pending announcement at the stream will almost certainly come in a box. Fits the bill. Heck, maybe it comes with an intro adventure, too. They do already have a new intro product this year, incidentally. Stewart pushing 4 announcements (one of which is a surprise being saved for Sunday) indicates they are more than just accessories. He’s never pushed an accessory with an announcement. T...
  • 03:04 PM - GarrettKP quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    The "Dungeons & Dragons 2019 Annual Storyline Dice & Miscellany Set" product mentioned on the Amazon link is almost certainly the "box set," as having dice and various other things would fit the bill for what was described. It almost certainly isn’t. The Box Set is going to include more than just dice and maps. Which is exactly what the product page will be. They have done a dice set for the past two adventures and a maps set for Mad Mage and Ravnica. Those were never pushed as heavily as this box set is getting pushed. People seem to assume that 4 products means they are including the dice sets or board games because they cannot seem to believe that WotC would push more than 3 books a year. But that precedent was broken last year when we got 4 major products. The same will happen this year, with 4 major books. But this year they are also doing a new Starter Set style box. They will also do dice sets for the major adventure and probably some map packs. Both those can be true without them hav...
  • 11:58 AM - GarrettKP quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    So, guys, today's Dragon Talk had a Lore You Should Know talks about the Blood War, and it was very interesting. Perkins goes into how the Devils need to collect souls to fight the Blood War, and nonchalantly drops the example of how on Avernus an entire city might be sucked in from the material plane for troops. He then later mentioned how they at one point planned a counter-balance to Out of the Abyss where Asmodeus offered deals to surface cities to protect them from the demons in the Underdark. I predict that the AP will involve a Diabolical plot to suck Baldur's Gate straight into Hell... descending into Zariel's realm, as it were. It should be noted that this LYSK segment is very old. It’s from Jan 2018 and they are replaying it on the eve of the stream, for obvious reasons. It was originally promoting Tome of Foes. Also no, none of the four big announcements will be board games or accessories. They are books or box sets. They have done board games and dice sets for all the main adven...
  • 08:05 AM - vecna00 quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    So, guys, today's Dragon Talk had a Lore You Should Know talks about the Blood War, and it was very interesting. Perkins goes into how the Devils need to collect souls to fight the Blood War, and nonchalantly drops the example of how on Avernus an entire city might be sucked in from the material plane for troops. He then later mentioned how they at one point planned a counter-balance to Out of the Abyss where Asmodeus offered deals to surface cities to protect them from the demons in the Underdark. I predict that the AP will involve a Diabolical plot to suck Baldur's Gate straight into Hell... descending into Zariel's realm, as it were. That last line....I love the idea of that!
  • 07:40 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    They might count the miscellany set as one of the four products: it might even be the mentioned box set. I always thought "accessories" would make up at least one of the four. I think the box set will be a board game version of the main "Decent" AP. I think the adventure will go to Sigil and several other planes, but there won't be a full Planescape setting book. The fourth is most likely something Eberron.
  • 02:41 AM - gyor quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    They gave very little indication about Eberron before the Wayfinder's Guide dropped. A similar Dark Sun book, with fluff and recycled art, would not be unprecedented as a sudden surprise release. Maybe a PDF, but not a physical book. Personally I think it won't happen till we get another Psion update from UA.
  • 12:37 AM - Hussar quoted Parmandur in post Fantasy Grounds Usage Stats Through Q1 2019: D&D Up, Pathfinder Down
    The sunk-cost issue, in terms of money and rules knowledge, applies in meat-space with physical books, though. I guess my point is, generally speaking, I think people buy the meat space books as well. IOW, I think a lot of folks double dip, which makes the sunk cost a lot more. But, yeah, with the 2e and DCC rules coming online, one would think that we'll see some movement in those directions as well. It's the automation, more than the price that I was thinking was keeping folks playing 5e. I'm probably a lot less likely to play, I dunno, Mouseguard (picking a random example) on Fantasy Grounds simply because the amount of work getting it up and running even before I can actually start playing is more than I'm willing to sink in. Totally could just be me of course. On other VTT's, the community tends to come up with frameworks for a lot of different properties and on Maptool, those frameworks were free. It made me a lot more willing to try out other games where I could buy the ...

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 10:53 PM - vecna00 quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    It also strikes me that a playtest PDF like the Eberron book might be announced at some point: Dark Sun, perhaps? I have a feeling that'll be the way they do things going forward for settings that either require testing or are low on the popularity scale. Put out a PDF with all of the required information, open it up on DM's Guild, and move on. If it sells like hot cakes and has overwhelming positive feedback, they may do a hardcover for the setting or an AP. As far them releasing a Dark Sun PDF this year, I don't think that's likely...no matter how much I want it to happen. Psionics just aren't ready yet unfortunately. We're definitely getting our AP that involves the Nine Hells of Baator and Zariel, that probably starts in Baldur's Gate. I can see getting a setting book, my money is on Planescape or Spelljammer (no matter how much Nathan Stewart says "No") The boxed set is probably just another starter set for the Realms. Wild card product: something sci-fi. I like that ...
  • 08:53 PM - Matthia05718273 quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    On the other hand, they have been talking about doing Dark Sun for years, they are working on Psionics with a focus on Dark Sun (per Mearls), and Mearls was able to casually go very into detail on what they would put into Dark Sun on the Happy Fun Hour, like he had already written out the draft. We'll see it sooner or latter. I read somewhere that Mike Mearls has actually made enough rules to run Dark Sun for a campaign in the office. I don't think they'd just drop a PDF Dark Sun without any hints though. The Mystic is kind of the psionic and I don't think it's been updated, and Dark Sun hasn't been mentioned in some time on Talk or Dragon+. It's definitely come to come eventually but they probably want to launch it right, so I'd say next year is the earliest.
  • 07:59 PM - Prakriti quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    It also strikes me that a playtest PDF like the Eberron book might be announced at some point: Dark Sun, perhaps? There's no mastermind behind Dark Sun like there is with Eberron, so it seems unlikely. The only reason we got the Wayfarer's Guide was because Keith Baker continues to champion the setting. If Dark Sun had a highly respected and enthusiastic creator who was willing to do the work for them, then I'm sure WotC would arrange something with them. But that, as far as I know, is not the case.
  • 07:51 PM - GarrettKP quoted Parmandur in post New D&D Adventure Reveal On 17th May at 'The Descent'
    It also strikes me that a playtest PDF like the Eberron book might be announced at some point: Dark Sun, perhaps? That I think is a possibility. Tho I don't think that is a stream announcement. Likely post stream if it happens this year.


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