D&D 5E My #1 hope for D&D Next

Shawn, I loved that Halls of Undermountain adventure. It was in my mind, one pinnacle of the 4E era. It got some bad reviews on Amazon, simply because monster stats were not included! that's a lame reason. I guess people were looking for the Delve format.


I loved the adventure! I wrote one of the glowing reviews of it.

It would work perfectly in D&D Next. Any chance of a conversion???
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
But, of course, Paizo has recently discontinued their monthly stand-alone adventures. Now they only do 4 per year. This doesn't bode well for the market that Wizards are going into.

I don't know if that's really indicative of a problem. The market for Paizo adventures is Pathfinder players. Paizo has been publishing adventures for their game for a long time now - they've probably kind of saturated the market, and don't need to make many new ones. The market for 5e adventures will be 5e players, who have no backlog of product to draw upon yet.
 

pming

Legend
Hiya.

My one "not-system-related" thing I want to see? My one thing that will 99.999% NOT happen? See the books come out in non-glossy paper. I f'in *HATE* glossy paper! It feels cheap, sounds cheap and I can't read a paragraph without having to angle the book a new direction in order to move the light reflection(s). Grrrr!!! :mad:

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

pemerton

Legend
this sort of product is the one place where I think the Delve Format for adventures is probably suitable. Although it was pretty lousy to read, and unnecessarily inflexible in use, it does appear to me that if you want something short and to the point, and especially something that requires little or no pre-reading and preparation, then it's pretty ideal - you're sacrificing flavour for utility, true, but you're doing so in what is very much a 'utility' product.
I assume that many Paizo subscribers read but never play their AP modules. Which makes comments about "flavour" very interesting - because (unless I've badly misunderstood you) you're talking about how it reads, not how it plays - ie the adventure as a work of fiction rather than as something to be played.

I think this is a significant point of collision between commercial concerns and actual play utility. Monster manuals have the same problem (esp some of the later 4e ones, in my view) - too much fiction meant for the pleasure of a reader, not enough advice text to actually support a GM in using it in play.

Both Mearls and Cordell were involved in the design of 4e from a very early stage. If they were freelancers, I'd say, yeah, maybe they didn't understand the system. But they were in-house, they were part of 4e development and playtesting, and they were given the very prestigious job of writing its flagship adventure, the one that introduces the game to people, the one they sent out with the quick start rules. I simply don't buy that both of them were so dense that they went through all that without an understanding of the game. Even if they were, I don't buy that such an adventure would go through the publishing process without someone calling a flag on the play.
I've never played, or more than cursorily looked through, KotS. And I've got no reason to question your judgement about Mearls' and Cordell's professionalism.

But why, then, did KotS get such a bad reaction? It can't just be all the issues around high(ish) level play, and scaling DCs, and the like, becaues none of those are in issue in a 1st level module. It seems that even at 1st level a lot of people found 4e unsatisfactory for "traditional" play. What were they experiencing that Mearls and Cordell missed?
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Shawn, I loved that Halls of Undermountain adventure. It was in my mind, one pinnacle of the 4E era. It got some bad reviews on Amazon, simply because monster stats were not included! that's a lame reason. I guess people were looking for the Delve format.


I loved the adventure! I wrote one of the glowing reviews of it.

It would work perfectly in D&D Next. Any chance of a conversion???

And on that note...how well do you think it would play right now, with no conversion at all except simply using monsters from the 5e Beatiary?
 

Evenglare

Adventurer
I haven't read the 5+ pages of replies but I have one thing to say ....

GIVE MWP THE RIGHTS TO PRODUCE MORE DRAGONLANCE CONTENT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

Alright, thanks!
 


Hussar

Legend
Back to the OP, I 100% agree with Merric on this. Module support is the one thing that D&D has traditionally always had over any other RPG. Yeah, other RPG's had modules, but, good grief, D&D had oodles of the things. Even in 3e, while WOTC's modules were lackluster typically, you had 3pp putting out a wide variety of stuff from 8 page pocket modules to mega-tome doorstoppers.

I do believe that this is where the licensing for 5e would shine. Maybe limit the new OGL (whatever it's called) to module support instead of throwing the doors open. To me, this would create a pretty healthy feedback loop where people are buying modules from Company X, but are still going to be playing WOTC D&D.

Not sure how it works, since how do you define "module", but, IANAL. Smarter people than me can figure that out.
 

silverblade56

First Post
Chris Perkins needs to be in charge of the adventures with no input from Mike Mearls and the others whose names appear on some of WotC's disasters in the past.

WotC adventures need a fresh start. There have been too many motherless dogs with fleas published and the customer base is rightfully wary of further WotC offerings.

Do them right this time, WotC, and put your best adventure-writer in charge.

(And hire Rich Baker back. You really do need him.)


I don't know about hiring Rich Baker back. He was one of the chief architects of the horror that was post spell-plague 4E Forgotten Realms. I think the horrible treatment of their flagship setting helped to speed the demise of 4E. It's not good to bring someone bag with that kind of baggage if they are trying to recapture players that did not make the transition to 4E.
 

Iosue

Legend
But why, then, did KotS get such a bad reaction? It can't just be all the issues around high(ish) level play, and scaling DCs, and the like, becaues none of those are in issue in a 1st level module. It seems that even at 1st level a lot of people found 4e unsatisfactory for "traditional" play. What were they experiencing that Mearls and Cordell missed?
To be honest I don't think the reaction was so bad. It got the Penny Arcade guys into 4e, particularly Mike Kruhulik, who previously had no experience with or interest in tabletop RPGs. Wil Wheaton liked it and used it for the campaign he ran for his sons. The Amazon reviews are quite positive. 20 five-star reviews, 25 four-star reviews, 20 three-star reviews, 8 two-star reviews, and 8 one-star reviews. The negative reviews either decry the physical product (flimsy) or desire more story or plot. A lot of the 5-star reviews strike me as unbridled enthusiasm ("We just got this can had one battle! Awesome! 5 stars!"), but the four star reviews largely echo my assessment earlier: solid, if uninspired.

It seems to me that a lot of the negative reaction to KotS falls into two types, which one can see on the Amazon reviews. 3e players who use it to whip 4e. I.e., "4e is all about combat. Look at KotS: you just move from one combat to another." And then 4e players who note that it has little in the way of story or narrative weight to its encounters -- it's just a largely linear string of battles until you get to the boss. In a sense, if you're sensitive to the "4e is just aping MMOs," then KotS is a poor module because it plays into that stereotype, without playing to the wholly non-MMO-like strengths of 4e.

However, it should be noted that such video-game like structure is in fact a legacy from traditional D&D itself. Many a player enjoyed TSR-D&D and 3e doing exactly that: have a decent background story for the setting and reason for adventuring, then have the PCs go door-to-door kicking evil butt. And 4e, at least initially, goes well with that playstyle thanks to its detailed combat engine and harder-to-kill characters. There are certainly lots of vocal critics of 4e who laugh and point at the module, and vocal 4e players who think it doesn't play to 4e's strengths. But IMO there are a lot of players who played the game that way and enjoyed it, and enjoyed KotS. I also suspect that many such 4e players also tend to be more accepting of 5e, because while it doesn't look much like 4e mechanically, it provides them the same kind of play they enjoyed in 4e. But I admit that this last part is me extrapolating from my own experience.

(As an aside, I think there are two flaws in KotS from a traditional dungeoncrawl point of view. One is that there are many Encounters in which battle to the death is the assumed outcome. It's fine if you want to play that way, and fine for a few encounters to be that way, but I think more non-combat alternatives should have been offered. Compare Keep on the Borderlands, with its suggestions of setting the monster tribes against each other. The other flaw is the dungeon is not jaquayed enough.)
 

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