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Do you really want dials and options?

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024

....

But all that's going away you see? You wanna play an RPG built around the core of AD&D? Now you have it. How about 4e with 3e things? You can have that too - and it'll all be official, and it'll all be supported.

So go - party on. There won't be any reason for any of us to feel "slighted".

Oh, and someone mentioned "every time someone sees eladrin, they're going to be irritated" and so on - why? That's your game. That's not my game. My game is as official as yours is, and my game doesn't have 'em. You play at my table? Hell, maybe I'll let your eladrin in - one lone stranger from a strange land. I'm at your table? Maybe my antiquated Paladin who can't Mark a target or anything is of an ancient, simpler order. Or maybe he gains those powers, like Holger du Danske traveling to mythic Europe!

This could truly be the big tent guys - nobody has to hate anything.

Consider who's saying this. Me. The Hard-headed 1e Edition Warrior himself. Think about that.

TDD: you, drink the kool-aid! None of us are safe....;)
 
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Greg K

Legend
What I want in core
Races: Dwarf, Eladrin (not necessarily fey walking), Elf, Gnome, Halfling, Half-Elf, Human + one more (something that fits more with oD&D-3e core (e.g., lizardmen, half-orc, half-ogre (or goliath) rather than Tiefling or Dragonborn).
Classes:*
Barbarian, Bard, Cleric (non-martial priest), Druid, Fighter, Holy Warrior (Paladins and martial clerics), Ranger (non-spellcasting), Rogue, Shaman, Warlord, Wizard

Introduce new PC races in their own book. If they exist in real world cultural myth and legends, cover that including a write-up. Then, give a base race write-up based upon biology leaving out the cultural elements (e.g, racial enemies, tactics, weapon proficiencies) and explore how they might be altered for different environments (arctic, desert, swamp, urban etc.) and campaigns- here is a place to give suggestions of cultural elements. Next, if they existed in previous edition settings cover those. Finally, give a generic cultural version or two that might be plugged into any setting.

Introduce new classes in their own book. Give an in-depth treatment. If sorcerers examine the different types of bloodlines (Fey, Dragon, Infernal, etc.). Do the same for Warlocks.
Look at real world cultures, literature, film and show how to capture these versions different versions rather than trying to come up with the one iconic "D&D" flavor.

And, if the class involves spellcasting or psionics- hire Steve Kenson to write it an design the mechanics. He did excellent work on the Shadowrun magic books for 1e-3e, Green Ronin's Handbooks for the Psychic, Shaman, and Witch. Nothing WOTC has ever done has, in my opinion, even come close.

* I am willing to have less classes
Adept (artificers, non-warrior priests, druids, shamans, sorcerers, warlocks, witches, wizards)

Expert (Sages, thieves)

Warrior (Barbarian, Fighter, Knight, Ranger (non-spellcasting)

Warrior Adept (Holy Warriors, Martial Clerics, Paladins (spellcasting), Ranger (spellcasting), Warden)

Physical Adepts (Monks, Ninjas (mystic powered)

Something blending the Expert and Warrior (Swashbucklers, Non-mystical ninjas, non-mystical unarmed martial artists, and other highly skilled, but lightly armored warriors would belong here. maybe Ranger (non-spellcasting) and certain "barbarian types" would be here instead of Warrior)

Then with backgrounds/themes, skill selection, talent trees (and/or powers), etc. you could tailor to your concept.
 
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DonTadow

First Post
I want them more than anything, but I only want one option. I don't want to choose what special ability i want, what feat i want, prestige classes are hot, what skills i need, what spells i need. I don't want the day long leveling up process.

Electronic products have this right. The 3.5 bloat was caused by the design. There were some 10 elements to a character. 10 editable elements. Instead you need 1, maybe 2 elements and allow those elements to flow into the sub elements.

It reminds me of when I went to a local convention, a long time ago. And I saw Palladium for the first time. I was floored. I didnt want to play it. I'm sure the old people who were playing it love it, but the rules were to complex for me to care about.

Well, anything more complex than 3.5 is going to bring on this reaction. I was explaining how to make a character with my girlfriend, explaining the hwole spell system. It was tedious. the first thing most people i know want to do is play a spellcaster, and its the most difficult thing to build. So you give them a fighter, and they hate the game, and guess what, we lost a player, who would have brought a dozen more players. Why, cause the system punishes the new player with its tediousness.
 

I love the idea of Dials, switches and modularity.

This quote: The new edition is being conceived of as a modular, flexible system, easily customized to individual preferences. Just like a player makes his character, the Dungeon Master can make his ruleset.- Mike Mearls.

This made me buy into the concept of the next edition more than just about thing they could have said.
 

Salad Shooter

First Post
I wouldn't mind dials and options. However, I'd like this to be presented in a clear fashion. Preferably, I'd like a default "simple" option. A basic set of core rules. We could then have "Intermediate" and "Advanced," each with more switches set to on. Each of those should explicitly explain which of the switches they use. Just a simple: For intermediate, use switches a,b,r,l,y. For advanced, use switches a,b,c,d,j,r,l,y,z. Have a collection of the switches in the book.

Also...will there be a "races as classes" switch, like Basic? /troll
 

Crazy Jerome

First Post
What is a "dial" in terms of D&D? I've never really heard the term before.

It is a loose concept from modular design ideas, with implications for user friendly controls and understanding.


Let's say that you want to support roughly these five options in a system:
  1. No "skills"; use ability checks to resolve skill attempts (ala early D&D).
  2. Use ability checks for main adventuring stuff, but something like "non-weapon proficiencies" for isolated things that not everyone would know (ala later AD&D).
  3. A handful of simple skills (ala 4E) geared toward adventuring; a few "feats" to supplement.
  4. A more expansive list of skills covering a lot of what a character could do, but still in relatively simple, coarse terms; more feats; possibly some simple extensions for crafting and the like (ala 3.5).
  5. A detailed list of skill meant to cover what characters can do, in detail, with all kinds of special rules for enchanting, alchemy, training animals, etc--probably beyond what feats can support (ala some weird Rolemaster/RuneQuest supplement to 3E).
Now, obviously, you could write five complete skill systems, make sure that all of them work with the way you do ability scores, magic items, etc. But that is going to be a bear, quickly, for you to test and for the players to grasp. (And even with a dial, might be too much. It is only an example.)

The dial says that you find the common factors, factor those out into a core piece. And then you find extraneous stuff that isn't really part of the dial, and you put it to the side. This means that none of these options is going to work exactly as it did in the cited examples. So don't read "non-weapon proficiencies" as exactly like the late AD&D thing, but something roughly similar in scope and weight and detail that works with the base mechanics.

With a game on paper, there is only so far you can go here, but you can vastly simplify the decisions for the DM/group. For example, you may have a huge list of skills, feats, etc. to cover 4 and 5. But they don't tell you to go through that list and pick out the ones you want. Instead, if you set the dial to "3", use the ones marked for that setting.

Also, keep in mind this is probably an example that is way too ambitious. That setting 5 is too much, too far. You can see that everything needed to support that is almost useless for everyone else, where as people might be quite happy to blend 2 and 3 or 3 and 4. So stuff like those details doesn't belong on the dial, most likely, but would exist as a modular option to replace the whole skill system (if you did it at all).
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
A bit of a misunderstanding has now been sorted out. I've tidied up some unrelated posts that resulted from it.

Glad that things can be worked out through talking.

As you were.
 
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Aldarc

Legend
I want them more than anything, but I only want one option. I don't want to choose what special ability i want, what feat i want, prestige classes are hot, what skills i need, what spells i need. I don't want the day long leveling up process.

Electronic products have this right. The 3.5 bloat was caused by the design. There were some 10 elements to a character. 10 editable elements. Instead you need 1, maybe 2 elements and allow those elements to flow into the sub elements.

It reminds me of when I went to a local convention, a long time ago. And I saw Palladium for the first time. I was floored. I didnt want to play it. I'm sure the old people who were playing it love it, but the rules were to complex for me to care about.

Well, anything more complex than 3.5 is going to bring on this reaction. I was explaining how to make a character with my girlfriend, explaining the hwole spell system. It was tedious. the first thing most people i know want to do is play a spellcaster, and its the most difficult thing to build. So you give them a fighter, and they hate the game, and guess what, we lost a player, who would have brought a dozen more players. Why, cause the system punishes the new player with its tediousness.
This reaction is largely why I think that one of 5E's biggest goals needs to be "Easy access for new players while rewarding mastery for old players." My classic example is Team Fortress 2, which is incredibly easy, fun, and straightforward for new players to instantly understand and play as soon the game is installed, but a has a leveling curve that rewards people who "master" the system.
 

IanB

First Post
Why the nine hells would they do that?

I don't know why they'd risk alienating folks all over again by saying "DRAGONBORN ARE NOW FOR EVERYONE."

I mean, I know they did that in 4e, but still...

Because in the hypothetical they found out that dragonborn are beloved and popular, and they run the risk of alienating a larger group by NOT including them.

While I would agree that the hypothetical is fairly unlikely, we have to remember that for every person that gets pissed off/offended about an element's inclusion, there is likely another person who would be pissed off/offended at that same element's exclusion.

WotC's task in bridging fans of every edition is nigh-impossible to my mind because of this. People get nearly religious attachment to the elements they like and don't like.
 

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