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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tyranny of Dragons - The NEXT D&D Storyline (multiple platforms)



From USA Today (today;)
For the first time in six years, gaming fans will roll the dice with a new set of rules for the iconic role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. 
Publisher Wizards of the Coast will launch this with the fresh story Tyranny of Dragons this summer, the latest chapter of the role-playing game first launched 40 years ago. 
The next chapter for Dungeons & Dragons will spread across multiple modern platforms, including a new tabletop adventure, and similar experiences for console video game systems and mobile devices. 
"This is a huge year for us," says Nathan Stewart, brand director for D&D at games publisher Wizards of the Coast. "At the heart of Dungeons and Dragons, it's adventure." 
Tyranny of Dragons pits players against throngs of dragons, led by their five-headed queen Tiamat. Players will get to battle Tiamat -- who has appeared in D&D lore as a key villain since the mid-'70s -- for the first time in an official D&D adventure...
You can read the rest of the article here and you can read more at the WotC site here.

I'll leave my thoughts on this for a later post ;)

23 comments:

  1. My mamma always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything."
    While I'd never hold anyone else to that advice, and I often don't hold myself to it, in this instance I'm going to follow it and hold my tongue.

    But I'm going to enjoy some pistachios while y'all comment. :D

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  2. Dang! You beat me to the posting of this by four whole minutes!

    I'm going to have to be faster about this . . .

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    1. And you both beat me by nearly an hour! I had to go back and add you guys into the post so not to look like a jerk :)

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    2. You guys completely beat me. I wasn't going to post about it all.

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    3. Hah! I don't even have a blog...

      So, I uh, win, right?

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  3. Sounds like it might be cool, though the data is incorrect. Tiamat was the epic tier baddie in the "Scales of War" campaign, if I'm not mistaken. And that was official 4e D&D material. Still, if they are able to make this interesting than I could give it the benefit of the doubt. 5th Edition's rules aren't too bad and the new art direction is interesting.

    My only fear is that this is going to be utterly stupid and filled with dragon characters that would make Richard Knaack blush.

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  4. I'll start the ball. How does fighting hosts of dragons + Tiamat help introduce new players? You get them excited by the visuals, they want to play the TT game, and then you get a new player with a 1st level character looking to fight a dragon, getting splattered.

    What's so hard about sandbox style of play? I'm not even talking about MMORPGs. Just something at the console level that plays like Grand Theft Auto, but in a fantasy setting?

    Side note: I have purchased and/or retro-purchased every edition of AD&D and D&D and a number of the clones. I will be purchasing Next. Don't need it. Won't use it. Never run it. But there's something about buying a brand new off the shelf D&D edition that just takes me right back to the 80s. . .

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    1. Pete.. If you look at D&D modules going back to the beginning, most of them weren't really 'sandboxy'. I know Judges Guild and a few others came along and brought that kind of gameplay to D&D but most of the TSR stuff seemed to really like the all aboard railroad style of play.

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    2. That's because most of the TSR modules were adapted from tournament modules which are, by definition, railroads.

      Originally, no one at TSR expected there to be any demand for pre-written adventures. They figured other people wanted to use their toolkit to create their own adventures. So when a market demand appeared, courtesy Judges' Guild, TSR raced to print what they had...and it mostly consisted of tournament modules and some more "sandboxy" (although they didn't use that term) campaign settings.

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    3. I'm not worried so much about the TT side of things. What I'm saying is they need to have sandbox style video games so the shift from video game to TTRPG won't be so severe. If I start a video game and within a few hours of play am slaying dragons with my magical great sword, that's pretty much expected. Now when I find out I can play the same game with friends, I roll a character, gear up, and then go fight. . .kobolds? Giant rats? Skeletons?

      If they want this multi platform program to work they're going to have to rethink the model they've been using for decades. Just because it has dragons, magic, swords, etc. and looks awesome on screen doesn't do anything to emulate actual TTRPG gameplay.

      I'll mention MSH for FASERIP here because I think it highlights a similar point. If you're a newbie and you model yourself after Wolverine, and Wolverine gets smoked in his first fight, you're going to feel pretty frustrated with the game as a system. I had one player roll up a character wanting to be like Kitty Pride and I she rolled up "can pass through paper objects" on the chart. Her reply was "well' that's great if the game is set in Japan". It wasn't and it didn't last.

      As a video game, they could take a valley and turn it GTA style. Throw a town in it for a home base. Throw ruins, strange statues and fountains, caves, wilderness, and other encounters all around the town and not make them all combat related. For example you could have a gorge that takes some skill to traverse (fell a log, use a rope, etc.) .You could have bandits to fight or befriend and give you information about the land. You could have a rainstorm that washes out a path up a mountain. You could dig for gold or silver (not physically, it would happen off screen and time would speed up). You could also make some of the encounters interrelated---the magical key in the orc's lair belongs to a chest in a wizard's tower.

      Use a random reaction roll for encounters and have the effects of these encounters tie in later. So, if they come across a guy trapped under a log, they might help him and make a new ally, ignore him and he dies, or ignore him and he gets help from somewhere else and is not happy with the party. Actions would have consequences. You murder a villager in cold blood and you'll get chased out of the village (and the game ends unless there is an expansion).

      You'd also have set more traditional "adventures" scattered throughout that the PCs could undertake on their own when they''re not just exploring the game world. These would be level appropriate and the ones that were not, would have ample warnings. They could come from tavern contacts, requests of townsfolk, or even exploration when the party stumbles onto a lair, One of these adventures would definitely involve a dragon and the PCs could witness just how terrible an intelligent, fire-breathing, spellcasting, magic-item wielding monster can be, as opposed to a whole videogame flight of dragons and their boss.

      I know WoW and the others offer similar gameplay to some degree, but I'm talking about something much broader than the killfests I've seen. Not to mention, I would not open this to online play at all, unless it was to add new levels and terrain. Like a TTRPG, it would be your party, traveling overland and interacting with nothing but AI. I could go on, but I think that's what would make the game more appealing and familiar to a new player. I just wish I was in any way affiliated with a video game company that wanted to hear my pitch!

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  5. Try as I might to convert my gaming group to the awesomeness that is DCC RPG and/or Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, they sound pretty set on sticking with the WoTC bandwagon. So I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and get the 5th end. PHB if I want to continue to play with them.

    The play test packet seemed OK I guess, but I'm really struggling to get excited about it when there's other stuff out there that I find so much more compelling.

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    1. Amen about DCC and AS&SH, I don't even get a chance to play them but I happily own them both. They are both very well done, in my opinion. I will buy D&D next, but probably begrudgingly.

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  6. If it comes out for a console I have, and it's halfway as good as Skyrim, I'll probably get a copy.

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  7. Without being critical, I don't really understand what the attraction is. Perhaps I don't understand what the product is. Is it a tabletop war-game where you always win? "Obviously, you're going to be the heroes, save the day, defeat the evil...But the important thing about that is the stories you're going to tell after..." Do 12 year olds (9 year olds? 16 year olds?) want that? Why? And then you buy the video game-"the same storyline over multiple platforms"-where you win again? Again, not critical so much, just...confused.

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    1. You don't always win at D&D, you can play your character for many sessions and then just ... die. Game over.

      Make a new char, and start from scratch.

      That's D&D.

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  8. I kind of wish WoTC would stop with this "multiple platforms" thing and just focus on creating the new edition. Wishful thinking I suppose.

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  9. Sounds like they are trying to do the Dragonlance thing again.

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  10. "An exciting new dragons in Eberron story ark in DDO, followed by the Dragons Neverwinter Online expansion, the Definitive Android and iOS dragons app, and a giant dragons boxed expansion for the acclaimed Waterdeep boardgame. Ah, and oh yeah we might have a product for something called a "paper and pencil" game as well."

    I don't think the alleged humans in marketing have ever actually played an RPG.

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    1. It just occurred to me that this is almost certainly an attempt to capitalize on the "Smaug" Hobbit films connection.

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    2. Yeah, 'cuz this game doesn't have Dragon in the title normally.

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    3. That's funny right there, Degenerate Elite.

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  11. " The game — often played in groups — features one person as a Dungeon Master, who governs and interprets the rules of the game and advances the story."

    Often played with groups? Uh....just don't know what to say. D&D is a group game, always has been, always will be, unless you count D&D-branded CRPGs.

    What a horribly crafted press release.

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