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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

D&D Encounters Goes Multi-System - 3.5, 4e and Next - Will It Go Further?

I saw the link to ICV2 on ENWorld, but the week has been a bit too hectic for me to read and digest until now, so if the news is old to you, I apologize and wish you Merry Christmas instead ;)

Here's the interesting quotes"
"We really wanted to make sure that all D&D players could engage with this great adventure story and so we know that some people are playing with the playtest rules, some are diehard 4th Edition players, and we also wanted to open it up to people who may still be using 3.5 rules.  We think it really expands out the audience and lets all D&D players enjoy the fun.   
"A big part of this is shifting our emphasis away from the rules we’re delivering to the great stories that we’re delivering.  This is a great Sundering adventure; it lets people participate in the future of the Forgotten Realms; and for us, whatever rule set is their favorite rule set, that’s great and we don’t want to get in the way of that decision.  We want them to participate in this great story."
"The Scourge of the Sword Coast Adventure, which will be available for download at dndclassics.com, can be played with whichever edition of D&D you prefer.  This is in-line with our strategy to put the emphasis on the story and allow players to choose the rules they use to experience that story.  We made the decision to extract the rules from the body of the product, leaving just the narrative elements, and we offered the stat blocks separate from the product.  That still remains the case."
This is a HUGE change in direction for WotC. With 3x (and to a lesser degree, 4e) they expected to supply the rules and have most of the (poorly profitable) adventures written by eager 3rd parties. Rules were supposedly where the money was.

Now it seems that WotC has decided that "adventures" are the "evergreen" product. Which could mean that "D&D Next" may actually turn out to be "D&D ALL", if WotC decides to provide downloadable stat blocks for all of it's older ruleset with it's new adventure releases.

Time will tell, and we do live in interesting times.

Merry Christmas!

11 comments:

  1. Is it just me, or does it make less and less sense for WotC to publish another ruleset?

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    1. I agree. My biggest complaint with the Next playtest is that Next really isn't innovative enough to justify it's existence. And now to support 3rd and 4e makes next seem even less important.

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    2. I agree with both of you. I rather disparagingly refer to Next as, inter alia, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition because it feels like we've gone back to 1999 and watched neo-TSR crank out another Gygaxian clone. And from the continual stream of random and confused comments by Mike Mearls, it also feels like a homebrewed fantasy heartbreaker that is slowly taking shape on a messageboard, rather than the latest iteration of the game that defined FRPGs for decades.

      I do hope the DDi tools for 4E will continue... but I also hope that Next is a success because I don't want to see Hasbro mothballing the brand.

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    3. Aside from the lack-of-quality of the rules, it doesn't make sense at all to release a new system only to include it in multi-statted adventures. There's even less reasons to switch to 5E.

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  2. I am reminded of the speculation as to why Monte Cook left the project way back when. He said it wasn't because of the rules, but because of something the corporate folks were planning on doing. Could this be it? Did he perhaps disagree with the notion of supporting all editions in organized play? It doesn't seem likely, but I've got to wonder.

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    1. I believe Monte was more concerned about the contractual provisions that would have prevented him from publishing Numenera while it continued to work at WotC.

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  3. (I love when Google eats your comments).. To me this a brilliant idea. If they release these adventures, and possibly others without a stat block, it would allow people to use these adventures outside of a TSR/WoTC produced game system. Also it would be easier to make the adventures to suit any level of adventuring party. It seems that WotC knows they've lost the position of leader of the pack, and that letting these adventures into the world system free is going to make them more money in the long run. The fact that they specifically stated 3.5 says they are hoping to get some of the market lost to Paizo and Pathfinder but I think it benefits any rule system.

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  4. It's a great idea. You go to download your PDF and select which ruleset your want your PDF to be reformatted for. If they extend it to ALL versions of DnD (wouldn't be that much work, big company like them) that would be pretty awesome.

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  5. "This is in-line with our strategy to put the emphasis on the *story* and allow players to choose the rules they use *to experience that story*."

    Eww. No thanks.

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  6. Also, it's weird for WotC to focus on adventures. It's not like they're known for the quality of their adventures. On the contrary.

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