D&D 5E My #1 hope for D&D Next

Blackwarder

Adventurer
The "Adventure Begins" set was really quite poor, but it was also dirt cheap, and probably (just barely) worthwhile just for the 'extras'. I don't have either of the other two.

However, my understanding is that "Beginner Boxes" in general are generally poor - most experienced designers don't want to work on them, because they'd rather work on the cutting edge (however that is defined), and because they're low-prestige items. Which means they get passed on to lesser talents, or they're produced by people who don't want to work on them - either way, this is seldom a recipe for success.

(The B/X and BECMI Red Boxes, and also the Pathfinder box, appear to be shining exceptions to the above. So it can be done. But I think the key there is that they happened to have one of the "premier league" designers both working on, and enthusiastic about, the task.)



Interestingly, WotC's market research before they did 3e suggests the opposite - that new players actually thrive on crunchy systems that handle a lot of stuff for them, and have difficulties grokking a system that leaves more open to DM fiat. Whether that remains true, and whether it holds both for introducing the game and retaining new gamers is not clear.

I honestly don't get why someone won't be excited about working on a beginner box set for D&D, it's essentially the most important product every, if it weren't for the black box back in 91' I would never have played D&D.

Warder
 

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Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
I honestly don't get why someone won't be excited about working on a beginner box set for D&D, it's essentially the most important product every, if it weren't for the black box back in 91' I would never have played D&D.

Warder

That seemed to be the attitude at Paizo which probably explains why their Beginner's Box rocked, types the man who prefers 4E to Pathfinder but recognises a good product when he sees one.
 


delericho

Legend
I honestly don't get why someone won't be excited about working on a beginner box set for D&D

Because you're adapting existing material rather than working on something new. Because you have to make it accessible, which really limits your ability to do anything really clever or inventive. And because very few existing gamers will ever see your work, so even if you do knock it out of the park, chances are nobody is really going to credit you.

The B/X and BECMI Red Boxes between them probably brought more people to the game (and more people who stayed with the game) than anything written by Gygax. But who gets all the glory?

it's essentially the most important product ever

Yep.

And, as Scrivener notes, I think Paizo recognised that, and consequently they produced a box that is extremely well regarded.
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
Adventures are really important to me too.

I don't need them to be printed though, I would actually prefer if they weren't due to the shipping costs to Norway. I would rather hope they released some tablet-optimized adventures with separate player/dm art assets.

I think they need to release a wide variety of adventures too. Some people like dungeon crawls and some like adventures like Red Hand of Doom. A wide variety of adventures would help them get a wide player base for the game system.
 

Hussar

Legend
Adventures are really important to me too.

I don't need them to be printed though, I would actually prefer if they weren't due to the shipping costs to Norway. I would rather hope they released some tablet-optimized adventures with separate player/dm art assets.

I think they need to release a wide variety of adventures too. Some people like dungeon crawls and some like adventures like Red Hand of Doom. A wide variety of adventures would help them get a wide player base for the game system.

Well, now, if we're going on wish lists, what I REALLY want is a virtual tabletop and then sell me modules that plug and play into that tabletop. I heard a rumbling that Paizo is going in this direction, and, if they are, I hope it rocks.

It utterly astonishes me that we don't have this already. I mean, how hard would it be to have a DDI (which DID have a linked VTT that had access to the rules) that crossed over with Dungeon, so that when you open up a Dungeon magazine on your computer, you can click a link and poof, you now have the entire module, pre-statted and pre-done right there waiting for you.

To me, this is a complete no brainer. You want to bring in new gamers? THIS is how you do it. Sign up Bobby on the DDI, direct him over to the Dungeon side of things and he's ready to DM a group in minutes. IMNSHO, this is the next Red Box of D&D.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
Well, now, if we're going on wish lists, what I REALLY want is a virtual tabletop and then sell me modules that plug and play into that tabletop. I heard a rumbling that Paizo is going in this direction, and, if they are, I hope it rocks.

Well, if they are, I hope their business model looks better than Pathfinder Online. I for one am a little concerned that corporation is losing focus.

It utterly astonishes me that we don't have this already. I mean, how hard would it be to have a DDI (which DID have a linked VTT that had access to the rules) that crossed over with Dungeon, so that when you open up a Dungeon magazine on your computer, you can click a link and poof, you now have the entire module, pre-statted and pre-done right there waiting for you.

We have had this already, numerous times. The first time in recent memory was 2002, in Neverwinter Nights. It and its successors have had minimal lasting impact on the hobby.

To me, this is a complete no brainer. You want to bring in new gamers? THIS is how you do it. Sign up Bobby on the DDI, direct him over to the Dungeon side of things and he's ready to DM a group in minutes. IMNSHO, this is the next Red Box of D&D.

Well, Bobby has to have access to a parent's credit card, four friends who also have access to a parent's credit card, and all five of them have to have parents who are willing to let them spend four hours in a block sitting at the computer, but--

--no, wait, you're right, this could totally work.
 

Hussar

Legend
Neverwinter Nights was not a Virtual Tabletop. It is a stand alone video game. It's not like you need to own any D&D books or ever reference one while playing.

A Virtual Tabletop is something like Battlegrounds, Maptool, or any of the programs found Here.

The advantage here is that you actually don't need to get four of your friends. You can play with people all over the world in whatever time is convenient for you.

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about any kind of MMO.
 

D'karr

Adventurer
Neverwinter Nights was not a Virtual Tabletop. It is a stand alone video game. It's not like you need to own any D&D books or ever reference one while playing.

Neverwinter Nights was quite cool, but I agree it was no virtual tabletop. In addition creating adventures for it was quite time consuming and complex. It required scripting, crazy amounts of map work, and quite a bit of time to make something really interesting and compelling. The new Neverwinter has a much easier "level editor" that works quite well, but it's still not a VTT. These are MMO's that allow level editing/creation.

Maptool is quite powerful, but it also suffers from the issues of scripting, and "time to noise" ratio. It takes a bit of time to get rid of the noise and make something interesting and compelling. Specially if you want to use the really nifty lighting modules (quite awesome). It also has a steep curve to setup for someone that is not tech/network savvy.

In contrast the VTT that WotC was "designing" originally had me hooked because it was 3D. Something that nobody was really doing at the time. The final VTT was disappointing when it lost that feature. However, that VTT simply removed the tech/network savvy requirement. You plugged into it and it simply worked. The fact that they took "forever" to get it integrated for monsters, etc. was a shame. By the time they finally rolled it out I had lost all interest in it.

A "consumer attractive" VTT MUST be easy to connect to, easy to create adventures for, easily integrated into the rules system, and should be relatively inexpensive to the consumer. I really would like it to be 3D, but that is a really desirable feature - not a requirement. If it is not easy to connect and easy to create adventures for - forget it.

Is this the future? I don't know, but I play as an excuse to get together with friends. The VTT really does not solve that in the traditional sense that satisfies that need.
 

All this debate, makes we change my #1 hope for D&D Next and what I think will be the most important thing that will determine D&D Next's success, is if D&D Next allows 3rd party publishers of adventure material. And very open flexible terms of doing so.

There are many different desires for adventures, that a huge diverse market needs to exist to fill it. There are people who want Sandbox, and there are people who want Dramatic Linear Narrative style adventures. There are people who just want to read the adventures. There are people who loved those Fourthcore adventure.

If WotC tries to be the sole publisher of content, like 4E, and then doesn't focus on only putting out content, they are going to be beat. They might even want to encourage community sourced content. Like an exchange of fan written adventures, that can be rated by other fans, so people don't have to sort through the trash. A reddit of adventures.

You know there are still people making modules for the PC game Neverwinter Nights (the first one). http://nwvault.ign.com/
I played a lot of those, and there were some darn good ones.

I actually tried out that brand new Neverwinter MMO, because I read that a reviewer on Gamespot.com said that much of the fan-made adventures were better than the stock ones. An MMO that allows fan created material, crazy.

On VTT Tabletops:
You should check out Fantasy Grounds, it the most high-tech tabletop right now. 4E is fully integrated. While WotC made it a total pain in the butt to get material into it. The tech-savvy people in the community have made parsers and web navigators to put every single bit of 4E info that exists right back into it, and programmed the functionality that it does so many things for 4E that you'd be like "holy cow, I can't believe it tracked the duration of that Insubstantiality and handled the damage reduction properly."
 
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